Category: Blind Pig

Blind Pig – 8

     “We can’t spend the rest of our lives in bed,” Lisa said. “At least let’s get up long enough to have dinner. Stop that!” She slapped lightly at the hand crawling up her calf. “Besides, we have to keep our strength up.” She sat up and swung her feet over the edge of the bed.

     Alan ran his hands over the smooth back, tracing the spine down to the swell of the buttocks. He noticed a scar and bent to take a closer look. “A bullet wound? You got shot in the ass?” he asked.

     Lisa turned, momentarily flustered. Well, it had to come out sooner or later. Maybe it was better now. “Yes, I got shot in the ass.” She paused, waiting to see what he made of it. He pursed his lips and eyed her speculatively. “I’m a cop, Alan. An NYPD detective. Does that change things?”

     “Not for me, love. Except that now I’ll worry when you go to work.”

     “You don’t need to worry. The dangerous days are behind me. I got that when I was doing foot patrol in the Bronx. I was trying to wrestle a gun away from a kid and I almost succeeded. Now that I’m a detective, the riskiest thing I do is ride the subway.” That wasn’t strictly true, of course. She was frequently tapped for undercover work or decoy jobs and often that meant no identification and no weapon. Her backup teams had always been there thus far, but there was always a risk of something going wrong. She’d heard some pretty nasty stories. “Honestly, darling, I can take care of myself. I’m a big girl now.”

     “Yes,” he said, “I suppose you are. But I’ll still worry. I don’t want to lose you.”

     “Hah! You couldn’t lose me if you wanted to! I’d use all the resources of the Department to track you down! Now get out of bed and show me how to find the kitchen.”

     “Deduce it, detective. Follow the trail of breadcrumbs or whatever it is you do. You’ll recognize it by the refrigerator and stove.”

     Lisa stuck her tongue out at him and trotted into the kitchen. God, he thought, there’s nothing like the sight of a naked woman galloping about to brighten up the apartment. “Careful you don’t lean over the stove. Wouldn’t want you singeing anything!”

     “Screw you, you horny man-thing.!” He heard her giggling amid the pots and pans. “How do you like your coffee?”

     “Like my women,” he called, “hot and sweet!”

     She laughed and brought in two coffees and day-old doughnuts. She leaned over to put his coffee mug on the nightstand and he kissed one breast. “Hey, you’ll make me spill it!”

     “That’s okay. The sheets need changing anyway,” he said.

     “You won’t think it’s okay if I spill it in your lap. You’d be parboiled and worthless for a week.”

     “I have blisters now,” he said, and she laughed. There was no doubt that they’d been making love at every opportunity since that first night.

     There was something liberating about just throwing caution to the winds and letting yourself love and be loved. She knew it would end some day, change to something less obsessive, but she was content to get the most of it while it lasted. “Yes, we’ll have to slow down. I wonder if we can start a fire by rubbing two genitalia together.”

     “I can see it now,” he said. “Arson Squad Investigates Mysterious Apartment Fire. Couple Found Melted Together. Be the sensation of the day, might make the Six O’Clock News.”

     Lisa fluffed up a pillow and leaned back against the headboard. “Now that you know I’m a cop, what do you do. Besides write?”

     “Oh, I tinker with computers. Do a little programming and designing. It pays the bills.”

     “Computers? Super! I almost got into that in college. Still could, I guess. We use lots of them for all kinds of things. Maybe you could get a job in the Police Department!”

     “Then neither of us would get anything done. We’d always be hiding out in some broom closet, screwing our brains out,” Alan said.

     She smiled. “It would have its advantages. But seriously, I know they’re automating new things. They’ve figured out a way to classify fingerprints so that computers can eliminate all but the most likely matches. Makes things easier for us working stiffs.”

     “I can see it would,” Alan said. “Who knows, someday we’ll all be carrying electronic IDs and you can track us night and day.”

     Lisa shuddered. “I’ll quit before that day comes. But you could be right. There are people pushing for that now.”

     Alan shrugged. “Some people are coming to value security more than freedom.”

     “It shouldn’t have to be one or the other,” Lisa said. “Why can’t we have both?”

     “It is one or the other,” Alan replied. “Think about it. Personally, I’d rather be free than safe.”

     “You’re old-fashioned,” Lisa said. In surprise, she realized that was true. He was more than old-fashioned, he was old, or at least considerably older than she was. “How old are you?”

     Alan put on his rueful look. “Forty-two next month. Old enough to be your father.”

     “My father is sixty-three. He’s in a nursing home and his mind is gone. I go up to see him every few weeks, but it’s been two years since he recognized me.”

     “I’m sorry. Do you love him?”

     Do I? she asked herself. “I guess so. When my brother and I were growing up, we fought tooth and nail with my father. He was a cop too, strict as hell and very overprotective. He wasn’t the sort of person who invited affection. I never understood what mother saw in him.”

     “Different strokes,” Alan said.

     “Yes, probably. Now that he’s lost it, all the cop is gone, all the authority-figure stuff. He’s almost sweet. Maybe he was more that way once, before he became a cop.”

     “What about your mother?”

     “Died four years ago. She had cancer for years. We were never too close. I always expected her to take my side against Dad, but she never did. There’s just me and my brother now.” She drained her coffee and set the mug down with a thump. “Now you know all about me and I don’t know anything about you. You didn’t grow up on New York, did you?”

     “No,” he said. “I grew up out West. A typical farm boy, I suppose. Then a few years in the Army, then New York.” There was a lot more between the lines, like the special training the army gave him. He didn’t think it wise to dwell on those years. Not yet, not until he knew her better.


     “My parents are dead. Brother living in Texas. Talk to him about twice a year. Haven’t seen him in ten.”

     “How long have you been writing?” she asked.

     “Oh Lordy! Since Adam was a pup!”

     She laughed. “All those years and never published? Maybe you aren’t cut out for the literary life.” She hoped she was wrong. Somehow, she wanted him to be a writer just as she wanted to be a serious poet. At least she told herself she did.

     “Let’s say I’ve been slack, shall we? That sounds better.”

     “Or lazy,” Lisa said, “or cowardly.”

     He chuckled. “You have no business being so perceptive. The function of a beautiful woman is to be beautiful and let some man appreciate her.”


     “Just kidding, love. You’re right, of course. I have been lazy or afraid to face what it takes to be a serious writer. Anyone can write, but committing oneself to be a writer is something else again. Have you ever seriously considered what it means to be a poet, as opposed to being someone who writes poetry?”

     “No, I just write. Sometimes I think it’s just a way to let off steam, a form of catharsis.”

     “It is that,” Alan said. “I gave up writing poetry because I wasn’t willing to be a poet. Prose somehow felt less dangerous. Little did I know!”

      “This conversation is getting entirely too cerebral. I just want us to write and make love. Wonder if we can combine them somehow.”

     “Yeah, I’ll dip my tool in ink and compose the Great American Novel. You heard someone peed on the White House lawn, wrote graffiti in the snow? They analyzed the urine and identified the Secretary of State, but the handwriting was the First Lady’s.”

     “You’re bad! That joke’s been going around for at least fifteen years. You must live like a hermit. Get a life!”

     He considered that. It was true he lived almost totally alone, hardly more than a nodding acquaintance to anyone. Well, that was about to change. Between Lisa and the money and the writing, he was about to come out of the self-imposed closet he’d lived in most of his life. “Yes,” he said slowly, “it’s time I got a life. You’re a good start.” He reached for her and felt a surge of desire as she slid into his arms.

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Blind Pig – 7

     The officer dropped the report on Lisa’s desk. “No luck, Bogar. They ran the print against the drug crowd and the whole databank, but they came up dry. Want to ship it to Washington?”

     Lisa shook her head. “No, not yet. I’ll do some more spadework first.” She glanced at the file. Jared Crowley, dead of a knife wound to the heart. Evans, bum, throat cut. Only Crowley’s prints on the weapon. One foreign print on the fire escape. The ladder had been so rough and rust-scaled it hadn’t taken good prints. They’d found one on a railing and damn lucky to get that. She had an 8×10 blow-up in front of her and she stared at it, as if it could reveal its identity. Or at least its character, she thought. It would almost be enough to know the kind of person she was dealing with. Assuming it wasn’t a totally unrelated fingerprint, she reminded herself.

     “What sort of person kills and walks away, then informs the police?” she asked the wall.

     “I dunno,” Officer Caddo said. “Maybe a guilty conscience? A nut case?”

     “Huh! I doubt it. Either the killing was planned or it was impulsive, maybe accidental. If it was deliberate, that implies the killer had criminal intent. Why call the cops later? If it was spontaneous or accidental, why not come forward later? I’m afraid there’s only one likely answer.”

     “What’s that, Bogar?” Lieutenant Arnold had been listening.

     “The money, sir. The half-a-million dollars. Whoever killed Crowley has it. That’s 500,000 reasons for not coming forward.”

     “And he called 911 because?”

     “Because he’s not a criminal. He’s someone who stumbled into a drug deal and wanted us to know.”

     “Talk around the office is you’re looking for Super Civilian. Now you’re evidently looking for Rich Super Civilian.”

     Detective Bogar shrugged. “I know they make fun of it, but can you suggest a more likely possibility?”

     The Lieutenant leaned back against the doorjamb. “Bogar, I’ve seen enough things in the last twenty years that nothing surprises me any more. But you seem to have come up against a dead end. You can’t investigate every wealthy civilian in New York. And we have other cases to work on. I want you to help Dowling on that bookstore killing. Let this one gather dust for now.”

     Lisa sighed. “Okay, boss. I guess this one just has me more curious than usual. I’ll put it aside for now.” Silently, she wondered if she could really put it aside. She stared once more at the fingerprint, although by now it was almost engraved on her memory. She closed the file and dropped it into the folder with the rest of the paperwork. “Where’s Dowling now?”

     “In Ballistics. I told him you’d be working with him.”

     You mean you warned him, Lisa thought. Told him to keep his pecker in his pants and his hands to himself. She smiled. Somehow, having Alan in the wings gave her more confidence in her ability to deal with the sexism that permeated the Department. She might as well get this over with. The sooner the day ended, the sooner she would be back with Alan. She shivered at the thought.


Blind Pig – 6

    Now he knew, he thought. She was timidly passionate, uncertain, too willing to please, frightened of her own sexuality. Probably never been able to be herself, he thought. Always busy pleasing her partner. Not an unusual circumstance. Well, that would change.

     He watched her as she slept, her long hair over her shoulder, covering one breast. He felt overwhelmed at the beauty of a woman’s body, the grace, sensuousness and silky texture. Yes, it would be all too easy to fall in love with her. He ran his fingers lightly down her face, down over her breasts and stomach, down her leg and back up the inner side of her thigh. She mumbled in her sleep and shifted slightly, drawing up one leg and letting it fall aside. He began to caress her, slowly and lightly, almost willing her into a gentle, sensuous wakefulness.

     She had been confused at first, and pretty uptight. Most guys are pretty blunt about what they want and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure them out. A bit of sex and they don’t call in the morning. He didn’t give much of a clue. In fact, he was so stand-offish that she wondered if he really wanted to go to bed with her. For the first time in her life, she had to do the pushing. It felt funny, being aggressive, but kind of good. If only I could be as assertive in bed as I am at work, she thought. He let her take the initiative, made her take it, and for a change she hadn’t felt used. God, it would be so easy to love him! But what would he think when he found out she was a police officer?

     She had drifted off to sleep and into a weird dream. She was back in uniform, the days before she made detective, walking down the street with her partner. Every time she looked at him, he was somebody else. Her father, her brother, her real partner, the old butcher who lived down the block. She didn’t know who the hell she was with. She wondered if she kept changing too. When the partner looked at her, did he keep seeing different women? “Who are you,” she whispered to her partner, to herself. Deliberately she turned to her partner and took his head between her hands, staring intently into his face. It kept alternating between being a mirror and being a face, and the face was different each time, different men, different faces in the mirror. The face in front of her seemed to dissolve and reform into Alan’s face. She felt dizzy and took a deep breath. That was when she awoke, writhing and gasping as her body shook under his touch.

     She lay back, totally exhausted, satiated. He didn’t think he’d ever seen anyone look so utterly happy, and it made him feel ten feet tall. “I hope I’ll always be able to make you feel that good,” he said.

     She reached up and drew him down, kissing his face gently. “Hold me, darling. I’m scared.”

     He smiled. “We have all the time in the world to be safe. Days, years. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”

     “It’s not you I’m afraid of,” Lisa said. “I’m afraid of falling in love. Afraid of it all not working out, afraid of getting hurt.” She remembered how she’d felt when the one serious relationship of her life had collapsed. Betrayed, used, dirty, stupid.

     “Or afraid of your feelings?” Alan asked.

     Lisa pondered that. Yes, at bottom, that was what scared her, the intensity of her own feelings. “How in hell did you ever learn so much about women?” she asked. “No, don’t tell me. I’d just get jealous.”

     He laughed. “No need for jealousy, love. Women and men aren’t really that different. We’re brought up in a society that doesn’t have much tolerance for real human emotions. Sometimes it’s tough to learn to let ourselves be ourselves. Do you know I’m in love with you?”

     “I was afraid of that,” she said. “What’s worse is that I think I’m in love with you too. Yesterday we were almost strangers, barely friends. Today we’re in love. What in hell happened to us?”

     “We happened to us. You happened to me and I happened to you. Delightful, isn’t it?”

     Lisa laughed. “I guess I’m not used to looking at people as events. But you definitely are an event. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” She sat up and kissed him. “Now I’ve got to run home and get ready for work. Can I come back here tonight?”

     “If you don’t, I’m going to come looking for you. I fully intend for you to share my humble abode. Besides, you’ve got a great body.”

     “You bastard,” she said, “just when I have to leave. You wait, I’ll get even tonight. But I’ll be late. I have a Karate class.”

     “You’re learning Karate? Good idea for a woman in New York.”

     She stared at him in exasperation. “I’m teaching it.”

     “Oink!” he said apologetically. “Remind me never to make you mad.”

     She struggled into her jeans and reached for her tee shirt and bra. Alan sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her to him, raining kisses on her. She backed away and wiggled provocatively as she finished dressing. “See you tonight, darling.” She licked her lips suggestively and slipped out the door.


Blind Pig – 5

    “Good evening, Mr. Coombes. The usual? And would the lady like a drink before dinner?” Lisa asked for a strawberry daiquiri and the waiter departed.

     “The usual? You must come in here a lot,” she said.

     “Sometimes,” he shrugged. “Sometimes I eat Mexican or Italian. Tonight I’m in the mood for steak and shrimp.”

     “Sounds good to me,” Lisa said. “Don’t you ever eat at home?”

     He laughed. “Home is where I sleep and drink coffee. And write. I can’t boil water without burning it.”

     “Must be nice to eat out every night. I can’t afford it.”

     “What would you be eating if you were home now,” Alan asked.

     “Probably leftover salad and eggrolls. Whatever the fridge turns up. I’m afraid I’m not much of a cook either.”

     “Then we’ll have to eat out every night, I guess.”

     “I guess so,” she replied. He evidently assumed they were now a couple. To her surprise, she did not mind at all. How did that happen? They were really not much more than casual acquaintances. Now being with him seemed natural, as if they had known each other for years. “Does this mean your intentions are honorable?”

     He laughed. “Serious at least. Honorable depends on your point of view.”

     “You want my body, eh?”

     “Among other things. I have a sneaking suspicion I could fall in love with you very easily. Why not give it a chance?”

     Lisa looked him in the eye. Yes, she thought, why not? He’s far removed from the Force, he’s intelligent, as honest as most men ever are. Why not? And rather handsome, she reminded herself. With a little shiver, she realized she was going to go to bed with him that night and the thought brought up the mix of fear and desire she always experienced on such occasions. Well, he was certainly different from her usual dates. She wondered what kind of a lover he would be.

     Alan had surprised himself with his assumption that they would become lovers and was even more surprised by her acquiescence. He thought she must be lonely a lot. It wasn’t easy being a beautiful woman in New York, with all the guys hitting on you. Probably been twisted by lots of bad times and paranoid about every new man she met. He wondered what kind of lover she would be.


Blind Pig – 4

     Alan Coombes was wondering the same thing. He eyed the pile of manuscripts stacked on the desk. Always claimed you could write the Great American Novel if you could devote yourself to it 100%, didn’t you? Well, now you can. Live a long time on that money and just write and write and write.

     Faced with the reality of a dream coming true, he laughed softly. Be careful what you wish for – you might get it, he thought. Well, plenty of time to consider that later. For now, he had to finish Chapter Five of his latest novel. The writers’ group was meeting tomorrow night. It was in composing Chapter Five that an idea came to him and he stopped in mid-word and beamed. He glanced at the closet where the moneybag lay and smiled, then returned to the writing with renewed zest. He would do something about the money later.

     Detective Lisa Bogar closed the file and dropped it into a folder in her desk. Shit, this was going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack! The killer could be anyone, anyone at all. She was becoming obsessed with the case. Maybe she’d drop by the writers’ workshop tonight. Most of them were amateurs who would never amount to much, but they were interesting and at least it was a break from her normal routine.

      She smiled to herself. She knew she had a reputation in the department as a hard-nosed, no-nonsense detective. It had to be that way, because being over-zealous was one way to keep the sex thing from getting to her. The other way was being the Division Karate Champ. But nobody knew about the other side of her personality. They probably thought she spent her spare time reading department regulations. They would certainly never suspect her of being a closet poet and bohemian. Never really know people, she thought. You only see one side of them, at work, or at a poetry reading, whatever. Never know the other side of their lives. For all she knew, even Horny Werner could be a ballet dancer on his own time. She giggled at the thought.

     She went to the locker room and changed into civvies, tight black jeans and a tee shirt, baggy vest and boat shoes. She undid the bun and brushed out her hair. After a glance in the mirror, she picked up her bag and sauntered out, bound for the Blue Quail Cafe.

“The sea-slick landscape, oil-bled and gray
Goes slapping gently at the piers each day.
The sturdy wood must think it can withstand
The water’s formless, weak and splashing hand.
So we laugh at all the blows of life,
Because the world is so inept at strife.
The piers forget the water’s strongest trait;
Although the wood rots slow, the sea can wait.”

     It was fitting for her mood, Lisa thought, as polite murmurs went around the table. “Great, good imagery, Lisa, kinda scary, etcetera, etcetera and so forth.” The only listener who hadn’t commented on her poem was Alan. He looked at her over his coffee mug and did not smile. It irked her a little. He was probably the closest the group had to a professional writer. At least he was trying seriously. Was his silence a negative comment?

     “How about it, Alan,” she said. She cursed herself mentally for caring about his opinion. As a cop, she was completely self-confident, but as a poet she felt very insecure, maybe because she allowed herself to be vulnerable in ways a cop couldn’t be vulnerable.

     Alan peered at her over his glasses. They made him look almost fatherly, she thought, bringing fleeting images of her own father, sitting mindless in the nursing home, dreaming of the past.

     “The poem? It’s fine, Lisa, very succinct.” He leaned across the table. “What I was considering was why someone as young and beautiful as you would be thinking such dreary thoughts.”

     She shrugged. “I guess we all have bad days. Sometimes even I get depressed. Don’t you?”

     “Depressed? No, not really,” he said. “I just get bewildered a lot. And lonely sometimes.”

     Playing for sympathy, she thought. Probably hopes to get in my pants that way. Fat chance!

     He smiled at her, as if reading her mind. “No, Lisa. I like you, but it isn’t because I’m lonely. When I feel lonely, I don’t want company. I get into myself until I stop feeling that way.”

     Perceptive, she thought, dangerously so, then cursed herself. She was still being cautious, a wary cop. The whole point in being part of this scene was to get away from that, be a normal, vulnerable human being for a few hours. To let herself be a woman, she thought. She smiled in acknowledgment and began to consider him seriously. “Let’s get out of here. Have you eaten? I’m starved.”

     Alan grinned. “I was hoping for something like that. Come on. Let’s go over to the Derby. I’ll buy.”

     “I pay my own way, Alan. No strings.”

     “No strings, Lisa. Never. Unless we want them.”

     She smiled. “And you can read me the latest chapter of the Great American Novel.”

     “Fair enough. At least you’ll appreciate it.” He lifted his manuscript and got up.

     Lisa was surprised. “You want my opinion? I always thought you were pretty self-sufficient, immune to criticism.”

     “No one is immune, Lisa. To anything.” He held the door open and followed her into the night.


Blind Pig – 3

     Alan sat back, a little stunned, a little overwhelmed. The money totaled up to $450,000. No wonder the kid had attacked him. It was not the sort of cash one was casual with. Nor the sort its owners wouldn’t be looking for, he reminded himself. The real question was whether or not he’d been seen by someone who might identify him. The latter was unlikely. He was pretty much of a recluse, with no friends and few acquaintances. He could, of course, turn the money over to the police, but he figured that wouldn’t offer any protection if the dealers found him. In fact, it might make it more dangerous. If he turned it over, his identity might well become public knowledge. First he’d be a hero, then he’d be a dead hero. And there might be problems proving he had killed in self-defense. No, best keep a low profile – and the money. He wondered if the decision were based on considerations of safety or on greed. Never know, he thought, never know even yourself completely. He put the money in a laundry bag, shoved it under his bed and made a pot of coffee.


     “The guy you two didn’t kill swears the kid was dead when they found him. And nobody around. They didn’t even notice the second body.”

     Officer Werner just looked at her, mentally licking his chops. “Did he say how they happened to find him?” he asked. “It’s not like he was lying out in the middle of the street. It’s dark there. They had to be looking for something or someone.”

     “Oh, yes,” Lisa answered. “He admits the guy was buying. Not much point in denying it, what with that satchel of crack in the back seat. But there are some things that bother me about this case.”

     “Bother you?” Sergeant Lott asked. “Two known drug dealers dead and a substantial amount confiscated? That bothers you?”

     She laughed. “Not a bad night’s work, even if you two do have to spend your own time filling out paperwork. But consider something. Who killed him? There’s no reason to think it was the Hispanic. He’s doesn’t look like he has the balls for that, even if you don’t believe the guy was dead when they found him.

     “Maybe the two guys killed each other,” Werner said. “You identified them yet?

     “Not yet. But the knife didn’t have any prints on it except the victim’s. Besides, the second body looks like a wino. According to some letters, his name was Evans. Probably sleeping off a drunk and woke up just in time to get his throat cut. I doubt if he killed the kid.”

     “Well,” Werner said. “Somebody stabbed him, maybe wiped the handle and closed the victim’s hand over it.”

     “Maybe,” she said, “but the knife was the victim’s. He was wearing a scabbard for it. You’re saying someone took the knife away from him, killed him, cleared his own prints and provided the victim’s prints? Pretty cool killer, wouldn’t you say? Drug dealers aren’t usually so careful. They just don’t give a damn.”

     Werner shrugged. “It’ll have to do unless you can come up with another scenario. The DA’ll probably pin it on the Puerto Rican. And you’re right. I don’t believe he did it, but he’s the only game in town.”

     “Not quite,” Lisa Bogar said. “Another thing that bothers me is not the evidence. It’s the lack of evidence.”

     “What do you mean?” Lott asked.

     “This guy was waiting to make a drug buy, buying a lot. The preliminary estimate is half a million worth. He wasn’t going to buy that much crack with the change in his pockets and dealers don’t take American Express. What happened to the money? It wasn’t in the car or the alley.”

     Lott whistled. “Hey, that’s right! So there had to have been someone else there who took the money!”

     “Right! And maybe that someone knows how this kid wound up with a knife in his heart.”

     “So?” Werner said. “So the buyer had a partner who decided half a million was too good to pass up. He kills the kid and hightails it before the sellers got there, right? Anybody know how long the kid had been dead before everybody descended on the scene?”

     “Coroner said only a few minutes. Hell, the body was still warm when we got there. The killer must have been within spitting distance when you arrived.”

     “We didn’t see anybody else. Of course, once we arrived, we weren’t really canvassing the neighborhood. We had our hands full with the three from the car.”

     “Oh, I’m sure he was gone by then. It was probably his phone call – conveniently anonymous – that sent you there. But he must have been only a skip and a jump ahead of the dealers. According to the Puerto Rican, they had been cruising down the street real slow, on the lookout for anything that might mean it was a police trap. They wouldn’t even have stopped if they’d seen anyone around. Whoever took the money and presumably killed him wasn’t on the street.”

     “Fun and games, Bogar. There was a fire escape at the back of that alley, wasn’t there?”

     “That there was, Sergeant. I think we’ll dust it for prints and take a look up on the roof.”

     “If you get decent prints, you might find a match, maybe among the kid’s acquaintances.”

     “Maybe, but I doubt it. Any friends of the victim would probably be criminals too and I don’t think it happened that way.”

     “Why not?” asked Werner.

     “Because somebody called 911. Somebody tipped us about the body and the limo. A criminal would just have taken off with the money and hoped to be out of town before the body was discovered. Given the short time between the knifing and the call, the caller must have been at least a witness, probably the killer, possibly has the money and is probably not a professional criminal.”

     “An innocent bystander, Detective? A civilian who just happened to be hanging out in the alley? Shit! Anybody out for a midnight stroll who just happened to bump into that kid would have been killed without a second thought. Look what happened to the wino!”

     “Maybe the kid tried. Maybe someone surprised the buyer, so he attacked them. But the passerby killed the kid instead.”

     “Super Civilian!” Werner laughed.

     “Think, Werner! The kid had a belt holster, so he must have had a gun, but nobody has any bullet holes in them except the two you shot. The holster was empty, so whoever killed him and took the money, also took the gun. The kid tried with the knife because he wanted it quiet, but he just wasn’t good enough with the blade. The sticker became the stickee.”

     “Like I said,” Werner replied. “Super Civilian.”

     She shrugged. “Not necessarily. Plenty of people know how to defend themselves against a knife attack. Military men, cops, Kung-Fu nuts. Could be the passerby just got lucky.”

     “Well, detective, looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you. But I doubt if you’ll break the case unless you get lucky with the fingerprints. What if the killer wore gloves?”

     She snorted. “How many innocent bystanders would you find walking down the street wearing gloves in August? Well, I’ll get on it in the morning. By then the coroner’s report should be done, and yours too, if I don’t keep bothering you.”

     “No bother at all,” Werner said. “It’s always a pleasure to give you a hand.” He smirked slightly. He’d always had the hots for Detective Bogar.

      She grinned wryly, understanding him completely. “I appreciate that, Officer, so long as the helping hand stays inbounds.” With a nod, she walked down the hall to her desk.

     “Damn!” Werner said. “Detective or not, that’s one fine-looking woman! Maybe I should try to make detective – one way or another.”

     The Sergeant laughed. “She’s beautiful, but don’t kid yourself. She’s as smart as they come and a whole lot tougher than she looks. If anyone’s going to solve this case, it’ll be her. And even if the killing was justified, she’ll bust him, just because it’s The Law. She takes her job seriously.”

     “Well, if she’s right and it was just an innocent civilian who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I hope the guy gets away. Shit, what did he do? Killed a guy who needed killing and queered a drug deal! She’d bust a guy for that?”

     “She would, just to tidy up the case. She doesn’t like any loose ends.”

     Werner snorted, “Hell, this case is all loose ends.”

     “Well, it’s her case now and out of our hands, once we get this paperwork finished.” He turned back to the typewriter and began pecking at the keys.

     Werner did the same, idly wondering to himself what he would do if he unexpectedly found himself in possession of half a million dollars. Not likely, he thought, although he did have a few sources of income the Department knew nothing about.


Blind Pig – 2

     When the call came over the radio, the operator sounded doubtful. An anonymous tip that there were a couple of bodies over on Washington Street and there might be a black limo cruising the area, containing drugs and assorted criminal types. Investigate the body and stop and search the limo if they happened to see it.

     “Okay, partner, might as well get this over with. If we’re lucky, it’s a wild goose chase.”

     “Yeah, don’t really need a stiff right at the end of the shift. Might be worth it if the limo shows up.”

     Patrolman Werner turned on the lights as he swung the patrol car up Hudson and turned west toward Washington. Rounding the corner, he came on the scene abruptly. There was a black limo parked by the curb, its lights on, doors open. The headlights caught three men, two of them dragging a body toward the car. Sergeant Lott reached for the shotgun as the patrol car skidded to a stop. Hopping out before the car stopped rolling, he yelled, “Police! Freeze! Stand where you are and keep your hands in the air!” He knew Werner would have his weapon on them at the same time.

     For a moment, it looked like the three men would obey, then one dove into the car and another pulled a gun. Sergeant Lott’s shotgun boomed in synch with his partner’s pistol and the gunman was tossed backward by the force of the blasts. The third man backed up with his hands high, babbling in fear. Leaving him to Werner, Lott pumped another cartridge into the chamber and swung toward the car, just as the driver slammed it into gear and headed straight at the officer. Sergeant Lot fired through the windshield and jumped aside. The car passed him and accelerated violently into the Jersey barrier, swung around and flipped its side. The driver sagged halfway out the window, obviously dead from the shotgun blast in the throat. Shouldn’t have tried to run me down, Lott thought. He reached in and turned off the racing motor, then looked in the back seat. There was an overnight bag and Sergeant Lott had no doubt about its contents. He returned to the patrol car. Werner had the last man in cuffs and was eyeing the body they had been dragging.

     “Shit,” Werner said. “I was going fishing tomorrow. Now I’ll be up half the night filling out paperwork.” He turned to his partner. “Might as well call for a meatwagon and the detectives. We’ll book this one ourselves. Then I suppose someone will have to investigate whether or not we used ‘justifiable force’. Crap!”

     “I don’t think we’ll have too much of a problem,” the Sergeant said. “Narcotics will find the bag in the limo and I recognize that guy.” He nodded toward the young man’s body. “He’s a mid-level dealer and errand boy for a guy uptown. Looks like a deal went sour. Well, let’s get it over with. Shit, there’s another body back there! Who’s on tonight? Bogar? She’ll have plenty to do.” He reached for the radio to make his report.


Blind Pig – One

                                 Blind Pig
                                 by R L Saunders
                                 (on Kindle)

© 2000 and 2011 by R. L. Saunders
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

     Alan laid his fingers on the man’s neck and felt no pulse, saw no rise and fall of the chest that would indicate breathing. The kid was dead. Hardly surprising, considering the long blade thrust toward his heart. Alan sighed, then swore. Well, he thought, it was him or me and he attacked me. Surprisingly, he felt saddened at the death of the young criminal. Almost automatically he pulled the revolver from the young man’s belt, an old .38 Special. Wished he were better with a handgun. Might need to use it in the next few minutes. He had grown up with rifles but couldn’t hit a barn from the inside with a pistol.

     He looked out toward the piers, listening intently, hoping he wouldn’t hear anyone else. Perhaps the kid had just been trying to rob me? Then why hadn’t he pulled the gun and simply held me up? Why come at me with the knife? No, he wanted me dead, and quietly. That implied there were others around. For the first time, Alan noticed the other body and the briefcase at the back of the alley.

     He had been taking an evening walk down by the Westside piers, a thing he often did when his Muse balked. Ducking into an alley to light a cigarette, he heard the attacker behind him. Turning, he saw the knife and without thinking, dropped to the ground and kicked the attacker’s feet from under him. As the young man fell, he had instinctively tried to break his fall. Alan grabbed the hand with the knife and turned it. The man’s whole weight had come down on the blade and it was over, just like that. Just like that, Alan thought. No preparation, no pleading, no time for regrets or last words. One moment he was alive and vital, the next he was dead. Could happen anytime, he thought. To anyone, even you.

     Since there didn’t seem to be any activity in the street, he knelt by the second body. Dead too, his throat cut, blood all over hell. Judging by his appearance, he was homeless. Probably been sacked out here when the other guy arrived. Just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Alan thought. He turned the man onto his back and felt the hair rise on the back of his neck. Except for being older, dirtier and unshaven, the dead man bore a remarkable resemblance to Alan himself. A wallet and a few papers had fallen out of the man’s pocket and Alan picked them up automatically. Richard Paul Evans: Driver’s License, Social Security card, miscellaneous photos and letters, two dollars, one bank card and the bill for that card . Not much to show for your life, mister, he thought. He turned to the briefcase and moved back to the edge of the building to catch the streetlight.

     Opening the briefcase, he found it stuffed with bundles of Fifties and Hundreds. He sat back on his heels and his mind went into high gear. That explained why the young man had attacked him and it did not bode well for his chances of surviving the next few minutes. He had undoubtedly stumbled into a drug deal going down. If the late unlamented had just finished selling, his buyers might still be around. If he was waiting to buy, the sellers must be expected momentarily. Either way, he had to figure on trouble.

     Sure enough, a large black limo was cruising slowly down the street, as though the driver were looking for something or someone. If he was lucky, he thought, there wasn’t a particular meeting spot. Maybe the driver was just supposed to cruise until the buyer approached the car. Better not bank on it. If they’re looking for this particular spot, I don’t want to be here when they arrive, he thought.

     He turned and breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of the fire escape. Tossing the briefcase onto the first landing, he paused, then picked up the dead man’s wallet again. A plan was beginning to form in his mind. He extracted the Driver’s License and bank card and dropped the wallet, then jumped to catch the lowest rung of the fire escape. The ladder was supposed to swing down under his weight, but evidently the residents had immobilized it, probably because it made entrance too easy for potential burglars. Suited him. Made it more difficult for them to follow. He swung up to the landing, picked up the briefcase and clambered higher. Reaching the top, he came to an open window. If he entered, he’d have to exit the building normally, and might implicate the person in the apartment. Didn’t want to do either.

     He heaved the briefcase onto the roof and began to scramble higher. Fortunately, the old brick and the once-fancy architecture left plenty of ledges and crannies. In a few seconds he dropped over the ledge onto the roof, just as a flashlight shone into the alley below. They knew where he’d be. When the find him dead, they’ll be some disturbed. When they find the briefcase missing, they’ll be mighty disturbed. Time to get the hell out.

     He headed across the roof and dropped to the adjacent building. A few more buildings and he could climb down at the other end of the block and be away before they could find him. He chuckled softly to himself, then stopped. While he had the money, they had the drugs. That rankled. He had half a mind to return and face them, maybe shoot the bastards and drop the drugs off the pier. Don’t know how many there are, he reminded himself. There were better ways to skin this cat. He ran lightly down the fire escape of the end building and set off down the street.

     Stepping into the light of Seventh Avenue, he headed for a phone booth. Might as well tell the cops. Maybe they could stop the limo if they got lucky. At least they’ll find the bodies. They weren’t going anywhere.