Jumped (a short story)
By Cynthia L. Hall
The lights went out and Frank dove for his gun. He tried to remember in his mind its exact location. He could not recall a time in his career when he had ever surrendered his weapon, but seeing Kim with the blood streaming down her face from the gash in her head had made him feel like there was no other option. She would be dead if he wouldn’t have done what Holland said. He had been ordered earlier to drop his gun and kick it across the room.
“Frank,” Kim screamed.
He didn’t answer. He was on the ground, sliding to his destination. A crushing blow came to his hand as he reached forward for the gun, he must have missed and hit the desk leg. He reached with outstretched finger tips, his eyes open as wide as they could go, but it was impossible to see anything in the pitch black room. That was okay, it meant Holland couldn’t see anything either. His hand searched for the metal object.
Commotion came from inside the room and Frank had to assume Holland was on his way to stop him. Sure enough, Holland landed on top of him and Frank’s chin hit the floor—hard. He struggled to keep moving forward to the gun, Holland’s weight slowing him down. He thought the gun was on the other side of the desk, between the desk and the office chair. He needed to get his body under the desk. First, he had to get clear of Holland.
Holland punched at his head, pulling back on Frank’s outstretched arm. Frank thrust his body as hard as he could in order to throw Holland from his back. He poked at Holland’s throat. If he could get one good jab in, he could stop Holland temporarily, giving him time to get
the gun. He missed and had to try again. Still no luck. He gave a punch to Holland’s rib cage. He missed and hit a solid body part, maybe his abs. He jabbed again. He had to stop Holland from whacking at his head. Frank managed to get a hold on Holland’s shirt by the collar and began punching at his face. He felt wetness; he must have gotten a knuckle to nose. He continued to hit the same area. Holland slapped at Frank, like in a girl fight. Frank thought Holland might be losing his bearings and starting to panic. Frank took advantage the situation trying to get to his feet, hauling Holland with him. He knew he would have more power on his feet than lying on his back. Holland struggled to get free, but Frank was relentless and didn’t let go.
“Frank, I have the gun,” Kim cried out.
“Here, over here,” He shouted.
From the sound of her voice, Kim was on the other side of the desk. If Frank let go of Holland to reach for the gun, Holland would have the chance to get away. He had to hold onto Holland, defend himself, and get his gun from Kim.
Excruciating pain radiated throughout his head. He took an unexpected blow to his left ear and was instantly lightheaded and felt like throwing up. He snapped back when he felt his hand loosing grip on Holland’s shirt. Holland grunted and Frank heard a clinking sound. Frank thought Holland must have grabbed something heavy from the desk. Even in the dark, it was easy for Frank to realize a second thrust was on its way. He stopped Holland’s arm just before he was about to get a paperweight blow to the side of his head.
Holland grunted again while twisting his arm free. It’s funny how strong someone can become when they are fighting for their life. With all the strength Frank could muster, he lifted his knee and connected with Holland’s groin. Holland doubled over and winced with pain. Frank didn’t wait and rushed right at him for another attack. He pulled Holland up by his collar again and punched at this face. Holland raised his arms to shield his face. Frank felt this and focused on lower punches, jabbing at Holland’s ribs. On the third draw-back his elbow connected with something behind him, something that wasn’t there on the first two thrusts. It had to be Kim. Without letting go of Holland’s shirt, Frank swung around, feeling for her and the gun.
“Frank, is that you?” she asked.
“Give me the gun.”
Kim held the handgun out toward Frank’s voice with both her hands. He felt it at shoulder height and grabbed it with his free hand. With a firm hold on Holland, he snapped around, pointing the gun downward in Holland’s direction.
“I’ve got the gun, Holland. This fight’s over. Get to your feet, and do it nice and slow.” Frank took a long and much needed deep breath.
Holland did as Frank instructed, rising slowly to his feet. Frank followed him with the gun held at Holland’s cheek.
“Don’t make a move or the gun goes off.”
This was a close moment in the darkness. Without sight, Frank was unable to detect if Holland was going to make a play for the gun, or his gun arm. He wanted Holland to know he would shoot if he felt the slightest attempt. Sweat trickled down Frank’s forehead and into his eyes. The salty fluid stung and he wanted to wipe them, but he didn’t have a free hand. He felt Kim close behind him.
The lights flickered, on, then off again. On the fourth flicker they stayed on for good. He could see Holland’s beat up, bloody frame in front of him.
“It’s over Holland,” he said relieved. “You are under arrest for the abduction and attempted murder of Detective Kim Weston. Turn around and place your hands behind your back.”
Holland didn’t put up a fuss and did as ordered. Frank pulled his handcuffs from his belt and placed them tightly on Holland’s wrists. He didn’t want to let go of Holland in case the lights went out again. He kept one hand on Holland’s shoulder, and his other hand with the gun, pointed at Holland’s head.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, can, and will be used against you in a court of law…”
Frank moved Holland forward and down the hallway to the staircase quickly, worrying that the lights might go out again in the abandoned building, He continued with the Miranda Rights on the way to the cruiser. Once Holland was locked in the backseat he focused his attention on Kim.
He gently took her arm and led her to his unmarked car. He had a blanket in the trunk for emergencies and put it around Kim. He helped her into the passenger seat. He moved around to the driver’s side and reached inside for the radio microphone. He called for help, then went to check on Officer Thornton who had come earlier as back-up. Before they entered the building earlier, Frank had heard a shot outside the building. Holland had fired at Thornton from inside the building. Frank found Officer Thornton dead. Now Holland would be charged with his murder, along with the attempted murder of his partner Kim. Frank returned to the car to check on his partner.
“You all right?”
“Let me see that head of yours.” He gently pulled back Kim’s hair to look at the wound. That’s a nasty gash on your head.”
“I really messed this up.”
“This wasn’t your fault.”
“I should have waited for back-up when I saw him in the restaurant.”
“He would have taken off. You did the right thing.”
“And I let him get the jump on me.”
“It happens to the best of us.”
“Has it ever happened to you?”
“No, but I have twenty-five years of experience as a cop, then a detective.”
“And I don’t.”
“You’re learning.” Frank smiled.
“You going to ask for a new partner?”
“What, are you kidding me? And deprive me of all this fun? Not on your life. We’ll be together for the next twenty-five.”
“Oh, I hope not.” Kim snickered. “No offense, but that would make you…”
“Let’s not go there. Hey look, here come the Chief.”
“Don’t try to change the subject.” Kim laughed. “But seriously, thanks for all you did.”
“No problem, all in a day’s work. Now get your game face on. He’ll be firing a lot of questions at you.”