Both times before, I wished I'd a place in my port for my entries...this time I do!
|Lenny Curcio sat in his unmarked police car and stared across the road to the recreation center. He slouched in his seat and grinned, one leg bobbing rapid like a child who needs the restroom. The movement made the single greasy lock of black hair dance on his forehead. He couldn’t believe what a good cop he was. Freakin’ right. There wasn’t one copper in the city precinct that was as good as he was. That’s why the NYPD had let him go, he thought with a sudden scowl. Screw those pricks. He’d only been down here in Podunk-ville for a week and already he was poised to make his first arrest. This one’ll make the freakin’ papers, for sure.
A boy pitched and sidled with each wobbly step as he and his dog made their way from the ball fields to the side of the building where the restrooms were located. Lenny sat up a little straighter, eyes narrowing, leg bouncing even faster. The kid’s clever, Lenny gave him that. A cripple was so far from the MO that he was probably sure no one would ever suspect him. But the kid wasn’t counting on crossing paths with a super cop like Lenny. Lenny sneered with anticipation, and then his breath caught.
A man had exited the restroom and stopped to talk to the kid. Lenny reached over to the passenger seat without breaking his eye contact and felt around for the camera. He pulled the device to his face too quickly, bumping is nose hard enough to bring tears to his eyes. He hissed a curse as he began snapping pictures of the encounter. The man nodded. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a wallet. He handed the kid a bill and the kid shoved it into his jacket pocket. The man pet the dog, then reached into the left side of the yellow fabric saddlebags hanging from the dog’s back. He pulled something out, put it into his wallet, and walked away.
Lenny was breathing heavily now. He lowered the camera and looked through the windshield. The boy bent down and the dog nuzzled his face. But wait – here came a young girl, a teenager, Lenny deduced. She stopped to pet the dog. A moment later, she dug into her jeans pocket and pulled out money. Lenny knew it was time. He didn’t know how he knew, he just chalked it up to his super cop intuition. In a flash, he was out of the car and racing across the street.
The girl handed the boy money, then reached into the dog’s sack. Lenny sped across the grassy lawn, bearing down on the two kids and the dog. “Freeze!” he shouted, pulling his badge from his shirt pocket as he ran. “Don’t move, don’t MOVE!”
The children stared at Lenny with round eyes, mouths hanging open. A gentleman walked out of the men’s room at the same time. “What the hell is going on here?” the man asked.
“I’m Detective Leonard Curcio, Townville Police. This young man, here, and his dog, are selling drugs on public property.”
“What?” all three people shouted.
“Don’t play stupid with me, kid,” Lenny sneered. “I’ve been observing you all afternoon. Whatcha selling out of them bags?” Lenny reached for the saddle bag and the dog growled menacingly. Lenny’s hand stopped; he stared at the dog a moment, then dug carefully into the pouch. He pulled out a handful of small papers, each with a colorful image on it.
“Aha!” he shouted in triumphant. “I seen these in the city – New York City, where I come from,” he added smugly. “Tatoos laced with Ecstacy, right kid?”
The man from the restroom burst out laughing. Lenny straighten up and stared at him, his head cocked to the side. “What the hell are you laughin’ at?”
The man wiped tears from his eyes. “This kid? Selling drugs?” He giggled again and had to compose himself before going on. “This is Timmy Johnson. He raises money every year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He represents the whole town when he calls in to the telethon, coming up on Labor Day weekend, and makes a donation in our name.”
Lenny’s shoulders drooped and he dropped his eyes to the papers in his hand. He read what was printed on each one: “I’m One of Jerry’s Kids.”