Flash Fiction: Open the Door Sideways

This too is a random flash fiction story I wrote on the fly. No more and no less and not really thought out. It just came to me. So take it for what it is. Again, no more and no less.

When I opened the door, the smells from inside wafted to me like a fish that was much too close to the worm. The problem for the fish, not knowing there was a hook on the other side of the worm, wasn’t exactly the same surprise I would get. Mine was much bigger and much more worse. I too would soon be victim to the hook like the wiggly worm except it was disguised as a man in a raincoat or trench coat. Let’s say for practical purposes, it was a long coat, black and not cool like the one Keanu Reeves wore in The Matrix. Actually the hook was visible on the front, sides, and end but I was so engrossed into capturing this maniac, I was caught off guard.

He blindsided me in the worst way possible and for being such a seasoned detective, at first, I couldn’t admit to myself I had royally screwed up. I had not only let my Captain down, but I had let my partner for over fifteen years down. I neglected to tell him where I was going or what I was doing. I know that was mistake number one and there would be repercussions if I survived. In fact, if I had told him, he would’ve been right by my side.

Captain Castillo was the reason I first became interested in law enforcement, first as a border patrol agent and then as a beat cop. However, it was Detective Ortega that made me want to become a detective. I remember asking Castillo how he felt about arresting our own kind on the border. He was a no nonsense type and asked me with his gravelly voice, “what do you think?” I never answered him and he followed it up with “why are you asking such a stupid question?” I went on my way because I knew the main reason. You see, Captain Castillo or CC as he liked to be called, was my uncle. He was my dad’s older brother who had little similarities with my dad except with how he looked in the face. His eyebrows were like furry caterpillars and the corners of his mouth were always turned up a little bit. His legs bowed out and sometimes he walked with a limp on his left leg due to a injury that never healed.

Detective Ortega was the reason I stayed on the police force when I thought about quitting. He told me there were so many more crimes to solve and the town was counting on me to solve them. He was counting on me to solve them with him, but at that moment I was shot, I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything. I had been shot twice and unable to move well because my knee had been shattered to bits. When I tried to move quicker, my loud groaning frightened me. I sounded like a bear caught in a trap. I was able to pull myself to my car and radio for back up. Believe it or not, this was the first time it penetrated my skin. Sure, I had been shot before but my vest and partners over the years prevented me from ever feeling the full impact. I wasn’t sure where this maniac was that shot me but soon I relaxed a little when I heard sirens. When I saw the flashing lights of the ambulance, that is when I relaxed even more.

I was willing to take whatever would come my way as punishment. I know I’m not above the law but I’m not below it either. I fully intend to capture this maniac once I’ve recovered and when I do, it will be me who puts handcuffs on him. Like Ortega said to me one time, “if you have the chance to open the door sideways, do it.” I don’t know he meant by that and I still don’t. Ironically, it’s what I thought about as I was loaded into the ambulance and when I went under surgery I told the doctor to make sure my knee moved sideways.

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