Numb Numb Juice


"So I told them broads, Julius Caesar is bigger than some salad, but I got all the ranch you want baby," Julius laughs at his own joke.

The women around him laugh through false smiles. He knows the women do not really care for him, still he does not care. He has their attention. As Emperor, he can have any woman he chooses, willingly. There is no person that can ignore his influence any longer. The laughs were not real, neither were his. His real name was indeed Julius, but he was no Caesar. He had simply named himself emperor of the gangs in an attempt to unify them.

Tonight there would be a meeting to determine if the gang would redistribute territory, percentages and several other minor issues.

"J can we talk," Lucius approached Julius ahead of the meeting.

"About what, and why you here so early," Julius responds with annoyance.

"Could we have some privacy ladies," Lucius asks ushering the women out.

"You got a lot of nerve, what do you want," Julius asks more annoyed.

"It's about my brother, he's still locked up but if we get the money we can have him home. He'll be a big help," Lucius pleads his case with grace.

"I don't give a fuck about your brother. I hope he has fun in there. Why you gonna interrupt my time for that nonsense," Julius cuts him off with a hand wave.

"Fuck did you say," Lucius asks in shock.

"You heard me, get the fuck out of here, and tell the girls come back in here."

"Okay, let's get it then," Lucius mumbles exiting the room.

Julius waits until the meeting is scheduled to begin before exiting the room. He walks out boasting as usual to a room of his smiling peers. Julius truly believes he has done well. Suddenly the smile is wiped from his face as he's stabbed in the neck by an unexpected assailant. These were his closest peers, how could they do something like this.

"Brutus, help me," he calls out to his best friend. Brutus turns his head as gun fire erupts, all targeting Julius. He falls to the ground gasping for breath and riddled with holes. Brutus stands above him, looking at the man who was once his best friend, a single tear sliding down his cheek as the others exit the room.

"You gonna cry about the shit now," Julius asks.

"It didn't have to be this way," Brutus responds.

"You did the shit. You too Brutus," Julius exclaims spitting out blood as his leg twitches.

Brutus fires his first and only shot, a mercy shot directly to the temple of Julius' head.

"We were never slaves man, we're all free now," Brutus whispers walking out of the room.

Expiration


What's today's date? I glance at my phone and see the 18th of March. Maybe I shouldn't eat this yogurt. The date says the 16th. That wasn't that long ago anyway. I take sniff, doesn't smell bad at all. Still smells good. What is an expiration really? To truly expire means that you have died. If you don’t die in the minds of others have you really died? Can something expire if we remember it for what it was? The expiration of this yogurt is not some label given to it by man. I take a big spoonful of the yogurt. It goes down easy, we’re good.

Cookie Dough


I can't see you in the spoon anymore. I used to see you in the spoon right behind me. You'd always sneak an extra scoop while I wasn't looking, but I saw it. We'd eat ice cream together. Any time of the year. Ever since you left I've been eating my ice cream alone. This shit just isn't fair. I gave you my heart. I gave you everything I had. Despite that you leave me here alone.

I used to love cookie dough ice cream. It was my favorite, it was your favorite. I used to love the little chewy bits od dough. Now I hate the taste. Cookie dough is salty, that doesn’t make good ice cream. I don’t even know what my favorite flavor of ice cream is anymore. You made me hate fucking ice cream.

I guess it’s good you finally showed me the real you. I remember the first time I caught you on the roof of the school. You were up there alone, smoking a blunt and watching anime. I thought you were weird but, I knew I had to have you in my life from that point on. We had some crazy nights. Some of them are still highlights in my life.

I guess the problem is I tried to carry the relationship with just my love. I knew you slept with other people. I didn’t care. I took you back every time and every time you’d lose a little respect for me. Through it all I still loved you. I wanted to get married. All my friends told me it was dumb, but I still wanted to. Maybe it’s good that you left me, I could never have left you. I lost a little love for you every time you cheated, but I still love you. I hate you too. Cheesecake, that’s my favorite ice cream flavor. Maybe I should find someone who likes the ice cream I like.

Chemical Bonds


Part 1 - Personal Space
Part 2 - Down By The Docks
Part 3 - Warm Storage
Part 4 - Frost
Part 5 - Cheap Thrill

Angela isn't taking my calls. I can't blame her. The last time we were together, things didn't end on great terms. They never do but we always find our way back together. I don't think today is that day but I need to get into the crime lab and speak with her. Another lab tech puts in the code in and waits for the door to slide back and admit him. The three lab techs I've watched use the same code. Seems there's a single code for entry into the lab.

I make my way to the door and enter the same code as everyone else. 809303, a brief pause and the door slides open. I don't waste any time going to the lab. I know where Angela's office is and I make my way there. She's not in so I invite myself in and close the door. I take a seat in the chair near her desk. Nah, I don't want to sit with my back to the door. I move to the opposite side of the desk and sit in her chair. No, that seems arrogant. I lean on the desk. No, she'll think I'm trying to be sexy. This isn't going to work.

I just leave the office and stand next to the door. No need to surprise her any more than just showing up. I see her walking up the hall nose in a file, not paying any attention. She walks right into her office and sits down, not even looking up. Glad I left that door open.

"Hey Angela," I approach.

"Great, what do you want now," she asks. Clearly she isn't over our last shot at love.

"I've been doing okay, what about you?" I ask, trying to keep it casual.

"Cut the crap and tell me what you want," she shoots back.

"I'm just trying to find out what the components of this drug Frost are. I'm, hoping I can track those and find the people producing it."

"If I do this will you stay away?"

"I can't promise that, but I'll try."

Battle of The Night


I blink myself awake unsure of where I am or what is going on around me. A single light dangling by a thin wire flickers in the room. A chair sits against the wall looking dusty. Me, the chair, the light, the only things in this room. I'm not sure what comes next, I'm not restrained or anything like that.

Still, I've seen movies like this before. The killer asks if you want to play a game. Then you have to cut off your foot to escape or they make Shaq shoot free throws to get rid of a bomb. There's no TV screen I overlooked to feed me instructions.I don't think this is an escape room either.

I stand to my feet, a little wobbly. The room starts to spin a little and is bigger than I remember. My head pounds and I realize I might be suffering the effects of a hangover. I stumble towards the door at on the other side of the room and slowly regain my composure. I open the door expecting the worst and it's just stairs.

I make the climb only to reach another door. I take a deep breath and open the door. I see my father and mother having breakfast. They look at me in disgust and for the first time today I realize I'm only wearing briefs.

Suddenly I remember what happened. I had gone out last night and gotten drunk. But, I was hot in my room, so I took my clothes off. I was still hot, and since the basement is the coolest place in the house, I went there to sleep. Am I an idiot?

I pull up a seat for breakfast. Mom slides a plate and dad's mouth hangs open in shock. They knew who I was long before this. I don't know why he's shocked.

"Pass the waffles."

Cheap Thrill


Part 1 - Personal Space
Part 2 - Down By The Docks
Part 3 - Warm Storage
Part 4 - Frost


I stuff my clothes in my trunk. Now fully decked out in my local junkie clothes. I take a hand full of dirt and throw it on myself. Old running shoes, look worn down like I've been walking for days. Not the first time I've bought drugs, won't be the last.


I walk what might be a few blocks to the trailer park. You can't drive a Masaratti to a trailer park. The one indulgence in my life. Damn, I love that truck. I make my way in and it's clear that drugs are sold and manufactured here. I walk up the first dealer I see as he finishes a sale.

"Frost,"

"Nah, all the way in the back."

I shake my head yes in a frantic motion before walking on. This is a safe haven for drug users. Close enough to the city that they can get home when their high comes down. Also far enough that the cops won't come snooping around because it's out of their way. I wouldn't be surprised if the stuff is made here.

I reach the last trailer on the lot at the very back. Two guards sit, one on either side of the door. One looks like Hank Hill with no shirt and the other looks like the most stereotypical motorcycle gang member I've seen in real life. Yeah, this is the place. I hunch my back and make my way to the trailer in rushed shuffled steps. I ignore the guards on either side and start banging on the door. As they jump up I start to yell.

"I NEED A FROSTY. CAN I GET A FROSTY MR. ICE CREAM MAN," I only stop yelling when the door flies open as one of the guards floors me.

"Stop all that goddamn yelling," a man says stepping out.

"We got this covered Mike," Hank Hill says.

"I got money I say," squirming around. Mostly trying to get a view inside the trailer. The stuff isn't made here. There's no equipment. Mike just thinks he's a drug kingpin or something.

"How much you got," Mike asks signaling his men to let me.

"I got this," I say handing him $93 in crumpled money. One twenty, the rest crumpled 5s, 10s and 1s.

"Here, take this and get lost," Mike says tossing me a container holding about 20 pills. That's just under $5 a pill. This is cheaper than I thought. No wonder if it's growing so fast. It's a cheap way to get high.

I jump to my feet and take off running. I make sure to keep tripping and shuffling my feet. I got what I needed. Now I just need to pay a visit to a friend in the lab.

To be continued...

Frost


Part 1 - Personal Space
Part 2 - Down By The Docks
Part 3 - Warm Storage

None of this is adding up. I've been trying to find the source of the new drug Frost for days now. I've got nothing. I thought such a unique drug would have more clues. It lowers the user's body temperature which is why it's called Frost. It gives them a sensation similar to that of the last stages of hypothermia. For most people that would be uncomfortable but it's a new high for others.

I need a sample. With a sample, I could have some friends break it down and tell me what the main ingredients are. If all else fails, I can just start beating the crap out of drug dealers and making my way up the chain. But, I'd rather do this the smart way.

I drive to a high traffic area in downtown. They don't think about who they're selling to at all. It's the place where office workers buy what they need to get through the day or party the night away. The spot where cops get their bribes or highs. It's almost as if everything is legal down here. Just a few blocks from the courthouse. Hillarious.

I roll the window down and give a head nod to the kid on the corner. Really is a kid, they get younger by the day it seems.

"What you need old man," with a picture day smile.

"Frost"

"Nah, I ain't got that. You gotta get that on the far west side."

"You know someone?"

"This white guy, named Big Mike. He live in a trailer park but I ain't ever been there. But I got weed if you want that. You shouldn't be doing any of that strong stuff. You look like you got a good job." Is this kid giving me a life lecture?

"Kid, go home. This isn't the job for you," I say rolling up the window and pulling off.

There's three trailer parks on the west side of town. I just need to figure out which one Big Mike is at. I can't pop up asking questions, that'll spook him. I guess I got a little more work do.

To be continued...

Warm Storage


Part 1
Part 2
It's a gloomy day outside but that works to my advantage. I make my way to the storage unit and pick the lock. It takes me longer than it used to. Mainly because people have stopped depending on padlocks. They don't even use combination locks anymore. They're all about safes built into walls and banks now. Sometimes I wonder if criminals are becoming professionals or if the professionals are becoming criminals.

I lift the door and walk in, I hit the light switch on the wall and close the door behind me. I don't need anyone walking up and trying to make friends with me while I search this place. It doesn't take me long to find something. Every box, crate, suitcase and garbage bag has something. I thought I was tracking drug smugglers. That's not the case. These are clearly weapons dealers. Sure there's drugs here, not enough to take all these precautions. Weapons are the clear money magnet.

Pistols, shotguns, machine guns, ammunition, it's all here. The thing that scares me the most is the experimental stuff. Weapons with odd modifications, customized rounds. This stuff is designed to kill the first time, every time no matter what kind of protection you have. I need to get all this crap out of here, but I can't do it myself. A ledger lists different buyers, I tuck it in my pocket to go through later. Beyond that they don't leave much evidence. I grab a few rounds of ammunition for my personal stash. The rest of this stuff isn't necessary. Assault rifles, rocket launchers. If it was drugs, I'd just burn the storage unit and call it a day.

I make my way to a payphone a few blocks from the storage units. One thing about the storage units is they're usually in a shady area that still has a few payphones. I do something I hate doing. I call the police. I practice my best concerned citizen voice and make the call.

"911 what is your emergency," the woman on the other line answers lazily.

"I just saw a bunch of black men loading guns into a storage locker," that'll get her attention.

"Where at," she asks now fully invested.

"Down at storage mart on 67th."

"We're sending officers now."

"Please hurry, I think they're going to hurt someone. I'm going to stop them."

"NO SIR, don't go it could be dangerous," she says now in a panic.

I hang up the phone. I head into the gas station and grab a cup of coffee. Before I can enter my car I hear sirens from every direction headed towards the storage units.

To be continued....