Join Date: Oct 2008
For the rest of the day he repeated the process. Opening up doors and checking of any more floaters in the waters. So far he had found nothing more to tag. In the old days people use to say that escaped alligators swam in those dark tunnels. Growing large and fat on the leftovers of the city above. But those were just rumours. The waters in the Drains were barren of life. The city spent a lot of money pumping in D.D.T. to keep it that way. A rat let alone an alligator would of starved to death. Even if he hadn’t first choked on the fumes of the D.D.T.
Dibble glanced at this watch. It was getting late. Although he had no moon in the sky to tell him so he knew it was time to call it a day. He checked along the tunnel up ahead and sure enough he saw another blue light about hundred paces further on. This time the light pointed at a door in the opposite side of the tunnel.
This was different to the other maintenance rooms. When they had first covered over the Drains they had had the fore sight to build a network of these service rooms along the entire length of the Drains. There were known as Wolf Cages after the practice used by woods men in the wilds outside the cities to build small cabins alone the tracks to sleep in. A door of open iron bars were designed to stop the wolves and bears from dragging you off into the night. Maybe the builders of the Drains were worried that the rats and alligators would do the same there under the city.
Dibble pulled open the cage door and entered the small dank room. Inside the walls were just as grey as the tunnel outside. Only the scratching of bored cops and workmen broke up the surface of the wall. Names and dates written in white bore witness to the people who had had the misfortune to pass through. Here and there a joke or an insult brought a distraction from the fact that this room was no more than a prison cell where the inmates had the key to stop the wardens getting in.
A bench of a bed stuck out at a right angle from the wall. And a broken metal mirror hung lifeless over a small stainless steel sink All the creature comforts of home had been stripped bare. All except for a well thumbed Gideon bible chained to the wall by the head of the bed.
Dibble was a cop and as a cop he knew every word in that book, just as he knew every word in the Pledge and the Star Spangle Banner. But still he opened it at page one and began to read. Not out of faith but out of shear habit. The same habit that lead him to break out a small bottle of metal polish, which he began to dip a well worn rag. He took it and started to rub the polish into the large silver police badge which rested on his lap. He remembered how he watched his granddaddy do the same. Rubbing back and forth until it shone afresh. Gleaming in the light. He mouthed the words which his granddaddy would repeat over and over like a mantra or slave gang song.
“Look after the Badge and the Badge will look after you…Look after the Badge and the Badge will look after you”
This had been the case with his granddaddy. Back when he was a young cop he had been on the front line at Berkley during the college riots. Units had been brought in from all over the country. The Government had been tipped off about the War protestors match on the campus and the order had been given to come down heavy. And that is what they did. Anyone on the streets was rounded up and dealt with according to the emergency orders.
What they hadn’t realised was that the college kids were not alone. On the corners of some of the streets small groups of Panthers had taken up the cause, or at least planned to take full advantage of the chaos on the streets. On the roof tops they had placed gunmen and granddaddy and his squad had walked right into it.
Before they knew it shots rained down. Bullets taking out several of them before they could switch their batons for their service revolvers. And it was only granddaddies big shiny badge that had saved him from joining their number. All those years later even when he was no longer in service he would take that badge and polish it, it and the bullet which was still lodged right at it’s centre.
Dibble lay back onto the bed still dressed in his uniform. Taking the badge and placing it right back where it belonged, right over his heart.
Then he closed his eyes tightly trying to block out the brightness of the single bare bulb above him, and slowly he succeeded and let sleep take him.
The Last Cop Chapter 1 by Wayne Clayton
The Last Cop Chapter 2 by Wayne Clayton
The Last Cop Chapter 3 by Wayne Clayton
The Last Cop Chapter 4 by Wayne Clayton
The Last Cop Chapter 5 by Wayne Clayton
The Last Cop Chapter 6 by Wayne Clayton
The Last Cop Chapter 7 by Wayne Clayton