Officer Bob had spent most of the day in his small office at the end of the hall.
When he did venture out,
he avoided eye contact with his fellow deputies.
Most, if not all were avoiding him like ebola.
Officer Bob, for the first time in his life felt helpless.
As the day wore on, he was feeling more and more like a caged dog. Bob had been instructed not to speak to, or interact with anyone from the media. The mayor made a rare appearance at the police department. Officer Bob had just walked out of the men’s bathroom, and was slightly bent forward, examining a pea stain he had just dribbled on himself; when the mayor passed him in the atrium. The mayor gave him a blank stare, and briefly glanced downward at Bob’s pea stain dilemma.
In the past the mayor
would often congratulate him
on doing a good job
in the community.
Now though, Officer Bob
now understood what it felt like
to be on the outside looking in.
Bob proceeded down the hallway. He slipped out a side door and got the hell out of there. After scoping out the parking lot, Bob hightailed to his car. Bob had parked in the alley, trying to avoid the media. He fired up the old beast, and took the back roads to the trailer park. Soon he was home. After turning off his phone he took a shower. He sat at his dinette table waiting for his tv
dinner to finish cooking. He sipped a cold can of beer. He sat contemplating his next move. Going to see Shane was out of the question. The pastor’s son lived at home, so going there; was a no go as well. He decided on going to a little honky tonk out in the woods about twelve miles from his trailer home. He tilted his head back sucking down that last little sip of beer from the aluminum can. He let out a nicely rounded belch, and tossed his beer can in the direction of his trash receptacle. Bob walked down the hall to his tiny bedroom. He unloosed his belt sliding the large pistol and holster off his rotund girth. He decided to put the nickel plated .357 magnum away, and opted on something not so cumbersome to the honky tonk. His .38 police special would suffice. He unholstered the large pistol and laid it upon an oily rag. After wrapping it up, he placed it inside the bottom of his old army foot locker. Officer Bob looked fondly at the old footlocker. Years ago, he had wanted a career in the Army. He wanted to be in special forces, a green beret. ‘Just like John fucking Wayne,’
Bob thought angrily.
It was not to be. Karma made a reservation in his behalf, with a one way ticket back to Hicksville, Missouri.
He was given a medical discharge in basic training. He had some issues with a weak bladder, and was sent home, to the disgrace of his family. Bob slammed the wooden top of the foot locker down, pushing it roughly with his boot into the closet. A cold pitcher of beer sure sounded good right now. “When I get my hands on those two sons of bitches, ow, damnit,” Bob growled. The steam of his TV dinner had slightly scalded his index finger. Bob decided to lay low until it got near dusk. He would eat his dinner, drink a few more beers, and then head on out to his favorite bar.
Sonny Ray turned on his indicator, and again pulled off the darkened two lane highway, onto the shoulder of the road. He stepped down from the truck, and watched the black eagle as it continued to soar up the face of these Sacred Peaks. “Well that ends that I suppose,” Sonny Ray said to the trees. He climbed in the truck and called Dwayne. “Ladies, that was Sonny Ray, he got a little side tracked. Something about the eagle and fire, but anyway I am pumped to get going so, ” “Bye Dwayne,” Nadia and Natalia said in a sing song way. Dwayne smiled and waved as he closed the back door. He placed his tripod and two backpacks on the porch. He had only sitting for a few minutes when lights began to shine from off the freeway. He stood up from the porch as Sonny Ray rolled into the driveway. Both men exchanged broad smiles. “Look at you Sonny Ray. Clear glasses hair slicked back, you got the black t shirt on,” Dwayne said enthusiastically. As he was all red road, and psyched to go, he quickly loaded up the bags. “Okay, I guess that means we have no time for some cold pizza eh?” Sonny Ray said disappointed. Dwayne laughed. “No my friend, I have much better to offer you than that. The girls hooked up with some frybread, with the works,” Dwayne said lifting up a small lunchbox. “Whew, that’s what’s up, because I’m starving dude,” Sonny Ray said. “Sonny Ray you say that about every forty five minutes, you know that right?” Dwayne said smiling, eyebrows extended upward. “Why you wanna harsh my flow bro?” Sonny Ray asked, feigning to be offended. Dwayne jumped in, and they were off. They made the short drive across Antelope Springs, and neared the border; heading into the trailer nation. Dwayne pointed out the fire break, and Sonny Ray slowed, turning off his head lights. He drove at a crawl. He stopped the truck far in enough not to be noticed from either direction of the highway. The two men quietly closed the truck doors. Without a word the two men donned their backpacks, and headed down the darkened fire break. Soon they could hear the incidental stir of people in the small trailer park. The two men slipped into the woods, walking cautiously for a hundred and fifty yards or so. They walked up the short farmers dike, and surveilled the park. The field of alfalfa had been recently harvested, so it would offer no challenge in crossing it. However, it offered some cover. It was the logical approach, with the minimal amount of potential detection.
The two men decided Sonny Ray would make the intrusion when the time was right. Dwayne had brought along two walkie talkies that he had borrowed from his twelve year old nephew, Thomas. Dwayne set up his tripod, and began the surveillance on officer Bob. Sonny Ray decided to hold off on the frybread until he got back. He was pumped now, ready to go. Dwayne could see into Bob’s trailer. The TV was on, and at least one lamp as well. Dwayne went to one knee, and placed an old towel on the ground. He then opened his backpack, and pulled out a slender but long box. As he removed the top of the box Sonny Ray took a knee. “That’s the real deal yeah?” Sonny Ray exclaimed. Dwayne nodded as he worked the pistol out of its styrofoam encased crypt. “It looks and feels exactly like the one officer Bob has over in his rat hole over there; Dwayne said as he pursed his lips in the direction of the trailer park. Sonny Ray smiled as Dwayne handed him the new pistol. Sonny Ray took a lightly oiled rag and wrapped the pistol in it. He placed it in a large plastic bag, and finally into his backpack. The two men stood quietly in the dark. Waiting, and watching.
“You ready?” Sonny Ray nodded casually, nonchalant. “Okay, be ready because I believe officer Bob is preparing to head out for the evening,” Dwayne said excitedly as he continued looking through his camera lense. Sonny Ray hooked a walkie talkie onto his belt. The two men could hear the slamming of the trailer door, and stood side by side as the red tail lights of the old car faded from sight. After exchanging some fist dap Sonny Ray walked cautiously down the short dike into the field. He could feel his adrenaline flowing but he was focused, under control. The back of Bob’s trailer faced the field. A light left on by officer Bob would make for a quick assessment of the trailer layout. Sonny Ray approached the back of the trailer. He looking into a window that Bob had left unsecured. The smell of stale beer wafed out the tiny window. It reminded him of his fathers apartment. Pushing that thought from his mind, he eased around the side of the trailer. He looked in both directions of the dirt road leading in and out of the park. He could hear a couple of older men laughing, but nothing close by caused him any alarm. He rounded the side of the trailer, and was about to approach the front door when a pair of headlights flashed up near the trailer. Sonny Ray turned quickly making a short sprint back to the side of Bob’s abode. He was now in horse mode. In the next ten seconds, depending on what he heard, or didn’t hear; he would go into his fight or flight response. “Shit,” Sonny Ray thought. The brakes squeaked loudly as the car abruptly stopped. It was officer Bob. The portly policeman slammed the door of his car. He left the car running, so evidently he had not planned on staying very long. Sonny Ray hunched down and waited. He could hear Bob grumbling as he slammed a drawer. Sonny Ray concentrated on controlling his breathing as he waited. The tiny aluminum door of the trailer flung open, only to be slammed shut. Sonny Ray stood up slowly, and as he did, he accidentally keyed the button of his walkie talkie. Bob, who had his hand on his car door handle quickly turned, drawing his small pistol. Sonny Ray had heard the sound of the pistol clearing the leather holster, which was immediately followed by the sound of the metallic click of a hammer being cocked. Officer Bob was sweating profusely as he advanced slowly around to the side of the trailer. “Who’s there damnit?” Officer Bob called out. The sound of crickets could be heard conversing in some over grown grass near the siding of the trailer. Sonny Ray heard them, and hoped they were cheering for him. The unannounced yipping of a small band of coyotes passing through the alfalfa field behind them, startled both men.
“Damn varmints,” Bob said as he uncocked his pistol. After nervously returning his pistol to its holster, he turned back toward his vehicle. After slamming the car door, he was gone. The primal sounds of this local band of coyotes began to fade in the early twlight in the mountains of northern Arizona. Sonny Ray took a deep breath. Sweat poured off his forehead.
He returned the glistening knife
to its sheath, rounding the trailer to the front door. Without glancing around he slid noiselessly into the small trailer. He quickly closed the door, and stood quiet. He could hear a TV blaring, and a small dog barking. Other than that he was good to go. He walked the small hallway and entered the bedroom. He quickly pulled open the two drawers of a chincy white oak night stand. Finding nothing but an old phone book and a dusty box of condoms, Sonny Ray closed them carefully. He opened the sliding closet door. He bent down and slid the olive drab foot locker out. He placed his backpack on the floor, and opened the Army footlocker. Lifting out the wooden compartment that was used for underwear, and socks, he placed it on the small unmade bed. Peering into the bottom of the footlocker he found the large pistol wrapped in a rag. He took a picture of the pistol, and carefully removed it realizing in all likelihood it was loaded. Sonny Ray unwrapped Bob’s pistol, so he could use his oily rag. After wrapping the new replacement pistol in Bob’s oily rag, Sonny Ray checked his phone to get a view of the positioning of the pistol. After sliding his phone in his pocket, he placed the pistol carefully in the footlocker. Sonny Ray unloaded officer Bob’s cannon, and shoved it deep into his backpack. He closed the top of the olive green locker, and slid it back in the closet. He closed the pine closet door, and scanned the room one last time. He was satisfied that everything looked right. He quickly walked to the front door, and slowly opened it, and left with the minimal amount of noise. After turning the corner of the trailer Sonny Ray began a slow steady jog in the direction he had last seen Dwayne. He gained speed quickly, and soon began to look like
Forrest Gump; with three rednecks in a pickup truck chasing his ass.
“Hey Sonny Ray over here,”
Dwayne called out. Sonny Ray honed in on his voice, and soon stood next to Dwayne, bent over trying to catch his breath. Dwayne had barely broke his tripod down when Sonny Ray came rumbling through the field. After gathering their gear they headed down the fire break. “Hey uh,” Sonny Ray offered. “Let me guess your hungry,” Dwayne said laughing. Sonny Ray smiled, but then said, “Hey by the way how did you know I was in trouble? That was perfect timing with the coyote calls, because when he started to turn that corner I thought I was in some serious trouble, so mahalo for that Dwayne.” “What are you talking about?” Dwayne was mildly confused. Sonny Ray went on to relate to him about the moment when he accidentally squelched the radio, and Bob pulling his weapon. “Sonny Ray I saw his shadow coming towards the side of the trailer that you were on, but as far as coyotes, that wasn’t me man, besides it was too dark to see much of anything.” Sonny Ray nodded his head but said nothing. “Hey let’s go eat,” Dwayne said smirking. “Whatever man, okay let’s go then cause I’m hungry for real,” Sonny Ray said smiling back tiredly. The two men drove the fire break, and headed back to Nadia’s office.
The black eagle sat atop a three hundred year old ponderosa pine, looking down on the two unobservant young men as they drove by; unaware of the watchful eye of this celestial creature upon them.
They had no knowledge that the black eagle
and the coyote; were old friends.