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Green Thumb: A Riley Conner Novel Chapter 1
“Today is a great day for the city of Cincinnati. We are here to pay our esteem thanks to Detective Riley Conner. Also our Reds are in first place.”
The crowd standing in front of the Capital building let out a giant scream for that last part. All I could think was will he ever stop talking. I am doing my best to show that I am honored to be here. For the last six months I have been trying to forget what everybody else wants to celebrate. Now our great Mayor wants to give me a key to the city and proclaim today Riley Conner Day. Our Mayor never misses a chance to get his ugly face in front of the people of Cincinnati. He doesn’t care about the police force or what I did. He just uses this as a chance to shine in front of the cameras.
“Detective Conner single handedly captured the Green Thumb Killer. His hard work has made every citizen of our great city safer.”
Are you kidding me with this stuff? I will give it to him; he knows how to lay down the shit pretty thick. Mayor Edwin Frey is a true politician if there ever was one. He will lie, cheat, kiss a baby and steal if he thought it would make him look good and get reelected. He also will not take “NO” as an answer. For months I have told his people that I did not want any of this. That didn’t matter because every day it was a different aid calling and bugging me about it. After getting my Captain and the Chief involved I agreed.
“Without further delay Detective Riley Conner.”
Further delay my ass; we have been out here for the last forty five minutes. I gradually lift my bored ass up out of those back breaking brown metal chairs. I make my way to Mayor Frey wondering; why he got elected in the first place. At five feet maybe nine inches and all of 275, Mayor Frey is one piece of work. His face shows that his sixty years of life has not been easy. Even with all his aliments he was a very happy man. He was a long shot to win the election last year. He campaigned hard and fought dirty and eked out a very slim margin win. I didn’t vote for him but lots of cops did. I guess they bought into his crap about getting the police force the best available equipment. Yeah right, we haven’t seen any of that yet. Cincinnati had never voted a black man into office before Mayor Frey. We all knew things were changing around the world, but poor old Cincinnati stayed the same. I just never liked the man. Some people called him names because he had a white wife and didn’t act black. Like you could really act black. That’s one statement I never understood. He was just an asshole to me.
Finally I reach him and think here we go.
“Thank you Mr. Mayor. Those were some very kind words you spoke about me.”
“Nonsense Detective. You deserve everything you receive.”
I am in hell is all I can think of, standing in front of about a thousand people. Flashes popping off everywhere, shaking his cold sweaty hand. Why me? Why me?
“Would you be so kind Detective and say a few words to the great people of Cincinnati?”
Why must he say Cincinnati all the time? Hell, we know where we live. I never understand why politicians always stare straight at the camera. They won’t look at you, the person they are supposed to be talking to, always straight at the camera.
“Why of course Mayor.” I look out into the crowd and get lost in my thoughts. Why did I agree to do this? Why didn’t I just stick to my guns and say no? Finally I come to my senses and spot a beautiful blond with wavy hair past her shoulders. I clear my throat. “Thank you again Mr. Mayor. It is an honor to be before you today and except this key to the city. I felt that I was just doing my job like all police officers do. I love this city and want all citizens to feel safe. Thanks again.”
Damn, was that not a bunch of bologna? Heck, I could probably be a politician. Nope, I have morals and that would not work.