|The Story||The Authors|
|Police Officer Matthew J Hickey stared deeply into his sixth refill of his
bottomless cup of coffee. To an outside observer he might appear to be deeply
involved in perhaps unraveling the mysteries of some as unspeakable and as yet
unsolved crime. Perhaps ruminating on the fragility of life and the darker side
of human nature. Or maybe even pining for a lost love.|
In reality, he was trying to decide if he wanted a third piece of Luby's apple pie.
|At times, he found it difficult to determine whether he was eating to pie for himself, or just to keep Luby happy. Allison Hill was a hard beat for a man to work alone. A cop like Hickey needed friends, sometimes Luby was the only friend he had. Even the boys in the precinct seem distant since the Ann Brinkly incident. Luby refilled his coffee agian without asking. "Hey Luby, what ever happened wit your old man. He still sell'n cars for Aggie, or did he get outta the joint. Last I heard he wanted out."|
|This last comment, voiced in soft tones bespeaking faux-boyishness and genuine interest, ultimately only served to alert the subtle eavsedropper to Officer Hickey's pathetically immature attitude towards women: they were little more to him than robots which refilled his coffee... But what was to be expected of a man who, through a four-times-decorated police officer, at the age of 35 still lived with his widowed mother, a saintly, selfless angel of a certain age who waited on her only son hand and foot, up to and including the abomination of bringing him a sumptuous breakfast-in-bed of steak and eggs and home fries and decrusted toast-triangles and coffee and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice 365 mornings a year, including the morning of her own birthday!!! It was truly an abomination, a mooncalf flying in the face of the nuclear family.|
And the thing was, this thoroughly reprehensible bad-habit-of-the-soul was the
selfsame trait which had gotten Hickey so far in the police force at such a
young age: his very passivity almost encouraged criminals to continue
the nefarious undertakings within range of weak-eyed Hickey's diabolically
accurate nose... It was almost as if he were emitting some sort of epitomal
police-pheromones, to which criminals were helplessly drawn, even the shrewdest
of them sometimes nearly seeming (but no, it simply could not be!) to parade
their crimes directly under Hickey's nose, to openly rob banks, tease Carmelite
novices, and sell crystal methedrine to elementary schoolchildren with no
regard for their own safety — but only when on Officer Hickey's beat! —
as if responding to him in a sort of grotesque flirtation: cobra and mongoose,
or the dance of the hippo and the crocodile in Fantasia... Whatever it
was, their was something strangely unnatural at work, but the only one who
eveer seemed to notice was Chubby Estrada, the town's chief coroner. To the
rest of them — his superiors especially, Police Chief Llefty Llewellyn and
Sergeant Oink — Hickey was a model officer who never had to be hounded to get
his reports in on time... |
...That's because Officer Hickey's saintly mother typed them for him, too, and corrected their grammar and spelling, and added here and there little flourishes when she found her son's writing style assuming that same bland ambiguity of tone and utter lack of style which had so distinguished the letters her husband (god rest his decent soul! she crossed herself)had dutifully sent home (once a week, like clockwork) from the training base while she was pregnant with Matthew... (she sighed)
... And this led to the only complaint his superiors had yet found cause to speak to Officer Hickey about:
"What the hell's this, Hickey?" they'd demand, holding up his perfectly typed report.
"This?!?! In paragraph 3 you refer to Boss "Crusty" Drawers — killer of dozens, the man you shot down in cold blood that night in the raid on Luigi's after he had nine of his boys working you over with live jellyfish — you refer to this skunk of a human being as — and I quote — 'Such nice hands he had! And that abundant grey hair I just wanted to run my fingers through it! And like a good boy he was wearing his St. Christopher's medal...' — I could go on, Hickey, but I don't want to lose my fuckin' breakfast, eh?"
"Sir, I've been — well, I haven't been sleeping well, Sir?" "Hickey — I don't even wanna watch, and I don't wanna know! What I do want is this report, rewritten, every bit a funny business cut out of it, on my desk when I come in tomorrow morning: capiche?"