The Hatchmen

Eight years has passed by since Albina Ratownik has escaped from the Underground Hospital Prison of Dr. Smok. No one knows what happened to him but Albina is sure that he is dead because she saw his death before her very eyes. She has been adopted by a doctor who is a good man and she is survived her depression and PTSD. Now Albina is a police officer who hunts criminals but one day, everything goes downhill. Four teenagers escape a train wreck but this train wreck was suspicious and abnormal. When the train crashed, no bodies were found and the four teenagers claim that two of their siblings and the rest of the passengers have been kidnapped by terrorists. They also mention someone by the name of Dr. Smok. Is Dr. Smok really alive out there, with terrorists, trying to cause more harm to people? Or are these teenagers lying and are they part of a conspiracy? It's up to Albina to decide.


9. Pursuit

That night, the telephone conversation for Cecylja was … anxious. Her parents were relieved that Cecylja and her brother survived the train explosion but they were worried and distrustful due to the fact that she, her brother, and her cousins were labeled as suspects. She was grateful that her parents, aunts, uncles, and their younger cousins at home were the only ones who knew that she, Antoni, Filipina, and Jacek were labeled as suspects. Their families were informed by the police that despite the fact that there is no physical evidence against them, they were still going to be held in the police’s custody and be called suspects.

            Filipina’s and Jacek’s parents were not too happy that they were going to be held by the police and that Lilka and Brunon were missing. Cecylja had no idea whether their parents had blamed Lilka and Brunon’s disappearance on Filipina and Jacek but she knew that the conversations on the telephones must have been very bad. She didn’t eavesdrop but she could tell that something went wrong.

            Cecylja’s parents threatened the police to release their children from the police’s custody however, the police retaliated with an even greater threat that was so frightening that it made her parents succumb to the police’s demands. Cecylja never found out what the threat was because her parents were not allowed to talk about it to them; additionally, the telephone conversations between the quartet were being recorded.

            One week after those stressful conversations over the telephone, their training started. They didn’t necessarily go to a military base to train but to one of the police department’s training centers. Of course, the cousins were given their training uniforms and they blended in with other trainees. Their fellow trainees asked many questions to the four about their age and who they really were but the four didn’t give them any answers. They were glad that they were under orders not to give any information to their fellow trainees because they didn’t want to make any friends or enemies; since they were going to work for the police until their names were cleared and Lilka and Brunon were found, they didn’t want to make any goodbyes to any new friends after their time was up. Hopefully, if they all did find Lilka and Brunon, they would be found alive.  

            During the training process, all the trainees, including the four, had to do various activities. Such activties were: doing numerous exercises very early in the morning; run through obstacle courses within a limited amount of time; learn how to patch up a victim with first aid; and finally, learning how to shoot with firearms in a shooting range. Unlike the other trainees who had to train for months, the police allowed the cousins to train for only a couple weeks; Chief Kovalenko was not planning to let the youngsters keep their jobs for a long interval but for only one case.

            The couple of weeks of training were very long but Cecylja still remembered the experience. She remembered waking up from a sweet sleep to the shouts of a drill sergeant; then they would all line up for roll call and do fifty push-ups. She remembered that after all that daily morning preparation, she would get headaches, luckily, she got used to the daily morning preparations so the headaches faded away.

            She remembered the bruises and soreness that she scrapped up after running through obstacle courses. Along with her cousins and the other trainees, she climbed over wooden walls and nets, skip through car tires, and climb monkey bars. When she first started to climb over the monkey bars, she fell on the hard, grainy ground after trying to reach for the fourth money bar. Moments after she fell to the ground, the drill sergeant ran over and shouted insults at her as she tried to get up. Cecylja knew that sergeants yelled as a form of motivation but she wished that they wouldn’t use this kind of motivation; it broke her confidence down even more rather than build it up.

            She remembered when she first came to the shooting range, she was terrified. She hesitated to pick up the gun because she was afraid that if she would take any shot she would kill someone by accident. She was reluctant to learn it but she knew that this part of the training was a requirement and not a choice.

            Her instructor was an thin yet built African-American in his thirties; he looked very stern and had a buzz cut. Of course, like everyone else he was suspicious of Cecylja and of her age but unlike everyone else, he didn’t ask questions. He handed her a black, G41 Gen4 .45 AUTO Caliber pistol; a shiny, translucent pair of safety goggles so that flying shells wouldn’t damage her eyes; and a pair of gray, earmuffs so that the noise of the handgun wouldn’t damage her hearing.  The earmuffs were tight on her head but snug enough. When Cecylja picked up the small yet heavy, ominous weapon, she felt its dormant, deathly soul inside it.

            “A’ight now,” said the instructor “So ya wanna learn how ta shoot? What’s one of the most important rules when handlin’ any type of gun?”

            “I don’t know sir.” replied Cecylja.

            “If ya don’ know dis rule,” said the instructor “ya a’int neva gonna suh’vive the firs’ five minutes of your first shootout. The rule is: always and I mean always check to see if yo’ gun is loaded, even if ya think it’s not loaded. If ya don’t follow this rule, ya could end up hurtin’ or killin’ someone or yourself by accident. Ya understand?”  

            “Sir, yes sir!” she exclaimed as she saluted him.

            “Good. Now, lemme borrow this fo’ a moment,” he said as he took the gun from her hand “another rule is this: when reloading, ya always keep yo’ gun pointed towards the ground. Again, ya don’ wanna cause an accident. Ya understand?”

            “Sir, yes sir!” she exclaimed.

            “Now, how ya check ta see if yo’ gun is loaded is to check the chamber and how ya open the chamber is you slide it.” he demonstrated “How ya reload is by pressing the magazine release with yo’ thumb and then the magazine drops out. Then ya gotta load the magazine with ammunition and ya put the magazine into the gun by pressin’ and pushin’ the magazine inside the hole of that gun. Ta make sho’ yo’ magazine is put in properly, ya haf’ ta pull it downward. This is really important because if ya don’ do that, the gun won’ shoot right. Next, ya hold the gun but with yo’ otha’ hand ya pull it ova’ the slide, hold it tight, pull it back firmly, and let go.

            “Then, ya gotta hold yo’ gun straight with both hands and aim. Make sho’ ya are aimin’ accurately. Ya put yo’ fo’finger inside the trigger guard and squeeze the trigger. Anotha’ important thing is ta make sho’ ya keep yo’ otha’ fingers away from the slide and neva’ drop yo’ gun eva’ unless ya are planning to kill yo’self or get yo’ fingers hurt by the gun. Do I make myself clear?”

             “Yes sir!” responded Cecylja.

            “A’ight then,” he said as unloaded the gun, gave it to his pupil, and folded his arms “sho’ me whatcha’ got.”

            Cecylja did everything that he showed her: she slid open the empty chamber, took off the magazine, loaded it with ammunition, pulled the magazine into place, and pulled it downwards. Then she held straight with both hands and aimed for the heart of the paper target. She held her hands tight on it and focused her sight on the heart. She took a deep breath and cleared her head. Cecylja was ready for what was about to come. She squeezed the trigger.

            Boom! The tip of the barrel fired with a bright, yellow light and the handgun jumped and recoiled. Her heart skipped a beat and her hands shook. There was a hole on the neck of the paper target. Smoke traveled out of the end of the gun and up into the air like a vapor.

            Hmmph! I nearly hit it. Cecylja thought to herself.

            “Ya were aimin’ for the heart?” he asked.

            “Yes” she replied.

            “Ya need mo’ practice,” he said “keep tryin’ and if ya screw up, I’ll tell ya whatcha doin’ wrong.”

            So Cecylja kept practicing the reloading technique and the actual shooting. She slowly memorized the reloading but eventually she had the technique engraved in her brain. One of problems she had was aiming but the instructor showed her where she went wrong and showed her how to stand properly when aiming.

            As weeks passed by, she and her cousins became stronger and more skillful. As soon as they learned how to handle a pistol, they were pulled out of training and back into their tiny cell. Cecylja was now at her cell with her cousins, staring up at the ceiling and recalling all the events of the past couple weeks; the first day of training felt like yesterday and the day she fell off the train from the weight of the luggage felt like half a decade ago. Tomorrow was a big day and she needed to sleep if she wanted to be fully awake for her first mission.

            She looked around the cell to see if her cousins were asleep. Jacek and Filipina both slept on the twin bed and shared the covers while Antoni was sleeping soundly and snoring on the wooden bench. Earlier that day, Cecylja volunteered to sleep on the floor but then Officer Ratownik came and lent her a mattress with a large, gray, polyester blanket. So now Cecylja was sleeping on a firm mattress next to the twin bed; hopefully, Jacek or Filipina wouldn’t accidentally step on her when they woke up in the morning or got up in the middle of the night to use the toilet. She folded her hands and whispered a soft prayer to God; when she was finished, she put her glasses on the floor, turned sideways, and fell into a sweet sleep.

       The police van was small but it was enough to fit all the police officers and all the cousins. Officer Ratownik was sitting next to Cecylja and Jacek while Antoni and Filipina were sitting across from them. Cecylja, Filipina, Antoni, and Jacek were handed their own police uniforms but they didn’t have their own name tags like the other officers did. Cecylja felt disappointed and left out about it even though she knew she was not an official police officer. Filipina, Antoni, and Jacek, however, didn’t really care about it. The cousins were all eager, especially Jacek and Filipina, to start tracking down those terrorists who kidnapped Lilka and Brunon. Somehow, Jacek and Filipina felt guilty about those times when they were nasty to their siblings because now they missed them. You never appreciate something or someone until you lose it. Jacek took a deep breath and exhaled; he then took out his pistol from his holster, reloaded it, and tightened his grip on it.

            “Lew, please put that pistol back inside your holster,” said a slightly booming voice with a Ukrainian accent. The message was more of a command than a request. Because of the loud voice, everyone jumped and turned their eyes to the source of the voice which came from the back of the van. There was a tall, lean, muscled police officer who had short, cropped ash blond hair and a cleft chin; he was wearing a midnight blue police hat and a police suit with a matching color. He wore a shiny, golden badge that stated “Chief of police” in blue letters on his chest. “We don’t want anyone getting hurt before our mission starts.”

            Cecylja raised her shaking arm to Chief Kovalenko.

            “Sir, I was - “

            “Chief, not sir, Chief,”

            “Chief Kovalenko right?”

            “What other Chief is there?”

            “Well, Chief Kovalenko,” said Cecylja “I apologize for asking this but I am still confused a bit about the plan. Can you please rephrase it?”

 “Didn’t Albina explain it to you?” Chief Kovalenko asked as he directed his gaze to Officer Ratwonik.

Cecylja saw Ratownik swallow a lump in her throat and tremble a little bit; she knew that it was not because the police woman didn’t explain to her the plan because she did explain he plan.

            “No, no, it’s not that, Chief,” objected Cecylja “Officer Ratownik did explain but it’s just that … I don’t understand what we have to do and I get confused easily.

“I am not explaining it to you,” responded Kovalenko loftily “ask someone who has been paying attention.”

            Chief Kovalenko then turned his gaze away from Cecylja and Officer Ratownik and faced the front of the van. Cecylja’s face turned white and a cold chill ran up to her spine. Panic surged through her until Antoni spoke.

            “Cecylja, all we have to do is surround the hideout that the bomber will be hiding in.”

            “How did the investigators find out that this guy is a bomber? Who is this bomber?” questioned Cecylja.

            “I don’t know!” exclaimed Antoni.

            “Cecylja,” said as he cautiously put his gun back in his holster “here is the plan again, I will explain it again in plain English: One of the investigators went undercover and joined a gang because he had to follow this man who was suspected to be a bomber. Through so much evidence we know that this man is a bomber. This man is reported to be very dangerous; in fact, he is reported to be the gang’s successful bomber, has blown up so many buildings, and killed hundreds of thousands of people through only five years. All we have to do is surround the house and we will all arrest the bomber and his men.”

            “What is the bomber’s name again?” asked Cecylja

            “His name is Daquan Espina; his mother was an African-American while his father was a Hispanic”

            The van then slowed down and came to a halt. The driver announced that they came to their destination and immediately all the police officers stood up and loaded their guns. The doors opened and everyone, including the four cousins, burst out of the van.

            The hideout that the officer was talking about was an apartment among rows of apartments. The hideout had windows that were boarded up; black graffiti with chicken-scratch words were sprayed on the right side of the crumbling house; and wooden planks were patched on the part of the roof. Sirens wailed from the police van and red, blue, and red lights flashed. All the police spread out and surrounded front sides of the apartment. They all raised their guns out, including the chief who also held up his white megaphone towards the front of the house. Cecylja reloaded her gun as quickly and carefully as possible; she held her gun with both hands, pointed it at a random spot on the house, and rested her finger on the trigger.


            For fifteen minutes, the police waited and Kovalenko kept shouting into the megaphone; screams and smashing of objects were heard from the desecrated house. Other than the sounds of sirens wailing, there was the sound of silence.

            Finally, a thin, tan-skinned man in his thirties with curly hair and a maroon cotton sweater came out of the wooden front door while dragging a man by his chocolate brown cropped hair a large, bulky device that looked like a mix between a gun and a vacuum cleaner. The man that was being dragged down the steps had dark purple bruises decorated on his face; had a black eye that was swelling; his red and black plaid jacket and dark blue jeans were slashed in many places; and he was limping down the steps, trying not to fall. Once they both got down the steps, Espina dropped the peculiar device, threw the battered man down on the yellow, dying grass, took out his gun from his front pocket and pointed it at him.

            “If you take me then I will have to kill his man first. Pass this yard and I will shoot him in the head; let me go and this man will live; try to shoot me and we will all die. What choice will you all make?” he threatened with a face that was a definition of malicious.

            As Chief Kovalenko was perspirating and thinking, he barked another warning to Espina to give himself up. Some of the officers were slowly lowering their pistols while others did not move their pistols at all, not even an inch. Cecylja looked at Filipina and Filipina looked at Officer Ratownik; Antoni then looked at Jacek. They looked at one another hoping some secret gesture would come and a prepared plan would be signaled; however, no plan or secret gesture came. Cecylja scanned the neighborhood to see if there was anything she could use to disarm Espina until she saw the same three men who stepped out into the back yard earlier climbing down from the window on the side of the apartment.

            “Guys! There are some people sneaking out of that apartment!” shouted Cecylja.

            “What?” asked one of the police officers while the other three stared at her.

            “Look! They’re right there!” she pointed to them.

            All the police officers looked at where Cecylja was pointing and saw the three scoundrels staring back at them in fright and then sprinting. Half of the police officers, including Kovalenko, ran after the three criminals, the other half stayed behind to take down Espina, while Officer Ratownik and the four cousins all surrounded the window to see if there were any more criminals inside the apartment. All of a sudden, from the front yard of the apartments and on the streets, there was the noise of shouting and the dreadful sound of bullets being fired. On the streets, cars that were passing stopped and many people were watching the pursuit. The side of the apartment where Ratownik and her rookies were surrounding the window, a redheaded man with a denim jacket and jeans crawled out of the window and started climbing up the wall.

            “Don’t kill him! Just injure or disarm him!” commanded Officer Ratownik.

            “Right,” said Antoni. He aimed for the man’s legs but then click! Antoni kept pulling the trigger but the gun didn’t fire.

            “Why isn’t it firing?” panicked Antoni.

            “Seriously Antek?” rebuked Jacek angrily.

            “What? It’s not firing! Why isn’t it firing?!” he kept panicking.

            “You forgot to reload didn’t you?” asked Filipina.

            “Yup.” he answered as he reached for his ammunition.

            “TAKE COVER!’’ shouted Officer Ratownik.

            Antoni looked to the rooftop and saw that the man pulled out two pistols from his pocket, rolled around his head but before he could shoot she already knew what was going to happen. Antoni dashed across the street, hid behind a car, lied down on the ground, and covered his head.

            The ricochet came and it went on. Although this was Antoni’s first day on the job he had never felt so scared in his entire life. A bullet was surely going to shoot through his head! The noise stopped and a thud! was heard.

            Antoni came out from behind the car and waited for another sound of ricochet. It didn’t come. He quickly crawled and slithered with his elbows and kneecaps and he poked his head out from behind the hood of the car.

            The man that was trying to massacre everyone earlier was lying down on the pavement face-flat. There was no visible blood but the man wasn’t screaming or moving. There was a strange, white, faint fog hovering above him and all around the block but then it vanished half a minute later. Antoni stood up and looked all around for the others.  

            Officer Ratownik and the others were coming from behind parked cars, poles, and from behind trash cans. They looked around and scanned the area: the other officers were dead but there was no visible blood on the pavement; the redheaded shooter was also dead on the pavement; the surviving officers, including Chief Kovalenko, came into the area with their pistols loaded, and Espina was still standing on the doorsteps. Espina pulled the rope to turn on the strange device but it sputtered. He pulled the rope again but nothing.

            The surviving officers, Officer Ratownik, and the cousins all slowly stepped closer to him. The bomber was frightened and realized that his device wouldn’t protect him now; he dropped the peculiar device on the ground sprinted to his right.    

            “He’s right there!” shouted one of the surviving police officers and pointed to the bomber that was running away. “After him!”

            And so they did. As Cecylja, her companions, and the other police officers chased after the bomber through the busy streets, they quickly divided into two groups and split up. Cecylja and her companions chased after the bomber in one street while the other police officers ran into another street so that they could find a way to corner Daquan Espina. The bomber ahead of them ran into an intersection and turned left but Officer Ratownik and her rookies followed him in that direction. The bomber pushed random strangers out of the way who fell to the ground; some of them fell to the road but the cars quickly halted before those strangers could be turned into roadkill. The crowd of people saw the officer and her rookies running after the bomber so they cleared a pathway for all five of them.

            “!” gasped Officer Ratownik to the strangers.

            The bomber was slowing down but as he was looking back at the police officer and her rookies, Filipina saw by the look of his face that he wasn’t going to give up just yet. When he reached a café, he flipped all the tables on their sides; china plates and china cups all slid off from the tables and smashed into hundreds of pieces all over the brown stained sidewalk. The five of them kicked the shattered pieces of china, pushed the tables out of the way, and continued running after Espina.   

            Antoni’s stamina was running out but he ignored the soreness in his legs and the pain on his side; he had to keep running. Five meters away from them was a tiny flea market which had many colorful stands. The bomber ran towards it; he pushed people out of the way and grabbed a skateboard without paying for it. The cashier came out of the stand and angrily shouted curses at the bomber who was pushing his foot forward and zooming away like a rocket.

            Antoni skidded and halted at the stand. There was a red and black motor bike that cost thirty-five dollars; a large, green bicycle for twenty dollars; and a red skateboard with painted flames for ten dollars. He quickly thought through his options as he pulled cash out of his front pocket. He had twenty dollars which meant that he couldn’t take the motorbike; if he wanted to, he could steal it because the bomber was getting away. Antoni barely knew how to ride a skateboard so that was out of question. All that was left was a bicycle.

            He slammed the twenty-dollar bill on the stand, grabbed the bicycle, and immediately pedaled as fast as he could. He zoomed out of the flea market and through the sidewalks, passing many civilians and almost running into them. Ahead of him were his companions and much farther away was the bomber who was trying to keep balance on his skateboard while continuously pushing his foot as fast as he could.

            If I could just pedal a little bit faster, I could get closer to him thought Antoni.

            “Antoni!” someone called out.

            Antni cocked his head to his left side and saw that it was Officer Ratownik who was calling out. She was making a gesture he didn’t understand the gesture. She was shouting someone but Antoni didn’t understand what she was trying to say.

            “What?!” Antoni called back.

            “Give me your pistol!”

            “But it’s out of ammo!”

            “Just give it!” order Ratownik.

            Antoni kept one hand on the bicycle and reached for the pistol in his leather holster. As he was doing this, he was losing balance but he tried to keep it even as best as he could. He pulled the metal weapon out but then he felt himself falling to the right; he quickly caught the left handle before he fell too far. He was in balance again while holding both the gun and the left bicycle handle with his left hand. He felt himself slowing down a bit.

            Antoni turned his head to the right to see that Ratowik was behind him. He quickly tossed the weapon to her and luckily she caught it. Again, he felt himself turning unevenly and losing his balance. The officer yelled out something but Antoni didn’t understand her.

            “What?!” he yelled out.

            “Watch out!” she shouted as she pointed towards something in front of him.

            Antoni looked in front of him and saw a metal pole and passing cars on the road. He quickly pedaled backwards to brake. The tires were screeching and slowly coming to a stop; then Antoni steered to the left. The tires screeched louder. He was getting closer to the street. His heart was in his throat right now. The bike kept going further. Antoni shut his eyes, not wanting to see his horrible death. The bike stopped.

            Antoni’s bike was horizontally parked and he was panting great breaths of relief. Antoni was only a couple millimeters far from the road.




            The five of them were all running after the bomber but their energy was draining like bath water down the drain. Antoni was no longer riding his bicycle because he quickly got a flat tire; Espina was no longer riding the skateboard because he accidentally crashed into a pole and he had enough of riding skateboards. He was panting now but he didn’t seem to want to surrender. From a nearby alley, the officers that had split up from them, including the chief, popped out. 

            Both teams of officers ran and finally surrounded the bomber from all sides in a ring formation. Daquan Espina looked at them Albina and her rookies then turned around to the opposite direction only to realize that there were more officers behind him. They all pointed their guns at him except for Antoni who didn’t have a gun; in realizing this, Antoni pulled out one of his metal batons.

            Before the bomber even registered what was going to happen, three of the police officers and Chief Kovalenko from behind him tackled him and pinned him to the ground. Espina was struggling to escape again but to no avail. The chief pushed two of the officers away, pulled out his metal night, and rained blows at the criminal.

            Though it wasn’t very visible to Cecylja, she saw Chief Kovalenko brutally beating the criminal as if he was his own personal punching bag. All the police officers and the cousins were staring at their boss with gaping mouths; Cecylja looked away even though she didn’t see the graphic details of the scene. She never knew that Kovalenko could be that vicious!

            “Chief! Chief!” screeched Filipina “Stop it! That’s too much! We didn’t even have to beat this guy up! We already caught him!”

            Chief Kovalenko suddenly stopped and got up from the criminal. The other officer that was pinning him down was covering the criminal’s head so there were no bruises or blood on the criminal’s head. Cecylja was sure that the body was very broken but she dared not to see how broken the man was. She didn’t want to know how badly broke he was.

            The chief bore a grave, menacing expression and walked in a lofty demeanor. He walked very closely to her. He was a head taller than Filipina and was his muscles bulged in his very lean arms.

            “Filipina Pajdak, are you defending this scumbag?” he sneered.

            “No sir!” she defended “it’s just that…we already got him and… it’s wrong!”

            Slap! there was a red, furious imprint of a hand on Filipina’s cheek. She quivered as she looked up at her boss, hoping that she wouldn’t get another smack on the face. He raised his gleaming baton slightly higher and lightly beat it against his palm.

            “Are you questioning my authority?” he hissed “You think you can command your boss the first day on the job? I don’t think so!”

            “Sir…” she spoke softly.

            “You are going to order me again?!” he bellowed “HAVE A TASTE OF MY NIGHTSTICK!”

            But before the baton could reach her face, Filipina ducked and the baton cut through the air where her head should have been with a whoosh! She was on the concrete sidewalk on all fours as she looked up at him. He was panting heavily and fire burned in his eyes; he tucked his baton away and did not hit her again.

            “Anything else you want to say?” he snapped. Filipina hastily shook her head and stayed on the ground. She silently thanked God that this man did not whack her head off. She speedily crawled away from him and slowly stood up.

            “She’s right you know,” said one police officer with a middle-eastern accent.

            “Yeah,” said another but with an Australian accent.

            “Who said that?” asked Kovalenko as he looked at all the police officers.

            “I did Chief.” answered a short, brown-skinned male police officer courageously and a redheaded, female police officer who was taller than the male. Kovalenko turned around to the short male police officer and the redhead walked towards them. The short man stood up straight and did not tremble while the redheaded policewoman shook and swallowed a lump in her throat.

            “Singh, Wilson,” said Kovalenko calmly to him “Don’t question my authority.”

            “Umm.. I am sorry sir,” apologized the Australian.

            “I am sorry,” apologized the Middle-eastern one.

            “Don’t do it again.” he warned calmly.

             As Kovalenko walked towards the bomber, some of the other police officers backed a couple steps away from him. Kovalenko then kneeled down next to Daquan Espina and lifted his unscathed head up by his chin.

            “Enough of playing tag,” he spoke roughly “no one is it this time. You are coming with us and you better not play any more games with us!”

            As the bomber continued struggling, he flashed a demonic, crooked-tooth grin and sputtered a gravelly laugh.

            “You know, I didn’t want to do this…” he spoke.

            “Do what?” spat the police officer that was still seizing him.

            “This” he said. He stuck out his tongue and swiftly bit it down very hard three times. After he did that, yellow lights started flashing all over his body – his tongue, his cheeks, and from under his clothes. Beep! Beep! Beep!

            “A bomb?!” gasped Jacek.

            “Nope; MINES!” he cackled.

            “EVERYONE TAKE COVER!!!” screamed Jacek.

            Jacek, his cousins, Officer Ratownik, and Chief Kovalenko fled the scene; the officer that tackled Espina and the officers behind Espina did not run because they were paralyzed with fear. Chief Kovalenko grabbed Officer Ratownik’s hand and started to run to the farthest building away. They ran a couple meters but before they could run any further, the chief turned around and looked at the officers that stayed behind. They all piled themselves on the bomber who was still struggling to run away.

            “YOU IDIOTS!” he bellowed “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  RUN!!!”



            That week was a very gloomy one. The deceased, brave police officers were laid in large, dark wooden coffins with American flags draped over them. The sky was cloudy and thunder rolled, softly forecasting future rain. Police officers stood in the front and back of the coffins and there was a green funeral tent above the mourners. Meters behind them all were rows and rows tombstones but there were several graves that had been dug with new tombstones in front of them.

            Even Antoni, Cecylja, Filipina, Jacek, Officer Ratownik, and Chief Kovalenko had attended the funeral. Although the cousins and Officer Ratownik had apologized the grieving families of the dead police officers for their losses and had shown sympathy, Chief Kovalenko had isolated himself and did not say much. He stood there with a solemnly.

             Chief Kovalenko stood up in front of everyone and gave a speech.

            “Ladies and gentlemen, we have come here on this sorrowful day to give our last respects to those who lost their lives to the now-deceased bomber Daquan Espina. These men and women were brave to sacrifice their lives to track down and eliminate this threat from society. Their act of piling themselves on the bomber to save innocent lives was an honorable act of courage. We also honor the men and women who died in a white fog from a strange device from the bomber; they tried to take down the bomber but he took them down. We await the day when we will see them again. May they rest in peace.”

            The police officers who stood next to the coffins took the American flags off the coffins and folded them into triangles. Once the crisp flags were folded neatly, they were given to the heads of the mourning families. The officers then hoisted up the heavy coffins, slowly carrying them as the mourners followed them and the funeral march played. Muffled sobs from mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, siblings, and children rang in Cecylja’s ears, accompanying the depressing tune. Some of the people didn’t want to cry but they couldn’t bottle up their tears so they softly wailed.     

            Everyone surrounded the graves as the coffins were slowly lowered seven feet underground into the darkness. The place where everyone before them went and the place everyone would all one day have to go. No one was an immortal.

            As the burial occurred, all four of the cousins cried softly because they had realized something. The police were humans just like everyone else and they had families too.  Although police officers were sometimes “annoying”, it was part of their job to be “annoying”. Maybe some police officers were corrupt but there were some police that were right and just. The incident that happened the other day, that was what police officers did for a living to feed, house, and clothe their families. They led dangerous lives and the time would come when one day they wouldn’t be opening the front door and announcing “Honey! Kids! I’m home!”

            It was only the first day on cousins’ jobs that they realized that being a police officer was not as fun as it looks. It was a job where the angel of death always stood by your side, eagerly waiting for the day, hour, or moment when they could take your soul. 

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