I might say that I was late again to post, but then I realized it’s my site and I’m the boss, so I am never late, I am always on time. That’s the thing when doing your own thing. Then again I don’t want to disappoint my four readers. If one can’t be consistent, then why even bother?
But here is chapter two of the Vampire story (https://wordpress.com/post/authorrowland.com/239 if you missed chapter 1):
Chapter 2 – Retirement
Rodriguez took another drink from his beer. Before he could even set it down a shot appeared before him on the table. It was in the middle of the room of the bar, and it was surrounded by at least thirty cops. He was sure there were more around, but he couldn’t see beyond the number that formed the perimeter. Then a chant started, “Drink! Drink! Drink!” he reached down to grab the shot glass, filled with what, he didn’t know. As he did, he noticed four more next to it.
“Are you guys trying to kill me?” he asked.
“No Rod, they just want to make sure you’re having a good time,” a voice said loudly over the chants. The man was close enough to Rod so that he could hear. It was Joe, his partner, no former partner.
“I’ve been at this for almost two hours now, I don’t know how much more I can do.”
“You can stop whenever you want, but the guys will be disappointed. Besides you got a ride home whenever we call it.”
“Sure, why the hell not. I was sure I wouldn’t even make it to today.”
He took the shot and slammed the glass down. Then the next, and then three more times. None of them tasted the same and he did them so fast he wasn’t even sure what it was that he was inhaling. When the last one hit the table, he tilted his head back to let it all settle in. Right about him was the banner, Congratulations on thirty-five years. It had been a long road, and a bumpy one, but the end of his time as a detective was finally official.
Rod finally put some beer down his throat to alleviate the slight burn that remained from the shots. Then he looked over at his friend, Joe. “What are you gonna do without me Rookie?”
“Rookie? I left that behind me like ten years ago.”
“Not to me. To me you’ll always be a Rookie, rookie. By the way are you still coming over this weekend for the barbeque?”
“No shit. That’s your official retirement thing. Tonight, is actually about you though and the guys. The families can wait, now shut up and have another.” As joe finished his sentence a waitress was placing another round on the table.
“Helen is gonna be pissed,” Rod said as he reached for the first of five in the new round of shots, “But what the hell, I am gonna miss you guys.” As he downed each drink the crowd around him cheered, each holding their own drinks. Soon he finished those as well, and then the crowd started to calm down and fall back a little.
“I hope you’ve had time to settle down,” a new voice said. Rod looked up and saw the Captain. He was holding a weirdly shaped item, wrapped in newspaper. A confused look came over his face. The Captain noticed it. “Hey, I’m a cop not an artist. You should be happy I was able to even wrap this thing.” Those close to the captain started to laugh as they saw the less than good job, he had performed on the item. He set it down in front of Rod. “Well, go ahead, open it.”
Rod leaned forward and started to tear off the paper. Once he was done, he just stared at the thing. Finally, he spoke up, “It this what I think it is?”
“Yeah,” the captain said, “We got them from Helen. She holds on to everything. We got them bronzed.”
Rod picked up what appeared to be shoes but covered in metal and shiny. On the first it had his academy graduation date and the second had his detective shield on it. They were mounted to a shoddy base. “I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything,” Joe replied, “We get this is a touching moment for you.”
“No, I have plenty to say, I just don’t what to start with, but none of it’s nice.” The room erupted into laughter again. “I swear I threw these things out, they were beyond saving, like Joe.” More laughter ensued. It wasn’t the funniest thing Rod had ever said but the condition of the room, mostly drunk, would have laughed at anything about now.
In turn the rest of the room started to set their smaller gifts down. By the end of the night Rod was the proud owner of several books on fishing, and actual fishing rod, a set of golf clubs, and many ashtrays, even though he didn’t smoke, at least anymore. After his speech, was excessively emotional and funny at the same time, his partner, former partner, Joe took him to his car.
“I have to get you to Helen in one piece now.”
“What time is it?”
“Did they stay open for us?” Rod asked.
“No, for you.”
Rod looked across the street. The sign of the bar read, “The Shiny Badge”. It was so cliché, he thought. But it was a bar opened by a former cop that was less than three blocks from the precinct. “That was nice of him.”
“Yes, it was, but don’t get too big a head, he does it for all you old timers packing it in to go play golf and fish.”
“You know Joe, I never told you this, but I hate golf and I don’t fish.”
“No, you never did, but I kind of knew. I mean we’ve been together just over ten years man. I’m sure if you ever did either of those things I would have known. Shit, I mean most of the other guys do and go together when they do. So, what are you saying? You gonna donate all that stuff to charity or something?”
Rod looked as his partner as he opened the passenger side door. He looked so young, at least to Rod. He could pass for late twenties even though he knew he was thirty-six. “You were one or two when I got my badge you know that?”
“Yes, I do, you’ve mentioned it more than a few times old timer.”
Joe’s blue eyes stood out to Rod in the little light of the streetlamp that was right there. His dark hair added to his youthful appearance. Rod was jealous, he hadn’t had that much hair in over a decade and even then, it was struggling to hang on. He plopped down into the seat and tried to reach for the door. The side of the road made the car sit at an angle, just awkward enough for him to have trouble reaching it.
Joe walked around to the other side of his older mercury to help with the door. “Man, you are wasted.”
“Well duh, you guys kept the shots coming. What was I supposed to do? Turn them down?”
“Good point. Now put that damn leg in so I can close this and get you home.”
Rod pulled his leg into the car, with much effort, then the door was closed. Soon, Joe was back in and they were on their way. “Take it a little easy on the turns Rookie, I ain’t feeling entirely well.” Joe put the window all the way down.
“Just don’t chuck up in here.”
Rod looked over at Joe, “You know what really scares me?”
Joe looked over at the old crusty cop, “What?”
“What I’m gonna do now. So many other guys I knew that retired didn’t make it that long. My whole life I’ve been busting chumps, now I’m the chump.”
“If you stay active you should be fine. Besides you have the new grandkid, just chase him around everyday and soon you’ll forget all about us.”
“I don’t think that’ll ever happen. Shit I still owe you for saving my ass,” he contemplated a moment, “two times.”
“Three, you keep forgetting about that time on Allen Street.”
“Bullshit, I still say that punk was just swinging blindly.”
“Whatever. It doesn’t matter, you did more for me than I ever did for you.”
Rod looked at him, “No, I just did what a good partner does, that is expected.”
“Maybe, but tell you what, just keep in touch and have me over for your barbeques in the summer and we can call it even.”
“I can do that.”
“Your ribs are amazing. I burn water, so good food will be more than enough to pay off your debts.” As Joe finished talking, he stopped the car. They were in front of Rod’s place.
Joe looked at Rod, “I have something for you.”
“You didn’t notice I didn’t give you anything back at the party?”
Rod looked in the backseat at the three boxes of stuff, “I didn’t. What is it another book on the best golf courses in the Midwest?”
“No, you old fart.” Joes reached under his seat and handed Rod a box.
Rod took it and opened it. There was a pistol in it. He started to tear up, “My old piece.”
“Yup, I managed to snag it before they melted it down, well more like the Captain did.”
“I turned this in like what? Five years ago?”
“As I remember it right, they had to threaten you with an adverse eval to get it off you. I mean who the hell uses revolvers?”
“It was my first issued pistol; it has sentimental value. Thanks man.”
“The paperwork is in the bottom, just turn it in to the city to finish the registration. I mean I thought you’d get a kick out of it.”
“It means a lot to me Joe. You’re the best partner a guy could have asked for, and not too racist either, for a white guy.”
“Shut up ya fuckin wetback.” Both the men started to laugh. “Besides you always had the best Mexican jokes, I couldn’t top them.”
“I guess I’ll see you Saturday then?”
“Of course, now you go see that wife of yours and get some sleep.”
“To be honest I’d rather go back to the bar.”
Both men laughed some more as Rod got out. “I’ll just drop this crap off on Saturday if that’s okay with you,” Joe yelled at him as he walked up the steps and waved his acknowledgement. Joe smiled as Rod closed his front door, then he drove off heading home himself.