Book 3: The Pope’s Guard (excerpt)

The Pope’s Guard

Coming in 2017

Lucien Cruz wakes with sweat soaked sheets tangled around his legs. He kicks off the thin, damp material and lies there watching the ceiling fan turn slowly, but feels no relief. Noticing the clock on the bedside table – 3 a.m. – he rolls carefully off the creaking bed, limps over to the window and raises it as high as the warped frame will allow. A blast of cold February air enters the room, though Lucien knows it is no match for the hellish heat being generated in the bowels of the building. But the air coming through the half-opened window helps while he stands in front of it watching a plastic bag caught on a tree limb flap in the breeze.

He moves stiff-legged to the bathroom. When he flips the light switch nothing happens for a moment, then a pink light glows as the ceiling fixture hums a low sound he has not heard before.

“What the motherfuck?” Lucien whispers as he stands under the light fixture wondering why the usually white bowl has a reddish hue.

Project living, he thinks, as he turns and loudly relieves himself while still staring at the ceiling. Falling down piece of shit building. Without flushing, he hits the light switch on the way out, limps back to the bedroom and flops onto the squealing bed.

Staring up at the ceiling fan, he tries to stop the movement of the blades by moving his eyes rapidly in the direction of the blades until his eyes grow tired. Despite the heat he falls asleep after 10 minutes, forgetting about the bathroom light, the cracked plaster peeling off the walls and the grinding elevator vibrating down the hall. All is black to him.

X

A few miles south on the far side of Greenwood Cemetery, in one of the few remaining parts of Brooklyn that has yet to become an over-gentrified, expensive enclave, Detective Hiro Masimoto takes a final pull of his cigarette. As smoke escapes his nostrils, he lets his eyes wander away from the paperwork on the coffee table, puts his thoughts aside and rises from the big brown leather couch. He walks down the long narrow corridor into the kitchen, lit only by the security lights at the back of the synagogue next door. He douses the hot tip, chucks the butt in the trash can, and puts his hand under the tap to wash the ashes off his palm, then moves back to the living room.

Standing at the window he looks down at the quiet street three stories below, his breath fogging the glass. Nothing moves out there. Nothing changes. He’s lived in the same apartment for over 10 years, and he’d swear under oath the only things that change in the view from that window are some of the cars.

Thinking he should shave before the sun comes up, he stares out over the rooftops at the sky. Looks like snow.

He goes back to the couch, turns off the lamp and lays down, staring across the sparsely furnished living room at the wall of books. He pulls the heavy blanket that was neatly folded over the back of the couch and covers himself. In the dim light from the street lamp below, Masimoto can just make out his watch resting on the coffee table – 3 a.m.

He wonders if his insomnia would improve if he put in those retirement papers sitting on the coffee table.

Maybe it isn’t the job that keeps me awake, maybe it’s the job that finally gets me to fall asleep.

X

About halfway between where Lucien Cruz is in Vinegar Hill and Masimoto on his couch in Borough Park, Detective Lieutenant Daniel Wilkinson wakes from a sound sleep. He lays listening, in the king bed, to the deep bass sound of his fiancé’s snoring for a moment, then gives Detective Ryan Sullivan a gentle shove.

“Honey, you’re snoring.”

Daniel puts both hands on Ryan’s massive muscled shoulder and tries to heave the larger man onto his side.

“Ry, roll over,” Daniel says, poking his lover in the ribs.

Ryan snorts, mumbles and rolls onto his side, away from Daniel. Waiting to see if the snoring starts again, Daniel stares into the darkness. Unable to get back to sleep, he creeps out from under the fluffy down comforter and shuffles barefoot across the cool wood floor.

He sits shirtless and shivering slightly in his boxers and smiles at the cream-colored, gold-embossed invitations announcing the wedding of Ryan Sullivan and Daniel Wilkinson. The order arrived earlier in the day and both men had been so excited they began writing out the envelopes the moment they opened the first box. They’d completed half the invitations before going to bed.

Daniel stands, takes one last look at the invitations piled neatly on the dining room table then makes his way through the dimly lit apartment and back to bed. In a few minutes he is fast asleep.

At the same moment, Ryan Sullivan passes into REM sleep and finds himself in a dark wood, firing round after round at close range into a man screaming the same phrase at him over and over again in Russian. The bullets enter the man’s chest, but have no effect. When the clip is empty, the man laughs, then says something in what sounds to Sullivan like Italian.

“What the fuck are you saying?” Sullivan asks.

The man takes a step toward Sullivan and opens his mouth, but no sound comes out. The detective notices the man’s tongue writhe like a snake. Then he says clearly and in English, “It don’t matter.”

Sullivan wakes. Behind him he hears Wilkinson’s deep, restful breathing. He rolls over, places a hand on Daniel’s face and gently kisses his lover’s lips. Before falling back asleep he notices the clock on the bedside table.

Three a.m. and all is well, Sullivan thinks.

X

As the sun streams through the open window, Lucien opens his eyes, scratches his rough, gray stubble and loudly clears phlegm from his throat. He swallows the spit and awkwardly pushes his lanky body upright. Rubbing his eyes, he thinks, Another fucking day, though he is uncertain which one it is.

He sweeps his legs to the side of the bed and sits looking out the window at the same plastic bag caught in the tree branch outside his window. Pushing off the bed, he rises on unsteady legs and limps to the bathroom. When he hits the light switch the room glows in the same pinkish light as it had a few hours earlier. A loud hum emanates from the fixture.

Lucien spits into the sink then looks at himself in the mirror. The days of growth speckle his wrinkled cheeks and chin. The once blue eyes seem duller to him than they had just a few months ago.

He looks up at the ceiling and watches as a drop of liquid forms on the bottom of the glass bowl. It hangs there for a long moment then drips to the floor where notices a small puddle has formed.

“For fuck’s sake,” he says, quickly flipping the light switch off. He hops to the kitchen and returns with a step ladder. Standing on the top rung of the step ladder, his gnarled feet cover the warning that reads, “Do Not Stand Here,” as he gingerly reaches up and unscrews the three screws holding the white glass bowl in place. The weight of the bowl surprises him and he nearly drops it as the final screw is turned. Cold pink water sloshes over the side of the bowl and runs down his arm.

“¡Ay coño!” he intones. Steadying the bowl with his free hand, he carefully backs down the ladder.

He empties the water into the sink, thankful he hasn’t electrocuted himself. Leaving the bowl in the sink, he steps up the ladder again and unscrews the lightbulb. Pressing his hand against the base of the fixture he can feel the ceiling give like a wet cracker.

Best to leave this shit to the fucking city, otherwise they’re gonna charge my ass for the repairs, he thinks, coming down the ladder again.

Having lived his entire 63 years in the Farragut Housing Projects, and though the New York City Housing Authority has changed the procedure and the phone number half-a-dozen times over the years, he knows the routine by rote. He watches CNN on the living room TV while on hold with the repair hotline. When the digital recording repeats for the fourth time the phrase, “Your call is important to us, please hold on and we’ll be right with you,” he thinks, Yeah right.

X

Lucien hears the knock on the door and waits. The second time the knock is accompanied by a loud voice, “Housing Authority, repairs.” He mutes the TV, rises with effort, and limps to the door. He opens it a crack and looks at the man standing in blue coveralls holding an orange toolbox.

“That was fast, mijo,” Lucien says after unhooking the chain and opening the door wide.

“Yeah,” the repairman says. “Like I got time for your jokes.”

“Three fucking days this time. I got no light in my bathroom for three fucking days.”

“OK, OK,” the repairman says as he trudges down the hallway to the bathroom with Lucien following.

“I had to empty the bucket twice,” Lucien says as he stands in the bathroom doorway.

“Uh huh,” the repairman says, staring up at the ceiling. “Must be coming from upstairs.”

“You think,” Lucien states.

The repairman doesn’t bother to reply as he pushes past Lucien.

Dios mio,” Lucien says to himself as he looks up at the ceiling, “some fucking genius they send.”

The repairman knows well enough to walk the flight of stairs than wait for the elevator. Twelve years of working in public housing taught Duquane plenty. It was why he carried the heavy toolbox up the stairs with him. Leave anything around and it will be gone the moment you turn around.

These people didn’t give a shit about anyone except themselves. They should try working for a living. Giving me shit when I didn’t get the repair ticket until this morning. Man, fuck that old spic and his bullshit.

His internal tirade is cut short when he sees the two teenage boys in black hoodies and dark sunglasses standing on either side of the entrance to the sixth floor. Lookouts, Duquane knows from their demeanor, hanging around the hallway, probably armed. Waiting to either sound the alarm if the cops showed up or pop a cap in a motherfucker should someone try ripping off the stash of drugs located nearby. He nods as he passes between them, hoping they aren’t so bored as to want to fuck with him to pass the time.

At the door of 6B, Duquane knocks and waits. He knocks again. Using the side of his fist, he pounds on the door, shouting, “Housing Authority. Maintenance.”

Getting no answer, he fumbles at the keys hanging off his belt. He shouts, “Maintenance,” again as he sticks the key in the lock. He opens the door just enough to see the chain he feared would be there. “Hello? Housing Authority. Maintenance,” he shouts into the apartment through the small opening between the door and the jamb. In the silence he catches the faint sound of dripping water. “Please unchain the door. Hello?” He lets go of the door. “Fuck.”

Not caring about the lookouts as he lugs the toolbox past them into the stairway, he mutters to himself down the six flights of stairs, hits the elevator button when he gets to the ground floor, walks out to his truck, pulls out his bolt cutters, walks back into the building, drops the toolbox to the floor and waits the ten minutes for the elevator.

 

The bolt cutters clip through the flimsy door chain like paper, and Duquane follows the sound of the water to the bathroom.

“Holy shit,” he yells, dropping the toolbox as he slips on the wet bathroom floor, launching himself backward through the doorway into the hall.

X

Tired of waiting for the repairman to return, Lucien limps out of his apartment to the elevator. When it arrives there are two police officers in it and a TV set in the corner. Lucien nods to the officers. They return the silent acknowledgment and the taller one put a foot on top of the TV as he makes room for Lucien to enter. As the elevator door closes, Lucien presses the button for the sixth floor. When the button doesn’t light up, he presses it again, then shakes his head at the state of disrepair all around him.

When the door opens, Lucien limps out toward the B line as the officers follow. He sees Duquane standing outside the door of 6B and is about to curse him when one of the officers says, “You the one that called?” Lucien stops and the officers walked past.

“Yeah,” Duquane replies, noticing the lookouts by the stairs pretending to leave. Shit, now they know I called the cops.

“Where’s it at?” the shorter of the two officers asks.

“In the tub,” Duquane answers nodding his head toward the apartment.

“OK,” the short one says, then turns to his partner. “Get his info and I’ll check it out.”

“Right,” the taller cop says.

“What happened?” Lucien asks Duquane.

“Let me ask the questions, please,” the tall cop says as he pulls a black leather-bound book out of a large pocket sewn into the leg of his uniform.

Lucien rolls his eyes and stands silent.

The cop nods at Duquane. “Tell me what happened?”

“Shit, I don’t know. I got a repair order this morning. I knocked on this guy’s door,” Duquane says, indicating Lucien, “and he’s got water looks like it’s coming from up here. I came up to check it out and found the man in the tub.”

The short cop appears at the door. “One body in the tub.”

“Dicks should be here soon,” the tall cop responds. “What’s your name?”

“Duquane Miller.”

“Did someone turn the fucking water off?” Lucien asks, looking at Duquane.

“I didn’t touch shit, old man.”

“I shut it off,” the short cop said. “Who the hell are you?” he asks Lucien.

“I live downstairs. That water’s been leaking into my apartment for days.”

“You know the man who lives in this apartment?”

“I don’t know shit about nothing, Officer, ‘cept my ceiling is about to fall down and this boy was sent here to fix it.”

“Boy? Who the fuck you callin’ boy?” Duquane shouts.

The short cop looks at Duquane and says, “Take it easy.” He looks at his partner. “Why don’t you take this one downstairs and wait for the dicks while I have a little chat with the neighbor here,” he says indicating Lucien with a nod of his head.

Lucien is about to protest, but the short cop raises a finger in the air to stop him. As the tall cop and Duquane head to the elevator, the short cop asks Lucien, “What’s your name?”

“Lucien.”

The cop leans against the door, rolls his eyes, holds his pen to his pad and says, “Don’t make this difficult. What’s your full name?”

“Lucien Cruz.”

“And you said you live downstairs?” the cop asks, looking at the door, then back to Lucien. “In 5B, is that correct?”

“Yes.”

“You have any identification on you?”

“In my apartment. Look, Officer, I don’t have nothing to do with this. Why you want to see my ID?”

The cop smirks. “Hey pal, you put yourself in this.”

“I came up here to see what was taking that kid so long to come back downstairs, it don’t mean I have anythin’ to do with no dead man.”

“Well, you’re here so I gotta ask, it’s just a formality. Don’t get nervous.”

“I ain’t nervous, ain’t got nothin’ to be nervous about,” Lucien says, then looks down the hall.

The cop flips his book shut. “OK, why don’t you go back to your apartment then and let me do my job. The detectives will want to talk to you…”

“I ain’t goin’ nowhere,” Lucien says, taking a half-step away from the cop. “Tell them to knock loud, I don’t hear so good.” He limps away, mumbling to himself in Spanish.

 

Detective Hiro Masimoto, a tall, thin Japanese-American with sharp black eyes that never give anything away, walks up to the door of Building 3 in the Farragut Housing Projects, wearing a well-cut dark blue suit, black overcoat, black porkpie hat and black silk scarf. A gold detective shield hangs from the breast pocket of his suit.

“Cold enough for you, Detective?” the officer asks as he pushes the door open for Masimoto.

The detective shrugs and walks past the officer toward the repairman standing on the far side of the hall, away from the door.

“What do we have?” Masimoto asks looking at Duquane, then back to the officer.

“Maintenance man here found a body in a bathtub up on the sixth floor.”

“Uh huh,” Masimoto says as he pushes the button for the elevator. “Your partner upstairs with the body?”

“Yup.”

Masimoto pushes the elevator button again then gives the cop a frown. “And why are you down here?”

“Neighbor was being an asshole, so I brought the witness down to get the details.”

“Witness?” Duquane says. “I ain’t no witness.”

“Figure of speech,” Masimoto says catching Duquane’s eye. “Don’t worry about it. What’s your name, sir?”

“Duquane Miller.”

“Mr. Miller,” Masimoto says making eye contact with Duquane. “I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to help us here. If you want to get your supervisor on the phone I’ll explain to him why you’re not working”

“Thanks,” Duquane says, thinking, How ‘bout you tell those young hoods in the stairway I wasn’t trying to fuck with their business by bringing y’all down here. But he keeps quiet and pulls out his cell phone.

The elevator arrives.

“Let’s have a look, shall we?” Masimoto says, holding the elevator door for Duquane and the officer. “See what we can see.”

X

Masimoto steps gingerly into the puddle that is the bathroom floor. He stands at the tub, looking down at the bloated body and wiggling his fingers into a thin blue latex glove.

“When I got here the water was on,” the shorter officer says as he stands in the doorway of the bathroom. “I shut it off.”

“Did you touch anything else?” Masimoto asks still looking at the body.

“It was running all over the floor. Neighbor downstairs said it’s been leaking into his place….”

Masimoto looks at the officer, gives him a cursory grin. “I asked if you touched anything else.”

The officer shakes his head.

“Cold or both?” Masimoto asks, looking at the faucets.

“Huh?” the officer replies.

“Which tap was running, the cold or both?” Masimoto guesses from the temperature of the water that it wasn’t the hot, which strikes him as odd.

“Just the cold.”

“And how many turns did it take to shut it off?”

The officer thinks for a moment, “Quarter turn, maybe less. It wasn’t gushing out or anything, just a steady little stream like he didn’t have time to shut it all the way off before he lost consciousness.”

Masimoto smiles a genuine smile and looks at the officer again. “That is a very big assumption, Officer. It’s not constructive. You think this is a suicide? That will shade the way you proceed. It’s why you thought it OK to alter the crime scene. That kind of thinking will keep you in uniform your entire career.”

“I…”

“Don’t worry about it. I was just giving you some insight into the job. Next time you’ll know better. Now do me a favor and find out from Mr. Miller if that toolbox and those bolt cutters are his.”

“They’re his. They got NYCHA stamped all over them,” the officer replies.

“Astute, but it’s best to confirm.”

The officer bends down to pick up the toolbox.

Masimoto sighs. “What did I just say?”

The officer stops mid-bend. “You said to find out if these belong to the maintenance man.”

“Correct. I didn’t say remove anything from the scene. Go find the maintenance man, be polite, refer to him as Mr. Miller, and ask him if he left his tools back here. You got it?”

Pulling himself upright the officer says, “Hey, I don’t have to take that kinda shit from you, you know. I’m not an idiot.”

Masimoto gives the officer a deadeye stare. “You do not want to go down that road with me, I can assure you.”

The officer opens his mouth, but Masimoto raises a hand to stop him before he puts his foot in it.

“I apologize if you thought I meant to disparage you in any way,” Masimoto says putting a hand to his heart. “I could spend all day recounting the enumerable mistakes I’ve made on crime scenes.” He moves his hand onto the officer’s shoulder, “I was simply trying to impart my experience to you, that’s all.”

The officer smiles sideways and glances at the hand on his shoulder.

As he drops the hand to his side, Masimoto can tell the officer is debating whether or not he is being fucked with. “I assure you my apology is sincere. Now, please find Mr. Miller and let’s get an answer on this.”

The officer takes a step away then stops and turns to Masimoto again. “Do you think this is a murder?”

“Right now, this is a dead man in a tub of water. What I think it may or may not be isn’t relevant until we have more facts.”

The officer nods then walks down the hall to the living room.

Masimoto grabs the hem of his coat, careful not to get it wet as he bends down and tucks it into his lap. He gently lifts the dead man’s hand by a thumb, notes the gash on his wrist that runs from the base of the hand up the forearm. With considerable effort, he eases the puckered body toward him to free the other arm and notices a similar gash.

The phone in his pocket rings. Masimoto lets go of the thumb and watches as the body rotates toward the wall. With his latex-clad knuckle, he touches the button on the Bluetooth earpiece. “Hey Sully,” he says.

“I missed a call from you,” Ryan Sullivan says in Masimoto’s ear. “Whatcha got?”

“Dead guy,” Masimoto says, straightening up. “At the Farragut Houses.”

“Dead how?”

Masimoto surveys the crumbling paint on the ceiling above the tub. “Not sure yet.” He looks down at the body again. “He’s floating in the tub, both wrists done with a sharp instrument.” He looks on the floor, moves his feet off the water-logged, threadbare, formerly white bath mat, takes it up carefully, finds nothing underneath and lets it float back to the floor. “I can’t find anything, but my guess is it’s at the bottom of the tub.”

“Oh, an easy one. You need me there?” Sullivan asks.

“Probably not. Where are you?”

“Tux shopping.”

Masimoto smiles. “Sounds like fun.”

“Yeah, barrel of laughs. I’m almost done here. You want me to meet you there?”

“Nah, I’ll see you back at the station. This shouldn’t take long.”

“Maxi,” Bill Grieve calls out from the hallway.

“Crime lab just got here. I’ll see you later,” Masimoto says to Sullivan then touches the button on his earpiece ending the call. “Back here,” he shouts out to Grieve.

Bill Grieve appears in the bathroom doorway. “Hey, whaddya got?”

“As you see,” Masimoto says, gesturing at the body in the tub.

“Huh, can’t smell him yet. Water must be keeping the odor down.”

“Must be,” Masimoto says, stepping past Grieve into the hallway. “You know the drill, Bill. Photograph the entire bathroom, shoot some video for me as well. And after you drain the tub, call me. We need to find what he did his wrists with, otherwise it’s a murder case.”

“Don’t worry,” Grieve says, looking over his shoulder at the body. “This looks like suicide to me.”

Everybody has an opinion, Masimoto thinks and chuckles to himself. There’s no getting away from it.

Pete Fasulo marches down the hall toward the two men. “How’s it going, Maxi?”

“It’s going,” Masimoto replies as he moves to the bedroom.

Fasulo steps into the bathroom doorway. “Whoa, he’s been dead awhile, huh?”

“We’re going to need the 18mm lens for this one,” Grieve says.

“I got it,” Fasulo says, swinging the camera bag off his shoulder.

“All right, let’s get to it,” Grieve says.

Masimoto finds the light switch and closes the bedroom door. Through the thin walls he can hear Grieve and Fasulo talking, but not what they’re saying. He prefers it that way. In fact, Masimoto prefers working alone. It’s easier.

He looks at the neatly made single bed and thinks the man in the tub must have either slept curled up or his feet hung off the bottom of the mattress. There was no bedside table, no lamp, no books. So, our man was not a reader.

Masimoto had noted the lack of a television in the living room when he entered the apartment. There isn’t one in the bedroom, either. And he’s not big on current affairs or entertainment.

He opens the closet door and counts three identical pairs of black men’s trousers, three crisp white shirts, one black sports coat, all hung neatly and with plenty of room. He goes through the pockets of the sports coat and finds exactly nothing, not even lint. The label is in Italian. There is one pair of men’s dress shoes, also black.

Masimoto sighs as he moves to the end of the small room, to the only piece of furniture other than the bed, a large dark oak dresser with scuffed legs. The drawers contain one black leather belt that look as if it has seen more years than Masimoto himself. Six pairs of black dress socks, six pairs of white boxer shorts with elastic waistbands that were in various stages of giving out. Under the seven white t-shirts with yellowed underarms, Masimoto finds a Swiss passport issued to Ganz, Stefan, born 1955. The man who stares back from the photograph could have been the son of the man in the tub. Masimoto lingers over the black eyes of the man in the photo, trying to read his intention. Does this look like the face of a man who would eventually commit suicide or do something someone would want to murder him over? Silly question, Masimoto knows, but it still rings in his head.

He flips through the pages and finds the US entry stamp dated a little over a year ago.

“You’re here illegally, Mr. Ganz,” Masimoto states, looking at the photograph again before placing the passport into a glassine evidence bag and tucking it into his jacket.

He sits on the edge of the bed and looks around the small chamber-like room. Allowing himself for a moment to be like everyone else and speculate based on circumstantial evidence, he feels the familiar fear rise up through the pit of his stomach. Masimoto has seen similar situations, lonely men living out their existence with no family, no friends, no connection to the world. It’s no wonder he took himself out.

It frightened Masimoto to think too long about the existentialist crises men like Stefan Ganz face. Try as he might, Masimoto knows but doesn’t want to admit the real reason he fears this kind of suicide more than any other.

He sees himself in that room, knowing he has to stay active or be swallowed by demons greater than his lack of faith in a god he couldn’t see or communicate with. Being with people was a small consolation, but even they cannot save him in those darkest of hours in the early morning before sunrise.

Masimoto leaves the bedroom, cursing under his breath as he trips over the loose door sill, and moves to the bathroom again. Without saying a word to Grieve or Fasulo he steps carefully into the room, takes a last look at Ganz’s puckered, blackened face, then snaps the gloves off as he makes his way out.

“I’ll call you when we find the blade,” Grieve says.

“Good man. Thanks,” Masimoto says from the hallway.

X

Masimoto sits on the couch listening to Lucien complain about life in the projects.

“And you know, mijo, it’s not like I had the option to live on Park Avenue like these white people. They don’t have to wait days before the repairman comes, let me tell you,” Cruz says as he pushes himself further back in his battered green lounge chair. “My father, worked forty-six years for those rich motherfuckers, and I …”

“Please, Mr. Cruz, if we could stick to the subject,” Masimoto says, his pen paused over his notepad.

“That’s what I’m telling you, the subject of trying to get the leak in my bathroom ceiling fixed. I called three days ago. I waited on hold, then they send that boy and he didn’t know sheesh. The cop it was who turned the water. Dios mio, these kids today, don’t think of nothing but themselves.”

“I understand, Mr. Cruz.”

“Understand, what do you understand? I’m telling you. And where is this boy now, eh? He’s not here and my ceiling is about to fall down. Mira, I’ll show you,” Cruz says as he works the lever on the side of the lounger and pushes himself up.

Masimoto stands but does not move. “Mr. Cruz? Please, just tell me, did you know Stefan Ganz? Had you seen him in the building before?”

“I don’t know nobody,” Cruz says standing at the beginning of the hallway. “I jus want my ceiling fixed.”

“You’ll have to call the housing authority for that, Mr. Cruz,” Masimoto says, shoving the pad and pen into his pocket. He made his way past the oversized coffee table to the front door. “Thank you for your time.”

“Time I don’t got,” Cruz says as Masimoto slowly shuts the door.

While waiting for the elevator, Masimoto looks up and realizes the ceiling is roughly seven feet from the floor. That and the cinder-block walls, peeling paint, cracked linoleum, and pervasive smell of decomposing food, sour milk, and skunk-weed marijuana, would explain why he always feels hemmed in and slightly oppressed whenever he works a case in the projects. He steps into the elevator and notices two bags of garbage on the floor. Shaking his head, he pushes the button for the ground floor and thinks, How do people live like this?

The elevator cannot move fast enough for him.

 

© Copyright D James Eldon

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More to come in 2017 – in the meanwhile you can read the first two books of Brooklyn Homicide Investigations.