Contributor: Gary Clifton

- -
Old Captain DuPree, fifteen years the commander of Dallas Homicide arrived early as always, had four cups of coffee, then waddled down the hall for his morning constitutional. He dropped deader than last Years Christmas spirit. They pried him out of the stall, funeralized the remains, and began looking for a replacement.
The Conga line of kiss-ups and related types nearly trampled each other in the fervor to crowd to the front to do their best work to land one of the most coveted jobs in the DPD. By the magic of the voodoo cop promotional process, the fools promoted Billie "Zero" Grifford to the job. Billie Zero was now Captain Zero.
Zero was a total jerk - the world was home to many. Look up the word in Webster's - Zero's photo would appear. His career was meteoric. Proper maintenance of his public relations and brown nose campaign and he was a future contender for the Chief's spot. Zero was already monitoring the Chief of Police's trips to the john, praying to the God of Sorry Flakes for the miracle of deja vu.
Zero decided as commander of homicide, he needed to lead a mission. We had squeezed up an arrest warrant for badass biker Cletus "Bag" Bonelli. Cletus had beat his ol' lady, Rosa "Barf Bucket" Garcia's brains into mush with a tire iron, then ran her through a tree shredder. Rosa was certainly very dead.
"Everone got vests?" Zero asked. But, hey, management didn't need no stinkin' vest. He'd hide and watch.
Bag was holed up in a junk yard office inside a concertina-wire topped fence in west Dallas. A pit bull, accustomed to eating at least one human daily, patrolled the perimeter.
Bag's name stemmed from his colostomy bag, courtesy of a cop's gut-shot. What we didn't know was a Louisiana prison guard had shot off his left foot. He navigated on a wooden replacement.
Maggs Washington maced the dogdung out of the pit-bull, literally, Red Harper cut the gate-chain, and in pitch blackness, we were on the door in seconds. But Bag had wandered to a corner to take a leak and heard us coming.
Big problem - the bag had another skel in that little camper with him. Bag broke for the fence. The other guy, a biker named "Gator" popped out and cut loose with a little .25 pistol. Harper .12 gauged Gator into that great rehab center in the sky, his head innards sprinkled over a three yard circle.
With the agility of a fleeing rat, Bag scurried over the fence and down the alley in a sort of side-straddle-hop. Maggs, who had run for Texas Tech and Harper, who often ran his mouth, pursued. Zero appeared from behind cover. In the name of fools everywhere, he was filming the chase with a video camera - a career booster sure as sundown.
Out of camera range in the dark, in less than a block, Maggs snagged a leg as Bag tried to top another fence. Harper, big as a barn and half as smart, lumbered up still clutching a nasty cigar in the corner of his mouth. He bear-grabbed the other leg and Bag came down in two pieces.
"Maggs, we tore this sucker in two," Harper held up the wooden foot in the dark.
"Prosthetic device, Harper," she studied the foot.
"Damn tootin' it's pathetic. Faulty construction."
Shortly, the trio appeared within Zero's camera-strobe, the Bag leaning on Maggs, Harper packing the foot. Zero would never have walked down the alley to meet the odd trio - too dark.
"Tore off my damned foot," Bag wailed.
"It's okay, Captain," Harper waved the prosthesis aloft. "It's a pathetic device."
"Great Scott," Zero sputtered. "My career. This can't be happening, Harper, you stupid son-of..."
The camera lights went dark. I flash-lighted Captain Zero's last known position. Our leader had fainted into the alley mud. Zero languished in the psycho ward, then with the shrink's recommendation he was assigned to park cars in the visitors lot. Zero had found a home. And oh, yeah, Bag got the always popular three cocktail needle.

- - -
Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has over sixty short fiction pieces published or pending with on line sites. Clifton, an M.S. from Abilene Christian University has been shot at, shot, stabbed and sued. He is now retired.
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -