Retirement, Part 2

The End Didn’t Come
(Retirement, Part 2)

Calvin Duster opened his eyes slowly. Where am I?

The light was too bright, and he quickly shut his eyes closed again, protecting him from the burning radiance. He opened them more slowly this time, allowing his eyes time to adjust before opening them fully.

He repeated the question to himself again and started looking around the room, his eyes busy with activity. He saw the sterile, white walls on all sides of him. The flowers in various vases on the table next to his bed. The wooden door past his feet that were laying out straight in front of him.

Hospital…He knew that was the only explanation, and the machines next to him confirmed it. Then he remembered what had happened.

He saw the blood on his hand as he lifted it from the wound. He saw a man limping away from him. He tried to shout, but no words escaped his mouth…

The beeping became more frequent on the monitor next to him; his heart rate was accelerating. His mind flashed to the past.

“LAPD, put down the gun, now!” I already had my gun out as I yelled these words, pointing them at the suspect. I knew it would be a difficult shot – I was pointing out the open passenger-side window of my department-issued vehicle.  

I was about to wrap-up another case, I knew. A man had murdered his lover, and now I had found him at last. I had him dead-on in my sights, but the man didn’t care. He ran.

I let out a sharp breath and quickly opened my door, jumping out of the car with the engine still running. “LAPD, stop!” I was half-way around the front of the car when the man turned back around and the gun sounded.

I was instantly thrown to the ground and the blood immediately started flowing. I lifted my right arm and aimed the gun best I could as the man began to run away. I fired twice and one hit him in the leg. He cursed and turned around again, but I had ducked behind the front of my car.

A few moments later I poked my head out again. I just lay there for a moment on the ground, unmoving as the blood drained out of me. I saw him limping away, blood gushing from his leg. My vision was blackening, and it seemed as if the end was near. I tried to follow him but I couldn’t. I could only—

Calvin was knocked out of his reminiscence as the door opened. His son, Liam, entered again, along with Calvin’s wife. He smiled at the familiar faces as they both rushed in to hug him, knowing he was awake and safe. Alive. His end was not yet meant to be.


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