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    Home » Articles » Shorties » Short stories

    Three gunshots

     I’m an official policewoman. Or, not exactly a police officer. Profiler. Twenty-six years old, but a trained, experienced, young professional in my job. However, I’m not either happy nor satisfied. Just on the contrary. My life has just been ruined.

     Until these days I lived almost a dream life. I have a small, two-story house in the quiet, hidden, peaceful part of the downtown. I’ve been living in a merry, perfect marriage, for seven years now. And this sweet, persistent, clear love was just about to be strengthened by a new family member – I was pregnant.

     But one and a half years ago everything has changed.

     There happened an extremely cruel case, just  few cities further – about four hundred, four hundred and twenty kilometers away from the city where I’ve been living. A young girl’s – about my age – corpse was found in a swampy territory. At that time a lot of rain fell, it was a warm spring, and the rivers flooded. That territory was under water for quite some time, until the local authorities decided to drain it. That was when the body was found.

     The girl had been there for some time, we could saw it on her advanced decomposition. Somebody buried her before spring arrived, as she wasn’t lying so deep – the frozen, hard soil couldn’t be dig well. Our coroner determined that the girl was pregnant – she was in the third month, when somebody killed her. In her body some remnants of medicines and reagents were found, which led us to the fact that maybe she would have liked to keep her baby in secret, and miscarry, before anyone could have found it out.

     Strangulation marks, and silhouettes of fingers darkened on her neck. Little under the stains was a big, rough cut. Her lips and fingertips were still a bit blue. The drugs didn’t have an effect on her, she died by the lack of oxygen. Her carotid artery had been cut later. It could be seen from the fact that her bleeding may not have been so intense, with the discoloration of her lips and fingertips, and the stains on her neck.

     I went to the location, I’ve been told what we were facing, and I could go round examining. I shot some photos, then went back to my office. I asked for all the photos taken from the traces, details, and everything else that the colleagues had in the labors, under examination. I built up the perpetrator’s profile in two days. Not long after the police found him. I didn’t enter the examination room, but I was here on the outside, I heard him admitting everything. What was between him and the victim, what led him to kill her, and what did he do after the murder. The dirty bastard… The disgusting grin on his face, while he was talking about how saint he was. His girlfriend killed their baby, so he killed her girlfriend "because that bitch deserved it”. What a pity, this wasn’t the truth. The chemicals she swallowed neutralized each other, or a very little amount of them left behind, so the baby would have survived…if the mother wouldn’t have been murdered.

     I got sick as I listened to and saw him trough the mirror-covered window on the wall of the examination room. I preferred to kill him instantly with my service gun. I regret that I didn’t do it at that time. I regret it…so much…

     As the guards led him out of the room and he stared at me while he passed by…the lot of  hatred and contempt radiating from his eyes…

     - What are looking at? Do you want to deserve the same, bitch – he hissed at me -? Watch out, that may happen to you, too!

     I had to attend the trial, as a profiler working on the case. I met him again. He radiated the same hatred, contempt and disgust for me. It almost burned my skin. The luscious grin as he admitted the homicide…

     He had an older brother, who was present in court, too. But at time I didn’t know it. I learned it too late…too late…

     After the perpetrator went in jail, his brother visited him whenever he could. I didn’t know, couldn’t have known that they were planning something. After closing the investigation and the lawsuit I threw the folder to the closed cases. but I shouldn’t have done it… I shouldn’t have…

     Not long after, strange things started to happen around me. I am not, I was never paranoid. Yet, I felt that somebody follows and watches me. I knew it. But I didn’t dare to tell anybody immediately. Only when it has become clear. Only when I really started to worry.

     About a year ago me and my husband decided that after all the time we spent together, it was time to get a child. Eight months ago we started to visit doctors in this case, to learn more, clear the things, and to do it as safely as we can. Four months ago I got sick at my work in the morning. Of course, we could have said that was because of our current case. it was really disgusting and bloody. Some of the freshmen ran out to the restroom to vomit. Though, it was strange that nothing similar has ever happened to me.

     Two days after I bought a pregnancy test. The result was positive. It was obvious that my love and me became really happy. Because of that, I paid less attention to my follower, who, by the time made it so clear that he or she wants something from me.

     From the first mute calls from unknown numbers became appearing and vanishing silhouettes, cars and shadows.

     Besides, a new serial killer showed up. In line he killed the young women at my age, always in the same intervals. All the scenes he left a trace, that seemingly were just for me to notice. A trace only I know what can be connected to. A cut like the one on the neck of the girl from the swamp, traces of smothering, or the murder of a pregnant girl. No matter what he did, who did he kill, or how he did it. The point is that he always left a message for me.

     It all began about the time we started to visit the doctors. About eight months ago. One time, when I was sitting in the waiting room, I realized that yes, each murder is a message for me – perhaps, you’ll be the next one. In each case there was something similar to the girl in the swamp, one and a half years ago. The solved, thrown-away folder.

     Naturally, by that time my colleagues and superiors learned about my follower. They tried to help me, to protect me, but still – the plenty of murders and messages still continued, growing bigger and bigger. I started to feel that I’m not safe anywhere. They followed me everywhere – now it was not only my "secret admirer”, but they were federal agents, a few friends and colleagues often showing up around me. Everybody wanted to protect me on their own way. My husband, who was a policeman too, repeated continuously this ain’t be good, this ain’t be good. I should not go out even from the house, not to the scenes. He hardly let me go to my workplace, to the safe office, too. Each morning he said goodbye like it was the last time we woke together. He was always afraid that once somebody attacks, catches and kills me. He was always afraid of this. Oh, how, he should not fear for me… Not for me…

     About three months ago my colleagues helped to identify the unknown serial killer. He was the brother of the man whom I sent to prison, one and a half years ago. The swampy case.

     Only one thing left: how to capture him. We knew he wanted me. We knew that sooner or later, he’ll get me. So that we planned a trap to get him. A planned murder.

     A young girl, as old as me was the "victim”, who was similar to me. Of course, she was not dead, it was only us who organized everything to seem like a crime scene. The plan was that we go out to the scene. Somehow I leave the group and seemingly be alone, in order to raise the attention of my follower, who, with a high chance, will be there and watch me. As soon as he shows up and tries to get me, a group of police officers appears, surrounds and makes him harmless. All this sounded to be a perfect plan. Plus, my husband got the task to find at least ten of his precisely targeting, confident and good subalterns.

     On the planned day, in the morning, as usual, he waked first. But now, he didn’t go down to make some coffee, he didn’t sit in front of the TV, he didn’t even leave the room, he did nothing at all. Only lied in front of me, watched as I was sleeping, and awaited my wake. Then he pulled me close to him, gave a kiss on my forehead and whispered this:

     - I love you. You two are the most important for me. But I’m so afraid. You see, I’m a police officer for ten years. Actually, more than ten years. I met lots of murderers, thieves, dangerous criminals. However, I never was afraid. Never ever in my life. But today, I am. I am afraid, that I lose you. I am afraid that I will never see you again.

     - Don’t worry. There won’t be any problems. – I promised, though I also had a bit of misgiving.

     I will never see you again…never see you again…I’m afraid…I’m afraid… His words still hunt me, I wake with this, I fall asleep with this, I wake with this from my nightmares. How I wish it would never have happened…never have happened…

     Everything went well. in the beginning. The investigation looked successful, the man really showed up. He tried to be invisible, tried to vanish, not to be noticed by us. He was sure from his succeeding. Just as we were sure in our succeeding. I pulled the zip of my thin jacket, but only until it covered my holster, still I could pull my gun out easily and fast, if needed. Everybody’s at their place, the action started. I walk around for a few minutes, then I start to take photos. Seemingly I sink in my work, like I knew nothing. I know now I am the bait, the little mouse, yet I try to move closer to the colleagues, who should be hiding somewhere near, and await me with the stranger.

     - Excuse me – says a voice to me -! Could you please help me, ma’am? I’m a journalist, and…

     This moment my heart beats so heavily, only one idea bolted trough my brain. There were journalists, photographers, but all of them were our men, without a uniform, in alter ego. Each of them knew their task, and short before they were besides the leader of the action. Who called me must be only him.

     I lift my visage from the ground, turn towards the man, who was standing behind my back.

     - Yes?

     - I would need some help.

     - How can I help you?

     - You know, here’s this little thingy, that I found here – he says while pushing his hand in his pocket.

     I have a feeling that he wants to pull out a pistol. I too, reach under my jacket, just as I would like to get a tissue, or a pair of gloves, still my hand reaches for my gun.

     - Wait a minute, show, let me see it! – say I, stepping closer.

     this turns out to be a fatal error. The man pulls out his weapon and points that right at me. I stare into the dark, dreadful pipe. I froze. Never has anyone ever pointed a gun at me.

     - My brother was sent to jail because of you, you stupid goose! He hung himself because of you! Do you remember his face, you dirty little bitch? – he asks approaching me.

     In his hand the gun stands still motionless, rigidly. Now I do feel that I will die. With my child under my heart. And now I cannot be saved. Nobody’s here to protect me. I’m helpless.

     - No no! Just pull hour hand out of there, mama! There ain’t be just one pistol, and it will be me, who fires it. I will take care that you will never send any more people behind the bars!

     I stand mute, numb. My eyes got teary from the fear. Only one thought is in my head: Never ever will I see my husband again.

     Now I notice that somebody gets closer to us from the team, behind the back of the man.

     - Excuse me madam – he says.

     Though he wears a cap and lowers his head, I immediately recognize him from his voice. He is the best friend of my husband, and one of his colleagues. So it’s clear they had some ideas. But now what about my husband?

     The trick works, the man turns around to see who’s coming. He pushes his hand holding the pistol into his pocket, but leaves it ready. I take advantage of the opportunity, pull out my pistol and try to aim. Still, as he hears the noise, my attacker pulls his own gun and shoots towards my colleague, who, doesn’t get injured, but tries to divert attention from me. I still try to aim, when somebody runs towards me and shouts my name. My husband. My Lord, please, leave him intact!

     The stranger turns to me again, lifts the gun and aims.

     - Now you die, little bitch! I do it for you, brother! – he cries and pulls the trigger.

     In the very same moment a body gets in front of me, another gun fires. Both men collapse. The attacker, with a bullet in his forehead, is dead. My husband falls in front of my, dying. He’s shot on his chest.

     - An ambulance, right now! Help – I cry out as I collapse next to him.

     I try to treat him well, but my feelings are stronger. I pull him in my lap, calling his name.

     - My love! Look at me! Please, look at me! Hold on, the ambulance is here in no time! Please!

     - Don’t be afraid. I love you. I love you so much. You are my everything. Please, find somebody for yourself, who loves you like me, and raise the little one! Love the baby for me, too! Please!

     His eyes usually shining so bright and happily, now his visage gets blurry, slowly he would close his long, dark eyelashes, but I don’t let him.  I can’t let him. I talk to him, almost shouting, I try to keep his attention and soul. I only comprehend that somewhere sirens vail, tearing up the so long soundless place’s silence. Vibrating lights, shouts. Someone pulls me up from the ground. My clothes are mere blood. In my one hand, a Beretta, within only one bullet. Only one bullet that I should fire in time. If I shot the gun, maybe he could still live. If I fire it in time…in time…he could still live…he could still…

     Litter, surgeons, ambulance. Sirens, shouts. Smell of hospital. Antibacterial. What I always hated. Adult people try to make me talk meaningful phrases, but they can’t. Neither can I answer, nor can I understand what they are talking about. All my thoughts are about the other ambulance, which rushed in front of us.

     They took him into the operating room immediately. Me, after examination, they made me sit on the corridor. My husband’s colleague, who tried to interrupt, gets here right now. He sits next to me. He’s silent, listening. He knows that now I wouldn’t be able to respond. He takes my hand in his, and squeezes it. I lower my head on his shoulder; silent sob breaks up from me. If I fire it in time…he could still…if in time…

     Not so later a surgeon step out of the operating room. Opens up the door, and two others push out a bed. I can’t see nothing on it. Or yes, something’s there. Or somebody. But it’s totally covered with a white sheet. My God, please, give me that it’s not him! Please give me that they made me sat next to a wrong operating room! Please give me that they changed the patient! My God!

     I stand up silent, crying. The people stop. Around me silence, grief and sorrow. It is almost solid. The time seems to stop because of me. In this very poignant minute. I know who is under the sheet. I know that all my previous life ruins if I lift the sheet. But I must have a look. For a last time, I must see…I must see his face…I must see…

     I pull the sheet from him. He’s so peaceful. Like he was only sleeping.

     - I’m sorry – says a doctor.

     I’m sorry. It’s so dry now. So apathetic. Almost an everyday sentence in our lives. Our previous lives. Now only in my life.

     - My condolescences.

     - Please, don’t - I disclaim politely.

     Now I need silence. A little silence to calm down. I little silence to stop the time, turn it back, make everything into nothing, to not happened events, like it occurred never…But it can’t be…it can’t…

     He lies here, in front of me, his body is still warm, soft, but lifeless. His heart beats no more. As much I can, I embrace him. My clothes are already bloody, it doesn’t count if I get more dirty. I will throw out this shirt any way. As soon as I can. Never ever could I even just think about it, as it’s my love’s blood drying on it. Oh, how it would be my blood…or the blood of that bastard… But his blood was swallowed by the ground, it’s been soaked in the dry soil and only a big, red stain left behind. Only a red stain…only a stain…a red stain…

     I started sobbing quietly. My body was soundlessly trembling from the weight of each teardrop. The pain resting on me now started to become more and more unbearable, now, when I commenced to understand what was happening around me. Yet I didn’t want to comprehend that he’s not anymore, he has died, he had been shot. All this because of my fault. If I hadn’t gone that way…if I hadn’t talked to him…if I had immediately pulled the trigger… He could be still alive. But now all this was four months ago. Four long, cruel months ago.

     After the burial I wasn’t willing to go out from home. I didn’t go to work. I didn’t go shopping. I put the receiver away, I turned my cell phone off. I didn’t pull the curtains, the doors were closed, I opened them for no one. As I ate very little, the spare food lasted relatively long. For three weeks. Then I had to break the ice. One day my colleague and kindest friend came to visit me. A big basket was in her hands. I struggled to open the door, after letting her shouting her for me for an hour. It took me an hour to get up from the ground, clear the teardrops from my face and gain enough power to step to the door and open it. As soon as I saw her I bursted out in crying. She dropped the basket and hit me on the face.

     - Are you normal? What the hell are you doing? Just think about your baby, you idiot!

     Yes. That was needed to wake me up. I didn’t really think about it as I was so submerged in the lethargy and depression. A though was wandering in my brain; why do I need this kid if I can’t raise it on my own. I wouldn’t work. It’s his child. It would make me remember about him trough all my life, about that horrifying day, what I could never forgive for myself. That I didn’t pull the trigger. And how would my own child look at me, what would say about me, if he or she asked me: mommy, do I have a father, too? What would I say? I couldn’t even look into their eyes. If it doesn’t have a father, why would I have a child? but finally I convinced myself. The slap and the manner of my friend talking to me, that she didn’t pity, she wasn’t sorry, but he wanted to make me stand on my own two feet. She woke me up. She opened my eyes.

     Four months after the horrifying day I went back to a doctor, to have my baby checked. The doctor said bad news. As I starve, cried and felt sorry so much, the baby’s conditions were very bad. It couldn’t flourish well. If it borns and stays alive, there’s a low chance that the baby will be so healthy. The doctor ordered me to take a lot of vitamins, medicines, food-supplements. He told me to stay in bed and relax a lot, live without stress. My friend moved to me temporarily and looked after me 24/7, in order I won’t commit anything serious. I was still against the baby. Right now, I’m not really on the baby’s side, either, but they convinced me to take the pills and drink the supplements at least for my own health.

     But now it’s ended. I want to change the things. I can’t stand it anymore. I give up. I escaped from home. My colleague went to work, so I left a letter for her in which I wrote that I went on a walk, so she doesn’t have to worry about me. Of course it was not my real intention. Not at all. I wanted to leave. I wanted to see one more time the place where the one who gave a meaning to my life, died. Who brought light into the night, into the darkness. Who stood always beside me, whom I treasured more than my own life, who loved me.

     I was alone. The place welcomes me with a rigid, immobile silence. Memories evoke in me. The stranger pulling out his gun. The police officer getting closer and closer, who wanted to divert the attention. A running figure. Two gunshots, shouts, blood, sirens, smell of gunpowder. Two dyeing bodies falling on the ground with a thud. his last words…his last glimpse… I still feel the sweet scent of his breath; I see the small clouds of vapor flying out of his mouth. It was cold on that day. My shirt is slipper from blood, it freezes on me. My arms are bloody until my elbows, from my fingertips, red liquid is dropping. I am splashing in his blood, his blood, his life drying on my skin, my soul. It dried on my heart and lungs, and squeezes them. Hardly can I breathe, I gasp for air, I almost drown from the painful memories breaking out. I fall on my knees from the problems towering, heavier and heavier problems. I tremble. I pull out the little Beretta from the pocket of my jacket with shaking hands. It was with me that day too. The same gun with the same only bullet in its repertory. The third bullet that should have been fired for first and only. And still. This only one left. For me.

     I’m crying. The world gets blurry, it is about to end for me. I can’t even sense anything from it. I can’t hear the siren of the coming police car, the brake screech, and the shouts. I can’t see the lights of the car, nor the blue and red lights on top of it, nor the figure running towards me. Everything that reaches my consciousness is the sound of the insurance lever of the gun, and the two red stained piece of ground in frond of me. My muscles grow feeble; hardly do I hold myself, even though I’m kneeling on the ground. I almost drop the pistol as I lift it to my forehead. I push it on my temple, I play for time. I want to say goodbye to the memory of my sweet, only love. And so, his last words come to my mind…

     "Don’t be afraid. I love you. I love you so much. You are my everything. Please, find somebody for yourself, who loves you like me, and raise the little one! Love the baby for me, too! Please!”

     The baby…he wanted it lo live…He wanted me to raise the baby. To live it. He wanted me to find somebody besides the baby…besides me, who helps me to raise it. He wanted me to stay alive. He wanted me…to stay alive…staying alive…he wanted…

     My finger resting so far on the trigger now moves in the direction of the pistol. Only one shot… That’s all… Everything’s finished. I softly lean forwards, into something dark. Under myself a red stain…

     - You idiot bastard! What the hell was going in your head?

     What? How can it be? That…I can hear the voice of my friend, whilst right before…I heard the Beretta firing, the bullet flew out. I felt the blunderbuss on my wrist, as the little pistol kicked back. Then the darkness…warm and soft…the red stain…no, that can’t be… I open up my eyes. I can see. I can breathe. My heart beats crazily, wants to jump out of its place. What happened?

     - Pay attention! Look at me! Can you hear me? Do not dare to do such a stupid thing again! When I got home and found your letter I almost got crazy because of you! I came as soon as possible. I even turned on the siren and rushed through the city that way, just to get here in time. I made it. Do not dare to die, got it? Do not dare to die, you little stupid!

     I bursted out crying. I was really alive. Loudly, almost shouting, from belly I started bellowing. My tears swarmed, flooding my face as a fast river, leaving shiny, glimmering stripes behind. I was never this happy before that I was alive. Slowly my mind started to clear out and I commenced to comprehend the things around me. The pistol really fired. It was lying on the ground, next to me. Smell of gunpowder flew in the air. My wrist hurt, it was such a long time since I last used a gun. The warm, soft something that I fell into and embraced me was not the eternal darkness, but the arms of my colleague. She arrived here just in time. The bloodstain was not mine. it was my once love’s, but I couldn’t see it clearly by my tears. Aster I cried myself out, my friend helped me up from the ground and with a thorough brainwash she helped me to the car. She covered me in a thick blanket and made me sit next to her. While she told me how much she had been afraid on the way driving here, what she had felt when she saw me, when she ran there and was afraid that se would arrive there just a moment later and can’t kick the gun out of my fingers…when she collapsed on the ground and caught me…I slowly, silently fell asleep on the passenger seat. I fell into a deep torpor. When I woke up I knew it was a sign. A sign for that I cannot die. My husband didn’t sacrifice his life for that. I couldn’t let  his death to be in vain. I must stay alive. Stay alive and give life to this child. I must raise it so if it asks me; mommy, do I have a father, too? – I could answer: Yes darling, you do. Your father is a real hero, who saved mommy’s life, when you were a little baby under my heart… a real hero…


    Post script: two weeks after my suicide attempt finally I gave up the wish for death. I accepted that I will give life to his child. I has happy that at least this remained for me from him. The ultrasound recordings showed that the baby will be a little boy, from which I became so merry. I can carry his son under my heart. His last, ground memorial, that once he lived, breathed, his heart that he could love with once was beating. He was an angel came to earth, who, before going back to the other angels, left a little boy here for me as a memory, so that I know he loved me and I was his everything. So that I can always remember him, never forget him, and that I too, have somebody to love.

     Two weeks after I almost killed myself, I visited the bridge where I first met him. Where we often walked in two, where we watched many beautiful sunsets. Where he first kissed me… I watched a sunset. This sunset was the beginning of a new life and the end of an old one. When the Sun ducked below the horizon, but its last rays lit the horizon’s bottom, I pulled out the Beretta from my pocket. My fingers froze on the handle. The bullets ran out, there was peace. Nobody wanted to hurt anyone. I stood alone in the middle of the bridge. I lifted my hand high and threw the weapon far into the river, the weapon that changed almost everything twice. I didn’t need it anymore. I don’t go back to work soon, as the baby will born in no time. Hardly do I have four months left. Then I’ll be home for quite long time. And I need no weapon to raise my son.

     I watched the pistol fly a large arc in the air, far away from me. Its tube flashed a last one in the rays of the lowering sun, then with a silent splash it disappeared between the flaming, red waves. I don’t need it more. Anymore. Three guns, three bullets, three gunshots. This was my life. This ended it. But from today, I start a new one. And this will be the beginning. These three shots…three shots…

    Category: Short stories | Added by: LumiereBlackwood (21 Jul 2013)
    Views: 235 | Rating: 0.0/0
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