Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)
TITLE: "Lady Phantom"
By Sara Harricharan
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Police Detective Todd Williams stood the corner to answer his cell phone. Other officers shuffled to their feet, jostling slightly for the doorway, talking as they went.
He snapped the phone shut a moment later, jamming it hard into the holder as his partner caught up with him.
“Trouble at home?”
Todd scowled, more like war at home. “You try convincing your youngest daughter that she's throwing her life away!”
Father, please watch out for Caitlin. I can’t stand to see her throwing away everything you’ve given her.
Pushing all home thoughts to a corner of his mind, he changed the subject. “What do you think of this ‘phantom’?”
Jason shrugged. “I just hope we don’t run into her here.”
Todd managed a smile that faded as the lights in the building went out. “Come again?”
Jason shifted uneasily. “The generators should kick in…right?”
A dark feeling worked it’s way into Todd’s mind, traveling down to his stomach. He grimaced in the dark. “I don’t know.”
Father, whatever is going on here, please be with us and protect everyone in this building.
The quick prayer did not bring the peace that Todd had hoped for. Jason clicked on a flashlight, shining it up and down the hall. It was empty.
Everything had grown startlingly silent in the mere seconds since the lights had gone out. A rustle, then a click.
A prickling sensation started at his fingertips, working its way up to his shoulders, Todd couldn’t shrug it off. “Jason?”
A red dot wiggled on his chest and he almost took a step backwards. He swallowed.
Father, now would be a good time to-
“Well, well…police detective Williams.” The familiar, distorted voice sounded mocking.
“Hello Dalton.” Todd managed.
“You surprise me, Williams. I expected better from you. Guess we’re all human after all.”
“What do you want?”
The next few moments happened in slow motion for Todd. He watched helplessly as Dalton pulled the trigger. Remembering that he’d forgotten his bulletproof vest that afternoon. He was going to die.
It took seconds for that realization to register, as a feeling of complete, perfect peace settled over him. Christ’s perfect peace. Inevitably, a smile touched his lips.
In the same instant, a shadowy red blur streaked in front between him and Dalton. He saw the figure jerk from the bullet’s impact. Dalton yelled, then screamed crumpling to the floor.
The red blur landed in a little heap on the floor. A red motorcycle suit. Matching helmet. No black billowing jacket.
Jason was the first to move, shining the light on an unconscious Dalton. “Taser.” He reported, grabbing his cuffs from the back pocket. “That who I think it is?”
“If you’re thinking the lady phantom, you may be right.” Todd stood beside the figure, as it reached one hand upwards to the helmet.
Rising gracefully to her feet, she reached to her left shoulder, plucking something from it that she dropped on the floor as the lights clicked on.
Temporarily blinded by the brightness, Todd didn’t expect the phantom to be there when his eyes adjusted.
For that reason, he did a double take at the young woman standing in front of him, helmet tucked under one arm.
Familiar sandy-brown hair, green-blue eyes staring straight at him. “Still think I’m wasting my life, Dad?”
Todd swallowed, frantically searching for the right words, to be surprised when Caitlin suddenly leaned over and hugged him tight. “Your bulletproof vest is over there. You left it in the house this morning. I’ve been tracking you all over town just to give it to you. I kept feeling like you needed me all of a sudden.”
Voices sounded from the ends of the halls and she slipped the helmet on again. “Love you dad. Take care.”
Todd smiled, blinking away a sudden tear. “Love you too, Cait. Be careful.”
She didn’t answer, running down the opposite corner. He smiled at a bewildered Jason, sending a thank you upwards.
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