Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Late For Work

Assignment; Short story on man attacking a police officer while his vehicle is being towed.

When Alex woke the day began like many previous mornings; hitting snooze once then grabbing his bag and heading to the gym. After a quick shower and coffee he jumped into his truck just as the skies opened and biting rain drove hard against his wind-shield. “Well, no matter”, thought Alex, “it is a fitting way to begin November”.
He flipped to his favorite radio station and backed out of the driveway.
‘looks like the rain is here to stay today’ said a jaunty voice, so let’s hear you call in with some of your favorite rainy day songs’ then, as they filled in with a commercial, Alex flipped to the local news station. Simultaneously he felt, heard and saw something hit the side of his truck. Coming to a screeching stop he jammed the truck into park and jumped out.
A Mennonite woman, eyes wild with fear was trying to calm her spooked horse.
“Whoa there, easy there”, she cried, and the horse reared again while she pulled back with all her might.
“Take it easy now” Alex approached the horse, noting there were no visible injuries. He still wasn’t sure what happened but the horse slowly was settling down a little, sensing that whatever startled him seemed to be over.
‘Hello’, Alex turned to the woman dressed in traditional Mennonite dark coat. She was drenched and her teeth were chattering as she tried to answer.
“Are you okay?” asked Alex.
“I think so”, she nodded.  “Your truck mirror hit the side of my buggy. There’s no shoulder on this road and I couldn’t get off to the side any farther without running off the road.”
“The rain was coming down so hard that I never saw you at all”, said Alex. The sound of sirens caught their attention. Obviously someone had already notified the police. Two cruisers topped the hill, slowing suddenly at the sight of them. Turning on their flashers they pulled over.

Both officers, Alex noticed immediately, were young enough to be his sons. With chests puffed out they strutted over with the authority that only a uniform and gun could boast.
Approaching Alex first they asked what happened and Alex told them all he could remember. “May I see your driver’s license and registration please?” something about his cockiness rubbed Alex the wrong way but the more he co-operated the sooner he would be less late for work. He handed it over and one officer returned to his car to run them through the system. The other officer was speaking to the lady. Alex sat in his truck feeling sorry for the woman, thankful that no one was hurt, but at the same time feeling his frustration level escalate as he realized this was taking much too long. The officer tapped on his window.
Sir, he said, I need you to step into my car for a little bit”.
“I don’t understand” said Alex. The young cop replied, “That’s okay, you just do what I say and there will be no trouble” Now this guy was really getting on his nerves! “I hate to tell you that I’ve called a tow-truck” the officer continued, “but there are some unpaid parking fines and you do not have your ownership signed. Also, your sticker on your plate is not valid though a quick check confirms you have paid for them.
So, what’s the real problem?” asked Alex.
“The real problem, mister, is that you almost killed a horse and a woman!”(a horse and women that had proceeded on their way some time ago) This young whipper-snapper cop really irritated him, especially the faint smirk as if he was sort of bored and looking to see how far he could push him under the guise of Professional Manners’.
Alex wasn’t sure if it was the way he emphasized Mister or if it was his two-bit strut but something suddenly seized him and he grabbed the officer by the scruff of his uniform. The officer, taken completely off-guard scrambled to grab his gun but Alex’s years at the gym were no match for Young Whipper-Snapper. Suddenly Whipper-Snapper’s training kicked in as well as his partner and the next thing Alex knew he was looking at the ground from beneath one officer’s knee while the other officer cuffed him and read him his rights. He turned his head in time to see the wheels of his truck go by as the tow truck pulled away…

He was definitely going to be late for work.

© Janet Martin

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