Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Microstory 32: The Cop

There was a cop that I used to see, sitting in various speed traps, while I was out on my walks; the only exercise I would ever get.  We would speak for a few moments each time. I learned that he’d been on the job for the better part of a decade, had a son from a one-night stand, and was planning on proposing to his boyfriend. One day, I decided to walk straight east, towards Stateline, through a not-so-great neighborhood. Up ahead, I could see Officer Pender. Instead of sitting in his car, he was standing on the corner with his radar gun. I waved up to him, and as he smiled and waved back, I heard a pop from the left. Pender twisted a little from the force, but remained upright. A series of crackling noises followed; an automatic weapon sending him to the ground. A car screeched away and disappeared behind the hedges. I ran to Pender and reached out to him on instinct. It was obvious that many of the bullets landed in his vest, but there was still blood. At least a couple of them made contact. He was coughing and struggling to recover, and I tried to put pressure on the wounds but there were too many. I heard shuffling behind me. “Back away,” a man said. “This doesn’t involve you.” I could practically feel the gun pointed at my back while he continued to walk closer. I looked down to Officer Pender’s face. He was admiring the clouds sliding across the sky. He was losing too much blood, and the life was draining from him. I could only think that if I ran, he would die, and if I tried to talk the attacker down, I would be wasting precious time. The threat needed to be eliminated. Pender’s eyes darted over and met mine, as if he had heard my last thought. There was no time to argue. I pulled out his sidearm, spun around, and shot the attacker. He was close enough that it landed in his face. It was the first time I had fired a weapon, but it wasn’t my last. A year later, Officer Pender and I became partners.

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