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...


About Me

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