TG Browning

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By: TG Browning
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“Call in Fred. I want him to take your place and you to head to back up Jimmy as soon as Fred shows. Tell him I said warp speed.”

Mort paused again and then in a softer voice, “It’s the Unger’s place, I think.”

“No doubt. Unger just got out of stir two days ago.” “Do you want me to get help from the state police?”

No!” Doris snapped. She paused, sighed and added in a much nicer tone, “I’ll handle it. Call Jerry Swann and tell him I want him and Martha to meet me there as quickly as they can. And I didn’t mean to jump down your throat, Mort. My apologies. Now let’s get things rolling.” Doris dumped the phone receiver into it’s cradle and made a bee-line for the closet to grab stuff, then headed for the desk near the bay window.

Milt looked at her, puzzled. The conversation half he’d been able to hear didn’t make much sense. Actually, he reflected, if he’d both sides, it probably wouldn’t have made any sense either. “Anything you need me on?”

Doris shook her head as she checked her gun, pulling the magazine and swapping it for one from the second drawer down on her desk. She chambered a round and pocketed the magazine she’d just pulled. “No, shouldn’t take too long. Bloody damn nuisance more than anything.”

Milt nodded somewhat relieved, and watched her head out. Suddenly, he frowned. A nuisance that might require a special magazine?

He checked the second drawer and found a magazine of 9mm rubber bullets. Milt gazed at the now closing front door and then shrugged. How did anybody in their right mind ever end up in this job? Or marry anybody in this line of work.


1447 Alder Lane Loop was on a hill as was all of Alder, Cedar, Spruce and Smith Streets. Jimmy Hartman had been cruising in the area when the report of shots had been phoned in; he rolled up not more than a couple of minutes later. As he had gotten out of the squad car, he heard a pop-snap and the passenger-side window starred, hit by a low caliber bullet. Jimmy’s training took over without a hitch and he ducked down behind the car, one hand grabbing for the radio while he cautiously scanned for the shooter.

There – a sheer fluttered in a window left of the front door and Jimmy thought he could see a figure behind the opened window. He targeted the window and switched the mike to PA. “In the house. This is the police.” Who the hell else would it be, he thought, crouched down behind a car with a rotobeam flashing, using a PA system? The milkman? Jeez, what a stupid thing to say. “Throw out your weapon and come out with your hands up.” Right, and then we’ll go have a beer. Crack-pop! The window on the squad car gave up the ghost and shattered inward. Now that was the answer he expected. He switched from PA and raised Meg, the dispatcher, quickly reporting the situation. Inside of fifteen seconds Meg ID’d the place and started to give him some background.

Owned by Owen Unger. Wife, Mary. Two daughters, ages thirteen and eleven. One cat – who the hell cares if there’s a cat – Jimmy thought. Unger just got out of jail in Salem the day before yesterday. Was on parole and was under a restraining order: No visitation.

Jimmy went cold. Jesus, this was going to get nasty.

Meg rambled on – Doris on her way. Mort headed there as soon as Fred took over the station. No state police coming, by Doris’ order. Ohmigod, Doris. We’re going to need help here. Don’t get your back up!
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