Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)
By Lynda Lee Schab
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Carl glanced around nervously, searching for familiar faces; there were none, which wasn’t surprising since it was the middle of the night. He let out a sigh of relief, feeling his gut press against his tightening waist band. Carl thought back to his days in the academy when his abs were rock-hard and his biceps bulged around his shirt sleeves. Now, twenty years later, he was completely out of shape. Besides that, the lines around his eyes revealed his weariness and his gray hair evidence of the stress he dealt with every day.
It wasn’t easy being a cop.
That’s why he had come. He was tired. Tired of being the good guy. Tired of doing the right thing all the time. Just once, he wanted to break the rules.
Carl tried to push the guilt away. That past Sunday his pastor had spoken about doing the right thing, especially when no one was watching. And here he was, sneaking around like the criminals he put away every day.
Well, he was there now. He’d deal with the guilt later. His main concern at the moment was not getting caught. If he got busted...Carl shuddered at the thought. He didn't want to think about it.
Carl slowly and nonchalantly walked up to the Snitch, who slid the pictures across the table and gave a knowing smile. Carl noted something brown between his teeth.
“Pete,” Carl said with a nod.
Carl was usually the one asking the questions but today the Snitch would do the interrogating.
“Tall or short?” Pete asked, keeping his voice low.
“Black or white?”
“Okay,” said Pete. “That takes care of the basics. Look ‘em over and let me know which one. I’ll take care of it for you.” Pete sauntered away.
Carl rested his head in his hands. Did he really want to do this? If he gave Pete the OK, there would be no turning back. His eyes rested on one particular photo. That was the one. The one that had invaded his thoughts for the past two weeks. If Carl didn’t do it, he might go crazy! Breaking the rules would be worth preserving his sanity.
Carl motioned to Pete, who returned to the table. Beads of sweat formed above Carl’s lip as he pointed to the one. Pete nodded.
“Ya sure?” Pete asked.
This was his chance to back out. His last chance to do the right thing.
“I’m sure.” Carl slid the cash across the table and Pete scooped it up.
Ten minutes later, Carl leaned back in his chair. He felt guilty but satisfied with his decision.
Suddenly, Pete called out to him from across the room. “The Rose is blooming!”
Carl looked up and twisted his head toward the door. His wife, Rose! Carl turned and glared at Pete. Some snitch he was! He was supposed to keep an eye out for her car. Now it was too late. She was walking in the door and Carl was busted!
Rose furrowed her brow and marched over to where Carl was sitting.
“Carl Arthur Davis! What on <i>earth</i> are you doing here?”
“I – I just stopped to say hi to Pete, Hon.” Carl attempted a smile.
“Good try.” Rose reached out her finger and ran it across Carl’s chin. “And I suppose you’re going to tell me this is <i>spit</i> on your chin and not whipped cream, am I right?”
“Well…I…uh…” Carl knew he should have used that napkin!
Rose sighed. “Geesh, Carl, it hasn’t even been three weeks since you started that diet and you’re off sneaking out in the middle of the night. You aint gonna lose weight by eating chocolate donuts and drinking grande white chocolate lattes, ya know. It’s called <i>resisting temptation</i>. Didn’t ya hear the preacher on Sunday?”
Carl looked at Pete, who shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry, Carl.”
“You’re fired!” Carl said between clenched teeth to his Snitch as Rose pulled him toward the door.
His wife didn't understand. He resisting donut shops was like she resisting the mall. It just wasn't realistic!
Nope, it sure wasn't easy being a cop.
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