Blood Crumbs: Chapter 10Mature

    When I walked into the gym there was a game of ball still going. I walked over onto the sidelines to the nearest benched player.

    I pulled out my badge and showed him, “I’m looking for Detective Mesker.” I said.

    “Yeah, he’s on the court, that one in the blue shorts and grey shirt.” He said pointing, “Yo! Rich!”

    A guy in his mid-thirties with wavy blonde hair stopped and looked over at us. I held up my badge to show I was here on official business and he nodded.

    “Hey Pat, jump in for me for a sec!” He said waving at one of his teammates who hopped onto the court.

    Detective Patrick Mesker walked over to me and smiled and held out his hand. “I seem to be at a disadvantage here, Detective-?”

    “Burton.” I answered as I shook his hand.

    “Burton…Burton that name sounds familiar.” He said thinking hard.

    “Sorry to bug ya,” I said trying to interrupt his thought process. Sometimes when cops remembered why they knew my name, they became a little less forthcoming. “But I’m gonna have to see if I can pick your brain about Emilio Ramirez.”

    He frowned. “Dammit. That dude is like herpes, I just can’t get rid of him. What the Hell did he do this time?”

    “He got himself killed.” I said

    Mesker paused for a moment and sighed. “This isn’t going to be a real quick conversation, is it?”

    I shrugged. “Probably not as quick as you’d hope.”

    “Alright, you mind if we sit down?” He said moving towards the bleachers.

    “Not at all,” I said hopping in step.

    We walked up about mid way through the stands to be clearly out of ear-shot of anyone on the court and sat down.

    “So, Emilio Ramirez is dead.” Mesker said with a contemplative nod.

    It wasn’t phrased as a question, but still I felt the need to answer.


    “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”

    “That’s kind of the picture I’ve been getting so far.” I acknowledged.

    “Well what do you want to know?”

    “Well when did he start informing for you?” I asked.

    “Never. I mean I know I keep some of my guys off the books but I can’t even really classify what Ramirez was to me.”

    “How about you try?”

    “Alright, I’d heard people jokingly throw around the saying stupid like a fox, but really that’s the only way I can describe Ramirez. The guy was dumb as a bag of rocks and got caught with his hand in the cookie jar so many different ways. Sometimes I wondered how the dip shit remembered to inhale oxygen on a consistent basis.”

    “But,” I prodded

    “But he was also one cunning SOB too. I mean he kept his ear to the ground and every time he got caught he had some tasty little morsel that was just appetizing enough to get him a walk. He used me as a facilitator just because I had dealt with him a few times in the past. He got me a few good busts and as long as he kept himself stupid and harmless, I figured he was small potatoes.”

    “The domestic charges?” I asked.

    “I sometimes feel bad about that, but I never stepped in for those complaints. At the time, I thought Kathy was just another junkie girlfriend. She never pressed charges.”

    “She wasn’t just another junkie?”

    “Well yes and no. I mean it was that old tale we’ve all heard a hundred times before. Promising girl goes off to college on a scholarship, girl meets boy, boy gets girl addicted to heroine, girl becomes entirely dependent on boy until boy beats girl nearly to death with an ice scraper.”

    “Oh,” I said, “That old thing.”

    “Yeah. Pretty much. So, when he got arrested for the attempted murder he called me in and asked what I could do for him. He told me he could hand over some pretty big names on a platter. I told him I didn’t care if he started popping out golden eggs right in front of me. I was done with him right then and there.”

    There was a long awkward silence while I tried to think of what I could ask him next. Mesker eventually filled the empty space.

    “She was pregnant you know? I’m sure you read it in the reports,” He looked at me and I shook my head, “I mean she was only six weeks along and had been doing heroine all along so there wasn’t much hope for the kid, but he beat her so bad that she miscarried before they got to the hospital.”

    “Don’t suppose you know what happened to her?” I asked.

    “Well Detective, you happen to be in luck. While she may have kicked her drug habit, she’s still got terrible taste in boyfriends. I believe she moved in with a low level dealer named Steve…Hanner? Pretty sure that’s it. They live in West Valley. H-A-N-N-E-R, I’m sure you’ll be able to look him up. I deal with him on occasion, small time guy, dumb as a post, pretty much just her type.”

    I thanked him and gave him my card. “Give me a call if anything you think of stands out.”

    “Not a problem.” He said as he stood up.

    I started walking out but turned when Mesker called out my name.

    He smiled. “Give Mayor McAsshole my best, will ya?”

    I laughed, but I cringed inside. He'd remembered. “That’s quite the memory you’ve got going on there.”

    “I had just joined the force when all that stuff happened. It was pretty big news at the time.”

    “You’re tellin’ me.” I said and waved as I walked out of the gym.

The End

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