Chapter 18: Remy in the evidence room with the lead pipe
The outside of the police station looked like a movie premier. Flashing lights from squad cars and bright white lights mounted on news cameras gave the grungy building a red carpet quality. Arthur drove his boat of a car right up the middle of the crowd. Reporters and bystanders jumped out of the path of the headlights and roaring engine behind them.
“Get out of the way. Come on.” He honked the horn and waved his hand out the window. The camera flashes were redirected in their direction as more people recognized the car and the Martian boys inside.
“Move it!” John screamed out the passenger window holding out his badge to the crowd.
“Detective Martian what is going on inside? Did the neglect of the department lead to one of your own dead?” A young blonde woman reporter in a short blue dress walked along side the car sticking a microphone in Arthur’s face. He batted it away.
“No comment. Tell your buddies to move it or I’m running them over.” After a few moments the front tires of Arthur’s El Dorado caught the curb lifting the front end.
“We’re here,” John said.
John and Arthur got out of car and pushed their way to the entrance of the station. A group of young cadets were standing outside the door keeping the gathering crowd at bay.
John patted one of the young men on the shoulder as they slipped into the doors. “Good job boys. No one else gets in until we come out.”
“Yes sir,” the youngest looking of the men said.
* * *
Remy sat unconscious and handcuffed to a chair in the middle of the lobby guarded by the boy cop. The chief paced in his office talking on a cell phone to the director of the FBI. The Feds decided it was time for them to come in and handle the situation. Arthur and John sat on cheap plastic chairs in the small cramped office while the chief made his case to the director.
“I know this is a big fuck up but we can …” Blackburn’s stubby hand ran through his wispy gray comb over. The short man paced back and forth in yesterday’s brown wrinkled suit still trying to rub the last remnants of sleep from his baggy eyes. He no doubt had been roused from a deep whiskey induced slumber to come and deal with this.
Danny Machal September 16th, 2009
Tags: Give Blood and Thanks
Chapter 17: A Mission Remembered
“Hell Sergeant, you keep staring at the picture and she just might pop out and get shot.”
The young Private was out of line, he knew it. It was part of the job though. Be the Alpha male no matter what and bust balls on anything you can. Weakness was not an option in war and all the men were constantly tested by each other, Grunts and NCO’s alike. Sergeant Remfred Brody tucked the picture of his red haired beauty into the vest pocket of his BDU and snapped the flap closed.
Nothing was sacred, he understood that, but that didn’t mean lines weren’t ever crossed. Everyone has a threshold for all types of torture; emotional or physical everyone cracks at some point. Brody was far from any threshold but he very much would have enjoyed inflicting a little physical reinforcement of the chain of command. But that would show weakness – like the Private got to him.
“Catch a few hours of sleep Private. Thank you for volunteering yourself to be lead scout when the shooting starts tomorrow. That is very brave of you.”
The Private sighed rolling his face away from Brody in the fox hole and was snoring within seconds of closing his eyes. Tomorrow was the big day. Brody’s first mission as a Combat Leader. Men would be behind him and looking to him to make the choices that would ensure their safety. He closed his eyes and put his palm to the pocket with the picture of Des. He hated this war, this jungle, the fighting, and the dieing.
Danny Machal August 17th, 2009
Tags: Give Blood and Thanks
Chapter 16: What it is Smitts?
A little dark haired boy sat opposite Detective Arthur Martian and Officer John Martian in the waiting room of the Marshall General Hospital. Arthur leaned his head back against a poster warning the public about the dangers of second hand smoke. His long brown overcoat was pushed back under the arms of the cheap chair exposing the grip of his .38 in the shoulder holster and the red top of a pack of Marlboro Reds in the vest pocket. The little boy, who couldn’t be more than seven or eight years old, stared at the pistol’s handle with wide eyes. The boy’s mother provided a familiar inner city ambiance with her screams at the receptionist. Really, she just loves her family and wants to provide a better life for her children. Is that so wrong? Medical bills keep piling up and they won’t cut her a break, these systems, are broken. Arthur noticed the boy staring and nudged John to get his attention.
“You ever remember having an interest in guns when we were kids?” Arthur asked.
“Yea a little bit. Probably only because it was against the rules to touch them. Dad had us scared shit-less.”
“Yea, the old man was good about keeping some structure. I guess.” Arthur prepared for John to react. This was part of the game he played with his brother. Crack about Dad, John picks up the fumbled ball to save his face, and then Arthur tackles him in the open to bring Dad back down.
“He was. I don’t think Dad was all that bad when it came down to it. What happened between you two that made you take off so soon and hate him so much?”
Arthur felt the hair stand up on his arm. John was calling him out. In a way Arthur was happy John blamed himself for their father’s death. Up until that day five years ago it was Arthur who dodged the questions about Dad. It was Arthur who told John to shut up. Arthur was relieved to see the old man go. Arthur could make his therapeutic snide comments about Dad and John would never want an explanation or let it go any further. Arthur was counting on this to continue for a long time, at least until his own wounds caused by the old man were healed. Now John was asking, asking a direct question, and Arthur was not ready to dodge, not ready to relive, not ready to tell the truth.
Danny Machal August 8th, 2009
Tags: Give Blood and Thanks
Chapter 14: Brotherly Love
Arthur closed the door behind him and stepped into the darkness of jack off room. John was sitting in a cheap folding chair watching Remy on a closed circuit TV monitor. They were alone.
“You need to keep your cool with this guy,” Arthur locked eyes with his brother.
“For what? He’s street walking scum,” John said.
“Serve and protect. Not be an asshole and judge. You don’t know anything about him. A file full of records only tells you so much about a person. That’s the problem with our line of work. We see all the bad shit and let ourselves judge too quickly. Let people surprise you once and a while. If Dad would have learned that about me, maybe he could have been a real father.”
“Don’t even go there Art,” John interrupted and quickly changed the subject back to Remy.
“So what do you know about him that I don’t?” John said.
Arthur sighed at his brother. He knew it wasn’t right to bring up Dad in a bad light around John but sometimes he couldn’t help it. It was the part of himself that he shared with all little boys who hated their fathers. The deep parts of yourself can’t be contained all the time. Sometimes, you’ll slip out a little bit of evidence about how you truly feel.
“I know that deep down Brody is a good man and deserves our respect. I know that he has seen a lot of really bad shit in his day. The world doesn’t appear the same to him as it does you and me.”
“How do you mean?” John asked.
“We still have a bit of rose colored tint to our glasses John. We can still see beauty and have hope for the future, shit like that. Remy sees life and death, always. He’s a survivor. You play god long enough like he has, and you become the walking grim reaper.”
Danny Machal July 26th, 2009
Tags: Give Blood and Thanks
Chapter 13: Good Cop, Bad Cop
“Remfred Brody, step up on the line please,” the young officer ordered.
The flash of the camera exploded in Remy’s eyes, he squinted.
“Turn to your right side please.”
Again the flash.
“Turn to your left side please.”
Booking. It was a longer process than registering a car at the DMV. They took more than finger prints these days. The system required a scan of your palms and the sides of your hands. Remy sat in a room with other people waiting to be processed into the system or housed in a jail cell. The only thing that made this room different than a kids area sickroom at a hospital, was the sliding steel bars on the exits.
It smelled like sick and bleach. There was a television, drinking fountain, and a series of solid plastic chairs all locked together in rows. Remy was in a room with the drug addicts and the drunks picked up last night. You couldn’t put your feet up, you were not free to leave your seat for any reason, and the officer who drew the short straw got stuck with this processing shift. It was shit work, nothing exciting. The system hardly ever handles any harden criminals these days. These are just regular folks who made a small mistake or became the victim of unfortunate circumstance. Remy fell into the second. The bolt slid back on a door behind them. Stenciled above this door in large block letters was the word, “Interview.”
Danny Machal June 29th, 2009