Luck by Kari J. Wolfe

The red and blue flashing lights from the police cars blinded Peter as he pulled into his driveway. His heart began to race. _Could they have found out?_ There were two of them — no, _three_ of them. Behind him another blocked the entrance of the cul-de-sac. _Wait… is that four?_ Another car with a removable flashing light was parked in front of his house. A few of their neighbors were out — Mr and Mrs Caster in their nighttime robes and, the next house over, Juliette holding her little yip-dog, Cogsworth. Nevaeh had already rushed her brood into the house — he caught a glimpse of a child’s foot as he watched her go inside. _How long had they been there?_

One of the police officers, a kid, fifteen at the most, approached his car, motioning for Peter to lower his window.

“Step out of the car, sir?” The officer tried to be gruff but his voice squeaked when he said ‘sir.’ His left hand trembled near the gun on his side. _Definitely a rookie._

“Sure, um, yes sir, — “ He quickly read the name on the officer’s name tag. “ — Officer Dial.” Peter opened his door, stood up and shut the door behind him, shoving his trembling hands into his front pockets. “What can I do for you?”

“What are you doing here?”

“Uh, I… live here,” Peter pointed at the house next to him. “Me and my… I mean, my wife and I.”

“Would you answer a few questions? Maybe clear some things up?”

“Sure. Whatever you need.” Peter leaned back against his car, pointedly ignoring the nervous twitches his body made as well as the churning pit forming in his stomach. _Had he made a mistake somewhere?_

“Hey Hank! Over here!” The officer motioned with his arm.

A short stocky man in a white polo and grey slacks walked up to him and held out his hand. As they shook, he said, “I’m Detective-Sergeant Pierce. If you don’t mind, maybe we can chat a little before my partner finishes up?”

Peter glimpsed Rita sobbing on the porch, another police officer talking to her. _How would a normal person act here?_ “Again, sure… what’s this all about?”

Rookie Dial said, “We got an anon — “

“Well, let’s just not go into that right yet,” Pierce said. A thin memo pad and a pen came from his back pocket and he uncapped the pen with yellowish-white teeth. He twisted the pen so he could put the cap on the other end and scribbled on the paper. “Gotta make sure it’ll write, right?” He grinned a yellowish-white smile.

Peter nodded, smiling. Inside, his stomach was twisting and roiling on itself. Images of the four girls flashed through his mind. Debbie with her dark blue skirt and jacket. She had rebuffed his advances and that just wouldn’t do. His hands grabbed her by the neck and slammed her against the tree they stood under — the next thing he knew, she was dead. He moved her body farther into the bushes so it wouldn’t be as noticeable if someone walked by. She had been the last and that had been two months ago.

“What’s your name, pal?” the detective asked.

“Peter Thompson,” he replied, watching the detective write his name in nice, neat legible writing.

“Address?”

“12 Sommerset Circle. Right here actually.” He jerked his thumb backwards in the direction of his house.

“Yeah, I figured, what with where you parked and all. Just keeping all of this official-like.” The detective smiled his cigarette-stained smile again as he jotted something down on his notebook. This time, Peter couldn’t see what he was writing.

“How long have you lived here?”

“Ten — no, eleven years this July. Moved here from Santa Fe.” Peter bit his lip. _What the hell, Peter? Shut up!_

Across the street, raised voices filled the air. Paul’s wife ran down the front steps, shielding her large black glasses from the sun. Another uniformed officer walked over to her, pen and paper in hand. She pointed at her house then pointed towards Peter. A thousand tiny hairs stood on the back of his neck.

Looking at his house, he saw Rita nod her head vigorously, her hands holding tissues in front of her face. The officer she was with placed a hand on her shoulder.

Shouting obscenties, Paul ran out of the house and made it halfway down the steps before toppling over and landing hard on his face. His muscles twitched as electricity from the taser flowed through his body. The faint racheting sound of the handcuffs caused Peter’s heart to miss a beat and he reached out to steady himself with his car.

“Well, thank you, Mr. Thompson. Looks like we’ve actually got all we need.” Detective Pierce smiled at him and nodded his head in Peter’s direction as if he had a hat. He and the rookie walked off, the rookie going one way, the detective sliding in the front seat of the unmarked vehicle in front of Peter’s house.

As the police drove off, Rita came running down the steps of his house and wrapped her arms around him. As he put his arms around her, he asked, “What… what was that all about?”

“Paul’s been beating Wendy for years. I’ve been trying to get her to call the police on him for months. Today, I heard her scream and call 9–1–1. Thank God they were so quick!”

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Kari J. Wolfe

Kari J. Wolfe

507 Followers

Never-ending student in the realms of writing fiction/nonfiction and telling stories. Hopeless wannabe equestrian learning from a distance.