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Authors: Vincent Alexandria

Black 01 - Black Rain

BOOK: Black 01 - Black Rain
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This one’s for my father, Joseph Cefous Alexandria, my brothers, Joe and Donald Johnson, Joseph Cefous Alexandria, Jr., my mentor and best friend, Dr. Edward Anderson, my little buddy, Walter Coppage, my nephew, John Perry Alexandria, Jr., and my best cousins, Beverly Dean and Marilyn Malvo.

Without your love and guidance, I would not be the man I am today. I will continue to tell the stories of love, laughter and life. Save a place for me in heaven.


To my loving mother, Mary Alexandria, and my brother-in-law, Clarence Wine.

“Sometimes life has unexpected twists and turns.

What your intent is can be changed by your condition.

This does not make you a bad person, but a product of your condition. Always strive for a positive condition and put in the time, effort and energy to do what is right and just.

Spread the love of literacy, so education and knowledge can lead to better choices and positive conditions.

We are victims of ourselves.”

—Vincent Alexandria

Chapter 1

A gust of cold October wind outside my window whips through the bare trees and stirs paper and debris on the sidewalk. As I stare out the window, I can’t help but compare the frigid air to the souls of some people. Criminals. The ones who’ve committed heinous crimes and don’t care about the trail of destruction their acts leave behind. I try not to let my cynical thoughts rule my mood and I turn my attention back to my cluttered desk.

The steam is still rising off my cup of coffee and, ap-preciatively, I take a sip. With my free hand, I rifle through the pile of papers on my desk for the telephone number of a recent informant, but I can’t find it. I glance over at Vernon’s desk, which sits directly across from me and see several piles of neatly stacked papers. Vernon Brown has been my partner for fifteen years here

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at the homicide department of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

“Vernon, did you take the number for that informant, Marlon Jackson off my desk?”

Vernon looks up from the morning paper and raises one eyebrow as though I’m bothering him. “Joe, yesterday you asked me to call that guy to make an appointment for this morning. Well, I did it like you asked. I told him we’d meet him around nine-thirty at the crime scene where he helped us nab that bastard Barry Franklin for killing his kid and burying him in the back of the house.”

“Great. We also have to make sure we pay him for the information, so we need to get five thousand bucks from the commissioner to pay him for coming forward.

He’s expecting his money today.”

“All taken care of.”

“Wow, you mean, you finally did something I asked before I had to nag you about it? Go figure,” I say, jokingly.

“I took care of the money yesterday. I got it right here in this envelope.” He retrieved the envelope from his desk drawer.

“Terrific. His testimony will seal that creep’s fate for life. I can’t believe he buried his own son in the backyard of his house. We’re just lucky that Mr. Jackson was squatting in the abandoned house behind Barry’s and saw the whole thing,” I explain.

“It also was luck that he called us and spilled the beans about what he saw,” Vernon states.

“Let’s hold back on the sainthood for this guy, because he did ask for the reward money before he told us anything,” I remind him.

Vincent Alexandria


“Joe, the guy was not a drug addict or anything. He just fell on hard times. You can’t blame him for wanting his due. This money can change his life a little. It might even get him on the right track.”

“I hope it does. I know without him, we would have never closed this one so quickly.” It also helped that the commissioner made this case a high priority. The district attorney wanted us to come out to Barry Franklin’s house and meet the crime-scene guys to do a walk-through. This would ensure we had nailed all the details.

“It’s important that this is an airtight case before it gets to the court system,” I remind my older partner.

Vernon gives a nod of his graying head and throws up his hand to stop any further conversation so he can enjoy his morning coffee and paper. Vernon is a stickler for being aware of what’s going on in the news. Every morning he reads our town’s three daily newspapers.

I still find it hard to shake the details of the case from my mind. In all my years on the force, I never understood why people hurt kids. I have kids of my own and even on a bad day they make me smile and laugh. I can’t see how a kid could push a parent to kill them. It couldn’t possibly be the child’s fault. The fact is, there’s some sick-ass people in the world.

Rising to my feet, I stretch my full body then walk over to Vernon’s desk and snatch the paper from him, just to piss him off. “Vernon, my kids asked if you and Gertrude would like to go to the circus with us tonight.”

Vernon frowns and raises his eyebrows in a warning manner. “Why you got to play so damn much, Joe? I can’t tonight, but you tell the kids Gertrude and I will take them for ice cream on Sunday. We’ll pick them up

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around one or two after church. Now, if you don’t mind, can you please give me back my paper before I have to taser your ass?”

“Vernon, why are you always threatening me with violence when you know I can whip you with my eyes closed? Anyway, this is not just any circus, it’s the Univer-Soul Circus. Run by black people. It’s always a great show,” I explain as I hand him back his paper.

“I know who they are. I caught their commercial on television. Gertrude’s parents are coming over for dinner tonight, so we’re booked for the evening, and her parents always look forward to our dinners. So my hands are tied and your eyes would be closed if I wasn’t in a good mood because I could have knocked you out,”

he says, laughing as he opens his paper and puts his cigar in his mouth.

We finish our coffee and head out of the downtown-precinct office and take Paseo Avenue up to Forty-Third Street. We hit Paseo and pass 18th and Vine where the Negro League Baseball and Jazz Museums are, along with the historic Gem Theater. This area was bustling with black businesses from the thirties through the late fifties. Many famous people—Satchel Paige, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Liston, Ella Fitzgerald, Hank Aaron, and other entertainers and sports figures—came to have a good time and be welcomed with open arms during a time of segregation in Kansas City. Even though many years have passed, truth be told, some parts of Kansas City still are segregated.

We make it over to the crime scene and meet up with our informant. It’s a quick exchange. We get Marlon to sign for the money and Vernon hands him the envelope.

Vincent Alexandria


We touch base with forensics as they finish their business at the Franklin house. Barry Franklin will get the death penalty for this. The former city Water Department employee complained that his son was crying too much and he couldn’t take it anymore, so he took a hammer and did him in. The coroner found that the kid had a simple case of food poisoning and that caused his discomfort. The kid was killed for eating a bad chicken sandwich. What a waste of two lives.

After the district attorney arrives and we discuss details, Vernon drops me off at the office and I go home to spend time with my children and wife.

As the crisp night air flows through the crack in my window, I look at my family asleep in the van and am grateful for the life with which God has blessed me.

I love working for the Kansas City Homicide Department. I am able to give a voice to victims of violent crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. Being able to take up for the weak and abused gives me a sense of pride. My partner, Vernon, and I have received two promotions in the last two years, and my former captain has been made Commissioner of Police. We recently elected a Black mayor, and our city government is probably as diverse and progressive for African-Americans as any in the United States.

The commissioner, Vernon and I all moved up the ranks together, and we earned our promotions. Our department has one of the highest solved-case files in the Midwest Region, which allows me to spend more time with my family, and I take advantage of all the time I can.

The soft light of the moon caresses the lovely fea-18

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tures of my wife, Sierra. The mellow beams dance across her deep cleavage and I can’t wait to put the kids to bed and let the romance of the full moon capture Sierra and me seductively in its grip.

Our two-year-old twins, Vernie, named after my partner and best friend, and my namesake, Joe Junior, are strapped in their car seats. Their heads slump forward, each hand gripping circus balloons. We were blessed to have a girl and a boy as twins.

Nia, now four years old and as beautiful as ever, sits between them. Her pink-and-blue cotton candy, secure in a plastic bag, lies on her lap, with remnants of the sugary treat coating her cherubic face. I smile and breathe a heavy sigh as I turn onto our block and pull into the driveway.

We had such fun at the Univer-Soul Circus. We laughed, cheered and were awed by the magnificent show, full of great acts and African history told by the Ringmaster. His sidekick, Zeke the Midget, stole the show with his humor, antics and dancing. We felt as if we were part of the act with the participation and great music. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

After putting the children to bed and taking my shower, I slip into my pajama pants and walk over to the bed where Sierra lies, wearing one of my oversized Rockhurst College T-shirts.

She is, however, fast asleep. I smile, say goodbye to my erection, brush her hair to the side and kiss her softly on the forehead. I promise myself I’ll wake up early, before the kids, to say good-morning to my wife the Big Daddy way.

In an attempt to calm the disappointment of romance
Vincent Alexandria


on hold, I go downstairs and into the kitchen to satisfy my other weakness. I work out every morning to keep in shape. I have to be able to run down the bad guys. I love the feeling of working up a good sweat exercising.

It became a habit after I’d played football and basketball in high school and college. My rigid workout habit allows me to continue my one true sin, eating ice cream.

I put a couple of scoops of Neapolitan into a cup and head into the living room happy and humming the words,

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” I left my cell phone at home this evening so I could have some undisturbed time with my family. I notice it flash-ing in the darkness. I sit in the plush chair next to the table the cell phone sits on and check my messages.

My heart flutters and my gut tightens at the anxiety and fear in FBI Agent Cheryl Chase’s voice. She has to be in desperate trouble to call me. She graduated at the top of her class at the FBI Training Academy, and with her prodigious IQ, common sense and a black belt in karate, she’s more than capable of handling herself.

I knew she was going undercover, but she didn’t inform me about the particulars of the case. Chase is a friend of the family. We’ve worked together on a serial-killer assignment and a couple of drug cases that ended up on my desk because they were homicides.

There had been a mandate on law-enforcement cooperation due to an increase in organized crime, so Vernon and I were chosen to cross-train at Quantico, Virginia, at the FBI training academy. This special task-force assignment and training allows us to work some special FBI cases, as well as those with our local authorities.

We have credentials for both organizations. It has its

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perks, but it can be a pain in the butt when we get taken off a local case that we are close to solving.

Chase and I had been paired up on a few cases. We were attracted to each other and had almost been intimate three years ago, but, after a few moments of weakness, we came to our senses. The circumstances of this encounter were innocent enough: we were in Jefferson City when we found the state governor’s daughter dead. We were exhausted after traveling and working on the case all day. For our safety, we decided not to get on the road, and instead sought a hotel room. There was a convention in town and there was only one room avail-able at the hotel. It had one bed and one lounge chair.

BOOK: Black 01 - Black Rain
4.56Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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