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[#17] Gunshot

Whom did the constable shoot?

The inspector said, “I’ll take a lead now.” He turned towards the constable, “Raymond, it’s your job to make sure these gentlemen stay safe. I give you permission to shoot at sight, if it comes to that. Just keep them safe.”

Hearing the words of strength from the guardian of law made everyone feel protected. A thought, “Is he allowed to enforce law in a different town?” did cross their minds but lacking an alternative, they believed him.

Raymond, the constable, asked, “What exactly shall I be doing, sir?”

“Stay here with them and make sure no one moves. If anyone enters that car over there, shoot him in the knee. I’ll go and check the house. You get me, Raymond?”

Raymond nodded. Peter didn’t quite agree with the plan though. He said, “Sir, we are coming with you. I want to make sure that Susan is alright.”

The inspector smiled, patted on Peter’s shoulders and replied, “For that, I am there, Peter. You should make sure that you stay safe. I promise you I’ll get her safe to you.”

Scott backed Peter’s request, “But sir, it is our responsibility to keep Susan safe.”

“No Scott, it isn’t,” inspector said with an expressionless face.

“It is, sir. Peter loves her,” Scott made a case.

The inspector grew anxious and tired of defending. He decided to tell them the fact for once and all. “LISTEN KID. YOU BETTER SHUT UP AND LET ME DO MY JOB.”

The loud roar came in as a surprise. The same man who was making sure that they stayed safe was now yelling at them. Scott was taken aback. That’s when Mr Castillo chipped in to resolve the matter, “Scott, he is right. His responsibilities include to keep us safe too. He cannot let us go.”

Scott nodded without saying anything. The inspector made sure they still felt that he was on their side and they should trust him. He turned towards Peter and said, “Peter, trust me. I know what I am doing. I will get you your Susan. Alive and safe.”

The phrase ‘your Susan’ struck Peter right at the center of his heart. In all the chaos, he had forgotten what was it that he was running after. He had even started believing that her almost wife didn’t love him at all. If that turned out to be true, what face he would show to people in the town. The thought of leaving Merrifort forever did cross his mind while driving to Rockford. But all this while, there was one hope still alive in him. What if Valentina’s original story was the truth? What if Susan was actually kidnapped? The little hope was like a flickering wick of the candle — a little light that kept the darkness away. Love make us bet on odds that look against us.

The inspector’s good-bye brought Peter back from the trance. “Stay strong buddy. I’ll be back.”

Raymond raised his arm in a triumphant salute and with a widened chest, claimed, “I will take care here, sir. Don’t you worry!”

Inspector pulled out his gun, smiled and walked towards the narrow street while the others stayed in the care of the constable.

A couple of hours had passed. The dusk was approaching. But inspector was still in there somewhere. Scott was sitting on the ground, not because he grew tired but because his legs were hurting from when the mob took their anger out on him.

Out of the blue, they heard Raymond speaking, “No one moves! Shhh. I see someone.”

Against the suggestion that the constable gave, everyone turned their heads toward the car. They saw someone approaching it. It seemed like a silhouette of a female but the face was wrapped in a cloth and no one could recognise her from the distance.

Raymond pulled up his long barrel pistol and aimed. No one spoke. Raymond pressed the trigger. The gun shot. The silhouette fell down crying out loud. A female voice echoed in their ears.

All of them ran towards the car and upon reaching, they saw a girl howling in pain. Her face was still hidden behind a cloth that was wrapped around. Her left hand held her left knee. Raymond got down to uncover the face. He held the cloth near the ear and pulled it away.

Peter, Scott and Mr Castillo gasping in unison, “CARMEN!”

Suddenly, there were loud gunshots heard from the house. Everyone’s face turned towards the narrow street. One after another bullets were being fired at a distance.

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