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Outta Sight, Outta Mind

When dealing with scum bags in The Gutter,

be prepared to get your hands dirty.

Outta Sight, Outta Mind by Gary Clifton

Detective Sheena Rucker studied the patrol report on her desk intently. A slender, attractive former college basketball star, she could outrun and kick the ass of nearly every thug in town, and often had. She looked over at her partner, Detective Ernie Grogan, at the next desk. “Our only witness in the murder of Stabber Wilson was found last night in a dumpster out on the east side. Stabbed…uh, eighteen times, cigarette burns, eyes gouged out, wrists tied with barbed wire…all before death.”

Grogan was twenty-three years a cop, balding, quiet, and tough. “Kitten…Lula Mae?” Grogan raised an eyebrow. “You aren’t really surprised? We promised her Witsec. She told us to piss off.”

Lula Mae Clinton, known as “Kitten,” was a stripper at the Silver Daddy Topless Club. She had taken up with an outlaw biker, Clarence Rugger, also known as “Blood.”

Sheena slid the death photo over to Grogan. “He did it to get his jollies. She wasn’t gonna spill. The prick just likes to cut up naked strippers.”

“And we know damned well Blood is good for killing both Stabber and this poor kid. Look at the photo. The MOs are identical,” Grogan said. “Took a fuckin’ hour to do this. But still way too circumstantial to get a conviction.”

Sheena’s smile was death. “We still need to round his ass up for a serious ass-whippin.’ Maybe he’ll confess.”

Grogan nodded and the hunt was on. By noon the following day, facilitated by kicking the dog shit out of several of Blood’s buddies, they traced the biker to his aunt’s farm south of the city.

An hour’s search disclosed no sign of Blood. “Bad info I guess, Sheena.” Grogan stepped into an old, lopsided outdoor privy and urinated into the single hole.

“S…stop, mu’fucker!” a distraught wail wafted up from the huge load of accumulated offal below.

Grogan peered closer into the hole. The piss-filled, yellow eyes of Blood himself, neck deep in liquid shit, glared back at him. Grogan grinned. “Neat place to hide, bad ass…among more shit.”

“Goddammit, Grogan, I’m stuck in shit and I’m sinking,” Blood screamed before his voice dissolved into hysterical sobs. “I got rights, man. You gotta get me out.”

“Sheena,” Grogan called out. “Blood wants to talk to you.”

Sheena shone her flash light on the trapped biker.

“Arrgggghgodammit,” Blood yelled. He was in nearly to the mouth, although by tipping his head backward, he had about a half-inch of play left. His shrieks of terror were long and deafening. He couldn’t quite reach the sides for leverage.

 “You could damage your throat screaming like that. You need help, you say?” Sheena said softly.

“Yeah, you mu’fuckers. You gotta help.” His voice was a nearly unintelligible glut of terror. “Helllllp, for Christ’s sake.”

Grogan said, “Well, Blood, we really need to know if you sure enough butchered Stabber and Kitten.”

“Yeah, goddammit…they both had it comin’. Now help.” The stress on his throat was bringing on serious voice loss. Oh, God, help me. Mucus coursed down what little chin remained visible and mingled with liquid human waste already soaking his scraggly beard. His last shriek allowed some offal to fill his mouth.

“I don’t believe God likes your fat ass any better than us,” Grogan said and motioned Sheena out of the odor.

Blood’s screams of horror rapidly diminished to a squeal.

“Kitten squeal like that when you gouged out her eyes, shithead? We’ll have to get the shit removal squad.” Grogan pushed the door shut behind him.

“No, no, mu’fuckers, no!” Blood screeched from his horrible prison. His hoarse voice was nearly gone. “Nooooo!” His shriek was again lost in sobs of self-pity.

Blood’s voice had strained to a shrill howl as they walked to the car.

“Sounds like a castrated coyote tryin’ to sing the National Anthem,” Sheena said.

“He confessed, Sheena,” Grogan said, stopping at the main gate.

Sheena wired it shut and slid back into the squad car. “At this distance, Blood’s squeals sound partially liquid and barely audible. Suppose he already went under? Rats and snakes will eat his ass in a day or so.” She smiled.

“Rats and snakes gotta eat, too, partner.” Grogan shifted the car to drive. “Hope they don’t get food poisoning from that useless bastard.”

“And no circumstantial case for the court to toss,” Sheena smiled.

Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has been shot at, shot, stabbed, lied to and about, and often misunderstood. He's currently retired to a dusty north Texas ranch, has an M.S. from Abilene Christian University, and still doesn't give a damn if school keeps or not.