A Cold Snow in Castaway County Chapter 1

“Well, Ms. Parks, I think that it has begun the preparation. I know there are many additional duties and responsibilities that a Sheriff has that a police officer does not. So I’m guessing I will have to do some on the job training if I am successful in the elections.”

With that, Dell smiled and thanked the audience for attending and then the speech concluded. Dell was entirely thrilled to be allowed to leave the building after shaking a few hands and making the standard observances of some of the people’s children and babies. Dell was sure that if he lost the election in November he would surely never run for any political office again in his life. He said goodbye to Father Delaney and climbed back into his Trail Blazer and headed back out Route 17 toward the lake.

As he drove southwest to Daphne Crossroads to pick up Route 121 to Spoodicook, he began to think about that question he had tried so hard to avoid back at the town meeting. He had actually had a pretty good career in Boston. He began as a beat cop and quickly was singled out as supervisor material. Once he made Sergeant, although he enjoyed the daily fare on the streets, his wife, his first wife, had pushed him to request a transfer to the detective bureau because she felt it was safer and, more to her point, more prestigious. That Elaine; she sure tried to make sure that they hob-nobbed with only the best bluebloods in Boston. Most of those ‘pricks’ thought a beat cop was a street urchin and would allow only higher-ranking detectives to be considered appropriate for their circles.

Well he had made detective, in only his fifth year on the force. Within another two years he had made Detective Sergeant and then finally Lieutenant of Detectives. Most of the time he was responsible for the sex crime section and while it was interesting work, it became a source of negativity in his daily life that sort of made him become jaded. Near the end, he began to think of people in several categories, none of them very nice. Then it happened!

One dark summer night in May 2006, he had responded to a call just as his shift was ending for a burglar alarm at an old warehouse. The location was just around the corner from him at the time so he responded. As he had exited his unmarked cruiser he saw someone with his or her leg over the broken window coming out of the building. As the person placed both feet on the ground, Dell who was pointing his duty weapon at the person told them to stop and put their hands up. The person turned slightly toward Dell and he could see a little light shine off of some metallic object in the person’s right hand. That hand was now coming around and would be in direct line with Dell’s body in another split portion of a second. Taking the object for a possible handgun, Dell fired one shot directly at the torso of the person. The person dropped quickly to the ground and Dell kicked at his hand to get the metallic object away and then placed handcuffs on the person. As Dell rolled the person over to check for vital signs, he looked at the face and saw the cherubic face of a mere child! Why this boy could not be more than thirteen or so he thought. There were no signs of life left in the boy’s body. When he walked over to the metallic item he had kicked away, it was a metal flashlight, one like he and every other cop in America carries. It was just a flashlight! A cold sweat came over Dell and he had the urge to turn away and puke, but he knew in his position of authority he had to hold in his personal feelings. He had to get his emotions under control, he had to fight through the commands in his brain to yell out in his pain and break down, falling to his knees and crying uncontrollably. He had to be strong. He had to be in command of himself and the scene. It was his job. So he called for the emergency squad and a supervisor to respond to the shooting.

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