Skip to Content

Crumbling… ~ Part 8

3:35 PM PDT on July 22, 2008

We're running a day late, but here's the latest installment of Rodger Jacobs' Flash Fiction Serial:

“Are you Mark Maker?” A man in a blue trench coat approached me as I descended the steps of the police station. He looked official, government-style official. He flashed a badge but to tell you the truth my head was still spinning from that duet with the asphalt in the parking lot and I had a bleeding tooth that was wobbling like an ice skater with a sliced tendon so I didn’t get a good gander at it.

“I’m Officer West,” he said. “I’m with the Lemuel Pitkin Department of Apologies, more specifically from Superintendent Maria Wyeth’s office in the division of Anti-Trust and Ape and Essence, if you understand.”

I smiled. “I do understand. Do you have a cigarette?”

“No. I don’t smoke.”

I squinted into the harsh sunlight. It was white and punishing on the eyes. Whatever happened to radiant gold sunshine or was that merely the stuff of novels and nursery rhymes? “If you don’t smoke then you’re no good to me, Officer West. Step aside.”

“No. Wait.” He shuffled on his large feet to block my passage. “I have a message for you from Mr. Dunne, Mr. John Gregory Dunne.”

I found a cigarette butt in my coat pocket and fished it out, lit it with my lucky red Bic. “He’s dead, died a few years ago. True Confessions, great L.A. noir book.”

Officer West snorted. “Be that as it may, he requested that you deliver a message. To his wife.”

I laughed. “Are you kidding? You got the wrong guy. I don’t know Joan Didion.”

“The message is,” West persisted, “that he’s sorry. Plain and simple, Mr. Maker: I’m sorry. How you deliver the message is entirely up to you but you have been entrusted with it and any violation of that trust is considered treason, which may or may not result in your execution. Do you understand me?”

“As clear as Kafka,” I muttered through a swirl of smoke.


Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

Become a Member

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Echo Park’s Own Xochitl Gomez Wins The Finale of Dancing With the Stars

The young Marvel star shared the importance of showcasing her Mexican heritage in her ballroom dances through her song choices, set design, and wardrobe. Gomez is a constant advocate for representation both on movie sets and now in the ballroom.

December 6, 2023

‘These Animals Saved My Life:’ L.A.’s Equestrian Communities Fight Ordinance Seeking to Ban Local Rodeos

After three hours of public comments from both sides, the City Council decided the ordinance be sent back and reviewed before it officially can be voted on. L.A.'s cowboys and cowgirls who were present at the meeting took this as a small win for the city's rodeo culture.

December 6, 2023

Woman Brings Claim Against City, Alleging Former LAPD Assistant Chief Put Tracking Device on Her Car

While on a trip with friends in September, the plaintiff discovered an Apple Airtag in a black box attached to the undercarriage of her vehicle, the claim states. Her friend scanned the Airtag and found that the serial number and owner information matched the last four digits of former Assistant Chief Alfred Labrada's city cellphone, according to her claim.

December 6, 2023

Exclusive: Macheen and Horchatería Rio Luna to Open New School Torta Shop in Paramount

Expect a tender beef barbacoa torta served with guajillo consomé to dip, a torta ahogada de camarón (shrimp) with a yuzu avocado puree drowned in a spicy lobster stock, and a "Mexi-Italian" sandwich with panela, hot pistachio salsa macha, and mortadella. This innovative torta venture in SELA is set to open next week on Monday.

December 5, 2023
See all posts