Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Boys in Blue

Plot seedin’.

==December 10==

===3:32 PM===

“Jenkins, you ol’ dog! I hear it’s only four days until retirement for you!”

Lieutenant McGlaughlin delivered a stern and hearty backslap to Detective Jenkins. Jenkins was fifty-four, by the end of the week he would have put in his twenty-five years on the force and qualified for his full pension. Twenty-five years: Sometimes dangerous, sometimes frustrating; twenty-five rewarding years serving and protecting the public.

He smiled bashfully. “Hey, watch out Lieutenant, soon they’ll be coming for your badge too.”

“Ha, I’m not good for nothin’ but bein’ a cop. Not like you. I hear you got big plans.”

Jenkins leaned back against his black unmarked police cruiser. “Shucks, Lt. it ain’t too much. With Catherine going to college out east, it’s just me and Jeanne at the homestead. We don’t got too much planned, just a little trip out to Europe for a few months, then down to Thailand for a week or two. Maybe get to Morocco. The kind of places we’ve always wanted to go.”

“I tells ya’ Jenkins, you sound downright domesticated—spending all your money on the woman like that.”

“She’s earned it, Charlie. All these years on the force. Going on all-night stakeouts, going undercover for drug busts, coming back home with a bullet in my thigh once—I’ve put Jeanne through a lot of restless nights. Heck, I was so dedicated to my job that I never even took her on a proper honeymoon. Well, I’m going to correct that now.”

“That sounds real sweet, Ray.”

“Ah screw you, Charlie. If you get all sensitive on me I won’t know what to think.”

“Haw, think nothing of it. I hear Stacker and Johnson will be takin’ over your case.”

“Yeah…” Jenkins lingered for a moment. “Yeah, that’s the only thing that bugs me. This case. Too many things don’t add up, like there’s something bigger at work here. Something strange. I tell you, if it weren’t for the fact I gave the Cap’n my notice a couple of months ago, I’d stay on this case and see it through…aw, there I go, sounding like an ol’ hounddog who can’t let go.”

“You ain’t a young man anymore.”

“You got that right, Charlie. Say, let me buy you one last round of coffee.”

“I’d like that, Ray.”

The two were the resident warhorses of the homicide and SWAT divisions. They were consummate professionals, fine examples of the thin blue line standing between law and lawlessness, between order and chaos. Their senses were usually sharp; but age had dulled them, and time had slowed down their reflexes. They heard the solitary whine of the motorcycle speeding their direction too late, saw the gun too late, reacted too slow.

Jeanne and Catherine and Ray’s mother and Charlie’s wife and two sons and little dog might be able to find some comfort in knowing that it was over quickly; that the bullets struck vital organs and caused little suffering. Might.

It would look like a gang killing; an initiation, perhaps. The DDF was skilled in the art of deception. It was also skilled in the art of ruthlessness.


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