Archive for September, 2012

(A crime novel in the works…if you’re new, please head over to the Archives section, to the July 16th post, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), where it all begins.  Otherwise, if you’re up to speed, let’s start another chapter.  Thanks for dropping in.)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxxiv )
     THE SUN HAD RISEN ABOVE the neighboring homes and trees across the street. A ray sneaked through the sliver of spacing between the drapes of the bedroom window and fell on Lana’s face. She opened her eyes, then squinted from the beam’s irritation. She shifted her naked body toward the center of the bed to get out of its path, and stopped when she felt her back resting up against the skin of Terrance’s chest. He let out a low moan and his right arm crossed over her, resting on her shoulder. She moved in closer, now their bodies in full contact. His left hand and arm slid between her and the mattress; she was always surprised at his strength and ability to move her as if she were weightless. She took his hands in hers and brought them to her breasts.
     “Good morning,” she whispered, “where did all that energy come from last night?”
     He kissed the nape of her neck.
     “You wiped me out,” she said, “but I loved every minute of it.”
     “You can do that to me,” he said, “I’ve been missing this.”
     “I know,” she said, “we haven’t had any time for ourselves, not for a while.”
     “We’ve got time now,” he said, turning her over to face him.
     She could feel him growing, and he lifted himself. She moved underneath him and pulled him to her with her arms and legs, wanting to feel him inside, to be one with him. Their lovemaking was passionate and strong, and they remained in each others’ arms after climax, letting their chests naturally fall in sync with their deep breaths.
     She kissed his shoulder, “I’ll go make some coffee,” she said.
     “I’ll take care of it,” he said, “stay here as long as you like.”
     She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him one last kiss, “OK,” she agreed.
     He rose from the bed, then tucked the covers around her. He found his drawstring flannel lounge pants in a pile on the floor, where he had thrown them in haste the previous evening. He slid them on, then went to the closet and took out his robe and slippers. He donned the robe and tied its sash while he slid his feet into the fleece- lined moccasins. Getting out of the cozy bed caused a shiver, and he heard the air from the floorboard’s heat vent start, as he headed for the door.
     Lana heard the thumps of Terrance’s heavy footsteps on the stairs, as he descended to the first floor. She curled up into a fetal position, hugged a pillow, and enjoyed reliving the moment in her mind.
     Terrance went down the hallway and pushed the swing door open to the kitchen, where he found Parker, busy at the center island. Parker sat on a stool, deeply engrossed in the process of trying to get the strawberry syrup that was layered at the bottom of a glass to mix with the milk above it. Thoughts of mad scientist came to Terrance’s mind, as Parker swirled a spoon, causing a good portion of the milk to spill out of the glass onto the countertop.
     “Whoa, there, Doctor,” Terrance said, breaking Parker’s trance, “there’s got to be a better way.”
     Terrance went to an upper cabinet and opened its door. He removed another glass, then brought it over to the island, setting it down next to Parker’s.
     “You’re up early,” Terrance said, taking the filled glass and pouring its contents into to the new empty one, leaving only the syrup stuck to the bottom. He took the milk jug, still on the countertop, and poured a small amount onto the syrup, then stirred the red juice with the spoon until it dissolved, leaving a pink concoction.
     “Early? Daddy, it’s almost eleven o’clock,” Parker said, as he watched his father mix the liquids together, into the original glass.
     “Oh, shi..oot,” Terrance said, glancing at the clock, as he took the milk container and returned it to the refrigerator, then took a washcloth from the island’s sink, turned on the faucet and rinsed it, then wrung out the cloth and wiped the countertop clean. He rinsed the cloth once more and hung it over the middle divider of the double- sink.
     “You want some eggs?” he asked Parker.
     “Cap’n Crunch,” Parker said, finishing his first gulp, which left a pink mustache on his upper lip.
     “Get a bowl,” Terrance said, and Parker went to a cabinet, then removed a bowl from its shelf, and returned with it, placing it in front of him on the island.
     Terrance crossed to the pantry, took out the box of cereal, a coffee filter and the plastic cannister of grounds, then set them all on the island. While Terrance’s back was turned, Parker took a napkin, then removed the top to the cookie jar, located in the middle of the countertop. He took out two cookies, placed them next to the bowl, then covered the cookies with the napkin. Terrance noticed the opened cookie jar, as he scooped grounds from the cannister into the coffee filter.
     “That’s a pretty lumpy napkin you’ve got there,” Terrance said, lifting the paper to reveal Parker’s stash, “you planning on desert?”
     “They’re peanut butter,” Parker argued, “one of my favorites.”
     “Your mother would kill me,” Terrance said, then reasoned, “but peanuts have protein. Two…no more,” he placed the cover back on the jar, then took the filled filter and crossed over to the coffee maker on the countertop under the cabinets. He he lifted the lid on the coffee maker, then placed the filter and grounds into the top basket. He pulled the sprayer hose from the sink on that counter and filled the machine’s reservoir, flipped down the lid then pressed the brew switch. Parker poured the cereal into his bowl while Terrance took the milk out of the refrigerator.
     “How are you liking football practice?” he asked, as he added milk to the bowl, then returned the jug to the fridge.
     “It’s OK,” Parker said, “but can I ask you something?”
     “Did you ever wanna be quarterback?”
     “Every lineman does, son.”
     “Why din’cha?”
     “Well, sometimes you have to use the talents God gave you. I didn’t have those skills, but I was good at other things.”
     “Like kickin’ butt?”
     “Where did you hear that?”
     “Grampa T.”
Back to the crime novel in progress…if you’re new, get up to speed by starting at the July 16th posting, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), in the Archives section to the left of the site.  For the rest of you, thanks for stopping by and here we go…)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxxiii ) continues…
     The back of the shop emptied, the employees following Becker out the door. Sid shook his head and laughed, amused by the grown men acting like five- year- olds; Becker hadn’t had time for this in the last few weeks.
     Sid liked and respected Becker. There was the character he demonstrated, the Detective had never lost the soul of a beat cop. When Becker was around, he’d walk the neighborhood. He kept tabs. Like ninety- five percent of his comrades in the fraternity of ‘On the Job’, he took ownership of his duties to his City. He knew their names, their families, wanted to know what was going on in their lives. He cared and reacted when there was trouble. Locals had his cell number. Courtesy. Professionalism. Respect. It was the reason he carried a gold shield. He took pride in his responsibility to make a difference.
     Sid went to the doorway to watch the antics. The Detective nestled into the bucket seat behind the steering wheel and dropped the warm paper bag on the passenger seat. The Cobra ornament on the wheel’s center hub – poised in striking position, the reptile’s distinctive hood spread open on its back – gave Becker a fanged smile. He pulled the seatbelt across his chest and buckled it in, slid the key into the steering column’s ignition slot, and turned over the 5.4 Liter V8.
     He heard the whistles of approval from his audience, up until he revved the engine, drowning them out with a tailpipe roar that combined the growl of a Rottweiler with the turbine rumblings of an F-14 Tomcat. He felt the GT’s body instantly pitch clockwise’ when he tapped his right foot on the accelerator, throttling 480 foot- pounds of torque. He grasped the cue ball handle atop the chromed stick shift located in the floor’s center console with his right hand, and guided the rod toward him, then forward into first gear.
     He let the engine idle and pulled up his left foot on the clutch pedal, enough to initiate the Mustang’s slow crawl away from the curb into the middle of the street, then depressed the clutch back down toward the floorboard, letting the car ease into a stop. He checked forward, then in his rear view mirrors, confirming the street all clear. He turned to his onlookers and gave them a short salute, while his dark blue machine stretched its muscles with one long, throaty yawn.
     Becker turned forward once more and tightened his hands on the steering wheel, at 10:00 and 02:00.
     “This is so wrong on so many levels,” he grinned.
     He floored the accelerator pedal and released his left foot off the clutch simultaneously.  The 500 horses laid thirty feet of smoking Goodyear Eagles on the asphalt. Two new black strips replaced the faded patches, left from weeks prior.  Good morning, New York.
     A little break from the novel…As mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy drawing and have done portraiture from photos for people over the years.
     We all have dreams, aspirations.  When these thoughts, passions, and desires penetrate our minds’ eye, we gravitate toward examples, models if you will, to teach us and inspire.  I still marvel at those with the ability to take the written word, and communicate to us in a way that tells a story, makes us laugh or cry, invites us to escape to other worlds.
     These two renderings hang on my wall; gentle reminders (sometimes irritating goaders) of what is possible.



     There are those moments, sitting at my desk in the middle of the night, the room pitch black, save the glow from the reading lamp; when the trash can is overflowing with crumpled drafts, or the only key on the laptop getting consistent use is “delete”.  I look at the wall, and press on.  Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone out there?  Drop a comment.
(For those of you new to this site, please click back to the July 16th posting, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), in the Archives section, where the tale of two New York City detectives begins.  Thanks for stopping by.  The story will proceed where we left off in my next post.)
(Here we go again, a few more pieces to the puzzle of this crime novel; coming off my keyboard and onto your screen…thanks for stopping by.  If new, please go to the July 16th post, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), in the Archives section, where the tale takes off.  Let’s get into another chapter, shall we?)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxxiii )
     BECKER ENJOYED SUNDAY MORNINGS IN THE CITY, especially in the Fall; the sweltering heat of summer forgotten, the air crisper and cleaner with the weekend’s reduced traffic, and, albeit not without a search, street parking. He wanted to pick up something for T and Lana as a ‘thank you’ for the dinner invitation. How long had it been, he thought, an actual sit- down meal?
     The job dictated his actions. He ate on the run. Coffee occupied the top group triangle on his food pyramid. At his apartment, dinner preparation fell under the ‘ten- minute rule’ and required a fork, knife, plate, and microwave; at times the plate was optional. The local Chinese take- out was on speed dial.
     He followed his Sunday early- morning ritual. He stopped at the bagel shoppe on 91st, just as their business commenced. The temperature outside was still chilled enough from the night to see his breath. Becker found it difficult to remember it being this cold so early in the season from years past. He got out of the Mustang and shuffled across the sidewalk, the sky turning from black to grayish- blue, as the new dawn approached. The toasty ambiance – warm, water- simmered, baked dough, terra cotta tiles and hustling, flour- dusted bakers in their white T- shirts and aprons – caressed him the moment he opened the door of this hole- in- the- wall storefront, its windows veiled with condensation. He made his way to the counter, using the narrow path which led to it from the entrance, since ninety percent of the customer area was lined with paper grocery bags. Addresses were written in magic marker on their sides; the contents were ready for deliveries to apartment houses filled with The New York Times readers, anxious to apply a schmear of cream cheese.
     Becker’s was the first face they saw come through the door, on the day most of the city chose to sleep in late.
     “Morning, gentlemen,” he said.
     “Heads up, Detective,” was the only forewarning to a ‘holey roll’ lobbed his way over the counter, fresh from the stone- lined oven. The dough still hot and pliable, the employees got a kick out of Becker’s habit – he squeezed the handful down to the size of a golf ball, then ate it in two bites.
     He ordered his variety of twelve and Sid, the owner, dropped two more into the bag; a ‘Becker’s dozen’, Sid called it, chuckling at his own pun. Becker paid, then turned to navigate his way through the bags toward the door.
     “Hey, Detective, ya gonna do it?” a voice from the ovens yelled.
     Becker checked his watch and turned, “OK, Sid?”
     “We got a lotta work heeya, make it quick,” Sid replied.
(Our story continues…if it’s your first time here, please go back to the July 16th post, in the Archives section, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), to crack open chapter one of this crime novel.  Up to speed?  Then follow below. Thanks for dropping in.)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxxii ) continues…
     Terrance and Becker met with the Captain and Mrs. Elaine Bradford just outside the viewing room. Brief introductions were made and they entered. This area’s ambiance was diametric to the atmosphere of the space occupied by Doctor Newsome and the lifeless body. Indirect sconce lighting gave warm illumination off the beige- cream paint, the walls decorated with oil originals depicting forests of solitude and moonlit ocean waves. Footsteps and voices were tempered by the burnt umber carpeting. Molasses- hued leather sofas and club chairs offered comfort to the anguished.
    Peace and ice. Serenity and reality. Hope and despair. Heaven and hell. The spectral opposites, separated by a quarter- inch of glass and closed drapes.
     As the Captain described the process, preparing Mrs. Bradford on what to expect, Becker analyzed. Five foot- seven, late twenties. Athletic body. Feather- cut blond hair framing the high cheekbone face. Designer quality clothing. With the right makeup, under different circumstances, definitely a trophy wife, he thought. But today, Becker observed a face pale and gaunt, with dark semi- circles under the eyes. This face told the story of the last few days being a roller- coaster ride of worry, anger, anguish, and apprehension. Her moves were cautious, fearful of what was to come next. She held her clutch- purse tightly, arms criss- crossed against her chest.
     Biting her lower lip, Elaine took small, deliberate steps toward the window. The Captain stood on her right side, Becker and Terrance directly behind the pair. She could see a faint reflection of her face floating the a haze of darkness, like an image in a crystal ball. Mirror, mirror, a voice inside her whispered. Flashing fragments of her brief life with Owen, jumbled like a kaleidoscope, raced through her mind. Her chest tightened and needles poked at the pit of her stomach.
     She turned her head to face the Captain. She forced a deep breath, holding it, and gave Berry a short jerky up- and- down nod, then turned back to the window. Let this be a mistake, she prayed.
     Eric heard the rapping on the glass and pulled back the curtain. He stood frozen, watching the young woman shriek NO!, cover her face with both hands and sob violently. Eric saw her shoulders heave and her body becoming spasmodic. Her knees buckled, but he witnessed Mason and Marshall catch her before she fell. He saw them assist her to one of the club chairs as he slung the curtain over the window, then ran into Autopsy to get a cup of water and tissues for the now- confirmed widow. Years of work in Forensic Science had not calloused Eric to humanity. But, on these occasions, it was so much simpler dealing with the dead, Eric thought.
(What happens next?  If your up to speed, we continue below, but if this is your first time here, you’re dropping in on a crime novel in progress, and it wouldn’t sit well without knowing what’s transpired already.  So, if that is the case, please go back to the July 16th post in the Archives section, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), where the tale begins.  Each post is a quick read, you’ll be in the thick of the story in no time flat.  If you have to leave before catching up, the posts are numbered; you never lose your place.  And now, back to the squad room…)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxx ) continues…
     “Doctor Newsome followed me in,” Berry said, examining the appearance of the two, “give me Mrs. Bradford’s phone number and address. I’ll pick her up.”
     “No need Captain, we can do it,” Becker offered.
     “Right now, you both look like shit,” Berry replied, “four days nonstop tends to have that effect. Have you gotten any sleep?”
      “Not much,” Terrance said, looking over toward Becker. His partner gave the impression he’d slept in his clothes. His Captain’s attire — dark suit, starched white shirt, silk tie and spit- shined shoes – was as crisp as the Marine ‘dress blues’ Berry donned while in the Corps.
      “I have nothing but the utmost respect for your dedication, gentlemen,” Berry said, glancing down and noticing the newspaper on Becker’s desk, with its splash back cover about the Marquis.
      “This case is already getting attention from all angles.”
     Becker handed Mrs. Bradford’s information to Berry.
     “All right, you two get to the lockers and clean up a bit. I’ll meet with you and the doctor for identification. If it’s positive, we’ll make a judgment call on questioning her right then, or later.”
     Berry picked up the newspaper, “You mind?”
     “All yours,” Becker said, as he and Terrance headed for the door.
     Berry walked to his office and tossed the NYC Bulletin on the top of his desk, then picked up the receiver, and dialed Mrs. Bradford’s home number.
Chapter ( xxxi )
     TERRANCE ALWAYS KEPT an extra set of clothing in his locker. Becker had a sport coat.
     “It’ll cover some wrinkles anyway,” he muttered, pulling out his kit then heading for the sinks. Terrance changed, then joined Becker to shave.
     “The Captain’s a good guy, doing that,” Terrance said.
     “Yeah,” Becker agreed, “I don’t envy him the trip.”
     “We’ll probably be the transport home,” Terrance reminded.
     They gave each other a quick look through the mirrors and finished shaving.
Chapter ( xxxii )
     ERIC PULLED THE LEVERED HANDLE DOWNWARD. The gasket made a gentle pop as its seal released and the Medical Examiner swung open the three- foot square door. The frigid breeze wafted across his face. He grabbed the thin steel tube just inside the opening with both hands and walked backward. The metal slab slid smoothly on the telescoping framework attached to its sides. Now fully extended, it rested horizontally in mid- air, four feet above the floor.
     Eric rolled a gurney parallel to the left side of the slab, pushed them together and locked the gurney wheels. He leaned over the gurney, grasping the edges of the sheet lying beneath the body and dragged it toward him, transferring the corpse.
     He drew back the sheet covering Bradford, examining the ragged black hole and exposed chest cavity. Something is odd, just doesn’t fit, he pondered, his mind hashing over the conundrum these unfamiliar patterns of damage presented; challenging his expertise.
     “I’ll figure you out,” he said, replacing the sheet over the body.
     He wheeled the gurney through Autopsy into an adjoining six- by- ten room. It was empty, walls and ceiling painted a glossy stark white, which intensified the overhead lighting. The dark green vinyl tile flooring squeaked with each of Eric’s steps. There was a window that ran across one of the long walls, allowing observation from the viewing room on the opposite side of the glass. Eric spread the black curtain along its top rod until the window was covered entirely. He then turned to the body and folded the sheet back to expose the victim’s face. He tucked the flaps under the shoulders, concealing any sign of the fatal wound.
     The tinny crackle of the intercom unit on the wall interrupted, “Doctor Newsome?”
     Recognizing the voice, Eric went to the unit and pressed the TALK button, “Yes Captain.”
     “We’re on our way down.”
     “I’m ready, just knock,” Eric replied.
(Had to spend a couple days on the keyboard, and now we’re ready to continue with our crime novel…please go to the Archives section, the July 16th post, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), if this is your first time to this blog…if you’re up to speed, away we go…)
A special thank you, to those who served in the NYPD eleven years ago today….
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxx )
     HOMICIDE CAPTAIN MICHAEL BERNARD BERRY had been with NYPD for fourteen years. He created his own fast- track, straight out of the Academy, driven to earn a gold shield and move up the ranks. He approached everything as one big classroom. While a uniformed officer, he studied the streets during his watch as fervidly as he devoured the police procedure manuals and tomes regarding Law, when off- duty. Historic accounts of the Force and its role in New York culture, politics and psychology were casual reading. He bled Blue.
     Application is the Key a personal mantra; you took what you knew and put it to use on the streets. Through tours in Vice, Narcotics and finally Homicide, his education never waned.
     But Mike possessed the quality anyone ‘on the job’ swore you were born either with or without. ‘Hunch’, ‘street- smart’, and ‘gut feeling’ were simplifications that described the innate characteristic of taking complicated scenarios and breaking them down to bare bones. His record spoke for itself– he solved tough cases and the bad guys did time.
     Jealousies of his progress, held by a handful, but respect was high from the members of any precinct with which Mike had association.
     Standing just under six feet, administrative duty had allowed for a little thickening, but visits to the gym, religiously three times a week, kept him a solid one hundred- ninety pounds. Coarse jet- black hair of medium length was brushed straight back on his head. Crystal clear emerald eyes sat below thick brows. His Roman nose took a slight detour at the bridge; a remnant from a literal ‘face- to- face’, tangling with a violent wife- abuser who was hopped- up on Meth. Both his nose and the junkie got busted.
     His beard was heavy, something he’d dealt with from the age of thirteen. He put it to work in undercover Narcotics, and let it grow wild. Coupled with shoulder- length hair, it topped off the ensemble of ratty unwashed clothes. His personage allowed him infiltration to crack houses. First he gained the trust of small- time dealers, then he parlayed their confidences to set up a sting operation. The target was a Columbian drug lord who enjoyed a reputation for being untouchable. Mike was point man, spearheading the bust that ignited simultaneous raids throughout the city. It didn’t bode well with the Feds, but the upstaging collar scored huge points at One Police Plaza. Now clean- shaven, Mike kept a Braun in his office, to remedy the five- o’clock shadow that appeared by eleven every morning.
     He aced exams and promotions followed, to Sergeant and Lieutenant, where his reputation grew as a leader with no hidden agendas. When the previous captain transferred, opportunity and preparedness met for Mike, though some called it luck, as his advancement jumped over the seniority of others conventionally considered next in line. But he knew his territory, and he could deal with any who called it home; from street vendor to societal elite.
     He analyzed the personnel ‘jackets’ of all in his charge, considering their assets and shortcomings. Improvement was mandatory. Some opted out, realizing status quo an anathema to the new Captain, and transferred to other precincts. Those who stuck with him became razor sharp, emulating the man in the office at the end of the squad room.
     Now he stood in front of Detectives Becker and Marshall, his Thinking Man’s Dog and Goliath.