For the final day of the Tribute to Flashing in the Gutters, I present my last Flashing story.
Breach of Trust
Bill Martin was sure of it.
Donne’s eyes were bloodshot and his nose was runny. Martin wondered how much coke the kid had snorted the night before. Martin took the driver’s seat without protest and started the car. Pulling out in to traffic, Martin gave Donne the once over.
It was their turn for the night shift and Martin had the orders from Leo Carver.
“You okay?” Martin asked.
They’d gone out for drinks the night before, and Donne got drunk pretty quickly. And then he broke out the drugs.
“Because I left a long time before you probably did last night. And you were pretty gone then.”
“You don’t look fine.”
Donne rubbed his face. “Whatever. We have work to do."
“I’m just worried about you,” Martin said. “And if I’m worried about you, neither of us will be able to do our jobs.”
“Who says you have to worry?”
They drove down Easton Ave. and made a right on to Hamilton. The houses there weren’t well kept; paint chipping off the walls, doors hanging from hinges. College kids usually lived in them and didn’t care about appearances. The rest of the people who lived in these homes only did because that’s what they could afford.
“Did you sleep with that woman last night?” Martin asked while trying to read the house numbers.
“The one you were talking to at the bar. What was her name? Tracy?”
“There’s the house,” Donne said.
Martin pulled the car over. He hoped Donne wasn’t about to throw the opportunity of a life time away. Jeanne was a great catch. Smart, funny, beautiful. If Donne cheated on her, it would be the lowest move possible.
Donne checked his weapon. Martin did the same. And for the umpteenth time since Donne started using, Martin noticed his own hands were shaking. This wasn’t good. You had to be able to trust your partner with your life. And Martin couldn’t even trust Donne to get to the front of the house on his feet. He wondered if Jeanne trusted Donne.
“We go in together,” Martin said.
Donne had already exited the car and was headed toward the front door. We could do this on our own, Martin thought. I’m sure of it.
He reached down, grabbed the receiver and radioed for backup.
Backup appeared ten minutes later. Martin was able to hold Donne from going in until they go there.
"We can do it ourselves,” Donne said.
“It’s safer this way.”
Four more cops—armed to the teeth—appeared. Martin told them the scoop, two dealers packing their shipment. The backup was to be just that. Stay out of it, unless they were needed.
The group climbed a narrow wooden stairway to a locked door.
Martin held his gun tightly and forced his hands to stop shaking. He leaned back and kicked the rotted door in. It splintered on its hinges and fell inward.
"New Brunswick Police!” he yelled and they all flooded into the room.
Two guys in pajama pants and white T’s scrambled for the kitchen. Martin tackled and cuffed one. Donne grabbed the other. There were weapons on the counter and back up started to collect the evidence. Bags of cocaine were scattered all over the kitchen table. Martin was sure Donne would get a cut of that.
He sent Donne to clear the other rooms thinking this was one of the easiest busts he’d been involved in. That’s when the screaming started.
Martin followed the sound to the bedroom Donne was supposed to be clearing. Martin found him frozen in the doorway.
Beyond that a woman sat on the bed next to a child. She swung her right hand, open palm, across the kids face.
“This is your fault!” the woman screamed.
She swung her arm again, this time backhanding the child.
She’s off her rocker.
The kid was screaming, tears streaming down his cheeks.The woman reached her arm back again. Donne stepped forward, but Martin grabbed his arm.
“It’s not our problem,” Martin said.
The woman could have a gun on the bed. The room was cleared and Donne wasn’t clear-headed enough to realize that. Anything could happen. Donne tried to step forward again. Martin pulled him back.
“It’s not our problem.”
Donne relented and followed Martin back to the rest of the group. They divvied up the coke.
Later, in the car, Donne turned to Martin.
“She might kill that kid.”
“What do you care? You’re alive and you got your cut.”
“But the kid.”
Martin didn’t want to point out more of Donne’s coke habit and the problems it was causing today.
Instead he said, “Forget about it.”
Bill Martin would have liked nothing more than to let Donne take a shot at stopping that woman. Hell, he wanted to beat the shit out of her himself. But Carver’s orders were clear. No risks. Do the job. No more, no less.
And sometimes orders were all you could trust.