The Weed Way

Story for Malorie Blackman's competition. I'm pretty sure that it is completely off topic, but anyways...... Weeeeeed

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1. The Weed Day

This day was very much like any day. The sun was shining, and Mike was getting ready for his usual patrol, putting on his uniform in the locker room. Compton was about the best place for a policeman if you enjoyed drug busts and day-to-day shootouts, which is exactly what Mike loved about the job. However, most of his routine days were spent on patrolling his area of this notorious neighbourhood, hoping for some kind of action, but usually ending up with nothing but ordinary cases of domestic violence. Each day, Mike hoped that his patrol would bring him excitement, which is the only reason he took up this job, but instead most days he just rode around the streets feeling depressed and anxious. The patrol started off with him rolling out of the police department garage, having previously purchased enough donuts to last him 4 hours. You might think that Mike was one of those stereotypical Californian policemen who were as fat as sumo wrestlers and only cared about action movies, but that was in fact not true. Mike was quite fit, he went to the gym 3 times a week, and was the current wrestler champion of the department. He just liked donuts, being one of the only treats he allowed himself in life. Anyways, the usual patrol route looked as quiet as it would on the most mundane day. Most of the local Hispanic residents seemed quite calm today, and he didn’t even hear distant gunshots, which usually occurred every day and in quite abundant quantities. The sun was shining as bright as it would any time in the year, and the sky was crystal clear. Damn, Mike thought, this is as boring a day as it would get. Suddenly, Mike was feeling melancholic, and his eyes were suddenly closing from all the boredom he has acquired on his job. Fate, however, had something different in mind for Mike that very fine day. After taking a turn into a safer part neighbourhood, Mike suddenly felt excited, like an inner sense of something about to happen. And he was true in his suspicions. Down the road, he perceived an exchange of a plastic bag filled with some kind of powder-looking thing between two African-American residents. Mike suddenly jumped up in his seat, hitting the roof quite violently with his head, and hit the siren. The dealer quickly jumped up, and looked in Mike’s car direction, fear and anxiety quickly showing on his face. Then he dashed, and so did the purchaser. Without hesitation, Mike hit the pedal. The car quickly jerked forward, and soon Mike was in full pursuit. The dealer quickly disappeared through the backyard, where Mike had 0 chances of catching him, but the receiver, who was obviously less experienced in trade-offs of this kind, had bluntly decided to run down the main street. Mike was quite amazed at the stupidity of this guy, and so decided to follow him. Quickly catching up to him, and then overtaking him by a few hundred meters, he then stepped out of the car, and blocked the only possible escape route of the poor sod. In mere seconds, Mike had the goon, with his hands tied up, on the hood of his car, and he now proceeded to investigate the drug which the criminal had on him. The plastic sac in which it was contained was actually quite shrouded in colour, and so from the side Mike could pass it off as a white powder, but open opening the bag Mike something completely different: weed. Now, Mike was a pretty hard policeman, always doing his job to his full extent, but such an event left him puzzled. The reason for that was that Mike himself had been smoking weed for actually quite some time now, almost 2 years. Even though this drug was outlawed, Mike had regarded the laws stating so as stupid and outdated, since there were clearly no really bad effects on his body, and it helped him survive the many depressions he had due to the problems between his dad and his mom. Actually, his last joint was only about 2 days ago, and Mike still felt really good from that time. His duties as a policeman required him to take the criminal into custody for possession, but his inner conscience, a bastion of his personal beliefs, strongly told him to not do so, since in taking him in he would show the man justice which he hadn’t shown himself, and that was clearly a bad, and immoral, thing to do. After pretending to carefully exam the substance, whereas actually he was thinking what he was do with this offender, Mike had devised a very clever solution: he was going to find out the reason as to why the man bought this weed, and then act accordingly. “So, you rotten hoodlum, what seems to be the reason for you to be engaging in criminal activities such as this?” inquired Mike to the man, using an imposing tone to strike fear into the man “In the proud state of California, of which you should be so excited to be part of, possession of cannabis sativa, or weed as you might now it, is a criminal offense and punishable by law, one of the punishments being jail time?” The man at first was quite amazed at the fact that Mike even bothered to speak to him, since most of the policemen in this precinct would just shove him into the car and get him to the department, and then to jail. The fact that Mike gave him a chance caused a small light to brighten up in his eyes. “Well, you know officer, we African-Americans aren’t getting the best treatment. I mean, we got the Latinos cracking down on us every day, telling us how we’re stealing their stuff, and the police department just locks in me and my boys for practically no reason every month. I know that weed ain’t allowed, but without it I just don’t know how I would get by in all this conflict and violence. I mean, I wake up in the morning, and first thing I hear isn’t the cars passing or the kids playing basketball, but I hear shooting, district away, people always killing each other, and you know that it drives me mad.” Mike was actually quite amused by what the man was saying at first, since this is what most of the criminals told him when they got caught, but this man was different. His clothes weren’t the baggy rags which most coloured people wore in this area, but they were actually jeans and a smart shirt. The man was obviously no wanna-be gangster unlike most of the youth here, and when he was talking Mike could almost feel the blunt truth in his words. He needed to know more. “What exactly do you do for a living, then?” asked Mike, thinking about this unexpected turn that the day took. “I work at the Wall-Mart down at Beaver Street” responded the man, referring to the only Wall-Mart in the area, being only a few hundred meters from where the man was caught. “The pay isn’t that good, but it’s an honest job, and we African-Americans can’t get into all those fancy technology companies, but at least I’m not a thug like most of the boys are round here” Mike was now at loss. The man was actually telling the truth, as far as Mike could tell, and Mike considered himself to be pretty good at reading people. Punishing him would be the law’s word, which is what Mike signed up to do when he joined the force, but his deep sense of morality and of what’s right was now screaming inside of him, telling him to let the man go. The man had not asked for grace, unlike all the other thugs Mike caught all those times, and was ready to accept his punishment, knowing that he had done wrong. Mike respected that a lot, and that also contributed to his will of letting the man go. However, he would need a bit more time, and information, to approach the decision. This was very much a test of his conviction, of whether he would follow the law which he was charged with protecting, or of whether he would do his own justice, using his moral principles as a basis for judgement. The decision would not seem extremely important for most people, but it was very much indeed for Mike, since it would finally determine his identity, as either a guardian of the law, blind to objections, or whether he was a man who would do right, no matter the event. “Do you have any family, then? A wife, few kids perhaps, or some old parents to take care off?” Mike asked, determined to make his decision after the man’s final response. “ Wife and kids no, it is kind of hard to find a decent woman in this area, since most of them fall for those thugs and druggies, whilst good men like me are left alone” he said, with quite a sad voice, filled with the unwanted truth “ Do have a mom and a dad to take care of though. Without me, they would be long gone, but in jail there will be no way they can take care of themselves. I’m afraid I’m going to have to send them to an elderly home”. The last sentence instantly filled Mike with compassion for the man. His parents were probably like him, a pair of good old people, who probably never hurt a fly in their life. Without their son, they would not survive in this western ghetto, and the elderly home wouldn’t probably be much better. Instantly, he knew what he would do. “I’m going to let you off this time round, but don’t ever let me catch you again doing those kind of deals” Mike said with conviction, instantly questioning his decision. “Oh, and I will confiscate that weed you have there. Lock it up in the evidence room anonymously” At first the man just stared at Mike in utter disbelief, thinking that Mike was just mocking him and then was anyways going to take him to the department. Then, as seconds passed, and as Mike looked it at him with a calm, set face, it sunk in that he was not joking. In a split second, his face was lit up as a Christmas tree and Mike could almost see the tears on his eyes. “I don’t know who you are, officer, but I swear to God that I will not do this again” the man said as he got his stuff from the hood of the car and hurried off “This man is a godsend”. Mike was instantly pleased with himself, because the happiness the man had displayed was genuine and he knew that this man would never deal with drugs ever again in his life. He then calmly opened the door of his car, sat down and bit at his last donut of the day. Today was a good day. On the way back to the department to report to the lieutenant, Mike only had one more question to resolve. What the hell was he going to with all this weed? He could deposit it at the evidence room, which is what he should do, but then someone might notice it, and then questions would arise. Mike could potentially be out of his job. And of course this was some good weed, as it looked from outside, which would be a waste in the evidence room. Suddenly Mike had an idea. Mike would get this weed back to his condo and then smoke it. Surely, nothing bad was going to come out of this decision? Back at the department, Mike calmly re-entered the locker room, the same locker-room where he started this special day. Suddenly, his friend Jake, already showered, came up to him. “So, action hero, how was the day?” Jake said in his useful, cheerful voice “Made any of you game-changing drug busts?” For Jake the whole police force was a joke, and all he did all day was eat donuts and scare African-Americans round the department with threats of jail for vandalism. “Not much went on today, Jake” Mike said, trying to not look too suspicious when saying this very obvious lie “Was cruising around the precinct all day, was surprisingly quiet today. The donuts from McDonalds had a weird taste today, hadn’t they?” “ You noticed that as well then? I knew they put too much sugar in today” excitedly responded Jake, getting dressed “ Anyways, see you around, action boy”. Jake left with a chuckle and a police bag strapped round his shoulder. Mike quickly took a shower, and then dressed up again. He felt refreshed once again, as if he was a phoenix risen from ashes again, but the day was coming to a close, and he would need to make his way back to his condo. He gathered all of his uniform in his leather bag, and then proceeded to make his way back to his condo. He was not allowed to commandeer the police vehicle when outside of duty hours, which made his way back to his condo, which was approximately 4 miles north of the department, a lengthy pedestrian walk, during which he could observe some of the most wonderful landscapes of the state of California. In an hour, Mike was back at his condo. It looked same as ever, a quite messy condo consisting of 2 rooms, a kitchen and then the room for everything else. Mike quietly settled down on his couch, which also served as his bed, and turned his brand-new LCD TV on, one of the only luxuries he had allowed himself in his simple, model life. After sitting and scanning the TV channels for 10 minutes, he finally stood up and got his rolling paper from the cupboard nearby. Then, he took out the pouch of weed which caused so many thoughts that very day, took out the fateful herb, and rolled it up in a huge joint. Then, he took out his lighter, put on the flame, and the lit the joint. Then, he drifted away in the ecstatic feeling of getting high, and his eyes went blurry…
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