Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled Serve and Protect. Please enjoy. Also, if you haven’t already checked out my FAQ on my upcoming book, Magic Once Removed, please check that out as well. Thanks again!
The officer pounded the white door. There was quite the lover’s tiff, to say the least, brewing inside. While the verbal barrage the two were exchanging was concerning he could have ignored it and continued his usual beat had that been it. However, when he heard the loud crash and a bang followed by some screams, he had to check it out.
His fist suddenly found itself striking air and the door’s sudden disappearance nearly made the officer fall forward. He was narrowly able to avoid tripping over his young greeter.
At his feet was a bright-eyed little boy who could barely reach the door. The boy looked at him with a befuddled look of consternation. He was old enough to recognize a police officer but naïve enough that he could not even begin to imagine why he was there. Surely, he and his parents had committed no crime.
Just above the boy’s head, the officer could see the living room where a young couple was arguing in front of a television that was displaying a movie that contained far too much graphic violence and sex for a child to see. Both were completely oblivious to the man at the door.
The officer placed his hands upon his knees as he leaned forward and down. “Thank you for opening the door, young man.”
Their squabble was intense and worrisome but it wasn’t exactly unlawful which meant he had no grounds to enter and had to remain at the door. It didn’t mean he couldn’t check-in and make sure everything was all right, though. “Excuse me.”
Their fierce argument raged and muffled the young man’s impotent attempt to get their attention.
Despite the young man’s more assertive and louder attempt, their quarrel continued to escalate.
His shout was not heard because the couple was shouting even louder as their vehemence toward each other had exponentially increased.
A little Pomeranian entered the room and walked toward the two. He jumped on the man’s ankle and licked the air in an apparent attempt to placate. The poor little dog was kicked aside. Anger filled the young police officer’s breast.
“Don’t do that to Timmy,” the little boy at the door said. He angrily marched to his father and kicked his shin.
“Ow!” his Dad screamed. “Get away from me, you little shit!” The man shoved his son with his foot and sent the little boy sprawling to the ground. After he recovered slightly from the shock, the little boy wailed.
The officer entered the home.
“How could you do that to your own son?” the woman justifiably shrieked. She shoved an index finger in her husband’s face as she continued to scold.
His expression grew cold and incensed. An intense rage burned in his eyes. Without uttering another word, he grabbed her by the shoulders. Fear entered the poor woman’s eyes briefly before she was slapped across the face with his left hand. She crumbled to the floor. While on her knees, she covered the ring-shaped gash on her left cheek just underneath her eye. Blood trickled from her hand. Tears flowed as she gave her beloved an accusing stare. The young officer sprang into action and dashed toward the husband. He dove at him and wrestled him to the ground.
“Who the hell are you?” the woman asked. The young officer announced his name and rank as he forced the husband’s arms and hands behind his back.
“Wha- the h-ll ar- yo- do-ng h-re?” the man’s demand was muffled by the carpet.
“Your son opened the door and I saw the whole thing,” the young officer explained. He began to recite the charge as well as his Miranda Rights.
Suddenly, the world went black.
It was just for a moment. The young officer awoke almost as quickly as he went unconscious. He was on his back. His stomach churned and his head throbbed. A blurry mass hovered over him. The young officer touched the right side of his skull with his hand. A sharp pain went down his spine which caused him to involuntarily jump and wince. Blood flowed from the laceration. After a long session of blinking, along with a lengthy period of moaning, he raised his head. With his vision improved and the world becoming clearer, he wanted to get a better look at his assailant and what she was holding in her hands.
“Get away from my husband, you fascist! You aren’t taking him away!”
The back of the young officer’s head hit the ground with a thunderous crash, which, incidentally, did little good for his concussion. He closed his eyes momentarily hoping to fade away to a different world.
“Unbelievable”, he thought to himself. He had rushed in to save the woman and as a reward she delivered a guitar to the side of the head. Not exactly treatment befit for a proverbial knight in shining armor. His eyes suddenly opened. The young officer had just become aware of a pain coming from his left ribs. It wasn’t severe but it sure was annoying especially as it was accompanied by a seemingly perpetual pounding noise. His body vibrated from every blow in approximately one-second intervals. He turned his head toward the source.
The little boy was kicking him.
“Leave my daddy alone!” he cried.
The young officer let out an exasperated sigh as he covered his face with his hand. His ankle felt a pinch. He didn’t want to look not that he needed to. The growling gave it away.
“That was my favorite acoustic guitar.” The police officer looked up and saw the husband chiding his wife as he vigorously rubbed his arms and wrists. If looks could kill, the woman’s stare would have dropped the man on then and there. His hands went to his chest and his palms were extended in a conciliatory fashion. “I meant to say, sorry for hitting you and thanks.” She nodded sternly.
The police officer had to escape. He rose to his hands and knees and started crawling toward the door. This did not stop the boy from kicking his left side nor did it stop the dog from biting his right ankle. As he crawled, he felt the couple’s derision and scorn as they hurled insults and derogatory pejoratives related to his race and profession. A couple of times he feared that the headstock, which was for all practical purposes all that remained of the guitar, would come crashing down on his head. Luckily for him, it didn’t.
Perhaps as vile as these people were they felt the young officer no longer posed a threat so they felt it was no longer moral to strike him. More likely, though, the couple knew murder, especially of a policeman, was a far worse crime than assault. Regardless, the young man did not care and was just happy he could flee avoiding further injury. When he arrived on their lawn, all attacks, verbal or otherwise, ceased. He passed out sprawled, partly due to the head wound and partly due to exhaustion. Recent events did not go as planned.
When he awoke and his head finally cleared, he found himself sitting on the couple’s curb with his head heavily bandaged. Another young officer he recognized stood above him and handed him a beverage in a Styrofoam cup.
“What the hell are you doing here, Peter?” the young officer asked.
“That’s quite the greeting to give your rescuer, Kelly.” Peter sat next to his companion.
“Yeah, all right, good point, sorry. Thanks, man.” He took a sip from the cup and nearly spit it out. “Coffee’s hot.”
“Yeah, I should have warned you.” Peter pointed at the bandage. “You took quite a blow to your head. I patched it up the best I could and an ambulance is on its way.”
Kelly pointed at the home with his thumb. “You have to go in there and arrest the couple. The husband’s guilty of spousal abuse while the wife is guilty of assaulting an officer, specifically, well, me.”
“Relax, we already got them, take a look.” Peter pointed at a couple of nearby patrol cars. One contained the husband and the other contained the wife. “Jenkins is inside with the child doing his best to console him while we wait for CPS to arrive.”
“How did you figure all of that out?”
“Stone cold logic, my dear Martinez. After a quick surveillance of the scene, specifically the broken guitar, the cut on the woman’s cheek, the angle of your head wound, I deduced exactly what happened. Now, do you see why I’ll be an incredible detective one day?”
Kelly stared at his friend with an unamused look on his face. He silently took another sip of his coffee. “Bullshit.”
Peter laughed. “All right, I confess. I’m full of crap.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.”
“You’re the one who told us all of this, don’t you remember? You radioed the precinct. Jenkins and I happened to be nearby, so we arrived on the scene to help you out. Man, you were really out of it, weren’t you?”
“Yeah, well, to be fair, I did suffer a pretty severe blow to the head.”
“Still think you should have remembered radioing it in.”
“All right, smart guy. Why don’t I give you a blow to the head so you can see what it’s like and then tell me if you still think I should have remembered radioing it in?”
Kelly raised his fist in a mock effort to punch his friend. In turn, Peter made a conciliatory gesture with his hands. The two shared a laugh.
“What do you think is going to happen now, Peter?”
“To the couple? Honestly, the wife will probably get off with a slap on the wrist, something related to temporary insanity due to the stress of being hit and the suddenness of your arrival.”
“And the husband?”
“The wife will probably bail him out of jail and won’t press charges. They’ll get the kid back from CPS, as the law is often reluctant to separate a child from his parents. The husband will be very kind to the woman out of gratitude the next few weeks, then he’ll fall back to the old pattern and the cycle will continue.”
“You’re probably right.” Kelly sighed. “Why do we do this, Peter?”
“What do you mean?”
“Being a police officer. What’s the point if it’s just a revolving door?”
Peter shook his head. “I don’t think we can look at it that way. We’re here to do our best to provide order to an otherwise chaotic world. Whether we’re always successful cannot even enter our minds.”
“I just want to help people.”
“And we do, we help a lot of people, just, we can’t help everyone especially when they don’t want to be helped.”
“Don’t worry, Kelly. We’re going to make a big difference in people’s lives one day if we haven’t already. I’m sure of it.”
“I wish I had your confidence.”
Before Peter could answer, a vehicle with the inscription “Child Protective Services” painted on the side arrived. “I suppose that’s our queue to get going.”
Peter rose and turned toward the home’s front door. “Hey, Jenkins! It’s time to get going!”
“I’ll be there in a moment!” the voice from the home said.
Peter patted his companion on the shoulder. “I’ll catch you around, Kelly.” He headed toward his car.
Kelly called out to his friend just before he opened his vehicle’s driver’s side door. “Hey, Peter.”
“Do you know what the worst part of all that was?”
Peter smirked. “Getting clonked on the head?”
“Not that, jerk. I love dogs. When he got kicked, I wanted to do nothing more than to cave that guy’s head in. Then the flea-bitten mutt bites me on the ankle.” He sighed. “I suppose that’s the price for those of us who truly want to serve and protect.”
To let people under the veil a bit, this is kind of a side story starring two characters from my upcoming book, Magic Once Removed It is a tale from their halcyon days. I think it’s enjoyable enough on its own but if it feels a bit incomplete, that’s why. Think of it as a “cut” scene. I hope you enjoyed it.
Anyway, as always, if you enjoyed this story, then perhaps you’d be interested in reading more by pressing the “short story” tag below or clicking this(short story) link or this(genre and tags) link or this(story list) link. I would also urge you to share this story with others and comment below. Please check out my books page as well by pressing here. Magic Once Removed will be available soon, so please check out the FAQ. Thank you for reading my story.Follow:
One thought on “Short Story Saturday: Serve and Protect”
Very good story. I thought I recognized the characters as I read that book. Very good background.