Broken Light

“Shhh! Stay low”, commanded officer Jack. They moved very slowly, tardily making their way into the area. Crickets chirruped away into the silent night. Step by step, Jack and his partner Sully inched closer to the backyard. It’s a very delicate yet quite a dangerous task to catch a criminal, especially when he was of utter significance to the government. An owl hooted, startling Sully who was not too eager to carry out the mission. He had shown his lack of interest earlier at the station. After all, a man can’t be blamed for thinking of his family.

 It was pitch dark. One could almost hear Jack’s heavy breathing. Sweat rolled down his neck. One more step, and the leaves crunched. “Damn it”, Jack vented out. They could not afford to make noise which might alarm the enemy. Then, carefully stepping, they arrived at the gate of the house.

Jack turned the handle. It wasn’t locked. He pushed the door lightly and it screeched. Frustration was visible on their faces. They gently made their way in with revolvers pointing straight, afraid that something might spring out of the dark and attack them. More steps. And the floorboards creaked loudly. Someone shuffled in the house. The enemy was aware. They could hear it. Even though they decided not to risk a light, now they had to. Sully switched on the light torch. “Ugh!”, he groaned. It wasn’t working. He shook it. It came on but was flickering as if it had a will of its own.

Perspiring profusely, they both were on high alert now. The broken light was creating confusion but it could be the difference in their life or death that night. They heard footsteps. The air became thick and suddenly it was hard to breathe. They moved in closer to the first room on the right. More floorboards creaked. Now the enemy knew where they were.

Someone darted to the left across the rooms. Jack jerked himself where the shadows scurried away. Their light went off. Could things get worse, Sully thought. With revolvers pointing ahead, they squinted. And more steps.

A shot was fired. And the painting beside Jack shattered into pieces. They fell to the ground. Some of the glass cut Jack’s left ear and it started bleeding. “You okay?”, Sully asked. “Yeah”, came the reply.

They broke up and Sully headed for the back. Light came on. Thank God.

The enemy knew he was getting cornered. It was fight or flight. He sprang up and started shooting and sprinted for the hall. Jack ducked. What happened next was incredibly fast.

Sully started shooting at the criminal, providing cover for Jack. He, in turn, skid towards the window, jumped out and circled back to the gate. Despite his lack of valor, Sully walked towards the enemy and kept firing. A bullet grazed his leg. He was limping. Jack rained fire on him from the left. No one knew whose bullet hit him but the wildcat was down. He screamed in pain. Jack jumped on him and pinned him down.
“Sully!”, Jack yelled, “Bring the damn handcuffs”. The man was bleeding from the shoulder. They secured the cuffs on his hands and pulled him up. Grunting angrily, he tried to break free but the grip of officer Jack was not something that would soften. A police car was called to the scene and the package stowed away. Sometimes, the most fearful person has to be fearless, like Sullivan, when being afraid is not an option. If it weren’t for the courage of small people, the world wouldn’t be a better place.


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