Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)
TITLE: A Good Man Who Had Enough
By Kimberly Curry
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Looking into his eyes, Heather felt the hopelessness, sadness, and dark rage within. Tears fell down a strong face, not wanting to do what he was doing, but unable to stop. “So this is what it’s like not to know God?” Heather wondered. By no means was she ‘super Christian’, in fact, she rarely went to church because most of the people seemed oblivious to the harsh realities of life, and that made her crazy. What she did do was read various translations of the Bible at least a couple times a week and talk with friends about what she got out of it. What exactly her Captain knew about God, she didn’t know, but based on the current situation, he didn’t seem to have a good handle on the hope He offered.
“Lord,” Heather silently prayed as if in a tunnel, “I can’t believe this situation, I don’t want to die right now, I don’t want my Captain to have that on his conscience, he is a good man. Please, Lord, all I can do is stand here, please bring this to a good end.”
“Captain, listen to me, you don’t want to do this. Put the gun down.” Heather heard her partner speak in a firm, calm voice.
“Of course I don’t want to do this, but what’s the point? We take one lowlife off the street and ten more replace that one. People doing hideous things to each other and it just keeps going on and on. The only way out is this. I don’t want to hurt you, Heather, but it’s going to come down to this anyway. I’m just getting you out sooner. I promise I’ll shoot to kill. You won’t suffer anymore.”
Heather thought she was going to faint. She had too much she wanted to do before she went Home, like taking more lowlifes off the street that replaced the ones already gone.
“Captain, I’m not ready to leave. The choice isn’t yours or even mine. It’s God’s choice.”
“Hah,” the Captain laughed incredulously, “God? I used to believe in him or her or it, but apparently God either doesn’t care or he thinks life on earth is just an on-going TV show.” He started laughing again, shaking his head and the gun along with him. Suddenly, he was on his side on the floor with three detectives on him, two who were holding firmly to the hand that held the gun.
“Captain, let go of the gun, it’s alright,” one of the detectives assured. The Captain’s sorrow was heartbreaking, as he let go of the gun and curled into a fetal position.
Later that evening, she and her partner sat at their favorite bar, sipping beers they really didn’t taste, waiting for an update on their Captain.
“Heather, you ok?” her partner asked gently for the tenth time.
“I’m ok, Max.” She promised for the tenth time. Another sip of beer.
“Talk to me,” Max encouraged.
Heather stared out the window into the city night, watching the light from the cars and streetlights glow in varying degrees.
A cell phone vibrated on the table and Max answered.
He nodded, said “Thanks” and turned to Heather.
“The hospital says he had a reaction to some meds he was taking. He’ll be alright.”
“Thank God, literally,” Heather breathed. Smiling, she looked over at her partner. “Thanks to you too. For being there for me, like always.”
“Always,” he smiled back.
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