News in the Night

Creeping up on midnight, after 11:00 at least, already. The house was dark. The doorbell rang. In the darkened house close to midnight. My wife got up and went to the door. There was a police officer there. She answered, “just a moment while I get a mask.”

“Have you heard anything unusual tonight?”

She realized something was wrong. There were a dozen cop cars in front of our house. Blue lights flashing on them all.

“Spell your name with two Ns?”
“Yes. Good of you to notice.”
“My name has two Ls.”

The police officer was shaken. Whatever she had seen was not good. They finished up the conversation and the cop left. She went to the window and looked out. Wow, twelve cars that she could see. There was an officer looking back into her eyes. She quit watching.

Back in bed, she told me, “there are twelve cop cars out there.” I was asleep. I moaned a response and drifted off into the night.

In the morning I got up early as usual. Nested into the couch going through the internet. Settled into watching a Bob Ross painting video. Halfway through my wife came out, “four people were killed on our street.” “What?” I said as I took off the headphones. “Four people were killed on our street.”

I got up and looked out. There were still cop cars visible. There was red tape strung across our yard, across the lots across the street. There was red tape as far as I could see.

I went outside and down to the street. Looking down there was a car with flashing lights blocking access from Cesar Chavez, blocking in or out. Looking up the street there was a bunch of police vehicles.

I went back inside. We checked the news. All of it this early was the same. Four people killed on Boise Street between Cesar Chavez and 42nd. It happened around 10:45. That was all.

— MichaelRpdx

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