Dark night in Love-Ville
|“I'm gonna do it, Harry!” Lottie cocked the trigger. "This is for you, you cracker son-of-a-bitch!"
Sergeant Harry Wallace stood just inside the tiny apartment and watched Lottie press a snub-nosed '38 to the center of her forehead. She used both hands to hold the gun steady, but it shook none the less. Her eyes were wide and bloodshot and hazelnut brown. They locked into Harry.
Harry wrestled with correcting her procedure. He had seen way too many self-inflicted gunshot wounds, but had never known anyone to shoot themselves dead center in the forehead.
Behind him in the doorway, his partner, knees slightly bent, gun held two-handed, watched and waited.
“Go downstairs, Pete! Keep everyone back!” Harry said. His left hand was raised open and empty toward Lottie in an effort to calm the situation. His right hand held his Glock cocked behind his back. They could hear sirens approaching.
“Lottie,” Harry said softly, knowing his partner hadn't moved from the doorway, “I told you I was married--”
“You lie!” the woman screamed.
“I told you, I'm married.”
“You a lying son-of-a-bitch,” she whispered. Mascara ran down her cheekbones in two thin lines .
Three weeks and four days to retirement... The thought jumped into Harry's head as he stood there, trying to keep the anger from showing in his eyes. His empty left hand continued in a let's-all-calm-down motion, and then Pete pressed past him and Harry watched his partner yank the gun violently from Lottie's hands.
Lottie landed hard on the thin carpet and lay there without moving. She was crying and not making a sound. Her thin black arms laced an X across her face, and her legs splayed from the short, gold-glittering working-girl's dress she wore without pantyhose. The bottoms of her bare feet looked dark purple in the fading light of the room.
Three weeks and four days...
In less than ten minutes Lottie was handcuffed and silent in the backseat of the squad-car. It was beginning to rain.
Sergeant Harry Wallace could see her face through the cage looking at him in the rearview mirror as he drove. “You lying bastard,” she lip-synched in the mirror.
Harry shook his head--a quick shake No --to the mirror and then felt the eyes of his partner next to him.
“Pete,” Harry said quietly, not looking over, “I didn't--”
“You're a lying fuck,” Pete said, "Simple as that. It's time for you to retire." Pete turned his attention out his side-window.
Three weeks and four days, Harry thought.