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High Crimes and Misdemeanors

There's shit in the Gutter, and it can't all be stepped around. Some of it has to be scooped up.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors by Gary Clifton

Homicide Detective Sheena Rucker hung up the phone and strode across the squad room toward lieutenant Grant’s office. Tall, leggy, black - well, bronze actually – and beautiful, all male eyes present assessed her ass, all cautiously aware Sheena was one tough sucker. “Gonna go see a snitch, Boss,” she called in the door as she walked by.
She herded the old Dodge to the domicile of Fatso Six, a swindler who operated a half assed numbers game on Malone - called Six because Fatso was a very crowded name in the neighborhood. Four and Five had both been shot and killed in the last year, and technically Fatso Six was now number four, but the system had no provision for seniority.  Six stayed Six. 
“Fatso, you lied to me about that creep Crowbar murdering Peaches. Another fuckup and I’ll see your parole revoked so you can go back to being some alpha con’s ol’ lady.”
“Miss Sheena, I didn’t actually say I saw Crowbar let the hammer down on that pimp fuck Peaches. I heard a gunshot, ran out back, and Peaches was deader than hell. Crowbar was down the alley…and I ain’t seen no piece.”
“You lyin’ sack of shit, you been talkin’ around you saw Crowbar shoot the toad.”
“Miss Sheena, that fuck Crowbar even suspect I fingered his ass, I’m dead as Peaches.”
“Shouldn’t change your story, dipshit.”
She walked out and drove the Dodge to Crowbar’s last known address, three blocks further down Malone. By chance, she nearly collided with Crowbar on the back stairs. He brushed by her and ran three or four steps.
She slid back her jacket, showing Crowbar the Glock .40 tucked in her waistband. “Crowbar, even a dumb ass like you has to know you run from me, you just go to jail tired…or with a bullet hole in your ass.”
“Jail,” he blinked rapidly. “Ain’t did shit.”
“They why run?”
“I always run from the gott damn PO-lice.”
“Crowbar, we found the gun that killed Peaches in a dumpster. I either get a DNA swab right here in this parking lot or uniforms will haunt your ass like Frankenstein. The lab also wants a pubic hair sample.”
“Pubic hair? Somebody fuck Peaches after they shot his ass?”
She pulled out a DNA kit and swabbed Crowbar’s mouth, then allowed him to turn his back and drop three pubic hairs in a second baggie.
“I ain’t shot Peaches, Miss Sheena.”
“You already said that, ass-wipe.”
Sheena drove by the lab and left the two samples. Instinct told her Crowbar had been too easy and damned well could be not guilty – at least of offing Peaches.
At just past ten, Sheena was watching the evening news when her cellular buzzed.
“Switchboard just called me, Sheena,” Lieutenant Grant said. “Somebody let the air outta your snitch, Fatso number what the hell ever.”
Sheena dressed, drove to Fatso’s place of business, arriving just as the M. E. was loading his obese carcass into a morgue van. An hour’s canvass, complete with Sheena making a few promises and issuing several death threats, told her Crowbar had been seen on the street out front just before somebody put three from a .32 in Fatso. Inquiry to Crowbar’s apartment disclosed neither he nor his old Buick were on the premises. A young patrol officer approached and handed her an evidence-bagged .32 revolver he’d found in a dumpster two blocks away.
At dark-thirty the next morning, she was waiting at the lab door with the .32 when the place opened. In an hour, tentative mitochondrial DNA results from the .32 told a weird story. She immediately put out an all points for Crowbar.  By lunch, patrol officers had him in jail.
Sheena sat across a metal table from Crowbar in a small interview room in the county jail.

“Well, Crowbar, I’m nominating you for dumb bastard of the century.”

“I ain’t kilt Peaches, Miss Sheena.”

“No godammit,” she tossed the DNA charts on the table. “Fatso Six did. His DNA is on the murder weapon and yours isn’t. But we found the gun you used to murder Fatso last night in another damned dumpster down the street with your DNA all over it. Why the hell didn’t you toss the murder weapon in the East River?”

“I was gonna, Miss Sheena, but the gott damned Po-lice come along and I hadda toss it in that dumpster. That mu’fucker Fatso been tellin’ around I did Peaches. You unnerstan I had to cap his ass.”

“Repeat, Crowbar. Nomination for the dumb bastard of the century. You did not have to shoot Fatso, you dumb ass.”

“I get that award, Miss Sheena, that mean I don’t hafta go back to the joint? Fatso needed killin’ anyway.”

Sheena shook her head. “Can’t argue with you about Fatso’s value to the world, Crowbar, but, no, you get no ‘get outta jail free card’.” She pulled the handcuffs from her waistband.

Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has been shot at, shot, stabbed, lied to and about, and often misunderstood. Currently retired to a dusty ranch in North Texas, he doesn't give a damn if school keeps or not. He has stories published in over a hundred venues.