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On the Run by: Stacy Bolan
Part 1 - Family Life
Although, I never knew my father, I had a good childhood. I'm told that I was named after him though, Joseph Samuel Harrison. Mum was the eldest of three children and she had me when she was only 16. Mum and I lived at my grandmother Julia's home until I was 4. My aunts Samantha and Stephanie also lived there. We then moved away because of a big fight my mother and my grandmother had. It all started when grandmother gave me another doll for my 4th birthday. She had always given me dolls and "Carrie" the doll she gave me when I was 3 was always my favorite. I still remember my mother's last words to her mother "we agreed to let him make his own choice." When we left we didn't take any of my dolls and I really missed Carrie. I can remember crying myself to sleep for a long while after we left.
Mum and I moved around a lot after that. Work was not easy for mum to find because of her lack of experience. A year later, I should have been going to school, but we never lived anywhere long enough. A month later, a policeman stopped mum for speeding and things changed again.
Officer Burton was really nice to mum after she explained our situation and he helped us a lot. Later when mum went to thank him, she ended up going on a date with him and then six months later he proposed to her. Mother became Johanna Stefani Burton and my surname was changed to Burton when he adopted me not long after they married.
After they were married things were much better and he was really good to me. He taught me all the things a boy should know and helped me with my schoolwork. When I graduated all I wanted was to become a policeman like my step-dad. Unfortunately, he never saw me graduate the academy. Two days before I graduated he was killed in an armed robbery. What made it even worse was that he was on leave and had only gone to the bank to get some money. I graduated and two days later we attended his funeral. Everyone was there including my grandmother and aunts. We had not seen them in years but they were there for us and we got to know each other again. Soon after the people responsible for his death were arrested. They were druggies who needed money for their next fix.
Life continued and police work was good for me. It allowed me to use my sense of justice, to help others. My superiors soon found that I was an honest cop and decided to use me for undercover work. My lean body and young face allowing me to pass myself off as a school student. I was sent in to a school where the drugs and guns were epidemic. My task was to locate the source or sources of both and to set them up for an arrest. Things went well and I soon discovered that the guns were from a supplier near to the school. He was soon arrested and the gun problem ceased.
However, the drug problem was a lot harder to solve. Every time that I got close my sources were either killed or refused to help any more. Soon it was evident that there was a leak. I knew it wasn't Sergeant Jason "Boss" Hogg (yes his nickname came from the Dukes of Hazard) my contact that was the leak, I'd known him for years and Boss was as honest as they came. Someone else was the leak, but who.
When I decided to go to Internal Affairs (I.A.) to find the leak in the department. Boss was right with me. At I.A. we were taken in to see a Captain Johns. He assigned two detectives who were to investigate the supposed leaking of information. After nothing happened for a month I was sure that our complaint had been forgotten. So I went back to I.A. and had a go at the two incompetents who had not found anything. As I was leaving Captain Johns came out of his office and spoke to them.
Later that day I was told to report to I.A. and Captain Johns with Sergeant Hogg. When we got there, I was told that they had a plan to find the leak. I was going to be sacked for being on the take and shortly after I was going to be arrested attempting to sell drugs. Their idea being that after a short stay in jail I would be a known criminal and have a chance of breaking into the gang that was running the drugs in our town. To ensure my cover was sound I was to be arrested by Sergeant Hogg. All went well and soon I was in custody. During my trial the prosecution raised the fact that I was an ex-cop. I can still remember the Judges words when he sentenced me to 6 months inside, "Joseph Samuel Burton I hope that 6 months in jail will bring you back to the right side of the law. If not we will be seeing each other again."
With good behavior, I was out on the streets again in two months and was soon approached by one of the local gangs. I was only 25 and as a cop gone bad I was a good source of information. When I was in, I was told to report all gang movements to Sergeant Hogg who would then inform I.A. With I.A.'s help I soon helped them to increase their security by giving them information on how the cops could catch them. After a couple of failed arrest attempts on the gangs' leadership I was looking good. It wasn't long before I met the gangs' leaders and I was then introduced to their suppliers. Our plan was going well, after four months of being out I was close to finding the "Big Boys".
One night a few weeks later I was just getting home, when someone knocked me out. When I woke up I had a throbbing headache and was sitting in an office. Soon a man I had seen only in mug shots came into the office. He was "Slugger" Malone an enforcer for the local Mafia. He had been a big baseball star until he had been thrown out for betting on a game he was involved in. Slugger told me to get up and to put my hands behind my back. When I did that he quickly handcuffed me and then threw me back into the chair.
Had my cover been blown and was this the end for me. It sure seemed like it. After a few minutes the door opened and in walked a man that the entire police department knew Chief Lassand. Finally, I had found the leak but I hadn't realized how high up the corruption went. If the Chief was on the take then who else was and how big was the drug operation I had been trying to bust.
When finally the Chief spoke to me he had great pleasure in mocking me. "Oh Burton you stupid man. You thought you could take down the Mafia did you. "That plan of yours was never going to work. Did you think the mob was stupid enough not to check you out?" He then laid out for me the whole connection. My head swam with all the details. The Chief and half the force were being paid to stay out of the way. The Inspector at I.A. was also being paid.
The drug scene was only the tip of the iceberg and I had only caught the gun dealer because they had wanted him out of the way. I knew then that I was dead. Why else would they give me all the details on their operations? Knowing that I was dead anyway I decided to stir the pot a bit. I told him that I had spoken to the "Feds" and that if I disappeared they would soon get involved. He just laughed telling me that they had no intention of killing me, that would be too easy. Intrigued I asked him what they intended to do with me.
He had great pleasure in telling me that I was to be framed for murder and that this would have me put on "death row." The Feds would then just dismiss my claims of corruption in our department. My only hope was that Boss would not believe that I could be a killer and would be able to help me. That hope was soon dashed when they led Boss into the room. He was handcuffed and had taken a severe beating. Chief Lassand then told me that I was going to murder him. He then took out a gun from a desk drawer and shot Boss. I couldn't believe that Boss was dead and that I was going to be framed for his murder.
Soon after I had seen Boss shot, I felt a prick on my neck and I was out like a light. When I next woke up I found myself in my own bed and it was 7.00 a.m. Maybe I had dreamed it all and Boss was alive, I had to know. When I turned on the TV the local news was on and I saw a picture of myself on screen. The story that followed let me know the truth, Boss was dead and I was being sought for questioning.
What could I do, if I turned myself in I was dead. Half the police in town were crooks and would ensure that I was tried and convicted of my friend's murder. The Mafia would also love to see me caught and convicted. My only chance was to go on the run, but where could I go people on both sides of the law would be looking for me. The one chance I had was to get out of my house and get to my mothers before anything else happened.
Luck was on my side as I was about to leave my house I heard the wail of sirens and knew that they were coming for me. I quickly ducked out my back door and went over the fence of my next door neighbor. I then went over the back fence and took off down the alleyway behind his house. Moving as quickly as I could and ensuring that I wasn't noticed I found myself around the corner from my mothers.
When I turned the corner, I found a police car was sitting in front of my mother's house. I couldn't go there without being caught. My only other hope was my Grandmothers house. I just hoped that she would help me. When I got there grandmother was worried about me, as she had seen the news story. Despite, my arrest for drugs and being kicked of the force she just knew that I wasn't a murderer.
When I asked her for help she was only too glad to help. She then suggested that my aunts would also be happy to help. I knew that my Aunt Stephanie was a psychologist and Aunt Samantha was a bioengineer, but what sort of help could they be. Grandmother asked me to sit down and to relax. She needed to tell me something before she helped me. She then told me that I was going to find out part of the reason why mother and I left her home all those years ago.
When she finished I just looked at her. Either grandmother was senile or she wanted to relax me before she did anything else. Why else would she tell me that fairy tale. When I next looked at her, my grandmother just looked at me with a strange look on her face. She then said "You don't believe me, do you Joseph? Well we are just going to have to prove it to you." I was really worried, grandmother really seemed to believe that my mother, her sisters and she had been born boys.
Maybe I had made a mistake coming to grandmother Julia's. I knew that she was old but I hadn't realized she was mentally unstable. I knew I had to get out of there but maybe I should get my Aunt Stephanie to look after her first. When I called Aunt Stephanie, she was only too glad to come over. After she arrived she told me everything was going to be all right and to relax. She told me she would take care of things.
I was relieved and decided to wait until after my Aunt had spoken to grandmother before I left. I was relaxing in the kitchen when Aunt Stephanie came in. She looked at me and said, "I'm glad you called me Joseph, mother was quite upset and is resting now." She then asked me why I was there. I told her that I was on the run from the police and was wanted for murder. She just laughed and asked me to tell her the real reason I was there.
It wasn't until after we saw another report on TV, that she believed me. Just like grandmother she didn't believe it. She also offered her help. The one thing she needed to do though was have me stay with my grandmother until she could get someone else here. I agreed and she left after saying that she would be back shortly. An hour later she was back and she had my mother with her.
Aunt Stephanie told me I didn't have to worry. She had explained to the police that she had come to get my mother because her mother was sick. They had believed it and had still been at my mother's when they left. Mother just hugged me and told me not to worry. Just as mother stopped hugging me, Aunt Stephanie jabbed me with a needle. When I woke up I was on a bed and my arms and legs were tied. I quickly looked around the room and they were all there. My mother, her sisters and my grandmother.
I screamed at them wanting to know why they had done this to me. Mother just looked at me and told me to calm down and shut up. I had never sworn at my mother before, but I was frantic. Then Aunt Stephanie held up a needle and I knew I would have to be quiet and listen to them.
Aunt Samantha then told me the same story that my grandmother had. When I tried to speak again my Aunt Stephanie held up the needle again. Knowing better I kept listening. Aunt Samantha continued the story. When she finished I was totally shocked. Were all my relatives cracked, they all thought that they had been male once. Whilst I had been in trouble before now I was in real trouble. These mad women had me at their mercy.
Knowing I had to get away, I pretended to believe them. Mother then started to untie my legs. It was going to work I thought. Oh how wrong I was, as mother was untying me, Aunt Stephanie had moved up and jabbed me again. I was waiting to black out again when I was told that it was not that sort of a drug. It was only going to stop me from moving. Mother then looked at me and with tears in her eyes said, "I wouldn't let them change you before Joseph, but it may be your only hope now. I just hope you'll understand in time."
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