A Sudden Role Reversal
Detective Laura Kimber woke up in a Bridgeport U-Store It self storage room, various aches and pains throbbing in her extremities. The worst pains were the headaches at the front of her skull and the shooting pain going up her back. She felt as if she was kicked in the head by a pack-mule. Kimber looked around and saw her partner lying against a gray metal wall, beaten and unconscious. There were no windows in the storage room, but it was dimly lit because of a twenty-five watt bulb hanging down the side wall from a red extension cord.
Detective Laura Kimber staggered to her feet and limped toward the roll up and down door, knowing it had to be locked; she grabbed the latch and pulled it upward. It was her attempt to open the door, but it was in vain, so she hobbled away from the door to check on her partner.
Detective Carlos Ruiz had a gash on his forehead and a lump on his head that was as big as a river stone.
“We’re alive,” he whispered.
Ruiz blinked at her gratefully and tried to smile.
“How do you feel?” she asked.
“Like Tiger Wood’s golf ball after nine holes.”
The sitting position was obviously painful for him. He held his head in his hands for several minutes, breathing through clenched teeth.
“It’ll pass, partner,” Kimber said. “Do you remember how the hell we got in here?”
Ruiz did not answer. He still had his hands covering his face as he tried to ease the pounding in his head.
Kimber rattled her head for information, and she remembered the day starting off with a domestic. It was on Clinton Avenue closer to the Railroad Avenue side, a true tragedy in which a young Puerto Rican girl was bludgeoned to death by her jealous female lover and her orphaned infant was left crying on a uniform’s shoulder, waling at the world as the officer’s shoulder radio dispatched city wide calls through adjustable static.
Then she remembered chasing down a murder tip with her partner over on Colorado Avenue. It was a big tip that would have jailed Willie Da Greek for a long time. She and Ruiz hit Da Greek’s Colorado Street apartment, working through a search warrant issued by Judge Gail Finch. They recovered so much additional evidence it would have added several nails to Da Greek’s coffin.
Several years of investigations, drug trafficking, police corruption and prostitution had finally come to a close. She had Da Greek dead to rights and with it came a certain confidence.
Then there was a sudden role reversal. Masked men stormed the apartment and demanded the detectives to drop their guns and pull up against the wall. Detective Laura Kimber was fighting impulses to defy the demand, but her partner made it clear that it would have been a mistake to do so. Kimber reluctantly agreed.
It would have been easier to just remain calm, but Kimber, acting instinctively, ducked under a beefy pair of arms and scrambled for the door. Just as she pulled closer a masked man lunged in front of her, and she careened into his chest, knocking them both outside the second floor deck porch landing. When the masked man groped for her she kicked him in the face and heard him scream as he tumbled under the railing and fell two stories down.
Detective Laura Kimber heard her partner screaming with pain and then she saw a crush of masked men swarming toward her. She tried to hold them off with a flurry of wild punches, but someone clubbed her with a blunt object and darkness claimed her.
“Da Greek,” she whispered as she helped her partner to his feet.
“This was a warning.” Ruiz added.
“We leave Da Greek alone, or we will end up in storage for the rest of our lives,” she mumbled.
“Maybe we should just listen,” said Ruiz.
“And let that crazy son of a bitch run the streets?” Kimber grimaced.
“Remember what happened to Detective Mike Andrews?”
“He messed with Da Greek, and they tied him up and left him on Diamond Six at Seaside Park. It was a hot July and the poor bastard was laying there on the base path like a piece of chicken on a grill someone forgot to turn over.”
“I can’t just give in to this sudden role reversal,” she said. “When we get out of here, I’m going after him.”
Ruiz bit his lower lip and said, “we, we’re going after him.”
Detective Laura Kimber flashed him a brave smile and nodded with a chin that quivered just a little.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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