Excerpt from Justice is Blind written by Katrina Byrd
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.”
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