Raining Justice

February 29, 2008
Dark clouds loomed over the small town of Thorn, New Jersey. Night started to creep into the corners and crevasses of every street and house that the town had to offer. Thunder rolled uncontrollably in the sky, shaking the shutters of the cement built homes. In one of the streets' many allies, a tall lanky figure with a gaunt face walked in the dark, seeming to materialize into thin air with every step. Covered in dirt and the host to a malodorous stench, the figure continued to wait in the shadows clutching a brown paper bag in his rough hands. He was waiting for the time to come to leave his hiding spot and proceed with his six-month old plan. Thinking of nothing else but his plan, he tapped his foot impatiently and judiciously looked into his bag to be reassured that the contents were still there. Breathing deeply, he closed the bag and his dark blue eyes and listened to the oncoming storm approaching. The man and storm alike, both were waiting for the right time to come.

“Well my shift is up and it’s about time, I’m bushed,” grumbled Officer John of the Thorn Town Police Department. Tight-lipped and foggy-eyed, he rummaged quickly through his desk drawer looking for his car keys. Perfunctorily he got up and clocked out, and without a look back at the police department he walked out to his truck. Baby blue uniform standing out amongst the dull colors of the cars, he lunged into his dark green automobile and fired up the engine. Slowly easing up on the gas pedal, he drove out of parking lot and onto the main highway.

Dark waves of clouds started to form in the sky as the weather started to get worse. A boisterous sound was soon heard from the center of the clouds. Slowly the married man pressed farther down on the accelerator of the old truck as it made its way farther into the town. Hearing the put-put sound of the truck as it went by, frisky squirrels scurried up the many trees disturbing the mustard-colored leaves that had been swaying peacefully in the wind. Passing by many houses and stores, the moonlight was the major source of light for the dark town. With the moon emitting light to only parts of the town, the officer failed to see a shadowed figure emerge from a broken glass door clutching a brown bag and convulsively carrying another figure.

“Let’s hear some tunes,” John said but was abruptly interrupted by the shrill scream of his walkie-talkie. Jumping in his seat and unnecessarily saying an in-appropriate word, he slammed on the brakes and grabbed the walkie-talkie. Dialing a few buttons without uttering a single sound and regaining control of his car, he regained his self-conscious.

“This is Officer John speaking,” choked his raucous voice as it spilled into the phone like water into a well. Looking out the window he watched sky grow darker in a matter of minutes. Still waiting for a reply, he sat down his walkie-talkie and now with his free hand he started to shine his badge.
"John we need you back at the station pronto," answered the blinking walkie- talkie. Blinking his eyes in confusion and shaking his head violently, he grabbed his walkie-talkie in anger and forced out a reply as calmly as he could.
Involuntarily through clenched teeth he answered, "I’m on my way but may I ask why I am needed back, over." Not waiting for an answer he dropped the walkie-talkie into the passenger seat and did a brake squealing u-turn in the middle of the road, barely missing a raccoon-infested garbage can. Heading in the opposite direction now going twenty miles per hour over the speed limit, he arrived at the police station. Like a honeybee’s nest, it was frantic with people running this way and that shouting out demands in waves of frustration.
Set upon entering the station, he was bombarded by people all of whom wished to interrogate him. Pushing and shoving through the crowd, the red faced man made his way to the white door in the back of all the booths and many countered-topped rooms. All the rooms were stock full of files and papers of previous crimes and criminals, which were all now being sorted through by sweaty handed officers. Coming to the white door he could now see the small gold lettering reading, Chef Logan Hardball of Deputy 94. Opening the door he was greeted by a portly man with musty-colored hair and the eyes of a wolf that seemed to stare through you.
"Ahhh…. Officer John, I need you to go over to 5th and 6th Street to check out a robbery and possible kidnapping at M&T Vacuum Systems. It was a possible break in through the glass door and then a smoke bomb was placed in the hallway causing anyone to smell it to pass out and stay out for a few hours.” He paused and looked out the window at the parking lot which was cramped with newspaper and TV reporters all wanting to get in and get info about the kidnapping. The chief stood, planning to leave but quietly added, “The thief then entered the building and took $500 and seeing that there was a person inside, the thief took him/her and took off on foot down the corner of 5th Street. Just go down there and check it out and come back if you have anything but just call back if it is minor info. We believe the thief is Matt Crook for he is specialized in breaking in and robbing by using smoke bombs. Got that?” and with a shrug of shoulder, he left the room.
The door was slammed behind him so quickly John didn’t have the chance to ask a question. John was in utter shock, he was flabbergasted!! But it left him but with no choice but to leave and go to the crime scene. Reluctantly, he stomped out of the building and headed to the crime scene. He didn’t even think of the obstacles that may lie ahead and were soon to come.
Sighing in despair as he got out of his car, he looked at the damaged front glass window and the shattered windowpane. In the reflection of the shattered glass, he could see that the clouds were getting darker and the wind was blowing as rapidly as the tidal waves on the shore. Walking towards the cash register was like walking through a sea of loose papers and broken vacuum cleaner houses. Arriving at the cash register he saw that it was flung open and gone through like an old lady’s purse. In several places in the store, he saw signs of struggle such as toppled over chairs and shards of glass that were kicked up. At one point of scanning the trashed store, he spotted a long, shiny glass tube also known as a smoke bomb. Reporting what he had just seen to the chief, he ran out to his car and hopped in, hoping to escape the scene and head home.

“Copy that John thanks for checking in, but we just received news that a young lady was working at the time of the robbery so we think Crook kidnapped her. If you want to keep a look out for a girl wondering the streets. Thanks again!” echoed the walkie-talkie. Frozen in terror and humanity, his thoughts strayed back to the picture of his own fifteen year old daughter and how his heart would live in agony if she were kidnapped. Thinking about what the walkie-talkie had just said, anger rose inside of him. With a tensing face and clenched fists, he kicked open his car door and jumped out, scanning the gloomy horizon for any sign of a young girl and the kidnapper. Walking out around the car and hitting it with his foot as he went, his hands became sweaty and clammy as he stroked his head thinking about what he should do.
“Great, the weather is getting worse and there’s a kidnapper on the loose and who knows, they could be anywh…” he gasped. Just around the corner near an old dumpster, a dark figure had emerged out of the can and was now heading up 5Th Street. Hope seeping back into the man's eyes, he gathered up all the courage in his heart and started following pursuit but not before yelling, "Hey you there!! Freeze!!"

Running as fast as he could after the fleeing crook, John saw the figure carrying a brown bag and pushing another figure in front of him. A smile formed on John's face after seeing at how close they were getting. Just then, the figure lurched to the right into a dark ally; catching John off guard and making him run into a mud puddle and end up on the ground. Grumbling under his breath, John scrapped the ground with his feet, and reached for something to grab onto and pull up with, but nothing was in reach. Scrambling to get up, John steadied himself by leaning on the wall and again tried to run after the crook. Faith was slowly coming to an ending point for John, and he had to make a decision. Should he continue to follow the crook or give up and call for back up? Thoughts of his own girl came sweeping into his mind, and without a second thought, he ran farther into the dark alley after the crook.
Franticly searching for the emaciated figure of the crook and the slim figure of the girl, he once more caught sight of them now walking between two allies; one which lead to a dead end after a while, and the other leading to a one-way exit gated park. Slowing to a brisk walk, John thought about the possible idea of them going into the gated park where he would catch them. But did the crook know where to go? He didn't have to wait long for the girl was now pointing in the direction of the park. The crook lead himself into trap and the girl must know I’m here, he thought. Knowing that the girl must also know of the gated park, he ran back the way he had came to go down an alley that would intercept with the alley that they would be going down.
Thunder rolled and lightning flashed in the sky as John ran down the alley. The weather was sensing that something bad was going to happen. As small raindrops started to fall, John arrived at the locked gate. Hearing footsteps approaching, John hid behind the park sign, rain and sweet dripping over his face and taking over his body. He then waited till they were just in front of him…
"Arrgg!!!" roared John as he sprang out onto the crook. With all his heart and soul, John swung the crook's arms around trying to sit on the crook’s back and keep him were he was, but the body under him flailed and kicked like a caught fish. With receiving many hits in the back and gut, John gripped the man’s arm tighter. By biting his lip till his jaw trembled, John kept the guy down in fear that the he would escape. In the distance, the other figure inched slowly toward the soaked brown bag and with trembling hands, the figure picked up the bag.
"You are under arrest for break in and entering, kidnapping, and stealing. You have the right to remain silent,” screamed John through the roaring thunder, slashing winds and the pounding rains that echoed in his ears. With one last crack of thunder, the rain came to a slow end and the sky went black; not even the moon or its light could be seen through the darkening clouds.
"No, please you have the wrong guy!! You're letting the real thief go!! No please!! Please listen to me!!” pleaded a thin and wary voice from under John's muscular body. John, blocking out the sound of the kidnapper, screamed to the girl at his side that had picked up the brown bag to run home. Though there was hardly any light to see, John heard the girl run away without a word said. John reached into his pocket and pulled out silver handcuffs and handcuffed the crook. Heaving the crook onto his feet and grabbing his soaked walkie-talkie, he fumbled with the buttons till he heard a satisfying beep. He then retuned the walkie-talkie to his pocket knowing that with hearing that beep, the station would know that the crook was caught. Blindly shoving the man down the ally, the two figures made their way towards the abandon car.
The only thing on John’s mind was the thought of the girl’s safety and the criminal behind bars. Justice and luck are the key words he thought, and through the storm, he ushered the crook to his car. He wanted to get a better look at the crook who he thought was Matt under the dim streetlight in which his car was parked under. With one last shove, John got the blue t-shirted man under the light. Picturing the brown haired and glassy blue-eyed stare of Matt Crook that he was likely to get, he turned the boy around.
To his horror he saw a black haired boy and a brown-eyed stare. Jaw risen, eyes planted on the ground and hands in a tight fist, the boy on which he had taken into custody wasn’t Matt Crook but John’s neighborhood newspaper delivery boy, Billy.
John stood there staring at the boy, swaying as if he was intoxicated. It was implausible!! John’s face turned a ghostly pale and he had to lean on the hood of the car to keep from falling onto the ground in shock. Shaking his head wildly back and forth, the only thing that John got out of the boy was a cold, spine-tickling stare that seemed to melt all the emotions inside of him.
“No you wouldn’t…couldn’t have been the robber. Why…why did you kidnap a girl and steal money?” choked John. Thoughts stirring back to the stolen money in the brown bag, John franticly looked around the vicinity for the bag. Seeing that is was nowhere in sight, he shook his head and closed his eyes. Moaning in disbelief, he straightened his posture and listened to the boy’s story.
“I didn’t steal or kidnap anybody!! In fact, I was the one that was kidnapped!” Billy screamed and he thrust his handcuffed hands into the air in frustration and turned his back on the officer.
John poked his fore finger at Billy and shook it like a loose hotdog. “Wait a minute, so you are telling me that you were kidnapped and that you didn’t steal the money, but I thought the robber who ever it was kidnapped a girl not a boy.”
“No you got it all wrong!” Billy’s face was as red as a beat. If it could happen, steam would be coming out of his ears and nose. Billy was getting as mad and aggravated as a bull ready to charge.
"The police guessed wrong! It wasn't a girl that was kidnapped, it was a boy, and it was me!! Here, let me explain." Billy wasn't going to wait for John to answer. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, Billy explained how he had been working the late shift at M&T since the girl who had worked the late shift quit the previous day. Billy explained that he was about to do the daily totals when a man in black with brown hair and blue eyes, Matt Crook, walked by the store with a brown bag. The man then stood in front of the store and opened the bag pulling out a grey tube and throwing it into the front showroom case. The whole store then filled up with a chimney-smoke kind of gas and Billy tried to run, knocking over chairs as he ran. But then he fainted and didn't awake till he was thrown into a dumpster and commanded to keep quiet or else.
"I felt like my life was in danger but I didn't see if the guy had a weapon. I knew that he did steal from the cash register for there was a minute hole in the bag and I saw green. I'm sorry I didn't scream my name at you when you were chasing us. Now it is my fault that the crook got away with the money." Head hanging down, Billy fell silent as John recalled the situation and looked off into the distance. He knew there was no chance that he would catch the real thief, and he felt ashamed about the occurring events.
Guilt hit him like a machete knife; he covered his face with his hands, hoping that when he took them off he would awake from this horrible nightmare. But when he heard the siren of cars from the background, he knew it was no dream. It needs to rain justice, he thought and without another word he released Billy and walked over to the chief to explain the event. Knowing in his heart the he, John Phials, would never forget himself for what had happened.
In the dark street lit by only a few street lamps, Officer John Phials stood alone on the wet street as the chief came over to get the news. In the background, lightning struck and the thunder rolled while the rain, as if on queue, started to fall.

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