A Red Letter Day

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It was going to be a red letter day; the war on drugs was going to take a big step in the right direction. At eight o’clock that evening, Detective Laura Kimber had hurried the warrant to the home of the duty judge, and the detectives and detail officers gathered around the block near the intended target. The plan was simple, they were going to hit the hide out of a well known drug pin and complete a major drug bust. The wait wasn’t too long; they get the call from Kimber and then they head toward that target home on Ellis Street.

Two unmarked Dodge Chargers and six radio cruisers pulled up in front of a two story shit pile on the south side of the street, where police tumbled out and took the house in rough approximation of a NFL football team. Detective Chambers was the first through the front door, followed by two of Bridgeport Connecticut’s uniforms. Then O’Brien stormed in with several more uniforms in tow.

A fifteen year old boy wearing a New York Jets jersey meandered down the front hallway to answer the loud banging on the wooden door frame was now pressed against the flaking plaster, a uniform was shouting at him to shut the fuck up and keep still for the body search. A second teenager in a black sweat shirt with golden letters spelling out his favorite rap group, assessed the situation, and then raced back across the middle room shouting to the others that the police were here.

O’Brien yanked Paul Revere out of the doorway and pushed him against the side wall as Fuentes and more officers shoved their way down the dark hallway toward a room with a bright light. They kicked opened the flimsy wooden door and there they saw six young teenagers crowded around a small table with an aerosol cleaning product and a small box of sandwich bags in front of them. Only one of the six bothered to look up at the intruders and for that teenager, there was a moment or two of no recognition. Then suddenly, he began shouting wildly, running for the rear window. One of the uniforms caught him by the shirt as he tried to scurry out, then she bent him over a night stand and cuffed him.

The others were lost to the world and made no effort to move. One of them expressed his indifference by pressing the plastic bag to his face and sucked down a final blast. The chemical stench was overpowering as he just passed the bag to the boy next to him.

“I can’t believe it!” Shouted Chambers, shoving one kid over a dresser.

“What do you think about the raid now?” asked O’Brien, pushing another captive into a small chair.

“Sniffers!” he shouted. “There’s no damn drugs, just a bunch of punk kids who is going to get a shit load of ass-whopping from their mommas.”

From the second floor bedrooms; a cacophony of cursing from detail officers and screaming women, followed by more shouting from the third floor attic hit Chambers dead in the face. In twos and threes, the occupants were roused from nearly a half dozen rooms and marched down the wide, rotting stairwell into the center of that house. There were teenagers, small children, middle aged women, and grown men, all came down until they were assembled in the middle of the living room.

The crowded room was strangely silent. It was almost nine o’clock and a dozen of police were parading through the house, and the beleaguered residents asked no questions about the raid. It was as if they have reached that point when police raids no longer required reasons.

Detective Laura Kimber rushed in and saw the crowd, but there were no arrests, and no drugs.

“We got it wrong,” Chambers said.

She nodded.

Brown faces creased into sardonic smiles as the detail officers were already at work, taking names and dates of birth.

A full five minutes had past when a large dark man with white patches on his face spoke up. “What the hell you doing in my house?”

Chambers walked toward the exit door, and the heavyset man gave him a look. “You in charge here?”

“I’m one of them.”

“You got no right to come to my house.”

“I got every right. I got a warrant.”

“For what?”

“It’s a warrant signed by a judge.”

“Telling you to break into my house?”

Chambers jerked his head up and stared at the large man, but the only thing coming back was a look of remorse.



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© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 41 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Oooops.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

LOL ...:)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Stark and unflinching realism but also with matter-of-fact humor: “O’Brien yanked Paul Revere out of the doorway…” It’s an irresistible combination. Although hard drugs were not found that day, they would soon find their way into the lives of these kids, and more. “Chambers jerked his head up and stared at the large man, but the only thing coming back was a look of remorse.” Wow…that was quite an ending. Powerful meaning and messages in between these superbly written lines, Frank. Excellent as usual. Voted up and shared.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

So, there were no drugs, but I'm not ready to leave the house, although I'm not sure what I would find if I stayed. I guess I'm taking this way too serious. Good writer!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Good work Frank, a good sense of realism because even the cops don't get it right all the time. This makes them very human and believable and the story flows well. Enjoyable as always.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Very nice Detective Frank, are you a police or an ex police or a convict? lol you write these so well.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much dear Genna East for really giving this piece a real read bless you for that...:) and MsDora, sometimes serious can hinder..LOL thank you for reading .. and Jodah thank you for sharing bless you guys :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

damn lady you calling me a convict? I'm too cute to go to jail LOL :)


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Frank, I really enjoyed this one. I had such a break picture in my mind as they entered the house. I felt like I was right there with them! I know it turned out to be a "bust" (pun intended) but I have too agree with Gemma, what was happening there, would eventually lead to worse. Gray read! Up++


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much btrbell


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

What happened to my comment? I know I left a comment? It was after Becky's comment. Blessings, Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

hey Faith yeah its still there.. says Spam beneath it.. hey are you spamming me? That is a fighting word...:)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Just say not spam! I will comment again. This piece paints a good reality of the things that can happen. Very interesting. Just let me know if you prefer that I no longer comment on your hubs. Some have been removed in the past too, so just checking. God bless you, Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

you gotta have faith girl.. none on my part have been removed.. damn that hurt.. :(


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Sorry ...you may need to check with HP as you had mentioned others mentioning that their comments were not showing up?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

will do.....


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Weird stuff has been happening on my Hubs too. Sometimes I go to hub pages and notice my comment capsule looks weird. I go to the top of the page and see I am not signed in and show up as a visitor, so have to sign back in. Other times I go to approve/accept a comment and the spam box comes up instead...and I almost click on that by mistake.....weird. I think this may be happening here with your hubs too Frank. Sometimes I have to click.."post comment' twice to make it enter, and sometimes it duplicates the comment?? This comment for instance won't save...I have tried 3 times already. I had to refresh this page and try again. If you just wrote the comment, clicked 'Post Comment' and left without checking it wouldn't show up.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Jodah.. I wondered at times why would HP call some comments spam.. so I don't approve it.. maybe that's what's happening to some comments left..


Jane Arden 2 years ago

Awesome as usual. Loved the twist at the end!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Jane :) bless you


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Some people's bad day at the office has more impact than others'. Unflinching realism. Maybe they didn't technically get it right this time, but you can almost see where these lives will be heading. The cops just don't need to make too many mistakes like this.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Flourishanyway :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hi Jodah,

One time I had to ask a question on the comments that were coming up spam on long-time hubbers' comments, who were well-established and well known, and they said that HP bots will do that at times when a hubber is catching up on commenting and makes a lot of comments in a short period of time. So, they said, since I know the person is not a spammer and follows me faithfully, to just click "Not Spam" and then it will come back up to approve or "deny" the comment, and then to click "Approve" and then the comment is posted.

That is the answer I got, and so that is what I have been doing ever since on those long-time hubbers I know who follow me.

Have a great day,

Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you.. that makes so much sense..:)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

You're welcome! : )


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

A great story with that wonderful twist.

Voted up.

Eddy.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

O: @ Faith.. and thank you Eddy for stopping by bless you both


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Mr Frank, boy...you say it best when you say nothing at all. You just keep getting better. I loved the pace and the subtle message here.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks tobusiness...:)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

A sterling write! haha!! "wrong intelligence". LOL

they should have done their home work well.

they've got to pay for damages.

good write.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Uban :)


Christine Marie 2 years ago

Frank,

"..."A Red Letter Day:..." Perfect title for this work.

We all wear our robes on day or another.

You have served your sentences well here; giving a nice contemporary tempo to a medieval beat; painting accurately "A Red Letter Day."

Not guilty- Writer indeed!

Court dismissed,

-Christine


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Good to see you Christine Marie :)


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

Realistic story; could be here in Britain too. Sometimes the cops get it wrong but then, as someone else here says, eventually the hard stuff will effect this little lot. Sad but true.

A story to make us think about both sides of the fence. Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you ann for always supporting my shorts :)


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

You're welcome. I love short stories; it takes skill to put such a lot into a few words.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Annart you're too kind bless you


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

I love the ending here Frank--and I love the amiguousness of this piece--the mistaken house--the sense that this life is inevitable somehow--really a nice piece of writing Frank


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Audrey bless you


Ariel-Cal profile image

Ariel-Cal 2 years ago from Bridgeport, CT

go chambers!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks ACEE

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