Thursday, November 29, 2007


     "Get him on the horn," the fat lieutenant says, handing the megaphone to Grimes, a shivering, skinny pencil pusher, new to hostage negotiations. Sweat pours off of his hands and onto the bullhorn. It slips and he catches it before anyone notices.
     "Charlie," he says calmly into it. "Charlie? Let’s talk this thing through, okay?"
     A booming voice from the house pierces the air amid the scary boots and crosstalk of the seven squad cars’ radius.
     "It’s Freaknik, mutherfucker! Ain’t no Charlie in here!"
     "Fine! Freaknik, I need to come in there so we can figure out what we can do for you," Grimes says.
     "You can start by tellin’ these black and whites to get the fuck out of here!"
     Grimes lowers the bullhorn and glances at the fat lieutenant.
     "Yeah, that’s not going to happen," the fat lieutenant says forcefully under his breath. "We leave and this fucking turd paints the walls with that little girl’s brains. Tell him to let her go, then we might consider it."
     "We have to meet him on his terms or we’ve got nothing, Lieutenant."
     "Fuck that! You’re going to let some dog shit-licking fuck who calls himself Freaknik call the shots? Yeah, I don’t think so! I’m telling my boys to hit the back door!"
     "I outrank you, Lieutenant! If one of your goose-steppers so much as taps on the window, it’s your Goddamned badge, you hear me?"
     The lieutenant scowls at Grimes and lets out a sigh through his nostrils.
     "Stand down, streetgang," he says into his shoulder walkie.
     Grimes turns his attention to the house in front of him.
     "I’m coming in there, Freak," Grimes says into the bullhorn. He hands it to the lieutenant and sets his gun on a nearby squad car as he walks, eyes fixed on the house as he does so.
     "Mutherfucker, it’s yo’ ass if you come in here!" Freaknik screams. "I mean it! Goddammit! You’ll be the first one to go, mutherfucker! I ain’t fuckin’ playin’ here!"
     The lieutenant brings the megaphone to his lips, "Charl- uh, Freaknik! He’s coming in there unarmed! You hearing me? He is not armed!"
     Grimes gets to the front steps as Freaknik continues screaming. As he enters the house, Freaknik’s yelling becomes more belligerent and several shots are fired.
     "Move in, streetgang! Move in!" the lieutenant screams into his radio.
     A little girl in blonde pigtails walks out of the house, seemingly unharmed. Grimes follows close behind as the jackbooted special ops swarm past both of them and into the house. The girl is gently picked up by the lieutenant, who passes her off to a social worker. The lieutenant comes to meet Grimes, whose jaw is hanging open.
     "What the fuck just happened in there?" the lieutenant asks.
     "I’m saving it for my report, Lieutenant," Grimes says. "But nobody, especially you, will believe it."
     "Now, listen," the lieutenant says, grabbing Grimes by the collar, "I heard shots fired in there. You tell me what happened!"
     Grimes pulls away from the lieutenant’s grasp and sits on the curb. He looks at his shaking hands and looks up.
     "He shot at me. Five, maybe, ten feet away. There was no way he was going to miss. And at that moment, it was like time stopped. The bullets just hung there, in mid-air. I looked down at that little girl and saw her hands stretched out. The bullets did a slow 180 and then flew back into Freaknik’s head and he hit the ground."
     The lieutenant shakes his head.
     "Grimes, what the fuck are you telling me? That he fired at you and his bullets somehow hit him instead? That’s fucking impossible!"
     "Then, why don’t you ask her?" Grimes says, looking over at the little girl, who’s being consoled by the social worker. The girl is glassy-eyed, looking back at them as a slow, steady trail of special ops come from the house. 



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