Chad’s eyes welled with an unexpected wetness. His head dropped and his body sagged from beneath him. From Teri’s viewpoint, she thought Chad might have gotten hit by the bullet instead of that fucking worthless serial killer still bound and tied to the moving dolly. Cautiously, Teri stepped forward to investigate. Large clots of blood were oozing out of the gaping hole she’d put on the backside of the balding man’s head, ensuring her that Chad had literally dodged a bullet. But then why the fuck was he on the ground like that? And, for fuck’s sake, was he crying?
“I shouldn’t have pushed you so hard. I’m sorry Teri - I shouldn’t have put you in a position to make you feel you needed to prove yourself to me.”
“What the fuck do you care for? First off, the dead guy deserves what he got and you don’t actually know me. So, fill me in here because I am a little lost,” Teri said, edging away from the pair of men on the ground. Something told her she was going to need to run soon - she wasn’t sure exactly from what or whom, but she knew better than to ignore her gut.
“Well, Teri I care because I didn’t mean for anyone else to get hurt in this. I couldn’t care less that this piece of shit is dead. It’s that I care that someone is going to go to prison for it. I mean, I’ll tell the truth and do whatever I can to get you out of there, but it’s just not what I had planned for the two of us.”
Teri’s hands were shaking as they weaved through the front side of her head, pulling her hair back and away from her eyes. This guy was looney-tunes. So basically, he was telling her he was going to turn her in for killing the fucker and he’d walk Scott-free, no blood on his hands. Well, look down, motherfucker, your hands are drowning in it too.
“Well, that’s not happening. But, I’ll tell you what is… you are going to stand up now and walk back to my car with me. Got it?”
Chad lifted his head shaking it no until his eyes met the end of the gun barrel Teri was now pointing at his face. He stood and did as he was told. Together the pair traipsed towards the black SUV and her half-rusted car, Chad staggering stiff-legged, scared shitless no doubt, and Teri pushing him forward with an imaginary force.
She opened her driver’s side door for him and told him to sit down and grab the wheel. Reaching into Chad’s own pocket she dug out a pair of identical zip-ties he’d just used on their dead little friend across the street from them. She squeezed each one tight, trapping his wrists to the half-torn wheel. “You shouldn’t do this Teri. There’s something about me you don’t know…”
“Yeah, no shit dumb-fuck, like everything. I don’t know how many times I will have to say this to you but we don’t know each other. I know nothing about you so…”
“I’m a cop Teri. I am a cop that’s on a temporary leave of absence. I can’t just not report what I witnessed or not tell the others why I'm handcuffed here. I am not just a civilian- this is going to get real hairy for you if you just leave me here like this.”
“I knew I didn’t like you from the start of this. I fucking hate cops- you pigs kill innocent people every day literally and symbolically by stealing their lives out from under them. Throwing good people behind bars; making them lose first their jobs, their homes, and then their kids. You guys are the real dirt-bags, you know that?” A wad of spit landed on Chad’s left cheek, reenforcing her point a little more.
“Hey, I am not here to have a debate with you Teri. I’m not. I actually came to save you because I thought together we might make some actual change in this world. Ever since I was put on leave from the force, I have been so depressed. But then I started having these visions of you. And well, I hoped we could create our own force, you know?”
“Like vigilantes? What are you, nine? For fuck's sake. How long is this leave you’re talking about here? I mean, isn’t usually a couple of weeks and then you hog dogs are back to throwing the cherries again?”
“It’s a little different for me. I mean, it depends on how much longer the court case gets drug out but I’ve been away for three years already.”
“Jesus, and lemme guess… before you started hunting me down to create some stupid ‘superhero’ pact, you were doing nothing but waiting by the phone day and night for the call to come back to work. Well, buddy, news flash. If it’s been three years- it ain't happenin’! So, as far as I am concerned and probably most other people in the world around us, you are no longer a cop and have no authority in this situation. You ARE just a civilian, as you put it. You will just sit here tied to this wheel until the unlikely chance someone comes across a very hungry, very dehydrated version of Chad- the EX Cop. Avidazen asshole.”
Doors slammed shut as Teri recovered the SUV keys she’d taken from the dummy’s pocket while he’d been telling an old wives' tale about his past, pretend life in law enforcement.