I thought some of you might be interested in reading one of my short stories.
“He was not the type to carefully consider his options.” Jake said quietly as he looked at the battered body. Spent cartridges littered the ground around his feet.
“Nah, he could be dumb as a rock sometimes,” his partner Jim answered. “Well, I guess we’re done here. You gonna tell his wife?”
“Yeah, I’ll take care of it, you can go on home.”
Jake stood quietly surveying the scene. Even a tough old cop doesn’t often see such violence. He couldn’t see a spot on the body that had not taken several violent blows. Carefully scanning the broken remains, he counted at least five bullet holes.
Finally, as the others started cleaning up, he turned and walked to his car. He drove slowly trying to think of a way to break the news. There just wasn’t a nice way to say it. It was a horrible act of unbridled violence. How can something like that be explained to a sweet lady like Rose?
Turning onto Winchester Street, he could see the pretty little bungalow near the end of the block. It looked so peaceful and homey. The big maple tree stood guard in front with its leaves gently fluttering in the breeze. The white picket fence seemed designed to welcome a man in, not to keep him out. And right from his car he could smell those beautiful roses climbing over the porch railing.
Groaning as he eased himself out of the car, Jake wished he could have stopped for a couple of shots of liquid courage first. But he couldn’t do that to poor Rose, she was too close to him. His ex-partner’s wife had helped him through many difficult times. He couldn’t get drunk before telling her the whole story.
Jake knocked on the door and prayed that she wasn’t home. The sharp clicks of her shoes on the hardwood floor told him his prayer was not to be answered this time.
“Hi Jake!” was all Rose managed to say before she realized that something was terribly wrong.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” She asked as her lovely face clouded with concern. “Did something happen to Bill?”
“Can I come in Rose?” Jake asked. “I have to talk to you.”
“Of course, come in, but tell me what’s wrong.”
Jake walked slowly to the overstuffed easy chair next to the fireplace and eased his tired body into its accepting softness.
“Sit down Rose,” he said, motioning to the matching chair on the other side.
Rose perched on the edge of the chair, much too tense to enjoy the soft cushions.
“Well Rose, it’s about Bill. He won’t be coming home tonight. There was an unfortunate incident in the parking lot outside the station today. Bill had just finished his shift and walked out to his car to drive home. You know, he had a really hard day today. Ever since he was transferred into that street gang unit, he’s struggled, but today was especially bad.”
Rose nodded in silence as tears formed in the corners of her eyes waiting for, yet fearing, the message Jake was trying to deliver.
“He just sat there in the car for a while and some of the guys stopped to see if something was wrong. But he told them everything was fine and they left. Finally, he tried to start the car.
“When he turned the key, nothing happened. He might have left his lights on this morning or maybe the battery just died. It was no big thing but, you know, Bill had been strained to the limit already. He got out of the car and walked over to where they’re building the addition to the station. He picked up a length of pipe and walked back to the car.
“Then it got spooky. He just stood there by the car smiling kind of a satisfied smile. Looked like he had just finished Christmas dinner. Then, Wham! He slammed that pipe into the car and slammed it again and again, till there wasn’t a single spot left that hadn’t taken three or four good cracks.
“Things were still OK at that point. I could have brought him home for a little rest and everything would have been fine. But when he emptied the entire clip of his weapon into the old clunker, we had to take him in. Even a cop can’t go shooting things up in the city.
“He’ll be home in the morning and he’ll be spending a little more time at home with you for a while.”