The Day After Tomorrow

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is, still, “anticipation”……


He had always wanted to take up gardening.

Mind you, by gardening he just meant pruning roses on sunny summer says, he didn’t mean spending February mornings hacking at rock-hard ground with a trowel just so that he could have four onions with one meal in July.

He might get garden gnomes.

He could spend more time with his grand-children. Or less, come to think of it.

He could take up bowls. Or bingo. The possibilities were endless. You often heard of people older than him doing hazardous, exhilarating things like climbing Kilimanjaro, or parachute-jumping, or deep-sea scuba-diving. He thought of these people as nutters.

He could, and most definitely would, take his alarm-clock and hurl it discus-like as far out into the East River as he could.

He might just do nothing, for days upon end. Whatever he did (or didn’t), it wouldn’t involve work.

He had two days to go to retirement.

He’d miss the guys, the camaraderie, the nights in O’Malley’s bar after work. He wouldn’t miss drawing chalk-outlines, or breaking bad news to families, or being shot at.

Oh, I should have mentioned that sooner. He was a cop. Yep, a cop with two days to go to retirement.

He was well aware of the urban myth. He knew well that a cop with two days to go to retirement might as well go out on his last case with a target painted on his forehead. In fact, to save time and cliché he should just shoot himself.

Or some misdemeanour that he had committed back when he was a rookie would suddenly come to light, depriving him of pension, liberty and the chance to watch endless episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

None of this was going to happen to him. He had years of doing feck-all to look forward to.

Besides, if the tales were correct then no cops would ever retire, and the New York Police Pension Fund would be wealthier than the Beckhams.

He was sitting at his desk eating a doughnut (some urban myths are in fact true) when the call came through. His partner looked at him.

“You don’t have to come,” said his partner. “Finish your paperwork. Sit this one out.”

“Might as well come along one last time,” he said. “After all, I’ve only got two-”

“Don’t even say it!” snapped his partner.

They drove to the scene of the 911 call, and he got out of the car just in time for a man running from an apartment block to look at the uniform, panic, and shoot him three times in the chest.

The bruising made it look as if he had five nipples, once he sat up.

Because even though the call-out had been from an other apartment across the street, to take details from an elderly lady who had filed a missing kitten report, he had worn a bullet-proof vest. Just in case.

You don’t last thirty-five years in a police-force by being dumb.

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