Red, White, Black

The sun shown down from a cloudless sky. Trees spread their empty branches like skeletal hands trying to reach for the light one last time. The ground was a light brown of dead grass, waiting for the spring. Two police cars, one in the gravel driveway, one against the curb, stood watch as uniformed officers used yellow crime-scene tape to surround a small forest-green house with tan trim. The two bedroom home’s door stood open to the unseasonably warm air as a third vehicle pulled up to the curb.

The stocky redhead that got out of the unmarked car gazed at the house for a moment, then closed the door with a thump. The nearest officer turned at the sound, then held up the tape.

“Morning sarge, what’s got you out here?”

The sergeant looked up at the taller beat officer. “I’m out here because I was told the circumstances are unusual.”

Sergeant O’Malley looked like a cop. Short auburn hair framed square pugnacious features. His light blue suit coat looked like it came off of the economy end of the local five and dime store. His white shirt looked starched, making the dark blue tie stand out against the pale background. Light khaki pants nearly concealed the black leather sneakers.

The officer holding the tape, let it drop then straightened to his six foot four height. He saluted smartly then said, “The new guys didn’t bring the barf bags like I told them. Watch yer step, ya short mick.”

O’Malley looked back up at the tall officer. “Yeah yeah, meaning you stepped in it ya tall pollack.” Officer Wojohowicz grinned and gave O’Malley a thumbs up. The banter sounded like old friends needling each other, which it was. They’d grown up on the same street. The north side was all Irish, the south side, Poles and Czechs. Rarely did the two sides interact, but Wojo and O’Malley had found a common ground.

The youth gangs that ran around found out quickly if you took on one, you had both to deal with. It was that way through school, and into college. Both went into law enforcement, like their parents. Wojohowicz’s temper had him busted back to beat cop after he’d gotten too enthusiastic going after a ghoul and got himself and two others sent to ICU at Boston General. The local supernatural community paid the politicians well to cover it up, but the event never was far out of Wojo’s, or O’Malley’s minds.

O’Malley flipped the collar of his suit coat up against the slight bite of the unseasonably cold weather. As he reached the wooden porch steps, the grumble of a four cylinder engine made him pause. A vintage Willys Jeep pulled in behind his old blue Taurus. The man that stepped out looked more like a GQ model. The black duster he wore draped open, showing off his impeccable black suit. A dark blue tie adorned the white shirt under the suit. Roger Reilly pulled a pair of fashionable sunglasses out, putting them on to cut the glare of the sun.