by O. J. Anderson
Table of Contents|
appeared in issue 219.
part 1 of 2
Berney Razor — a.k.a. “Razor Burn” — of the Special Crimes Unit of the Garden City Police Department, believes in a healthy diet: he makes his own fruit smoothies and bakes his own banana-flavored bran muffins. He also exercises healthily. However, he has not read the chapter titled “Moderation.” He has developed a physique of geographical proportions; he looms amply equipped to punch out the punks on the seamy side of Garden City. What can stand in the way of this law-enforcement juggernaut? We shall see...
It’s darker than six feet up a killer whale’s colon south of Pemrose this time of night. The rumble of the truck’s engine echoes throughout the brick valleys and sounds like the end of time coming. Razor drives slowly, manipulating the roof-mounted search light with his hand, illuminating every alley, dumpster, and pile of trash where someone might hide.
Dr. Jenkins’ hand fidgets with her watch band on her maiden tour of the Garden City ghettoes. Her citrusy perfume fills the truck’s cab and gives Razor a headache. He grunts: “You want information in this city, you gotta get your hands around some throats.”
“I see,” she says. “So you’re not exactly operating on the forefront of human rights then.”
“Some of these people aren’t human. They have no rights.”
“Ah, I must have missed that class at the academy.”
“The kind of stuff you’ll see here they don’t teach in any class.”
Razor turns the truck onto south Denton. He flips open the large cooler sitting on the seat between them and reaches inside for a smoothie. “I brought an extra smoothie if you’re interested. I also have plenty of purified water, granola, homemade turkey jerky, oranges, whole grain crackers with a spinach/avocado dip, and I might even have some toasted almonds in there too. Have a look.”
“I like to take the bulk of my nutrition in liquid form after nine to avoid any indigestion and that sluggish feeling the next morning. It’s a great way to get some quality energy that doesn’t slow you down. Easy to prepare, too.”
Razor suddenly stabs the brakes, bringing the truck to an immediate halt. There’s something over by the dumpster. He fixes the spotlight on it. “Here we go. See that jaundiced stick man over there?”
“Goes by the name of 2 Sick. His partner, Big Nasty, should be hiding somewhere close by. They’re looking to score. Dealer will come by, doing the rounds, and see him standing there. Then he’ll park a ways up the road and his partner will make the deal. He used to be a pretty good DJ until he got mixed up with the maggots. Now look at him. His body has atrophied to the density of styrofoam.”
“Nobody calls it Z-ball anymore except for you and Mary Curtis. Now they’re maggots, or rice. High quality stuff is Tic-Tacs or Uncle Ben’s.” He gets out of the truck and tells her to stay put.
“Hold on. What are you going to do?”
“Get some information.”
“From him? He doesn’t look like he’s up for much chit chat tonight.”
Razor strides off towards 2 Sick.”He will be.”
His gait is long and strong, and he closes the fifty-foot gap between the truck and 2 Sick in under three seconds, like a natural disaster. His right hand forms an iron horseshoe that he blasts out around the scrawny, dirty neck of the ectomorphic street urchin. He pins 2 Sick to the wall behind him, very careful not to snap his head off, and lifts him approximately twelve inches off the ground.
2 Sick comes back to life.
The truck door slams, heels come clacking across the pavement. “Razor, put him down. Razor!”
Razor feels Dr. Jenkins’ hands tugging at his arm. “Get back in the truck,” he growls.
“No,” she says. “You put him down right now.” When she realizes that she can’t budge the twenty-seven inch appendage, she slaps it, twice.
2 Sick returns to ground level, only because Razor doesn’t feel like dealing with a hysterical woman on the side of the road south of Pemrose at the moment. He keeps 2 Sick pinned to the wall though, not constricting his wind pipe so he can talk.
2 Sick’s eyes, like dirty golf balls, stare up at Razor, and in a voice sounding like a doped-up cicada with nasal congestion, he says: “Are... you... my... father?”
Razor cuffs 2 Sick hard across the side of his head, hard enough to give him a new hairstyle.
Dr. Jenkins shouts, “Stop that!” and slaps his arm again. Then she says to 2 Sick, “Look, kid, I know right now you’re so spun on Pop-Rocks or Thin Mints that your mind is like warm pudding, but try hard to understand what I’m telling you, okay? This big ape is about to alter your body at a molecular level, got that? Now, I don’t agree with it, but there’s also not much I can do about it at the moment. So you need to start answering his questions.”
“I haven’t asked him any questions yet.”
She looks up at Razor.”Then what are you doing?”
“It’s called police work.”
Her hands mount her hips in a defiant pose. “Oh, really?”
“That’s right,” he says, becoming incredibly pissed off at this woman. “You should check into it sometime.”
2 Sick moans, “Pound of flesh please.”
“I’ll have you know that I am an experienced field agent.”
“Yeah, I hear it’s real tough up there in Walldalla. What with everyone stealing pens and legal pads from the supply closet and all.”
“Oh, you are some piece of work.”
“Yo, playah, yo,” says a voice from behind Razor.
They stop arguing and turn to see who’s there. It’s Big Nasty, 2 Sick’s partner. Like ten pounds of chop meat stuffed into a five-pound hoagie roll, he waddles across the road wearing a towel over his head, a Garden City Hood Ratz jersey, and sucking on an asthma inhaler like it’s been deep fried in bacon fat. Tshshshsht. He says, “Man, dat fool don’t know nothin’.”
“Maybe I should be choking you then.”
“Naw, playah,” he says, shaking his head. “I’m a’ight.”
“I’m looking for Cyborg and one of you is going to tell me where I can find him.”
“Dat’s an easy one, playah. GP7 Club’s where his crew bust. He got what you and yo lady lookin’ for.”
“I am not his lady.”
“A’ight, yo.” Tshshshst. “Whatever you say.” Big nasty needs about 10,000 consecutive hours of cardio work, a 500-calorie a day diet and about eight angioplasties.
Razor says, “If you’re lying to me, I’m going to make an umbrella out of your ass.”
Dr. Jenkins sighs.
Copyright © 2006 by O. J. Anderson