Crime scene. Homicide. Drug addict, 2 bullets through back into mattress. Ex-LAPD, undercover, narcotics. Interal affairs, disgraced junkie. Ripped off a local small time 'pin. Tatoo shop sister keeps him afloat, holds his hand through withdrawal, til he swings his fist. Motel alone, a syringe, un-fired unregistered 38 revolver, two in his back. Dead. Shirt off, face draped over the edge of the bed, barefoot, tattoed, one sleeve, left arm. Depiction of heaven at shoulder length, dark stomclouds, lightning, rolling waves across the bicep, ring of green grass, dark earth around the crook of his arm, star on the elbow, and flames down his forearm.
Small heart and arrow in the web of his right hand. Tiny and innocent, a reminder of the past. She died. He was too gung ho, advancing his career, having empty unfulfilling success. He volunteered for undercover, eager to make detective young. She was his high school sweetheart and LA stole her soul. Made her shoot up. She died in his arms.
A picture of him in uniform. Smiling. She's hugging him. It's a small picture frame, silver and pocket sized. It's all he has now. That and the habit. As she became memories, the dope was passing before my eyes. Criminal buddies laughing it up with him, slapping him on the back, buying shots. The junk.
He hits them, drunken rage, bloody fists and bruised chin, runs out on them, shacks up in a cheap motel and disappears. Sister finds him, total mess, back room of the tattoo shop becomes my cell. A chamber for the night tremors, a door that could be locked. She straightens him out, he's got a chance to be redeemed.
And then somebody pumps two into his body, from behind. Or on top. A smile on his face, belt undone, muscles relaxed, shoulders slack, until rigor mortis sets in. A small puncture wound in his neck, heel marks on the inside thigh. She kept her heels on as she mounts him, stroking his back as he laid dazed and feeling normal, bored and clean.
The smile didn't even leave his lips as his heart filled the sheets, the mattress with blood soaked through. A pack of cigarettes dropped just out of reach of his dead dangling hand. He looks up at us and mutters but one word.