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  • by Katrina Mitchell

Short Story: Help! (Part 3)

A police car rolled to a stop, followed by a red fire engine. The firemen quickly pulled out their hoses, while two police officers approached the Super. Michael interlocked his hands with Courtney’s and muttered, “Don’t say a word.” He squeezed her hand and she winced in pain. The Super pointed in their direction, and the police officer walked towards them.

“I’m Officer Brown, and my partner over there is Officer Whitman. Can you tell me what happened here?” the officer asked, pulling out a small notepad and a pen.

“It was a grease fire that got out of control,” Michael said. “My girlfriend is the worst cook.”

Courtney looked at Officer Brown, and stared at him until it felt uncomfortable. The officer looked at her, and she mouthed the word Help! Officer Brown studied her face, then turned back to Michael.

“The dispatcher said that someone was afraid of being hurt--”

“In the fire,” Michael answered quickly. “She was afraid I was going to be hurt in the fire.”

“Is that true, ma’am?” Officer Brown said, turning to Courtney. Michael looked at her too, and squeezed her hand again. Officer Brown noticed the smashed phone on the ground. “Is that yours?”

“Hmm,” she squeaked.

Officer Brown closed his notepad. “May I speak with you for a minute over here, ma’am?”

“Anything you need to say to her you can say to me,” Michael interrupted. “We’re a team, ain’t that right honey?”

“She’ll be okay. I’ll make it real quick,” Officer Brown pointed to a clear patch of sidewalk.

“Don’t be stupid,” Michael whispered as he let go of Courtney’s hand. He walked closely behind her. Officer Brown reached his arm around Courtney’s shoulder, and signaled for Officer Whitman to stand with Michael.

“Do you need help?” Officer Brown asked.

“Yes,” Courtney whispered quickly. “I was trying to get out to catch the bus but he came home early and wanted me to cook and I couldn’t think of anything else to do--” Courtney’s tears made her trip over words as she was speeding to get it all out.

“It’s okay, I got you now.” Officer Brown said.

Courtney let her tears fall freely.

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