December 18, 2018
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The Dime

by Kathleen Kent

From my position in the hallway — on my ass, head pressed against the door frame, legs drawn up with my gun held two-handed against my sternum — I try to recall the layout of the room: three sets of bunk beds, four corpses sprawled across bloodied sheets, my partner, shot three times, lying motionless next to the nearest bunk, and, somewhere in there, one lunatic, a screaming infant in one hand and a semiautomatic pivot in the other. The last time I sneaked a look around the open doorway, he fired at me, the bullet knocking a crater in the wall opposite. He followed up by threatening to shoot the baby and then himself.

I’ve been a cop for five months, one week, and nine and a half hours.

Sure is a fine way to kick off a police procedural.