Title: Tearing Up the Pea Patch
He was asleep before midnight. But with what seemed like mere moments after he had sunk beneath the foggy blankets of dreams, he was roused from his rest by a soft, steady tapping of what sounded like a number of persons climbing up the stairs. The tapping grew louder, and louder before it was not quite so soft and sounded more like—
Like—eight police officers armed to the teeth, breaking down his apartment door with a dangerous shower of splinters. Frantically unraveling the sleep-tangled blankets twisted around his legs, Mr. Martin blindly scrambled out of bed and straightened up with as much composure as one could muster when one is gazing directly into the barrel of a .44 Magnum.
The hand attached to the revolver that Mr. Martin’s frazzled mind had identified as secondary in importance, belonged to a middle aged, heavy-set man wearing a captain’s badge on his grape-juiced stained uniform. Even with sleep still weighing down his lids, he recognized the importance of surrendering his hands into the air, lest his beloved head should be separated from him.
“May I help you, gentlemen?” Mr. Martin inquired with accustomed, albeit shaky politeness, his neutral expression surfacing mostly out of habit. The head officer puffed himself up in a show of exaggerated smugness, reaching for a hastily legalized search warrant in his breast pocket with his free hand.
“We have received incriminating evidence from a Mrs. Ulgine Barrows who has bravely come forward with news of a most, terrible plot!” The man’s equine bellow caused Mr. Martin to wonder for one inappropriate second if he had some relation to the aforementioned woman. “The eight of us are here to search your apartment and to place you under arrest for attempted murder and illegal possession of heroin. I advise you to remain silent for everything you say will be twisted and used against you in the court of the law!”
A sickening sensation spilled into his guts as the reality of the situation started to hit him. The dull thudding of his heart began to fill his ears much like they it did just a few scant hours before in that suffocating house. Faintly, he registered a pounding somewhere behind his eyes.
The would-be murderer could scarcely get a few warbled protests past his trembling lips before three of the policemen—Bald, Unshaven, and Stubby—had rushed towards him and bodily restrained him. The metallic click of handcuffs locking seemed to resonate over the din of four burly men piling into his formerly neat and tidy living space.
Mr. Martin could only watch in shock from his humiliating position as chairs were overturned, cabinets emptied, and bookshelves ransacked. Privately, however, some part of his deeply disturbed mind questioned if it really was necessary for his prized, glass coffee table to be hurled out of his balcony window.
“Please! I beg of you to stop!” the man screamed as his composure fragmented around him like the shattering of his table. “There has been some terrible mistake!” This only served to irritate the chief who had most obviously had this phrase used before him on more than one occasion. He let out a loud, disbelieving snort, his weapon adorned hand never once wavering from its initial position.
“Oh, is that so?” he asked, patronizing. “Shall I let you go, then? Shall I let all of the nice men in the jails go, too? The answer is obviously no—it is our duty to eliminate threats to our society!”
At this point, Mr. Martin nearly broke into a wail amongst the chaos of his violated apartment. Instead, he laughed bitterly to himself, backtracking through his actions in the last twenty-four hours for something to explain what had gone so wrong in his backfired, backfired plan. So gone was he in his self-deprecation that he barely felt the three pairs of arms dragging him through his shattered door.
All of a sudden, another panting, red-faced officer barreled head-first into pandemonium with a screeched “Chief! Chief!”
The said chief turned to him with his eyebrows raised in such a way that suggested that the new arrival was a rookie and not held very high in his regard. “What is it now, Rookie?” Rookie, perhaps too used to another loud, bellowing military captain, straightened up with an out of place salute.
“Sir!” said the rookie, “Mr. Fitweiler’s dead!”
As if the three words were magic, every individual on the scene ceased all movement at once. The silent tension was tangible.
“What?!” Chief swung around to regard the innocent man in astonishment, who merely stared back blankly. Turning back to the rookie, he demanded, “What happened? Don’t just stand there, tell me what happened!”
Gulping, the rookie stammered, “Mr. Fitweiler was shot to death a few minutes ago by a woman who was dosed up to the gills with heroin. I believe her name was Paird…”