Sunday, January 18, 2009


Villemont is a small road; only through continued use does it keep its distinction from the approaching thorns and looming trees. If even at a slow rate, it is surely closing up behind them, as it should be. A net of shadows crawls up the marked white-and-blue police car as it crawls through what is, despite the street sign’s recent theft, still an official street. After all it’s their job to keep it that way; to bridge communities. Villemont exits just past the stretch of forest which separates their destination from the highway and continues on into the quiet hills.

“Listen, don’t take this the wrong way, but we’ve been issued to the Signal building, so, with all due respect, can we please just take the obvious route and not bother with this sign theft excuse? I mean, we both know what this is.”

Constable Gravel watches as the custom Ford continues on Villemont and into the small community of Montaigne. This area is just off the highway several miles from town, where they should be going, to the Signal building. Instead Gravel finds himself being lulled into uncomfortable territory once again.

To be honest, he thinks himself to be a fairly unbiased person, and he joined the force, in part to try and perpetuate a sense of fairness, one that his younger, deceased brother did not get the privilege of. Despite the good intentions, however, Gravel knows certain facts, and he doesn’t want to be in the middle of moral darkness without a good reason. At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that Montainge is excitable, cold emotion. It is the end of reason; the abyss.

“Listen Gravel, fuck you and fuck these meonds if they think they’re going to get a break today. I know those shitclowns have a meth lab or... something, in Montaigne. We’re heading to Signal for some sort of security detail because the lights went out -- and we have to stay there -- you heard dispatch. So we’re just gonna take a quick swing through the big M, just so see if anything is going on...” Corporal Burgess trails off, the plump blonde’s careful eyes darting around, her head slightly hunched over the steering wheel.

So they start their search, a creeping high profile vessel.

Eventually they encounter a young group of black young men slowly walking along side the road. One of them is swaying from side to side slightly, assisted when needed by two of his companions. They glance over as the police car drives up and stops in the middle of the road, a safe distance from the group. One of them pulls out a cellphone.

“Yeah, we’re here” the his blonde partner barks at the one kid, continuing on before anyone can say anything. “We need some info. You know the place. No need to call up your hellions -- we’re not here for you, just answer the question.”

Gravel has come to accept the fact that Corporal Burgess is a jaded. In the sense of safety, this is not such a bad thing. Better someone’s feelings get hurt than Gravel get hurt. What the young Constable has not come to accept is the middle-aged woman’s blatant disregard for safety. She is quick to assume foul intent, but she assumes too much about the psych. Most people are not stupid, and these people, no strangers to the law, hold no fear of it. Gravel is somewhat new to the force, but he can tell when someone lets their emotions override logic and reason. Anyone can; you don’t have to be a police officer. Some potentially dangerous criminals have picked up on this more than once to her partner’s witness, and Gravel has tried his best to address this issue to his superior officer. She understands, but yet she does not. Somewhere in this lack of self control, Gravel thinks at least, is the threshold for being a bigot. The robust woman simply cannot help herself.

“You want us to get out and do a little search on your drunk friend there? Don’t make my life any harder than it has to be boy. Put the phone away, now.”

“Yes, ma’am.” The boy on the phone puts it away, leaving his hands in his pockets, staring in thought at the cruiser. Unlike the rest, adorned in large jackets and puffy clothing, this particular boy wears a plain white T-shirt; not too big, and not too small -- his size, with the equally plain pair of jeans and white sneakers He wears a black pair of glasses which thresholds a calm, calculating look.

“Burgess, I really think we should get out of here.” Gravel wants to say more but cannot build the argument beyond what’s already been stated.

She holds one finger up to the group of kids, bringing her head into the car to face Gravel. “It’s security at some corporate giant -- do you honestly think that will be time better spent serving the public?”

Gravel doesn’t think --well, the one kid at least-- is carrying, but something about this still feels wrong. They don’t need guns because they are not afraid. Not here.

The group looks amongst themselves, eyes dancing back and forth in their whites; some sort of code. “I’ll show you somethin’.” He says finally.

Montainge is essentially a loose collection of roads, some of them non-paved, through the grassy foothills of the region. The only thing which separates the small, sparse set of houses is the tall browned grass, quietly blowing in the wind. The young man slowly takes his hands from his pockets and begins to walk towards the car. The dry leaves whisper warnings in the passing breeze but they fall on deaf ears.

Gravel glances up from Burgess’ right hand, which rests on the hilt of her gun. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s enough there soldier.”

“Yes ma’am.” He stops, blinking a couple times. Slowly, deliberately, he lifts up his right hand, unfolding his palm to reveal a small piece of tinfoil wrapped around something. “This is what’s going on now.”

Gravel watches as his partner's attention is snared by the glistening hook of metal. He glances past the Corporal Burgess to see the crowd behind the advanced watching intently, faces locked.

“Ok, I want you to slowly advance and place that in my hand here. My other hand is on my gun, so don’t try nothing funny now.”

“Yes ma’am.” He slowly walks up and places the tinfoil in her hand, which she in turn reaches over to give to Gravel, still watching the boy in the fitted clothes. The boy backs up slightly and then just stands there, watching.

“What, you want your drugs back?” The fat blonde, eyeing the approached figure, forces a laugh at the boy with the glasses before turning back inside the car, hand still on the hilt of her gun. She grins at Gravel, curious to what is inside.

“Feels pretty hard...maybe a big pill?” Gravel mumbles to himself as he picks at the wrapping, trying to find the edge.

He eventually pulls away the wrapping to reveal a small pill-shaped container which holds what appears to be a small scroll of paper. Prying the two ends of the capsule apart the young officer carefully removes the ghetto scroll. In cursive is a poem; accessible and marked with the paint of brevity. It strikes to the soul of the rookie, and it strikes hard. Slightly embarrassed as his eyes well up with tears, Gravel hands the note over to Burgess. It is beautiful. It is the spear point; any tyrants nightmare.

No comments: