stock-footage-silhouette-of-hand-with-gunI’m in my car heading downtown, towards the city harbor. It’s my last day on the job, my last night as a city detective. I’ve been a cop since the month before I turned twenty-one. It’s a job I loved, cherished, and despised at the same time. I’ve seen a lot of things, done a lot of things, and have been there when things have been done to others. Though tonight was going to be one of those few nights where I get to be the one doing the deed.

Tonight was the night I settled a score with an old enemy who’s been dogging me for ages; an enemy that just wouldn’t die.

I reached into my jacket pocket and took out my cop shield. I held it in my hand, feeling my thumb over the metal, taking warmth in the feel, before throwing it into the glove box; tonight was one night I knew I wouldn’t need it. I reached for my holster and took out my six-shooter – this was all the luck I knew I was going to need. I flipped open the chamber and glanced at the bullets resting inside. I’ve got additional ammo in case I ran out of these ones. I returned my gun to my holster and took stock of the situation as I continued to drive.

A little girl was missing tonight, had been missing going on two days now; the description of the mastermind behind her kidnapping matched the perp whom I was after. He’d even called less than ten minutes ago before I tore out of the station, describing to me exactly where he would be. He had a reason for taking the girl, and he knew that I knew too. His specialty was little girls. In the past couple of months, five of them had suffered despicable deaths; there was no way I was going to let another happen, even though I had less than an hour before midnight to still be carrying around my badge.

I arrived at the harbor and drove past the open gates. His phone call had told me to come by the east end of the jetty, where much of the buildings there were old, crumbling warehouses. As I got halfway close to it, I turned off my engine and decided to proceed cautiously on foot, my six-shooter drawn out.

All around the jetty was eerie quietness; in the distance came the sound of a ship’s foghorn. My feet made slight crunching sounds as I proceeded to investigate a large empty warehouse building that was in front of me.

A light inside the building suddenly came on and it focused downward on the little girl in a green dress, tied to a chair in the center of the building’s empty space. She looked up at me with teary eyes as I approached her slowly while eyes scanned the dark interior.

“Hi there, Abbie,” I called the girl by her name. “Is the bad man around?”

She nodded, too frightened to speak.

“Don’t worry, I’m with the good guys. I’m going to get you to your parents, I promise.”

At that moment, my body became still as I sensed something coming directly at me in the dark. I threw my head and my body to the left as I heard a swooping sound connect with my shoulder, making me cry out. I was lucky – if I hadn’t ducked in time, the piece of wood would have knocked me out completely. I aim my gun where the wood had appeared from but was too late as I felt it slam on my wrist, knocking the six-shooter off my hand. I couldn’t really make him out from the darkness in the room, but I knew it was him; his breathing felt loud in my ear. I threw myself against him and we both fell to the ground, grappling. I rammed a knee to his groin, heard him grunt, and followed it with a fist. I struck his jaw before prying the wood from his grip. I came to my feet and clubbed him with the wood, at the same time cursed at him.

“There you go, you bastard! How do you like it, eh! Hurts, don’t it!”

Each time I cursed, I swung the wood hard on his head, heard him cry out more. I could also hear the girl scream out, but at that moment, satisfying my rage was I wanted. I went in search of my gun and came back and shot him three times.

There was the sound of my heart beating fast, and a pressing ache in my shoulders and knuckles as I stood there letting my body return to calm. I dropped to my knees, took out a torch from my pocket and brought the light down on his face.

I stared gape-mouthed, the sound of my voice died in my throat as immediately I recognized whose face it was. Though I’d battered it to a pulp, it was still enough for me to recognize Simon – my son.

There I sat right next to my killer son’s dead body, crying, too weak to even move. Then I felt the little girl come and hug me. “Thank you,” she said, “thank you for rescuing me from the evil man.”

I hugged her back, sniffling back my tears, and said: “It’s all right, Abbie. You’re safe now.”

I picked her up and carried her to where I’d left my vehicle. I left my son’s remains for the rats and other tiny creatures in the building to feed upon.



One comment on “Frailty

  1. That’s really good, Phil, and powerful. Great twist.

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