CHAPTER TWO:

DON’TYOUUNDERSTANDWHATI’MTRYINGTOSAY

 

Soaring thru a vortex in time

A hand disjunctive, music of

The universe builds, surrounded

By constellations, stars immense

In number; Pleiades pursued by Orion

The three sisters looking on, already taken

Ayres shows in the southern hemisphere

Between latitudes 90 and -65 degrees

Al Geiba hidden from view, in autumn

When Denebola is all that is visible

To the naked eye.

 

sec01Gary Ward scrutinized Roger, as he loped toward the entrance of his apartment building: about 5’ 10”, lanky, swimmer’s shoulders, soccer legs, not a drop of black in his face or eyes. Was this the man I travelled halfway across the world to meet? The driver’s license verified that he was the Roger Miller, but once again Gary felt as if he had run into a blind alley. Gary’s father, Gary Ward Sr., had been a star in the NFL until his knees finally gave out. The man tried three times to resurrect his career, but each was more humiliating then the last. His drinking had done him in. Gary thought back to that night, just before he left for his tour, his father, three sheets to the wind, first spoke of his first marriage, the white woman, who had caused him so much grief. It was a time that was unspoken in the house, although Gary knew much of the tale from the 30 for 30 special on ESPN. At the time, he asked his father about the boy, but the man had told him the boy was no kin, enough said. Gary was proud of the way he had handled himself after Roger handed him the license and he saw the name. He wondered if Roger knew of his own past, but the answer was clarified when Roger did not recognize he looked right at my badge the name of the officer. He thought of the hands of fate, as he watched Roger make his way into the foyer. Gary spotted a jacket fluttering in the breeze, one arm outstretched, and then collapse onto the curb, melting into the concrete. Gary shook his head once, just a play of the lights and the fact that I’ve been up since three twice.

Gary Ward had seen a lot of shit in his time; so much so that a play of the lights was nothing unusual and one more charred bum would not even cause a blip on his radar. His one tour of duty as a military police officer in Afghanistan for college money morphed into three tours, before he was able to get out and get home. Mostly, his duties consisted of rousting a few drunk soldiers, who thought their shit didn’t stink like that fat fuck Brown he had to deal with that morning; but, every once in a while, there had been real tragedy he did have to deal with. Gary had been in on an investigation similar to this once in Kabul, an entire family massacred in their home, then burnt to a crisp with flame throwers, until there was nothing left for forensics to even sift through. He recalled the rage that consumed him, the eastern world is exploding as he rolled the children’s remains in their blankets to take back to the Green Zone. Back then, he had read that the perp sometimes comes back to relive the scene, so he hid out in the alley waiting to enforce some sense of justice for those innocent children, who had been so brutally murdered in such a callous stratosphere, but things happened that way in Kabul. He knew the perp couldn’t resist coming back to the scene of the crime and, like any psychopath, to relive the atrocity. And so he waited, and luck was with him, violence flarin bullets loadin the perp returned. At the first hint of resistance, he would give the man the beating of his life, but there was no resistance when he collared him, just a shrug of the shoulders, and that really set him off.

Ward knew it was a long shot now just as it had been then, but there was one thing he discovered about human nature and that was that the perp always returned to the scene of the crime. Hiding back in the shadows, he noticed the lanky young man walk towards the apartment complex, you’re old enough to kill but not for voting only to stoop and pretend to tie his shoes. He observed him make his way past the tape and saw him bend down at the soot blotch. Another irony of life, now that he found Roger Miller, he would have to keep an arms distance, if indeed, he was somehow mixed up with this. But his gut told him that Roger looked to be investigating rather than reveling and he was missing the smug face he had noticed on the man in Kabul those several years before; but, it was certain that this fellow had come back to the scene, perhaps with remorse, perhaps for a purpose.

He waited a while longer still recalling that ancient collar. It wasn’t his finest moment, under orders from up high to make the files disappear. It appeared it wasn’t the Taliban, but a contractor from Blackwater, who was involved and that quashed any real investigation from ever taking place. Before he knew it, it was him under investigation don’t believe in war but what’s that gun you’re totin for not following procedure. One charge dropped for the other; but from then on, the powers that be never forgot, hounding his existence from that time forward in retribution for the beating he had given one of theirs. And even now, here he was in Trump’s new world order, even the river Jordan has some bodies floatin even with all his military certifications, he had been relegated to having to take a beat job. His experience came with an asterisk, and he was forced to begin a long slow steady rise within the department. He was told that promotions would come with merit, basically, that his past accomplishments were in the past; but, his aspirations were certainly much higher than walking a beat. One even mentioned not to expect preferential treatment because of his dad; tell me over and over my friend chuckles, his color an unacknowledged detriment. Stuck in Koreatown, he had felt as if he was chasing the tail of a lion, but he knew that solving this Cassandra Diamond case was just his ticket to move up in a big way. And that finding Roger Miller along with it meant that fate was playing him in the right direction; don’t believe in the eve of destruction it would be a perfecta ticket day in his life.

Section 2