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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Thriller/Suspense · #2292246
I almost got away with it...
I almost got away with it. I was so close, I could actually smell victory! But everything fell apart at the officer's simple question:

"Is that blood on your coat?"

My freedom flashed before my eyes. There was no escaping; he had 'made' me. Isn't that what they say on those crime shows? I just stared at him like a deer in the headlights. Hell, I felt like a deer in the headlights, or, more fittingly, a criminal in the spotlight.

How had I ended up here? Where did everything start going wrong? I had always followed the rules and been an upstanding member of the community. In my forty-five years on this Earth, I'd never even gotten a parking ticket. But that was before my good for nothing husband, Derek, decided he'd be happier with a nineteen-year-old bimbo, leaving me to provide for myself and our two children alone. Still, would the officer see that what I did was justified? Probably not.

I remained silent - I couldn't force a word out - as the policeman walked toward me. Reflexively, I started to step back.

"Stop right there, ma'am. I need to see that coat." His tone was firm, and his eyes were steel. I was out of options.

Thoughts of my children flooded my mind. My precious eight-year-old daughter, waiting patiently for the surprise dinner I promised her. Her sixteen-old-brother, dutifully babysitting her as I ran my errands. What would happen to them? I couldn't stand the thought of them living with Derek and his mistress, but it was looking as if I wouldn't have a say in the matter. Why had I done such a stupid thing?

Finally, the officer reached me, and I had no choice but to allow him to search my coat. Still thinking about my children as he conducted his search, I wasn't surprised when I felt the handcuffs close around my wrists. I had brought this all on myself.

On my trip in the squad car, I silently vowed never to steal anything again - especially from a butcher shop with leaky trays!
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