A new unfolding chapter in the dastardly scheme. Stiff gets the red tape-which is already rolled out for Zoie.

“Stiff, what the hell is going on?  I leave you alone for little more than a day and you’re getting yourself beaten up by a teenager!  A teenager, Stiff! A teenager!”

“I tried to reason… I thought she’d listen, not”—

“We told you not to interfere—to not even invite her on a voyage back to the apartment!  You’re not a psychologist, Stiff!”

“Sir, I did no such thing… I was merely offering my apologies…” Stiff staggered over to Zoie’s bed and leaned on it, grabbing a paper towel and wiping her face.  Her boss was still bristling with anger, but his eyes showed differently… was it excitement?  Perhaps… even happiness?  But no one noticed; all eyes were on Stiff’s miserable performance, and by the time she’d wiped her face, the moment was gone; her boss was staring coldly at her once more.  “Stiff, just…just go to a doctor…get yourself patched up…we’ll talk about this later.” 

“Yes sir,” muttered Stiff, dragging herself out of the room.  Walking down the hall, her brain went into overdrive.  She thought, what does he mean—we’ll talk about this later?  Surely there’s nothing worse than a firing that’s going to be handed out? And why didn’t he just do it right now?  He didn’t have any problems firing Roger or Jim in front of the whole police department.  And what about O’Brien?  That was genuinely shameful.  And then came another nasty, nagging thought; it’s because he thinks (or thought, added the snickering voice) you’re one “damn good officer,” and didn’t want you or him to be humiliated more than necessary. 

It was true; Stiff’s boss did seem to like her.  And why not?  She was cunning, smart, attractive (or so she observed—guys seemed to have a habit of flirting with her), an uncorrupt cop, an excellent, experienced driver, and dangerous and witty when it came to interrogation.  Nonetheless, it was undeniable; she’d had perhaps one too many slip-ups, but her positive personality and talent surpassed them.  Not tonight though, cackled the cynical voice again, you’re going to get what’s been coming to you for quite some time.  Smuggling the witness out of the hospital, letting her goad you into childish behavior, and then getting beat up by her.  No doubt; if it were me you’d sorely regret all of it, oh yes you would.  I’d kick you out myself—physically! I doubt your ass would ever feel—Stiff was so deeply in thought that she walked straight into Carter, who was running down the hall.  “Stiff,” he gasped, “Stiff, you can’t go to the hospital beforehand—Stevenson’s boss got hold of this and is already lining up to fire.  Get the girl, and go to that apartment—I’ll come with you—it’s the only way your job’s staying intact”—

“Drop it, Carter.”  Stiff was astonished at how calm she was.  “It’s over.  The criminals got away.  The FBI can’t trace ‘em, even with the city in lockdown mode we can’t find them.  My job’s finished.  You didn’t do anything wrong; you carry on with yours.  I failed, you survived.”  Stiff looked at Carter, an oddly calm look to her.  “It’s been an honor.”

And with that said, she proceeded to her office and awaited her doom, not even noticing three tall shadows scamper away out the passing windows.

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  • Lucky 7 on Mar 28, 2009

    Wow! Never read anything like it…

  • manya on Mar 29, 2009

    This is amazing!Initially I thought this is a part of some series that you have been writing for some time. By the time I finished, it stood out to be a brilliant stand-alone piece. But, then you can always write prequels and sequels to this one!

    Keep up the good work!


  • OhSugar on Mar 29, 2009

    This is a great, well-written story. The characters just came alive in the script. I think there should be a part-two, or another great short story.

  • Fresh Writing on Mar 29, 2009

    Hello all,

    First of all, I have to thank Lucky 7 for reading literally ALL of my work in ONE day. That alone I appreciate-thanks, Lucky 7!

    Second, thank you, Manya, for immediately responding to my comments and in return commenting on over 3 of my articles…thank you so much!

    And finally, OhSugar…for being the great friend that you are and always have been-thank you so much for continually commenting on my work and leaving me feedback. My greatest appreciation to all of you-thank you so much!

    Before I go, as I have a tight schedule today (for reasons I hardly know right now :D ), yes, it is sequel, or chapter, to something I have been working on for a very long period of time. The novel Coarse is a novella that I have been publishing here on Triond ever since I joined it around 2 months ago (emphasizing the idea that I have been working on it, and reediting, for over 2 and a half years by now).

    Thank you guys, and I am saying that with the greatest sincerity, for reading my work; there is no higher pleasure than waking up to 9 comments and a few messages regarding my work…thank you!


    -Fresh Writing

  • Luffy12 on Mar 30, 2009

    nice poem

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