I Would NEVER Shoot the Sheriff, or his deputy

First Part is here

I Would NEVER Shoot the Sheriff, or his deputy

There is no love lost between me and the Sheriff of Carderiff County.

In another life, that one called high school, which is like a mini-world unto itself with its winners, losers, those who will be kings, and those just waiting to move onto college and real life, he was an All-State wide receiver and I was the photographer on the school newspaper whose single-minded goal was to snap a picture every time he dropped or fumbled the ball.

I had a whole seven shots in my Lincoln Bergstrom football portfolio. At one time, they wallpapered the tiny office of the newspaper.

And then there was the shot of his foot hitting the hurdle and his subsequent face plant, his mud-clad body after he slipped during cross-country, and my personal favorite that I entitled “And From This Angle” which makes an entirely innocent football tackle look like something else. I’ll leave that to your imagination, which does require a tangential trip to the gutter.

Why, you might ask, was I hell-bent on taking photos of Lincoln Bergstrom at his worst? That is another story best saved for another time.

His car kicks up a cloud of dust as it approaches. I am sipping today’s elixir: raspberry iced tea, with a hefty dose of bourbon to calm my nerves.

He gets out of the patrol car, stretches his lanky body to its full-height while I eye him, always wary. Wary because for all of my pre-twenty shenanigans, I lusted after him like nobody’s business. And it wasn’t. I never told anyone how I felt about him, although my best friend, Carly Danes guessed.

“Annie Hollister, what kind of crap did you get yourself into now?” he asks while putting on his cream-colored Sheriff’s hat.

“Want something to quench your thirst?” I ask.

“Maybe in fifteen minutes after I’m done questioning you,” he says. He sits in the white wicker chair opposite me, stretches out his long legs, and eyes me beneath his hat, which is placed low over his brow.

A fly buzzes around my magic elixir and I swat it away.

“I didn’t do it,” I say.

“That’s what they all say, especially the ones who are guilty,” he says. “Where were you last night?”

“I don’t have an alibi. I was here by myself watching that new Tom Hardy movie.”

“What in the hell is a Tom Hardy?”

I mumble something extremely inarticulate. “Can you tell me where they were murdered?” I ask.

“Now, Annie, you know I can’t divulge that kind of information.”

“I heard they were shot dead in her bed,” I say.

“You ever been to her house?”

“Nope. It’s not like she was going to invite me to tea after boinking my husband.”

“How did that make you feel?”

“Are you kidding, Linc?”

“Did you want to kill her?”

“I wanted to kill him.”

“Maybe you should call a lawyer,” he suggests. He removes his hat and rubs his fingers over his eyes.

“I will if you’re going to haul me in, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t really think about murdering Ry. It’s just something you say.”

“It’s about the worst thing you can say right now. Do y’all own a gun?”

“Nope. I hate guns.”

“Christ, are you still a vegetarian?”

“Maybe. What’s it matter? Do you still eat bloody dripping hamburgers?”

“You are still antagonistic.”

“And you’re still conceited.”

“You’ll never change.”

“God, I hope not.”

And then our lips are smashed together, our tongues waging war with each other, while our hands grope over each other’s bodies as if we are manning a search for lost gold. When we pull apart, breathing heavy, our eyes glued to each other’s, all I can think to say is: “Well, that was inappropriate.”


end 3/28/2017

S. Darlington

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