Dexter Alex
Write of Passage
Published in
13 min readSep 1, 2020


Capped In America

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

Dewy stood by the alcove which jutted out from the side of the Taco Bell restaurant. Its windows had long since been boarded up, and its sign missing a few letters. The walls of the building had become the perfect canvas for the graffiti enthusiasts, turning the dark and light purple colors of the building into a giant skull, with snakes coming out the eyes.

Shrouded by the darkness of the night, and the dark hood which covered a majority of his face, the boy waited patiently for the individuals he was required to meet. He was certain they would arrive in a few moments, and then they would make the exchange. The frigid air made his breath form small clouds out in front of him, lightening flashed in the sky, indicating the incumbent rains.

The flat temporarily lit up the alcove, letting the men who had come looking to spot him. One of them wore a wife-beater, making Dewy wonder how the man stood up to the cold. The other looked around nervously, a dead giveaway that it was his first time on the block. Dewy couldn’t see his face, but still, he was certain of it. Once they were close enough to him, the odor of cheap liquor and tobacco hit, causing him to wrench his nose. Pulling down his hoodie even more to cover his face, he stepped out a little, not letting them corner him into the wall.

“Hey, you Dewy?” came the voice of the man wearing the vest.

“Depends on what business you got for him.”

“Well, I need a refill.” The man said.

“Who’s ya shadow?” Dewy asked, nodding towards the nervous man.

“He’s with me. You selling or not?” the man’s voice sounded slurred, probably from years of drinking and drug usage.

“Who sent you?” Dewy asked, already knowing the answer. No one bought from him without going through the right sources.


Getting a positive answer, he swung his bag over his arm and pulled open the zipper. There were assortments of items within the bag. Without looking up, Dewy asked. “What’s it gon’ be?”

“You got coke?”


“What else you packing?” Nerves pitched in. The fear in his voice making his tone overly loud.

“Got Coke, Khat, DMT and some… oh wait, ecstasy’s all go…” out the corner of his eye, Dewy saw movement in the Toyota that had been park down the street. It had been there all night, with no one coming to check on it. Dewy watched the vehicle from afar before he took up his spot and concluded that no one was in the car.

“Freeze! Police!”

Apparently he had been wrong. One officer aimed out the window, gun trained on all three of them. The other got out the car and whipped out his gun. They had used an unmarked car so it would blend into the road. Dewy grabbed hold of his bag, slowly slipping it back around his arm.

“Jackson PD, put your hands where I can see em!” the officer in the car stepped out. The portable light bar on the dashboard began wailing, with its red and blue lights bouncing off the arms of the white officers. “Turn around slowly. You with the bag, hands up and get on your knees!”

The man in the wife-beater turned around with a smile on his face, bringing his arms down as the first syllable of a sentence left his mouth. But that was all he could manage before the Taser hit him square in the chest, dropping him to the ground where he shook like an epileptic. Dewy took his chance and bolted. He ran parallel to the wall of the building, disappearing through a chain-link fence further down which led into the compound.

The officer in pursuit couldn’t squeeze through the gap as he was fairly larger than Dewy, so he opted for a vault, lifting himself over it as he gained speed. Dewy burst out through the drive through and got on the streets, keeping close to the gas station next door. He slid over the trunk of a car in his path and bound around the other, his breathing now labored, with his heart looking to burst through his ribcage.

Hearing the officer’s footsteps fall behind, he slowed to a walk, took off the hoodie of his jacket and stuffed his bag underneath the jacket. He looked straight up at the road, trying to appear as casual as possible. But his body gave him up as he couldn’t restore his breathing to normal. He spotted an all-night diner up ahead and increased his pace.

“Don’t move. Hands where I can see them. If you run, I will fire. And this is not a stun. Hands in the air!”

Dewy turned around to see the officer only a few feet behind him. He raised his arms, putting them behind his head. This caused the bag to fall out from beneath his jacket. The police officer picked up the bag, pulled back the zipper and ruffled through the contents with his gun. He dropped it to the ground and shoved Dewy against the wall, cuffing him. As he brought his walkie to his shoulder, he heard a shot ring out in the distance. Dewy froze, his body trembling with fear.

“You’re just a kid.”

He looked up at the officer who had just cuffed him. The older white man stared at him as though he had never seen a black kid before. “Well, you’re not exactly easy on the eyes yourself.”

“What are you doing out here?”

“I ain’t telling you shit.”

“You’re a child, why are you… look, you need to stop this.” He fumbled through the pockets of his uniform, bringing out the keys to the cuffs. “What’s your name?” he asked as he released the boy.


“Dewy, jail isn’t a good place for a kid like you to be. Get outta here, and don’t let me catch you out here again, you hear me?”

Dewy stood, watching the man. He couldn’t understand how a white police officer, an entity he was brought up to fear, had shown compassion to him. The man looked over his shoulders to see if his partner had made it over to him. “Get out of here! Go!”

As Dewy ran off, he looked back at the officer who had shown him a leniency he never thought possible.

“Carter! Chief McCain said he wants to see you.”

Officer Carter swiveled in his seat at his desk, looking at Nunez who had just gotten out of the police Captain’s office. Whatever it was, he wasn’t in the mood to be face to face with his boss. McCain was a wryly man who enjoyed putting the fear of God into people when he spoke to them. He hadn’t been on patrol the entire day and wondered why he was being requested.

“You lost a bet to him or something?”

Carter turned to the other end of the table to see his partner, officer James, sitting with his legs propped up on the table.

“I don’t like the sound of it.”

“Well, you better be heading over there before he comes over here.”

Carter knocked twice before letting himself into the captain’s office. The man stood by the left end of the room, pouring himself a glass of water off the dispenser. There was an ongoing joke in the precinct, that the Captains would never drink liquor, even if his life depended on it.

“Carter, yeah. Wanted to ask some questions about the guys you and James brought in the other night. Report said you lost the one who ran off, yeah?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did you get a good look at the perp? Could you identify him?”

“Why? Did we catch him?” Carter asked, with apprehension in his voice.

“Why are you asking me questions? Can you identify the kid if we caught him?”

Carter hadn’t mentioned that the subject was a kid in his report, he had left out the details of the boy to keep him safe. “Not sure, it was dark, so I’m not sure I would be able to.”

“Hmm, I see.” He took a long sip of the glass, which turned to a huge gulp. “We got a call out on Sixth and Dillon. You and James go check it out.”

Both officers took a squad car, driving out to a part of town either of them would be caught dead in if they weren’t wearing their uniforms. The neighborhood had a predominantly black populous which had, on countless occasions, taken the lives of multiple officers. James and Carter strapped themselves to the teeth, just in case they ran into any trouble.

The call was from a black woman who lived in a house similar to Carter’s. She had better décor, with vases and paintings hanging all around. They were cheap, but they made the house look a lot better. She let them into the house, before returning to her place on the couch next to her box of tissues.

“And when was the last time you saw him, ma’am?” James asked, a notebook out in his hand with his pen in it.

“Little after noon yesterday.” The woman spoke between sobs, trying to hold herself together for her report.

“I’m sorry, but you do know that a person needs to be gone for at least forty-eight hours before you file a missing person’s?” James replied as Carter turned away from the photos behind his partner. From his position, he saw the note in James’ hand, with just the address, and woman’s phone number written. Underneath it, he had been doodling a caricature image of the dark woman, with what looked like horns coming out her head.

“I know. But he’s my boy. He’d never be gone for this long. He always comes back home, officer. The streets here, they’re dangerous, which is why I called you guys. I don’t know what’s become of my boy.” She broke down, wailing. James allowed her to settle down as she blew her nose into a tissue.

“What’s his name?” James asked.

“Dewayne. Dewayne Power. He goes by Dewy. He’s just fourteen. My baby boy is out there. I need you guys to find my son”

Carter felt his heart sink as he spotted a photo in a frame on a small drawer. It was Dewy, the one he had met a few days ago. “Does he have friends? Places he frequents?” Carter quickly chipped in, startling the woman.

“Yeah, his uncle’s place. Two blocks from here. But he only goes there when things are tight around here. No money for groceries and stuff. But I had groceries, so why did he leave… why…”

James got to his feet, shutting the notebook. “Thank you for your time Ms. Power, we’ll call you as soon as there’s a development or we get something.” And with that, James left the front door. As Carter followed, she called out to him.

“Officer… I know how this goes. It’s one black kid, and not worth your time or effort.” She wiped the snot off the top of her lip, threatening to dribble into her mouth. “But please help me. Help me find my son.”

Carter went through his phone, trying to find the address for Dewy’s uncle, which Ms. Power had given him. As he thumbed away at the navigational page of Google maps, he noticed James had gotten them on the highway, heading out of the neighborhood. He turned to his partner, who was driving. “Where are you going?”

“Heading back to the precinct. And don’t, don’t give me that look. There’s just two of us, okay?”

“Yeah, but the kid.”

“The kid will turn up, eventually. Heading back in there and asking questions, it’s not something either of us should be doing. Those folks who live there, they’re savages.”

Carter felt a twinge of guilt from his partner’s statement. He had agreed to search for Dewy not just because the woman had asked, but because he remembered the reason he let Dewy go. The boy was about the same age as his son, making him wonder what he would do if the positions were reversed. James noticed his silence and continued.

“Look, there are so many gangs in the area, if we hang around asking questions, one of us will return with one less finger than we started with. This Dewayne kid, there are two ways he gets back. The first, and what I hope for, is that he returns unscathed and just had a little joy ride with his other black friends, doing whatever it is his kind of kids do for fun.” He stopped at the red light just as another squad car drove past them. “Or we find his body in a week in some ditch where he’s been cut up because he did something which pissed off whatever gang got to him. Either way, the boy will turn up, we don’t have to do anything, okay?”

Carter wouldn’t have it. Even after he got home at the end of his shift, the officer couldn’t sleep. He knew something had gone wrong, considering that he had taken the boy’s bag which contained a lot of illegal drugs and handed them over to evidence lockup. Dressed in plainclothes, Carter left his wife and son at home and headed straight for the address he had found.

There were no images on the maps, but when he got to the house, he was certain it was the house. Loud hip hop music came from within the building, and the powerful stench of tobacco wafted through the door as Carter stood in front. He knocked twice before they swung the door open, a gun pointed in his face. His first reaction was to reach for his own weapon tucked away underneath his shirt, but he remembered the reason he had come. He raised both arms up and lowered his head.

“The fuck do you want white boy?”

“I don’t mean any trouble. I’m just looking for someone.”

“And why you think I give a shit? Get outta here before I turn your ass pink.”

The man with the gun turned around and swung the door shut. Carter put a foot between the door and its frame, pushing himself in. As he did, he was suddenly surrounded by five people, each of them holding guns which were pointed straight at him. The man who had answered the door turned around to face him again. In the better lighting, Carter could see him better. His hair had been plaited back into neat cornrows down the middle, and the sides of his face covered in tattoos.

“You a fool, man?”

“I’m looking for Big Kay. He’s Dewayne’s uncle, and I’m trying to find him. He’s missing.”

The man with the tattoos recoiled, his eyes went wide as he asked. “You a cop?”

The surrounding guns clicked as the men turned off the safeties of their weapons, readying to fire. Carter looked around, trying to see all their faces before he made his next move. He slowly reached for his gun, grabbing it by his index and thumb, before dropping it to the floor. “Yes. But I’m trying to help.”

“I’m Kay, put it down boys.” The man with the tattoos picked up the gun Carter had tossed. “You saying Dewy is missing?”

“Yes. His mother called the…”

“Man shut the fuck up. Why they keep sending you white cops into black neighborhoods? You see one video of some rapper waving guns and you think all we black folks are bangers. This is our neighborhood man, the block is not some crack spot where y’all can bust up whoever you see out here. You finna have a lot of nerve coming up in here.”

“Look, I don’t mean anything like that. I met Dewy a few days ago, and I think it’s my fault he’s missing. I took away a bag of drugs from him the other day, and I think it’s got something to do with why he’s missing.”

Big Kay let out a sigh, turning away. “Told that kid not to roll with Slick.”


“Look here Cracker, I say you sit this out. Slick ain’t someone you want to be messing with. Dewy got himself into this mess, he’ll get himself out of it.”

“I can’t.” Carter replied. “I promised his mother.”

“All right. You wanna walk into your grave, no problem.”

As Carter drove to the address they gave him, he wondered what he had seen in the eyes of the men he had just met. They had threatened his life and could have taken it with ease. But yet, none of them seemed keen on even being around the one called Slick. They feared the man, for reasons beyond Carter’s understanding. Whoever Slick was, he was a dangerous man.

The car rolled into an abandoned parking complex a few blocks from where Dewy lived. At ten pm, the streets were still, people locked up in their homes. But the few who were out on the streets knew he didn’t belong there. One look at his car, and everyone could tell that the white man driving down the road was in the wrong part of town. Carter couldn’t help but wonder why black neighborhoods even existed.

Pulling out his gun, he scurried across the park, heading over to the roof. He took the winding car entrance, as it had a lot of space and only two paths, that gave him a clear line of sight at each turn, unlike the stairs. As he approached it, he heard people talking.

“Look, you somehow lost your merch, which I wasn’t too pissed by, but then I catch you snooping around, recording me? You know who I am, punk?” Carter watched as the man, who he could only assume was Slick, pulled on the dreadlocks of Dewy.

Next to him stood another man dressed in a suit, which looked odd, compared to the leather jacket of the man berating the kid. He continued. “Where the fuck is the phone?”

“I told you, I didn’t tape you. I swear I’m telling you the truth, Slick.”

Carter checked his odds. Just two men. They would be armed, but he had the element of surprise on his side. He jumped out from his cover, pulling his gun on both men. “Jackson PD, freeze! Hands above your head, right now!” he placed a shot near their foot before they turned around to get both men to understand that he would use violence.

The men raised their arms up slowly, a positive sigh for Carter. “Now turn around, nice and slow,” they obliged, rotating on their heels until slick and his partner faced Carter. At first, the officer’s eyes scanned the drug dealer, looking for weapons, before it moved over to the eyes of the man next to him. Recognition led to confusion, which caused Carter to lower his gun for a moment.

McCain seized the moment, pulling his gun, squeezed the trigger. The bullet ripped through Carter’s abdomen as he fell to the ground, his ears ringing as Drew screamed in the background. As Carter felt the blood rush up to his lips, he saw the police Captain pull out his cellphone. “Hey, James. Yeah, I’m at the site, and your damn partner just got here. What the fuck? I told you to keep him off? Whatever. Just get here for clean up, now!”

As the vignette effect took over, Carter heard McCain speak to Dewy. “You shouldn’t have shot the officer kid.” A second shot rang out, just before the darkness took over.

By morning the next day, Ms. Power had thrown herself out on the floor outside the precinct as she wailed. In her hand, a newspaper, with a headline which read, ’fifteen-year-old gunned down by police after fatally shooting said officer.’



Dexter Alex
Write of Passage

Raconteur, Story-Teller, Writer Of Words, Young, Scrappy and Hungry. Lover of Bread.