Cops Lie! is a new mystery / crime thriller by Leonard Love Matlick. The story is fiction, but it is based on fact. Filled with descriptions of cop abuse and killings that are fresh out of today’s news stories.
NYPD Officer Charles Griffin, a known drunk, a notorious bully, and dirty cop is involved in stealing drugs and money. When an accident with an 18 wheeler kills him, one other cop, and leaves two other cops in critical condition, Detective Tony Philadelphia, a homicide detective from the 9th precinct, is tasked with finding out what happened…
“Misbehavior, corruption, and lawbreaking are all on full display in this gritty tale of bad cops and good guys in the New York City Police Department,” says Joe Kilgore, The US Review of Books. “Tony is an NYPD detective who gets wind of potential malfeasance on the part of one of his fellow officers… If it were simply the typical freeloading, bribe taking, or head bashing, that most of his cohorts engage in, then he’d let it pass. But his source implies that it goes a lot deeper—including everything from theft, extortion, money laundering, and even committing murder for various mob bosses. Straight shooter Tony hates the thought of ratting out any fellow officer, but the behavior is so egregious he feels he must inform his superiors. Soon he and his partner, Longo, are on the trail of not just one but a band of rogue cops committing crimes all over the city.”
Longo and Tony went to Griffin’s place. He lived in SoHo at 19 Mercer Street just off of Canal Street in a 5 story row house from the 1890’s. There were approximately 8 apartments in this particular apartment house, mostly young, rich guys and gals who worked in the financial district or actors and actresses. The super, Ivan, wasn’t going to let them in even after Tony and Longo flashed their gold shields.
“Officer Griffin was killed in a car crash and we have to look for next of kin stuff.” Tony told him annoyed that a gold shield won’t give him immediate entrance to any place.
Ivan took them in the elevator to the 3rd floor. Apartment 3C was Griffin’s.
As soon as Tony and Longo went inside, it was very clear to them that this wasn’t done on a cop’s salary.
“Holy shit!” Longo exclaimed.” This is NICE!.”
Tony looked at the high ceilings, the baroque furniture, even the toilet fixtures were of the highest quality. They went into the kitchen with the 6 burner stove, Garland oven and two refrigerators.
“Who has two refrigerators?” Tony asked.
“Someone with money.” Longo said. “But definitely not on a cops salary.”
They went into the bedroom, with wall to wall TV’s, entertainment units and cameras on the ceiling, and started to stare at the closets.
“Quite a clothes horse.” Tony said flipping thru Griffin’s suits, shoes and dress shirts.
“Hey, I didn’t know he was a dandy.” Longo said fingering the silk fabrics.
Then they started to go thru the drawers, all neatly assembled by underwear, socks, t-shirts, etc. Even his bills were arranged in order.
“Philadelphia”, Longo said, “We’ve got to comb thru this stuff and camp out here.”
“Uh-huh.”. Tony said, amazed at what he saw.
“Ivan” Tony motioned to the super, “What does something like this go for?”
“Are you kidding me? A triplex in SOHO? “Ivan said. “When the market was at its top a few years ago, it was around 7 million, but now between 3.5 to 5 million.”
“WHAT!!” Tony exclaimed. ”Where did he get the money for this. After all he’s a cop!”
“I believe that he had a co-signer or somebody was sub-letting it to him. I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the rental agent.” Ivan stated.
“Okay, we’ll do that.” Tony said. ”Who’s the rental agent?”
“Cushman and Gold” Ivan said. “There’s also some interesting people who live here in the building.”
“Like who?” Longo asked.
“Like the singer Nora, the actor who played the Vulcan in the Star Trek movies, and even Justin, the actor.”
Longo made a face like he was impressed.
“Ivan, one more thing.” Tony turned to the super, “Did Griffin get many guests here?”
“I don’t know. What do you mean by many guests? More than one?”
Tony looked at Longo and then asked Ivan,” I’m guessing that you mean that there were many guests?”
“Well, he was quite the ladies man. I mean that there was a different girl here every day.” Ivan mentioned. “Since he worked the night shift. I never saw many guys come here, but there was a lot of girls, a lot.”
Again, Tony looked at Longo.
“What do you mean by a lot? More than one or two?” Tony asked.
“Oh yeah.” Ivan said.” I’ve seen him bring 2 and sometimes even 3 at a time here. I guess that he was into twosomes and threesomes. Must have been quite the stud.”
“Apparently not on a cops salary.” Longo mentioned. “Philadelphia,” Longo motioned for him to come closer. ”How come we live in such shit and he gets all of this nice stuff? Money, broads, all of this” He moved his arm all around to span the luxury apartment. “He must have been dirty.”
“Yeah,” Tony said. “Very dirty.”
Cops Lie! was published in July 2017 and is available for sale on Amazon.
For more information, or to request a review copy, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com
Weave A Murderous Web is a mystery novel by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks. It is one of three books in the Jane Larson series, published by Melange Books.
No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.
Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dads hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.
Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.
“A sleuthing lawyer returns to the streets of New York in this mystery of drugs, murder, and financial skullduggery… the husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story… overall, this is a satisfying read. An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.” – Kirkus
“The action is breathtaking and the writing beautiful. Weave a Murderous Web: A Jane Larson Novel is a story that reminds me of the characters of John Grisham’s Gray Mountain… Jane Larson is the kind of character that will be loved by many readers… The plot is well thought out and masterfully executed, laced with numerous surprises to keep readers turning the pages. This is one of those books that should occupy an enviable place in your shelf if you are into fast-paced thrillers and compelling investigative stories.” – 5 Stars, Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite
“Weave a Murderous Web is a classic whodunit with classic New York City characters.” – Gimme That Book
“Weave a Murderous Web is an enthralling murder mystery. It gets your heart pounding with action and passion, while simultaneously entangling your mind with its ambiguity. The dynamic duo has done it again. The husband and wife writing team of Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks pens another on-the-edge-of-your seat murder mystery. Engaging. Witty. Fast paced. I love the Hicks’ contemporary writing style. The narrative is full of delightful metaphorical statements. The setting takes you into the heart of New York City – it reflects just the right amount of ambiance… As the plot progresses, the intensity heightens, catapulting you into a surprising twist, then plummets you into a sudden, yet satisfying end.” – 5 Stars, Cheryl E. Rodriguez, Readers’ Favorite
“Weave a Murderous Web involves a hotshot Wall Street lawyer who is a sassy, cynical New Yorker through and through. To help out a friend, she gets involved in a seamy matrimonial case that quickly pulls her into a vortex of murder, drugs, and dangerous games of deception.” – The Big Thrill
“Weave a Murderous Web is a smart and entertaining mystery by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks that will leave lovers of the genre anxiously waiting for another installment starring the intrepid protagonist, Jane Larson… Weave a Murderous Web has plenty to keep the reader engaged as Jane digs in her heels, determined to get to the truth. Witty dialogue, supported by great writing and some understated humor, makes this book not only a must-read – but also a darned good one!” – 5 Stars, Marta Tandori, Readers’ Favorite
I was in my office at Adams & Ridge talking on the telephone when Francine entered. At the moment, my friend, Lee, was on the other end of the wire, yakking up a storm in my ear. Her rant covered already familiar terrain. My man, my David, was drifting dangerously away from me while I did nothing to win him back. As we say around the courts, Oy.
Francine tiptoed forward and placed on my desk a two-day-old copy of The Daily News opened to the item concerning Mark Samuels’ death.
“I gotta go, Lee,” I said.
While Francine waited for me, she had backed into a corner of my office, leaned against the wall, and tried to make her six feet of lanky body less noticeable. Two large metal buttons were pinned to her heavily braided cotton sweater. One read Stop Fracking New York and the other protested against the annual Canadian seal hunt with a scarlet X through an image of a baby seal whose brains had been battered to a pink pulp.
I pointed at the newspaper and gave her a questioning glance, but she quickly averted her eyes to stare at the floor.
“Have you been listening to me at all?” Lee demanded. Her voice rose to a kind of exasperated wail. “David has been dating someone. I think he may be getting serious.”
“David was born serious, Lee,” I said.
“Stop it, Jane,” she shouted so I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Even Francine raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”
“I’m sorry, Lee.”
“I don’t understand why you’re taking this so nonchalantly. You know you still love him. You could get back together in a heartbeat if you’d just spend a tenth as much time on a relationship as you spend on your career.”
“I’m a lawyer, Lee. Not a—”
A sharp intake of breath followed. “Not a baby maker?” Lee demanded. Anger replaced the plaintive wail. “Is that what you were going to say?”
Would I ever admit that the word had been on the tip of my tongue?
“No. I was going to say, ‘not a librarian’, or the owner of some other nine-to-five job. The hours come with the territory, Lee. David knows that, but deep down in that wonderful heart of his, he also thinks the hours spent at the office are A-okay for the guy, but not for the girl. In any event, Martha didn’t raise her daughter to compete over a man.”
The sound of a whale breaching the surface erupted from the phone. “You’re maddening, Jane.”
“No, I’m busy,” I replied.
Lee sighed. “Well, I have to go too. Laurie is home sick and I’m taking her to the doctor. We’ll talk more later, Jane. I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to my two best friends in the world. I’m going to fight, Jane.”
Actually, I wasn’t busy at all, or I wouldn’t have spent even that much time on the phone being lectured by Lee. She’s an old friend from Columbia Law, but enough is enough.
A major litigation I had been working on had settled just a day before and the client and powers-that-be at Adams & Ridge were very happy with me—especially Seymour Ridge. The old man himself had hammered out the settlement shortly after I made the CEO of the party suing our client look like a doofus on the witness stand. So, I had some time on my hands until I was given another assignment.
More to the point, I wanted to know why Francine was still standing in my office, staring at the tips of her shoes. She was a legal assistant with the firm. I had gotten her the job. However, she didn’t work on any of my cases. That was a rule I had laid down from the beginning.
“Hello, Francine,” I said.
“Hi, Jane.” She looked up shyly, smiled her timid smile, gave a meaningful glance in the direction of the paper and resumed looking at her shoes. I had known her for so long that she was more like a relative than a friend, in the sense that one does not choose one’s relatives. She was really really shy but also effective in getting her way with me. I read the article.
It was as depressing as I had expected. Mark Samuels was a single practitioner who worked out of a small office above a bodega on 116th Street. He wasn’t married and had no family to speak of. The exact date and hour of his demise were uncertain. The body was discovered only after fellow inhabitants of his East Village apartment house reported a foul odor during the last week in June when a heat wave had sent temperatures rising into the high nineties. Those same conditions had made his remains swell like a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
How can a person die without anyone knowing for a week or ten days? Did he have no friend or family member who cared to check on him? Were all of them as completely egotistical as he was?
The cause of death, however, was easy to determine. When the cops broke down his door, three short fat lines of cocaine were still in place on the old-fashioned hand mirror Mark used to chop the drug fine enough to snort. The coroner confirmed Mark died of severe heart arrhythmia, which is to say his ticker skipped a few too many beats before stopping altogether. Testing of the merchandise showed the stuff he’d inhaled had been nearly pure—several times the strength of what is normally available on the street. As the cops put it, either he had chosen to depart this green orb flying on nose powder or he was inordinately careless. I suppose it didn’t much matter which alternative was true. The result was the same. An overdose had killed him.
I looked up warily, unwilling to reveal I had the slightest interest in the entire subject.
“Why are you showing this to me, Francine,” I asked.
“Didn’t you know Mark when you worked for Legal Services for the Poor?”
Did she expect me to burst into tears?
“Yeah,” I said, “and he was just as big a screw-up then. They put him in the Family Law area because he could do the least harm there. At least no one could lose their apartment or get sent to jail because of him.”
Francine winced. You might think this resulted from a superstitious aversion to speaking ill of the dead. You would be wrong. Francine had an aversion to speaking ill both of the living and the dead.
“He kept doing matrimonial work after he left Legal Services,” Francine added. She nodded, as if agreeing with her own words, then fell into silence. Silence was her friend.
“And?” I said.
Francine pulled up her sweater, which was being dragged low by those protest buttons and exposing her collarbones and the top of her boney chest. Her stringy hair, a field mouse brown, had no discernible style. She had never chosen to master the art of makeup despite my efforts with pencil, rouge, and lipstick back when we were teenagers. The only jewelry she now wore was a pendulous locket with gold thread tying it together. She said she’d purchased it in a wild moment at an uptown thrift shop. Of course, those buttons and their slogans were a kind of jewelry, I suppose, in that jewelry also says, “Look at me. This is what I am.”
Francine smiled at her shoes and continued. “Well, he had a client, Gail Hollings, who is a very good friend of mine, Jane, and—”
Now I saw where this was going. “Would this friend of yours be in need of a lawyer?”
“She’s in an awful fix, Jane. She has a court appearance at two o’ clock this afternoon. She gave Mark three thousand dollars, which was all she could scrape together. She has no money left at all.”
“Ridge will be glad to hear that. No money. Great.”
Francine rummaged in the front pocket of her cargo pants, pulled out a wallet, and then drew from inside it a picture of a young child with long blond pigtails that dwarfed her diminutive round face but did not steal the scene from her toothy grin.
“She has a little girl,” Francine added, glancing from the snapshot to me and back again to emphasize her point.
“No money, no lawyer, and a kid. This just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?”
My mother, Martha, who insists I call her by her first name, always says Francine faces a bright future if Jesus’ prediction about the meek is really true. Believe me, the meek have power, especially over those of us with guilt. Martha would love that. Guilt. I was like a fish nibbling at a big juicy worm and getting closer and closer to the hook. Francine was the fisherwoman, waiting patiently for the slightest pull on the line.
“Look, you know I can’t take on this case, Francine. However, I have some free time today, so I can at least go down to court and adjourn the matter until we can find someone to help Gail and little…”
“Courtney,” Francine said with a rush of breath that made the name seem like a prayer. An expression filled her eyes that reminded me of an early Renaissance image of a martyr at the moment of supreme sacrifice, pain mixed with a kind of bliss that seems to make it all worthwhile.
The hook was set. That much was obvious. Francine had only to slowly reel me in.
I opened a drawer and pulled out a legal pad to record the names of mother and daughter.
“There’s just one thing maybe you should know,” Francine said.
My pencil poised in midair and then wrote “one thing” with an exclamation point. I still have that piece of paper in the top drawer of my desk.
“Well, Carmen Ruiz has kind of taken an interest in this because of the women’s rights angle and what happened to Mark and all.”
“Carmen Ruiz? Last time I heard of her, she was spending time at a fat farm.”
This was code. Everyone knew that the ‘fat farm,’ as I had injudiciously put it, was also a place where people could lose other bad habits, such as drugs.
Francine winced again and swallowed hard. “That’s unkind, Jane.”
Chalk one up for the meek.
“You’re right, Francine. How is Carmen doing?”
“She’s got a new gig on cable. One of the local news stations.”
I nodded. I was safe from unkind remarks if I kept my mouth shut. At one time the cognoscenti had called Carmen the “female Wolf Blitzer” because she had enjoyed asking the hard questions, especially of men who were not used to being pushed around. The fact that she had the flashing good looks of a gypsy queen didn’t hurt, but now she was scuffling on cable news.
“She said she called you a couple of times.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve been busy.”
I was on the verge of getting back the advantage, never easy in a conversation with humanitarian types like Francine, especially if your mother always places such types on a pedestal, a very high pedestal.
Martha has not been affiliated with any organized religion since her mind began to function at age eleven. Still, she shares Jesus’ distrust of wealth and is fond of quoting both his advice to sell all you have and give it to the poor and his adage that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
“You don’t even believe in Jesus,” I argue.
“I don’t have to believe in Jesus as God to know he’s telling the truth,” she retorts.
When I had accepted the job at Adams & Ridge, Carmen had had some unkind things to say to mutual friends about my going for the gold. Her whole premise that Martha’s goodness had gotten lost in one generation to my grabbiness had cut a bit too close to the bone. I hadn’t forgotten.
“Carmen’s working on a series about children and the courts,” Francine said. “Kids falling into poverty are a very big problem.”
“I’m aware of the problem, Francine. I’ll skip over the question of what has made Carmen give a good hoot in hell about children all of a sudden. What does any of this have to do with that coke-head Mark?”
“Oh, nothing much. Nothing at all really.”
She was hedging, worried that the prospect of helping Carmen might have made me shut the whole thing down before it ever began.
“Go on, Francine.”
“It’s just… she knew Mark fairly well and doesn’t think his death was accidental. She says Mark did drugs too much to do something that stupid.”
“So she thinks he did it on purpose? Is that it? He committed suicide over the predicament of his client and child?”
“Not exactly,” Francine said.
In hindsight I can see clearly how nonchalant she wanted to seem, playing with the gold locket and dropping it inside her sweater, glancing in the direction of the window as if a pretty bird had alighted there.
“Carmen thinks Mark was murdered.”
About the Authors:
Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years. Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.
Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The first two books in the series are Weave A Murderous Web and Praise Her, Praise Diana, both published by Melange Books, LLC. A third novel, Mind Me, Milady, will be published in early 2017.
To learn more, go to http://randh71productions.com/blog/
October 5, 2015 (Jackson, MS) – Kathryn Rogers will be at Books-a-Million in Jackson on October 8, 2015 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to read from and discuss her latest novel Memphis Hoodoo Murders, an occult horror mystery, published by Sartoris Literary Group.
Memphis Hoodoo Murders tells the story of young Addie Jackson who has witnessed people trying to kill her family her entire life. Now she must use her strength and wits to understand why she’s being hunted by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen and solve the mysteries surrounding her family’s past.
As a licensed therapist, Kathryn Rogers holds her Masters in Counseling and Psychology, and as a licensed educator, she holds her Bachelors in Education. Her experience providing counseling services to the community prepared her to expound upon the psychological issues her characters wrestle with in her stories.
“Dripping with grisly spells, wry humor and a distinctly southern brand of magical realism, you’ll be quickly mesmerized by this magnetic paranormal thriller. A home run for author Kathryn Rogers.” – Reviewed by Best Thrillers
“I was captivated from page one. Memphis Hoodoo Murder is a fast-paced mystery thriller that you simply can’t put down once you started reading. The writing is as lively as it is eloquent, the characters are believable and the storyline is suspenseful from beginning to end. I highly recommend the book and I can’t wait to read more from its author Kathryn Rogers!” – Reviewed on Amazon
Books-a-Million is located at 4950 Hwy 55 N., Jackson, MS 39206. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. Paperback copies of Memphis Hoodoo Murders will be available for sale at the event.
Kathryn Rogers currently resides in Jackson, MS. To learn more, visit https://bookpublicityservices.com/memphis-hoodoo-murders-kathryn-rogers/.
For media inquiries, contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memphis Hoodoo Murders, by Kathryn Rogers, is an occult horror mystery thriller novel. It was published by Sartoris Literary Group on August 15, 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon.
Addie Jackson has witnessed people trying to kill her family her entire life, and now her grandparents’ attackers are hunting her. The Memphis police are never able to catch these crooks since the cops have been bewitched to stay away. Her grandparents, Pop and Grandma, habitually lie to Addie, but she is attentive enough to overhear the secrets they keep from her. In her predictive dreams, Addie regularly sees future events, which disturb her, but to her dismay, she has never been able to stop them from coming true. She often dreams of a dark character, who she is later shocked to discover is the Man, a devil from hoodoo legend.
Addie is disturbed to discover she is being stalked by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen. To make matters worse, the more secrets Addie uncovers, the more danger she finds. Addie presses Grandma for answers about the power behind the ring and pocket watch she often toys with, but Grandma remains tight-lipped. Knowing their deaths are imminent, Grandma makes a deal with the hoodoo devil to take care of Addie, and Addie is later horrified to discover that her beloved family has been murdered. John, a family friend, steps in to help Addie, and she soon realizes he knows more about her family’s tainted past than she ever has. Addie begins receiving cryptic letters from her deceased grandmother, which reveal a shocking family history revolving around slavery, time travel, and magic.
If Addie can survive jail, her cousin’s abduction, threats from a menacing gang, corrupt law enforcement, and hoodooed attacks, maybe she can finally dream of a future where she will be safe and free.
Praise for Memphis Hoodoo Murders:
“Dripping with grisly spells, wry humor and a distinctly southern brand of magical realism, you’ll be quickly mesmerized by this magnetic paranormal thriller. A home run for author Kathryn Rogers.” – Reviewed by Best Thrillers
“Addie Jackson is not your average college student. For starters, she lives with her slightly odd grandparents in a not-so-nice part of Memphis, Tennessee. Most of her life revolves around taking care of her grandparents and trying to keep a low profile in her neighborhood instead of going on dates, talking about new music, and having fun. When her grandparents’ behavior becomes even more bizarre, there are break-ins at the church the family attends, and she begins to have dreams that come true, Addie becomes even more aware of the strange life she is living. She begins to believe that her grandparents have been hiding something from her for her entire life, something big, something that could put everyone’s lives in danger. Something that could mean that Hoodoo magic is real. Kathryn Rogers’ novel, Memphis Hoodoo Murders, immediately catches the reader with an exciting title and a surprising first chapter.” – Reviewed by Red City Review
If I told you that people had been trying to kill my family and me my entire life, you would probably just think I was being paranoid, but it’s not paranoia if it’s real.
Sometimes healthy people run for exercise, and oftentimes energetic individuals run for fun. In my neck of the woods, you run just to stay alive. Today I only hoped that the gang members didn’t murder me so I could make it home in one piece. My legs were pumping so hard I thought they might fall off.
Grandma and Pop would tell you I’m petite and pretty when really I’m short and perfectly ordinary. I don’t look anything like them except that we are all small in stature, though I’m so little I look like a shrimp by comparison. I have straight, brown hair with no bangs, smooth skin, and sharp, green eyes. I’ve never dressed fancy as I’ve never had much to begin with. Besides, in my neck of the woods, when you get something shiny, folks try to take it or talk about you for having it, so the more you blend in, the better off you’re bound to be.
“Hey, short stuff! You with the ponytail! I told you to get over here!”
It was my favorite neighborhood thug heckling me.
Just don’t trip. Whatever you do, don’t trip, Addie.
The limb from the fallen tree did not hear my inner monologue, because my foot caught on the log and slung me onto the sidewalk.
“I told you there was no point in running from us,” he said coldly. “We always get what we want.”
I winced in pain and grabbed my right knee, which was running red. I felt like a bleeding fish in the middle of a shark tank.
Show no fear. Don’t cry.
I forced myself to stand and face my antagonists. Their clothes and tattoos were clearly reflective of the Memphis gang, the Skullbangerz—not that I would be privy to any admission from them about this.
“Ouch! Looks like you got a boo-boo,” said a slim, jumpy guy, eyeing me from the stems up. “Want me to kiss on you to make it all better?”
“No, thanks—you’re really not my type,” I said, thankful I had enough spirit to sound snarky.
“Oohh, she’s a feisty one. I like that in a lady,” he toyed dangerously with me.
“Enough with your mouth. You’re wasting my time.” The tall, muscular gang leader cut him off as he stepped towards me. “Yeah, you got to be her,” he remarked as he studied my face.
“Got to be whom?” I asked sullenly.
“June Jackson’s granddaughter,” Jaydon Swisher announced.
I was surprised that he knew who I was. Everyone around here knew him. Just thinking about his cruel reputation made me shudder.
“How do you know her?” I asked to try to pump information out of him.
“So, you is Mrs. Jackson’s girl?” he quizzed me clearly not wanting to give anything away.
“What’s it to you?”
“You ain’t in the position to be asking questions of me. You give me what I want, and I might let you go in one piece…might. You act uncooperative, and I’ll butcher you up while you’re still alive. Then I’ll mail individual pieces of you wrapped up as Christmas presents to your Grandma. Do you understand what I’m telling you right now?”
He was close enough for me to feel his hot breath on my neck.
I knew most people made idle threats. However, I could tell from the way the other gang members kept their distance from him, Jaydon was telling the Gospel truth.
The waterfall of blood continued to rain down my leg. Every fiber in my being told me to get as far away from them as possible. Unfortunately though, as history had indicated, I was too clumsy to outrun them. So, I stalled for time and willed myself to exhibit grace under fire.
The leader of the pack misinterpreted my silence for newfound cooperation and continued to press me, “So, where is it?”
Kathryn Rogers is a Memphis native with an affinity for local BBQ and blues rock-n-roll. As a licensed therapist, she holds her Masters in Counseling and Psychology, and as a licensed educator, she holds her Bachelors in Education. Her experience providing counseling services to the community prepared her to expound upon the psychological issues her characters wrestle with in her stories. She currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband, playful preschooler, and rambunctious Labrador Retrievers.
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