Bad Dude

The call went out over the radio. 1636 Orange Grove Dr.. Apartment six.  The scanner crackled like a lightning storm, requesting the nearest available unit. Rookies Johnson and Langford descended quickly, eager to see some action.  They busted down the door at 1536 Orange Grove Dr., apartment six after nobody answered.

They searched every room for a suspect, all they found was a cat. Johnson and Langford put their guns away and looked around more methodically.

There were flakes of dandruff on the desk. They took pictures. Scooped it into bags. There was a light on and a bowl of soup sitting on the stove. It was cold. The trash was underneath the sink. A separate bag for recycling.

The air was layered with smells, like beds of sedimentary rocks. Smoke. Liter box. Body Odor. Mildew. Trash. Humorlessness. Surrender.

A book was opened and parts of it were highlighted with an orange marker. A book about space. It was lying on the coffee table with its spine bent at a peculiar shape. A well-maintained fern was booming out of the corner. The window was cracked three inches. Street sounds penetrated the room: a woman screamed, a car sped off, people shouted after it. Urban white noise.

Next to the window sat a wooden pipe and a pouch of tobacco. They gave it the old snifter test.

When Johnson and Langford got back to the station they showed the captain the pictures and put the evidence in front of him, deducing that the occupant of the apartment was a loner, an outcast, his crime must be one of  an intellectual nature.

The captain picked up the book and turned it around slowly, then opened a page, read a sentence and put it down. He then inspected the bag of dandruff. His eyes furrowed crossly.

The cat meowed and jumped out of the evidence bag. The captain began shaking, fury building in his face, his veins twitching and pulsing with anger, his fists pounded the table. “You went to the wrong apartment, you idiots! You blew it. This station is filled with bums! Why can’t I catch a break?!” He screamed.

They backed slowly out of the room, closing the door a second before the soup slammed against it. Johnson and Langford didn’t know who this “Abrake” was, but they knew he must be some bad dude to make the captain that upset.


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