One The Hard Way


Junie Walters calmly lit his cigar as Emerson and Daniels ransacked his place.  He’d been expecting the detectives since word hit the street bad batches of synthetic marijuana were killing off potential customers.  Stumbling into his stockpile of solvents did little to break his cool. There were no warrants and no definitive proof he’d expanded his operations into that territory.

Still, it was too good of an opportunity for the flatfoots not to hassle him for more payoffs under the cover of good police work.  Dirty cops were like rodents to him, thirsting for the last crumb they thought could be had. No matter how much they got off the top, they always made pests of themselves for more handouts.

“Nice collection of acetone you got here.” Emerson said coyishly.

“Care to catch us up on your new side action?” Daniels asked sarcastically.

“Give me a break.  The economic downturn has forced me to explore legitimate markets with nail salons.” Junie said smugly.  “Finger polish remover is where it’s at.”

“And here I thought all these chemicals were for cooking up spice.  Silly me.” Daniels said with an attitude.

“What would a law-abiding citizen like me know about that?” Junie asked smiling.

“As much as you know about the three teens who kicked the bucket from smoking that shit.  Ring a bell?” Emerson said, punching his finger into Junie’s chest.

“I might have heard something about that in passing, but I don’t slum with Chicago’s hypes for information like the taxpayers pay you to do.” Junie smirked.

Junie never saw the blows coming.  Emerson and Daniels showed no mercy working him over, or threatening to burn his face with his own cigar.  They wanted in on half of his action or were going to bring heat on his operations. Junie held out on the deal until the detectives put the cigar out on his nose as if it were their personal ashtray.  Only then was he accepting of their proposal and their humiliation.

“Consider that a reminder that white lives matter.  One of those victims was my son’s best friend. It’s plenty of savages in your backyard begging to get hooked.  Last thing people busting their rump like us need are your kind on our side of town robbing our kids of their future.” Daniels said, angrily spitting on him.

“Funny how you ain’t worried about color getting your piece of the pie.”

Junie knew his words cut deep but the pain in his face made him care less.  Enraged, the detectives destroyed everything in their grasp like wild animals.  The truth might hurt, but was a nice distraction to record them on his phone without detection.

“We’ll be by early to pick up the cash with interest.” Emerson piped out of breath.  “Now go clean your black ass up. There’s money to be made and you’re wasting time.”

“You should listen to him.  That thing might get infected.  Laying up in the hospital on vacation could be hazardous to your health.” Daniels said, patting him on the head.

Finally, they split, leaving Junie one hell of a mess to clean up.

Once he was sure they were gone, he lit another cigar, savoring the billowing smoke as he dialed Agent Jackson and played select parts of the recording for him over the phone.  He hated snitching; it was against his moral code but impossible to avoid. Junie felt it was only a matter of time before the greedy flatfoots sent him upstate once they milked every penny from him.  He couldn’t let that happen.

Nor could the ATF.  They were more than happy to offer full immunity for turning them over state’s evidence on dirty cops.  While circumstantial at best, the devil in the details would pin everything on their shoulders. Shaking him down was the icing on the cake to make the bust.  Feds never used facts for collars, just fictions to make villains of the innocent. The pound of spice he had planted in their squad car would seal their fate, getting them out his pockets for good.

Junie grinned painfully from ear to ear.  Emerson and Daniels were finally going to get one the hard way.

~ fin ~


Tia Ja’nae is a creative writer and master propagandist.  A proud Trekkie, her writing engages, boldly going where few have gone before.  Her more serious, satirical journalist work has been featured on Humor Outcasts; check out her satire under her pseudonym on, which could be classified by order of your government.