Two hours later Steele found himself driving through the roughest neighborhood in the city. No one in their right mind would come down here alone in the daytime and most cops wouldn't risk traveling through this part of town late at night but somehow on this dark, quiet night Alexander Steele seemed to be drawn to it. There was movement in shadows of the blocks and blocks of abandon buildings where it was commonplace to see hundreds of crack vials strewn about the sidewalk. The movement came from the remnants of lives that once had promising futures until somehow it all went wrong, somehow dreams were shattered and goals were forgotten. This was a microcosm of the millions who chose unwisely at life's fork in the road. These were the forgotten whose primary concern was not what to wear to work tomorrow morning but how to survive another day.
The half dozen zombie-like patrons didn’t bother to look up when he walked in. The decor was early seventies with duck taped stools but the balding; cigarette smoking man in front of the grill was defiantly a product of the fifties.
Never taking the cigarette from his mouth the sweaty cook turned around holding a spatula in one hand and a plate of eggs and hash browns in the other. “What can I get you young blood?” Steele chuckled as he thought, ‘Coffee, hash browns and eggs $1.50, cigarette ashes,no charge. Does that come with a side of Pepto Bismol? This place would be a health inspector’s dream if one was ever bold enough to come through those doors.
Steele took notice of the bulge near the cook’s waistline under his dirty apron. ‘That ain’t no fanny pack, he thought, this guy was definitely packing heat. The cook was doing double duty as Trench’s first line of defense; too bad he didn’t do windows.
Steele glanced at the plate of food and waived him off, “No thanks.” He pointed to the dark brown door all the way in the back. The man set the plate on the counter in front of the customer, hanging directly over head was a swirly strip of fly paper that had done its job all too well. “You Steele?” he asked.
When Steele nodded the cook reached under the counter and buzzed him in.