No Brother in Arms

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

A police officer confronts a murder suspect, a fellow ex-army ranger, and he must decide between his oath to uphold the law and his loyalty to his brothers in arms.



Sofa and chairs. Tables, bookcase, fireplace with mantel. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Paintings on walls. Two fist-sized holes in the wall. Blood splatter-patterns on the wall.

A woman sprawls on the floor. Her eyes stare at the ceiling. Blood trickles from her forehead and soaks the carpeting. Bleeding from her chest wound pools between her cleavage and her lace lingerie.

SERGEANT CHIP REED (45), medium-height, graying, pot-belly, surveys the crime scene.

OFFICER BILLY SIMMONS (28), short, buzz-cut, weight-lifter physique, kneels next to the body, examines the wounds. He wears gloves.

CHIEF WILLIAM DUGGAN, (35), tall, muscular, spit-and-polish uniform, enters the room.

DUGGAN: What we got, sergeant?

REED: Marsha Winston. Mid-thirties. Shot twice. Once in her chest, and once between her eyes.

Simmons looks up.

SIMMONS: Make that three, sarge. Two in the chest.

REED: Looked like--

SIMMONS: Two dead-center.

REED: I’ll be damned.

SIMMONS: Just lucky or a fantastic shooter. He got off three rounds before she ever moved... Two seconds or less.

REED: Why he?

SIMMONS: Usually the husband, isn’t it?


SIMMONS: Last night or this morning... Considering what’s she wearing.

REED: M.E.’s coming; she’ll know.

DUGGAN walks around the room. Looks at photos on the mantel.

DUGGAN: Neighbors hear anything?

REED: Couple of officers going door-to-door.

Duggan picks up a photo and examines it.

DUGGAN: Take a look at this, Chip.

Duggan hands it to Reed.

REED: Army?

DUGGAN: Special Forces, I’d guess.

Simmons’ head snaps around.

SIMMONS: Lemme see.

Simmons stands, takes off his gloves, and hurries toward Duggan. He takes the photo and examines it.

REED: You were Army, weren’t you, Billy?

SIMMONS: Yeah, rangers... These aren’t regular rangers... Special unit.

Simmons puts the photo back on the mantel.

DUGGAN: So... Husband shoots wife... Close range... Three well-placed shots. That about it?

REED: Except, we have to find him.

SIMMONS: I can help.

DUGGAN: How’s that?

SIMMONS: We’re a close-knit group. We keep tabs, in touch, help each other with PTSD and such, you know... Got contacts that might know where Winston is.

Reed sees a photo on the bookcase. He picks it up.

REED: Corporal Winston. George E. Wilson. Georgie. Bet he hates being called that.

DUGGAN: You know him, Chip?

REED: No. Name’s on this picture.

SIMMONS: I’ve heard of him... Delta Force. Tough dude... That explains three rounds in two seconds... And you’re right, sarge.

REED: I am?

SIMMONS: Don’t ever call him Georgie.

DUGGAN: Okay, Simmons. Call your contact but take backup.

SIMMONS: Won’t work, Chief... My contact’ll skedaddle if any strangers show.

DUGGAN: All right. Do it your way, Billy. Just be careful.



Single-story building. Sliding doors close off the loading dock and staging area. Pallets of goods and supplies are stacked in neat rows. Minimal security lighting. Shadows. Forklift sits off to one side. Ropes, cans, barrels, boxes, and debris clutters the space.

Side door opens. Simmons steps inside and looks around. He walks toward the back of the staging area.

SIMMONS: Kyle! Kyle, it’s me, Billy. Billy Simmons.

George Winston (32), bald with a short black beard, hulk of a man, steps from the shadows. His right arm hangs by his side, loosely gripping a gun.

WINSTON: Kyle said ya’d be comin’. Better come’d alone.

Simmons approaches Winston, hand on his gun-grip.

SIMMONS: You, George?

Winston nods.


SIMMONS: I’m alone... Where’s Kyle?

Winston gestures with his left thumb.

WINSTON: Restin’ in the back.

SIMMONS: You didn’t--

Winston shakes his head.

WINSTON: Naw. He’s drunk as a skunk... Whatcha want with me?

SIMMONS: Hate to be the one to tell you, but your wife is dead... Murdered.

WINSTON: Yeah... I know.

SIMMONS: You don’t seem all that put out.

WINSTON: I ain’t... Kyle said ya wanted ta see me. What fer?

SIMMONS: Some questions, that’s all... Down at the station.

Winston puts up his hand in protest and backs up.

WINSTON: No way, man.

Simmons follows.

SIMMONS: We need help finding her killer.

WINSTON: Why me, man?

SIMMONS: Three shots... Too skillful for the average dude. Maybe you know--

WINSTON: I’m Army... Suppose ya already know’d that.

SIMMONS: Ranger then Delta Force... Right?

Winston nods and circles right.

WINSTON: Yeah... But us vets never get a break.

Simmons circles with him. He grips his weapon.

SIMMONS: Why you think that?

WINSTON: Can’t sleep. Can’t hold a job... Wife don’t understand why... I’m at fault, always ta blame, never ends.

SIMMONS: I can get help for you, George.

WINSTON: Tried... Didn’t help none... So I kilt her.


WINSTON: I shot her dead, man. Get yer frigin’ ears checked.

Simmons pulls his weapon and levels it at Winston.

SIMMONS: Gotta take you in.

Winston levels his weapon at Simmons as well. A standoff. They jockey for position, pointing their weapons at each other.

SIMMONS (CONT’D): Don’t make it worse. Just lower your gun.

Winston shakes his weapon at Simmons and waves his upturned hand.

WINSTON: No frigin’ way, man.

Simmons motions palm-down with his left hand, and with his right, white-knuckles his gun.

SIMMONS: Take it easy, George. I know you couldn’t help yourself... I can get you help, but you have--

WINSTON (CONT’D): I ain’t goin’ ta no jail.

SIMMONS: Put the gun down, George. Put it down!

Simmons keeps motioning with his left hand.

WINSTON: I’ll shoot ya before I--

SIMMONS: No need for this, George.

WINSTON: Ain’t no way yer takin’ me in.

Simmons and Winston slowly circle, guns pointing at each other.

SIMMONS: We can waltz all night if that’s what it takes.

Winston stops and lowers his weapon halfway.

Simmons stops and lowers his weapon quarter-way but keeps his left-hand pointing palm down.

WINSTON: You married?

Simmons shakes his head.


WINSTON: Ever been?


WINSTON: She leave ya?

SIMMONS: Before I put a bullet through her head, I left her.

Winston drops his arm by his side. His weapon nearly falls from his hand.

WINSTON: Then you understand, man.

SIMMONS: Understand what?

WINSTON: Marsha kept hounding me. Night and day. Wouldn’t never stop. I guess she had enough of me punchin’ them holes in the walls, screamin’, ‘n wakin’ up at night... Get help, she kept yellin’. But there ain’t no help for what’s in my head... It don’t never stop messin’ with me, man. Never stops.

Winston wipes a tear from his eye.

WINSTON (CONT’D): Couldn’t take her naggin’ no more...

SIMMONS: There’s help, new meds. You can get help, George. Just lower your weapon.

WINSTON: Can’t do it, man... How’s about radioin’ and sendin’ yer buddies in the other direction while I go east.

SIMMONS: Can’t do it, George. Gotta take you in.

WINSTON: Thought rangers stuck together... Watched out fer each other... Yer no brother in arms.

SIMMONS: If I wasn’t, I’d shot you when you pulled your weapon.

Winston shakes his head and moves into the shadows.

WINSTON: Still, ain’t goin’...

Winston starts to raise his weapon toward Simmons.

Simmons aims his weapon at Winston.

SIMMONS: Drop it, George. Don’t make me do it.

Winston levels his weapon on Simmons.

Simmons fires twice.

Two bullets puncture Winston’s chest. He falls backward and sprawls on the floor.

Simmons stands over Winston’s body.


The End:

Submitted: March 31, 2021

© Copyright 2021 DRayVan. All rights reserved.

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