Jack Corella awoke to the sound of his alarm. He hit the off button and rolled over to go back to sleep, but then thought better of it. He vaguely remembered hitting the snooze button once before. He looked at the time. It was seven o’clock. He sat up and swung his legs over the bed. Jack rubbed his eyes and stretched his back before reaching for a pack of smokes. He opened the flip-top box to retrieve one—it was empty. “Oh yea.” He thought. He was supposed to be quitting. He crumpled up the empty pack and threw it at the trashcan, missing it by several feet. Jack got up and went to the shower.
He was finally dressed and ready to go. It was a quarter to eight, he better hurry. He strapped on his gun and ran out the door and almost ran into one of his neighbors. “Oh! Sorry,” Jack said.
“That’s okay,” she said. It was Shawna. She lived upstairs above Jack She was a tall red head with a fabulous figure, and the tight red shirt and blue jeans only added to her appeal. Her blue eyes sparkled even in the dimmest of light. A nice woman too.
“Are you just getting in?” Jack said.
“Yes, it was a busy day at the club,” she said.
“Well, I uh . . . I need to go” Jack said, jabbing his thumb towards the door.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You must be going to work.”
“Yep, another day fighting crime. But I’ll see ya around.”
She said good bye and walked up the stairs to her apartment. He watched her until she was out of sight then let out a sigh. He never knew what to say to her. One of these days he would ask her out. How is it he can chase a drug dealer down an alley, but was afraid to ask a beautiful woman to dinner? Jack shook his head. He spun on his heel and left the apartment building.
Pulling his keys from his pocket he slid one into the door of his car, then realized the window was broken. “Crap!” he said. “Not again.” He brushed the broken glass off the seat and jumped in. The radio was missing. He started the car and sped off to work, cutting someone off. They cursed and swore at him, honking their horn. He paid no attention. Stopping at a gas station he picked up some more smokes. He was late for work.
“Screw it. They should be used to it by now. If they fire me it will be a blessing.”
Jack had been on the force for ten years, but lately it didn’t have the same appeal to him as it did in the beginning. He was tired of busting the same criminals over and over again just so they could be let free a few days later.
Jack pulled into the station and went inside.
“Corella! You’re late again damn it!” Said the Chief.
“Sorry Chief.” He really wasn’t.
“Sorry my ass! One more time and your on traffic duty! The FBI is here. Their gonna help with your case and they need to see your report. They’ve been waiting since seven. You got ten minutes to get it together and be in my office.” The Chief stormed back to his office and slammed the door, rattling the glass in its frame.
Jack went back to his desk and began gathering his reports. There had been two bank robberies in L. A. in the past week. Now the Feds were going to get involved and Corella was supposed to assist them. He cursed himself again for forgetting about the meeting.
“Hey, Corella, you look like shit.” Jack looked up to see Billy. He and Jack were good friends, joined the academy together. They used to be partners, but Billy took a bullet in the leg and it never healed right. He walked with a slight limp and was now stuck at a desk. Billy ran his fingers through his short brown hair, and took a seat on the corner of Jack’s desk. “And that’s a compliment.” He continued. “What the hell did you do last night anyway?”
“Drank myself sick,” Jack said. “I’m tired of this B.S., Billy. I gotta find a new job.”
“You need to get a girl friend. What happened to that red head you told me about?”
“Nothing, I haven’t asked her out yet.”
“Wuss. You better do it before someone else does. Here comes the Chief, I’ll talk to you later.” Billy hopped up and walked to his own desk.
“Corella! Times up, get in here!” Said the Chief.
Jack grabbed the rest of his stuff and went to the Chief’s office. Two Fed’s were in there waiting. They were both of average height with short brown hair, and both wore black suits. The only difference between the two was their faces. One had a round face with a slightly squished nose, the other with an oval face with a long nose and pointed chin. The Chief started as soon as Jack closed the door behind him.
“This is agent Jefferson,” the one with a pointed chin nodded, “and agent Doyle. Gentlemen this is Jack Corella. He’s been following the case since it started. Show them what you got Corella.”
“Not much really. The first robbery was one week ago, the other four days ago. There are four of them, three males and one female. They wear black clothes and masks.
One caries a shotgun and the others carry pistols, one of which is a 9mm. We found bullet casings for the 9mm at both robberies, all came from the same weapon.”
“How long were they in the banks?” Doyle asked.
“No more than two minutes,” answered Jack. “They only robbed the tellers, leaving the vault alone.”
Jefferson spoke for the first time. “The FBI will take it from here. Thank you Mr. Corella that will be all for now.”
“Just like that I’m off the case?” Jack said.
“The FBI handles bank robberies, Mr. Corella. If we need your assistance we’ll ask you for it,” Jefferson said.
Jack was about to protest, but the look the Chief gave him made him think better of it. He turned and left the office.
Jack sat at his desk, going over the file of the robberies. There was no report of a getaway car. “That was strange,” he thought. “Maybe that’s how they got away so easily. There are more places to hide in this city if you’re on foot rather than in a car.” Still, it was strange. Jack decided to check back records for any similar robberies. It took most of the day and he came up with nothing.
“Hey, Corella?” Jack turned to see a female officer approach him. It was Joann Flemming. A great gal, but married. Her blonde hair was in a ponytail and bobbed up and down as she walked. Joann always had a bounce in her step that cheered up anyone in the room. She was taller that most women and slender. A lot of guys on the force teased her when she first arrived. They thought her slender frame would hold her back. But within her first week on the job she took down a 300-pound man by herself. The teasing stopped. “I got a report on a stolen vehicle,” she continued. “Want to go?”
Jack looked at the paper work on his desk, then looked back at her. “Sure, what the hell.”
A half -hour later they arrived at the address, an old rundown house just outside central L. A. Jack knocked on the door. The door opened a little, and a round, bearded face peered through. “Yea? What do ya want?”
“I’m detective Flemming and this is detective Corella from the L. A. P. D. You reported a car stolen?”
“It was a van. What the hell took you so long? I reported it this morning.”
“Sorry, but your van is not the only vehicle stolen in this city,” said Flemming. “Do you want us to come in and take a report or not?”
“All right.” The man opened the door the rest of the way, revealing his large beer gut, covered only by a sweaty T-shirt and boxers that didn’t cover as much flesh as they should. He sat down in an old chair and finished off a beer.
“At what time was your vehicle stolen?” Said Flemming
“I think it was last night. I heard noises outside about nine-thirty, but I didn’t think anything about it. I went outside this morning to get the paper and my van was gone.” He let out a long, noisy burp then cracked open another beer.
“What’s the color, make and year?”
“It’s a blue, seventy-nine chevy. I just put new tires on the damn thing.”
“Is there anything else you can tell us?”
The man finished another beer. “No, that’s all.”
“We’ll keep an eye out for it and let you know if we find it.”
The detectives left the house. Joann asked Jack if he wanted to get something to eat, but he declined. It was five o’clock and he was tired. She dropped him off at the station so he could get his car. From there he drove to the liquor store and picked up a six pack, then drove home. He was going to lock the car door, then remembered he had no window. He went into the apartment building and stopped at the mailboxes, opening his up—all bills. The door to the apartment building opened and he turned to see Shawna coming in. Behind her walked a woman and two men. The woman was blonde and, despite wearing too much blue eye makeup, was attractive. Her shirt fit tightly, pushing her breasts up and covering very little. The first guy had long black hair that hung past his shoulders and a teardrop tattooed under his right eye. The second guy lifted his right hand and ran his fingers through his hair as he walked past, so Jack didn’t get a good look at his face. He dressed well and had short dark brown hair combed straight back. A gold ring adorned his middle finger.
Jack said “Hi” to Shawna, but she ignored him and went up the stairs to her apartment. One of the men must be her boyfriend. “Figures,” he thought “Billy was right, I waited too long.” He went into his own apartment, a bit depressed now. Jack put the beers in the fridge and took off his firearm, hanging it on the back of a chair. He made himself a sandwich and took a beer out of the fridge, then sat in front of the television. An old movie was on. He’d seen it a million times, but figured one more time wouldn’t hurt. He finished his sandwich, then pulled a cigarette from his pocket, lighting it with a match. He was only half watching the movie. His mind was on Shawna. In all the time he had known her, he had never seen her bring a man home. It’s too bad he missed his chance. He was still thinking about her when he went to bed.
Jack entered the station at seven o’clock the next morning. The Chief threatening to put him on traffic duty worked. He went straight to his desk to finish the paper work from the night before. He wanted to get everything out of the way in case some leads came in about the robberies. Just before lunch he got his check, it’s a good thing, his rent was due. He decided to stop at the bank and cash his check before getting something to eat.
The line in front of the teller was long and he hoped he would have time to get some lunch before he went back to the station. He thought about coming back later and turned to leave. As he turned around four people dressed in black and wearing masks entered the bank.
“This is a robbery! Everyone on the floor!” One of them said, firing two shots into the air.
Everyone lay flat on the ground, including Jack. There were too many people in
the bank for him to draw his weapon, someone might get hurt. Two of the robbers were men and the other two were women. One of the women and one of the men jumped behind the counter, instructing the tellers to open the drawers. The remaining two watched over the rest of the people in the bank. Jack was looking at the woman. He could tell she was nervous. When she looked back at him, her eyes widened ever so slightly. She stared at him for just a moment, then turned her attention back to the other two robbers. They got their loot and were heading for the door. “Let’s go!” shouted one of the men. They all backed out of the bank. As soon as they were out the door Jack jumped to his feet and drew his gun. He ran out the door after them. Just down the street they were running for a van.
“Police, stop or I’ll shoot!” shouted Jack
One of the robbers turned and started shooting. Jack flung the door of the nearest car open and jumped inside it. Bullets slammed into the car’s door and hood and shattered the windshield. Jack returned fire, hitting the robber in the chest. He fell to the ground, letting off two more shots into the air as he fell. The other crooks jumped into the van and sped off. Several seconds later the police showed up. Jack went over to the crook he shot and pulled off the mask. He jumped back at seeing who it was. The man had long black hair and a teardrop tattoo under his right eye. He thought back to last night, when Shawna came home. This man was with her. Could she be involved? No, that had to be a coincidence.
“You know this man?” Agent Jefferson had come up behind him.
“Uh, no . . .no I don’t,” said Jack. “I haven’t checked for ID.”
Jefferson stared at him for a moment. Then said, “I want a report about what happened here in one hour.”
Jack nodded his head and turned back to the bank. There was a man yelling about his car. Jack looked at the car he had dove into during the shoot out. What once was a beautiful red corvette was now littered with bullet holes and had a shattered windshield. Jack turned to go back to his car when he kicked something. Looking down he saw a book of matches. The front cover was facing up and read: “Kitty Cat Club” in bright pink letters. Jack picked it up with a tissue. Under the cover was written a phone number.
“What’s that?” asked Jefferson
“A book of matches. It may have fallen from the dead guy.”
“That’s ridiculous. This man doesn’t smoke.”
“How do you know?”
“He doesn’t have any cigarettes. Why would he carry matches if he doesn’t smoke?”
“It was laying right next to him it may…”
“Corella, this is not your investigation.” Jefferson snatched the matches from Jack with a gloved hand. “Quit screwing around and get me that report I asked for. And get out of the way before I tell your chief your hindering an investigation!” Jefferson stalked off, throwing the matches into a trashcan.
“What’s wrong with that bastard?” thought Jack. He waited until the agent wasn’t looking and retrieved the matches from the trash, putting them into his pocket. A report came back that the getaway vehicle had been found abandoned several blocks away in an
alley. Jack went to confirm that it was the same van. Sure enough, it was. The van matched the description of the stolen van given to him and Joann the night before. An officer was checking the plates to be sure.
The robbers had gotten away so there was nothing else for Jack to do but go back to the station and make out his report. He made sure it was complete, leaving out the part about the woman robber looking at and him recognizing the dead guy, and turned it in to the Chief.
He had enough for one day. It was late and he wanted to go home, but he had to do one more thing. He took the matches out of his pocket and wrote down the number off the inside cover. Then he took it to the crime lab to have it tested for prints. It was a long shot, but you never knew what could happen. He left the station and hopped into his car. He decided to make a stop before going home.
The Kitty Cat Club was a strip joint on the west side of L. A. The same place where Shawna worked. It was ten o’clock when he pulled into the parking lot. He paid the cover charge and went in, taking a seat towards the back near the bar. The place was pretty crowded and it took a while for his drink to arrive. About that time Shawna was up on stage. She was a good dancer and Jack was mesmerized by her. “Damn she’s incredible.” He thought. Apparently everyone else did too, when she was done she got a standing ovation. Jack thought he might buy her a drink as soon as she came out to mingle with the customers. He spotted her a few minutes later, but she was talking to some guy at the other end of the room. He sat and watched them. The conversation was getting very heated. He couldn’t hear what they said, but the guy had a hold of her arm and she was shaking her head. Jack recognized the man as one of the two he saw last
night with Shawna. She nodded her head once and yanked her arm away from him, then turned and stormed out of the room.
Jack waited a couple more hours, but she never came back. He was tired so he left, thinking he would ask her some questions later. Jack got back into his car and headed home.
The next morning Jack was late again. But the chief must not have noticed because he didn’t say anything. A set of fingerprints was found in the van from the robbery last night. The Fed’s were nowhere to be found so Jack decided to follow up on the lead. The prints belonged to a woman named Salena Jackson. As of yet she wasn’t a suspect, just wanted for questioning. Jack got her address from the police files and went to her last known address. She lived about three blocks away from where the van was stolen.
Jack walked up to the door and knocked, the door opened a little at the force from his knuckles. “Hello? Anybody home?” He asked. No answer, he pushed the door open the rest of the way so he could see inside. The house looked ransacked. Jack drew his weapon. “Hello?” he shouted. “L. A. P. D. anybody home?” Jack went in. The house was trashed, the table was turned over, pictures on the floor and cushions torn open. He checked each room, finding them empty, then moved to the master bedroom. The door was open only a crack and it looked like it had been kicked in. Jack took a deep breath, and pushed the door open. This room was trashed too and on the bed lay a woman, the sheets stained red. Her blonde hair was soaked red and her blue eye makeup was smudged, as if she had cried and wiped her eyes. He checked her pulse even though he knew she was dead. Jack went into the living room and called the station. Homicide arrived in minutes, along with the Feds.
“What the hell are you doing here, Corella?” Said Jefferson. “This is a federal case, your not supposed to be here.”
“I got the report about the prints and you weren’t around so I came to ask her a few questions,” said Jack.
“Why didn’t you call for back up?” asked Jefferson
“I don’t need back up to ask a woman questions.”
“From what I been hearing about you, I think you do.”
“You son of a…!” Jack punched Jefferson in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. A couple officers grabbed Jack and pulled him back.
“Back off Corella!” shouted agent Doyle.
“Your in a heap of shit now, Corella!” shouted Jefferson, getting up off the floor holding his sore jaw. “You can be sure your Chief is going to hear about this! Kiss your job goodbye!”
Jack turned and left the house. He was right; the Chief would probably suspend him. Maybe he could get out of here before the Chief got word. It would buy him some time on the case. He pulled his keys from his pocket, and just as he slid the key into the ignition an officer stepped out of his vehicle, radio still in his hand.
“Hey, Corella!” shouted an officer. “The Chief wants you back at the station, pronto!”
Jack started his car and went back to the station. The Chief was waiting for him. “In my office, Corella.” Once in his office the Chief slammed the door shut behind them. The glass rattled in its frame.
“One of these days that glass is going to fall out,” said Jack.
The Chief got right to the point. “What the hell gives you the right to strike another officer, and not just an officer, a federal agent!”
“He deserved it, Chief. The guy’s a jerk.”
“So are you, Corella. But nobody has knocked you on your ass—yet! As of now you are on suspension until further notice. Turn over your badge and side arm and get the hell out of my office.”
Jack placed his pistol and badge on the Chiefs desk and left. He could use the time off, but now wasn’t the right time. He had to find out how Shawna was mixed up in this whole mess. He stopped at his locker and got his spare pistol, a .45 magnum, and left the station. He was going to visit Shawna; it was time he asked her some questions.
Jack arrived at his apartment building and went straight to Shawna’s door. He was about to knock when he noticed that the door had been forced open. His heart pounded in his chest. He pulled out his pistol and loaded a bullet in the chamber, then put his ear to the door and listened. He could hear sounds coming from inside. Slowly he pushed the door open. The noise was coming from a back bedroom. Jack quietly walked over to the doorway and peeked in. He could see a figure moving around. “Don’t move, police!” he shouted, pointing his gun at the intruder. The intruder shot a few rounds as Jack jumped behind a wall. Plaster scattered with each hit. Jack returned fire at the intruder, but missed. The intruder jumped out the window onto the fire escape, firing at Jack again. The bullets slammed into the wall again. Jack ran to the fire escape. The intruder was nowhere to be seen. Jack cursed himself for letting him get away. He looked
around the apartment. Shawna wasn’t there. That was a relief, he was afraid he would find her dead.
Jack went back to his own apartment to think things through. There was no point in calling the police, he would just get into more trouble. He pulled his keys from his pocket and slid one into the lock. The door opened without much force. Someone was in his apartment too! He slowly pushed the door open and listened, nothing. He slowly walked over to the bedroom and when he got closer he could hear someone in his bathroom. He stood next to the door against the wall. Suddenly the door flung open and someone stepped out. “Freeze!” shouted Jack, pointing his gut at their head. The woman screamed and leaped back. Jack quickly put down his weapon when he saw who it was. Shawna stood against the wall in a towel, her hair dripping wet. “Shawna! What are you doing here?”
“I’m sorry Jack, I had nowhere else to go.” She put her face in her hands and began to sob. “Please help me, Jack.”
“All right, all right. I will, just calm down. Come sit down and I’ll get you some thing to drink.” After a few minutes, and a few drinks, he got her to calm down. Then she told him her story.
“It started about three months ago. A friend and I borrowed some money from this guy, Greg Wellings. He’s the owner of the Kitty Cat Club. We needed it for a real-estate deal.”
“How much did you barrow?” Said Jack.
“One hundred and fifty thousand. But the deal fell through and we couldn’t pay it back. Greg let us dance at the club to pay it off, that’s why I was dancing there. But apparently Greg borrowed the money from someone else and that guy wanted his money back. Greg thought of a plan to get the money.”
“Right. Greg said he would kill us if we didn’t help. I swear we had no choice. When the third robbery went bad and Tony got killed…”
“Tony?” Said Jack.
“Yea. Tony was the one you shot. He was a friend of Greg’s. After he got killed, Salena and I told Greg we weren’t going to help him rob banks anymore. He said he would kill us but we didn’t care, we could get killed anyway. Salena and I split. It was getting way too crazy. I think she is dead, because I can’t get a hold of her, and when I got home someone was in my apartment. This was the only place I could think to hide.”
“Salena is dead,” said Jack. “I found her earlier today.”
“Oh God.” Shawna buried her face in her palms and cried again. Jack gave her a few minutes before continuing. He felt for Shawna, but had to get some answers if he was going to help her.
“Who was this friend of Greg’s that loaned him the money?”
“I don’t know, I never saw him, but Greg said he must be some kind of government employee. He told Greg what banks to hit and when to do it.” She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Now that I think of it, I remember Greg talking to him on the phone once. He called the guy “Jay”. I think it was a nickname.”
Jack thought for a moment, trying to think of anybody it might be. How could this guy know where to strike? Unless he was an employee of one of the banks, but then how did he get information about the other banks? The only agency that had anything to do with all the banks was the FBI, and that was only …robberies! It hit Jack all at once, he knew who Greg’s connection was. It was Jefferson! That’s why Jefferson had an attitude about Jack being on the case. Without Jack snooping around he could control every aspect of the investigation. He could get any information on any bank he wanted. Jay was actually “J” for Jefferson. “I think I know who Greg’s connection is,” said Jack. “You stay here, I gotta go back to the station.” Jack got up and walked to the door.
“Jack?” said Shawna. Jack turned around. “Thanks, I owe you one.”
“How about dinner when this is all over?”
Shawna smiled. “I thought you would never ask.” Jack smiled back at her and went out the door.
Jack arrived at the station and went over to Billy’s desk. Billy was sitting there as usual. “Billy, I need you to do me a favor,” said Jack.
“Hey, Jack, I heard you got suspended?” asked Billy.
“Yea, I did, that’s why I need a favor.”
“Sure, anything to get away from this desk.”
“Go down to the lab and pick-up the results on a match book, I had it tested for prints, and meet me at the chiefs office.”
“You got it.” Billy left for the lab and Jack went to the Chief’s office.
Jack knocked on the Chief’s door and walked in. The Chief looked up. “Jack, I was just getting ready to call you. Billy tells me you have a neighbor who dances at the Kitty Cat Club. It turns out the dead dancer is a friend of hers. We tried to call her but there was no answer. Do you know where she might be?”
“She’s at my place, chief, but she’s not the one you want. She told me everything she knew and I know who is behind the robberies. It’s agent Jefferson.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Shawna told me that her boss, Greg, threatened to kill her and Salena Jackson if they didn’t help him get the money. He owed the money to some other guy who told him what banks to hit and when. Who else could know that but a federal agent.”
“How can you prove this?”
“Billy is bringing me a report on a set of prints. I found a book of matches by the bank robber I shot. Agent Jefferson didn’t want me to have those matches, he threw them away. This explains why he has been pushing me out of this case.”
“Jack, agent Jefferson didn’t push you off the case, it was agent Doyle. And he couldn’t have been apart of the robberies. He has been a guest at my house since he arrived. And, furthermore, he’s not here anymore. He flew back to Washington this after noon to begin work on another case.”
“Shawna told me this guy goes by the nickname “Jay”. It’s the first letter of Jefferson’s name. It has to be him.”
Billy came in the office and handed Jack the report. Jack opened it up and looked at it.
“Well, who’s prints are they?” asked the chief, impatiently. “Are they Jefferson’s?”
“No,” said Jack. “They belong to a J. S. Doyle. The photo is screwed up. What’s agent Doyle’s first name?”
The Chief searched threw the pile of papers on his desk until he found the one he was looking for. “His first name is Jason. Jay is short for Jason.”
“Where is agent Doyle now?” asked Jack.
“He went over to the Kitty Cat Club to look for your dancer,” said the Chief. “Billy, get a couple black-and-whites over to the Kitty Cat Club and meet me out front, we’re gon'na have a talk with agent Doyle.”
“You got it Chief.” Billy left to do as he was ordered, excited to do some real police work for a change.
“Jack, get back to your apartment and keep an eye on that dancer of yours. We may need her as a witness.” The Chief went to meet Billy out front and Jack went back to his apartment.
He walked in and closed the door behind him. “Shawna, are you still here?” he yelled.
“I’m right here, Jack.” Shawna stood in the kitchen doorway. There was fear in her eyes.
“What’s wrong?” said Jack.
Shawna was pushed forward and Doyle stepped out of the kitchen, a gun at Shawna’s back. Jack reached for his gun.
“Don’t even think about it, Jack! Throw your gun to the floor,” said Doyle.
Jack paused for a moment, not wanting to give up his weapon.
“Do it and I put a bullet into her back!” He shoved the muzzle of the pistol in Shawna’s back and she winced in pain. Jack threw his gun down and kicked it across the floor.
“So, how much did she tell you, Jack? Did she tell you everything? I was this close to being rich, but you couldn’t keep your nose out of federal business. No, you had to keep prying.”
The phone rang and everyone jumped. It rang three times, then the answering machine picked it up. A voice came over the speaker. “Jack, it’s the chief. We just found Greg Wellings dead. Doyle is nowhere to be found. You better bring Shawna to the station as soon as you get in.” The chief hung up.
“Everyone’s on to you, Doyle. Give it up,” said Jack.
Doyle laughed. “They don’t know where I am. Now I just get rid of you two and they won’t have a case.” Doyle pulled back the hammer on his pistol and pointed it at Jack. “Good-bye, sucker.”
Shawna grabbed a hold of Doyle’s arm and bit into it. Doyle screamed and dropped the pistol. He grabbed her hair with his other hand yanked her back, then smacked her across the face, knocking her to the ground. He bent down to pick up his gun, but Jack was already there. He kicked the gun away and kneed Doyle in the face. He tried to punch him in the gut, but Doyle blocked it and punched Jack instead. Jack keeled over and Doyle kicked him. Jack caught his foot and tripped Doyle. Doyle kicked Jack, knocking him into a chair, and got to his feet. Jack ran over and tackled him. They both fell to the floor. They exchanged a few punches, and then Doyle kneed Jack in the groin and pushed him off of him. Doyle searched on the floor for his gun. Both men got to their feet at the same time. When Doyle turned to face Jack he was holding his revolver.
“It’s all over, Jack!”
Jack jumped behind his couch just as Doyle pulled the trigger. The bullet struck Jack in the left shoulder and he hit the floor hard. Jack pulled himself across the floor to get to where he last saw his gun, between the couch and the chair. He got there just as Doyle moved around the couch. The gun was gone!
“Tough break, Corella.” Mocked Doyle.
He pointed his gun at Jack. A shot rang out and Doyle flew back against the wall. Another shot and Doyle slid to the floor. Jack turned too see Shawna lowering the gun. She dropped it and ran to Jack.
“Are you O.K.?” Shawna said.
Jack winced as Shawna helped him sit up.
“Yea, I’m O.K.” Jack couldn’t help but glance at Doyle, half expecting him to get up again like in a movie. But Doyle lay against the wall not breathing and Jack relaxed.
“You better be all right, now you owe me dinner,” said Shawna.
She kissed him before he could reply.
The door slammed open. Billy stood in the doorway, his gun pointed in front of him.
“Just us three,” said Jack. “I think he is dead.”
Billy walked over to Doyle and checked his pulse. The Chief and several other officers walked in behind him.
“He’s gone.” Said Billy. He looked back at Doyle. “Nice shooting, Jack.”
“It wasn’t me. Shawna shot him,” said Jack. “She saved my life.”
“Send the paramedics up,” said the Chief. “Ma’am, you’re going to have to come down to the station to make a statement. Just to fill in some gaps.”
“Am I going to jail for the robberies?” Said Shawna.
“I don’t think so. You were an unwilling participant. I am sure the Feds will cut you a deal.”
The paramedics came in and put Jack on a stretcher. The Chief stopped them before they could take him out.
“Good work, Jack. I’ve reinstated you. As soon as you are released from the hospital you can get your badge and sidearm back.”
“Thanks, Chief, but as soon as I get out I have a date . . . then I’m taking a vacation.”
BIO: Darell Diedrich is a graduate student at Northern Arizona University, where he instructs students in English and Creative Writing courses.