The Serviceman, Chapter 5
5 — The Body
The Cop walked around the boarded up house next door. It appeared the house was secure, he then crouched down to inspect under the house and see if anyone or anything was crawling under the house. Some of the vagrants would crawl under the old houses, knock holes big enough to crawl inside and homestead for weeks without anyone knowing. The Cop couldn’t see any signs from anything crawling underneath and he stood up and walked across the street to a house that was falling in on itself. The vegetation was taking control of the dilapidated house and as the Cop stepped through the weeds and over the fallen branches, the smell of mold streamed through the broken windows and the open door. The front porch decking was way to rotten to step on and the Cop decided he didn’t want to chance destroying another pair of pants this month. He moved back to the street, deciding vagrants wouldn’t live in that house, he proceeded to check the lot adjacent to the house in question that was overgrown with vegetation. The city had torn down a burned out house, several years earlier on that lot. The Cop just looked through the weeds, garbage and scrub now taking over the lot, nothing was there. The house next to the vacant lot was different, there was a worn path going up to the front of the house. Most of the windows were boarded over and the Cop could see the front door slightly ajar. As the Cop walked towards the front porch, a stray dog walked into his peripheral vision, as the Cop looked towards the animal. It stuck its tail between its legs, lowered it ears and went back alongside the house away from the eyes of the Cop. He could see there had been activity on the front porch with footprints through the dust. As the Cop stepped onto the front porch, he announced; police department. He announced police department two more times, stepped up to the ajar door and there he saw it. It appeared to be a body of a man lying on the dirty carpeted floor, on his back with his arms sprawled above his head with his mouth wide. The light was so poor, the Cop couldn’t tell if the man was breathing. The Cop grasped his service pistol and drew it to his front, kicked the bottom of the door, it opened and he again announced; police department, the body didn’t move. The Cop reached for his flashlight, and brought it to the front of him as he flashed around the room. He pointed the light at the feet of the body and moved the light ups towards the face of the man. He appeared to be a vagrant with dirty clothes, unshaven, filthy hands, curled dried fingers and he wasn’t moving. The Cop reached to touch the man’s jugular vein to feel a pulse and as he touched the man’s neck, his eyes flashed open. The Cop jumped up and directed the light beam at the man’s face as well as the muzzle of his service weapon. The Vagrant sat up, put his hands in the air and said; I haven’t done anything. Didn’t you hear me announce police department? The Vagrant just said he hadn’t done anything, I was just sleeping. The Cop, still directing the light beam and pistol to the face of the man; stand up and step outside. The Vagrant stood up while trying to keep his hands in the air and staring at the beam of light. The Cop walked backwards out the door and directed the Vagrant to keep walking and as soon as the Vagrant stepped onto the porch, the Cop spun the Vagrant around, cuffed him and frisked him down. I haven’t done anything, the Vagrant yelled, as the Cop pushed him towards the street. We’ll find out what you been doing, just as a pickup pulled in front of the house.