Story

Out With A Bang

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“My brother was a beacon of light in this community. He was an officer of the law, a husband, father, and dear friend. He was quick to help those in need and always had a kind word for anyone who needed one.” Cameron Sawyer’s voice rang out through the church as he looked out over the crowd of people gathered to mourn. “His daughter, Sabrina, was his pride and joy. I know he’ll keep watch over her and her mother from heaven.” He paused and wiped a tear from his eye before turning to look at the casket beside him. “You’ll be forever loved, Christian.” He cleared his throat and went back to take his seat. The minister stepped up to the pulpit and began reading from the Bible.

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Midway through the sermon, Sabrina suddenly stood up from her seat and headed toward the doors. Her boyfriend, Colt Brennan, followed quickly behind her and put his hands on her arms to stop her.

“Hey, hey, slow down, Sabrina,” he said gently.

“I can’t, Colt,” Sabrina choked out. “This can’t be happening, this isn’t real.” Tears filled her eyes and she began to sob. Colt turned her to face him and wrapped his arms tightly around her.

“I’m here, sweetheart, I’m here,” he whispered, kissing her forehead and holding her. She clutched onto him and sobbed into his shoulder.

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The day they buried Lieutenant Christian Sawyer was beautiful. Clear skies, warm weather, bright sunshine. It felt wrong, like there should have been rain and lightning ripping the sky apart. Amy Sawyer stood at the end of the grave and watched as her husband’s body was lowered into the ground. It was at that moment she realized she would never again hear her husband singing in the shower, or feel his weight sinking into the bed after a long day at the police station, or catch him watching kids’ shows. She would never feel him kiss her or hold her again. He would never see Sabrina grow up.

Amy felt something snap inside her and she began to wail. She didn’t notice her daughter coming up behind her until she felt Sabrina’s hand on her shoulder. She turned to her but couldn’t find the words, she just watched as her daughter’s face crumpled and she began to cry too. The women held each other and wept.

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*******

Harlow Goth spotted Cameron sitting beside the fountain and went to sit beside him. They hadn’t spoken in years, not since they were teenagers, but her heart went out to him. Harlow thought of her own brothers and could never imagine losing them.

“Cameron,” she said softly. “I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.”

“It’s been a while, Harlow,” he replied. “I’m surprised you even came.”

“What? Of course I came,” Harlow said. “I grew up with you and Christian.”

“I know,” Cameron said, rubbing the back of his neck. “But with what happened between you and I, I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

“Cam, that’s ancient history,” Harlow replied softly. “I’m here for you, okay?”

Cameron smiled at Harlow and stood up, taking her hand. He pulled her in for a hug and said, “Thanks, Har. I’ve missed you.”

Rubbing her hand up and down his back, Harlow murmured “I missed you, too.”

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*******

ONE WEEK AGO…

At approximately 7:20AM, Thursday, August 31, a resident of San Myshuno placed a call to 911 to report a body in Myshuno Meadows park near the gazebo. Upon arrival, first responders were able to identify Lieutenant Christian Sawyer as the apparent victim of a gunshot wound to the forehead. He had been dead for several hours, with time of death placed at around 11:30PM Wednesday, August 30.

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Detective Harry Tamako stood over the body of his colleague and swallowed hard. “Christ,” he thought, “there’s so much blood.” Forensics finished photographing the body and Harry waved over another officer to place a sheet over him. “Get him to the morgue before we lose any more evidence to the elements,” he said. “We need to nail the asshole that did this to Christian.” He turned and walked back to the squad car, running his hand down over his face. Point blank range, shot in the face. Everything about this screamed that whoever killed Chris had very personal feelings. And Harry was going to find out who that killer was if it was the last thing he ever did.

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