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 The Criminal and the Cop

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Angelique Clark

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PostSubject: The Criminal and the Cop   Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:47 am

The Criminal and the Cop (Short Story)

It was half past eleven; the moon hung wearily in the foggy sky, almost as if considering giving up and falling to the earth. The hood of my rain coat was exposed to the weather outside, chilly brushes of rain pooled at my boots, like the stroke of a paint brush leaving its color behind. My head bent upwards, I felt the droplets of heaven’s tears gather in the creases of my forehead.

I dug my hands deeper into my coat, and at that moment, a strong wind blew and I was shoved towards the start of the lowliest dark alleyway. Blinking and attempting to turn, my eyes caught on the figure of a person. The standing silhouette flinched at the sound of my voice, and then it was gone. Deciding to rid my thoughts of the stranger, I swiveled on my heel and continued down the flooding block.

“Are you the cop that’s undercover?”

I thought my shoes came off as I jumped up with startle. The shadow in stance behind me loomed across the cracked cement.

“Pardon, sir?” I questioned, not looking over my shoulder.

The stranger chuckled. “I heard they’re looking for someone. Are you the cop in charge of hunting him down?”

My heart quickened as the man’s figure approached me from behind. I finally turned and in an instant, I knew who the darkly dressed criminal was. The town called him Shady, but no one really knew his birth name. In fact, no one, not even the squad, knew the sly criminal’s record and profile at all.

That’s what made him so dangerous.

“I am a police officer,“ I spoke with a building of thick anxiety, “but I’m not on duty… who are you?” I played dumb. That was something I was always good at.

“The name’s Shady; but it’s not my real name.” The black of his hair melted into his starlit surroundings, and the green eyes that captivated my movement shifted at his every word.

“Have you ever told anyone your name, Shady?” I countered, speaking braver than my heart allowed.
The man let out a snarled chuckle, then the air fell silent again. “No one.”

I nodded and ran a hand through my own hair, feeling the trickles of rain water change to that of a full-on storm. “Is there anyone to tell?”

“What’s that mean?” He took a small step forward; a length of only two inches.

“Do you have anyone to tell?”

The criminal’s eyes formed into slits and the pupils glowed with consideration. “My family’s all dead, I’ve killed most of the city folk, and cops like you just want me dead. That answer your question?”

I watched as his hands lowered to his coat pocket, most likely where a fatal weapon lurked beneath the fabric. His fingers twitched at the notice of me watching, and with a start, I darted my eyes up to his.

I’m having a five minute long conversation with the town’s most wanted criminal and psychopath.

“I’m not like the others.” My mouth told Shady.

Eyebrow raised, he pulled out the fatal weapon, and slid it towards me.

I pulled my gun at that exact moment. “Don’t mo-” My eyes went from his mixed emotion ones to the object displayed across his blood-stained hand. A pack of cigarettes. With a slight shake of my head, I pushed my hand gun away and peered up at the man. “I have orders, you know.”

“I thought I’d offer you your last smoke.” Shady explained, almost as if changing the subject.

Genuinely confused, I took a cigarette and asked, “What d’ya mean?”

He chuckled and lit our smokes. “Are you really doing this, officer?”

I stretched my brow. “Doing what?”

“Smoking with a wanted man who is charged with fourteen cases of murder?”

“You count?”

“What else can I do with my spare time? Hang out with friends?” He snorted sarcastically, leaning to one side.

I fell back onto my heels with comfort. “I may be the daftest officer on the squad, but I think I note regret in your voice, Shady.”

His eyes widened. “Regret? Are you kidding me? I’m a murderer. Once a murderer, always a murderer.”

“Perhaps not in this case.”

“How so?”

“You and I, see, we’re about as different as different gets. I’m for the law, and well, you’re obviously against it. I protect life, and you kill it. But you know something, Shady?”

“What’s that?”

“We both have potential. We both have chances; opportunities.”

He blinked and took a step back, stomping out his cigarette. “Hold on,” He coughed, “are you trying to give me… advice?”

Shrugging, I tossed my hardly touched light to the ground. “Maybe. Got a problem with that?” Again with the over confidence.

“I got a problem with everything.” Shady glared.

Another wind whipped through the dim-lit street, and as buckets more rain slipped from the clouds, the church bells chimed the stroke of midnight. There was definitely something special about the song of a bell; the sound of the vibrations. It almost left the listener with a yearning to rethink everything they’d ever done.

I opened my eyes after taking in a deep breath of dew, and found the shadow gone, the stranger scarce, and the criminal no longer looming over me. Flipping my head from side to side, I discovered his disappearance to be affirmative. Perhaps he decided his humble chat with the police officer was over.

With a husky sigh, I jammed my hands away into my jacket, and took brisk steps across the nooks in the sidewalk. Following each motion, I felt something different. I questioned myself repeatedly. Someone from the squad had been sent out to hunt down Shady under the statement of a DUI. Like always, the sly criminal had escaped again; and apparently was out to have smokes with cops.

At least, one smoke, with one cop, that being myself. The doubt that never left my mind was, “why had I let him go? Why had I given him a fifteenth chance in the first place?”

And the answer was always the same, “because this may have been his fifteenth chance, but he was never given a first.”

It was half past twelve, and the denim painted sky lurked with a mood above the station’s massive windows. Chief announced it in a clear voice; one that will be remembered for years to come. He announced the capture of Thomas Wilson. No one knew at first who this stranger was, but they became aware when Shady himself pledged guilty and although sent to death row, was forever known at Thomas Wilson, the criminal who spoke to the cop.

That cop, being me.
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Shea Ballard



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PostSubject: Re: The Criminal and the Cop   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:18 am

This is well written, Ace. Your skills are improving. You're story kept my attention. Just one problem: I need something to make me suspend disbelief. I can't buy this story as written. Why would a mass murderer have a chat with an off-duty cop? Why would he not just kill the narrator? Why would he pull out a pack of cigarettes instead of a gun? It doesn't make sense. In real life, the cop would be dead. Now I realize this is a story and not real life, but it has to be believable. You need to give me some reason to believe this would happen. It could be any number of things. Be creative. Invent something. Help me to suspend disbelief so I can enjoy your story. Otherwise, I think to most folks this will come off as overly idealistic and perhaps a bit naive.

Actually, just had an idea. What if the criminal had this discussion with the narrator-cop after he had been killed in a shoot-out with other officers? What the cop found out later she'd been talking to a ghost? Maybe he needed that talk in order to cross over. Then that would make it believable for me. He didn't kill her because he couldn't. He's no longer alive. But then you couldn't do the cigarette thing because how could a ghost have a pack of smokes?

Anyway, think about. The possibilities are endless. Give this mass murdered some motivation for his very odd behavior.
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Angelique Clark

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PostSubject: Re: The Criminal and the Cop   Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:20 am

Okay, thanks Shea.
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Shea Ballard



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PostSubject: Re: The Criminal and the Cop   Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:59 am

No problem, Ace. Glad I could help.
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