Milk Run  

Posted by Brock Booher

This short story was inspired by real events, well... sort of.

             Deputy Crawford sat in his cruiser with window open enjoying a ham sandwich and the warm spring night when his radio came to life.
            “Dispatch to Crawdaddy,” sang the radio.
            The diligent Deputy swallowed and picked up the mike. “This is Deputy Crawford. Go ahead.”
            “Your wife called Crawdaddy. She wants you to pick up some milk on the way home tonight.” Laughter echoed over the airwaves as the dispatcher held the microphone button down after making his transmission.
            “I would remind dispatch,” warned Deputy Crawford, “that county regulations do not allow for personal transmissions over official frequencies.”
            “Okay Crawdaddy, forget I told you to pick up some milk on the way home, but don’t ask me to explain to your wife how you came home empty handed when she has hungry mouths to feed.” More laughter.
            “I would also remind you to refer to me by my official title of ‘Deputy Crawford’ when you address me over the radio.”
            “Sure thing Crawdaddy.” Laughter erupted again.
            “Deputy Crawford out,” snarled Raymond Crawford, the newest deputy of Jessamine County.
            He polished off his sandwich and washed it down with his Coke. “I get no respect,” he mumbled to himself as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “They stuck me out here on this country road because of a bogus tip and tease me over the radio.” He spat out the window and shook his head. “No respect.”
            A black Camaro zipped past with the lights off.
            “What the devil!” Deputy Crawford flipped on his lights and brought the cruiser to life. He burned rubber as the tires connected with the asphalt as the black Camaro disappeared around the next bend. Deputy Crawford grinned at himself in the mirror. He loved a good chase. It reminded him of his days on the racetrack before his wife made him quit racing and get a real job. County regulations didn’t prohibit him from modifying his cruiser, and he had taken the liberty of upgrading and improving his machine. He was on the Camaro’s bumper in less than two minutes.
            The black Camaro pulled over and came to a stop. Deputy Crawford shined his spotlight on the license plate and ran a background check – nothing out of the ordinary. He tucked his ticket book under his arm and slipped from his cruiser, adjusted his belt, and kept one hand on his gun as he approached the vehicle. The black Camaro had the windows tinted, but the driver had turned on the dome light and rolled down the window. Deputy Crawford gave a sigh of relief when he saw the driver’s hands on the dashboard, but didn’t take his hand off of his gun.
            “Going a little fast ain’t we?” asked Deputy Crawford as he approached the open window and shined his flashlight at the driver.
            “Sorry officer, I was just trying to get home to my babies.” The woman’s voice was silky smooth and dripping with penance.
            Deputy Crawford gawked at the woman in the front seat. Her hair was blacker than the Camaro and her doe eyes were as brown as the leather seats. Her blouse seemed to be missing a few buttons. “Wh… wh… why such a hurry to get home to your babies?”
            She batted her eyelashes and shifted in her seat. “I’m breastfeeding twins and I’m about to pop.”
            Deputy Crawford swallowed and loosened his collar. “Twins? Uh… license and registration please, uh… ma’am.” He dropped the beam of the flashlight and shifted his focus to the car hoping she couldn’t see how flush his face was. He shined his flashlight along the smooth lines of the machine and tried to stay focused on doing his job. He loved fast cars – the sound of roaring engines, the smell of burning rubber, the feel of pushing the suspension to the limit in a turn. He shined his flashlight at the tires and wrinkled his brow.
            “Here you go officer,” said the woman as she handed him the requested papers. Her hands were reddish and rougher than he expected.
            He looked over the papers. “It says here you live in Madison County.”
            “Yes sir, out in the country all by myself, with my twin babies.”
            “Then what are you doing in Jessamine County going away from Madison County at a high rate of speed?”
            She sighed and adjusted her blouse. “You got me officer. I don’t have twins.” She smiled a devious smile. “I’m on my way to a little secret rendezvous and the excitement of it all made me drive a little too fast.” She winked. “You do know what its like to get… excited, don’t ya?”
            “Uh… yes ma’am,” replied Deputy Crawford as he pushed up the rim of his hat with his flashlight. He shined the light at the car. “You mind telling me why your car is setting so low on its suspension?”
            She leaned out the window letting her blouse open even more. “It looks fine to me.”
            “I’m going to need you to open the trunk,” said Deputy Crawford as he focused on the sleek lines of the Camaro.
            “The trunk? Why?”
            “I suspect that you are transporting beverages from unlicensed producers for sale on the black market.”
            Her face turned sour, and she buttoned up her blouse. “You got a warrant?”
            “Don’t need one. I pulled you over on a legitimate traffic stop and saw evidence of a crime. The law gives me the right to investigate.” Deputy Crawford shined his flashlight in her face and put his hand on his gun. “Now, open the trunk.”
            The driver shook her head, leaned forward, and popped the trunk. “See for yourself.”
            Deputy Crawford grinned when opened the trunk and shined his flashlight – the tip was right. The trunk was full of large mason jars packed in coolers of ice. It was the mother lode. He strode back to the front of the car. “Ma’am, I’m afraid I’m going to have ask you to step out of the vehicle.”
            “For that?” she said as she pointed her thumb at the rear of the vehicle. “That ain’t hurting nobody.”
            Deputy Crawford straightened himself up to his full height. “Kentucky Administrative Regulation 902 prohibits the transportation, or sale, of raw milk. I can see from your red hands that you do the milking yourself. On your way to Lexington to sell it to some unsuspecting city folks?”
            “Look Deputy, it’s milk for crying out loud. It ain’t like I’m running moonshine. It’s milk! You know, cow juice, moo-moo, crème de la crème – MILK!” She shook her head. “Don’t you have something more important to do, like catch REAL criminals?”
            “A criminal is someone that breaks the law. You are clearly in violation of Kentucky Administrative Regulation 902, and that makes you a criminal.”
            She shook her head. “Do you starch your own underwear or do you make your wife do it for you?”
            “Now just a minute…” Deputy Crawford stopped midsentence. He scratched his chin with butt of his flashlight. He grinned. “I believe that the regulation does allow you to share the milk with friends and family. You wouldn’t happen to be visiting family in Jessamine County would you?”
            The woman’s mouth fell open. “Uh… why yes, I am visiting my aunt Susie. She lives in Jessamine County. She loves my milk.”
            “That looks like a lot of milk for Aunt Susie. Do you think you could spare a little for a friend… in law enforcement?”

            When Deputy Crawford turned his cruiser down the lane to his house at the end of his shift, he had two mason jars full of ice cold cow juice on the back floorboard, each with the a thick layer of cream at the top.