A young policeman, anxious to make Detective, goes undercover on a drug bust. Will he live long enough to reach his promotion? Flash fiction from our Fingerprints mystery/thriller short story line.
Beautiful is an understatement. This woman has a face that steals the love of every man she looks at, and probably some she doesn't. Huge curls of every shade of blonde shine with the gloss of a beauty magazine. She carries herself as though her world had once depended on that shine, and she'd been let down. A beauty pageant relic whose quick hands and keen eye guaranteed she would always have an income. I wonder if I'd ever passed her in the precinct. I wonder what she's even doing here.
“Hello? You retarded or something? What the fuck?” She speaks typical Jersey between the smacking of her gum.
“Sorry. Here.” I hand her the twenty as she snipes it out of my hand and peers over my shoulder down the lamplit street. It's going on midnight, and except for the occasional shadow, we're alone.
“What's this? It's twenty-five,” she says, still not looking directly at me.
“I was told twenty.”
“You were told wrong. Twenty-five. Twenty for the shit, five for me. Twenty-five. Quit fucking around.” A siren's wail can be heard in the distance. We both look, alarmed for completely different reasons.
“Fine, fine. Whatever.” I fish another five out of my wallet and hand it to her. Not having made detective yet, I'm irritated by having to dip into my own pocket. It's little things like this that piss me off, but I try to look at it as an investment.
“Real fucking smooth asshole. You always pull your wallet out on the street like that?” She finally looks at me with a slight smile and she's off. Occasionally lit by the orange glows from above, she disappears into the vices of the night. Her walk is full of distraction. Fishnets do that to me.
I shake it off and walk towards the Suburban. Sitting silent and ominous in the night, it's shrink-wrapped in shining black. I hate working the streets. I hate being a grunt. A cog relaying information back to the detectives, doing their dirty work. I'm too smart for this shit and everyone knows it. There's no glory in the possibility of having your face dismantled and left on the curb for the pigeons.