The mayor in the small fictitious town of Willow Point, Ms has instructed Captain Skinner to hire a person of color to the Willow Point all white police force. As Captain Skinner and his deputy, Eddie Lee, await the arrival of the new guy, they are faced with the gruesome reality that there’s a murderer on the loose in Willow Point. Four slain women. All found in wooded areas, beaten, bound and gagged and they were all pregnant.
Justice is Blind is a collection of three stories; a monologue and two short stories.
MAMMYGRAM is a monologue; a short description of one woman’s mammogram experience. An experience which not only inspires her to get a yearly mammogram, but to buy a two piece as well.
The Night Papa Died is a snapshot in the life of a poor family struggles to keep papa alive. They have no money. They have no food. Their only source of help is a gambler, drunk and killer who shows up on their porch one cold winter night.
Justice is Blind: When the new guy arrives she’s a woman. She’s Black. She’s Blind. The drama unfolds as Detective Justice Robertson conducts a thorough investigation which could land Dr. John Caston, the most powerful man in Willow Point, in jail.
In her quest for justice will Detective Robertson further divide the town? Or will she make herself a target? One town. One detective. One killer.
Justice is Blind
The small town of Willow Point, Mississippi was glorious in early September despite the recent string of murders. Tall, sturdy oaks lined the town square sparsely protecting the townspeople from the unforgiving sun which broke through the oak leaves and formed patterns on the bricked streets. Paved walks, offset by thick rows of pink and white petunias, weaved through plush carpeted lawns. A statue of Charles Willow Point, the town’s founder, stood in front of the court house, his outstretched arm seemingly pointing the way for the lone woman who stood under a live oak near the Willow Point Police Department.
The woman was Detective Justice Robertson. Medium height. Flawless peanut butter complexion. She kept her long black hair pinned in a ball which rested at the nape of her neck, a look that gave most people the idea that she was in control. She was. Her point of interest was the police department. The building stood directly in front of her. Gray. Huge white columns. Yellow mums rested on either side of the building. Justice wasn’t privy to those details. She’d been blind since the accident four years ago.
Justice jerked her head toward the east at the unified ringing of two school bells. One bell came from Willow Point School (K-12) located a block off of the square. The other came from the Willow Point School for the Blind three blocks east of the police department. This was the only school for the blind in this part of the state. The three-story, bricked building housed twenty five students. A weeping willow stood on the front lawn. A bank of yellow mums rested near its drooped limbs. Just beyond the willow a wooden arbor with a blanket of blood red roses stood near a small fountain. A picture of loveliness all grayed by the four slain women. All found in wooded areas, beaten, bound and gagged and they were all pregnant.
It was nine o’clock in the morning when Justice started toward the police department. She never wore a watch. For this cause she didn’t need one. When the air grew still, no traffic, no hurried foot steps, no voices from faceless people, she knew it was nine o’clock. A set of fastidious foot steps mingled with the light tapping of her cane. Stilettos. Size eight or eight and a half. Female. Five six to five six and a half. One hundred twenty to one hundred twenty-five pounds. The woman brushed past Justice leaving behind a thick cloud of perfume. She turned east at the end of the walk. People were often awed at Justice’s ability to innately catalog and file sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. Many thought it was a way to compensate for her loss of sight but it wasn’t. Not entirely. She grew up in a small community. Everyone was poor. No father. Four sisters and two brothers. She was the oldest. Being sensitive to details was a matter of life or death.
She entered the building slightly winded from the twenty five steps that led her to the front door. She barely had time to wipe the sweat from her brow and curse the heat when a man spoke.
“Can I help you, ma’am?”
Instantly she felt like a dab of do-doo under a ragged shoe. His voice filled the room, and the way he said “ma’am” was like it left a bitter taste in his mouth. She took a few steps forward, her shoes resounding on the wooden planks beneath her. “Captain Skinner, please.” Her voice bounced around the spacious room, mingling with the fried coffee scent that all but singed her nose hairs.
The man crossed to her taking heavy steps. When he came to a stop, he let out a rush of air. “I’m Captain Skinner.” He took her outstretched hand.
She could tell he was a formidable man. Six four. Two hundred fifty pounds of muscle. “Justice Robertson,” she said. “I’ve been sent to help solve the recent murders.”
He dropped her hand, took a step or two away from her, cleared his throat then said, “Pardon me for saying so, ma’am, but you’re blind.” There was an awkward silence.
She heard him breathe. Hard agitated breaths. Before the accident she would’ve been sorry for disrupting this good man’s day. Today she could give less than a damn about him or his day. “I know my condition, sir.” She put emphasis on sir saying it in a mixture of sarcasm and disdain.
“You can’t work with us. Why, if somebody was to point a gun at you…you wouldn’t even know it.”
He had a lot to learn about blind people in general and her specifically. Back in Jackson she was responsible for single handedly bringing down the Taylor Street gang. Twelve hoodlums who harassed old women, sold crack, and killed anybody who got in their way. She arrested each member personally. Had a bullet in the ass to prove it. “Central office sent me. They said you needed a detective down here to help solve these murders.”
“I didn’t figure they’d send me a cripple.”
“What you figured and what I’m here to do are miles apart.” She assumed he was giving her the evil eye. One of the things she missed about being sighted. Being able to see the face of people she’d pissed off. Priceless. “If you’ll show me to my office, I can get started–”
“You ain’t got no office here, gal.”
Gal. The word assaulted her presence. It sizzled like hot coals doused with ice water. Her muscles tightened; she pushed her chin forward, a movement that signaled that she was ready to step up to the plate. No man, any race, color, creed, or size scared her any more. She had two bullets put in her. One in the head, the other in the ass. The latter she got when she arrested Mathis T. the head of the Taylor Street gang. The first she got from her husband. It would’ve been ex-husband, but she shot him before she got a chance to divorce him. The day she stood up to him, she got a set of brass balls.
Gal. She moved closer to the captain. “Where I come from, my only pass time was whoopin’ ass.” She folded her cane in one smooth motion. Click! Click! Click! It echoed throughout the room, sounding like a glass marble dropped onto the floor.
“Is that so?” Captain Skinner rushed forward.
Two large hands gripped both her arms, moved her entire body upward. It was a struggle for her to remain calm. One gun shot. She thought. It only took one gun shot to kill a man. At least that was the case four years ago. She could kill this Captain Skinner with her bare hands. A rush of foul air in her face. It stank of old coffee and stale doughnuts. She took a deep breath and waited.
“Now how are you gonna protect yourself?” he goaded.
He repeated the question rapidly. More times than she could count. How are you gonna protect yourself? How are you gonna protect yourself? The words rattled off like machine gun fire. Tat! Tat! Tat! Quick, staccato bullets ripping through her integrity, mangling her life’s work, twisting and turning her insides until the sour taste of fear crept into her throat. Each repeated sentence less understood than the first. An intimidation tactic. Her husband tried those. Now he was in a pine box in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Other people were in the room, too. She heard the laughing, the mumbling, the jeering. A door opened and closed. Unhurried footsteps came to a halt. “Put her in her place, Skinner.” A man yelled from somewhere off to her far right.
Her place was right here. She tucked her folded cane under Captain Skinner’s neck. Steady, calculated, force. Woman against man. Black against White. Blind against sighted. Ragged breaths. Bones and tendons stretched beyond their limits. A knee to the groin. A small yip, (his). For an instant there was no sound. The room was as still as a dark country night. Her chest rose and fell. Her ears ached from the quiet, and if she could see, she would’ve seen the blood rush to Captain Skinner’s face. A rush of red overtaking his milky white complexion. His hand, the one that touched hers seconds earlier, rested below his belt. Disbelief on his sweaty face as he doubled forward, knees buckling then making a unified sound on the floor. Whap!
“Now that we’ve had play time,” she said. “Let’s get started on the case.”
“You gonna let that nigger woman run all over you?”
Justice recognized the voice. The man who told the captain to “put her in her place.”
“Git on way from here, Buck,” Captain Skinner said between breaths. Then he called for Henderson and McAlley to help him to a chair.
“What kind of lawman is you to let this–”
“I said get on away from here, Buck!” His deafening voice delivered the command with the force of a clap of thunder. It was no secret that he was the final authority in this town. A hush fell over the lobby.
“I…I come to tell you ‘bout the girl,” Buck said softly. “Found her this morning ‘bout a half a mile from my trailer.
“Dead?” Captain Skinner asked.
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