BLOOD ON THE HARDWOOD CONCRETE CH.1 - CHASE THE GOON YOURSELF
By Jason Campbell
“Curly, you keep an eye on things here, I’m going after the killer,” you shout over the ever growing crowd.
“Wait!” Is the last thing you hear as you slip around the corner. Somewhere ahead of you, his footsteps echo like a thunderstorm slipping through a mountain pass. This was possibly your worst of bad ideas, chasing a man who had viciously murdered multiple women through a dark alley.
The alley smells of urine and feces, not much unlike the men’s washroom back at the station. The asphalt was cratered like the moon, each hole fully submerged in a stagnant pool of water. Flies the size of small ponies zip back and forth across your vision, yet up ahead the footsteps keep moving forward, always the same pitch, as if he is matching you step for step.
The alley comes to a ‘T’ and you stop, pausing and allowing the smells of the alley to take an all-out assault on your nostrils. You begin to think the sweat and smell of the Chief would almost be better. Then you hear it: A slight noise to your right, a shuffle of feet, and a quiet snarl. You veer in that direction. You wipe the sweat from your brow and think to yourself: That’s it, only two doughnuts tomorrow.
Breathing heavily, you launch yourself down the alley, positive that you’re catching up to the killer. Darkness begins to wrap its arms around the alley like the sultry grasp of a two bit whore. Still, there is no obvious sign of the killer. The sound of multiple footsteps draws your attention behind you. Turning, you expect to be greeted by the Globetrotters, but what you find is a group of homeless men.
Their body odor is almost as offensive as their attire. Green, white and yellow basketball shirts and shorts create a wall of eyesore. “The Washington Generals! Wow, life hasn’t been good to you, has it?” you say, purposely antagonizing them. If the ‘Trotters can do it, why not you?
They take your verbal jab like a boxer with a glass jaw. Their eyes glaze over with anger as they advance on you. You stand your ground like any good beat cop would when faced with innumerable odds. Wait…
“You never hire us to help with the big cases,” they say in unison.
“Because it’s too easy to beat you,” you respond.
“That’s alright,” they answer, with a smile like a kid with a candy bar. It’s a very disconcerting image to see on grown men. “We have new coaches, and this time we’ll beat the Globetrotters—but first, we start with you!”
Coaches? You think as a wave of fear washes over you like that time you watched the Chief bend over and his pants split at the seam. You are sure you were going to gouge your eyes out with spoons that day. This was very much the same fear. Who wants to lose to the Generals?
The Washington Generals stand in front of you in a small huddle, discussing what horrible way to do you in. You hear them suggest Chief’s underwear and figure it’s time to act. Taking advantage of their momentary distraction, you run up and pants one of the players, tie another one’s laces together, and slip past them.
A voice echoes out of nowhere like some bad voice-over in a pulp fiction novel: “Get him!”
The voice is vaguely familiar.
As you splash through the oceans of puddles, you pass a small alcove, the home of a Great Dane and some loser hippy in a green shirt and brown pants. “Rook, Raggie!” The Great Dane says.
As you consider the fact you are pretty sure you heard a dog talk, you step into the grand canyon of puddles, trip, and fall flat on your face. A mouthful of rain and sewer water delights your taste buds with all kinds of nastiness.
You try not to add your partially digested lasagna to the taste and almost succeed in doing so until a long white-as-bleach leg stomps down on your back, forcing wonderful shades of red, brown and yellow chunks from your mouth.
The green and yellow trim you see just out of the corner of your eye lets you know the Generals have caught up to you. “He’s all yours Fr¬—, I mean, Boss,” says the Washington General who is trying to push his size 42 shoe through your back.
A new voice whispers just behind your head: “Steal our team, will you?”
A red ascot slips past your eyes and over your throat and begins to tighten. Lifting your eyes, you see the man in black watching from another alleyway, a smile emblazoned across his face.
The last thing you remember thinking before darkness takes you: I would have caught you if it wasn’t for these meddling kids and their dog.
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