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Rated: E · Short Story · Detective · #2053687
Sometimes you just don't give a guy a choice.
I knocked and a rasping, muffled voice behind the door said, “You can’t come in here.”

“Oh, but I can,” I said to the door. “I’ve got a warrant and everything, Jack.” I rattled the paper, which he probably couldn’t hear, but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t going anywhere.

I heard him moving around in there. I placed my mouth inches from the apartment number on the door, lowered my voice an octave, and growled, “Look, I’m coming in, Jack, one way or the other,” although I wasn’t sure what one way would be, or the other, for that matter. That stuff about cops caving in locked doors with their shoulders was just TV and movie fiction. In real life, stunts like that would buy orthopedic surgeons enough boats to fill San Francisco Bay.

The lock clicked and I pushed my way in. Music and shrieking laughter poured in through the open window – Jack lived over a bar. He stood in the middle of the room in a tee shirt and pajama bottoms that looked like they hadn’t seen the inside of a washing machine since Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine. “Get dressed,” I said. “We’re going.”

Jack turned away and gripped the back of the single chair at the small table in front of the window. I could see the tendons in his fingers. He snarled, “Who says? I haven’t slept in days. Leave me alone.”

I looked at a stack of books open atop the file box in front of the battered couch. “Everyone downstairs waiting for you says,” I replied, waving the party invitation in his face. “Besides, why are you still studying? You’ve passed the exam and you’re a physician now. You’re going to celebrate with your fellow docs whether you like it or not.”

(Word count: 300)

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