Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. Meet the hero of the piece. The word prompt is WIN.
When Al Foster left St. Louis three years ago, he’d hoped he would leave behind the jaded homicide detective he’d become, but that hadn’t been the case. Too many of the missing people he sought ended up dead, murdered at the hands of pimps, johns, and anyone else who had a grudge—and then there were others, like Sylvia, who’d vanished four years ago, leaving no clues behind as to what had happened to her.
Finding his ex-wife had been the reason he’d left his hometown—not that the promotion and higher salary hadn’t been an incentive—but until he discovered what had happened to her, he would never, could never, rest. So far, he hadn’t found any answers. Now, perverse creature that he’d become, he prayed he wouldn’t find any tonight.
Calls to Brownsville, New York City’s deadliest neighborhood, never boded well. Within less than a square mile rose more than one hundred publicly owned apartment buildings, almost nine hundred stories of misery. Good people might live there, but the violence never ended. It was the original no-win scenario. Gangs, dealers, and assorted scumbags were never far away. If you wanted to disappear, it was as good a place as any for some, but others would stick out like sore thumbs. Since he’d been called here at this ungodly hour, the sergeant not giving him any details, the odds were one of his missing persons wouldn’t be making it home for the Columbus Day weekend.
Al pulled his gray sedan to the curb and turned off the engine. It was almost five, still dark out, but soon the sun’s glow would brighten the Eastern horizon. Already the humidity had the air feeling well over eighty. The weather station had issued another heat advisory. The temperature could climb above one hundred and four again today. Not good news for the people living here, many of them without so much as a fan to cool down. He liked the warm weather as much as the next guy, but enough was enough. By now, he’d expected cool autumn air. Tempers flared when the mercury rose. Was this morning’s victim an example of that? Had he or she pissed off the wrong person and paid the ultimate price?
That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.