“No. Stop. Please stop. Noooo,” Frank said as he opened his eye swinging, which followed with an agonizing groan. He opened his eye to see two police officers standing over his bed as he looked up from the lying position. As he ended up attempting to lift his arm, he heard the clang of his handcuff that secured his left hand to the rail.
“Mr. Garcia, we need a word with you,” Detective Carrio said as he pulled out his notepad.
“What going on,” Frank said in perplexity.
“What happened last night. In your own words,” Officer Romero said as she began to ready her pen and pad for note-taking.
“Where am I,” Frank said as he groaned, attempting to use his left hand and immediately used his right hand to soothe the aching head. As he tried to get up, he immediately clinched down on the bed as he groaned in agony. He pulled the blanket up and began to scream as he saw the nub that used to be his foot. “What the fuck happened!” Juan said as he started to panic.
“Stay still,“ Officer Romero said coldly.
“Why am I here,” Frank said in worry. “What happens to Tony,” he said.
“Tony’s dead,” Detective Carrio said.
“I warned him about this,” Frank said to himself.
“Warned him about what,” Officer Romer said abruptly.
“Officer gives him a chance to talk,” Detective Carrio said in a comforting voice. “Now you’re handcuffed because we are investigating the murder of Tony Camarillo,” tell us what happened last night.
Frank began to whimper as tears started to cry and looked up at both officers as he said, “He’s dead.”
“Did you murder him, Mr. Camarillo,” officer Romero said boldly with no emotion?
“No, we were,” Frank said as Officer Romero interrupted.
“What were you doing parked at the Valero on the median of 1604,” Officer Romero asked abruptly.
“Tony and I would hang out there,” Frank said hesitantly.
“To find victims,” she insisted back.
“We are not predators,” he said.
“That’s not what Tony’s video recording indicates Mr. Garcia,” Officer Romer said with directness.
Detective Carrio sighed and said, “At ease, Officer,” and looked at Frank with an empathetic gaze. “Look, son, you are a suspect for Tony’s murder as we found the video of you two arguing that was found on the dash,” he said empathetically.
“We weren’t recording,” Frank said insistently.
Officer Romero walked to the glove dispenser and brought over the evidence bag with a bloody cracked iPhone. She pulled out the phone and swiped the unlocked phone to pull the Photo app, which revealed a gallery of incriminating photos of the two friends with multiple men and women they met—passed out over them like gaming trophies.
“What’s cruising,” Officer Romero asked with a cracked smile.
Frank went into hysteria as he screamed “Help,” as he saw the ICU nurses ignore his plea.
“You want to tell us what happens, son,” Detective Carillo.
He looked at both officers with an entitled and angry look as he said, “I want to speak to a lawyer.”
Officer Romero swiped up on the timed out iPhone as she scrolled to play the video.
Tony appeared on the screen as the video began to play.
“So we are on our way to see what kind of trouble we can get to,” he said as he stuck out his tongue, pulling out a cheap vodka bottle as he put the bottle in his mouth to take a quick swig.
“Bitches and booze,” Frank said as he threw a gang sign in the video.
“We are on the way to the usual spot to pick up some bitches and party like rockstars,” he said.
“But not like last time,” Frank said in the video.
“What are you talking about whey. The bitches wanted it. Then why would they do our drugs then,” Tony said proudly. “You know what they say, homie,” he said as he looked towards Frank.
Frank smiled in delight as he said, “Gas, grass, or ass. Or some ice if we are lucky.”
Officer Romero paused the video and looked at him in hatred. “You want to talk, or you want your lawyer?”
“You can’t prove anything,” Frank said in hateful defense.
“What are you talking about son,” Detective Carrio asked.
“Nothing,” Frank said as he stayed quiet.
Officer Romero unlocked the phone and began to play the second video as Tony showed up on the screen.
“Hey, look some victims,” Tony said.
“Pull up and holler at them. I get the blonde one.” Frank said in delight.
“Time to get our dicks wet,” Tony said as he sped up as Frank rolled down the window.
“What’s up, ladies. Wanna fuck!” Tony said in arrogance.
The passenger responds as she said, “Fuck you, assholes.”
“Fuck this bitch,” Tony said as he swerved into the vehicle.
Frank looked back as he said, “Oh shit.”
“Fuck them bitches,” Tony said in disgust. “They were ugly anyway.”
“I think the tire popped,” Frank said as he continued to look back in concern. “We should go help them,” he insisted.
“Let them get murdered,” Tony said. Officer Romero paused the video.
“We found two additional cruisers in that car. A male and a female. Unidentifiable. You want to talk now.” Officer Romero insisted.
“I want a lawyer,” Frank insisted with an angry face attempting to hide the fear he had.
“Son, a lawyer ain’t going to help you here. We found you and Tony’s fingerprints all over the vehicle,” Detective Carillo insisted.
“Why were your fingerprints on the vehicle,” Officer Romero insisted.
“I want a lawyer,” Frank insisted.
“You think your so smart, right?” she said. “I know your type. Insecure men, acting all big shit and tough and preying on weaker victims to manipulate them into thinking that they wanted it. Drugging them up and convincing them, they asked for it,” she said as she spits in Frank’s face.
“You bitch,” Frank said as he attempted to swing, which Detective Carrio grabbed his hand.
“Calm down the both of you. We still need some more questions.” Detective Carrio walked over to the glove dispensary and put the gloves on. He grabbed the phone as he said, “Officer go take a breather.”
She looked at the detective and nodded, and walked off. Detective Carrio swiped the phone up as he walked over and said, “Mr. Camarrillo, now these next few videos I am about to show you can incriminate you and have you convicted of aggravated assault, possession, driving while under the influence, manslaughter, and murder. If you want a minimal sentence, I need your cooperation.” Detective Carrio insisted.
“Go fuck yourself, Detective,” he said in intimidation.
“Okay, Mr. Camarillo,” Detective Carrio said as he swiped the locked phone and swiped left, finding the footage he needed. He turned the phone and began to show the video.
Tony appeared in the video as he said, “Look, it’s the bitches.”
“Where,” Frank said.
“At the carwash,” Tony said as he pulled in and got off the car. The video stopped.
“You can’t prove anything from that,” Frank said as he smirked.
Detective Carrio nodded as he looked at the phone and began to show the next video. He flipped the screen over as Frank appeared looking at the video.
Frank looked shocked as he said, “We didn’t record that.”
The video began to play as Tony came running as he said, “I think she’s dead.”
“I swear to God Tony I will kill you if I go to jail,” Frank said in the video as Tony looked back and reversed in panic, seeing them both move forward with a loud crash. The video stopped.
“So you want to talk now,” Detective Carrio said with a grim smile.
“It was an accident. He didn’t mean it,” Frank said in a panic. “If you talk to him, he will tell you,” Frank said as he yelled for Tony.
“Is psychosis hitting in?” Officer Romero said as she walked in with a cup of coffee.
“Seems like it,” Detective Carrio said as he greeted Officer Romero coming in.
“What happened! Tell me what happened to my friend!” Frank demanded in tears.
Officer Romero looked at the detective and said, “Did you show him the last video?”
“Not yet.” Detective Carrio said.
“What video!” Frank demanded.
“Can I do the honor Detective,” Officer Romero said.
“Be my guess but make sure you use gloves,” Detective Carrio advised.
She put the gloves on and got the phone from Detective Carrio as she unlocked the phone and revealed the final video. As a crazed, Frank appeared on the phone. She began to play the video.
“I’m going to kill you piece of shit. I always listen to your pendejadas and always follow you like a lost fucken dog” as he saw himself stabbing a passed out Tony, awakening in screams as blood splattered over Frank’s face.
“Stop, man, stop,” Tony pleaded as he stabbed through the hand he blocked the blade with.
Frank looked down, pulling takin the knife down with him as he screamed in agony and continued to stab Tony more violently when the video stopped.
Detective Carrio said, “You’re under arrest for the death of Tony Garcia and the deaths of Armando Vega and Sonya Castillo.
“Wait, the swinger couple that was with us last weekend?” Frank said in shock.
Detective Carrio began saying the mirador rights as began filming on his body cam.
“Officer Romero, the bitches followed us. We met that couple before we saw those bitches at our usual spot. We tried to leave, but they followed us. We got wired and tweaked out, and I thought I saw things. Tony get’s crazy, so I was trying to defend myself most likely. Please, the women were psycho. They shot at us, and Tony got defensive.” Frank pleaded.
“Tell that to the judge asshole,” Officer Romeo said as she escorted the transport unit in to take Frank to the county for medical treatment and booking.
“Help me please,” Frank said as he looked at the face of the EMS county transporter as his eyes widen and said, “You did this, you bitch. It was you,” he screamed.
“I need a sedative stat,” the EMS worker said.
“No. No. She’s going to kill me,” Frank said as the sedative began to take over. “Stop,” he said slurring. “Sto…” he said before he passed out.
Frank began to open his eyes as he began hearing the introduction of a very familiar medley with a classical beat.
“Gangster Paradise?” he said in confusion.
“Why, yes, it is Beethoven. By 2WEI, to be exact?” Joanna said as she began walking towards him on the conveyor belt of the abandoned factory. “Lights, camera, action,” she yelled as her voice echoed in the factory. The lights flashed on as he saw a crowd of women and men on the balcony above where he was standing.
“Help me!” he cried.
Joanna looked at Frank with a serious face as she said, “Oh no honey, they aren’t here to help. They are here to watch you die!
He attempted to crawl back as he screamed in agonizing pain and screamed in terror as he saw his bandaged nubs where his hands once use to be.
“Help,” he screamed in terror as his hope began to wither away as he heard the crowd boo. “Somebody fucken does something pl…” he said as he paused and saw a familiar face.
Joanna turned to him in a wicked smile as she said, “No one’s going to help you, Hunny,” as she said, crouching to the floor, grabbing his face as he forced to stare at the audience.
“Somebody help, please,” he screamed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our extraordinary guest tonight. Will, the mystery guest, show Frank what his sentence is tonight,” Joanna said. The clanking of footsteps echoed from the open entrance of the shadow.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am your host for tonight’s main event, Joanna,” she said as she turned to the crowd in her sparkly red sequins trench coat. Turning to Frank as she said, “Formerly known as Matilda,” she said In a sadistic tone.
“Matilda?” Frank said. “My ex-wife?” he said as he began to cry in terror. “I thought you were dead,” he said, screaming in terror.
“I was still our special guest saved my life,” she said as the hooded figure revealed her identity.
“Officer Romero,” oh, thank god your hear.
“I am not here to save you, my dear,” she said calmly. “I’m the executioner,” she said as she began to chuckle. “You know my daughter Matilda was a nice girl, working on her computer engineer degree until you came along,” she said in agony.
“Plastic surgery does wonders, doesn’t it,” she said as she turned to Frank, giving him an evil grin.
“Help me, somebody, please,” he yelled in terror.
Ladies and germs. Victims and survivors. I present to you the main event,” each of you has a lovely parting gift—hydrochloric acid. The first one to hit the target goes away with a beautiful partying gift. A bedazzled Machete for everyone. Fuck it. Everyone is a winner tonight,” she said as the crowd roared.
“Babe, I love you. Please don’t do this. I didn’t mean no harm,” Frank pleaded in terror.
She walked in her red bottom spikey studded heels and crotched reaching the mop of greasy hair as she said, “That’s why you and Tony brutally raped me and left me for dead at the car wash, now is it,” Joanna said as she threw his head back as it thudded against the conveyor. “As you said, Frank, snitches get stitches. Say hi to daddy for me,” she said as she belted a sadistic laugh.
“Shall I start the belt, my lovely daughter,” Officer Romero said.
“Any last words, mom,” Joanna said.
Officer Romero looked at Frank as she started the coverer belt and screamed as the straps’ churning roared.
“Next time you get away with assault and make accusations that a woman is crazy, make sure she isn’t,” Officer Romero said as she started the belt.
They both watched as all the victims on the phone she held with her latex hand still on seeing every victim walk as they poured the hydrochloric acid as they reached for the machete as they each took a wack in unison. They were hearing the cries of a slowly dying Frank making his way towards the meat grinder of the abandoned meatpacking company.
Officer Romero kissed her daughter on the forehead as she said, “Happy Birthday Matilda!”
She looked at her ex-husband as each victim he assaulted came to get a piece of her birthday present as 2WEI’s Gangster’s Paradise’s epic intro began as it replayed in the background. “Matilda would have loved this,” she said as she hugged her mom. They heard one blood-curdling scream as he entered the meat grinder. She looked toward her mother as one question lingered. “How did you get him to attack Tony,” she asked inquisitively.
“Well, when you hacked Tony’s phone and began recording, your Detective Carrio ended up sneaking into the van when they both flirted with you at the Bucky’s and injected him with a mixture of opioids, bath salts, and methamphetamines. That how we think he sliced his foot off.”
She looked back as his nubs slowly stopped moving as she looked at the crowd dousing him with gasoline and lighting his limbs on fire. As the fire began to glow in her brown eyes, she grinned as she whispered, “Good one, dad.”
Check out next weeks short story titled “Leaving Heaven.” Along with the song that inspired the story line.