21h00 — A short story on police brutality.

By Lucas P.

A white cop walks into a donut shop in the suburbs. He feels like grabbing a bite before another run, so he tells his partner to wait in the car, he’ll get him a donut as well.

A fat, mid-twenties black lady is behind the counter. Black father and his baby boy are the only people in for a snack.

- Good night. May I help you, sir?

Cop looks around. He looks like he feels surrounded. But not by the same people who even let the occasional cheer out when he enters a donut shop downtown. He scoffs and looks back at the clerk - whose eyes grow impatient.

- May I help you, sir?

Oh yes, he had to go through the slight inconvenience of politeness.
- Night. Vanilla, make it two.

She yells at the back:

- Two Vanilla to go, please! You'll have your donuts in a moment. Cinnamon?

He nods and waits. The baby starts crying, and he looks in their general direction. The baby's attentively oblivious glare reaches the officer's stern eyes.

- Here's your donuts sir. Anything else?
- No. Thank you.
He grabs the paper bag and walks away.

- That's two dollars, sir.
The policeman slows his pace down.

"Hey, man. C'mon, pay the lady." - Says the father who stands up while cradling the infant.

The officer comes to a halt. He is clearly tired of these unappreciative people.

The policeman stands his silent case. He shoves the man to the side and proceeds towards the front door.

"Whoa," says the man holding the boy, "what the fuck, man?"

The officer's patience along with his pretense civility and decency come to an end. He reached to his side.

The employee's eyes are caught the moment. In fear and anxiety, she screams. Startled, the officer draws and shoots. She screams again, and the baby cries desperately loud.

The second officer turns the siren on and rushes out towards the shop.
Steps in, shoots. Untactfully, but certainly, at his perceived target.

As the wounded man tries to limp away, he still has a few seconds to balance the child safely towards a plastic chair. He lands face-first.

She strides across the shop. The cook appears at the kitchen's door at the back -- and runs towards the front yelling his brother's name.
He had already realized what has just place.
His racing startles the first officer, who's still holding his gun. One, two, three, four, five.

The echo fades and the subsequent silence is deafening.

She tearfully stumbles toward the bodies. The officers understand it's their time to dutifully move away. Doors are slammed, an engine revs up and tail lights vanish into the night as the siren phases away.

She bends at the bodies and realizes nobody is coming. She no longer realizes whether the time is passing. Gathering her shards, she proceeds to retrieve the baby and to reach for her phone at the counter. She snaps a quick picture of the place, another of her with the baby. It's no vanity selfie. She shakily types up a report of what has just happened and posts it across platforms.

She hopes someone sees it - because she can no longer look at it alone.