Category Archives: Hunting Angels

Hunting Angels 9

“What is it?” asked Kelly.

As a cop, Dean had many times notified the victim’s next of kin of their loss. This was different. Dean bit his lip hard enough to taste copper.

“Dwayne is dead.”

“What? Say that again?”

“Dwayne is dead.”

“Really? How?”

“He got shot by gangbangers who thought they were shooting me.”

“What do you mean?”

“We swapped jobs for a day and they shot him that same day. They shot him thinking they were killing a cop.”

“You’re a cop?”

“I was. Now I’m Dwayne, cause, I can’t tell anyone this, except you, so you have to swear to keep this absolutely quiet, cause, if anyone finds out who I am, I’m dead.”

Kelly knew she should cry, but, surprised herself that she really wasn’t in the mood. She knew as her role of girlfriend, she should be bawling her eyes out, but, Kelly didn’t feel up to it. She’d only been dating Dwayne a couple weeks. He never told her about his brother, or his work, she wondered how much more he had kept from her.

“Ok,” Kelly said after a long pause to process all this information.

“Ok? You promise? You won’t tell anyone? Not a single person? You understand how important this is?”

“Ok. I get it. I can keep my mouth shut. That’s what Dwayne liked about me most, I’m sure. That and my terrific tits.”

Dean fought not to lower his eyes and confirm that she did indeed have terrific tits. “Thank you,” he said, “for your silence on this,” he added, so she wouldn’t get confused and think he was thanking her for her terrific tits.

“Sure. And goodbye.”

“Can I see you again?”

“What for?”

“So you can show me what I’m doing that gives me away. I need you to teach me how to be Dwayne. Please.”

“You want me to teach you how to be my dead boyfriend?”

“It could save my life.”

“What time?”

“Right now, before I go back to face his brother Angels. What do I need to do?”

Kelly felt like she was being ordered, so she gave a long pause before answering. After a loud and lengthy exhale she said, “You stand up too straight, for one. Dwayne would lean back when he talked to you. And you don’t smell like Dwayne at all. That was probably the first thing that gave you away, your smell.”

“What are you saying, I stink?”

“In a word, yeah. I mean, I don’t want to be mean, but, I’m trying to help you.”

“Thank you, I appreciate it.”

“Are you being sarcastic? Cause, if you are, we can call this off right now.”

“No, no, I do, I do,” Dean said, though he had been sarcastic, still, he didn’t want to lose her.

“If you do, why you repeating yourself twice like that? That’s the tell of a liar.”

“Sorry, I just. I’m a little frazzled. Really, I usually have so much confidence, but, that was as Dean. As Dwayne, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Please, help me. Teach me to be Dwayne.”

“I’m not free, you know.”

“I’ll pay you, I’ll pay you.”

“Again with the double talk. Why don’t I trust you?”

“Here, here’s $200 up front. It’s all I got on me. I’ll pay you $100 an hour to teach me to be like Dwayne.”

“$200. And do you wanna be like Dwayne? Or do you want to be Dwayne? Cause there’s a difference.”

“Let’s start with like.”

“Well, then, I’m sorry, but I can’t teach you, cause there’s nobody like Dwayne. Dwayne was a special kind of guy, your brother was a real character.”

“Please give me some examples.”

Kelly only held for a mini pause, cause he had said please. “The way you talk. You’re not funny, are you?”

“I can be funny.”

“I don’t think you can. Not like your brother. Dwayne was funny. If Dwayne was one thing, he was funny. I can’t teach you that.” Kelly’s eyes misted at the memory of Dwayne dancing about the bedroom doing the most ridiculous striptease she’d ever seen.

“Anything else?”

“I’ve seen you chew your nails.”

“No I don’t.”

“Why you lying? I’ve seen you. Dwayne had great nails, and he didn’t lie. Look at your nails, did a dog get to them? Did you feed them to a wolf?”

Dean knew she was right and wished he could will his finger nails to grow faster.

“What else? Wait, just a second, I want to get a pen and paper.”

“Do you mind if we do this in a room where there isn’t a dead body?”

“Here, follow me to the kitchen.”

After an hour, Kelly left Dean to consider his next move. The body and the blood. He put Glen in the freezer and would figure out a permanent resting place later. A good mop and five bucket changes later, and the hardwood was sparkling clean.

Next he knew he had to go to the Hell’s Angels clubhouse and admit killing Glen, calling it what it was: self defense. He splashed on some of Dwayne’s cologne, got in the car and drove back to the clubhouse that could make him pay his dues.

Hunting Angels 8

“Come on, guys, seriously, my nose is broke here. Got no wheels. Someone drive me to the fucking hospital!”

Again, Dean offered his services. “I said I will take you.”

Glen ignored him. “Come on, guys, I really don’t want to go with a guy who talks that way about my mother.”

Dean was tempted to apologize til he thought Dwayne never apologized for anything. He kept quiet. Clayton, the lead angel spoke up:

“It’d be good for you two to make up in the car. Let him take you. That’s good of him, good thinking, Dwayne. Go with him, Glen, it would be good for everyone.”

Glen knew when Clayton spoke you listened and even followed, so Glen followed Dean out into the parking lot all way to his black mustang where he looked back at the clubhouse, saw no one watching then told Dean to do something to himself that was anatomically impossible. Dean didn’t fight him, glad to be out of the club house and rid of Glen, who stalked off to hail a taxi.

Dean thought it best to go home (Dwayne’s home, he reminded himself) and lay low for a while and get a grip on what to do next. He didn’t have long to think. As soon as he walked through the door, Dwayne’s girlfriend, Kelly, walked right in behind him.

“Where were you- you’re not Dwayne. I didn’t know Dwayne had a twin brother. Where’s Dwayne? Is he here?”

“No.”

“Where is he?”

“We’re swapping places for awhile.”

“He’s at your place? Why? Why hasn’t he called me? Where’s your place?”

“Downtown.”

“Why didn’t he call me? Why are you switching?”

“A crazy ex-girlfriend is after me, so, Dwayne agreed to switch with me.”

“Maybe she’ll still think it’s you. I mean you guys look identical.”

“But you could tell the difference.”

“Yeah.”

“How?” Dean was ready to take notes.

“I don’t know- your smell. Your aura, your-”

“Aura? What do you mean? Explain.”

Kelly was a woman who hated to be commanded to do anything. She took a long pause to tell her boyfriend’s twin to tone down on the orders. When she was ready to speak, she said, “You’re very different, that’s all. You stand differently. And I don’t know you but I bet you’re not a very spiritual man, are you? What’s your name?”

“Dean.”

“Your brother’s more soulful.”

Yes, Dean thought, this is Dwayne’s girlfriend. Stubborn, opinionated, talking of spirituality. Next she’ll read me my horoscope.

Kelly had not shut the door coming in. It was left wide open for Glen to walk through, gun drawn, pointed straight at Dean’s head.

“Hello, Dean,” Glen said, smiling through the pain of a broken nose. He had cleaned up most of the blood from his face. Dean kept his arms at his sides cause Glen had never asked him to raise them. Kelly stood quietly trying not to tremble next to him. “Did you think you were going to pass as your brother, my best friend?”

“You were not my brother’s best friend. My brother’s best friend was shot and killed six months ago.”

“You shut the fuck up! You don’t know- I’m a much better friend to your brother than Jackson was! Your brother and me are tight. I knew you’re twins. I knew as soon as I saw you.”

“No you didn’t. When you first saw me you thought you recognized me and called me Dwayne. You all did.”

“Let’s go.” Glen motioned to the door with his gun, a sleek steel .357 magnum.

“Where we going?”

“I gotta show you to the clubhouse.”

“Can I tie my shoelaces first?”

“Go.”

Dean bent over then reached under his left pant leg and with the speed of true gunfighter, pulled the .22 magnum out of his holster and fired two shots straight into Glen’s chest, bursting his heart and lungs.

“Where does Dwayne usually dump the bodies?” Dean asked Kelly who stood opened mouthed above Glen’s leaking dead body.

“Usually?” She asked, stepping away from the growing puddle of blood.

“Yeah, what does he usually do with the bodies?”

“How the hell should I know? I don’t kill people with him. That’s not something we’ve ever shared together. And I am insulted you just did this without asking if I wanted to be involved in a murder.”

“It was self defense. I’m a cop. It’s not murder.”

“Looked like murder to me.”

“He was holding- look, we don’t have time to nit pick over the definition of murder. We got to hide this body. Any ideas?”

“What are you asking me for? I’m not a murderer.”

“I’m not a murderer either.”

“Yes you are. If not, why do you need to hide the body?”

“This is a special case.”

“I’m going before the cops get here.”

“The cops are here. I’m a cop, I just told you.”

“Can I see your badge? Actually, don’t bother, I wouldn’t know a real one from a fake anyway. See ya.”

She turned to go. Dean stepped between Kelly and the door which he locked. Kelly looked at him, feeling faint, wondering why he’d locked the door. “Wait. There’s something you should know,” he said.

Hunting Angels 7

Dean had dealt, so he could sit and see what the rest did before making his move. Glen was in for twenty bucks. That caused the two on the couch, Chet and Bill to fold, followed by Shawn to his right. It was Dean’s turn to act.

“What are you doing, Dwayne?” asked Glen.

Dean hoped it was his imagination, but it sounded like Glen was calling him Dwayne sarcastically. Dean looked at his cards. Two kings.

“I’ll see your twenty,” Dean tossed in a white poker chip before picking up the deck of cards, burning and turning the top six cards revealing five of them: a four, a five, a six, a king and an ace.

“I’m in for fifty,” Glen threw in his blue chip.

“Me too,” Dean looked at the king swimming in the river and thought of the two more under his thumb. Dean once again took up the deck and cleanly and efficiently burned and turned two more cards. The card turned face up was a seven.

“100,” Glen tossed in his hundred dollars worth of poker chips.

Did Glen just make his straight? A straight takes three of a kind. I think he’s bluffing. I think he wants me to think he made his straight. “I’ll your see 100,” Dean chipped in a chip of his own to the pot.

“You’ll see me? Do you see me? I don’t think you see me. But, I see you, brother. I see you. Where’s the card show tonight, Dwayne? You seem off your game. First the darts, now-”

“Would you shut the fuck up and just play your game, and look who’s got more chips, asshole.”

The table, minus Glen liked that. They tasted blood in the water.

“You tell him, Dwayne!” and “Yeah, count the chips before getting all cocky, Glen!” trumpeted Chet and Bill. Dean got the sense that the two men on the couch shared the same brain and some times that brain was left unused as it was passed between them.

Glen was undeterred. “You’ll see I’m taking this pot. I know this bitch is lying.”

“Lying? What are you talking about, you son of a bitch?” Dean said and the room went silent.

“What did you say?” Glen was on his feet, his face was gnarled in rage.

Dean had no idea that in this clubhouse any reference to mothers was strictly off limits because mothers are sacred. But he knew immediately he had said the wrong thing. Because he knew his brother was never one to back down from a fight, he got to his feet, too. Dean would have stayed seated, tried to talk it out.

“You heard me, you son of a bitch, you’ve been-” Glen charged at Dean who stepped back, grabbed Glen by the wrists and tossed him face first into the table, breaking his nose.

The table moaned and jeered at the disruption of the game as Glen knocked over all the chips scattering them to the floor. People were too busy arguing over who had how many chips to notice Glen get up, face washed in blood, raise his fists only to get a quick boot to the head that sent him flying five feet back.

Glen was wise to stay down the third time, cause Dean had grown up fighting the best in his brother Dwayne. The twins had first taught themselves how to fight by fighting all the time, then their father enrolled them both in tae kwon do, which Dwayne took for a year before dropping it for judo. The twin’s father had put them in martial arts hoping their disciplines would discipline his boys and get them to stop fighting in the house. The boys would continue to fight, only now with better moves, kicks and punches.

Glen had never taken a single martial arts class, but knew when he was licked. He picked himself up and asked, “Who wants to drive me to the hospital?”

“I’ll drive you,” Dean surprised himself by volunteering. He supposed his instinct was telling him: keep your friends close and drive your enemies to the hospital.

Hunting Angels 6

Dean desperately wanted to get out of that Hell’s Angels club house. He could feel Glen bearing in on him the whole afternoon. Dean tapped into his yoga and focused on his breathing. It helped calm him down and maintain the image of cool.

In his mind, Dean was panicking, running for the door. In his reality, he sat, playing poker with five men, including Glen who had been shadowing him since the darts game. Win or lose, he didn’t care. Dean was too busy trying to remember all the nuances that made up his dead twin, Dwayne. All the tastes, the smoking, the swearing, beliefs, (goddamn it, I believe in God, Dean reminded himself,) the love of art and Dali, all surreal images now swirling in his head.

“Your call Dwayne,” said Shawn, to his right. Shawn was currently dealer.

Dean looked at his hand then looked at the river of cards. He held two twos and he saw a third two swimming in the river. Three of a kind, he thought he’d go for it.

“I raise fifty,” Dean tossed in a fifty dollar chip.

“I’ll see your fifty and raise you a hundred,” Chet sat on the couch across from Dean. They were the only two still playing this hand.

Dean looked at the river and saw no chance of a surprise straight or flush. None of the five cards in the river matched, so, he figured Chet was bluffing. Also, he’d caught Chet on a bluff before.

“Alright, I’ll see your hundred and raise you two hundred.” Dean knew his brother had been one to take risks. He was playing the game more like his brother than himself. The regular Dean would be playing far more conservatively.

“I’ll see your two hundred. What do you got, Dwayne?” Chet tossed in his chips and waited for the big reveal.

“Three twos,” Dean tipped his cards.

“Shit! Pair of aces!”

Dean raked in the pot with the palm of his hand while Glen, who sat watching him to his immediate left spoke up.

“You won on three twos? You bet on twos? You? I’ve never seen you bet on two, man!”

“I won, didn’t I?” Dean winked and immediately regretted it. Dwayne would never wink at another guy.

“What are you winking at me for? Are you gay now? Is that it? You got sick and gay?”

“You just shut the fuck up over there and mind your little stack of chips. If you look at my stack, you’ll see it’s much bigger.”

That shut Glen up and got a laugh out of the table.

“Nice one, Dwayne!” Shawn pounded him on the back with one hand, while sliding the cards over to him to deal.

Dean had forgotten about the dealing part when he’d agreed to play poker. Dwayne had been a magician with cards, while Dean was merely an average handler of cards. Dean hoped the boys weren’t looking for a show. He took the cards and shuffled them four times, neatly, efficiently, bounced them three times against the table, then shuffled them four more times before handing out five hands of cards. No mistakes, but done with none of Dwayne’s trademark flare for presentation. No one commented. Five men sat reading their cards, keeping their thoughts to themselves.

Hunting Angels 5

“What am I thinking?” Dean wanted to know. “I’m going to shoot a man? Have I totally become Dwayne already? For his murder I murder? Just like that forget everything that separated me from Dwayne? Now, just like that, I’m going to kill a man? I became a cop to get paid to catch em, not flip the switch. Now I’m ready to pull the trigger? Am I ready? I didn’t when I had the chance. Do I have any idea what the hell I’m doing?” Dean spoke the entire monologue aloud thinking he was thinking in silence.

All his life choices had been so easy because it was always clear to Dean what was right and what was wrong and that made it really simple to make the right choice. Now the right choice was hiding behind blind rage and an overwhelming sense of duty.

“I didn’t kill him in those two seconds cause I didn’t think it was the ideal shot. Too public. I’ll try again in a couple weeks to set up a meeting for drugs.”

Dean took the subway east getting off a couple blocks from the Hell’s Angels clubhouse. Dwayne hadn’t told him where it was, Dean knew like all cops knew. Dwayne hadn’t told his brother anything about the clubhouse, not so much as a password to get in. The only thing Dean had shown him was the official Hell’s Angels handshake. Dean was afraid his brother angels would spot the imposter immediately and gun him down on the spot.

Entering the clubhouse Dean found there was no password beyond: “Hey!” He was recognized as his brother Dwayne by everyone, finding a group of men playing pool, foosball, darts and ping pong.

“You wanna play, Dwayne?” A strange man who obviously knew him offered Dean a ping pong paddle.

Dean thought how great Dwayne had been at ping pong and how lousy he was. He passed on the ping pong. Careful not to get exposed in the glare of his lackluster talent at something Dwayne could shine.

It took about an hour for Dean to trip over his dead brother’s shoes. He had been doing remarkably well blending into a group he was only just meeting for the first time. He had been investigating some members of this chapter of the Hell’s Angels, so he knew the names and backgrounds of a few of them. Dean spent his time circulating with the men he recognized, all the while listening intently to pick up the names of the rest.

Dean was playing darts with two guys, Mike and Glen. Dean thought he could handle the darts cause both he and Dwayne were excellent darts players; Dean would go on to win the precinct’s darts tournament every year and Dwayne would become one of the city’s sharpest dart sharks.

But, tonight, something was wrong, maybe the nerves, maybe bad luck, but whatever it was, it killed Dean’s usually steady aim. Instead of bullseyes, Dean was lucky if he hit the wall. He had the single worst game of his life. Mike didn’t notice anything, chalking it up to a fluke. But, Dean saw Glen’s eyebrows raise a couple of times.

“Ha! Bad game,” Dean tried to laugh it off, handing over the hundred dollars he’d lost on the bet.

“Yeah, bad luck,” Glen took the money, eying Dean closely. “You lose weight?” Glen asked him.

“A little. I was sick,” Dean was ready for this question.

“You better now?” Glen held his gaze with Dean, not letting go.

“I guess not, how else you gonna explain this fucking game?” Dean hated the shit taste of the swearing on his tongue, but knew his brother was a big swearer.

“I dunno. Hey Dwayne, you remember the time you and me took out that Blood pimp? Remember that, right in front of his girls then we fucked a couple of them?” Glen’s mouth was smiling but his eyes were deadly serious.

Dean sensed a trap. “No,” he said, “why you making shit up? You wish.”

“You don’t remember that?” Glen held his gaze and wouldn’t let go.

Mike broke it up, asking, “What shit you talking, Glen? When’d you do that? I never heard that.”

Glen laughed as though it’d all been a joke. “Nah, I’m just saying. It’d be cool as shit, though!”

Dean danced around the snare this time, but he feared he could do something worse that could set off traps next time.

Hunting Angels 4

(This is the fourth chapter of the developing series, Hunting Angels. I invite you to scroll down the right side of this page and find the Hunting Angels category and begin with Chapter 1 if this is your first tine with us.)

Dean had entered the police force because he believed in justice. Heaven, hell, karma, these were all abstracts to Dean. What he could see is that with good police work, the bad guys got punished. This idea thrilled Dean. Punishment for the bad and the wicked. Dean had grown up watching his brother Dwayne get away with blue murder, but, being his twin, could never rat him out. Now he would get justice for his murder.

It would start by setting up another meeting with Kelvin. One bullet to the head and the meeting would be over. Dean figured Kelvin would be waiting for him. It would have been simpler if he had killed him when he had the chance yesterday.

Dean called the closest number he had to Kelvin, Jimmy, and arranged a meeting for this afternoon at four. Dean met Jimmy inside the subway station on the east bound platform. They got on the back car together without acknowledging each other, rode three stations, got off and got into an awaiting Volvo station wagon.

Kelvin sat in the back seat, gun pointed at Dean. The car started and rolled into traffic.

“Sorry about the gun, but, you can imagine I’m a bit suspicious why you want to meet day after I saw you and blew away your brother. What’s up?” Kelvin smiled, bright gold teeth, Kelvin brushed with religious vanity.

Dean had been foolish to let Kelvin get the drop on him. “I just wanted to see eye to eye to let you know that I respect what you did and why you did it. I woulda done the same thing. I’m sorry I never told about my brother, but, part of the reason is I never think of him. We’re twins, but nothing alike.”

“Yeah, he’s dead, you’re alive, big fuck difference.”

“And I’m glad he’s dead. I wanted you to know. Thank you.”

“Really? That’s all you came to see me about?” Kelvin kept the gun on Dean, soft and steady.

Dean resisted swallowing. “Yeah, we’re cool?”

Kelvin flashed more gold teeth, “Yeah, we’re cool, baby! That’s why I didn’t job you too. You I respect. Don’t let this gun I’m pointing at you be taken as any sign of disrespect, if anything, it means I respect you.”

“I take it as a compliment you’re holding a gun to me.”

“You should, man! It’s not everyone I think could take me out.”

“I’m flattered.”

“I’m flattered I can flatter you!” Kelvin’s golden grin was almost blinding, the glare of the sun scratching Dean’s eyes. Dean blinked. He knew he’d been beat this round. “Anything else I might do for you, Dwayne my man?”

Dean still had to fight the urge to flinch from being called his dead brother’s name. “No, Kelvin. I just wanted to see you, thank you, make sure we’re good.”

“We’re good like wood. Anywhere you wanna be let out?”

“Here is fine, I’ll take the subway from here.”

The Volvo pulled over and Dean got out. He had two seconds from setting foot on the sidewalk and the car pulling away, where he had a clear shot of Kelvin but Dean did not reach for the gun he had in his coat pocket.

The car drove off leaving Dean looking at his image in a store window. He looked transparent. He wondered why he had not taken the shot.

Hunting Angels 3

Dean couldn’t go to the funeral, of that he was certain. It was the one thing he knew, he couldn’t go to the funeral. His own family would recognize him and his secret would be exposed. Maybe one day he could admit the truth, but, for now it was safer to say nothing.

He had promised Dwayne that he would never use his disguise to enter the Hell’s Angels club house and impersonate a brother, but, now, with Dwayne dead, Dean wondered if he should keep this promise. It would raise suspicion if he didn’t go, his brother Angels would think he’d flown the coop, maybe turned squeal pigeon.

Shaving, Dean couldn’t look himself in the mirror, all he could see was the reflection of his dead brother. (As a result, he almost cut his head off.) He thought of the chain of events that got Dwayne killed. First, they were born identical twins, then, thirty-six years later, Dean learned it was useless trying to break into a gang when his brother was so well known. Every gang he approached recognized him as Dwayne. He had thought to go with it, but, ultimately, didn’t think it was fair to Dwayne.

That was when he had his idea to swap jobs for a day, (though Dean didn’t think being a gangster in Hell’s Angels qualified as a job, let alone, honest labor. The brothers had fought about this since Dwayne started dealing drugs out of his high school locker).

Now, Dean realized he would have to become his brother. He would have to not only accept the total Hell’s Angels lifestyle: the drug dealing, prostitution, murder, all under the disguise of Dwayne. He would even move into his house. Then he thought of all the people, neighbors, friends, girlfriends, ex girlfriends, that would drop by. Dean thought it best to put the house on the market and look for a new place to live immediately.

And the most important point in staying Dwayne was that it would allow him to get close enough to Kelvin to kill him. Dean had gotten into police work because he loved justice. He trusted the justice system, he trusted if he handed a bad guy over to the proper authorities, that bad guy would get punished. This time Dean would be the entire justice system: detective, lawyer, judge, jury, executioner, and the guy who wipes up the chair after.