Police flash fiction
You don’t do it because you want to.
You look at the too young faces of your squad-mates and you do it so they don’t have to.
You step from the semi-circle of indecision and feel the collective relief behind you.
You see your sergeant nod as he hands you the driver’s license or ID.
You walk to your car.
You know from the address what kind of place it will be; trailer park or ghetto apartment, middle-class bungalow or manicured mansion.
You know it doesn’t matter.
You wonder about the brother or father, the daughter or wife who will answer the door.
You think about the song on the radio or the report to be written until you find yourself wondering again.
You wonder if they’re asleep.
You wonder if they’re making love, or fighting, or dressing for work.
You pull up and sit outside.
You sit in the dark or the rain, in the sunrise or dusk, and you look at the trailer or the apartment or mansion.
You go over what to say.
You go over it again and it never seems right.
You step out of your car.
You do what you came for.
You knock at the door.
You see the aggravation in their eyes.
You see them study you.
You see their fear.
You say the words that will change them forever.
You start with the truth.
“I’m sorry. I've got bad news ….”