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Rated: 18+ · Sample · Thriller/Suspense · #1850850
Beginning of a book I'm writing.
Twenty-seven dollars was all Vivian held in her hand. Twenty-seven dollars to show for the entire afternoon and it just wasn't enough. She cursed under her breath and shook as her body protested her poor income that day. Vivian needed at least forty-five more dollars by the end of the night and it was already almost 7:30; she hated Sundays, everyone gets so self-righteous on Sundays. She stood alone on Sunrise road by the gas station, where she often bought orange soda when she was thirsty. The air was thick with pollution that blocked out distant hills surrounding the city. Cars and trucks drove down the road releasing small gray clouds that disappeared and spread into the air like an invisible disease blocking out the sun. As Vivian breathed in deep she had a coughing fit, her lungs burned and the flem in her throat made her try to wheeze out an ever present tickle in her throat. She unscrewed the lid of her orange soda and drank until she didn't feel like coughing up her lungs. She screwed the top back on and stared down the road that went up a steep hill and made it look as if the cars fell off the face of the Earth.
Vivian rubbed her eyes, smearing her mascara a little. She was tired. she could really use a pick me up right about now. Just then a familiar sight made her smile, a blue 1998 Ford Pickup Truck stopped in front of her.
"Hey Murray," She said with a smile as the window rolled down.
"Hey Viv," Murray said, his chin fat jiggling a little as he talked "in the mood for a hundred?"
"You know me Murray," she grinned, her jaw hurt a little from doing so.
Murray gestured to the passenger seat and unlocked the doors. Vivian tightened the cap on her soda and placed it on the sidewalk. She rushed to the passenger side door without really worrying about traffic and opened it. If there was one thing that pissed her off about Murray it was that climbing into his truck was a real pain in the ass with platform heels. She slammed the door and almost giggled with excitement.
"I already got a room," Murray said, "I know how impatient you are."
Vivian laughed, trying to sound cute. Murray drove down the road and over the hill, there was a cheap little motel to the right just at the top, the flashing sign flickered as the sun just barely began to descend under the smoggy hills. Murray pulled into the parking spot in front of room number three. Vivian frowned, room three's air conditioner was broken, she hated it. Murray glanced over at her and wiped a bead of sweat trickling off his pink forehead, "Alright, let's go," he said excitedly, "I need to get home before my ex drops off the kids."
Vivian stared at herself in the bathroom of the hotel. The linoleum floor was cold on her toes, even though the rest of her body felt hot. She licked her thumb and wiped off some smeared make up, her skin sagging a little bit as her cheek bone was pressed on. Her eyes were a light brown, almost auburn if they were in the right light. The whites in her eyes looked tired though, red veins trailed in gnarly patterns deep into the back her sunken eyeball. She felt her chapped lips with her fingertips, covered in cherry red lipstick that stung her cuts. Her skin was a little paler than usual, making the rash on her arm even more noticeable. Her brown hair fell to her shoulder blades, split ends sticking out and creating what looked like a yellow aura in the dim light of the bathroom. She continued to look down at herself, her naked body was skinny, blemishes and bruises sometimes popped up in random places, her breasts weren't as perky as she remembered them, back when she was younger. Her butt sagged, her arms itched, and her nose burned. She looked back at the mirror into her own eyes again; this was the part that always got to her, before she was just happy to be able to get some money, but now she knew what happened next and she didn't like it at all. She didn't want to have to do anything anymore but revel in the feeling afterwards. Her daddy used to tell her, 'work for everything you want in life,' so that was exactly what she was doing. She knew what she wanted and she would do what she could to get it.
Vivian took a deep breath and stepped out of the bathroom. The room was dark, the blinds were shut and the only light was from what remained outside of the fading sun and the light from the bathroom. Murray hopped on one foot, wrestling his pants off of his leg. His shirt was off, exposing his pink, flabby, flesh that dripped with sweat. Vivian could faintly smell his odor shooting up her nose and making her want to puke. She sat on the bed and watched him struggle until his pants finally fell to the floor. He wiped his forehead and breathed deep, "Sorry" he said struggling for air.
"It's okay," Vivian said, grabbing a condom out of her purse.
Her stomach turned, "Just hurry, your kids will be home soon, remember?"
Vivian thought about a lot of things for the next eighteen minutes, she thought about cooking, about brownies that her mother used to bake sometimes when she could afford it, about the talks she used to have with her sister when she was feeling sad and didn't want to listen to her dad fight with her mom outside their door. She thought about her babies, how big Travis was getting, how Katie didn't cry so much anymore, about how proud she was of her boy for being such a good big brother. She kept thinking of what she would do right after she left the room, at the very moment she planted her feet on the cement and used her hard earned money to make herself happy. She held onto all the memories, all the desires, all the places she would rather be than on a hard bed getting crushed by Murray's 250 pound body, his sweat dripping down his waist and onto her thighs. She thought about everything except what was actually happening at that moment.
Vivian hopped out of Murray's truck and onto the sidewalk of Sunrise Road. She slammed the door; Murray leaned out of the window of his truck, "Thanks Viv," he said, "I'll be seeing you around."
"Goodbye Murray," she said with a grin, "be safe."
He nodded then drove over the hill and off the planet. Vivian leaned down and picked up the orange soda she had left on the sidewalk, it was warm but she drank all of it. She dropped the bottle and it rolled into the gutter. She looked up at the sky, the sun was halfway down the hills, she had to get going.
The bus ride was agonizingly long, the driver stopped every minute to pick up yet another fucking tweaker, all jittery and slow, taking up time she could be using getting home faster. A man with long, white hair sat behind her, breathing loudly down her neck. He was probably playing with his cock, the fucking pervert.
The bus stopped at Vivian's destination and she quickly walked out. The street was dark but the streetlight on the corner illuminated her. She walked out of the light and down the street towards the brick apartment with graffiti of a blue D on the front porch. She walked up the steps; her heels were killing her feet. She pressed a white button with the number four above it and waited for an answer. A voice crackled through the speaker, "What's up?"
"Devin," Vivian said, "it's Vivian."
The speaker buzzed and the metal door unlocked. Vivian stepped inside the small apartment and headed up the stairs. She stopped on the second floor, room number four and walked in. Devin sat in front of a flat screen television, watching a basketball game in baggy shorts and a white tank top.
"How is the Heat doing?" Vivian asked without any real enthusiasm.
Devin sneered, "Fuck Lebron."
Vivian scratched her arm until there was a long red blotch; "I need two grams of Snow and a gram and a half of Junk"
Devin looked up at her, the white of his eyes sharply in contrast with his black skin, "Cocaine AND Heroin?"
"Yeah" Vivian said, biting her nail.
Devin chuckled, "Hell Viv I remember when you were just so innocent and didn't mix poisons."
"Shut up Devin, do you want my money or not?"
Devin stood up and looked down at her; he was six feet tall, more than half a foot taller than her, "I remember when you used to be polite too."
Vivian stared up at him, trying not to blink, “I wish I could say the same about you.”
Devin bit his lip then walked across the room into his bedroom, "I remember a lot of things about you Viv," he called from inside the room, "I remember you used to be just so cute, with your little t-shirts and jeans."
Vivian heard him open up a drawer, "I remember you used to come crawling to me, begging me to fix you up." Devin walked back with a couple baggies of powder, "I remember you used to suck my dick for a little, whatever happened to that?" he dropped the baggies on his coffee table.
Vivian stared at him, "You got Chlamydia, asshole."
She dropped 125 dollars on the table and bent to pick up her drugs, Devin grabbed her wrist before she could reach them. She tried to jerk away but Devin's fingers constricted her tightly. He leaned forward to look straight in her eyes, "I remember you told me you were gonna quit for your baby."
Vivian wanted to scratch his face off, "Let go of me."
Devin smiled, "What ever happened to that Viv? You stopped and then right after Travis stops shitting in diapers, you go right back."
Vivian tried to pull away but he pulled her right back, "How’s your girl by the way? She still want a fix just like her mom?"
Vivian smacked Devin as hard as she could with her free hand. He let her go and she dropped to the floor with a thud. Devin smiled, "Get the fuck out of here, come back when you need more you selfish bitch."
Vivian stood up and grabbed her cocaine and meth, her face was bright red and she shook with anger. She walked to the door, holding herself back from either breaking down or attacking Devin.
"Come back soon," he called as she opened the door, "you're pretty hot for a crack head."
She slammed the door behind her.
Vivian's heart pounded as she gritted her teeth and sat on the stairs of Devin's apartment building. She fucking hated him but she kept coming back. He just loved screw with her, make her feel like shit but what the hell did he know? She opened her purse with shaking hands and pulled out a small water bottle.
He didn't have to take care of kids or deal with what she did, he didn't know anything.
She took out a syringe and a spoon with the head bent backwards.
She was a good mother; she did what she had to.
She poured some heroin into the spoon and rummaged through her purse for a lighter.
Fuck him, she might not be the best person on the Earth but she was better than that shit stain.
She unscrewed the lid of her bottle, poured some water into the cap, and then trickled it down into the spoon, mixing with the heroin. She flicked the lighter and held the flame underneath the spoon, watching the heroin begin to combine with the water. She stared at the flame and the bubbling drug on the blackened silver of the spoon. She had a hard time smelling it anymore, but if she could she would be tingling by now; that faint smell of vinegar was like heaven. When it had melted, Vivian grabbed the syringe from off the step of the stairs. She put the tip of the needle into the fluid, her hands as steady as a surgeon’s undergoing a procedure she had performed a hundred times before. When the clear, brown liquid was sucked into the syringe she dropped the spoon and pinched the bottom of her forearm, pressing her vein up against the thin barrier of her skin. She carefully plunged the needle tip into her vein, and then slowly, very slowly, injected the drug into her bloodstream. She felt a sudden sense of peace, a feeling that in only a few moments her worries would simply evaporate. She leaned against the wall as her head spun her hand twitching as she pushed her hair off of her face. She stayed still for a long while, just staring at the bricks in the wall as they started to shift in place. The world began to dissipate around her as her brain began to function just a second slower than her body. She gripped the hem of her dress and felt the soft lace on her fingertips. Everything was okay all of a sudden. No itch in the back of her brain. No responsibilities. No stress. Just a numb mind and a new thickness to gravity that kept her peacefully grounded. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back; it was too much of a nuisance for her neck to support her skull anymore. The darkness behind her eyelids let her pupils take a break from the light, it was a nice feeling. She loosened her grip on her dress and her hands fell limply next to her, the feeling on her skin was a simple blanket of warmth. As she stayed perfectly still she let her body give into the feeling, and she slowly drifted away into eternity.
Vivian blinked open her eyes, she had stayed there with her eyes closed for about three minutes. It was time to get out of this disgusting building. She pushed herself up from the steps and brushed her hair away from her eyes. She bent over and grabbed handfuls of all her things and dropped them into her purse. She walked down the stairs and out the front door. Outside was still dark even though it felt considerably warmer. Her pace wasn't rushed, her feet didn't hurt, and her path wasn't conscious. She walked towards her apartment only a few blocks away but paid no attention. Her mind was filled with thoughts; the stars looked like tiny eyes observing her, maybe angels watching over her. The moon was full and beautiful, like the eye of God perhaps. A homeless woman slept in an alleyway with a chocolate lab, the problem was that the government didn't invest enough money into helping the homeless. If Vivian were president she would start a program for that. A little girl walked aimlessly across the street without any shoes, almost getting hit by a car with a blazing horn and bright headlights. That girl’s parents should have raised her better. Vivian knew her kids would never do something like that because she was a good mother. She suddenly noticed the grocery store by her home. Travis and Katie needed food. She opened her purse and searched through it carefully. She accidentally poked herself with the needle inside but found two dollars and a quarter. Maybe she shouldn't have bought so much coke.
Vivian bought two packages of Romen Noodles and stuffed a Twix in her bra. She walked up the steps of her apartment and was faced with her arch nemesis. The thick, black metal door stood before her. She put the plastic grocery bag in the other hand and found her key in her purse; she tried sticking it into the door handle. She missed a few times but eventually put it in. Now was the hard part. She jiggled the key in the hole then tried turning it but it didn't move. She swore and repeated the process but it just wouldn't work. Eventually she gave up and buzzed in room number 7 on the panel next to the door. She waited for a second then heard a soft voice on the intercom, "Hello?"
"Hey honey," Vivian said sweetly, "it's Mommy. Open the door okay?"
The intercom buzzed and Vivian opened the door. The building was similar to Devin's except for that it was bigger and the lighting wasn't as good. She walked up to the third floor and found her room. She knocked on the door and waited only a second before the door was unlocked and her son, Travis, hugged her tightly around the waist in the hallway.
"Hey, Baby," Vivian said as she bent over and kissed him on the head, his brown hair smelled like hand soap, he must have taken a shower. She picked him up, and entered the apartment, using her hips to shut the door behind her. Cartoons played on the thick television; Katie sat limply on the floor against the couch and watched them with open, turquoise, eyes. She was around a year and four months and still couldn't walk but she would crawl all around the apartment. Vivian sat on the couch and set Travis next to her. Katie turned and looked up at Vivian; she reached up her arms towards her and made small incoherent noises to get her attention. Vivian smiled and picked her up; she kissed her cheeks and sat her on her lap. Katie's blonde hair was beginning to reach past her ears but was still very thin. Vivian didn't know where she got the blonde hair from, probably from whoever her father was. Travis rested his head on Vivian's shoulder, "Katie hasn't cried today." he said.
Vivian smiled, "Oh yeah? You must be taking really good care of her."
Travis smiled; his freckles making him look even more boyish. She knew for a fact he got those from his father. He was seven years old and already able to take care of his little sister. Vivian was very happy for that.

Travis stood up and ran into his room. Vivian lied down on the couch and put Katie on her chest. She felt tired and her mind was spinning. Travis ran back and put a crayon drawing on a lined piece of paper in front of Vivian's face. She tried to make out what the picture was but her eyes glazed over and could only make out blurs of color. She couldn't will her eyes to focus so she just smiled, "That's a really good drawing, it must have taken all day!"
Travis grinned, "Nope, it only took a few minutes. Even Katie drew some, see?"
He pointed to the top of a page, a blurry scribbling of red and blue.
"Yeah I can tell." Vivian said leaning her head back on the arm of the couch.
Travis looked down at his artwork; he set it on the floor next to Vivian. Katie bent over on her and started drooling on her neck. Vivian smiled and kissed her forehead. She looked so tiny and innocent. Her eyes looked distant as though pondering how she ever came to exist. Vivian wondered if she looked exactly like her daughter at the moment with junk in her veins. Vivian tickled Katie's stomach through her pink jammies she giggled, her tiny teeth barely starting to sprout from her gums.
"Mana ah!" She protested as she giggled.
Vivian smiled and closed her eyes. Katie crawled up her chest and started gnawing on her cheek.
"Om nom ah," she mumbled into her skin.
Vivian started to drift when Travis nudged her shoulder.
"Um mom, did you get dinner?"
Vivian opened one eye, "I got noodles for you two," she plucked Katie from off her chest and put her on the floor. “Make some for you two okay? Mommy’s tired."
Travis kept his eyes to the floor and nodded. He grabbed the noodles from out the bag.
"Oh here baby," Vivian said, pulling the Twix from her bra, "I got this just for you."
Travis smiled and took the candy bar; Vivian hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek, "Remember to cut up the noodles for your sister."
Travis smiled, "I will."
He ran off into the kitchen and Vivian closed her eyes, she was finally able to rest, without any scratching in her mind.
1
Jeremy drove down the road towards his old high school. Elton High, home of the sub-par school faculty and quite possibly the runner up for most kids growing up to be complete failures in a single building; next to prison of course, go Falcons! Jeremy had graduated thirteen years ago but just couldn't help coming back every once in a while. Being a cop did tend to send all the little shits running with piss in their pants, just one of the perks of the job. Jeremy drove past the front in his police car; it was eleven in the morning lunch had just started. The large painted letters of red on the front were worn and barely visible. It displayed ELTON HIGH with a painting of a falcon that looked spectral from the erosion over the years. Memories flooded Jeremy's thoughts; Prom was alright, dancing wasn't exactly something he excelled at, but the punch was spiked, his friends were there, and afterwards his date, Tiffany, gave him head so it was a nice evening. He smirked and drove down the back road to the Football field. He had tried out to be a receiver back in his junior year, didn't really work out. The coach's son, Peter got the spot so Jeremy never forgave him. There were, of course, two other black guys that tried out and made it but that didn't matter.
Jeremy parked his car and stepped onto the gravel, he had a sneaking suspicion that today was a lucky day. He walked through the parking lot and towards the football bleachers, his police uniform putting a stride in his step.
The metal gate was ajar so he stepped in and looked down the field of 100 yards of dying grass that would skid against your skin like sand paper when you got tackled. He looked into the home team side of the bleachers, and low and behold, it was a lucky day after all. A high school girl with dark hair and a red head boy with ratty hair were crouched over, passing a small, glass pipe and sucking in smoke. Jeremy walked up the concrete steps, making his footsteps carry a little more of a thud. The boy heard and jerked his head up, the pipe still in his hand. His eyes widened, he coughed violently, marijuana smoke poured from his mouth. The girl looked up at Jeremy, "Fuck"
The boy dropped the pipe, it shattered as he hopped over the benches towards the back of the bleachers, away from Jeremy.
"Hey, Officer Dillinger," The girl said, “what can I do for ya?"
Jeremy smirked, "Who's your friend, Jaycie?" he asked, pointing to the red head who then jumped over the back of the bleachers and fell fifteen feet to the ground.
"Just a customer," Jaycie said as she heard the thud and the boys yelp.
Jeremy stood over her, "You get high with your customers? Isn't there some rule about not using your own shit?"
Jaycie shook her head, "Don't you know anything? Rule number one: always smoke a bowl with your dealer. It increases the sacred bond."
Jeremy raised an eyebrow, "Uh huh, well I hate to interrupt the bonding going on here but I'm afraid you fucked up, yet again."
"Awe come on, Man!" Jaycie whined, "The one God damn day I bring my entire sack you show up!"
"You know the rules, you get caught, you have to give it up."
Jaycie glared and bit her tongue, "I will give you one fourth and we can call it even."
"All of it."
"Half!"
Jeremy smiled, "You caught me in a good mood, if you promise not to smoke any of what you have and only deal, you can keep half."
Jaycie gaped at him, "What the hell? Are you forgetting rule number one? How am I supposed to bond without smoking?"
"Tell them you’re trying out for volleyball or something."
Jaycie gave her best 'Are you fucking serious' face, "Why don't you just arrest me for once, Dillinger?"
Jeremy folded his arms, "Is that a request?"
"No no no,"Jaycie said, putting her hand up in protest and reaching into her backpack, "All I'm saying is..." she pulled out a plastic baggy full of weed, "you're a shitty cop."
She tossed over the bag; Jeremy snatched it out of the air. Fuck peter, he should have been the receiver.
Jaycie stood and brought her backpack with her, "Here," she handed him an empty baggy, "just please, be gentle."
Jeremy dumped out half into the empty baggy, Jaycie winced in pain.
"Alright," Jeremy said giving the bag back to her, "Now get the fuck out of here before I tazer your ass."
Jaycie stuffed the weed in her backpack, "How about you just kiss it instead?" she said, walking past.
Jeremy took the stun gun off his belt and flashed the laser point on her back. She jumped down the steps with a laugh, "It was a joke!" she shouted back as she jogged through the gate, "just a joke!"

Jeremy dropped off Jaycie's drugs at the police station, and bought a donut. From the looks he got from the people on the streets you'd think his skin was the color of midnight and he had a big bowl of fried chicken and a whole watermelon. Fuck 'em all, donuts were delicious. He was responding to a possible 273D, domestic abuse. The same damn house someone was sent to every other week or so, the same damn drunken bastard, the same damn wife taking a hit. Jeremy didn't exactly drive with haste; they would be there whenever he was.
Jeremy pulled into the driveway of the old, dirty house and licked donut glaze off his fingers. He put on the emergency break and stepped out towards the front lawn. He could hear some shouting from inside the house from the husband. He knocked on the wooden door; "Police"
There was one quieter shout before the door opened. The man's hair was messy, dark, and down to his eyebrows. His short, unkempt beard had small patches of gray.
"Hello officer," the man said, wincing in the sunlight.
"Hey, Randy," Jeremy said, stepping past him without inviting himself in.
"Hey wait a second," Randy protested, "let me explain before you go talking to her!"
"Shut it Randy," Jeremy said, "you stay right there and wait until I come back, you understand?"
Randy stayed silent and shut the door, his lip twitched.
Jeremy walked past the kitchen to a short hallway and opened the first door on the right. A little girl, about ten looked up from her bed, tears reddening her eyes.
"Hey Becky," Jeremy said softly, "you stay here and don't come out for a bit okay?"
She nodded slowly, rubbing her eyes. Jeremy smiled at her then shut the door. He took a deep breath and walked to the next room on the left. Lindsay sat on the bed, slouched over, her hands on her face and her blonde hair draped over her forehead. Jeremy walked up to her and waited until she looked up through her fingers and hair, her face still covered.
"Let me see," he said.
Her eyes fluttered downward again, dead silent.
"Hey I need to see, you know that."
Her hands slowly slid off her face, she still looked at the floor. Jeremy brushed her hair back and almost cursed. Her left cheek was red; a bruise was beginning to form on her eyebrow as it swelled. She kept her eyes on the floor as Jeremy examined her bruises.
"Lindsay," he said, "Why do you keep letting him do this to you?"
"It's not his fault," she said almost too quietly to hear.
This part always pissed Jeremy off.
"Lindsay," he said with some annoyance in his voice, "you didn't do a Goddamn thing and you know it. Don't make excuses for him."
"He's a good man," Lindsay argued, her eyes rising to the wall, "he just doesn't like it when I do the wrong thing."
Jeremy stayed silent; she looked at the ground again. He looked more closely at her face it was worse than usual. He noticed a little blood staining her blonde hair. As he touched it she whimpered. He pushed her hair apart and saw a gash from where the blood was trickling from. He grabbed his radio from off his belt, "We're going to need an M.T. to check her out, over."
The radio beeped back, "Copy" a woman's voice replied.
He moved Lindsay's hair back over the cut and crouched to look her in the eye.
"You can't do this anymore, do you hear me?"
She blinked as her bottom lip trembled.
"This guy has been doing this to you for how long now? You don't have to take this."
Lindsay opened her mouth, trying not to shiver, "He didn't hurt..."
"Enough, Lindsay!" he interrupted, she stayed quiet.
"If you don't want to leave him because you love him, I don't care. How do you think this is affecting Brooke? Do you think she deserves to go through this shit every day?"
Lindsay lowered her head more.
"Don't leave for yourself, leave for her. It might be hard but if you really want to give her a chance you have to. Do you hear me?"
She nodded.
Jeremy stood up, "Go outside and wait for the ambulance, I'm going to talk with your husband."
She nodded.

"Look, I didn't mean to hit her so fucking hard! If she actually gave a shit about me or my fucking daughter then she wouldn't be such a lazy bitch all day and use all my cash when she doesn't deserve a Goddamn penny. Do you know how hard my mother worked? She never took a fucking break even when she was taking care of us I never heard her once complain. All this woman does is bitch about every single thing and-and do you know how stressful that is on me? I have to do everything for her and my daughter and what thanks do I ever get? Listen if you really want to help you need to teach her how to be a descent wife let alone a respectable human-fucking being..."
Randy went on and on while Lindsay was being checked on in the ambulance and the new officer; Mathew, listened with folded arms to his rant. Jeremy had stopped listening; he just stared at Randy's mouth moving so quickly that spit flew off his tongue.
"...understand?" Randy said.
Jeremy nodded. Mathew stepped up behind Randy, "Is she pressing charges?" he asked Jeremy.
Jeremy shook his head. Mathew took out his handcuffs, "Hands behind your back, sir."
Randy just sighed and cooperated, he'd been through it all before.
Mathew cuffed Randy's hands behind his back, "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law..."
Jeremy didn't hear anything anymore, he could only see Randy being put in the police car, Lindsay answering questions reluctantly, and through Brooke's bedroom window, a little girl's eyes, watching the scene play out for what must seemed like the thousandth time. Jeremy wondered if it was a good thing or not that she was used to it by now. Monday’s fucking suck.

2
Vivian hadn't planned on making more money today, but she had spent more than she should have on drugs the night before. She sat on the curb of Sunrise Road wearing a green tank top and a mini skirt, no heels, her feet needed a break. She could tough out another Monday only because she had taken a healthy dose of Coke before she left the house. She felt motivated, happy, nothing could go wrong. She would just make a few bucks, buy her kids food, and then spend the rest of the day blissfully on the couch. She inspected her black flats on her feet and thought of just using some duct-tape for the bottoms instead of buying new ones; duct-tape solved all problems. She noticed a police car turning into the gas station and gripped her orange soda tightly. The car pulled next to the curb and stopped. Vivian's heart pounded as she stood then turned towards it. Jeremy leaned his head out the window, "Hey, Vivi." he smiled.
Vivian sighed, "You almost gave me a heart attack."
Jeremy shrugged, "I seem to have that effect on the ladies."
Vivian laughed, "It seems like it, doesn't it? What can I do for you officer?"
Jeremy smirked, "Well I am having a really bad case of the Mondays..."
Vivian raised an eyebrow, "Aren't you on duty?"
"Well now that you mention it, yes I am. So I can either do my job and cuff you, or I can help you out with your little business."
Vivian glared at him, "Don't be an asshole, Jeremy, it isn't a good look for you."
"Fair enough," he smiled, "so how about you just meet me behind the gas station?"
Vivian rolled her eyes, "You're not as sly as you think, Jeremy."
"Hey, I don't want to get caught any more than you do."
"I take that as an insult." Vivian joked, "Get your crooked ass behind the building."
Jeremy smiled, "As you wish."
He rolled the window up and circled to the back of the gas station. Yeah, Vivian thought, that's not obvious at all.

If there was one thing Vivian liked about Jeremy, it was that he was a gentleman. Room number eight's air conditioner worked like a champ. She swore it was almost thirty degrees in there when the cold air was blasted on high. Goosebumps tingled all over her body as she stared ritualistically at her naked reflection in the bathroom. She put on just a little more lip gloss; her lips had always been something she was proud of. Her mother had had big lips that felt like heaven whenever they kissed Vivian's cheek. Trisha and she had always tried to look as much like their mother as possible. Vivian had her mother's lips and eyes, but her sister had her nose and darker skin, not black like her mother but a gorgeous, golden brown that Vivian envied. Everyone always said that Trisha looked like her; Vivian looked more like her father. She hated every time she was reminded of it. She had a faint tan but not like her sister. Vivian's skin was light like her fathers, her nose was sharp and sloped like her fathers, Trisha even told her she looked like him when she was angry. She hated thinking she was anything like that man.
Jeremy sat naked on the bed and smiled when Vivian came from out of the bathroom, her arms folded.
"Well Vivi, I got to tell you," Jeremy said, standing up, "it's worth every penny with you."
Vivian laughed and leaned her head against the bathroom doorway, "Well I'm glad you think so."
Jeremy chuckled, "I don't have a lot of time, you know?" he spoke gently, "How about you come over here?"
Vivian glided to Jeremy and pressed herself up against him, feeling his warmth on her stomach, she almost blushed. Jeremy looked down at her with a small smile and a twinkle in his eye, he looked almost like Derek.
Jeremy laid her on the bed, Vivian actually enjoyed his company compared to the work she was used to. He was almost loving in the way he connected with her but maybe that was just his nature, always trying to help but in the wrong job for it. She closed her eyes and enjoyed every tiny movement he made, no stress, no repulsion, just a mutual business arrangement. He was just using her, after all, but so was she. Her kids needed to eat but the job did have its perks every once in a while.
Vivian had a secret, a secret so big that it scared her sometimes at just how incredible she was. The dark little truth was always in the back of her mind, she just didn't know it when she wasn't experiencing a higher state of conscious. But at the moment, Vivian knew the truth: she was a fucking genius. A regular Einstein with a dash of Nostradamus put in for good measure. The truth was just SO clear whenever her mind wasn't fogged up with petty things in life. When she was high, when she snorted cocaine off of her little mirror, she turned into super woman. She never second guessed herself, she never made a mistake, never even hesitated. It was a completely different feeling than Heroin, that stuff just numbed the mind, creating a level of brain activity that delved deep into thought, philosophy and ethics drizzled out of her ears and stained her body. She could be wrong on Meth because her mind had to think objectively, it pondered life in ways she couldn't sober. At least, it used to. When she first began to shoot up it did, her brain was a whirlpool of ideas. Now, she just needed it to function, it was to numb her. The thoughts did come back occasionally, but it wasn't the main function anymore, just a side effect of the pain relief. The Cocaine was different, it elevated her, brought her up until she was higher than the universe could reach. This was probably because she had only recently started doing Coke, the feeling might go away eventually but for now, she snorted in moderation and enjoyed it while it lasted.
{{The feeling, strangely enough, couldn't be described without mentioning love. Derek had given her feelings similar to this high. She used to be able to feel him next to her, his warmth enveloping her and making her feel secure. She was safe with him, no matter what happened they faced it together. She embraced the coming storms of chaos because there was nothing that could stop them. With Derek, life was worth living. Love was just as potent a drug as any but like all highs, there comes the crash. So as Vivian lay in bed and stared at the picture of her past life, she shook from withdraws. She needed him. She needed him now. She always did. If it wasn't for that small part of him wearing blue pajamas and sleeping in the room next to hers she would have given up years ago. Travis had the same shaggy hair as his dad, the same freckles, and the same nose; he was a reminder of the past, of the happier times. Vivian kissed Derek's picture and tucked it safely inside of her drawer. Her high was starting to wear off, her confidence was melting away as she stared at the ceiling and realized how small she was. She was never going to leave this city. She would have to fight to keep her kids safe and pray for God to protect them. There was nothing else she could do and nothing else that mattered. Travis and Katie were all that she lived for.}}
Jeremy sat uncomfortably on a cheap, metal folding- chair in the briefing room of the police station, surrounded by young cops wanting to serve and protect their city and slightly overweight officers wanting to earn a pay raise while slapping around a spic or two. It was a simple room with no windows, a projector on the ceiling, a white screen in front, and a podium. The 58 year old man behind the podium with the fancy blue police uniform was Chief Welker, he had been a cop longer than anyone in the station and worked his way up the ladder as best he knew how; kissing ass and making sure his department always had a high arrest rate. He earned a reputation as a no bullshit leader who upheld respect for the law and never hesitated to enforce it. Jonah knew Welker was a crooked bastard, just like everyone else willing to sell their soul to politicians and stand high upon the shoulders of the people they’ve fucked over.
“There’s only one thing I want to talk about today.” Welker said in his crisp, authoritative voice, “The only thing keeping our lovely mayor, Vega from digging her plastic fingernails into our balls is Officer Alden’s Cartel bust last week.”
Jeremy clapped slowly with the rest of the room. Richard Alden sat in front of Jeremy and grinned that wide, fucking, shit eating grin. He was the epitome of everything Jeremy hated; a man who used his badge to control people, a power hungry, egotistical, backstabbing, asshole licking, douche canoe.
“We need more men like him in this county.” Welker said with a long look towards Alden, “We need more vigilance out there if we’re ever going to meet our quota for this month, I demand excellence from all of you. I’ve talked to Mayor Vega and she has warned me that if we continue to under perform, she will approve our pay cuts and tough changes will be made.”
The room was silent as Jeremy cracked his knuckles and saw all the faces around him go hard.
“Let me make this clear,” Welker said, leaning on the podium and lowering his voice, “anyone who fails to meet these expectations will be let go; we cannot afford to fuck this up.”
His words weighed heavy on Jeremy’s chest.
“Dismissed”
Everyone stood and began to mumble to one another and shuffle out of the room, people around Alden shook his hand in congratulations and smiled wide, “It’s only my job.” He said with a smirk.
Jeremy avoided eye contact and walked towards the door.
“Dillinger,” Welker’s voice stabbed into Jeremy’s ears, “stay a moment, would you?”
Jeremy looked out the door and into the hall for a second before turning on his heels and forcing a small smile. He walked to Welker who was standing next to the projector screen.
“We need to talk about your arrest record.”
The last person closed the door behind them as they left the room.
“What about it, Sir?” Jeremy asked with as much concern as he could force up his throat.
“It’s lacking,” Welker said sharply, “in fact it’s gone down about 20% from last year.” He raised an eyebrow, “Why is that?”
“Well it seems like we’re doing our job, Sir.” Jeremy said, “There just isn’t as much crime in the city.”
Welker glared at him, “Then explain to me the rising amount of drugs on my streets and gang shootings over Cartel turf. Crime will always be prevalent, Officer Dillinger, it just keeps getting more advanced; harder to spot.”
“What would you suggest I do to improve?”
“Be willing to go the extra mile and hunt down those who wish to corrupt the city!” A passion rose from deep within his wallet, “It’s men like Alden that rise up in this world; men who are willing to do whatever it takes.”
Jeremy frowned, “With all due respect to Richard, I don’t see a lack of respect for the way an officer should operate as a positive aspect of his character.”
“The way an officer should operate?” Welker said almost outraged, “What way is that?”
“With respect for the boundaries that we…”
“Boundaries are only for people who lack the strength to get the job done!” Welker said sternly, “Anyone who does not push the limits for success will ultimately remain glued to one spot. If you wish to become more than what you are, Dillinger, I suggest you be willing to do what’s necessary.”
Jeremy clutched his fists, “I’m not comfortable with those type of tactics, Sir.”
“Then let me rephrase that,” Welker talked in a deep, quiet rumble, “If you wish to not get booted out of this county I suggest you do your Goddamn job and quit making excuses.”
Welker’s eyes fixed tightly to Jeremy’s as he walked past him and through the door. Jeremy’s lip began to twitch as he stared at the wall of the meeting room, “Cock sucker” he mumbled under his breath.
Jeremy left the meeting room and started down the long corridor towards the front door. The police station was fairly small, and had offices throughout with glass windows and thick concrete walls. He walked past the front desk and a group of officers talking amongst themselves. Jeremy tried not to pay them much attention.
“Hey, Jer-Bear!” Jeremy heard behind him.
He turned towards the group and Sienna Noir who stood with a grin, her shiny blonde hair up in a ponytail, 4 male officers behind her.
“Did the chief fire your lazy ass yet?” Sienna asked with some enthusiasm.
“No,” Jeremy said simply, “he did want me to ask that you stop fucking the detainees though; being locked up is bad enough.”
Sienna’s face turned just a little pink, “Oh what’s wrong, Jer-Bear?” she looked at him with a soft, warm gaze, “Jealous?”
Jeremy turned around and out the building, a smirk on his lips.
He walked out of the police station and left towards the parking lot where he was slowed by the sight of Alden waiting with the rookie, Mathew, in front Jeremy’s cruiser. Jeremy walked hesitantly towards them.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Man!” Alden shouted a little louder than necessary, “What kept you with the chief?”
None of your fucking business. Jeremy walked up to the men, “Oh he just wanted to talk about my future in the force.” he said coolly.
Alden laughed, “That doesn’t sound good, Man! Anyway listen, Officer Mariett just started last week and he was wondering if you wouldn’t mind letting him role with you today.”
Jeremy inspected Mathew closely, “He’s your partner Rich, why isn’t he sticking with you?”
“I think seeing the way cops operate from a… different perspective would do him some good.” He grinned.
Jeremy forced and tight smile and stared uncomfortably.
“Sure,” Jeremy answered, “let’s get going then.”
Alden smacked Jeremy’s shoulder and pinched it tightly, “Thanks man, I owe you one.”
“Anytime, Rich.” He said, patting Alden’s stomach. Rich’s grin vanished.
Jeremy unlocked his car and got in, he reached over the middle compartment and unlocked the passenger side for Mathew who quickly climbed in. Jeremy started the car and wondered if he should turn off the airbag on Mathew’s side; he looked scrawny enough to be break in half from the force.
“You ready to kick some ass?” Jeremy asked.
Mathew smiled, “I was born ready.”
Jeremy chuckled, kids were so enthusiastic.

“So how long have you been on the force?” Officer Mariett asked in desperate search of a topic to break the silence.
“Almost five years.” Jeremy said, scanning the road for anyone speeding through the intersection.
“Do-do you like it?” Mathew asked.
Jeremy leaned the side of his head on the door’s window, “Yeah, kid, I like it.”
Mathew gulped, “I’ve always wanted to be a cop.”
“Congratulations, your living the dream.”
“Yeah it just doesn’t feel like it yet, ya’ know?”
Jeremy stretched, they had been parked on this street for half an hour and still hadn’t seen anything worth staying awake for.
“It’s like I’m a cop but the job hasn’t really begun.” Mathew said, looking out the window at the houses in the neighborhood. “I always imagined being a police officer as some honorable, action packed job.”
“The only thing we honor in this department is money, which is why we need to look out for any bullshit crime we can throw a traffic ticket at.”
They sat in silence for a long while, but just as Jeremy was beginning to enjoy the silence…
“We’re still helping people though,” Mathew said, staring intently at the stop sign on the corner, “even if we are helping ourselves first.”
“Fuck” Jeremy chuckled, “I hope you’re right.”
He put the cruiser into gear and peeled left down the street.
Mathew began to drum on his leg using his fingers, he was jittery, impatient, “I can’t wait to see some action.”
Jeremy smiled, “Trust me, Kid, you’ll learn to appreciate moments when there’s nothing going on.”
Mathew stopped his drum solo, “I think I would rather be out doing something than stuck in a squad car all day and doing paperwork all night.”
Jeremy sighed, there was no way to prepare kids like Mathew for what they would have to experience, he would just have to live through it himself.
“Yesterday was pretty rough though; hearing that guy justify hitting his wife.”
Jeremy stared at the back of the car in front of him, a red Honda that slowed to three miles an hour under the speed limit once he spotted Jeremy.
“Do you think she’s going to leave him?” Mathew asked.
Jeremy tailed the car closely and began typing the license plate number into his police computer on the dashboard, “She told me she was going to leave this time.”
“Will she?”
The owner of the Honda had a history of drug use, “I hope so.”
Jeremy turned on his siren and tailed the car for a moment before it pulled to the curb.
“What are we doing?” Mathew asked.
“Just tell me if you smell weed on the passenger’s side.”
Mathew nodded and stared intensely at the car as they exited the cruiser.
Jeremy walked towards the driver’s side, his right hand resting just above the nine-millimeter in its holster. The window was already rolled down as Jeremy approached the driver.
“License and Registration.”

© Copyright 2012 Jordan Becerril (thenew at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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