The eggheads who run the university call this time of year “summer break.” Out here on the streets there’s no such thing. Crime doesn’t take a break. When you think crime is taking a break, it’s actually just laying in wait, ready to break your neck as soon as you take a break, because you thought crime was taking a break. That literally happened to a cop from one of my first beats. Guy was tracking a perp through a pretty rough neighborhood in the Florida panhandle, but it was late, nearly 5 AM. The cop figured the perp was catching Zs in a dumpster or something and decided that was as good a time as any to take care of some intestinal injustice. He popped into a Whataburger bathroom and dropped trou, which were a pair of tight leather hot pants. He had been infiltrating a male prostitution ring and was in pursuit of the ringleader, a man-pimp by the name of Sassy Dave, so he had to dress the part, that part being an insanely flamboyant, gay, crack addicted pole jockey by the name of Pepe Tigra. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the officer he too was being tracked by a serial killer the press had dubbed “The Panhandle Fairy Strangler.” That sicko went around choking out and snapping the necks of gay prostitutes all across northern Florida. He busted into that Whataburger john, snapped the poor bastard’s neck, then according to forensics The Strangler had some sex with the cop’s ear, big time.
The crime scene was straight out of a nightmare. There was blood and jizz everywhere. Mesh and flesh alike were torn asunder. A couple rookies puked at the sight of it. Meanwhile, I looked. Hard. I never wanted to forget. Even today I’ll still pull out the old easel and some charcoal to sketch it out, just to keep it fresh in my mind. I’ve been kicked out of a few adult art classes sketching what I think it looked like for my former colleague to have been death-fucked in the earhole. It looks pretty crazy, and WAY more interesting than that bottle of wine or flowerpot they always want us to draw. I mean, I also took an actual picture of the crime scene when I was there, and I have it framed on my mantle, so I still have a perfect idea of what it actually looked like, but I like to keep a backup in the old noggin. I also scanned that picture into my computer and saved it on the Cloud, so I have several backups, really. What I’m trying to say is that the picture of a police officer I used to work with, who was murdered by a serial killer who then violently sexually assaulted the dead officer in his ear canal while the officer was dressed like a gay prostitute and pooping in a Whataburger bathroom, is very important to me. It taught me that lesson, which is that crime never takes a break. We eventually found Sassy Dave. He was dead too. The amount of semen on the scene, strangle marks on the neck, and the note that read, “The Panhandle Fairy Strangler Was Here” (which was scrawled in semen) led us to believe that he too was murdered by The Panhandle Fairy Strangler. Sometimes justice takes care of itself. Except in the case of The Panhandle Fairy Strangler. We never did catch that guy. Tallahassee was a crazy town.
He had been infiltrating a male prostitution ring and was in pursuit of the ringleader, a man-pimp by the name of Sassy Dave…
The escape of The Panhandle Fairy Strangler taught me another lesson about crime in those early days of my career. While justice sometimes does take care of itself, other times it doesn’t. That lesson rings especially true today, as the sun sets on another night of summer break. Law breakers will be out in droves, committing the most heinous crime of all: underage drinking. Unfortunately for them, the winds of justice are blowing tonight. With them they bring a storm. Todd Storm. Me. I am that storm. A hurricane with two eyes and fists, and the courage of puma. Tonight I ride for justice.
The Captain pulled me aside and told me he had a special assignment for me. It was a sting operation on underage drinkers at a nearby gas station. He asked if I was “up for it.” I told him if by “up for it,” he meant I was hard enough to fuck through the stone toga on the Lady Justice statue outside the courthouse and get that goddess of law eight kinds of pregnant, then he was fucking right I was up for it. In truth, I did also get pretty erect though.
“Goddammit Storm,” the Captain said proudly, “You magnificent son of a bitch! I’d let you make love to my wife if she wasn’t an incontinent vegetable. No point in wasting something on her that she wouldn’t even appreciate. It’s why I tell the home nurses to only buy her the Walmart brand applesauce. I’m pretty sure she can’t taste anything anymore, and Lord knows I’m not made of money.”
The Captain’s wife had recently suffered a traumatic head injury when she was crushed by a grocery store shelf thanks to some bastard criminals. Sadly, I was there and saw the whole thing. It was tough to break the news to the Captain, but I told him the whole story. Besides, when justice is the conclusion to that story, you can’t be angry about the woman you love becoming forever brain-dead. It all happened when I had spotted some local high schoolers eyeing the beer aisle. When they picked up a case of Busch, I sprang into action. The pursuit was intense. They threw a beer can at me, so I cut all their Achilles tendons with a blade I had tucked away in my boot. I called it my “boot blade.” I had gotten all of them, except for one. He rounded the corner of an aisle and escaped from my sight. I knew that rounding the corner after him would have taken too long, so I mounted the shelves and pursued from above. I closed in on the bastard and leapt from atop a shelf directly onto him. My super strong calves, which I work out intensely on my off days by doing parkour in a quarry that’s being actively mined, all while wearing electric muscle stimulators on my legs, pushed the shelf back, and it tipped over. Unfortunately the Captain’s wife was on the other side. They say after twenty-three minutes she instantly had a stroke. I was glad her pain was taken away as quickly as my justice was delivered. The Captain kept a good sense of humor about it though. His wife’s face was stuck in a pretty humorous expression, and I guess he thought it was so funny that he skipped laughing and went straight to crying. The Captain was a strong man.
They say after twenty-three minutes she instantly had a stroke. I was glad her pain was taken away as quickly as my justice was delivered.
After a quick briefing, I was on my way to the gas station, ready to crack skulls, undercover. There’s nothing better than the look on someone’s face when I bust ‘em in the temple with a steel-toed boot that’s on the end of the parkour sculpted killing machine I call my right leg and they’re all like, “I’m being murdered” and then I get to whip out my badge and show them that, actually, they’re just being given a hefty helping of justice, straight to the dome, Storm style. The intel we had gathered on the place was clear: underage drinkers frequented the establishment to buy booze. Not on my watch.
I wasn’t surprised that underage drinkers had been taking advantage of this gas station. The cashier I was working alongside, some skinny kid named Stephan, had no authoritative presence whatsoever. I decided I needed to give him a little extra confidence. I whipped out a spare blade I had on me and told him to take off his pants. At first he was freaked out, but I assured him I just wanted to strap the twelve inch, razor sharp, Bowie knife to the inside of his leg, which for some reason freaked him out even more. Clearly, Stephan didn’t know much about confidence. Any real man knows you walk a little taller when you can feel your grapefruits dangling against the smooth rosewood handle of an icy, steel blade. Besides, what’s the big deal about strapping blades to the insides of legs? Oh, what Stephan? We have to be best friends for me to be allowed to tenderly affix a sheathed blade to your inner thigh? He needed to learn a little something about trust.
It didn’t take long for things to get hot. At first a group of girls came in to buy some water, but I was suspicious that they had somehow switched it out with vodka. I made them open every bottle so I could smell it. They were clean, though I still escorted them to their car. Maybe they were gonna siphon some ethanol from the pump and huff it. You can’t be too careful. Admittedly I sort of spaced out thinking about how awesome it would be to arrest the girls, then got confused and thought I was actually supposed to arrest them. Unfortunately they were already in the car. I started banging on the windows and then jumped on the hood when they tried to drive away, TJ Hooker style. They started screaming like lunatics so I slashed one of their tires and they crashed into a light post. I called in a squad car and had them all arrested on destruction of public property. Besides, they were probably just buying that water to hydrate for when they drank later. Sometimes justice comes early.
Soon after a gaggle of baby-faced ne’re-do-wells strolled in and headed straight for the booze. I decided to play along. I played my part perfectly by telling them, “We have a great sale on alcohol tonight. Be sure to buy a lot.” I knew they bought it when they asked, “Really? I don’t see any signs that say anything about sales.” I lied and said I was bad with numbers and couldn’t remember what the sale prices were. In truth I’m excellent with numbers. I trained myself to be excellent at math in case I ever had to infiltrate a Yakuza clan, though it turns out Yakuza members are pretty bad at math, which is why they turn to crime instead of science. Either way, I can count faster than anyone I know.
I wrote that in like seven seconds, which I also counted, by the way. Dual counting. Count it, motherfuckers.
I trained myself to be excellent at math in case I ever had to infiltrate a Yakuza clan, though it turns out Yakuza members are pretty bad at math, which is why they turn to crime instead of science.
The underage drinkers approached the counter with a 30-pack of beer and some vodka. There were two men and one woman. I projected their ages to be 19, 20, and 19. I was probably right, considering I already mentioned how awesome at numbers I am, plus sometimes I’ll tell underage drinking perps we’ve arrested that we need their Facebook passwords and then spend my off nights flipping through thousands upon thousands of photos of 16 to 20-year-olds to familiarize myself with what they look like.
The three underage drinkers put the booze on the counter and I casually asked for ID. The man I deemed to be 20 pulled his out and handed it to me. That was the last straw. I whipped out a blade and sliced his ID in half. Stephan screamed. I leapt over the counter easily, using my parkour skills and landed with my knee on the 20-year-old’s neck. His “friends” ran out crying. No honor amongst thieves…or underage drinkers, I suppose. I dragged him to the bathroom, and as I did, another customer came in. The guy looked familiar, like I knew him from somewhere. From a sketch or something. Of course I had sketched and painted so many men in my “Hunks With Blades” art series that I had put on at the local YMCA (which incidentally was a HUGE hit, the YMCA is a great art venue, who knew?) that I couldn’t keep track of which man I recognized from which sketch.
“Stephan, handle that customer,” I ordered. He was still pretty shaken up. He really should’ve let me put that knife between his thighs.
I took the 20-year-old to the bathroom to begin an impromptu interrogation.
“WHERE WERE YOU TAKING THE BOOZE!” I shouted.
The kid had no answer. I needed the info. Somewhere more people were underage drinking, and I had to stop them at all costs. There was literally nothing more important happening than this. Outside I heard Stephan scream again. Jeez, that guy was soft. I sat the underage drinker down on the filthy gas station toilet and calmly let him know I wasn’t joking around.
“I’m not joking around,” I said. “If you don’t give me the info I need, I will drown you in this toilet. Is that how you want your momma to know you went out? Trying to score some hooch underage and ending up letting out your last breath in a bowl full of hepatitis?”
Of course, I wasn’t going to actually kill him, maybe blade him a little but not kill him, unless he tried to kill me. I was, after all, bound by the law I served, unless I needed to bend the rules, or it wasn’t convenient, or I was feeling lazy, or something.
“I’m 21,” the kid pleaded. “You didn’t even look at my ID. I turned 21 three days ago.”
I didn’t have time for this kid’s games. Thankfully, I had outfitted the urinal so I could use it to water board when I had taken a piss break earlier. It didn’t take long for the kid to crack. He told me exactly where the party was. Time to roll.
I chained the underage drinker to the toilet and ran outside. On my way, I told Stephan I had to roll to catch some perps. He didn’t respond. I looked over the counter. He had fainted. So pathetic. I got on my radio and called for all units to proceed to the address I was given by the underage drinker. We descended on the house east of campus with the force of a storm (wink wink). First, we fired warning flares into the upstairs windows to warn them not to stay upstairs. Then, we flash banged the first floor and moved in. All in all, we pulled out twenty-seven drinkers, nine of whom were underage. We hauled their asses downtown and let the rest go, though our units had to re-raid the house like twenty minutes later after neighbors complained of loud bangs coming from the domicile. I don’t know if the partiers were slapping the walls or what, kids are pretty fucked up, but my comrades went back and arrested the rest of them. All in all, it was another quality night of serving justice.
Tragic news. After I left the gas station, someone came in and strangled Stephan, and then did sex stuff to his feet. There are no leads. Maybe it was that underage drinker I left chained to the toilet. Could he have unchained himself, drank, gone mad with underage drinking, and then murdered Stephan? That’s really our only lead. Going to have to arrest that sick son of a bitch again.