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  • Writer's pictureWJ King


A sunny morning in beautiful downtown Cleveland. Nineteen year old, Gina could see the Cuyahoga river infamous for catching fire in 1969 from her kitchen window. Feeding her mop-headed little brother Phillip and sending him off to school, which was always an adventure in and of itself. This morning they had a last minute quiz for a spelling test. She finished her coffee and left for work. A waitress aspiring to be an actress, she worked in the local theatre and was progressing nicely according to the decision makers. Invited west for a couple screen tests but taking care of twelve year old Phillip prohibited it.. Both parents and older brother had been deported back to Guatemala and Phillipe and she were the only ones born in the U.S. Everything pointed to it being an ordinary day. With the exception of it being her last one, but then everyone has a last one.

Six blocks away, Joe Miklos was gettin’ his balls busted at roll call by fellow cops during the shift briefing. The press had heralded Joe a hero yesterday, talking a would be jumper off the Superior Street Bridge. Patrolman Miklos had seven years on the Cleveland P.D. Supervisors and fellow men and women in blue were on him to take the Sgt’s test but he showed no interest. He claimed his wife and three year old were quite happy with his present situation on the first shift. Joe got into his patrol car and was blinded by the sun. He reached into his shirt pocket and put on his sunglasses and headed down Superior Avenue into a beautiful day, albeit his last.

At 10:35am, Gina was giving coffee refills and enjoying some good natured flirting with a round table of retirees who regularly met for coffee. A young man named Mickey, his last name isn’t important, came through the front door. He looked nervous and maybe sleepy. He had a thin, almost undetectable moustache, that would grow in, in five or six years. His moustache was however a moot subject, as he didn’t have five or six years. He didn’t even have five or six minutes.

Mickey announced, “this is a stick up.” Gina screamed, her coffee pot crashed on the floor and it almost seemed to wake Mickey up. He shot her in the heart with a pistol he ‘inherited’ from a fellow homeless man. Mickey hadn’t noticed the police officer in uniform sitting at the retirees table. Crack cocaine doesn’t enhance one’s train of thought. Officer Miklos, stood up, shot and killed Mickey but Mickey had gotten a shot off. A bullet proof vest can’t do a thing about a forty five slug to the forehead.

Joe Miklos’ son will never have a clear recollection of his father and his wife will cry an awfully long time. Mickey? His neighbors under the bridge will hear about him a couple days later and will all agree they thought he was joking when he said he was going to get some burgers. No tellin’ what’ll be done with Gina’s little brother Phillip. What is known is that his life will be forever changed and he will be very frightened. As a minor side note, he will not have the opportunity to show off his 100% spelling test to his sister, ever. wjk/4/11/21/556

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