Castle Roland

Officer Rail

by Kyle Aarons

Short Story

Officer Rail

Published: 8 Apr 14

Copyright © 2012 - 2014 by Kyle Aarons and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Lexington Kentucky

Officer Rail LogoThe black Honda Accord blew though the traffic light on Henry Clay Boulevard, going right through Delaware without even slowing down. With a long sigh, Officer Cole Rail rolled his eyes as he turned on his lights. Twenty minutes till the end of his shift, it figured.

The Honda picked up sped as soon as the driver saw the flashing lights. Officer Rail pushed down on the gas and turned on his siren. "Damn it. Three nights in a row coming home late and now Christmas Eve too; Cindy is going to kill me!" Even as he spoke, he yanked hard on the steering wheel to get behind the fleeing vehicle before putting out the call for assistance. "This is unit thirty one, in pursuit of a Black Honda Accord, no light on back plate, turning North on Liberty, request backup."

It didn't take long for the fleeing vehicle to accelerate to a dangerous rate of speed. It tore through two more intersections getting up to almost eighty miles an hour then tried to turn left on the next major street. The Honda clipped a Ford F-150, sending the pickup into a transmission shop while the Honda went airborne.

Officer Rail grabbed his radio even as he slammed on his brakes, "Need fire and ambulance at Winchester and Liberty!"

Before his car could come to a complete stop, the Honda slammed onto its passenger side and slid with a shower of sparks cascading down the entire frame. It finally came to a stop as it hit a light pole and dropped back on its wheels.

Officer Rail ran toward the Honda with his gun drawn, even as the first of several responding squad cars pulled up. Approaching from the passenger side, he saw a wide-eyed teen with a trickle of blood coming down from a cut on his brow. The driver was already trying to crawl out of the driver's window. "Police, stop!" he commanded as he moved around to cover the driver.

The nineteen year old shook his head as if to clear it, then turned to see the gun pointed at him. He glanced in the direction of the transmission shop, then across the street only to see more squad cars arriving. Still, he saw a chance for an opening and took it. He dove across the hood of the car and made a break for it. Because of his injuries, he stumbled, which was all it took for another officer to slam into his side and drop him on the concrete with a bone snapping tackle. He screamed as he felt a couple of ribs snap.

Officer Rail kept the teen covered until two other officers moved in, secured the well built teen and slapped on handcuffs, he then moved around to the passenger side and looked in again. The teen stared out at him with wide eyes as he saw the gun pointed at his face. With shaking hands the kid started to lift up his arms only to scream in pain.

Seeing the look and the anguish on the kid's face Officer Rail holstered his sidearm and moved up. A look inside told him the boy's arm was broken in at least two places and the shoulder was clearly out of place. "Don't move, kid. You are hurt."

Seeing the kid nod in understanding, Officer Rail edged closer, "Are you armed?"

The kid gulped, "In the back… there is a shotgun… Vinnie has a pistol, too."

"Don't move, don't even breathe fast, son." Cole Rail commanded. He looked over at the officers hoisting the nineteen year old he now knew as Vinnie, "The boy here says he's armed."

"Nothing on him." The fellow officer stated, but he has a wad of cash and the fucker had a needle in his pocket."

"You get stabbed, Neil?" the third officer stated with a great deal of concern.

"Of course!" Neil snarled as he used pressure from his left hand to make the needle prick bleed as much as possible. "If I get AIDS from this…" "Damn it!"

"Keep making it bleed as much as possible," Cole ordered as he glanced over at the pickup. The vehicle was in bad shape and, by the looks of the officers' faces, those inside were not in the greatest condition either. With a disgusted shake of his head he cautiously moved forward. The kid in the passenger seat didn't move, so he glanced in. As soon as he spotted the shotgun, he reached in through the broken window, grabbed it, and handed it back to yet another officer. "OK, I know you are hurt, but from what you told me, there is still another weapon inside this car because Vinnie didn't have it on him. Don't make any sudden moves and stay as still as possible. We'll get you out as soon as fire and rescue gets here.

The teen nodded and fought to not cry, "Grandma said I shouldn't hang out with him."

"Your grandmother was right." Cole sighed, "So what is your name and how old are you?"

"Ken, Ken Baker, I'm fourteen…" The kid winced, "I think my leg is bleeding."

Cole let out a long breath and knelt. He put his hand on the boy's non-injured shoulder. "We'll get you out, but why did Vinnie run?"

The boy hung his head and let out a light sob, "He robbed the gas station and thought you were after us."

Cole's eyebrow went up, "Do we have anything on a gas station robbery?"

"Nothing I know of." Neil responded, "Why?"

"Ken, here, says they ran because they just held up a station."

"Crap." Neil pulled up his radio and called dispatch. A few seconds later the word came back over the radio of two men finding a convenience store attendant unconscious behind the counter and the register empty.

Cole shook his head in disgust, but kept his hand on Ken's shoulder. "What'd he do to the clerk?"

Ken's head went down on his chest as he started crying in earnest, "He hit him in the face with the shotgun since the guy wouldn't' open the safe… He had me grab the cash out of the register and he grabbed the guy's wallet and found the gun behind the counter…"

Cole patted the boy on the shoulder and backed away as the fire crew moved up to safely extract the boy. The next thirty minutes were a total nightmare as the scene was secured and paperwork was started. Off to the side, the five year old girl, who had been riding in the pickup with her dad, was bawling as the ambulance attendant finally extracted the seriously injured man.

As Vinnie and Ken were being loaded into ambulances, Cole couldn't stand it any longer. He didn't care if it cost him his job. As a matter of fact, he was pretty sure this would be his last day on the job. With a bit of a growl, he stepped in front of the stretchers with the two teens, "Hold up."

The paramedic cocked his head to the side, "These two have serious injuries…"

"And at the moment I don't give a shit. Hold up."

Seeing and hearing the anger the paramedics took a nervous step back.

Cole moved up between the two stretchers and pointed to the sobbing girl being comforted by a female officer. "Before you two leave here, I want you to look over there." He pointed to the girl, "Look at those tears and see her face. He grabbed Vinnie's head, twisted it and pulled open the nineteen year old's eyes, "Look, you piece of shit. That girl should be home, dreaming of Santa, getting a cup of hot chocolate, or being tucked into bed by her father! Now look! Look at what you did to her. Look at her face! Look at those tears! You did this; you destroyed her Christmas! You screwed over the Christmas of a store clerk who will now not be home with his family. You made this night, this holy night, the worst night of several people's lives and it will never again be a special night for any of them."

Cole then turned to Ken, "And you… Not only have you helped to destroy Christmas for at least three and probably many others, but you mentioned a grandmother, how will she remember this night?" He reached over and twisted the boy's head so he too had to look at the crying five year old girl. "See those tears? There is the Christmas present you have helped to give to others. Think about all of this while you recover in the hospital, a hospital staff who will have to put you, your drug shooting buddy, and a girl's father back together again instead of being with their families. This is the Christmas gift you have given the world this night!"

He let the boy's head go and put his jacket over the chattering teethed boy's chest, "I know there is a heart inside you somewhere, Ken, and I pray to God you find a way to unlock it before it is too late." Cole stepped back but shot Ken one last hard look. "And boy, do me one favor, tonight. When you get your phone call, make it to your grandmother and let her know just how right she was."

Officer Rail glanced at the paramedic, "Get my coat back, but let him keep himself covered with it for now. He is too injured to be forced to be so cold."

Cole clenched his fist and walked away, leaned against his squad car and punched it repeatedly until his hands bled form multiple spots while he shivered in the cold air. Once he stopped, he found two fellow officers waiting for him to lean on. As one of them put an arm around Cole and the other started bandaging his knuckles, he let out a long breath and made a decision; he would not quit, but part of him still wanted to.