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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)

TITLE: The Line of Fire
By Jesus Puppy


The Line of Fire..

Brian Jenkins sat in the back row of the parish church, tears streaming down his face. He wept bitterly in a mix of guilt, shame, and remorse-- the confusion that wracked his soul. Visions of a child that lay bleeding at his feet, killed by his own hand.

Losing his wife the week before, as she took their only child and left without a word, had added to the stress of the week. Working nights had put a strain on his life, but the job itself had caused the greater struggle in his marriage, and she simply had enough of the worry. Not knowing if one morning he would not come home, killed on the street by violent crossfire.

"Why can't you have a normal job?" His wife had always argued how his line of work would one day get him killed. "Always skulking around with cut-throat or worse."

"It is what I am," was his only defense. "You knew that when you married me."

Now, to be haunted by his own actions, driven mad by the blood on his hands. As he drove away from the church, he knew what he had to do. Even when told not to, Brian felt the responsibility to deal with his mistake was his alone.

It had been near midnight as they walked down a darkened alley-way, checking the backs of jewelry shops. Normally it was a quiet stroll, just checking for that all-so-easy entrance in the night. His buddy had seen something from the shadows and always leery of security giving away their location, they slid back into the darkness to wait.

Seconds crawled by like hours, as a deeper shadow moved in the dark. The muffled sound of footsteps as someone ran from the back of a store. Shots were fired in their direction as his partner stepped out to block their path. His own gun rose in response. At the end of the alley another form moved, a hand raised, and Brian reacted without thought.

Now, the pain of his reaction, to live with the taking of a life.

"The hazzards of our line of work," his partner had said when things had settled down. The words brought no comfort to his pain.

As Brian pulled up the drive to a small run-down house, paint chipped and pealing from need of better management, he could still see the child's body as though it had just happened. His tears blurred his vision as he walked up the steps to the door, but they could not wash the sight from his mind. Slowly, he knocked, and seemed to wait an eternity for the woman's reply before he spoke.

"Mrs. Carver?" he said softly through the door, "My name is Detective Jenkins. I need to speak with you about your son."

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This article has been read 1107 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Haug10/20/06
Oh, the pain! I could feel it. Opens our eyes to the struggles police officers go through - in their private lives and in their line of work.
Lynda Schultz 10/22/06
I recently heard of a friend a rookie cop who had responded to a call that almost required him to shoot his gun for the first time in his career. He was thanking God that at the last minute, his sargeant arrived and solved the problem with a tazer. It's a terrible responsibility for a human being to bear. Thanks for doing such a good job in showing us that.
Marilyn Schnepp 10/23/06
Hopefully this Entry is fictional - but it does happen, and you wrote it in such a beautiful manner; Loved your story, and it touched me to the core. Great Job!
Kaylee Blake 10/23/06
Very realistic. Great descriptions of the emotions of the officer. I loved how the title realted to the story. Keep up the good work.
Betty Castleberry10/23/06
Very thoughtfully written. I had a good idea of how the policeman felt. Just one teeny thing: I believe you meant "paint chipped and *peeling* ", instead of *pealing*, which refers to the ringing of a bell.
All in all, very good!
Jan Ackerson 10/23/06
I like this a lot--the emotions are very real, and you've created a very sympathetic character. Since you asked, I'll point out "hazards" is spelled with one "z".

Great job on this one!
william price10/23/06
You tell a good story. Nice job. God bless.
Sharlyn Guthrie10/23/06
You expressed the inner struggle and deep emotions of the police officer well. What a sad story! But your telling of it was expertly done.
Cassie Memmer10/23/06
Though painful, this is very good writing. Something we perhaps never think about, but many police probably live with such hard things daily. Good job!
Ruth Neilson10/23/06
I feel for that cop. At least, he's going to go and talk to the family--that's a hard thing to do.
Sara Harricharan 10/24/06
Very deep, drew the reader in, carrying an emotional impact. Sad-but good.
Just a tip-maybe in the first paragraph use present tense?
Lynda Lee Schab 10/25/06
This was a great angle on "police." You've touched on a very real issue that police face in a sensitive way. You drew me right in to Brian's world and made me feel his pain. Nice work.
Valora Otis10/25/06
This piece was written by one who knows the pain of loss well. It was so realistic that it pained me to read it. Well done and bless you for digging so deep and sharing so much. The story was smooth and believable. Bless you!
dub W10/25/06
A story of pain, well told, and too true.
Valora Otis10/25/06
I need to clarify my comment above. "It pained me to read it." What I meant was, that it was so well written that I felt the charaters pain. Wonderful writing Pup!