Saturday, December 27, 2014

Doraville (Blogphilia 44.7)

“Hey, Heidy and Howdy! Harry Handy doing a local song for a local request, here on the FART. A little song about a little town you all know…

“Doraville…Touch of country in the city…Doraville... It ain’t much, but it’s home…”

Easing the Crown Vic off the freeway, his mind turned to mush. No focus. Had it really been 40 years?  Visions of Carol sitting in his lap as they would sing at the top of their voices. It was so cool that someone had actually written a song about their home town. Riding up and down Buford Highway after school, the lights from Kmart and Zayre’s reflecting in their faces, it was their world. Graduation at the drive-in, night naked and  melding together completely for the first time, they gazed into each other’s eyes as the light from the freeway blinked above them.  He knew she was his forever. 

“Friends of mine, say I ought to move to New York, Well New York’s fine, but it ain’t Doraville…”
How true that line was. There wasn’t enough money for college, so he enlisted in the Army just for something to do. After basic, they sent him to the Korean DMZ, waiting for what he was told was the imminent invasion, the one that never came. Saber rattling followed by weeks of silence. Lonely nights on watch would draw the fears. 

Sleep wouldn’t come for days. All he could think about was Carol’s slender body writhing under him. She promised to wait for him, but doubts tortured his mind. Dickensian dreams of her in wedding dresses with him as a mute spirit, unable to object. Letters would come with pictures of Carol and her Mom. They would be smiling with signs saying “Miss You” and “Can’t wait for you to come home.” The fears would go away for a while. 

On Saturday nights, the soldiers would go into town to drink and relax. Young village girls would try to get his attention. They looked like small flowers planted around the bar. And he would miss his rose at home that much more. One of the Chaplains had taken pity on him and had given him a poem, “Jerusalem”, to give him strength as he stood watch over the snowbound highlands. He would speak the final stanza out loud to keep himself alert.
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.

“Red Clay Hills, Rednecks drinkin’ wine on Sunday…

The discharge came two weeks before Christmas. “For the Benefit of the Government” was the reason. He laughed at that. The threat of section 8 had been directed at him by more than one Sergeant because he wouldn’t fuck the village girls. Some just assumed he was another fag biding his time. Or his frozen heart would snap and kill someone the CO didn’t want. He didn’t care. Carol was at home and soon he would be, too.

The C130 was packed for the 48 hour ride home. The troop drawdown was in full force and 120 tired, weary soldiers heading toward the future with no expectations. The skies were as grey and snowy as his mood and all Murray could think was, “Let it snow”.  Would she still be there or would some GM Redneck coward steal his treasure?  During the layover at Ft. Lewis, he went to the PX to drink a beer and maybe find a momento. It came in the form of a small diamond ring. It wouldn’t win any prizes for flash. This wasn’t about flash. It was about showing he was the committed fool she always knew.

Christmas morning was sunny when the big bird landed. As he disembarked, he saw the red bow first. It was set in the straight blonde hair and the ribbon went around her shoulders. As she ran toward him, he couldn’t stop himself. Bending his knee, he held out the small box and said.

“Let’s open each other’s presents.”

“It’s funky, but it’s pretty…”

They settled into the apartment while he became a cop. Carol was used to the routine, since her uncle had been one all his life.  She took it all. The crappy shifts, the frustration when he came home, all of it, like nothing happened, a rock and a harbor in the worst of storms.

Then came the raid. They were living in the same complex, but a few buildings down. He had noticed the traffic out of the unit. The grapevine indicated it was mostly weed, but occasionally pills. The only reason Narc Squad had it targeted is some County Commissioner’s daughter had been spotted buying. The Narco guys did let him call home and tell Carol to get out before they came in. But they only did that as a courtesy because Murray was a cop. 

As Murray turned the car into the complex, the tape he had suppressed so long played. 

Seven or eight squad cars along with the Special Ops van coming in. Target building was to the left. The parade stopped about  50 yards from the building. There was the great rush, with the lead Narco’s at point. Shots rang out. He, Cpl William T. Murray, felt the weight of the weapon and his finger press down. Sounds were detached from their sources. Was it his gun or the Artie’s? Didn’t matter. Ballistic metal booms echoing off fake plaster walls and black defects appearing as if summoned by a higher power. The brown head exploded in front of him, pieces of flesh attaching to his pressed blue serge uniform. 

It horrified him.

He hadn’t signed up to kill people. Only track the people who did.  

Like now.

And it was at the same building as before, only the unit across the hall. 

The knock at the door was a disconnected as the gunshots so many years before. The door opened and a small, brown woman appeared, a small child attached to her hip.

“Señora Torres? My name is Lt. William Murray with the Gwinnett County Police and this is Captain Gomez with Dekalb County Police. Do you know a Diego Rodriguez Aguirre?”


Topic-Colleen Bruenig

Pic-Heather Blomquist.

Pic Guesses-Bleak Midwinter. Winter dream, Grey Dawn, Flaky, Blizzard, Snowbound, Powder. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

For my readers.

May you have the happiest of Holiday Seasons.

Too politically correct?

O.K. I'll get specific.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Channukah (a little late)

Enjoy Kwanzaa for those who do.

And may the coming year bring you more pleasure than pain (and we know they both will come).

Christopher H. Mitchell
A.K.A. Another Government Employee
6th House on the right, 9-27, PDK Atlanta.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Namaste (Blogophilia 43.7)


As Asaalam Alaikum


May the peace of the Lord be with you.


Different ways to say the same thing.

So, we humans say these things

And act completely the opposite.

The Zealots want peace,

But only for themselves.

And because of this, 

War remains evergreen.

Patriots want freedom

But that is only found 

In death.


All those statements

Proclaiming peace

And those persist

In maintaining Hell.


If you are going 

Though Hell,

Keep going.

It will pass.

I promise.



Topic-Kismet (RIP)


Pic Guesses: Egg and I, Robot nativity, digital manger, Hatching, brooding, tending. 

Written in memory of those Innocents who passed this day.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Repsect. (A Writercize Challenge)

A Writercize challenge.

I haven't done one in over a year.

And this one is a little out of my comfort zone, since it asks me to write an journalistic opinion column on how I feel about various police actions in the last few months.

Michael Brown

Eric Garner

Tamir Rice

And a number of other incidents that should cause great concern.

Is a White life greater than a Black one?

On the surface, you would think so. In each of these situations, we had White officers causing the deaths of Black men. But, I think that statement is a straw-man argument. One that diverts the attention from a deeper problem. A problem larger than the Police and larger than the people they deal with.

It is a problem with power used without respect, which is the definition of tyranny.

Disrespect breeds more disrespect. Soon, conflict happens.

On the world stage, we have conflict over the world where side A wishes the utter annihilation of side B. And if you aren't 100% for A, then you must be with B.

I'm with none of them.

In each of the above examples, impatient police made very serious tactical errors that place them in a position where deadly force resulted. If they had just taken five seconds to observe and breathe, a lot of heartache could have been avoided.

But Humans aren't known for patience. Fight, flight and total victory are all they know. 

And we will all go up in flames because of it.


Here is a link back to Writercize.  Sometimes you need to be taken in a different direction.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Facing Ghosts (Blogophilia 42.7)

“Damn. I need some coffee.”

The meeting had left his head spinning. Anal Artie had left no detail unturned; kidnapping, rape, murder, even infanticide if a girl got pregnant. It was a never ending tragedy. A loan shark for La Paloma would front some money to a father, with the collateral being his kids. When the loan got behind, the enforcers would then take the women, killing the fathers and brothers who resisted. Police down there were completely owned by the group, so it did no good to complain. It really was too much information to digest all at once. El Potro and his minions were quite evil. 

The half empty pot smiled at him. Black slightly burnt liquid poured into the empty Starbucks cup. The aroma slowly cleared his brain and something very important came to his mind.

In all of the slides of desperation and depravity, there was nothing that pointed to why there were four dead bodies. Murray pondered. If it had been a theft, one or more of the victims would have had their hands damaged or cut off. Faces would have been disfigured if they had snitched.  There was not of the usual signs of gang trouble. 

The tip lines and informants were crickets so far on rivals.And the little bit on information gotten from the girls he talked to didn’t indicate any problems with his victims. He took a slow sip of the coffee and thought. 

Was someone suspected of snitching? Yes, that was always a possibility, even with the no damage. And if one was suspected, anyone attached to the Snitch would also go.  What they didn’t know yet is if the four victims knew each other. Given they were all from the same village, it was likely they were related somehow. 

It could also be a matter of disrespect, something said taken the wrong way, with disastrous consequences.  

According to Artie and the Gang Unit in Cobb, there had been no interviews with any of the victims. Rights were always invoked and everybody bonded out. There was an ICE detain on the girl in Cobb, but a lawyer made bond happen and she was in the wind until her body was found. 

Slumping into his chair, he turned on his computer and groaned. Some bozo had changed his screen saver to a simulation of a zoopraxiscope. The naked man’s flickering jumping jacks was NOT his cup of tea. If someone else wanted to look at that, they were more than welcome to do so. And anyway, it was a violation of department policy. Quickly turning it off, he went into the department database, but not before he heard Jackson’s braying voice.

“HA! Knew you liked yours kinky.”

“Oh, shut up.” he said not bothering to turn around.  “I’ll get somebody to get rid of that later.  Do we have the autopsy back?”

“Yep.  It is pending toxicology, but nothing expected. Señor Aguirre had a total of five defects in the upper torso, three entries and two exits, and one entry behind the right ear. M.E. is guessing, but it appears the headshot was post mortem.”

“Just to make sure?”  Murray turned around, looking intently at Jackson. 

“Probably.”  Flipping a page, the Black man continued. “Fragments from two projectiles were recovered, consistent with a medium caliber weapon, like a .380 or 9mm. Report goes on to say the deceased had trauma around the face that occurred shortly before death consistent with being hit with a blunt object.”
“Like the gun they shot him with?”

“That would be my guess.”

“Are there enough fragments to test if we were to recover a gun?”

“Don’t know. Ballistics will tell us.”

“Something else to follow up. Anything else?”

“Not really.A couple of old fractures, one old gunshot scar in the leg, another scar consistent with a knife wound, all more than a year old.” Jackson set the report down. “Someone was pissed someone off.”


Tapping a few keys and brought up the victim’s record. Murray spent a couple of minutes making notes of where the arrest were and whether he had shown up for court.  Two charges were dismissed for lack of evidence or witnesses. No surprise. Nobody would consider talking against this group. A third charge of pimping had been plead down to loitering with intent, fine paid that day. Need to talk to vice about that one. The case must have been stronger. Gomez did say he had a couple of arrests in Dekalb and he would forward the results. He wasn’t hopeful they would help, but it was information.  

Clicking over a page, he then looked at Aguirre’s emergency contacts. Maria Aguirre Torres, Sister, 4026 Pleasantdale, Doraville.Violent images of a vice raid gone wrong flashed across his eyes. Must have been fifteen, twenty years ago, the tip had come by way of the clouds.  Four kilos of coke and a couple of underage girls, and then…gunfire. Like lightning offshore, chaos and smoke were the primary memories. The very apartment the raid happened. The C.I. tip said there would only be a dealer…maybe the supplier…not half the fucking drug gang. The bodies lay all over the floor. Four in total, with four wounded cops.  It was like rubbing your eyes and suddenly finding you are awake and not asleep, as you suspected you were. 

Would it have not happened if he had reconnoitered the place?  Too late to ask those questions. All he knew was he made it out uninjured. Artie Gomez had taken one to the arm, but he wasn’t angry about it. All he cared about was there were two less dealers on the street. No remorse on the girls, it was just collateral damage in the ongoing battle against the evil.   

The bitch on channel five, that Heather Hardon, tried to make it a personal vendetta against him. She was at every court hearing and hanging around internal affairs when it was all going down, putting out the most slanted coverage she could, smugness in the blond face. Yeah. Don Henley described her well. While Internal Affairs cleared everyone, Murray knew he couldn’t stay on. He resigned and took a year off to rebuild. The nightmares did slowly subside.  Only once in a while did they get triggered,like now. 

As far as he knew, the sister hadn’t been contacted yet. 

It was time to face the ghosts. 

He locked his computer, grabbed his tablet and left the office.  


Topic-Heather Blomquist


Pic-Guesses:Offshore (in blog), Lightning (in blog), Flash, Foreboding, Heavy weather, Stormfront, Trouble, 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mama May Have (Blogophilia 41.7)

Them that's got shall have…Them that's not shall lose…So the Bible said and it still is news…

Contralto voice drifting from the car speakers, full of pain and suffering, Jeremy’s considered the lyrics.  It wasn’t the version of the song usually heard, but an older version. One he hadn’t heard before. The singer was baring her very soul, one full of pain and suffering. Something he was far too familiar with.

Mama may have… And Papa may have… But God bless the child that has its own…

He wasn’t planning on going back to the farm house so soon, but the plan had solidified in his head. Seeing piece at the bar made him realize the Pigs would be on high alert for any activity in the area. Why not give them a reason to jump?  A smile came across his face.

One bomb was ready, but he wanted to build a couple of more for back up. He had seen an old truck in the barn. He wondered if it would start.  If it does, he’ll need to steal a license plate to get it to the spot. That won’t be hard. 

Yes, the strong get more…While the weak ones fade…Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade…

Where could he find one of these “La Paloma” whores for bait? He had never used a prostitute before. He guessed he would just pull up next to one and ask if she was available. It shouldn’t be hard. Most of them had drug habits biting at them. The purpose of the transaction was bigger than a random blow job.  He was going to make her a star. Downstage center and exposed to an audience of uniforms.  

The car began to pick up speed.

What will she smell like? Old sweat and drugs, maybe with a hard perfume to try to mask it? 

He eyes begin wander.

A warm feeling came over him as he thought about preparing his new protégé. Would she laugh when she realized his parts didn’t work? First her giggling as she worked with it, dark hands sliding up and down. Rage would be triggered, necessary rage.  He imagined her horror when he slapped her and took charge. 

His breathing increased. 

His pale hands would circle the sienna neck, clamping down. He could almost hear the gargled scream. She would squirm and struggle under him as his hands squeezed the life out. Pinning the skinny legs under his knees, hands tight enough where only squeaks and grunts would come out, tighter and tighter until the corpse releases in its ultimate defeat.  

A washboard noise filled his ears as the car drifted on to the shoulder of the road.  Quickly coming to his senses, Jeremy jerked the wheel back on the road and stopped the car. Gasping for air, he very slowly relaxed. As his heart rate began to slow, he thought: Was that what sex felt like? Total release? He couldn’t wait.

He couldn’t do it in the car though. The smell would never go away and could lead back to him. He remembered that from Mother. It would need to be done in another spot near where center stage would be. He could work those details out later. Grabbing a used napkin off the console, he wiped the sweat off his face and started the car. A new song began to play.

Sunday is gloomy…My hours are slumberless…Dearest, the shadows…I live with are numberless…

Sounds like the same lady. He didn’t catch her name. Gloomy Sunday? Yeah, that fits. Her voice reminded him of church. They didn’t go very often. The brown and grey stones had no warmth and he would resist when it was suggested. Mother would get the belt out and that would end the argument. 

They would sit in a pew in the balcony, hoping not to be noticed, while the Organist would play his waltzing voluntaries. Jeremy would watch as the man juggled between the four keyboards, feet running a base line on the pedals under the bench, a choreographed ballet of hands and feet. This project reminded him of that. Keeping the pieces, like the melodies and harmonies, together until it was a single entity, ready for the delight of the audience.  

Communion seemed to always be served when they went. Then they would go get their lagniappe from God, organ whistling along with pageant. Men in funny robes would march along in time, handing out wafers and offering drinks. The cannibalistic nature of the “blood” and “body” did leave him a bit of a thrill. Something, anything was better than the nothing he got with the bitch he was with. It was all he wanted just to be accepted as he was. Since he wasn’t, he made sure the world knew he wasn’t very accepting of it.  

The lights of the diner were coming up on the right. He was a little bit hungry. But he didn’t want to deal with the blue haired waitress right now.  He had work to do. On to the farm house.


Topic-Christine Wichman

Pic-Michael Todd

Pic Guesses: Organist (in blog), Waltzing (in blog) Voluntary, Minuet, C Major, Chart, Bass and Treble,

Monday, December 1, 2014


Candles flicker 
Clothes piled on the floor
Gathering aroma
Of life and love

Kisses along tummy lines
Toward the feather touch.

Time standing still
Love for itself
With itself
No future
No past
No agendas

Struggling as one
Until, exhausted
We sleep.