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Traffic Court By Mitch Rosen
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Genre/Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
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Traffic Court By Mitch Rosen
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Synopsis

In 1968 at the age of eight years old, Brad Andrews viciously attacked his school mate. He was sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention center where he was diagnosed and treated for an intermittent explosive disorder, along with a host of other multiple stress-related conditions.


At the age of fourteen, Andrews dream was to marry his girlfriend, Nancy Carrie, and to become a Police Officer. After the juvenile detention center closed, all records of Andrews psychiatric past had vanished allowing his dream of becoming a Police Officer to come true.


After High School Andrews Joined the Port Authority Police Department and was assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd St. and 8th Ave. in New York City.


Andrews' dream soon turned into a living nightmare, when the everyday stresses of being a Police Officer in the Port Authority Bus Terminal caused his childhood psychosis to return.


Andrews' attempt to battle his chronic stress and anxiety disorders failed.  Non-medicated and overwhelmed, Andrews unleashed a murderous rampage on the motoring public.


Excerpt:

The alarm clock jolted Brad Andrews out of sleep. The high pitch sound echoed in his head as his eyes focused on the Purple bedroom walls. As he sat up in bed, and stared at the empty room, reality hit. This was not his smartly decorated three bedroom center hall colonial in Nanuet, New York. He was now living in a rented room, on Twin Avenue in Spring Valley, New York. This he understood was due to his own stupidity. 

Edible silverware! What a stupid f**king idea, I lost everything! Andrews said to himself. In an attempt to stall the inevitable, Andrews took out a second mortgage on the home that his parents had left him, but he ultimately destroyed his credit. In the end, he lost his home, as well as his savings.

Andrews sat on the edge of his bed and looked around, this sucks, he thought, look at this shit. In a couple of days I’m getting transferred to the George Washington Bridge, he thought, in an attempt to look at something positive. Only two months until Christmas, how depressing. No wonder the suicide rate goes up during the holidays, I bet the poor bastard that lived here killed himself, Andrews thought as he continued to look around.

The rusted bed springs strained to hold Andrews’ weight as he lifted his small, 5’ 5” 120 pound frame out of bed. As he walked to the bathroom, his bare feet stuck to the beer stained wood floor like fly paper. 

He switched the light on just in time to see three roaches run for cover under the sink vanity. The dark brown painted walls made the bathroom look even smaller then it was. The words, she’s a bitch were artfully drawn in black magic marker over and over again on the brown walls from the previous tenant. The one inch black and white ceramic floor tile was filthy and cracked. Feces was visible on the bottom side of the gray colored toilet seat. Andrews’ hand pushed the plastic shower curtain to the side, and reached for the hot water handle. The shower head made a banging noise before dispensing brown water into the small discolored fiberglass shower basin. The shower base seemed to be permanently stained from the constant flow of rusty water. Steam began to rise from beneath the plastic shower curtain, as Andrews stepped in. 

He almost slipped on the slimy basin, but was able to grab the moldy plastic shower curtain to avoid a fall. The taste of sour rusty shower water entered his partially open mouth, as he stood and stared at the slimy tile wall. 

He reached for the used bar of white soap in the holder, and gagged, after finding someone else’s black hair wrapped around it. He exited the shower in disgust, and dried himself off with his dirty tee shirt.

In the corner of his room was a black plastic garbage bag filled with clean clothes. He grabbed boxers, white cotton sport socks and a pair of washed out jeans, along with his favorite navy blue Port Authority Police tee shirt. He sat on the edge of the bed and got dressed. Every move caused the bed springs to pop and squeal. Andrews was disgusted. He missed the organization and familiarization of his house in Nanuet, but he knew that was gone. 

Andrews was not obsessive-compulsive, but he certainly had similar qualities. As he laced up his white Nike sneakers, he recalled brighter moments in his life such as his graduation from the Port Authority Police Academy and his first love, Nancy Carrie. 

Andrews dated Nancy all through high school. After high school graduation, Andrews worked menial jobs and attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The desire to be a Police Officer and marry Nancy was his goal.

His plans were altered, after Nancy decided to attend College in Buffalo New York. By the end of Nancy’s first year, she became seriously involved with Mark Wendel, who also attended Buffalo. Mark was tall, handsome and came from a rich family. Andrews was short, average looking and his father was an alcoholic. To Nancy the choice was clear, she had married Mark within a year of their college graduation. Andrews was devastated about losing Nancy, and had never seemed to recover. He just felt incomplete, like something had been ripped from his soul. 

After losing Nancy, Andrews’ primary focus was now on becoming a Police Officer. He continued to think about Nancy and dream about what could have been, but he needed to focus on accomplishing part of his dream, something that he had control over. Since childhood Andrews wanted to be a Police Officer. In the spring of 1985 Andrews received his first assignment, the Port Authority Bus Terminal located on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.

He was twenty-five years old with a heartbeat like a thoroughbred race horse. He recalled an incident that occurred his first day on the job which ultimately set the tone for the remainder of his career. His navy blue uniform was crisp and new, the afternoon sun reflected its light off Andrews’ shield which sat proudly on his chest. He was on foot patrol on 9th Avenue and 42nd Street when he was approached by a frantic old woman. “Officer come quick, inside the Bus Terminal!” the woman yelled. She led the way with her pointed outstretched finger. “What is the problem?” Andrews asked, as he chased her around the revolving doors and up the 9th Avenue escalator into the dimly lit bus station. “It’s coming from the baggage locker,” she said, her eyes were wide and her finger pointed to the top baggage locker which was slightly over Andrews’ head. 

There were about thirty lockers or so positioned against the wall, each one was approximately 18” wide and 24” tall, and were deceptively deep. They were stacked three high and were in poor condition, some had dents, others stains and they were painted battleship gray. The lockers were designed to accommodate suitcases and other types of bags. Just put 50 cents in, turn the key and the locker is yours for the day. 

As Andrews got closer to the locker he heard it too. “Let me out of here!” a muffled voice pleaded from inside the locker. Andrews froze in his tracks, with his eyes transfixed on the locker door. “There it goes again, did you hear it?” the old woman asked. 

This must be a prank Andrews thought to himself, no one could physically fit in there. He stepped closer and reached for the locker door pulling it open slowly. As the light slowly spread inside, he saw what appeared to be a man’s head. Within a millisecond of his discovery the head opened its eyes and squinted, as they adjusted to the sudden change of light; he watched in amazement as the mouth began to move. “Are you going to get me out of here, or just stare at me all day?” the head said in an angry voice. While still in shock, Andrews reached up into the open locker and placed a hand on either side of the head, where the shoulders should be, he grabbed a handful of material from the man’s shirt and pulled. As Andrews pulled, he saw that the head was attached to a limbless torso. 

The man’s shirt had been altered leaving his badly calloused stumps exposed from underneath his six inch sleeves. The stumps protruded from his shirt just about where his shoulders were supposed to be. Andrews tried to balance the torso, as it teeter-tottered back and forth in the door frame of the locker. Andrews repositioned himself as if he was ready to perform a military press; he then pulled the man clear of the locker. “Take it easy,” the man said in a panic. Andrews started to back-pedal as the unexpected weight of the torso was too much for him to handle. To avoid dropping the man, Andrews quickly put him in a bear hug, wrapping both arms around the man’s torso. The man’s face and Andrews were now only inches apart. Andrews continued to back-peddle as the man started flailing his stubs in a desperate attempt to help Andrews keep his balance. The man shouted in Andrews’ face, “Watch out! Watch out!” Andrews blinked wildly as spit flew from the man’s mouth into Andrews’ eyes. Andrews’ right leg hit a big steel trash can causing him to fall backward onto the hard terrazzo floor with the man’s limbless torso landing on top of him. 

“Good catch jackass. What are you trying to do, kill me?” the man said. Andrews looked around in time to see at least twenty spectators now laughing and pointing at the two still embracing each other on the floor. After the roar of the crowd subsided, the man said, “It’s in the trash can.” “What’s in the trash can?” Andrews asked. “My skateboard you ass, the little neighborhood bastards put it in there before jamming me in the f**king baggage locker.” the man explained. 

Over hearing the conversation a women from the crowd reached into the pail and retrieved the old splintered skateboard, placing it down alongside him. The women had tears in her eyes, as the man hoisted himself onto the skateboard by using his stubs. “Are you alright?” the woman asked with sincere empathy. “F**k you too lady!” the man said, as he propelled himself down the corridor belting out a robust yahoo as he picked up speed.