Monday, January 11, 2016

4. melanie


by nick nelson

illustrated by palomine studios

for previous episode, click here


to begin at the beginning, click here





lucas suspected hutch and rob of dealing drugs.

he had never seen any indication that they were, and neither of them seemed to have any friends or acquaintances except each other, but thinking they might be dealers and that he might catch them gave him something to dream about and think about.

of course, there were many others, persons who hung out in the doughnut shops and fast food establishments in his territory, some of whom were much more likely suspects, that he also had his eye on.


and, he wanted to impress his new partner, melanie. what better way than to break up a drug ring?

and act like it was something he did every night.

melanie didn’t talk all that much. she especially did not talk much about herself, except when asked a direct question, like about where she went to high school.

lucas did not ask her many questions. lucas was not particularly interested in other people, except as possible objects of harassment.


melanie was a police person like himself. not the first female cop he had encountered, though the first he had been partnered with. so he started out as a perfect gentleman with her. at first he made an attempt to not even use four letter words around her, but quickly realized she could not care less and even used them herself.

she occasionally made what seemed like strange observations to him. he gradually began to suspect she was a liberal and might even be - a feminist.


lucas hated feminists though he had never met one. but he did not really know much about them, except that they were bitches and that they burned their bras. what else did they do? give their husbands or boy friends a load of shit? but if they were feminists they wouldn’t be married or have boy friends to begin with, would they?

maybe they marched around in the streets in gangs and beat men up and burned down buildings, but lucas had never actually heard of such things. maybe in new york or san francisco, but not in nebraska or wyoming.


melanie was polite enough to him - almost friendly sometimes, and her ordinary sized boobs didn’t sag too much so he figured she must be wearing a bra.

one night lucas pulled a weaving car over. the driver, a middle aged man who produced i d showing he was from omaha, was obviously drunk, but did not give them any lip - none at all. he was a white man who looked like he could afford a lawyer. he agreed to pull over and sleep it off.

lucas thought that he had handled the affair in a most professional manner, and drove away feeling pleased with himself, hoping melanie had also been impressed.


so he was astonished to hear her say, when they had gone a half mile down the highway, “what a sexist pig that guy was.”

he was astonished that she would say such a thing. and especially astonished to hear the word “sexist” which he had never heard before except on television or as a joke and a few times in a courtroom.

lucas finally said, “what was so sexist pig about him?”

“the way he was looking at me the whole time.”


lucas laughed. “i don’t think he was seeing much of anything. he was just trying to focus his eyes.”

“yeah, focus them on my tits.”

lucas was tempted to say, “then he must have been focusing awful hard, because there is not much to see.” harassing people had made him a master of quick comebacks like that. but he didn’t say anything except “maybe”.

later that morning around seven o’clock they pulled into the stop-here.

rob was just coming out the door, as his shift had ended. he was carrying a small paper bag.


rob nodded to lucas and melanie as he went over to his car. he opened the trunk and tossed the paper bag into it.

drugs! lucas thought immediately. rob had been pretty casual about the way he had tossed the bag into the trunk.

maybe a little too casual? but why lock it in the trunk at all, if it was just something harmless, like some red bull or little debbie’s snacks? or one of those sandwiches in their plastic wrappers? hmmm?

lucas made a decision. he knew he needed “probable cause” to search rob’s car, but he could come up with something if he found anything. and rob was so easy-going he was sure he would just laugh it off if there was nothing, and not go running for a lawyer.


“stay here,” lucas told melanie, as she started to get out of the car.

“huh?”

“we are going to follow our pal rob. i told you i thought he was dealing drugs. “

“yeah, you did mention that.” melanie did not sound too enthusiastic. she closed the door.

lucas gave rob two minutes and then followed him.

rob was a careful driver, especially for a young man his age, and lucas quickly overtook him and pulled him over.


at first rob did not realize lucas was in fact pulling him over and not just waving hello, and when he finally stopped he laughed when lucas got out of the squad car and approached him.

“what’s up?” rob asked. “have i got a broken tail light or something? “

but lucas did not laugh or smile back. “why don’t you get out and open your trunk, rob?”

rob looked blank. “sure. i don’t know what you think is in there.”

lucas then rattled off rob’s rights so fast rob couldn’t understand a word he was saying.


melanie got out of the car too and stood behind lucas, blinking in the morning sun and looking mildly puzzled.

rob popped the trunk and got out. lucas waited for him to lift the trunk all the way up.

the trunk held a spare tire and a jack and a toolbox. and pushed into the back, some paper bags like the one rob had just thrown in.

lucas pointed to the new paper bag. “what’s that?”

“just some stuff hutch gave me.”


“what kind of stuff?”

“dvds. we trade them. i give him some of the stuff i buy, he gives me what he buys.”

lucas reached in and took the paper bag just as rob was reaching for it. he opened it - there were three dvds in it and he took them out.

lucas gave his big laugh - the one like you saw in the movies and that he had practiced. “look at this shit, will you?” he asked melanie.

“i don’t really like it,” rob explained. “i just take it to be nice. i give him stuff and he gives me this.”


“ha, ha! that’s pathetic, rob!” lucas guffawed. “that’s got to win the nobel prize for pathetic excuses.” he handed the dvds to melanie, who had come forward.

melanie shuffled the three dvds in her hands. they were labeled “black boners #31”, “world’s hairiest asses # 8”, and “milf piss party #22”. all three had in bold letters “4 hours” across the top .

“i always knew you were a fag, rob,” said lucas.

melanie frowned slightly at this, and asked rob, “and what do give your friend in exchange?”


“mostly true crime stuff.”

“such as?”

“um - i just gave him a 3-disc set about “searching for jack the ripper.”

“i see.”

“it’s all legal,” said rob. “i think. he buys it on line with his credit card.”

“i’m sure. we were looking for something else,” melanie told rob, with a glance at lucas. “what’s in the toolbox?”

“tools. want me to open it?”

“go ahead.”

rob opened it. there were just a few tools in it. lucas ran his hand through the box.


“what’s in those?” melanie pointed to the bags in the back of the trunk.

“more of the same,” rob told her. “see, i don’t even look at it, just throw it in here. after a while, i take it to the dump.”

lucas reached in and grabbed the other bags. he handed one to melanie,

she quickly looked through the dvds in it. “your friend has catholic tastes,” she told rob.

“uh - i think protestants probably look at it too,” rob told her. “maybe even jews.”

“and muslims,” lucas added. “you show this shit to a muslim he’d probably go apeshit and start cutting people’s heads off.”


“it’s all legal,” rob added again.

melanie turned to lucas. “do you think we are going to find what we were looking for?”

lucas had already realized there were surely no drugs to be found in rob’s car. “probably not.” he said.

melanie looked at the dvds and considered. “maybe we should confiscate this stuff, have someone check it out and see if their any minors in any of it. “

“hey, thats an idea!” lucas agreed. but then he started thinking about what a hassle it would be, and that they had had no real reason to stop rob in the first place. “ah, fuck it. look at this shit. i don’t see any kids, do you?“


he started shuffling through the dvds from the bags. most of the covers featured hairy men in nazi-biker regalia with their dicks hanging out. others featured “milfs” and “grannies” and “chubbies”.

“we might as well at least search him, and look in the glove compartment,” melanie told lucas.

“go ahead,” rob said. “let’s get it over with.”

they didn’t find anything.

but lucas didn’t want to let rob off easy, or to look weak. he glared at rob. “what about mrs peters?”


“what about her?”

“you think she has any idea what a sick pervert she has working for her? maybe she should know about this.”

rob shrugged. “do what you got to do.”

rob closed the trunk and got back in the car and drove off.

later that morning lucas called mrs peters and described to her in detail what he had found in rob’s car.

and that afternoon mrs peters left a message on rob’s phone that he was fired.


5. unemployment



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