Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Alumnus

I stood over him. His blood made a growing pool as it exited the wound in his back. The ounce slug of lead had gone all the way through. He looked up at me with crazed eyes. He raised his hands to me. He tried to speak, but choked on pink, foamy slime, evidence that his lungs were shredded. For one brief moment he achieved clarity. His eyes steadied. I think he smiled before he died.

When he woke up that morning, he didn’t know he was going to die. He probably had plans for the day. Perhaps a dinner date. Maybe he still had a father somewhere that used to take him fishing. A father that would mourn him. Someone who loved him.

I guess I should have felt something. Something at the death of a fellow human being. I felt nothing but revulsion. He knew the law. He knew the penalty for his actions. For his disgusting behaviour. For his loathsome ways. There were no innocent parties. I slipped the Mossberg back into the sheath strapped to my thigh and climbed back in the growler.

As we left the scene I called for a meat wagon to pick up what was left of the human flotsam. Before I closed the door, I took one last look down at the black and white caricature of a human being below me. The tragic figure seemed to spin slowly as we spiraled up into the traffic pattern. I must have been looking down longer than I thought. My partner, Sergeant Ray Chavez, tapped me on the shoulder and pointed at his throat mike. I tapped my temple and activated my earwig. His voice came through loud and strong despite the rush of air from the open door.

“Hey buddy, what’s up? You seem a little quiet today.”

I had to put all my weight against the door to pull it down and shut. I sat for a moment thinking about his seemingly innocuous question. “Just thinking,” I said.

“Yeah? What about?”

I considered his question. I thought of the body lying there on the pavement a thousand feet below. The curled lips caught in the gruesome rictus of death. The twisted body. The face and features contorted, resembling a bizarre, nightmarish image caught in the black and white photograph of a bygone era.

“I was just thinking,” I said when I finally spoke, “how much I fucking hate mimes.”

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