In honor of April Fools Day, here’s a flash fiction piece I wrote years ago that originally appeared in the April 2006 issue of Writer’s Post Journal:
by BJ Bourg
Jenny LeBlanc squatted to kiss Gracie’s forehead. “Be good for Granny tonight. I’ll be back in twelve hours.”
Gracie scrunched her nose. “Mommy, how many days is that?”
Jenny laughed and ruffled her four-year-old daughter’s hair. “It’s like watching Blue’s Clues twenty-four times.”
“That’s too long! I don’t want you to be a cop no more.”
Jenny pulled Gracie close and squeezed her tight. “This is the last time, Pumpkin Seed. I promise.”
Jenny stood, hitched the gun belt up on her waist, and walked out the door. Her polyester pants whistled as she walked to the patrol cruiser. She smiled. That was a sound she wouldn’t miss.
Jenny arrived at the squad room early, as she had every day for seven years. Officers Jim Reginald and Bill Ridley were seated at the conference table.
“What are you two doing here so early?”
Bill pulled a white cake box from under the table. “You think we’d let you leave without a party?”
Jenny’s eyes moistened. “I’m going to miss you guys.”
“Once you settle into your eight to five,” Jim said, “you’ll forget all about us.”
It was ten after midnight and Jenny had to use the bathroom. Another thing I won’t miss. She grabbed her police radio. “118, Dispatch, I’ll be out at Country Saver for a minute.”
“10-4, 118. Give me a call when you get inside.”
Jenny walked in and nodded to the clerk. “Can I use your phone?”
The clerk dialed the number and handed Jenny the phone. The dispatcher answered in a frantic voice.
“What’s going on?” Jenny asked.
“It’s Bill and Jim. They went out at a shots fired complaint on West 118th Street thirty minutes ago. They’re not answering their radio!”
“Do you have a call back number for the complainant?”
“There’s no answer. Oh, God, I’m so scared—”
Jenny dropped the phone and bolted out the door. She flipped on her top lights and siren and raced down Highway One. A truck loomed ahead. She swerved to pass it. At that moment, her radio crackled. She glanced down for a split second. When she looked up, headlights blinded her. She screamed and jerked the steering wheel to the left. Tires screeched. Metal crunched. Jenny lurched forward and the airbag abruptly smashed her face. She felt the back of the squad car rise and flip end over end. Glass shattered. Her body was smashed and bent as metal wrapped violently around her…
When the car came to rest, Jenny lay motionless. She tried to move, but couldn’t. Why can’t I feel pain?
The police radio crackled. “Dispatch, 118,” called the dispatcher, “you can cancel that previous call.”
Jenny blinked. Everything was black. She swallowed hard and choked on the blood that pooled in her throat.
“Dispatch, 118…happy first of April.”
Jenny gasped. Her mind drifted to Gracie—waiting at home. Her body convulsed as her heart slowed to a stop.
“Dispatch, 118, do you copy?”