the lucky ones -- rough draft

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
a rough draft of a short story I wrote for my creative writing class

Submitted: February 18, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 18, 2012

A A A

A A A


The Lucky Ones

---Present Day---

The rain came down hard as if Alexander Bailey felt all the angels in heaven weep beside him. Alexander was a medium sized man in his mid-forties, with a short brown hair which he always wore with a comb-over.  His eyes were a dark emerald green. The sky was as grey as ash. All the trees were naked. It was late in the autumn months. The wind was rash and the chill in the air was piercing. He was frozen in time, knelt down next to her grave, his hands clasped to her headstone, which read:

“Here lies Abigail Bailey --

1965-2007

“The Lucky One””

“I love you with all my heart.” he whimpered.  “I can’t let you go; I can’t do the promise on my own. I need you here with me” Alexander bent down and closed his eyes as he pressed his lips on the cold, lifeless, stone.

***

---30 Years Earlier ----

Alexander crumpled up in a ball as the kids fists slammed in his face like hammers to a nail; heavy and fierce. Time slowed down like a bad replay. The nearby crowd of fellow spectating kids from the schoolyard watched in amazement as he lay helpless. They all stood stunned, mouths drew open in shock; as if they were watching a gladiator bout from ancient Rome, a small child against a lion, David versus Goliath before their eyes.  Blood ran down Alexander’s face like sweat in a summer’s day.  Suddenly, time froze as a voice cracked the air. “STOP!” yelled the voice. The crowed parted like a fork in the road as two figures came into view.

The bright light of the sun pierced Alexander’s eye lids as they begin to swell. The shadows of the two figures grew larger as they came closer. “GET OFF OF HIM!!” the voice yelled again. Its tone rang in his ears like a bell. The two shadows split through the bright sunlight as a small figure came close to him, the larger one chased off his attacker.  “You’re safe now.” the small shadow said in a sweet, calming voice; Alexander’s heart fell like a feather. “Are you alright?” At that moment, his eyes rolled to the back of his head as he struggled to stay focused on the small figure before him.

As Alexander awoke in the school’s clinic, he surveyed the room, the nurse was nowhere in sight. The only other’s in the room were two fellow students, a boy and a girl respectfully; who appeared at least a year or two older than himself. The two were inched forward in their seats as they anticipated Alexander to awaken at a moment’s notice.  The boy was dressed in a light colored polo and blue jeans; his hair was a solid black and was jelled throughout, it made Alexander snicker, it looked like the guy had just rolled out of bed.  The female sitting next to him had brilliantly bright blonde hair and radiant green eyes.  She wore her hair in a ponytail and wore mostly band a right colored clothes; a bright pink hooded sweatshirt with an Easter egg blue undershirt and tan pants. Alexander was drawn to her like a tractor beam.

“Glad to see you’re awake.” The boy said as Alexander sat up on the bed. “He roughed you up pretty bad.” The boy said with concern. Alexander said nothing and the boy continued, “What did he want anyway?” he asked. Alexander cleared his throat and then began to speak. “We were playing basketball and I bumped into him during one of his lay ups. He thought I shoved him and he got all pissed and then the fight broke out.” Alexander laughed, “heh..at least I rocked him with a left hook before he over powered me.”  The boy looked at him with a look of doubt. “Is that so Balboa? Not from what I saw. You’re lucky I chased him off when I did.” The boy continued to speak, “Anyways, my name is Frank, but friends call me Frankie.” He then nodded to the girl sitting next to him. “This is my sister, Abigail.” He said and Alexander shyly slid in a smile. “My name is Alexander.” He said.  Abigail was quick to notice his attempt at a hidden smile and she began to speak, “Glad you’re ok. You were pretty messed up.” Alexander nodded back at her and then looked around the room puzzled, “Where’s the nurse?” he asked. Abigail was quick to answer, “She went to the office to go greet your parents. We said we’d watch over you until she returned.”

“How noble of both of you.” joked Alexander. Moments later the nurse had returned, Alexander’s parents stood beside her. Abigail spoke up as if she felt the weight of time push and her brother out the door. “Hey, I’ll be in this week’s school concert, I’ll be playing the violin.” She paused for a brief moment and started up again, “Maybe you can come with Frankie?? He hates coming to these things alone.”

“Sure, I’ll be there.” Alexander said.

“Great, I’ll see you then.” Abigail said cheerfully.  Frankie and Abigail then exited the room as the nurse and his parents made their way inward.  As Alexander sat up in the bed, waiting for that moment when his parents would probably lash out at him for fighting, he could feel the scales of fate shift, he knew something had transpired that was beyond his control, he could feel the enchantment in his heart that told him so.

***

--Present Day –

Alexander was renowned throughout the Kensington Police Department at which he worked. He had been with the police department for over fifteen years. He had gone to Berkeley College in New York for his degree in criminal justice and it was his first job where he started as a patrolman. Over the years and as his reputation grew he became an officer. He was a solid officer who was also compassionate and he was respected throughout the community. This is what he loved and did not what to be taken to another department or precinct because it gave him the ability to be more involved in his community and be more of the face for the police department where as any other spot in the department like homicide detective or vice squad would have him chained to a desk. He had married his high school sweetheart, Abigail Stevenson.

Abigail had received her degree from Penn State University where she majored in early education as well as music composition. She was a substitute teacher at the local grammar school and would always bring her violin to class so the kids could hear her play. She would play songs for them if the students were well behaved in class which would usually be the case; all the students loved her and her big bright smile. When she would play the violin for the kids, all attention was drawn to her and the kids would not move an inch as if they were frozen in time as they listened to her play; each movement of the bow appearing against the strings in perfect harmony.

When she wasn’t filling in for a teacher’s absence she would spend her days in the garden. Their home was nestled in the suburbs of Kensington. It was an American-Dutch colonial styled architecture home with beaming red brick, a small picket fence which surrounded the house. Two tall sugar maple trees stood in the yard, one on each side. Abigail had those trees specially planted in the yard for she loved to make her own syrup from tapping the tree. Alexander loved that she was an enthusiastic cook for he couldn’t make anything for the life of him. He could build anything; fix anything but cooking was not one of his traits. She had a small garden in the backyard. It was home to every vegetable you could think of: carrots, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and potatoes. Alexander and Abigail never had to go grocery shopping for veggies and more often than not, he would have his neighbor’s asking if they ever grew any extra. Abigail did magic in that garden and Alexander was always proud of the work she had done. Together they would spend a lot of time in the garden. As a couple they loved to sit outside, Abigail would bring out her violin and Alexander would just sit there, sipping on tea as he would listen to her play.

Alexander and Abigail had no children due to her infertility which tugged on both their heart strings when the doctor had told them the news. They had thought of adoption but had never followed through with it. Every time they would begin the process for adoption, Abigail would break down and sob for days. Alexander would always take a few days after off of work to spend time with his wife. The police captain understood and never questioned Alexander when he requested time off for such an event. Captain James Murray’s wife also suffered from infertility and he could sympathize with Alexander. Often times, the two wives would hang out with each other, the infertility that they shared drew a special bond of friendship between the two.

It had been nearly three months since she died of breast cancer.  After she had passed, Alexander worked day and night in the police station as to keep his mind occupied and keep him away from the house.  Whenever he was there for too long, he would break down; so he just stayed away as long as possible.

***

The sirens of the Police car whined as they ripped through the city landscape. A stern voice came over the Alexander’s radio. “Report of shots fired at the parking lot of Lake Shore Plaza, Magothy Beach Road, a two-one-one in progress, two nine-one-one hang-ups – possible duress call. Two-zero-seven – Code 2 – ten - forty.” Alexander spoke crisp as he replied, “six-one-one, ten seventy six.” The police car roared through the dark of night, the officer had turned off his sirens as if to go in incognito as he arrived closer to the scene. “Six-one-one, on scene. -- Proceeding on foot.”

As Alexander approached the shopping center he could hear the yelling of a man at another person in the distance and the sound of things being knocked over. He picked up his walking pace into a stride and shyly pulled his gun from its holster. He pushed his back against the wall as he approached the store with its door swung open and broken glass on the ground, he crouched down as to camouflage himself with the sandy brick building and peered his ears into the store. Its insides look like it had gotten hit with a hurricane. Product displays were knocked over, various merchandise scattered on the floor. 

“GET DOWN AND SHUT UP!!” the suspect yelled as he whipped a man with his pistol. The small, fragile man crumpled to the floor like an origami figure. The suspect, dressed in shaggy, warned out clothes, his hair greasy and in nappy, appeared as if he hadn’t bathed in months; his stench over powering to the scent of fresh air. The suspect continued to yell and the man crumpled up on the floor. “WHY WON’T THIS DAMN SAFE OPEN?!! – ANSWER ME!” the man on the floor then used all the strength in his body to utter words into a sentence. “It -- It  --It’s on a ti—ti—time released clock…” the man stuttered. “BULLSHIT! YOU’RE LYING TO ME!!” the suspect yelled furiously. “GET OVER HERE AND OPEN IT!” he continued to yell as he picked the hostage off the floor and dragged him over to the safe. “OPEN IT!” yelled as he pressed his barrel of the gun to the back of the small man’s head.

At this moment, Alexander threw himself in the open door with his gun drawn. “FREEZE!! POLICE!!” He shouted. The cop could taste the tension in the air; rusty and heavy like a thick fog. The suspect dug the barrel of his gun deeper in the small man’s skull. The victim sobbed as the officer and suspect stared at each other like an old west showdown. “DROP THE GUN AND LET THE HOSTAGAGE GO!” the Alexander demanded. “I DON’T THINK SO, PIG!” the suspect smirked as he pulled the trigger. The bullet ripped through the small man’s head like a locomotive. The small man’s body sank like a rock as pieces of his head flew in the air like confetti.

Alexander rapidly fired three shots at the suspect, each one connecting its target like a laser guided missile. The bullets pushed the suspect back against the wall as they tore through his flesh. Blood hit the wall like paint. The suspect’s body slid down the wall as life escaped from his body, his eye’s frozen open as they began to lose sight. Alexander firmly grasped his walkie talkie as he called in to the operator, “ten-seventy one at Lake Shore Plaza, suspect is down, request for coroner…notify of  two D.O.A.s” he then slumped down to his knees as he could hear the sound of sirens crack through the open air. He sat in disbelief as he tried to piece together in his head what had just happened before him.

***

Alexander sat in the conference room of the police station as he wanted for the Captain come in the room for his debriefing. He watched through the tall windows as his fellow police officers busied their way through the corridors of the police station, some shifting through stacks of paper as they talked on the phone, others nose deep on their computers and others grabbing a small snack of their desk as they rushed towards the exit. He thought to himself, how this precinct could be so active? Alexander saw the city of Kensington just a like any other small town in America, small families with a one kid or more, a small house with the typical white picket fence where both parents work to make ends meet in a middle class suburbia. How could anything bad ever happen here he continued to think. Just then, the Captain came in the room.

 He was of a medium height and build but just as any desk job does to you, he appeared to be heavier around the edges. It was hard for anyone to gauge, when the Captain always wore loose fitting clothes. A plain white dress shirt with rolled up sleeves, dark dress pants hoisted up with suspenders and a flashy tie with seemed to suck all the focus from the room with its bright colors. His hair was as grey as ash and his eyes as blue as pools of ice water. The Captain sat down at the other end of the desk, opened up one of the drawers, pulled out a small paper cup, a small flask, poured himself a drink and took a small sip as Alexander starred in a daze, his eyes fixated on the bright red tie in front of him. The smell of whiskey emitted from the small cup.

His heavy Irish accent snapped across the room as he began to speak. “Alexander, I don’t know what to say to you...” He said in a concerned voice. “I know you’re still suffering from the loss of Abigail…and it’s apparent that it’s affecting your work.” Alexander broke free of the trance from the Captain’s power tie and responded sharply. “There was nothing I could do. The suspect... --” The Captain took another sip from his cup before he cut Alexander off. “I don’t care what happened out there. I have the city’s DA breathing down my neck for an investigation. I want you to hand in your gun and badge immediately, you are here by suspended until a psych eval is passed.” The Captain said sternly. Alexander reached in his holster and placed his pistol on the Captain’s desk. He then stood up, reached in his back pocket and pulled his badge off from his wallet. Its heavy metal slid on to the desk. “Alexander…” the Captain paused. “I’m sorry…about Abigail, God knows if that ever happen to me…I want you to also see the city’s shrink. I want to help you.” Alexander’s face turned red with anger. “HELP ME?! I DON’T WANT YOUR HELP – I CAN DEAL WITH THIS ON MY OWN!” The Captain took one last sip of whiskey before he crumpled up the cup and threw it in a small waste basket under his desk and spoke. “I know you can…but you’re the best cop I have on those streets and this is the only way I could keep you around.”  Alexander looked at him puzzled.

“Keep me around…?”

“Yes, the brass upstairs wanted me to formally discharge you.”

“You would fire me...after all these years...”

“A civilian life was lost in your line of duty, Alexander…the DA was pushing for your immediate release…I have the brass upstairs barking orders at me, these we’re the only strings I could pull for you.”

Alexander let out a big sigh. “Thanks…” the Captain held a concerned looks on his face as Alexander made his way out the door.

***

Alexander was distraught and despondent. He felt the sensation of everything in his life crashing down like a chandelier. The weight of his heart fell into his gut.  He went straight home after being put on suspension. As he pulled his car into its driveway, he sat in a daze staring at his house, trying with all his might to come up with reasons not to go inside.

After a while Alexander finally mustered up the courage, got out of his car and made his way into the house. The inside of the house was intimate and simple. All the floors in the house were wooden; upon entering the house you came in the foyer which had the stairs to go upstairs as well as a small door which led down to an unfinished basement except for a laundry room. A fireplace resided in the living room where Alexander and Abigail would often lay across one another on the couch in silence as they read their respective books. The kitchen had grey granite countertops with a breakfast bar, all appliances were stainless steel and the kitchen was connected to the dining room which had a small table for two and a door that led out into the garden. The upstairs held the only bathroom and two separate bedrooms. One which Abigail wanted as a nursery and eventually the kids’ bedroom where she dreamed she could play violin to her child and the other, to their master bedroom. The house had never felt so empty, even though Abigail had been gone for a while. He set his keys on the nearby banister and slipped off his shoes as he hung is coat on a tree rack.

Alexander then went upstairs to the master bedroom where he changed out of his police attire and put on his leisurewear which usually consisted of dark sweatpants and the grey Penn State t-shirt he snagged from Abigail. He sat on the edge of the king sized bed in an effort to collect himself. Across from him, he glanced at a picture of him and Abigail from their wedding day which rested on a nightstand. In it, Alexander had snuck up behind her and stuffed Abigail’s face with a piece of the wedding cake. The picture was taken perfectly by the photographer as it captured the exact moment of surprise in the frame. Her bright blonde hair now covered with bits of frosting, her radiant green eyes glowing with laughter.  Alexander sat and wept as he relived the moments of their wedding day in his head; the moment they gave each other their vows, the moment they kissed beside the alter, the speech he had given about the love of his life and his poor karaoke rendition of Michael Buble’s song “Hold On” and ending with the surprise cake attack.

Alexander’s eyes swelled up as they filled with water; tears fell down his face uncontrollably as his body began to shake, and his heart bled sorrow as he cried out for his wife. Alexander eventually gained a small bit of composure and made his way downstairs. He then made his way into the living room where he eventually wept himself to sleep on the couch. He laid there in a practical catatonic state for a large majority of the following day, skipping meals only getting up to use the bathroom before he would lay in a daze either on the living room couch or in their bedroom. His hair was unkempt and greasy, He still was in the same sweatpants and his wife’s Penn State t-shirt he had put on a few days ago, and stubble had now appeared across his disconsolate face.

Alexander had awoken from his slumber on the living room couch. There was a knock on his front door. He shuffled his feet through the empty beer cans scattered across the floor to open the door. His eyes flashed shut before adjusting to the bright sunlight to acknowledge the figure standing in the doorway. The sun beamed into the house like an everlasting ray of light into darkness, snow flew across the sky like birds in the open sky. Snow glistened on the ground like glass. It was the Captain; he was dressed in everyday clothes and out of his typical uniform of a dress shirt, the suspender slacks combo and his definitive power tie. He always wore dark colored clothes, when not in uniform, save his odd fascination with denim jeans to which Alexander and other members always joked that he only had one pair. There the Captain stood in the doorway, wearing a dark heavy navy blue pea coat, a dark maroon cotton knitted sweater and blue jeans accompanied by a newsboy cap. His face was starting to turn red from the coldness outside.

“James, what are you doing here?” Alexander asked.

“Jesus Christ, Alexander. You look like shit...” the Captain did not hesitate before he made his way through the door. “I tried calling you for the last few days, why didn’t you answer your phone?” the Captain asked as he took off his coat and hat and put them on the tree rack.

“I unplugged it.” Alexander replied, still trying to adjust his eye sight.

“Unplugged it??”

“Yeah, I wanted some time alone.”

“I sent you home a week ago Alexander, the brass upstairs is harping on me because you haven’t checked in with the counselor yet.” The Captain made his way further in the house. “How long has it been like this?” asked the Captain as he surveyed the empty beer cans that were strewn across the floor. “A few days.” Alexander said under his breath in embarrassment. “Come on.” said the Captain. “Go wash yourself up, I’ll pick up around the house and we’ll go out for breakfast…but then I have to take you to meet the counselor so the brass will get off my back.” Alexander rubbed his eyes to wake himself up. “Alright, give me like fifteen minutes…” Alexander dragged his feet up the stairs and grabbed a change of clothes from the bedroom and headed into the bathroom. Alexander washed his face and shaved off the stubble. He let go of a deep breath as he starred at himself in the mirror for quite some time before he hopped into the shower. The rush of warm water had snatched the grogginess from him and he felt awake; alive for the first time in just about a full week or what felt to him a lot longer.

Alexander came downstairs after a while and the Captain was sitting on the couch waiting for him. The Captain had cleaned up just as he said he would and had placed several garbage bags next to the front door. “Ready?” Alexander said. The Captain got up from the couch; “Ready as I’ll ever be, let’s go – I’m starving.” joked the Captain. The two made their way out the door, each grabbing a bag of garbage on the way out, the Captain placed his free hand on Alexander’s shoulder as they made their way to the side of the street to the garbage can, “Where do you want to go to eat?” he asked. “I don’t really care, somewhere we can sit down…I have some paperwork I need to fill out.” The Captain looked at him with a small smile knowing what Alexander was talking about. “...and you need a letter of reference for me to sign” Alexander chuckled a bit, “Well if you wouldn’t mind…” both men got in the Captain’s car upon throwing out the garbage. The Captain started the car as both men fastened their seatbelts. “You know Alexander; they probably won’t review your application until you’re cleared by the counselor…and even then it could take months or even a year or more…” Alexander took a deep breath, “I know, but I want…no I need to fill it out, I promised Abigail.” The Captain nodded as he pulled the car away from the driveway.

 


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