[Edge1.1.10] Thug Life – Dave Bailey

[Edge1.1.10] Thug Life

When they got to the department, Frank went inside while Joe stayed with Art to keep an eye on him. Art saw a doughnut shop just across the street.

“Is it true that here in America, all cops eat doughnuts when they are on patrol?” Art asked. “If so, that’s a great place to put a doughnut shop right in front of the police department.”

“Of course,” Joe laughed. “Actually, it’s the other way around though. The doughnut shop was here first. The police decided to put the department right in front of it for easy access.”

They both chuckled over the irony of that.

“Why? Don’t Brazilian police eat doughnuts too?” Joe asked.

“No way,” Art replied. “We don’t have many doughnut shops there.”

“So, what do they eat then?” Joe asked.

“They prefer salty food like coxinhas made with chicken and kibes made with beef. They’re deep fried with the meat in them.” Art said.

His mouth watered at the thought of the delicious food.

“What are we talking about?” Frank asked as he came back to the car. He hopped in and started backing out.

“Brazilian food,” Art replied. “On your next vacation, you should come to Brazil. You can stay at my house with my family. My mother will cook a different dish for you each day. You’ll love it and never want to leave Brazil again.”

“Your momma’s a good cook. Huh?” Joe said.

“I tried calling Johnny, but he’s not answering his phone. I made a few phone calls, but nobody seems to know where he is. His secretary said she saw him at work today, so he must be around.”

“Oh, good,” Joe said. “Maybe he’s just sleeping with his phone on silent. You should be able to get ahold of him tomorrow then.”

“Yeah, that would be great,” Art said half-heartedly. He sank back into the seat and rode in silence the rest of the way. Frank and Joe dropped him off at a Denny’s that was in a residential area near the airport.

“If Carla lives near the airport, this is probably the most likely place you’ll find her,” Joe said cheerily.

Art thanked them and waved as they drove off. He stood at the door till they were out of sight. Then he started walking towards the airport.

The trip there was fairly uneventful. Art dragged himself along. He was exhausted from his long trip and the crazy unfolding of events. He still managed to enjoy the cool pre-dawn breeze and the view of the neighborhood. It was nothing like the area he lived in.

He lived with his parents in a small house without much of a yard in a middle-class section of the town. All the yards around his had high walls, and here in America the houses were all out in the open with large yards. Some of them had a small picket or chain-link fence. It was completely different from the life he was used to on the other side of the equator. It would have been nice to have sealed the deal with LocTech and moved here to Brimhill. His mother and girlfriend would have loved living in a place with wide open spaces like this.

Art made it to the airport a little before sunrise. The sky was still dark, but he could see the edge of the horizon turning into a lighter shade of grey with a tinge of pink along the edges of the clouds. He took a deep breath of the fresh cool air, and listened intently to the birds twittering and shaking themselves awake in the trees that bordered the road leading up to the airport.

Art made his way to the ticket counter of the same airline he had flown in on earlier. He asked about flights to Brazil. The red-head behind the counter and helped him book a ticket for a flight that was leaving at 9:15 a.m. with a layover at an airport in the U.S. and another in Brazil. He could have waited to catch a direct flight to a large city near his. But it wouldn’t leave until 7:00 p.m. and he didn’t want to sit around in the airport that long with Tony and the henchmen in the SUV out looking for him.

He paid with his company credit card and thanked the cute woman for her help. She was surprised he didn’t have any baggage to check on but didn’t ask why for which he was grateful.

Art mosied on down to the gate where his plane would leave from in a few hours. He picked up a coffee and blueberry muffin. He savored the sweet, tangy flavor as it wasn’t something that was easy to find around the area where he lived.

The seats in the lounge were comfortable. Art stretched out as best he could and closed his eyes. It was a little noisy with the sounds of people running up and down the aisles talking loudly. It was irritating, but he reasoned to himself that most of them had gotten a decent night’s sleep. They were rested and refreshed. But what bugged him the most was the volume of the announcer’s voice over the loudspeaker each time a gate opened or a flight was preparing to take off.

But in the end, Art managed to drift off for a bit. He woke up a bit later and was startled by the silence around him. He opened his eyes to see that he was surrounded by several serious-looking Brimhill cops. Art blinked several times to get the sleep out of his eyes. Frank stood in front of him with his hand on his gun. Joe was off to the side a bit with half a dozen officers fanned out around him.

“Arthur Costa, you’re under arrest for the murder of Johnny and Berta Silva.

Art jumped to his feet and considered making a run for it until he looked behind him. There were several other policemen at strategic locations. Tony had set him up. He cursed inwardly, but at the same time smiled at the man’s efficiency in getting what he wanted.

“Hey, Frank,” he said. “What’s going on?”

“Put your hands on your head and turn around slowly, son. There’s no need for this to get ugly. We just want to talk to you about what happened last night.”

Art sighed in resignation and complied with Frank’s orders. Several officers grabbed his arms and pushed them roughly behind his back as they snapped the cuffs on him.

“You have the right to remain silent,” Art heard them say. He mouthed the words silently along with them. This was just like some crazy movie he was watching on tv. Or maybe it was just a crazy nightmare that he would soon wake up from. Art wanted to pinch himself, but that was kind of hard to do with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Joe looked at him with a mixture of sadness and remorse. “I’m sorry, Art. I was looking forward to that visit to Brazil. My mouth was already watering over your momma’s cooking.”

“Don’t worry, Joe.” Art replied. “This is all a huge misunderstanding. We’ll get it straightened out here. I can explain everything.”

“For your sake, I sure hope so,” Joe said. “Because this doesn’t look good for you at all.”

“Shut up, Joe,” Frank said. “I keep telling you that you gotta stop getting attached to the people you arrest. You’re a professional, now act like one. Go put him in the cruiser. I’m gonna grab some coffee.”

He looked at Art and shook his head as he walked off muttering something about young people nowadays. Joe took Art’s arm firmly by the elbow on one side and guided him toward the car with another cop on the other side.

Everyone stared at him as whispered as he walked by. “News must travel fast,” he thought. Art felt like a celebrity as they walked down the hall and out the airport. As Joe pushed his head down to put him in the car, Art could almost see everything going on around him taking place in slow motion with loud rap music playing in the background. He grinned to himself as he settled into the back of the car and waited for Frank.

Dave Bailey

Dave Bailey started writing short stories when he lived in Brazil to help his students learn English. Now, he lives in Florida again where he continues to write fun and inspiring sci-fi and fantasy fiction stories. You can read his weekly short stories here on his blog. Make sure to join his advanced reading crew so you know when new stories become available >>> https://davebailey.me/go/crew