Wednesday, December 31, 2008


( Naaki Tslichi)
Christopher Blake
Taaei Doo Da. No turning back.

Everyone who lived this story, and was old enough to know all of it, is dead. Except me…and I’m dying. The injuries that forced my retirement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1984 should have already killed me. The doctors wanted to put a morphine pump in my back eight years ago…to keep me comfortable. They said six months. They were wrong. But…it’s getting close. I can feel it. Smell it. The way my Acheii, my mother’s great-grandfather could smell a storm coming on a hot, cloudless day. He was never wrong. And he taught me. The storm is coming. I don’t know how much time I’ve got before it gets here. I don’t think I can afford to wait any longer. I’ve always known I would have to tell the story. But I also knew, once I did…Taaei Doo Da. No turning back.

My birth mother was Dine. Navajo. My birth father was Bellaganno. White. A psycho, white state trooper. He beat her to death in front of me when I was little. Tried to kill me. My Acheii stopped him. I heard people whisper at my mother’s funeral. They pointed their chins at me(Dine don’t point with our fingers…it’s considered rude) and walked away. I thought they were calling me two piles of horseshit. I cried. That night, in my Acheii’s Hogan, I asked him why they called me that. He told me I listened like an old woman, not like his Aye…his grandson. Naaki Tslichi. Naaki means two. Tslichi means horseshit…but it’s also slang for dog. Two Dog. I asked him why they called me Two Dog. He said they were afraid of me.

When the Great Spirit made us, he put two dogs inside of everyone. One white. One black. The one you feed the most rules you. Most people feed their white dog the most. Only when it is fat and sleeps does their black dog come out. Some people feed their black dog the most. Like your father. When it gets strong enough, it kills their white dog. They have no good left in them. They do not fear the white dogs. They laugh at them and herd them like sheep. They only fear the two dog.”

Then why do they call me Two Dog?”

You were born under the blood moon, like your Acheii...your father was a black dog, your mother a white dog, like your Acheii…you feed both dogs, like your are not good...not are like the me.”

An older Bellagonno couple came to the reservation not long after that. Missionaries. They adopted me. My Acheii told me to go with them. They took me back to Los Angeles with them. I grew up. Got married. Had two little girls. Their mother was evil. A black dog. I went on the Sheriff’s Department. Back then, they hired you before the academy. Put you to work in Admin or one of the jails. A captain approached me. Wanted me to go undercover. Narcotics. He was the only one who would know…for my safety.

The reservation and the hood have a lot in common. You get jumped in when you’re old enough. Different ways, but still the rite of passage into manhood shit. Different language from whites. Special names different from your white name. There’s more, but you get the idea. It was a natural fit for me. And, I got lucky. Walking in the hood one day. Setting up my cover story. Pretty young black girl runs by. Two Bloods grab her. Try and force her into a car. I pulled her away. We ran down an alley. They came after us. Capping off rounds. Looked like we were goners.

I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s like everything went into slow motion. I wasn’t scared…in fact, I didn’t feel anything. I pulled out my piece(it was my dad’s gun) and took my time. I felt chunks of brick go by my head. Never panicked. Two shots at each. They both went down. My dad had always told me (my real dad, the one who raised me, not the sick fuck that raped my birth mother), “…if you have to take someone down, don’t let’em get back up…” I walked up to where they were lying on the ground. Not dead yet, but close. Shot them one more time each anyway. In the head. Now everything goes back to regular time. I hear sirens. A car pulls up. Young black guy jumps out. The girl’s older brother, B.D. OG Crip. Big timer. Pushes both of us in the car and takes off.

After that, I was golden. No undercover cop is going to walk up to two wounded suspects and put one between their eyes to finish them off, right? Yeah…fuck me. Gotta take a break from writing…take my pain pills. This shit is killing me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


OK, I’m back. Might as well tell you now, ‘cause this part ain’t in the screenplay. The end result of my injuries on the job turned out to be some type of degenerative neuropathy. Things keep shutting down. That’s what’s going to kill me. But the pain…fuck. It’s like someone injects my veins with gasoline, pours the rest over my body, and then sets it all on fire. Like I’m burning to death on the inside and outside. And writing this shit…it’s like I relive it all. Oh well…where the fuck were we, anyway?

B.D takes me back to his set. Introduces me. Everyone is suspicious of this half-breed until B.D. tells them how I smoked those two Bloods. Instant credibility. Pretty soon, I’m making buys with B.D. This is some elaborate set up they’ve got going. Too elaborate for a bunch of low level Crip gangbangers.

We rendezvous with a big semi truck late at night. Driver pops the back open for us. We unload a shit load of cartons. Factory stamped from a major pharmaceutical company. The driver then either has us rough him up, or does it to himself to make the “hijacking” look legit. We take the cartons to a house in South Central. It’s got a bomb shelter from back in the fifties built underneath. Crack open the boxes. Liquid cocaine. Hospital grade. There’s a lab set up to turn it into crack. I find out that the pharmaceutical company is being paid by the government to let their shipments get jacked, and collecting the insurance money besides. Seems the Feds, or whoever has that much juice, wants to make sure that crack becomes an epidemic in the inner cities. Pretty fucked up.

Time to report to my Captain. I go back to my piece of shit apartment in the hood. Bump into Shawna on my way out. She’s a young, single mother. Beautiful. I started falling for her the first time I saw her. I help her tuck her little boy in bed. Leave. I always take the bus. It’s hard for anyone to tail you that way. The bus makes lots of stops. You sit in the back, you can tell if someone’s on your ass. Plus, you make enough transfers, they really can’t hide. Anyway, I hook up with the captain. Tell him what’s going down…and about the two Bloods I killed. He tells me not to worry. It’s all covered. In the line of duty, blah, blah, blah…that’s when I should’ve known something was messed up with him. He tells me to keep up the great work and sends me home.

I take the bus to Orange County Airport. I’ve kept my ride in the long term lot there…again so no one can follow me. Thought I was smart. Turns out, I wasn’t smart enough, but we’ll get to that soon. I drive home. It’s after midnight. I’ve been gone this first time for over a week. The soon to be ex-wife doesn’t know I’m a cop. Sure as shit doesn’t know I’m an undercover cop with a $250,000 policy that doubles if I die in the line of duty. Bitch would’ve dropped a dime on me in a heartbeat for that kind of cash. She thinks I’m a traveling salesman now, which suits her just fine. Gives her the freedom to come and go as she pleases.

I walk in the door, and the place is a mess. Not a clean dish or glass in the house. Bugs everywhere. Half empty take out food containers on the table, the counters, and spilling out of the trash. I go through the apartment. Pissed. She’s not there. My little girl Ruby, who’s five, isn’t in her room. I start to panic. I go into my youngest daughter’s room. Rene is almost three. Still in a crib. Ruby has pulled her step-stool up to the bars and climbed in to sleep with her little sister. I go out and clean the place up.

I’ve just finished and lit a smoke when the bitch comes in the door. 4:30 in the morning. She was beautiful once, but she’s not aging well. The booze and drugs are already catching up with her. I’m about to smack the shit out of her when Ruby comes in for a glass of water. I get it and send her back to bed. Decide to just let the bitch know not to do it again, and leave it at that. That’s when things go south.

She flips me shit. Lets me know she’s going to do whatever she wants, and if that hurts or even kills them, well…too fucking bad. I snap. It’s like I’m in that alley again. Everything goes in slow-mo. I’m on her before she can blink. Pull her head back by her hair. The other hand is on her windpipe. We have our own little come to Jesus meeting. She’s never seen me like this. I can see the fear in her eyes. The smell of it coming off of her gives me a hard-on. She can’t talk. Just nods her head that she understands. I leave. It’s the last time I see her.

That's it for today...only so much I can relive at a time...

Monday, December 29, 2008


Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Back in the hood. Me and my boi B.D. are hanging on the stoop. Drinkin’ forties. Some Bloods cruise by. Payback time. They miss. I don’t. Chalk up a few more to the growing reputation of “Duece”. That’s what they call me. Our set is Second Avenue Crips. We go by Duece Crips. Nobody says “two”, so they don’t call me Two Dogs, and Duece Dogs sounds shitty, so it’s just Duece. Besides, none of them can pronounce Naaki Tslichi.

People talk about junkies like they’re pieces of shit. Some say crack is the most addictive. Others say heroin. Bullshit. The ultimate narcotic is power…and everybody’s a junkie for that, one way or the other. The ultimate power is life and death…and now I’ve got a real jonez. Women are throwing pussy at me like it’s free government cheese and I’m the only rat in town. They want to do me two, three, even four at a time…just to say they fucked Duece. It’s status for them. Other bangers see me coming, and they bail. Big men. Tough. Me, I’m five eleven and weigh a buck sixty-five soaking wet. Don’t matter. Everyone knows I don’t blink. Or miss. Or give a fuck. I’ve never been treated this way. I like it. A lot.

One of our tiny Gs fucks over some Blood associates on a nickel bag. They follow him home. He’s not there when they come rollin’ up…but his Moms and three little sisters are. The Bloods open up from their ride. Mostly automatics and shotguns. Blow the house to hell. His Moms makes it with just some scrapes. So do two of his sisters. Not the youngest. She takes two in the chest. They take her out in a body-bag that’s five times too big. She was three. Three. Fuck me.

We get the word. Find out where they’re going. An old warehouse to stash their ride. We show. There’s ten of us. Only one Blood. He pulls his piece. Shaking like a leaf as he waves it back and forth. Nobody knows what to do. Except me. You ever put your hand in water and can’t tell if it’s burning hot or freezing cold at first? That’s where I am. All I can see is that little girl. Three…just like my little Renee.

B.D and I walk up to him. I put my hands up, like I’m giving up. Make eye contact. He can’t look away. One side step forward with my right leg. My right hand closes on the cylinder. Now the gun won’t fire. My left hand under the barrel. Down with the right hand. Up with the left. I can feel the bones in his wrist and fingers break. I step across with my left foot. Left elbow straight to the nose. It breaks. He drops to the ground. I’ve got the gun. He looks up at me. Pleading with his eyes. Holding his broken wrist with the good hand. Blood from the broken nose. Tears. He’s crying. The revolver is upside down in my right hand. I pull the trigger with my little finger. Between the eyes. Reach in my pocket. Pull out a playing card. The Duece of Spades. My calling card. I want those fucking Slobs to know who did their boi. I drop the card. It floats in a pool of blood next to his sightless right eye.

It’s time to report to my captain. Back on the bus. I’m on transfer number two. In the back. Lost in my head. The bus stops. Four tiny G Crips hop on. Start fucking with some old white people. A middle aged black woman in nurse’s whites gets up. Tells them to knock it off. They push her to the floor. I’m not thinking. I stand up. Hand in my waistband.

“You in my ride motherfuckers.”

Almost in a whisper. They turn. I see the recognition in their eyes. The bus driver slams on the breaks and they rabbit off the bus. I walk over to the black woman. Help her up. Head back to my seat. I can feel her eyes on the blue bandana hanging from my back pocket…just like the ones they were carrying. She’s confused. Join the club honey.

Come in my apartment through the fire escape. I can feel someone’s there. Pull out my piece. Quiet. Then I smell it. Polo. It’s my captain. He falls out of his chair when I come up behind him. Tries to talk smack. I tell him to suck my dick. Give him my report. Then I tell him I want out. Time to be a regular Deputy. Go through the Academy. Work the jail. Ride in a black and white. He begs me to stay. Wants to know how much money I think they’re making. Again, my warning bells should have gone off, but they don’t. Finally, I tell him.

“I killed another one.”
“How many does that make, now? Four? Five?”
“Seven... I never thought you'd get over the first two...”
“Neither did I.”
“Did killing that kid bother you that much? I mean, I know the first two, but since then...”
“Killin' that kid didn't bother me at all...That's the problem.”

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I agree to stay undercover. What a dumb fuck.

Shawna and I had been seeing a lot of each other. I’d fallen in love with her. She has no idea about me being a cop…or a Crip. She and her little boy Tony, along with my little girls and my folks, are the only things keeping me sane…and that’s hanging by a thread. No one knows what I’m doing. Except my Captain. Biggest mistake of my life.

B.D. takes me for a ride. Won’t tell me where we’re going. Wind up at another house with a bomb shelter. Bigger than ours. Bunch of naked women with surgical masks processing liquid coke into crack. There’s a man walking through, supervising…and grabbing some ass. I recognize him. Well known black preacher and civil rights activist. Just then, some Bloods come in. I pull my gat. Figure they’re after me. They start to pull theirs. The “Reverend” calms the whole thing down. Tells us we’re all part of the BAF-Black African Family. No more Crips or Bloods down there. One group. Leads me and B.D. off upstairs. Tries to feed me this line of shit about how the BAF is there to “…free all people of color from the dominant power structure…”. Wants to know what I think. He laughs when I tell him it sounds like a crock of shit. Tells me I’m right. Says me and B.D. are the only one’s smart enough to figure it out. Wants me, ‘cause I can pass for white, to open the crack operations in the more upscale white areas. Gives me a Bible. It’s hollowed out starting at the 23rd Psalm…”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”. Filled with hundred dollar bills. Got to give him credit…he’s got his own style.

B.D. and I are driving back. Quiet. Then he starts asking questions.

“What'd you think?”

“About what?”

“The Rev'rund...all of it.”


“I buy all that one set shit?”

“You buy it?”
“Used them cluckheads somebody's mother...sister... somethin'...if we beatin the system, how come it's still niggers killin' niggers?...that shit ain' right man...niggers killin' niggers, we ain' beatin' shit.”

Like I told you…B.D. was my boi. B. D. stood for Brain Damage. They called him that because of all the Sherm he smoked when he was a youngster coming up. It didn’t wind up fuckin’ with him though. He was one of the smartest, best men I ever knew. God, I miss him.

It was time to check in with the Captain again. I told him all about the meeting with the Rev. How the Rev had told me he had been dicking the middle man. How with my help, he could double-dick him. Showed the Captain the hollowed out Bible with the money. He was pissed. Kept muttering about the double-dicking as he stormed out. God, was I blind.

B.D. picked me up later. Started diving. Heading out toward San Berdoo. Won’t tell me why. We pull up to this nice little house out there in a real nice neighborhood. Go inside. B.D.’s lady and two little girls…just like mine. We hang out for a few hours while he plays with his girls. I watch them while he and his lady go off fro some private time. We wait till dark to leave. Quiet on the ride back. Finally, I’ve got to ask.

“You told everybody she took'em...went back east.”

“What the fuck would you do, you had family huh? You leave'm in the hood? Ain' jus' drive-bys anymo'...they snatchin' people, hold'm fo','s fuckin' crazy.”

“Yeah...but lyin' to yo' own set...”

“I known them mothuhfuckers all my life...but they ain' jus' dealin'...they doin' the shit, all of'm...'cept' you...when you got shorties its dif'runt, you gotta be mo' careful... niggers know you be stackin', nobody safe.”

“Why you tellin' me all this shit?”
“I been thinkin'...what if somethin' happens, ya know...who'd take care o'...I gotta trus' m'boi, Deuce...shit, you saved my...”



“Fuck you.”

“ the best you ever had.”

If you've ever lived in LA you know how the Santa Ana winds whip up and drive the brush fires...that's what the pain is doing to me right now...driving the fire through me like Santa Anas...gotta stop for the night...take my pills...and maybe some Patron...

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The Santa Anas are quiet...for let's start again...

We’re back in the hood. Walking down the street to the liquor store. Everything’s got me fucked up in the head. He’s talking, but I’m not really paying attention. My radar’s not up, so I don’t see the red Bronco cruising up behind us. The homies in front of the store do, and rabbit. B.D. sees them and turns just in time to see guns coming out the windows of the Bronco. Knocks me to the sidewalk as the gunfire erupts. Broken glass from the liquor store’s windows rains all over me. The neon sign shoots fireworks as it’s blown to bits. I roll to one side. Got the gat out. Get off a couple of rounds before they squeal around the corner. That’s when I see B.D. He’s down on his stomach. Not moving. I get to him as quick as I can. Turn him over. Gaping wounds in his chest. He asks me to take care of his little girls with his dying breath. Slumps in my arms. Motherfucker died saving my life. I hear sirens. Can’t be found there. I run.

I’m hot-cold again. Only way those fucking slobs could know where we’d be was if the Rev told’em. Either he set us up, or he’s slippin’ big time. Either way, it’s time for us to get things square. I head to the dope house he runs.

I’m creepin’ through the basement when I hear voices. Hide behind some boxes. Four guys in black clothes and ski masks drag the Rev down the stairs into the basement lab. I hear one of them tell the Rev…

“He knew you were dickin' think he's gonna let you double dick'm? You lyin' sack of shit?”

The only one the Rev said “double-dick” to was me. The only person I told was my Captain. I know who the middle man is between the pharmaceutical company and the Rev. And I know I’m fucked. They put a minor beating on the Rev and leave with the boxes that have the Bibles stuffed with money. I watch out a window as they load the boxes into a van. I hear one of them say…

“God, I love fuckin’ with niggers.”

I’m pretty sure that the Rev shit his pants when I pulled him up by the huge gold chain around his neck. I tell him it’s time for confession. I’m able to persuade him it’s the right thing to do. He spills his guts like a hooker at her first confessional. Tells me everything. The whole set up. Then he tells me about the guys that just fucked him up. A group of the Deputies that work for the Captain. The most racist motherfuckers you’ll ever meet. The lead one, the “…I love fuckin’ with niggers…”, thinks Hitler and the KKK are too liberal. I let the Rev know that if he tells anybody about our little talk, I’ll front him off to every Crip, and Blood in his group. They ain’t gonna like him working with a cop. They’ll kill him. He knows it. He thinks I’ll leave now without beating him half to death…he’s wrong.

No time to think, but I have to. Shawna is waiting for me. She made a special dinner. The girls are at my folks. I don’t think the Captain knows that I’m on to him. Yet. Got to cover my ass somehow. Give myself some leverage. I stop at a store. Get some paper, an envelope and some stamps. Write down the basics of what the Rev told me. What the Captain is up to. How I’ve been working for him. I leave out the Bloods I’ve killed. Not going to put that on paper. Address it to my Dad. Mail it. Call him. I tell him there’s a package coming from me. Tell him not to open it. I’ll explain later, but…if I don’t call him tomorrow at this time, he’s to open it, make a copy, and send it to the LA Times. He doesn’t ask any questions, except if I’m OK. I lie.

Get to my apartment. That’s when I realize I’m covered in blood. B.D.’s blood. Can’t let Shawna see me like this. Go up the fire escape. Tear my clothes off in the bathroom. Go out to change. That’s when they jump me.

Fuck. Time for more pain pills.
The doctors tell me that the nerve damage, especially the pain it brings, is amplified by my PTSD. All I know is, writing this shit down is killing me.

There’s four of them. They’re on me before I can blink. Cuff me to a chair. The Captain comes in. He looks pretty happy. Cheshire grin. Thanks me for helping him. Lot’s more money for him now. I quote the exact dollar amount. He thinks I’m guessing. I tell him about being at the Rev’s when his boys were there. They tell him I’m full of it. I prove it by knowing exactly how many boxes of Bibles they took, and the exact dollar amount. He tells me that information won’t help me now. I lie. I tell him I’ve written a report every night. Mailed it to a PO Box. I call the place every day. The day I don’t make that call, the contents of the PO Box get sent to the Times, and the local TV news stations. His boys think I’m bluffing. I can tell he’s not so sure. He pulls a tape player from his pocket. Hits play. It’s my voice…copping to killing those Bloods.

“We seem to be at an impasse...any suggestions?”

“Go fuck yourself.”
“Anatomically impossible I'm afraid...'ve been wanting to join the rank and file...there's an academy class starting next week...I'll make the arrangements...I do hope you've been keeping in shape, Jay...I hear they do a lot of running...Give him something to remember me...”

He leaves. They drag me and the chair in the bathroom. Hold me down. Prop my leg on the bath tub. Push down on it. I hear something pop, and it feels like a railroad spike is being driven through my knee. They leave me like that. I don’t scream until they’re gone. Then I cry like a third grade girl. Someone comes running in. I figure they’re back to finish me off. It’s Shawna. She heard me.

The ride to my real home is quiet. She doesn’t say much after I tell her I’m an undercover cop, separated, with two little girls. Not what she expected. I figure it’s over for us. She tries to help me to my door, but I push her away. Go inside and slam the door on her. Call my folks. Tell them to bring the girls home. Drag my leg to the fridge. Patron on ice. I start to get fucked up while I’m waiting.

The Santa Anas are back...with a vengeance...and that Patron I just wrote about is soundin' mighty good...gotta break for now...

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I always get the shit jobs. B.D.’s lady and little girls don’t know what happened to him. Nobody in the set knows how to get in touch with her. She has to know. I call. We both cry. He was my boi.

My Dad comes in with the girls. Tucks them in bed. Comes back out to talk.

“They're wanna talk about it?”

“ Nothin' to talk about...supposed to start the academy next week...leg's fucked I'm gettin' fucked up.”

“That isn't going to help, you know.”

“Ain' gonna hurt either.”

“Maybe if you told me what's going on, at least we could pray.”

“Pray? Pray?...oh yeah, the big fuckin' cure for everything...gimme a fuckin' break...shit, God wouldn't listen t'me...not anymore... “

“He'll always listen.”

“You don't know what I've done...who I've become...hell, I don't even know anymore.”

“You're wrong...I do know... you're my son.”

I wake up the next morning in my recliner. Hung over. The doorbell’s ringing. I can feel the girls behind me. They run away laughing. I drag myself to the door. It’s Shawna. She starts to laugh when she sees me. I can’t figure out what’s so fucking funny at a time like this. She’s staring at my hair…and my goatee. I run my hand through my hair. You know those little pink and yellow plastic barrettes little girls wear? Well, there’s got to be fifty in my hair…and some in my goatee. I holler at the girls as I let Shawna in.

Shawna is looking through a photo album with the girls when I get out of the shower.

“Your mama's very pretty...Where is she?”

Ruby answers first.
“She left.”

Then Renee.

“I hope daddy don't let her come back this time.”

“Me too.”

Shawna looks from one to the other as they continue to turn pages in the photo album. She gently kisses each of them on the top of the head. God, they sound so much older than three and five. What kind of fucking life am I giving them? My Dad comes in. He’s brought me my grandfather’s can. The handle is a beautifully carved wolf’s head.

“Uh...Dad...last night I, Uh...well, it was...I didn't mean...”

“I know.”

“Pray for me? ...I start the academy Monday...”

“Sure...always do.”

The girls introduce him to Shawna. He’s just as taken with her as they are. Shawna is a nurse, so she knows how to wrap my knee. She’s almost finished when my Dad leaves. What a man.
I remember when he died; someone asked me if I thought I could fill his shoes. Shit…I was never good enough to even shine them…

I’ve got less than a week to get my mind right for the Academy. I know that the Captain is going to find some way to fuck with me while I’m in it. Someone on that staff is going to be out to get me. The question is, who? If I don’t figure it out, I’m fucked…and there may be more than one, for all I know. I’m going to have to focus every bit of my being on not limping. I can’t say that the injury is job related…and if they know my leg’s fucked, they’ll assume it’s a non-related, pre-existing condition. That will get me fired. No badge. No legal right to carry a gun. I’ll be looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have to make it. As long as I’m on the job, I’ve got enough juice to maybe hold my own. Maybe.

I’ve got one more job before I can get ready for the Academy. B.D.’s funeral. Fuck me. Got to take a Patron break before I can write about this.

OK…couple of shots down. Now let’s see if I can do it.

The mourners are gathered at his coffin. It’s a grave side service. An older woman from the local AME Church sings the last stanzas of "AMAZING GRACE". The casket is awash in a sea of blue and white flowers. A low hum of sobbing subs for her back-up singers. All of the guys from our set stand in a phalanx surrounding the scene. They’re all standing at a semblance of parade rest. Their heads move like radar, scanning the horizon. The woman finishes her song. The group of mourners slowly disperses. Two older women come to help his wife and daughters. A small honor guard of the gang encircles them on their way to the motorcade.

Cotton, Dobie and Stump approach me. They’re the only OGs not doin’ time or takin’ their own dirt nap. I’m standing by the casket. Cotton and Dobie each put a hand on my shoulders, and whisper to me. Tell me it’s time to go. I shake my head. I tell them I got word the shooters were brought in from New York. Avenue Bloods. I’m going after them. Ask if they want to come. I know they won’t. Everyone knows B.D. was my boi. They’ll get to run things at least while I’m gone. If I don’t make it back? Better for them. The three look at each other. Walk away. Leave me alone at the grave. Most of the floral arrangements are accompanied by ribbons with bible verses. I take one of the ribbons. "JOHN 15:13". I reach down and wipe some dirt from the top of the casket. Put the ribbon in my pocket. Wash some of the dirt off with my tears.

Later that night. I’m coming out of the kitchen. Shawna has the ribbon with the Bible verse on it. Looking it up in her Bible. I quote that part that counts.

“Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends...”

I told you my folks were missionaries. I know the Bible as well as I know my guns. Maybe better. Don’t seem to help much right now. We haven’t really talked about what I’ve done. She has a right to know. I spill my guts. Everything. When I’m done, she tells me I was justified. She doesn’t get it.

“First two were of'em weren't.”

“But babe...”

“Let it go.”

“Talk to me Jay.”

“I had a dog growing up on the reservation...well, half dog, half wolf. Good dog. My dog. Out hiking one day. A pack of wolves trailed us. He takes off after the pack. For me. Didn't see him for a while. Thought he was a goner. Came back all bloody. Cleaned him off careful. Figured he was chewed up pretty bad. Not a mark on him. He was never the same after that.”

“I don't understand what...”

“He used to sneak out at night. Come back just before dawn. Muzzle all bloody. Everybody was scared of him. Wouldn't let anyone close to him. Growled at everybody. Except me. My Acheei told me, once they get a taste for blood, they never go back.”

“What’s that got to do with you?

“I got the taste…God forgive me...and I like it.”

That pretty much ended the talk for the night. She stayed though. I’ve wished ever since she hadn’t…but she did.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


When I get back from the barber the next day, she doesn’t even recognize me. The long, shoulder length wavy hair is gone. High and tight now. No more mustache or goatee. Face is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. B.D had pierced my left ear with an ice pick when I first got jumped in. The earring is the last to go. Shawna tells me I look ten years younger. That she wouldn’t have known me if she hadn’t seen it. Hopefully I won’t bump into any of my homies on the job, but… I figure if she wouldn’t know me, they sure as shit won’t.

Monday morning, O’dark thirty. First day of the Academy. I’m in the parking lot alone. Getting my mind right. I thought I was scared when I went down in the hood for the first time. That was nothing compared to the fear I feel now. The thought of running on my bad leg…fuck me. Have to make it. I just have to. I make up my mind right then and there that the only way I’m leaving is in a body bag. No quit. Taaei Doo Da. No turning back. I start to sing a song I remember from Sunday school. Shi Kad Jesus Bikee Yishaat doo. I have decided to follow Jesus. I wonder just how hard God must be laughing. Pretty funny to be turning to Him now. I light another smoke. A car pulls up. Black guy gets out. Tall and lean. Sits on the hood of his car. Lights a cigarette. Long drink from the short dog in his other hand. I’m guessing it’s Hennessey, maybe Courvoisier. Too old to be a cadet. He walks like a big cat. Saunters toward the offices. The other cadets start showing up a half hour later.

First class “A” formation. We’re divided into platoons. All of the DIs are storming through their platoons. Yelling. Screaming. Right in their cadets’ faces. No sign of our DI yet. Can’t look anywhere but straight ahead. Out of the corner of my eye I see him. This can’t be good. It’s the Hen drinking Brother from the parking lot. This is my DI? This guy’s got HOOD written all over him. Comes up to the first cadet. Leans in close. Whispers. I hear the cadet bellow, “Sir yes sir.” The DI whispers again and the cadet is down doing push ups. This repeats with every cadet in our platoon. Now it’s my turn. He leans in. Whispers.

“Do you like me boy?”

I know where this is going.

“Sir, no sir.”

“Wha' don'...well, why not?”

“Sir, because liking leads to loving, and loving leads to fucking, and I have no desire to fuck you, Sir.”

“Smart boys don' last wid on borrowed time, Norris. Now, drop and give me fifty anyway.”

If this is the guy the captain has out for me, I’m in deep shit.

Later in the day. First PT. The run is only going to be three and a half miles. In formation. Cadets are dropping like flies. The pain in my knee is beyond describing. Gritting my teeth. My DI suddenly appears at my side. The name’s Mahoney. Staring right at me as we run.. It’s right of manhood time again. Not for the weak. I go someplace else in my head. The grimace disappears. So does he.

End of the first day. They let us go. I get a couple of Squirt sodas from the machine. Chug the first one. Head back to my car. Get inside. Wait till everyone leaves. Light a smoke and open the soda. I’m sure no one can see me now. I let the pain in. Embrace it like a lover. Realize I’m going to repeat this ritual every day for eighteen weeks. Cry. Shawna and the girls are waiting for me when I get home. Her little boy Tony is with his grandma. I put a big ass smile on my face. The girls buy it. They’re young. Shawna doesn’t. Not for a minute. Get the girls to bed. Shawna stole some stuff from the clinic she works at. Gets out a needle. Looks like you could use it to crotchet with. Pushes into the joint. Screws a syringe on. Draws the fluid out of my knee. Puts ice on it. Starts stroking what little hair I’ve got. Sings softly. “Nature Boy”. Another ritual that will be repeated for eighteen weeks.

I can still hear her singing that damn song. I miss her.

End of the second week now. We started with over two hundred cadets. Already lost sixty-five. I’m hangin’. No thanks to Mahoney. Third day of the Academy, he makes me first platoon sergeant. So, besides being responsible for my platoon, I’m responsible for the whole class if the class sergeant isn’t there…and the men and women they make class sergeant in the first ten weeks all quit from the stress. That’s why they put them there. To get them to quit. The platoon sergeants of the other platoons get replaced every few days. Not me. Thanks Mahoney, you fucking prick. That’s what I think at the time anyway.

Four weeks in. Still making it. Somehow. Mahoney has decided on a new approach to fuck with me. We start PT with a run. Finish with stress-recovery-stress in the gym. Every run starts off going up the “Bitch”. That’s what we call it. The Academy back then was at Biscaluz Center in East LA. There was a road that ran from it to Sibyl Brand, the women’s jail, on the other side of a hill. That road went up at a forty-five degree angle for about a hundred and fifty yards, leveled off somewhat for ten, then went up at a steeper angle for the last one-fifty. There was a gate at the top. Locked. It was supposed to be relocked after we went through. They would finish every run with a cool down walk before we hit the gym. You needed it just so you wouldn’t drop dead doing stress-recovery-stress. Mahoney decided someone needed to go back up to that gate and make sure it was locked during the cool down walk. Every day. Guess who? Fuck me.

Start of the fifth week. Still making it somehow. I get called into the DI’s office. Only one DI in there. Not Mahoney. This guy’s big, blonde, blue eyes. Looks like a poster boy for the Aryan nation. Wants to chat. Not any real choice, so I listen.

“Sir, Cadet Norris reporting as ordered, Sir.”

“At ease, Norris...Mahoney's got a real hard-on for know why?”

I think I do, but I’m not talking.

“Sir, no Sir.”

“I said, at academics in the class... he knows you'll climb the ladder fast...drives him crazy... he's been here four and a half years trying to make Sergeant ...never will...he'd love to break you...get you to quit...I'm gonna try and get you transferred to my platoon...see what I can do...that'll be all.”

Maybe there’s hope after all. That night the girls want me to say prayers with them before bed. On my knees. I can’t tell them no. Next morning I’m back in the DI’s office. They’re all there. Mahoney looks like someone just fucked his wife and kicked his dog to death. Great. He waves a piece of paper in my face. Screaming at me. I’ve never heard him raise his voice before.

“I'm the ramrod of this staff...I approve all transfers, or they don' fly...”

He crumbles the paper into a tight ball. Throws it in my face.

“Tha's the only way yo' transfer'll ever get the fuck outta my office...”

I hear him yell at the DI who tried to get me transferred as I’m going out the door.

“Don' you ever fuck with one o' my men...'less you wanna fuck with me... you got that, Wonder Bread?”

Thank you mister DJ. The hits just keep on coming.

I get to the Academy before anyone the next morning. I don’t see Mahoney’s ride. Maybe this other DI can figure out a way to help me. I go into the office quiet, praying Mahoney isn’t hiding out in there somewhere. I hear a voice. Someone talking on the phone. I get close. It’s the DI that wants to “help” me. He has his back to me. Doesn’t know that I’m there. It’s on speaker. I know the voice on the other end. The captain. My fucking captain.

“Well, how’d it go?”

“Better'n if the transfer had worked...Yes, I'm sure... pissed?... Mahoney'll never let'm make it now... then I told'm that you wanted Norris to make it...fuckin' kiss of death...”

That’s all I need to hear. I resist my first impulse to go over and blow his fucking brains out. Knowledge is power. I sneak back out. Mahoney may be fucking with me, but not for the captain. This piece of shit is working for him. I need time to think. My world has turned inside out in a heartbeat. I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my balls. I can deal with this asshole later. Later, however, winds up being that afternoon. At the Academy. In the gym. In front of the whole class and all of the DIs. Me and my temper. Should have been the end for me. Thank God for Mahoney.

Defensive tactics in the gym. Practicing weapon take away. Guess which DI is leading…that’s right, Hitler’s wet dream boy. None of the cadets have been able to take the gun away from him. They haven’t been taught yet. I learned on the street from one of my bois. They practice this shit in the joint. It’s how I killed that young Blood at the warehouse. He asks for one more volunteer. Big mistake. I get up. Stand in front of him. Hands up. Fingers wiggling. Fucker winks at me. Starts talking to the class.

“The object of this demonstration…”

First thing I learned was to get the guy with the gun talking. People can’t seem to pull the trigger when their mouth is moving. Even if they can, they’re too slow. I turn my body sideways. Forward with my right foot. Right hand closes over the cylinder, left grabbing the underside of the barrel. Down on the cylinder, up on the barrel. I feel the bones in his wrist and fingers snap from the sudden pressure. Forward with my left foot, left elbow in a tight arc at his head. My elbow connects with his nose. Blood spurts on my uniform as I rip the gun from his hand. He drops to his knees, clutching his broken limb to his chest. His head is bowed. The blood from his nose flows freely. I grab a handful of his hair. Yank his head back. Level the revolver at the side of his face. Begin to squeeze the trigger. Just as the hammer starts to go forward, Mahoney is there. He and I face each other, both holding the gun. I don’t blink. Neither does he.

“Everybody in the!”

The class hesitates for a second between "showers" and "now". Then they rush toward the locker room. Mahoney and I are still locked eye to eye. The other DIs have gone over to the dirt bag. Try to get him to his feet, and out of the gym. Mahoney whispers in my ear.


I slowly release my grip on the gun. Mahoney lets it fall to his side. I begin the long walk to the locker room. I look back over my shoulder. The only reason the gun didn’t go off was Mahoney got the web of his hand between the hammer and the firing pin on it’s way down. Other wise, that DI is dead. Blanks at that range, to the head, will still kill you. I see Mahoney pull the hammer back with his free hand. He hasn’t taken his eyes off of me.

I hit the showers. The other cadets avoid me like I’m a leper at a hot tub party. Don’t blame them. It’s over for me.

I wait through my shower to get called in to the office and fired. Nothing. In the classroom. Nothing. EOW formation. Released for the day. Still nothing. I figure I’ll get the call at home. Nope. Must want to do it in front of the class the next day. Make an example out of me. Shawna tells me we’ll make it somehow. I don’t know how to tell her she’s wrong.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


At the Academy the next morning. Mahoney calls me into his office before start of day. I expect the axe. He’s about ready to talk when some of the other DIs come in. They look at me like I’ve got foam coming out of my mouth. Mahoney takes me by the arm. We go for a walk.

“That was a hell of a move yesterday...where'd you pick it up?”
“I read a lot, Sir.”

“Shit ain't in no book.”

We size each other up. Neither one is what the other expected. He tells me about his past with the captain. Stepped on the captain’s dick at a hostage shootout. On TV. Live TV. That’s why he’s been here four and a half years trying to make sergeant. The captain won’t let him. He fails the oral part of the exam by one point. Every time. My class is going to be his last. Going back to the street. Now it’s my turn. Last time I trusted somebody it was the worst mistake of my life. My head says don’t…my gut says go. I glorify my gut. Tell him everything. Everything.

“That’s one of the strangest fuckin' stories I ever'd you know how to act?”

“Hood ain't much dif’runt from the reservation...lotta the same rules.”

“No shit.”

“Yeah...get jumped in when you're old enough...don't ask questions... dif’runt language...special names... you'd be surprised.”

“Why'd you go it alone?”

“Noticed a couple’ a secretaries in personnel had gang tattoos...thought I was bein' smart.”

“You ain't the first one to fuck up by bein' too smart.”

He lets me know he’s got my back. I believe him. Thirteen weeks later, I graduate. Off to the jail.
Haven’t been working the jail very long when I get called into the Doc’s office. They want to check on an injury I reported in the second week of the Academy that’s just come to light. Seems my DI covered it up. He filed it when he resigned to go work for the DA’s office. Mahoney really has my back. I play along.

“Sorry...still can't believe that D.I. denied you treatment...any injury, especially to a...he's lucky he's no longer with the the hell'd you finish the last sixteen weeks?”

“It’s just mind over matter.”

“A positive mental attitude can...”

“No, no...They didn't mind...and I didn't matter.”

He laughs that little nervous laugh people do when they’re afraid. Tells me I need surgery. No shit, really? I’ll be good as new in eight weeks. Lying sack of shit. The fix is already in, and I don’t have a clue.

The next eight weeks are golden. Shawna, my girls and Tony. We’re together all the time. I told her once it was too good to last. She laughed. She said we had a lifetime to go. Lives can be short though. Turns out it was the lull before the storm. The leg doesn’t get better. I rehab it like a motherfucker. Do more quad lifts than I can count. Build the muscle back…but the knee keeps going out on me. The Doc’s draining 100 CCs of blood and fluid out of the knee three times a week. Still tells me things are OK. Cocksucker was on the take. So much for the Hippocratic Oath.

At the end of the eight weeks, I’m back to work…and the leg’s for shit. Well, I’ve got enough juice to get a cake job. Besides, the captain of the jail likes me. I know how to treat my informants…and they give me good shit…makes the captain look good. He loves the press.

A couple of months go by. The leg’s not getting any better, but I’m working the khaki dorms or the loading dock, so it’s all good. The Khakis are all short timers…they don’t want any trouble. No fights. No shanks. Just a little peach jack every once in a while. They make a pretty good brew out of it. Sweet, but potent. I never confiscate all of it. Let’em keep a taste. They’re happy. Things run smooth. Then the shit hits four fans…and I’m in the middle.

Sergeant calls me aside after briefing one morning. Tells me I’ve been transferred to twenty-three hundred. My balls climb up to my throat.

“I’ve been down here for over three months... I've got seniority on half the crew... why me?”

“It was thought, with your experience...”

“Who the fuck you tryin' to kid? Huh? You think I don't know about twenty-three hundred? That's where they send fuck-ups...hell, it's been on lock-down since before I got here...every couple weeks a deputy gets jumped...and me with my leg like this.. That’s like havin' a blind man with the hick-ups give you a shave before you get pushed in the fuckin' shark tank.”

“It's outta' my hands, Norris.”

I head to the captain’s office. Gonna get this shit straightened out right now. Blow by the secretary. You probably know who is inside. I didn’t. My captain Got himself transferred to the jail.

Fuck me.

“Long time, no see, the hell are you, huh? time for pleasantries...same old
Jay...well... what can I do for ya? a problem?...that's what I'm here for, ya know?...just to help...anything you just come see door's always open.”

I’m in really deep shit now. Twenty-three hundred is on the old side of the jail. Set up for one hundred inmates in single man cells. There’s two hundred and fifty there now. So overcrowded, they’ve got them sleeping on bunk beds on the freeways. Most of them are bone 187. Murderers. At least half are in on multiple counts. Nothing to lose. They’ve been on lock down for six months…which means they only get out to go to court. No stores. No visits. No roof time or phones. Fuck, they even bring chow in to these motherfuckers. Every time they get off of lock down, they assault another Deputy. And they’re do to get off of lock down in ten days. Did I mention I was fucked?

First day in twenty-three hundred. My new home. The inmates are teeth fucking me. They figure I must be a fish Deputy. Working the off the street program. No Academy and no training. That’s the only kind they send down here. Cannon fodder.

First thing I notice is the khaki trustees. Most modules on old side are allowed to make trustees out of the inmates from that module. Not here. Not with so many 187s and all the lock downs. These khakis look fat and happy. Time to find out why. Time to go to school…if I want to live. New jungle. Same rules.

I do research on my inmates over the next few days. Other than that, just fly low and slow. Let things stay the way they were until I’m ready. No Deputy has walked these rows while they’re on lock down. Too afraid of getting jumped. I decide to play a hunch. Wait till the khakis are at chow. Walk one of my upper rows. No freeway bunks up here. Go out the back door. Down the stairs. The back doors have a small glass window. Covered with paper. I peel back a corner and wait. Fifteen minutes later the khakis are back. Two come down that row. Mopping. Never occurs to them I’m not on break, let alone watching from here. No one goes backside at twenty-three hundred. Too dangerous. Too dangerous not to, for me. Observation time.

I told you what inmates lose on lock down. When you’re on the ins, you’ll do almost anything for the things that remind you of being on the outs. Of being human. Candy bars. Smokes. Getting word out to who ever you care about. The sun on your face. Air that’s not recycled. Fresh. These men haven’t had that for six months. Six fucking months. Can you imagine that? If you said yes, and you haven’t done time…you’re lying to yourself. What would you pay for any of that?

In nineteen eighty three, in twenty-three hundred, you’d pay…
$5 for a candy bar.
$7.50for a magazine…Playboys $5 extra.
$10 for a pack of smokes.
A message out? Priceless. Whatever they ask. Including assaulting a Deputy when you get off of lock down.

Those khakis were rolling in it. Four khakis. Two hundred and fifty inmates. The inmates could get money off of their “books” even on lock down with a kite. Do the math. I watched the money change hands. Saw where the khakis hid it. Waited till they were gone. Went back to my booth.

How do you turn this to your advantage?

I get in touch with Mahoney over at the DA’s office. He can get me info on the sly. I’ve got the inmates pegged I want. Time to see if I’m right. Mahoney tells me I am. Wants to know how I knew who to pick for what I’m planning.

“I read a lot.”

“Shit ain’t in no book, Jay.”

“Don’t read books…read people.”

He wishes me luck. My plan is simple: Catch the khakis with too much money. Roll them up. Replace them with my own trustees. From twenty-three hundred. Use the killers that the other inmates are too afraid to fuck with. A million to one shot. Time to roll the dice.

I call the rover deputies in the next day. Have them frisk the khakis. They don’t find anything. The khakis are smiling at me. Stupid fish Deputy. I make them drop their pants. There’s a small bag sewn into the crotch of the pants for each khaki…and two small ball bearings. Makes the Deputies think their touching…well, you get the idea. Above the ball bearings is their stash. They each have over a thousand in cash. I told you to do the math. They ain’t smiling now. The rovers roll them up. On their way to thirty-three hundred. The “behavior modification module.” We call it the hole. Ten days on jute balls…burnt soy meat loaf…and time added to their sentences. I think they like me so much now, they’d like to have sex with me. Too bad for them, I don’t swing that way. Time for part two.

I rack my inmates out. Send them in the dayroom. All two fifty. Toss my keys to one of the rovers. The last thing I hear going in the door is from his partner.

“It's his fuckin' funeral, man.”

Must be my boyish charm. Always endears me to people. I lock myself in. They’re looking at me like I’m a piece of raw meat…and they’re the lions…and nobody’s fed them for a long fucking time. Still, they’re curious. They wait. Watch. Listen.

“ of today, we start from are no longer on lock-down, at least when I'm here...there will be five minute phone calls for each of you will get stores three times a week... roof time...twice a week… and for special events TV time.”

“Like Soul Train?”

“Like Soul Train...I'm not doing you any favors... these are all things you should get...don’t fuck with me and I won’t fuck with you.”

“What a buster.”

“Excuse me?”

“He say you a buster...uh...that mean you awright...real, you know...bustin' down the walls an shit...a tough muthuh fuckuh.”

“Really? Wow...gee, thanks...I, uh...don't know what to say…How many
of you guys really think I'm a buster?”

Almost everyone raises their hands. I motion to the biggest inmate in the room to come up to the front. The atmosphere is like a carnival. When he gets close, I put my hand out. Smile as big as I can. He sticks his hand out to me. I grab his wrist suddenly with both hands, bend it over backward, and push up on it. It breaks. Then I grab him by his corn-rows, and slam him face first into the wall. Everyone is stunned.

“Don't ever fucking dis me again...not in my got that? I'll punk you ways you never even dreamed of.”

“We already locked up, muthu fuckuh... you can't do shit.”

A new leader speaks. I’m ready. I reach out and snatch off his wristband. Take out my lighter. Burn it.

“Now you can't leave the module.”

Pull his JRC from my pocket. Read his name and horsepower. Burn that.

“Now, you ain't here...I drop a dime... little gal I know downtown punches you up on the computer...types in-released,, you don't even exist.”

“You can't pull tha' shit, man...I be hollerin' an shit...deputy come and…”

They’re not all stupid. One of his buddies has it figured out.

“And tell you to shut the fuck up... nobody done a head count since I been
here...only way they know you here is by your wristband or jail card...or when you get called to court... an' if you get punched out of the system downtown, you ain' gonna get called to, sit the fuck down down and shut up. We listen’ Deputy.”

“First time somebody fucks up, in any way, all of you will lose that privilege for one week...second time, you'll lose all privileges...for a month.”

”How you gonna run all this Deputy?”

”I'm not...your trustees will.”

”Come on, deputy...them khakis'll fuck it up, man.”

”They're gone.”

”Yeah, but the new ones ain' gonna be no better.”

”Ain't gonna be no new khakis. The new trustees are in this room.”

”Deputy Norris...I ain' dissin' ya... but we all Bone One-Eighty-Seven. They don' let us be no trustees.”

”This is my ride...I pick who drives….at least on my shift. Gonna be one for each over them...Mister King is trustee for his side. Mister Tatupu is trustee for, let's see if...”

”Excuse me said they gonna be one over us...who the las' one?”

”The number one trustee is Mister Folger. Just remember...'till you catch the chain...ain' no East rollin' Avenues. You wanna be down fo' Deuce Trey. It's the only set you got right now. We all doin' time, gentlemen...we all doin' time.”

All of the inmates file out of the day room. Except one. They all have their hands in their pockets. Quiet. Orderly. The five deputies waiting in the module watch them go down their rows, then look at each other in amazement. The lone inmate with me is Billie Joe Folger. Second Street Slasher. His record says he killed eight bums downtown with a blade. Carved them up real bad. Word on the street is different. The word is he wouldn’t shuffle and bow enough for some LAPD dicks. They jumped him without badging. He put five of them in the hospital before one got his badge out. Then he went like a lamb. Did I mention he did all of it bare-handed?

Billie Joe Folger. Age: 48. Five eleven. A buck seventy-five. Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. Lived the last fifteen years before he got popped in Chinatown. They call him the Black Dragon. Has a ninth degree black belt in seven different martial arts. Been in on trial for five years. Refused a plea that would have had him out in seven with good behavior, so they’re trying all eight counts separate. Already found guilty on five. First four years he was here he was in High Power…seventeen hundred. A lieutenant’s escort. Every time he left his cell, he was in cuffs, chained at the waist, knees and feet…guarded by one lieutenant, two sergeants and four deputies. Now he’s old news, so the captain dumped on me. His mistake. Folger wants to talk.

“Why me?”


“King and Tatupu...wise choices...don' know how you knew...but, wise choices.”


“Why me?”

“King is a field marshal for the BGF. Tatupu sits on the council of five of the Samoan brotherhood. Nobody in here wants to fuck with either one of them…and neither one of them want to fuck with you.”

“How could you know all of that?”

“I read a lot.”

“You ain’t gonna find that shit in any book, Deputy.”

“You in or not?”

“I’m in.”

We go out. The inmate who’s wrist I broke is waiting at the end of his row with King. Asks to go to the hospital ward. 7700. Tells me, after a sharp nudge on the broken limb from King, that he fell out of his bunk. I let him go. Things are starting to run smooth already.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Don't know how much I can write today...pain is killing me...

Shawna thinks I’m crazy, but she backs me. I don’t sleep much that night. I know the first day is going to be the hardest.

Start the next morning with phones and stores. I’ve got five pay phones inside of the module. The do stores right outside the door of twenty-three hundred today. I start them on the phones. Five at a time. Five minutes each. King and Tatupu run the phones. Folger runs the guys out to the store. Smooth for the first couple of hours. Then we have our first test. King calls time on the phones. One guy won’t get off. Big ass Samoan. King tries again. Guy shrugs him off. Tatupu comes over. Rips the phone off of the wall and beats the dude with it. Drags him down the row. Five minutes later, the beaten Samoan is on his knees in front of my booth.

“I won' evuh mess up on the phone again...evuh...may I please go to Doctor?...I fell outta my bunk.”

“ He one clumsy muthuh fuckuh, deputy.”

Tatupu smiles when he says it. He’s proven they’ll police themselves to get their privileges. This is a scene that repeats itself numerous times over the next couple of months. I had power on the street. Because of what I could do. This…fuck. If I let these motherfuckers know I want someone fucked up…or dead, they’ll do it. No questions. I should be appalled…but I’m not. I like it. I like it a lot. That’s the one thing Shawna never understood about me. She never saw my black dog…didn’t want to believe it was there. I loved her for that.

Things run smooth for a while. The inmates aren’t fucking with me. Hell, they bring me extra info just to stay on my good side. They know I won’t rat them out. The other Deputies don’t know what to make of me, but what the fuck do I care? Nobody was jumping ship to bail my ass out when the captain fucked me…and everybody knew he was, just not why. It’s not like I was Mr. popularity before anyway. This is about survival…and I’ve got major trust issues.

Folger has taken me under his wing. We go in the dayroom alone for one hour every day. He can tell my leg is fucked up, something about my chi being off. He’s teaching me how to protect myself. Shit you wouldn’t believe. Not departmentally approved shit, mind you, but quick. Lethal. We’re in on one of our sessions. School’s in. The master speaks.

“You gotta understand where they comin' from...what they hooked on...the ultimate narcotic is power... the ultimate power is life and death...on the outs, each one of'm respected... here, they jus' a face in the crowd again...tha's a hell'f a Jones to kick.”

“I know.”

“Leg's gettin' worse, ain't it? Tha's why I been teachin' you all this...nothin' in the shit, you gotta finish it quick...with whatever's available.”

He gets up. Walks over to another table. There are games on it: dominoes, checkers, a deck of cards, a Scrabble game. My cigarettes and matches are on the table too. And my lunch; a sandwich and an orange. Billy Joe picks up the book of matches. Quickly rolls it into a tight tube. Shows it to me. He points first to his temple, then to his eye, then to his windpipe. In a silent blur, he lunges at the table. The match book is buried almost to the hilt in the orange. Next, he picks up a card from the deck. Shows it to me. He points at his throat, then his eyes. Another silent blur, this time the hand holding the card cuts through the air like a scythe. The orange wobbles a little, but otherwise looks no different.

“You been in here four and a half years, Billie're bound to be a little rusty.”

Billy Joe reaches over and picks up the orange. He holds it out for me to see. Squeezes it firmly between his thumb and index finger. The orange is cut is so deep, the pressure of his thumb and index finger causes it to gape open like a mouth. I’ve never seen anything like that. Before or since.

“I can't afford to get rusty, Deputy Norris. Neither can you.”

That's enough for now...Patron and pills time...

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It’s about a week later when things start to turn to shit. The captain’s been waiting for an opening, and I give it to him. I come back from chow one day to find Mr. King handcuffed to the bars of my booth. There’s a group of young deputies around him. They’ve taken pictures of his wife out his property. One of them rubs the picture on his crotch. Makes some remarks about big nigger lips on his dick feeling good. Tells King he just might go visit her. I should have let it go…but I can’t.

I take the young Deputy in the dayroom like we’re old friends. Then I fuck him up. Nothing that will show, but he’s not going to have, or enjoy, sex for a long time. Take his cuff keys and leave him there. I unlock King when I come out. Have him pick up his shit and send him back down his row. The other young Deputies finally go in after their boi…not happy with me when they come out. Fuck them…and fuck me for caring. I know where they’re going when they leave. Just don’t know how the captain’s going to play it. I find out the next day.

The next morning. I walk to my locker to get dressed for work. The locker is caved in. Torn halfway off of the top hinge. Nigger Lover painted on it in white paint, along with a cross and a swastika. A few other deputies walk by. Say nothing. It’s started. In my booth later. Transition day. Everyone gets new assignments. The Deputy in twenty-one hundred is gone. Fish there now. Getting trained. His first day in the jail. No replacement for me. The phone rings. Back in the day, you could only get calls from within the jail. The voice on the other end tells me I better start wearing my vest to work. I know who it is. One of the captain’s crew. They’d been working swings. Now they’re on days. It’s on.

A week goes by. Phone calls everyday in my booth. The threats get worse. EOW. End of Watch. Leave for the day. Walk to my car. Deputies’ only lot. Patrolled by Deputies. Walk down a row of cars. Takes out my keys. My Blazer looks like something out of Selma in the sixties. All of the tires slashed. NIGGER LOVER, I SUCK BLACK DICKS, and other epitaphs painted on. Shit spread outside and inside of the car. The tires are slashed. The trunks been jimmied. Even slashed the spare. The Deputies won’t take a report for my insurance. Tell me to call LAPD. I’m alone. I tell Shawna the car was stolen. Haven’t told her what’s going on. Don’t want her to worry. I’ve just told her to keep everything locked tight when I’m gone.

Another week. The calls haven’t stopped. Even my inmates know something’s up. Word travels fast in the jail. The other Deputies don’t even talk to me now. Word gets back to me that the captain’s crew is spreading rumors I’m a rat. That’s the ultimate kiss of death. I go home that night. The front door is wide open. Fuck. I pull my piece and go inside. Room to room. Nothing. No one. I hear a noise out front. Put my gun to the head of the person coming in. It’s Shawna.

“What the fuck is goin' on?”

“I just took the kids to your folks.”

“And you left the fuckin' door open? Goddamn it Shawna...haven't I…”


“...a thousand times...”


“...the goddamn doors?...Huh?”



“I got a phone call today...he called me a...said he wanted to...he told me what the girls were wearing at the park today. How pretty they were. What a shame it would be if…”
She’s crying now. I comfort her the best I can. Don’t sleep that night.

You fuckers want to play? Let’s fucking play.

At briefing the next morning. The sergeant gets done. Asks if anyone has anything. I stand up. Tell him and the other brass there they might want to leave before I start. Most of them do. Just me and the other Deputies now…and the captain’s crew.

“Two weeks ago, my locker got trashed...I said nothing...last week, my the Deputies only lot... I said nothing...I ain't a snitch... yesterday, somebody fucked up...big time…they called my home...scared my lady...threatened my kids. If anything happens to any of them…if they’re the victims of an abduction and rape…if they get shot in a drive by…if one of them so much as falls off the swing at the park…I’m coming for some of the motherfuckers in this room.”

The room is quiet for a second. Then I hear laughter coming from the back of the room. The captain’s crew. The leader is laughing the hardest. I go back to them.

“I know it was're the one I'll come for.”

The gauntlet is thrown. I turn to leave. Half way out of the room when he finally picks it up.

“God, I just love fucking with niggers.” You should keep that bitch…”

He never gets to finish. I spin. Kick the legs out from under his chair. Straddle him as he inches his way toward the wall on his back.

“Fuck with me c'mon, fuck with worthless mother fucker...fuck with me...get up...get up...let's fuckin' finish it right now...right fuckin' now...”

He reaches the wall. I’m over him. He makes no move to get up. I can see the fear. Smell it. Everything goes white-hot. Slow. I reach down. Grab him by the shirt with both hands. Pull him up until our faces almost touch.

“You mess with my family again, you're a fuckin' dead got that? Fuckin' dead man. Then I’ll come for the rest of you. You got that?”

I spit in his face. Drop him on the floor. Everyone has been watching. No one makes a move to help him, not even his buddies. He struggles to his feet, all eyes on him.

“You all heard him...he threatened to kill me...he heard it.”

Everyone starts to file out. Dead silence. Pretty soon it’s just them and me. They do nothing. Say nothing. I guess six to one odds aren’t good enough. I leave. EOW. Go home. I tell Shawna no one will ever bother her again. I’m wrong.
Dead wrong.

Time for pills and Patron…Nááhiłiijí…it gets darker from here on out…

The Vampyres of The Soul...DEXTER, SHSs, SBGs, and sociopathic killers...

If you haven't read my first post on Dexter, you should before you read this...

The last two episodes of Dexter were a little unsatisfying for me...kind of like a fifteen to twenty minute quickie...if that's all you have time for, you make it work, should never settle for that if you have more time...and it should never be the staple of your diet...

The relationship that they developed between Dexter and Miguel was too well done to cut off so abruptly. The story arc easily could have carried for another season, at the very least. Perhaps they couldn't get Jimmy Smits to commit for more episodes...I don't know.

The exposition in the last episode was clumsy as well...Miguel's brother covering for Miguel's weaknesses all these years? If that's what they were striving for, IE Dexter=Buono and Miguel=Bianchi, then allow them to work it...besides, Bianchi never challenged Buono a two-set, the weaker killer may resent the stronger...but he/she never crosses them directly...
Dexter unaware of who is really following him, IE not checking the intersection photo? The Dexter's of the world don't conveniently get preoccupied with weddings to the point of distraction to their would have been truer to his character for Dexter to have known who was after him...allow himself to be captured...know the MO of his captor...and play that to get him...always the hunter...still...I enjoy the show.

I became interested in sociopaths, and what makes them what they are, over thirty years ago...long before I was a cop. There was, at that time, little public knowledge about sociopaths...most of the information I found was in scientific texts and research papers. It took very little time for me to realize that the doctors; the psychiatrists and psychologists, really didn't understand what they were dealing with. You'll never truly get to know the mind of a sociopath in clinical studies...they're too good at what they do. You have to live with one...experience the dizzy, rabbit hole insanity of it...and live to tell the story...and I did.

The similarities between fictional vampires and sociopaths are striking. First and foremost: never ever forget...they cast no reflection of their own. They have no soul...Sociopaths learn, usually at a very early age, that they are different...that to survive, they can never reveal what they really think...feel...want...desire. They learn to mimic...especially emotions. One fault with Dexter is hinting that he doesn't understand love...but might be able to in the right circumstances. Sociopaths understand love all to well...unfortunately for their victims, the only person a sociopath is capable of loving is them self. Parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends...are only characters in the play...and the play has one, and only one star. All of these people that we have relationships with...that we think about, have hopes for...dreams for...don't exist for a sociopath unless they are with them...when they aren't, it's as if they have gone off stage...and whatever they do there only matters as it pertains to the main character...the sociopath. They are the ONLY star in the play. Period.

I don't know if there is a truer, more consuming love, than the one a sociopath has for them self...I guess that's why I cringe when I hear the buzz word crap..."You just need to learn to love yourself..." We all love's our first love...but hopefully, as we mature, we learn to love others...especially above ourselves. A sociopath never will...can't...there is only one love for them...only one.

Secondly...sociopaths are NOT products of their environment...they are the product of will...their own will...and if you plan on fighting them on that level, your will cannot simply match has to be stronger...or you will lose...

Third...they are creatures of, that doesn't mean hermits or loners...they have what others consider to be relationships...friends...but they are only playing a part...people like them...think they are really great...but when pressed, really don't know very much about them beyond the barest surface information...sociopaths are storytellers...the more stories you have to tell, the more there is to trip you up...they keep it simple...perfunctory...but friendly...

Fourth...they are charming chameleons...that ability to reflect allows them to hide behind the hopes and dreams that others project toward them...

Fifth...they are always searching for a enabler that can go out into society and do the things for them they are not capable of on their own...

I just re-read this...not going the way I wanted...too technical...I know what it needs...I'm going to have to tell some stories...about my Vampyre...and the other Vampyres I've known and hunted...then tie them to the Bundy's, Downs, Buonos, Bianchis, Smiths and Anthonys...and I can't do it...not yet...

I'll try again soon...I need to put up another part of TWO DOGS tomorrow...this will have to wait for its conclusion...just remember...

This type of Vampyre is real...they are around you every day...the things they do are so unbelievable...if you come across one, and you try and tell people what's happened, they won't believe you...they'll think you're making it'd have an easier time telling them you were abducted by aliens...or attacked by a sanguinary vampire...than this kind of Vampyre...because no one wants to believe that there are really monsters out there...monsters with no soul...monsters that prey on the innocent...who feel no sympathy...and are incapable of empathy...even toward their own children...

But they're real...and next time, I'll show them to you...

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I was able to put what happened next together after the fact. The captain had a bunch of hard core bikers transferred to one of my upper rows that night. Had one of his crew keep their JRCs. When I came in the next morning, my board showed that row empty. I racked everyone out to chow. Went to walk my rows. Everyone’s gone at chow now. On the second side, almost to the end. That’s when the bikers jumped the tier. Surround me. I key my radio…it’s dead. No mic. Fuck me. I don’t know how many there are. No time to count. Too many. Back myself into a corner. Flashlight in one hand. Keys in the other. There will be no cavalry coming for my ass today. My last thought before it starts is to try and take as many of them with me as I can before I go.

It starts. Two come at me. I take one out with the flashlight. I put my keys through the other’s jugular like Billie Joe taught me. Shit works pretty good. God, I wish he was here right now. Two more come from the right. Up high. I don’t see the one that dives at my bad leg from the left. I go down hard. Then they’re on me like buzzards on a dying wolf. Mercifully, I black out.

Like I said, I was able to piece this shit together later. The inmates know shit in a jail before anyone else. When my trustees got to chow, someone told them about the bikers. The word was out I would be dead by EOW. King, Tatupu and Billie Joe left chow early. Got back just in time. They fucked those bikers up. Big time. Saved my life. Went and got the rover Deputies. Told them they found me that way. Everyone assumed I saved myself. Convicted killers wouldn’t save a Deputy, now would they. It’s a fucked up world when the guys you’re on the job with are either trying to kill you, or turning a blind eye while its done…and cons save your life because you treated them like men. Someone on the captain’s crew replaced the JRCs, so it looks like they were supposed to be there and I was HUA about them not going to chow. It should have been a perfect set-up. They fucked up.

I wake up in the hospital. Been in surgery again. The Doc tells me my knee looks like someone put a grenade in it and pulled the pin. Then he asks me why I never had my ACL, PCL, and MCL reattached from my previous injury. They’re rolled up and calcified in the joint, so he can tell they’ve been that way for quite a while. Fucking County Doctors. On the take. Now I know why the leg never got better. He tells me the nerves in the leg are shot…and the ligaments, cartilage and bones. The “unholy triad” he calls it. Tells me I’ll need a cane for the rest of my life…at least until I lose the leg. Tells me when the job gets his report, they’ll retire me. Fuck. I figure it can’t get any worse than this. I’m wrong. Again.

My dad comes in. I can tell he’s been crying. I’ve only seen him cry once…when they thought Ruby was going to die from her heart condition years ago. I’m scared now. Really scared. Shawna was at the hospital with Tony, the girls and my folks. Left to take Tony to her Moms. The CHP just came and gave my Dad the news.

“She must have lost control of the car...I wasn't thinking...I didn't realize she was that tired...that upset, you know...I...I never would've let them go, son...I just didn't...I mean...I never thought...”

He’s destitute. Blaming himself. I should comfort him. Tell him it’s not his fault. Tell him I love him. Something. Instead, I brush him off. Send him out. God, I can be such a self centered prick.
I should tell you about the funeral now, but I can’t. Just can’t relive that right now. It’s in the screenplay. Read it for yourself.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I know it's been a while since I wrote...if you've been following my story, you know how the pain gets to me...if you're new...where the fuck have you been? I'll write what I can tonight...let's hope the pills I just took and the bottle of Patron on my desk do their job...

It takes nine months for my retirement to go through. Should have been open and shut. Thank God for my attorney. First thing he asked me, after looking at my file, was who the fuck I pissed off. Somehow, he beats the county.

I’d like to tell you how strong I was going through all of that. What a great job I did taking care of my girls. How it brought me closer to God. I’d like to tell you that, but even I’m not that full of shit.

I let myself go. Grow my hair out…and my mustache and goatee. Put the earring back in. Drink Patron like it was Holy water, and I need a full body enema. Ignored my girls. If it hadn’t been for my folks…

My dad came to pick up the girls. Day after I found out I was retired. No paper work yet, but it will be in the mail soon. Tied a good one on that night. Pretty hung over when My Dad sends the girls out to the car.

“You're not the only one who's hurting, son...those girls are just...they need can't keep turning your back on them...maybe if you tried to...I know it wasn't easy...they said it would be hard...frustrating...but you can do it...don't quit, son...the Lord'll give you...”

“The Lord...the Lord...I've had enough of his fuckin' "gifts", thank you.”

“I just meant that...with faith...”

“Whadda you want from me, huh?... huh? wanna see me tottering around on a walker, singin' "what a friend we have in Jesus"?... huh? Yeah...he's been a real fuckin' friend to me, dad...a real pal...this ain't the "mission", dad, it's real life...but what the fuck would you know about real life?”

That was a mistake. Big fucking mistake. He’s on me in a heartbeat. Pretty damn quick for a man in his early seventies. Grabs me by the shirt. Pulls me up to him. I’ve never seen him like this. He's madder than either time he broke my nose when I was in my mad the spit flies out of his mouth with every word.

“If you could get outta that chair, I'd knock your dick in the dirt...that's right...that's what I said...I'd knock your dick in the dirt...I was ten years older than you are before I ever saw the inside of a church...I've been through more shit than...a man takes care of his matter what...he doesn't sit around whinin' like a little bitch…I thought I raised you to be a man...I was wrong.”

Whoa. I’m wondering who the fuck that was dressed up like my Dad. He throws me back in my chair so hard it almost tips over. Storms out. I don’t know what to think. Doesn’t seem like the same man that made me go to church eighty-five times a week and memorize lots of the Bible. Fuck it. Who the fuck is he to tell me what to do…how to feel? I’ll figure it out down the road. Except I don’t have that kind of time. My Dad isn’t the only visitor I get that day.

My sorry ass wakes up that afternoon on the floor. Pain in the bad knee wakes me up. I’m use to that. Doesn’t take me long to figure out, this is different. I go to get up and can’t. Someone’s standing on my knee. They start to grind it with their heel. That’s when I realize I’m surrounded by feet. An envelope drops in front of my face.

“Your retirement notice...thought you'd rather get it from need a maid...gonna get another nigger?...shame about the last one... real pretty. She shouldnt've tried so hard to get away...the boys didn't mean any harm...just wanted to talk to her... isn't that right?”

His lead boy takes the cue. The one I humiliated at briefing.

“We came up along side...I asked her to pull over real nice...shoulda seen her eyes...then bam!...she takes off like a bat outta hell. We tried to catch her... she keeps goin' faster 'n faster... next thing you know...never seen a car roll so many times... now the boys here...they was hopin' it'd catch on fire...something about cookin' some dark meat...I wanted her alive...never got to show her how hung I all those things we talked about on the phone...I know she wanted know how them nigger whores love to suck dick...but, hey, why am I tellin' you what you already know, huh?”

The captain chimes back in.

“You look tired...we better go...just wanted to see how you're doin'...we'll stop by again...
Those little girls are sure better keep an eye on'm...they grow up so fast."

He gives my knee one last stomp and twist before he turns to go out the door. I grab his leg. Bite down as hard as I can. Draw blood. He kicks me loose. Laughs.

“That the best you can do? Guess I should have killed you when you were a boy...I did your background...I knew who you were...half breed...your mother put up a better fight before I fucked her.”

They’re gone. I remember now. The night he beat her to death. I grabbed his leg and bit. He pistol whipped me. My Acheii made him stop. łeeh 'íyátééh. A death spell. Didn’t kill him then. I will now. My dad had come back to talk to me. To apologize. He’s in the door five minutes after they go. I tell him everything. Everything.

“What're you gonna do about it, son?”

“Gonna fuckin' kill'm...fuckin' kill'm...kill every fuckin' one of'm…”

“That's fine...that's fine, son...first you gotta learn to walk again...”

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I haven’t done any rehab since the surgery. Didn’t care. I’m one motivated motherfucker now. I’m back on my feet in no time. Have to wear braces on both legs, but I’m moving. A couple of months go by. Down to one crutch. Then just a cane. My Acheii’s cane. The wolf head. I use it, but I can get by without it in a week.

I’ve been thinking this whole time. How do I get these motherfuckers? They’ve been watching the house…where I go. They’ll be looking for me. I come up with a plan. Talk to my dad. He thinks it might work. And, it protects the girls and my folks if I fail.

We head to the mission. Make a big show of it. I want these fuckers to know I’m going. I just need them to let their guard down a little. We get to the mission. My dad gives me his old 380 Colt. Prays with me. Kisses me. There’s nothing at the mission for me now. My Acheii is dead. DĮĮD. The few that might remember me, that aren’t dead, live way out in the back country. The little girls that play with Ruby and Renee call me Tsii' yiiłch'iil. Curly hair. No one remembers Naaki. Too long ago.

I go the back roads to Crown Point. No bellagannos are going to follow me here. Hop a bus. Head back to LA. Time to do or die…Crip or cry.

On my last transfer. Back in the jungle. I look just like I did when I left long ago. Except for the cane. Some tiny Gs get on. Start fucking with the passengers. I tap the leader with my cane. He turns. Sees me.

“Jesus Christ...ain't you dead?”

“No, he ain't...neither am in my ride, mother fucker.”

They move like gahtsohs. Jack rabbits. I’m home.

Back with what’s left of my old set. Most of them are in the joint now. The ones that are left aren’t sure they want me back. They’ve been getting fat with me and BD out of the way. Time to remind them who I am.

“So, where you been, Duece?”

“You writin' a fuckin' book, cuz?”

“No, no, I, uh...I jus' askin'.”

“I’ll tell you where I been...doin’ your fucking job, motherfucker…findin' out who fuckin' rolled over on us...who got B.D. smoked...somebody's been sleepin' with the, you down for that shit, or not? Maybe it was you?”

“We know we down...jus' tell us, man...”

“That’s what I fucking thought…now, listen up. We got work to do.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Time for straight Crippin’…

First, I got to show them I know my shit. I take them to see the Rev. He doesn’t look too happy when we run the underage girls out of his bed and drag him to the basement lab. In fact, he needs some encouragement. The bois are more than happy to oblige.

The Rev. sits at one of the computer tables, his head on the table, his hands behind his back when they’re done. Bloody and bowed. We gather around him.

”Tha's all I know...swear to God... tha's all.”

“You sure that's all of 'm?...all right...if you can put money in his account you can take it out.”

I watch him transfer the funds out of the captain’s account into one I’ve set up. Every fucking penny. The bois load up the boxes with the Bibles full of cash. I’ve got to show my bois I mean business. We have the addresses of the captain’s whole crew. We’ve closed out his private account. Taken all of the cash. Now it’s time for the Rev’s last rites.

He’s begging for his life. Or mercy and forgiveness. He might get it from God, but I doubt it. He sure as shit ain’t gonna get it from me. I rip off the gaudy crucifix he wears on a thick, gold chain around his neck. Cover one of his eyes with a playing card. Duece of spades. Hold it in place by driving the crucifix through his eye…into his brain.

I want to make sure when the captain finds him, he knows who did it.

Timing is going to be everything tonight. I divide my boys up. Send them out after the crew. Tell them what to do to each one. I already knew where they were. Finding out from the Rev was a cover so the bois wouldn’t suspect anything. Have to keep my cover to the end.

They meet back up with me three hours later. The whole crew’s dead…except one. The leader. We’re about to find out just how much he loves being fucked by niggers, instead of the other way around.

To make a long story short, the bois chase him out of his house. Catch up with him in the railroad yards. In a boxcar. Stomp him half to death. Strip him. Hang him by his balls in the box car. It’s personal for some of them. He fucked some of them over in the jail. More personal for me.

I slit his throat. The way we used to kill dibe for stew. I enjoy watching him bleed out. They ask about the captain now. I tell them he’s mine. They don’t argue. I have one of them call him. Tell him to check his bank account overseas. I know where he’ll go. I’ll be waiting for him when he gets back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I try and picture the look on his face when he finds the Rev. His dawning realization when he sees my calling card. I wonder how frantic he’ll get when he tries to reach his crew…and no one answers. He’ll head home. Panicked. And I’ll be waiting.

I watch him from the shadows as he storms into his study, a trail of blood behind him. Must have been a fun ride back from the Rev’s house. I would have loved to have seen his face…but this will do.

He holsters his weapon. Goes to the bookcase. He presses a button under one of the shelves, and the bookcase opens in the middle. He pulls the two sides open wider, and steps in between. There is a wall safe behind them. He opens it, takes out a large manila envelope, goes to the desk, sits down, and puts his gun in the drawer, but leaves the drawer open. Turns his attention to the envelope. He opens it, and shakes five micro-cassettes into his hand. He squeezes them tightly, then puts them back in the envelope. That’s what I’ve been waiting for…his dirt on me…in my own voice…have to find out if he made any copies…I don’t think so, but I’ll make sure…soon.
A shadow falls across his desk. My Shadow. He looks up.

“Jesus Christ...”

“No...don't won't make that mistake're gonna meet him...real soon...but not yet.”

He reaches for the open drawer. Tries to pull out the gun. I slam the desk into the wall. Pin him behind it. His hands are trapped.

“No guns. Not this time. You ain't going that easy.”

He’s still pinned by my weight…can’t get his hands free. I grab him by the ears. Slam his face repeatedly onto the desk. Drag him out from behind it.

“Let's go for a ride...don't worry, I'll drive.”

It’s a long drive back to the Rez…lots of time to think. Plan out exactly what I want to do. Normally, I’d make this drive in eighteen hours or so…not this time. I go the speed limit the whole way. In the back country now…follow the trail to Devil’s Mesa…

I was little the first time I went to Devil’s Mesa. It was before my folks came to the mission and adopted me. The bellaganno missionaries wanted to go on a picnic. My acheii and I went with them. They picked the wrong place…grandfather tried to tell them.

“This is a bad place…my people don’t go here.”

Smirking at the old Indian as they spoke…

“Really? Why is that?”

“This is Chindi Dzilijiin…the Devil’s Black Mountain…not safe…especially for bellagannos.”

“But the mesa is red…just like all the other ones around here.”

“It is not called Black Mountain for its color.”

“We want to go anyway…come on.”

Grandfather looked at me. Smiled. I was afraid. Grandfather was the only one I knew who had ever come here. The Dine said this place was evil. We took them up the mountain.

It was a typical summer day in northwest New Mexico. About a hundred and five in the shade. Not a cloud in the sky. Not a breath of wind. The bellagannos set up their picnic…plastic tables and chairs. Grandfather and I sat away on the ground. We ate pine nuts and drank water. We hadn’t been there very long when grandfather tilted his head to one side…sniffed the air. He told me to wait while he talked to the bellagannos. I followed him anyway.

“Going to rain. Bad wind. We go…now.”

They all started to chuckle under their breaths.

“Is that so…when do you think that’s going to happen?”

“When is soon?”

Grandfather never wore a watch. He looked up at the sun…at a tree to our left.

“In ‘bout half an hour…about three.”

“I think we’ll take our chances.”

They were all laughing as they spread their food on the table and began to eat. I had seen the man’s watch…it was 2:35.

Ten minutes went by…fifteen…then twenty. Nothing. They kept looking at him and laughing. A few minutes later grandfather took me by the hand. Led me down the back side of the mesa. That’s when I saw it. A small, dark spot on the horizon…no bigger than a hummingbird. Five minutes later the sky was like midnight…lightning and thunder. The wind was blowing harder than I had ever felt. We huddled into a crease in the rocks. I could see that it was worse on top of the mesa. The tables and chairs blew off…hats and plates spun crazily in the air.

They were coming down in two trucks and a van. The van blew over…rolled down the side of the mountain about thirty feet and landed on its wheels. The rain was so thick you couldn’t see ten feet. The bellagannos pulled their vehicles together…looked like wagons in an old western…hunkered down to wait out the storm.

I don’t remember how long it was like that…too long ago, I guess. After a while, grandfather led me to the trucks. It was still raining, but the wind was dying down. They opened the doors…whitest bellagannos I’d ever seen. They looked at grandfather with abject fear. He just smiled.

“We can go now.”

I remembered all of that as I staked him to the ground on top of Chindi Dzilijiin…sitting close by now next to a small fire. Chanting. Łeeh íyátééh. The death chant. He wakes up. Starts moaning in pain.

“Hurts like a bitch, don't it?”

“What are you doing to me?”

“My Acheii, my mother's grandfather, was a medicine man before the missionaries came. He was old. Real fucking old. Even he didn't know how old he was. Saw a lot. Used to tell me stories. Taught me the old ways. How to smell a storm coming. Empty yourself to find your vision. Call on the spirits. Shit like that.”

“Look, there's more money in this than you can imagine. I'll set you up. You can have it all.”

“Set me up? Bad choice of words.”

“Jay, please...”

“My name is Naaki...Naaki Tslichi. Two Dogs. My mother's grandfather named me. You remember my mother, don't you?”

“Oh dear God, please...”

“Grandfather told me what they used to do with a Black dog. Can't reason with it. Can't cure it. So, they'd stake it out. Cut open it's belly. Pull the intestines part way out. Wait for the wolves.”

“Oh fuck.”

“Wolves would try and run off with the intestines...fight each other for them. Eat the Black Dog alive.”

“No, no, you...”

“Don't worry. No wolves around here. Haven't been for a long time.”

He hears growling. Two dogs approach him. Slow sniffing. Hungry. I brought them back with me from the mission. Fourth or fifth generation from my old dog. They’re feral. Only get to eat what they kill. I haven’t fed them since I left to go back to LA. They must be ravenous by now.

“I think dogs will work, though. My dogs. This might take awhile. Hope you don't mind if I smoke.”

“You can't do this to me Jay...I'm your father.”

“Fucking my mother don’t make you my father. That's why I've got some extra shit for you. Gonna cut out your eyes...tongue...ears...and that tiny little dick of yours. My mother told me she never could understand how you ever got her pregnant with that limp, puny thing.”

“No, no, no...”

“Then I'm going to burn them. Scatter the ashes to the winds. Do you know what that means to my people? Your spirit will be left here to wander. Blind... Deaf... Dumb... Starving... Impotent. The other spirits will taunt you. Mock you. Spit on you. Forever. I think my mother will like that. What do you think?”

He screams.

I light a smoke as the dogs close in. They’re too busy fighting each other over his intestines to realize he can’t put up a fight. That’s good. Means it will take awhile. I sit back and watch. Smoke. There is lightning and thunder, but no rain. The wind is blowing, but it’s more of a howl than a storm. I finish off one pack. Almost finish another before they’re done. They eat slower once they start to get full. They come over to the fire when they’re done and lay down. I go over and cut off the things I told him I would. Burn them. Put the ashes in an old Dine bowl. Time to clean up.

The government still issues lye to the Dine to make their own soap. I’ve brought a few bags of it with me. And an axe. I cut him up. My grandfather told me that some bellagannos tried to prospect here back in the thirties. Lots of abandoned mines. I scatter him in a few. Salt the mines with lye. It helps with decomp. Won’t be long till there’s nothing left. Pack up the dogs and go. One more piece of business.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TWO DOGS PART 16...The Final Chapter

Back to the Rez…gotta let my Dad know I’m OK.

“It’s done Dad…all done.”

“Not quite boy…you can’t let anyone live who thinks “Duece” is still alive.”

“Been a lot of killing already Dad.”

"You have to think about those girls son.”

“I know…I know…just tired.”

"I’ll keep them here…your Mom and I will look after them…do what you have to do.”

“Do you trust me Dad?”


I head back to LA. Time to finish my biz.

Fuck me. Where’s my fucking bottle of Patron…be right back…that’s better. Let’s finish…

I call my bois. Tell them to meet me at the lab. I’m waiting outside when they show up. Make sure they see me go in. I’m out the back door and over the fence when the house blows.

Ruptured gas line and all of those chemicals make for one hell of an explosion. I’ve got witnesses to Deuce’s death. The bois are kind enough to pay for my funeral. The casket's empty. Fire marshal tells them I’m scattered all over the county. There’s no records anywhere for Duece…never got arrested. There just happened to be a body in that house when it blew…lucky me.

They assume…you get the idea.

I send a box of “Bibles” to BD’s wife. Should help out. One to Shawna’s Mom. Mahoney sees to it that the Rev’s and the Deputies’ deaths go down as a Columbian hit squad’s work over a drug deal gone south. Leaks info on how dirty they all were. Everyone figures the captain took off with the money. No one expects to find him. They never do…and never will.

My Dad takes me camping a month later. A lake we used to fish at a good distance from the mission. That’s where I scatter the captain’s ashes. I think my birth mother is finally at peace. I’m glad someone is.

That was twenty-four years ago. That fucking captain has a long reach. The county’s still fucking with me, and they don’t even know why. I found out a couple of years ago when I finally got a copy of my official personnel file. Must have been a civilian employee who made the copy. The cover sheet is a Xerox of a blank page with a square cut out. That’s code. It means that person no longer exists as a Deputy. Fuck him or her at every opportunity.

They have.

The people who meet me now assume I’m the paranoid asshole that I am because I’m a retired cop. They don’t know this story. If they did, they’d be sure they were right. They’d be wrong.

What happened to me started me 'e'etiin..down this path that stretches to the horizon. But it didn’t make me the way I am now. Working as a bodyguard did. Working for a man who started as a medical doctor in the OSS during World War II, and became the leader of a group that traces it’s history way, way back…all the way to the Garden of Eden. Call themselves, “Priests of the Morning Star.”

That’s when I met Thatcher…Mitterrand…Bush Sr. when he was VP. They all came to meet privately with my boss. The only one we went to see was Reagan at his ranch. Working for the “Good Doctor” was when I found out who killed JFK…RFK…Martin Luther King…and why.

When I learned that our fates are controlled by a small group of men who believe it is their divine destiny to bring the world to peace. But…that’s a story for another day.

I can tell you all about it, if you want.

If I live long enough…

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Christopher Blake is a loving husband...devoted father...minister...crippled more than a little rough around the edges...