Write What You Know, Part 6
By Stephanie Thompson, 1,612 words
Read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Det. Jack Bronson wasn’t no rookie. Maybe he wasn’t as educated like some of the other detective in his squad precinct whatever but he was a fucking good detective with five years under his belt on top of his uniformed days. (
“Jack, can I talk to you in my office?” Leut Hutchins walked past Jack’s desk without waiting for any answer.
“Yessir,” he said with annoyance under his breath.
He followed the five foot nothing commanding officer and like always had to resist the urge drop kick him out of a nearby window. He was by far the shortest man he’d ever met and walking behind him felt like being led by a toddler to time out. But he was no joke when he opened his mouth so Bronson never made a crack and instead kept up his punting fantasy. Jack followed him silently into his small over crowded office. Stacks of papers, file folders and criminal justice books threatened to topple over every where he looked. Hutchins closed the door behind them and the two men sat in opposite seats.
“Have you gotten anywhere with those five Hell’s Kitchen murders?”
Jack didn’t want to say anything that sound like an excuse or made it sound like he couldn’t do his job so he often said as little as possible. Not as little as no though. Two syllables are better than one.
“No finger prints, no witnesses, no friends, no enemies, nothing, huh?”
“No, sir.” Jack had a bad feeling about this.
The lieutenant flipped some papers on his desk that Jack couldn’t see. “There’s another murder Bronson. Just like the other ones. Stabbed to bits but three this time. Three in one night. We went from 5, which is no picnic already to eight overnight and you have nothing?”
Yup. He was gonna get it. He was gonna get reamed knocked back down to uni. Scorned and forgotten just a footnote when they solve this thing, A footnote that says ‘The guy who fucked up’.
“I assigned you to these cases because of your history on the streets. I could have given it to a more experienced detective but I thought I’d give you a chance. But wait do I get for it, a guy with a chip on his shoulder so large, it’s too heavy to even get off the thumb he uses for a chair.”
Jack was too stunned to say anything. Hutchinson wasn’t known ass a hard ass. Yeah, maybe sharp tongued but not a hard ass. He was beginning to realize he’d made a huge mistake.
“Are you’re as dumb as you look? I hope not because that’s gonna look poorly on me so here’s what we’re gonna do. You are going to partner up Jaimie Sands and maybe you can learn what it takes to be a detective in my squad. And if not, I’ll send your ass back to patrol. Are we clear?”
“Yessir,” he said just as sourly as he’d it to himself earlier but louder this time.
He didn’t like to be chewed out.
“Get the hell out of my office.”
Jack didn’t say anything but left as swiftly as he could, hoping to hide his red, hot face. He made a bee line to the men’s room to hide out until he calmed down. He kicked open the door when he got there and kicked stall door for good measure.
He looked at himself in the polished piece of steel they had for a mirror and kicked the sink too. Jack looked too much like his dirt bag father for his taste and looked like his spitting image when was angry, embarrased, or frustrated and he was all three right now. In fact he would have sworn he was looking him in the eye right now.
“I ain’t no fucking rookie.” He voiced in low growl at the reflection of his dad. His mind had somehow latched onto that sentence and repeated it over and over again in his head like it was a soothing lullabye but it wasn’t soothing it was only making him angrier. Only making his face redder, his eyes more watery, and his jaw more clenched. If he was being 100% honest, he’d say it only served to make him sound more and more like his dad but admitting that would take his anger from just above rage to beyond Hulk levels. Yet he couldn’t stop the repetitious chant. I ain’t no fucking rookieIaintnofucking rookieIaintnofuckingrookie! He kicked the sink three more times before storming out of there. It wasn’t doing any good anyway.
He continued storming right out of the precinct, out of building, down the street two blocks and around the corner one more block to what was his favorite drinking spot back when he drank. He hadn’t been a drunk or anything, not like his old man, but he was known to drink too much on occasion and out of overt caution he quit one day. Today he had no caution.
“Well, my stars and garters, it isn’t ol’ flat foot, Jack! Yu haven’t been here in an age. Or is it too?”
“Spare me the chit-chat Benny. I’m under the shit heel today and all I want is a bourbon on the rocks, whatever’s cheapest. I wasn't to feel the burn, Benny.”
He may have sounded gruff but he was relieved to be inside the dim musty old bar. Everything looked just as he remembered sitting on the bar stool was like slipping into a pair of worn jeans made comfortable, broken in by thousands of ass rubbing.
Benny set his ordered drink in from of him, silently and went to the other side of the bar waiting for another order.
The was nearly empty. Most people were still at work and happy hour hadn’t started yet. There wasn’t much call for this kind of bar at 3pm on Wednesday (or whenever) afternoon. Still he imagined the other patrons had their reasons, like him, had their reasons. Two men in business suits sat the booth near the door. Another man who looked like he hadn’t moved from the spot for a century though Jack didn’t recognize him, sat next to the stairs leading to the bathrooms and kitchen. All three of the men looked like they belonged but there was an outlier - a woman sat way back in the far corner, not far from the fire exit.
It wasn’t just her sex that put her apart from the others or the space since they were all pretty far apart, even for a small bar. The first thing he noticed, well the second thing, if he was being honest it was her fabulous legs bare beneath the table, stretched out and curvy rocking back and forth in a pair of bright purple stilettos. And after an eyeful of that - he saw the burning tip of a cigarette.
He wasn’t even sure that’s what it was at first because who even smokes these days, especially indoors? But once the right brain cell clicked into place - he couldn’t believe the sheer balls of the chick. It wasn’t the illegal smoking alone - it was how she could get away with it in front of a barkeep/owner like Benny. Benny was old school back when old school was the only school. Benny had rules and you followed the rules or you’d wished you hadn’t been walking in the door in the first place. And while back in old school the days the rules and the law differed quite a bit, these days they jived just fine. No smoking meant no smoking.
Without asking for one, another bourbon appeared before him and Jack could ask the man himself.
“You let smoking in here now?” he said nodding his head in the tempting strangers direction.
“You wanna be a copper here or you wanna drink?”
“I want to know how an old dog like yourself would risk it? Penalties go for you too. 200 bucks that first ticket.”
“Who could say no to that, Jack?” With that Benny went back to the far side of the bar and reading on his iPad.
Look at that an old dog learning new he thought before turning his attention back to her. He could watch those legs for days but what did they lead to? The rest of her was shrouded in shadow. Until his fourth drink, when the crowd began showing signs of life, she remained a pair of legs, a glowing tip of a cigarette, and an unsolved mystery.
Thanks for Reading! And keep reading in Part 7 :D