Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prompt: Old Men on Park Benches

Roger jogged from around the corner into the park and stopped to take a swig from his water bottle. He looked around and noted the civilians in sight. Two old geezers sitting on a bench on the curved walkway, reading their papers. A lady in a suit walking with a coffee cup in one hand and an iPad in the other. A 20-something walking his dog, who clearly wanted more time to sniff everything.

“All clear at the southeast entrance,” he said into his hidden mike.

Suddenly he spotted two men running flat out down the sidewalk across the street. He tossed his water bottle into the nearby trashbin and prepared for action. They cut across the road between yellow taxis blaring and ran into the park. The guy in the lead wore low-riding jeans and the ubiquitous hoodie. Roger’s partner, Jamie, was close on his heels. He didn’t have his gun drawn, and he wasn’t shouting, so the civilians weren’t paying them any attention. Roger watched closely to see which way the runner was headed, so he could cut him off.

The dog started barking and lunged as they passed. His walker tried to restrain him, but suddenly lost his grip on the leash. The dog bounded after Jamie in pursuit. The runner pushed past the suit lady, and she dropped her coffee with a loud curse. The dog caught up with Jamie and leaped up, grabbing hold of his flak jacket and tumbling him to the ground. 

Roger bolted towards the runner, then froze in astonishment as the two old men jumped up, dropped their papers, whipped their umbrellas around high and low, smashing the runner behind the knees and across his chest. He dropped like a sack of flour and lay moaning and rocking feebly on the ground.

Roger paused to check that the suit lady was okay, but she brushed him off with a snarl. He headed for Jamie, fearing the dog had attacked, but found Jamie sitting and rubbing the dog’s belly and handing the leash back to its owner.

Roger helped Jamie stand, and they started toward the fallen runner, the two old men standing guard on either side. Roger was nonplussed when Jamie reached them and grinned broadly, holding out his hand to shake theirs.

“Gus, Bill, how’s it going? Good to see you’re still keeping the peace down here.”

“Well, obviously we can’t count on you young whippersnappers to do it,” Bill shot back. 

Roger bristled, but Jamie laughed as he bent down and cuffed the runner, hauling him to his feet. “Later, guys. Keep up the good work,” he said over his shoulder as they led the runner away. 

Roger half-waved at the two old men, but they ignored him as they collected their papers and settled back on their park bench. He jogged a couple of steps to catch up with Jamie. “Who the hell are those guys?” he asked in confusion.

Jamie looked back at them briefly and turned back with another grin. “Them? Gus taught third grade for 40 years at PS147, and Bill was career Army.” He jerked the runner’s arms roughly. “Pay attention, son. Never underestimate the lives of old men sitting on park benches. You mess with them, they will mess you up.”
Thanks to <> for another great image prompt!

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

February word count:

1 comment:

  1. I confess, this is quick and dirty. Ordinarily, among my editing, I would look up a city park, use street names at the entrance, and find a school name to use. But I was under a self-imposed time crunch, so here it is.