Wide fluorescent lights and tan hallways were enabling the anhedonic feeling Sig kept as he walked to his desk. All the windows were in some stage of open, which meant the air conditioning was on the fritz again. “With all of the money the city gets in tax receipts, could they at least get a building with solid heating and cooling? It must all go to the mayor’s office.” Sig was often cranky when he had to be at the station, but the anticipation of meeting with the chief made it worse.
True, there were a few good things about the office: the shapely district attorney strutting around in her power suits with a feminine flair, the break room with the magically refilling pastry box, and his internet connection. These were few and far between though. Often times the place reminded him of grade school, only smelling slightly less like puke and Tony’s meat and cheese pizza.
Reaching his desk, he viewed utter chaos. Kinko‘s must have had a roaring party last night, as papers were thrown everywhere. They didn’t, however, cover up the bright pink water wings delicately placed on top.
“Very funny. VERY funny.”
The horse laugh from around the corner indicated that Officer Doherty had something to do with it. Pauly is a moron. He was the kind of kid that ate mayonnaise sandwiches and enjoyed making fart noises with his armpits. Sig thought of Pauly as his karmic punishment for leaving the toilet seat up way too often.
As Sig announced his presence in the office, the chief’s door swung wide open. “Wachiewski! Get your ass in here right now!”
“Would you care to tell me what this is all about?” A newspaper was flicked into Sig’s lap. The front page showed his El Camino being hoisted out of the river’s murk with the headline “Hollywood-style Chase in Old Town Leaves Local Cop All Wet.” McGreavy’s peppered mustache danced with his usual ticks of anxiety. He needed to switch to decaf, get a prescription, or both.
“Aww, they didn’t even get a picture of her good side. She looks fifty pounds heavier from that angle.” Sig replied with a furrowed brow.
“Cut the cutesy shit out, Wachiewski. You tore up Old Town yesterday, and I want answers.”
Sig could always tell where the line of tolerance was drawn. Today, it was right at the soles of his shoes. With a disappointed sigh, he took a large breath. “I was following a lead on the organ trafficking case. One of my highly-reliable sources gave me a tip on One-Eyed Jack’s. So, naturally, I went down to check things out.”
“Fuck a goddamn duck, Wachiewski! Not only could you have blown a solid lead, but you could have also gotten someone killed! And I don’t mean you; I don’t care about your rotten hide.”
“Warm, as always, Chief.”
“Shut up and listen,” at this point, the grease on the bridge of McGreavy’s nose was making his thick, plastic-rimmed glasses slide down to the tip. He paused in a moment of nerdish self-consciousness and pushed them up with his index finger. “The next time you get something that smells fresh, you don’t ever throw it out in the sun to rot again! Fucking cavalier wiseass sonofabitch!”
“Flattery will get you everywhere, Chief.”
“I TOLD YOU TO SHUT YOUR FACE!”
Sig had a ambivalent relationship with his desire to fan flames. McGreavy was hot, and getting even hotter. He always was a screamer, but this was off the charts. Sig wondered if his wife Linda knew he was having a better time without her. Poor woman.
“You bring any ‘tips’ you get back here. That way we can position people accordingly. Do you realize how ruthless these people can be? Do you realize how bad a fuck up like this can give them a heads up or worse, make our department and the mayor’s office look like a bunch of incompetent boobs?!”
“I don’t know, Chief. You brought Pauly on board. I’d say it’d be calling a spade a spade at that point.”
“YOU ASSHOLE!” McGreavy launched a lovely Number 2 pencil, which promptly struck Sig the chin.
“Ah, hey! That was wood. I could have gotten splinters or something.” Sig said, rubbing his chin.
“You look at me, Wachiewski. If you botch this case, so help me God, I’m going to bust you down to parking patrol for the rest of your career. How you like to be a meter maid, permanently?”
“I’m not as lovely as Rita, no.” Sig reflected for a moment on the stylishness of the leather strap they wear over their shoulder. Then he thought of a brunette doffing her cap and shaking her luscious hair to her shoulders. That daydream wasn’t meant to last.
“You’re as pretty as Canal Street the morning after Mardi Gras. Now get out of my office, before I throw something more substantial!”
© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved