The Watchers 18

God protects children and fools

“God protects children and fools,” Blackfoot thought as he watched Davenport’s bookstore attacker shuffle into the tank. It was his Daddy’s favorite line, but watching the pitiful excuse of a man before him he figured no line had ever been truer.

The man’s ankles were shackled together beneath the unhemmed legs of his orange jumpsuit forcing him to shuffle awkwardly. The officers sat him at the table bolted to the floor in the middle of the room then secured the handcuffs on his wrists through a metal loop on the table in front of him.

Blackfoot and Taylor watched the man fidget for a few minutes as he tried to get comfortable on the steel seat. Once settled in he scratched his nose a couple of times before sticking one finger in his left nostril.

“You think he’d have struck gold by now,” Blackfoot said grimacing as the man switched nostrils. “Let me get in there before he pokes a whole in what’s left of his brain.

Taylor breathed a sigh of relief it was Blackfoot and not him. He’d done it once already and it was ten minutes of his life he regretted losing.

The man was harder to follow than an ant only his brain was even squirrelier. He still didn’t know what drugs Jeremy was into but seeing him now he had a feeling that his being under the influence had only a minimal effect on his normal state of being

“Okay Jeremy,” Blackfoot said as he walked into the room. The young man jumped in his seat his eyes enormous as they darted up and down the detective’s body looking for any sign of threat. “I guess your accommodations have been adequate since I last saw you?” Blackfoot said.

“Acomma- what?” Jeremy said with his mouth hanging open. He kept his eyes on Blackfoot as if he expected the detective to sprout horns at any moment.

“They treating you nice?”

“What? Naw,” Jeremy said picking at a scab on his neck, but then remembering who he was talking to he mumbled, “It’s alright,” looking over his shoulder as if a guard might materialize at the door to take him back at any moment.

            “Well, I’m sure you’re used to it being that you’ve been here a few times before. This would make your third strike, huh?”

            “I dunno.”

            “Come on man. Yes, you do,” Blackfoot said sitting down. “Let’s see there was possession, then a selling charge, now you done jumped up. Weapons charge, aggravated assault, attempted robbery, murder. Man, you in the big leagues now.”

            Jeremy shook his head, his long black locks swinging with each shake. “Naw man, that wasn’t me.”

            “What do you mean that wasn’t you. Man, you got caught red handed.”

            “But there ain’t no tape. Ain’t no one saw me.”

            “You’re wrong there, buddy. Your victim is still alive. She saw you Sherlock,” Blackfoot watched the young man lean back in his chair and started giggling. He wanted to grab the man by his neck, but he forced himself to stay seated.

He couldn’t do stuff like that anymore. Jeremy was already locked up with charges, but there were cameras in all the rooms now a part of the new governor’s justice initiative.

Blackfoot just wanted to know why Jeremy had attacked Trina. He wanted to know and he wasn’t leaving without answers.

            “I don’t know what you talking about,” he said.

“Oh you don’t huh? Well let me refresh your memory- Trina, aka the woman you and your girlfriend tried to strong arm three days ago. The woman who kicked your ass up and down the cookbook aisle at the Crossroads,” Blackfoot watched as the memory dawned on Jeremy’s face, but it was short lived.

“Oh Yeah,” Jeremy said smiling until the tarnished gold tooth in his mouth showed from the corner of his crooked mouth. “Like she gonna talk to you,” he chuckled, “about me.”

Blackfoot felt the heat rise up his neck. Was that it? Did he have a relationship with Trina? That would explain things, why the woman wouldn’t talk. It wouldn’t bother him if he had another witness, but he didn’t. All he had were two drugged out convicts and a victim who would only give him monosyllabic responses.

“She’ll talk alright. She’ll say exactly what happened and you my friend will be sent away for a very long time.” Blackfoot kept his eyes on the young man. “What I don’t understand is how you and your girlfriend got involved in all of this.”

 “Man, she ain’t my girlfriend. I told your boy down at the station,” Jeremy said slumping in his seat.

“Well your partner in crime, you know the chick we arrested right along with your ass? Yeah, you do. Why were y’all even there? Why Trina if you know her so well?”

“Oh yeah,” he said smiling. “Yeah me and Trina go way back.”

“Tell me about it,” Blackfoot said, but Jeremy’s face closed at his words. “Okay, Jeremy. I get it you liked what you saw. You wanted her to talk to you but she wouldn’t give you the time of day. So, you got your…friend to follow her with you and you were going to cop her bag and sale it. Rough her up a little bit- was that it?”

“Naw man, it wasn’t like that.”

“Yes, it was. A girl like that from a family like that. What would she want with someone like you?”

“Someone like me, man you must be crazy,” Jeremy said laughing. “Fuck that I’m a catch.”

Blackfoot blinked twice at the man’s arrogance, but he said nothing. He didn’t have to. Blackfoot didn’t want to know what delusional reality the kid lived in that made him a catch. He was in jail with no possibility of release. If even one of his charges stuck, he was looking at several decades of hard time. 

His only option was to admit to it as quick as possible and cut a deal. If he didn’t repulse him so much that’s what Blackfoot would be advising him to do right now, but the boy had youth and stupidity working against him. The only thing in front of him was a big fall; Blackfoot just hoped he could get what he needed from him before it happened.

“All I know is she said she had a job for me, and now she’s dead” Jeremy said his voice hollow. It was the first real emotion he’d shown.

“Like I told the other cop. She gave me the gun to hold. She said we was supposed to grab this chick’s purse and take it,” Jeremy said shaking his head, “I don’t know to who. She just said she’d pay us later.” 

Blackfoot shook his head. He needed more. “Us?”

“Big girl, y’all locked up with me.”

“Who told you about the job? I need a name.”

Jeremy shook his head before speaking. “Man, I guess it don’t matter now- she dead. You know the girl y’all pulled from the water last week, Jocelyn. That’s what big girl said,” Blackfoot heard a knock on the window but he ignored it.

“She was the one that set it up,” Jeremy whined. “Now she dead, and we ain’t getting paid,” Jeremy said sounding just as lost as Blackfoot felt. “I don’t know man, that’s all I got.”

“You said that you and Trina was tight,” Blackfoot said. “If you were so tight with her why’d you rob her. Pull your gun on her.”

“Man, I didn’t know who the chick we was robbing was supposed to be. All I knew I was supposed to show up. Be you know, like back up. She was supposed to do everything, but when that chick started throwing kicks and punches, I was just trying to get out the way.” Blackfoot watched the young man. He hated to admit to it but he actually believed him, which made him cringe. 

“Still doesn’t compute,” Blackfoot said. “If you were so close, why didn’t you bail when you saw it was Trina?”

“That’s what I’m telling you man,” Jeremy said his eyes wide. “Trina wasn’t there.”

It was Blackfoot’s turn to laugh, but Jeremy continued undeterred. “You can laugh all you want man, but me and Trina was tight. You know? Real tight. That chick- you can say what you want but that chick was no parts of Trina.”

There was a knock on the window, and Blackfoot stood slowly.

“We through?” Jeremy asked. Blackfoot waved for the guards to enter.

Blackfoot walked into the hallway. He didn’t say anything as Taylor joined him.

“I know crazy, right? Bruh told me the same thing,” Taylor said a grim set to his jaw.

“Yeah, but you know the funny thing about it,” Blackfoot said. “I almost believed him.”

“I got the report back on the body in the water,” Taylor said. “you remember my other case?”

“Yeah,” Blackfoot said as he marched up the stairs to his office. Taylor closed the door behind him.

“Well, boss it seems that we found the bullets to Jeremy’s gun.” Blackfoot sat down at his desk his eyes fixed on the younger man. He had a feeling he wasn’t going to like what he was about to hear.

“They were found at the scene where my floater’s body was discovered,” Taylor said his face pale. “The ones used to kill Jocelyn match. They also match the one we found on Trina Davenport.”

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