Friday, 7 July 2017

Going Home

[Media prompt] At least 28 dead after brutal gang fight in Mexico prison.
Going Home

Dave Clarke pulled a saltine cracker out of a packet, offering one to a thin lipped Mexican on the other side of his desk.

“No?” he said, shrugging. “Want me to order in a burrito?”

The Mexican’s name was Carlos Trujillo, and a week ago he had raped and killed two teenage girls in Pasadena. The coroner made a point to note the ferocity with which their lives had been taken. Now Trujillo was chained to a metal desk, his left eye twitching every time the big detective eating crackers smiled at him.

“You been treating that border like a turnstile, haven’t you son?”

The Mexican leaned forward so he could scratch an itch on his face. When he sat up, he yawned.

“It says here that you’ve been deported,” Dave said, riffling through a sheaf of papers, “how many times? Six? That’s quite an accomplishment.”

“I keep coming back for your women.” He spat on the ground after he said it.

“It’s only fair,” said Dave. “Being as how Mexican women are all up here whoring.”

Trujillo yanked at the handcuffs, the veins on his forehead appearing like a secret map of downtown. Then as fast as his temper flared, it dissipated, his hands folded neatly, one over the other.

The detective nodded at the Mexican’s knuckles.

“Looks like you’re quite the streetfighter,” he said. “Ever go up against a man?”

“Take these off,” said Trujillo, holding up his wrists. “And you’ll want to crawl back inside your mother.”

“I’m a little out of your weight class,” said Dave, eating another cracker. While chewing, he nodded to someone behind the one-way glass, leaning his chair back on two legs. A man dressed in a white linen suit, a fedora in his hand, stepped through the door, closing it quietly behind him. He stood behind Trujillo for a second then quickly moved to the seat beside Dave.

Dave raised his eyebrows. The man with the fedora nodded. He reached out and ran his long fingers over Trujillo’s scarred hands.

“You’ve killed a man with your fists?” he asked in Spanish.

Without waiting for the answer, the man turned to Dave and said, “I’ll take him.”

The men stood and shook hands. “Next time stay over for an extra night. Elsie and the kids would love to see you. She’ll cook beef shanks.”

The man in the white suit laughed. “You have a deal, my friend.” He put on his hat, adjusting it in the one-way glass before disappearing through the door.

“Him?” said Dave, sitting back down in his chair. “He’s one of your compadres. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Mr. José Anaya. No? Odd. He’s a … well let’s just say he has a solution for wetback gangbangers that’s mutually beneficial.”

For the first time, Trujillo’s eyes narrowed, his bravado receding an inch.

“Don’t sweat it,” said Dave, crumpling the saltine wrapper and tossing it into the bin. “Three points.”

The Mexican sneered. “So what? You think this fag warden can hold me? I’ll come back, and when I do, I’m going to kill your whole family.”

“I don’t think you understand,” said Dave, getting up and walking to the door. “Mr. Anaya isn’t a warden. You’re grist for his underground fights.” Dave turned around and came back to his chair. “I hate to be the one who tells you, but this time you’re going home for good.”

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