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Christmas Eve and rookie San Francisco police officer Brian O’Neil, brash, strongly independent, and headstrong, under the watchful eyes of veteran Field Training Officer John J. Kelly, is about to be thrust onto the mean streets of the city’s infamous Tenderloin District, home to the scum of San Francisco: petty thieves, burglars, thugs, robbers, pimps prostitutes, pickpockets, drug addicts, and just plain drunks; not to mention every kind of perverted freak, crackpot, eccentric, and nutcase one could possibly imagine, and some that no one thus far know about. The streets are dirty, the buildings old and foul, garbage lines the gutters and alleys, and everything smells of stale beer, vomit, urine, and feces. It’s a holiday playground for rats and the other vermin of the city.
BOOK ONE OF THE S.F.P.D. CHRONICLES By
Tajimi, Japan and San Francisco, California
ANGEL DUST. Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 by Hayato Tokugawa. Japanese Version Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 by Hayato Tokugawa. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States and Japan by Shisei-Dō Publications. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without prior written permission of the author or publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. This is a work of fiction. All of the characters and events portrayed in this novel either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
My wife, my companion, and my muse, who originally conceived the idea for the S.F.P.D. Chronicles
Angel Dust was born early in 2009 as an attempt by my wife, Aoi, at writing a short story, “Moonlight Patrol: The Tales of a San Francisco Cop,” which had been taking shape on pieces of binder and scrap paper for a long while. She researched day and night, spending long hours in front of the computer screen or surrounded by books and old San Francisco newspapers; yet to her, the task remained daunting. She had been in San Francisco but once, and the only cop she had ever known was I. Still, she was determined to see her project come to life and asked me to lend a hand as her “technical advisor.” Eventually, however, she withdrew from the project; it was not taking the form she wanted, nor was it telling the story that she had wanted to tell: that of a young, rookie cop on the streets of the city. Late one evening, we sat and talked about “Moonlight Patrol.” Again, she told me, in a combination of Japanese and English, the story she had envisioned. I was enthused about the premise and reluctant to see the story die, only to sit on some shelf in a file folder, collecting dust. She asked me to take what she had put together, her story, and to make something more of it. Aoi can be very persuasive, and at last, I agreed to rewrite the story and started in the very next day. To say that I jumped in with “all fours” and from the very start wrote her story with gusto would be a lie. No, it was an hour here and an hour there; however, as the story started to take a new shape and direction, I found my eagerness growing; and soon I was not writing for the occasional hour, but for several hours: sometimes I wrote all day without stopping. The story, now called Angel Dust,
based on real people who had worked, lived and died in San Francisco, and real incidents, was taking on a life of its own, and demanded my devotion. When several chapters had been completed and edited, Aoi arranged to have the story published in Japan as a serial. As each chapter was completed, she meticulously translated it to Japanese and shipped it off to be published. At first, I was dubious of any success. What possible interest could a Japanese reading audience have in a young police officer in a city eight-thousand miles away? Nevertheless, I was in for a surprise. Suddenly, we began to get fan mail, not just me, but the characters themselves. Women loved young Brian O’Neil, some wanted to marry him. Others were attracted to the older, more hardboiled Inspector Gallagher. Men wrote saying they wanted to be just like Gallagher, O’Neil, or John Kelly. People wrote asking about American police in general and San Francisco police in particular. They asked about cars, guns, uniforms, even law. And when they weren’t’ asking questions, or proposing marriage to Brian O’Neil or Gallagher, they were relating stories of their own visits and adventures in San Francisco. I was flabbergasted. In all my years as an editor and journalist, I had never experienced this sort of phenomenon. Fans even developed their own name for the San Francisco of Brian O’Neil and the period the story was set in: “Dust World.” When the story neared its conclusion, the letters changed to pleas of, “Don’t end ‘Dust World.’ We would miss O’Neil, Kelly, and Gallagher. Please give us more ‘Dust World.’” To this very day, we and the characters of Angel Dust still get mail; and recently, Aoi met with several fans at an informal gathering in Ōsaka. Another interesting phenomenon that I had never encountered before, and which could only happen with our wondrous Internet, involved both Google Earth and Google Maps. To my surprise, fans were writing to tell us how they had visited the actual locations mentioned in the book on their computers using Google Maps’ “street view” feature, and had even “driven” the same routes through San Francisco that the characters did, including “rolling stakeouts” and pursuits; thus making the story that much more real and exciting for them. In a matter of weeks following the conclusion of the Angel Dust serial, the first episode of a new story, a sequel, appeared in Japan and met with equal popularity. Aoi suggested that “Dust” should be
published in book form, but not just in Japanese for Japanese readers. Insisted, she insisted that the same story should be told in the United States as well. We therefore present to American readers for the first time, the story of Brian O’Neil and his first year as a San Francisco police officer; and with a few added details from the original Japanese version, we are happy to reintroduce “Dust World” to our Japanese friends. We hope you enjoy the story.
HAYATO TOKUGAWA Tajimi, Japan
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
LEROY “MANDINGO” WASHINGTON: Recently paroled from infamous San Quentin Prison after having served three years for armed robbery. Raised in a black ghetto and educated in prison, he’s a petty criminal who still hasn’t changed his ways. BRIAN O’NEIL: One of San Francisco’s newest police officers. Of Irish-American descent, in his early twenties, a recent combat veteran of the Vietnam War, he is bright, eager, headstrong, and dedicated to the job for which he was born. SERGEANT PETE FLANAGAN: The evening shift supervisor at the San Francisco Police Department’s Tenderloin Station. A veteran with almost thirty years as a police officer, and former mentor of Inspector Keith Gallagher, he is dedicated to protecting the city and the men under him. JOHN KELLY: A huge, Irish cop from a family that has made the San Francisco Police their home and family profession. As a Field Training Officer with an easygoing manner, he is wise in the ways of the streets. Charged with overseeing real-life training of police recruits just out of the academy, Kelly is assigned the task of mentoring young Brian O’Neil. PETER JENSON: Just one of countless derelict residents of the equally shabby Tenderloin District. A habitual drunk, he is the first person Brian O’Neil has to deal with as a rookie police officer.
HENRY JEFFERSON: A mild-mannered citizen of San Francisco’s largely black Fillmore District and frequent visitor to the Tenderloin, who has a Christmas Eve encounter with young Officer O’Neil. JONAS JONES: A professional petty thief and pickpocket, he is a regular “customer” of Officer John Kelly. INSPECTOR KEITH GALLAGHER: A veteran police officer with over twenty years in service; first as a patrolman under Pete Flanagan and now as the on-call detective for the Tenderloin. He is well known and respected, although not always liked because of his stubbornness and unorthodox methods. MASTER TAK KEI CHAN: Chinese martial arts master and Brian O’Neil’s instructor in the art of T’ai chi. Of unknown age, with a calm demeanor and warm smile, he knows almost everyone in Chinatown and everything that goes on there. LIEUTENANT DONALD TARANTINO: Descended from a longtime San Francisco Italian family, he is head of the Patrol Division and a member of the infamous Internal Affairs Bureau, whose only job is to investigate other police officers. A dedicated bureaucrat and politician with little actual street experience, he hopes someday to rise to the rank of Chief, even at the cost of the dead careers of fellow officers. JOHN COOPER: A wanted felon who is foolish enough to conceal a deadly straight razor and then to try to go up against Brian O’Neil and John Kelly. MARCUS ENQUOME: A Tenderloin pimp and suspect in several homicides in the San Francisco Bay Area, who takes pleasure in beating his women. LATRELL HOOVER: A resident of San Francisco’s infamous and dangerous Fillmore District who uses “angel dust” or PCP to get high. KEIKO GALLAGHER: The wife of Inspector Keith Gallagher, who was born in the United States but raised in Ōsaka, Japan, and met her husband at a Japanese swordsmanship competition. An instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute, she has been married for twenty years and is her husband’s best friend. VERNON L. SMITH: A self-impressed, small-town politician who is quick to falsely suspect and accuse good people of wrongdoing.
JERRY LUM: A young Chinese-American police officer, with a young wife and a baby on the way, who works the same shift out of Tenderloin Station as John Kelly and Brian O’Neil. GREG GONZALES: A large, muscular, Mexican-American veteran police officer working out of Tenderloin Station and partner to Jerry Lum. SEAN KELLY: One of John Kelly’s numerous cousins and uncles on the San Francisco Police Department, he is Inspector 12 from the Robbery Detail, but works as an on-call detective for the Tenderloin and Central districts when Inspector 42, Keith Gallagher, is not available. TYREE SCOTT: One of the residents of a rundown Tenderloin hotel and a convicted felon, who sells deadly drugs on the streets of San Francisco. JAMES VELLASCO: A drug-crazed, would-be rapist and murderer who makes the mistake of attacking two women on Kelly and O’Neil’s beat. MIYABI TACHIBANA: A resident of Ōsaka, Japan, and a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, who following a nighttime rock concert, encounters more than she could ever have possibly imagined on the dark streets of San Francisco. JENNY CHIN: The roommate Miyabi Tachibana, an art student, and daughter of a prominent San Francisco businessman, who falls prey to violent crime in the city. OMAR SCOTT: A resident of the Tenderloin who likes illegal drugs and hates the police. ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE, ALAN DAVIS: The head of the Inspectors Bureau of the San Francisco Police Department and Keith Gallagher’s boss. KEVIN CHIN: The older brother of Jenny Chin and head of the infamous “Joy Luck Boys,” as well as an associate of the 14K triad from Hong Kong. SAMMY TANAGAWA: The manager of the Mikado Hotel in San Francisco and head of the Tanagawa-gumi Yakuza family in the San Francisco area.
HOWARD CHIN: A prominent business figure in Chinatown, the owner of Canton-Pacific Imports and father of Jenny and Kevin Chin. WAH SING CHU: The ominous operations officer for the 14K triad from Hong Kong, and liaison with many of the tongs and Chinese youth gangs in San Francisco’s Chinatown. MARILYN MIYASAKI: A professional escort for gentlemen, resident of the Mikado Hotel, and business associate of Sammy Tanagawa. JOE “THE WEASEL” RIZZO: A low ranked “errand boy” for the Mafia in San Francisco and sometimes informant for Inspector Gallagher. VINCENZO “VINNIE” ABBANDANDO: A local Mafia lieutenant and manager of Big Al’s nude dancing nightclub in San Francisco’s North Beach district. EDGAR THORNESBY III: An arrogant FBI agent from a privileged east coast family, assigned to investigate organized crime in the San Francisco area. TOM KELLY: A retired San Francisco police officer, night security guard at 44 Montgomery Street, and uncle of John Kelly. INSPECTOR WILLIAM “BILL” QUINN: A homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department who butts heads with young Officer O’Neil. SERGEANT JAMES P. KELLY II: The day shift sergeant at Central Station and another of Officer John J. Kelly’s uncles. PETE STAFFORD: A senior patrol officer in the Tenderloin and partner of Patrolman Henry Tanaka. HENRY “HANK” TANAKA: A young, tough, Japanese-American police officer assigned to Tenderloin Station whose mother thinks he’s nuts for being a cop. JOHN HANCOCK: One of the San Francisco Police Department’s elite K-9 officers, assigned to Northern Station. VON RIPPER: The German shepherd partner of Officer Hancock. CLEVELAND JONES: A long-time resident of San Francisco’s infamous Fillmore District and local “drug lord.”
San Francisco, California
December 24, 1972
The air of freedom smelled good to Leroy Washington; a combination of chicken frying at the corner soul food restaurant and car exhaust from the afternoon commute traffic. To him, it smelled just like home as he exited the San Francisco Municipal Railway, “Muni,” bus at the corner of Fillmore and Eddy Streets, in the heart of San Francisco’s Fillmore District. A black ghetto for the most part, the Fillmore was a combination of dilapidated, old, Victorian houses, pre-war apartment buildings, city-funded low-income housing, and run-down shops. Old men and young men sat or stood gathered in groups inside doorways or along the sidewalks, drinking cheap wine from bottles of green or clear glass, hidden in brown paper bags. Fat grandmas waddled down the sidewalks carrying shopping bags of groceries, while clusters of young girls, eight or nine years old, played jump rope and hopscotch along the way. Six hours earlier, Washington, also known as “Mandingo,” had walked out the front gate of San Quentin Prison in fashionable Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, after having spent the past three years under lockdown on a charge of armed robbery. Nevertheless, the State of California was generous and had granted him parole, just in time for Christmas, and two
hundred dollars to get him going again. He knew that the two hundred wouldn’t really go very far, but Leroy was determined to make the best of it. First, a little food, then score a “lid” (ounce) of “pot” (marijuana), and then get himself a gun. That was a very good start, he decided; there would be time enough tomorrow to rob some careless tourist downtown and score some more money. Then he would move right on up. Four hours later, he had eaten his fill of fresh fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and biscuits with butter; purchased a pint of cheap whiskey and drunk half of it; bought himself an inexpensive .38 special snub-nose revolver from one of his connections in the “hood” (neighborhood); and best of all, that “lid” of “pot,” all for himself. “Now,” he asked himself, “what would be good? Maybe a little porno to top of the evening would be so fine.” Quite satisfied with his decision, he sauntered east, down Eddy Street, toward the Tenderloin and the O’Farrell Theater. He was cool and he walked like he was cool, so that everyone would know he was cool; after all, he had done “hard (prison) time” and he was going to be even cooler real soon. The O’Farrell Theater, a combination “strip joint” and X-rated movie theater that featured both nude dancers and pornographic movies, was mutually famous and infamous in San Francisco. To those who were “hip,” to the advocates of free speech and free sex, the O’Farrell was an icon. To those who took a more conservative moral view of things, it was a blight on the city; however, political correctness, or the lack of it, did not make much difference to Leroy Washington. That night, there was no live strip show, according to a sign on the front door. “Musta given da bitches da Christmas Eve off,” he thought. “No big deal! The price is cheaper dat way and I can stay all night if I wants.” On days like Christmas Eve, the theater instead ran non-stop pornographic “flicks” and the management didn’t really care how long a patron stayed: they had the guy’s money, “so what the hell.” Washington paid his twelve dollars and then made himself comfortable over on the right side of the theater, near the back, where no one would bother him. On the screen, a naked, slightly overweight, cheap-looking woman, with long, bleached-blond hair, was on a bed with two naked men. While she “serviced” one of the men orally, the other approached her from the rear, mounting her like a dog. “Oh man! Dis gonna be good!” thought Leroy as he rolled
himself his first “joint” (marijuana cigarette) of the evening: one of several he planned to enjoy all by himself. Maybe later, he decided, he would head on down to Turk Street and find some “hos” (whores) with whom he could do the same thing. But first, he was going to enjoy his movies and his smokes. Two hours passed and Washington was feeling “laid-back,” enjoying his third “joint” of the evening. He was feeling mellow, really mellow; but things were starting to become a little blurred on the screen. “Eyes must be tired,” he thought. Yet as the minutes passed, the figures and faces on the big screen began to change. Naked men and women became naked devils and demons. White demons, black demons, yellow devils, and red devils, were all looking, pointing, and laughing at him: “Mandingo” Washington. “Devils,” he began to yell, “quit laughin’ at me! Ain’t nothin’ to laugh about! I kill yo ass yo mothafucka!” The devils and demons began to laugh all the harder, moving down off the screen, drifting through the air directly at him; and he could hear their voices: “Kill him! Take his soul! Send him to hell!” “Get away from me! Get away from me!” screamed Washington. “Ain’t no one takin’ me to hell!” With that, he leaped up and bolted down the aisle, through the lobby, and out onto O’Farrell Street; but the demons and devils were there waiting for him; looking at him, pointing at him, laughing at him. And the voices: “Kill him! Kill him! Take his soul! Send him to hell! Kill him!” White devils, red devils, black demons and yellow, were looking at him, laughing at him, pointing at him and closing in. “You can’t have my soul! You can’t take it mothafuckas! You can’t take it! I’ll send it to Jesus first! I’ll show you!” All at once, he took the revolver he had purchased earlier in the day out of his pocket and started pointing it at the devils and demons as they passed in front of him and continued to close in. “You can’t have me! Get away from me! Get away from me! Oh, Lord I can’t stand it!” He put the barrel of the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The back of his head exploded in a cloud of pink vapor and his body fell backwards. That was the end of Leroy Washington and the beginning of a lot of paperwork for young San Francisco police officer Brian O’Neil.
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