The man in the hospital bed is unconscious – sedatives according to the nurse – and I find I’m half glad he’s alive after all. It was a moment of madness, of sheer rage, and then I’d done it and I couldn’t go back.
I’d recognised the little scrote straight off. He was driving along on his whiny little motorbike smashing the wing mirrors off cars for the sheer hell of it. Jake Thornton. Jake is a small-time dealer, thief, vandal and, I am one-hundred-and-ten-percent sure, even though I can’t prove it, beater and general abuser of women. He probably kicks puppies for fun; he’s that kind of scum. And when I saw him, driving along, destroying people’s hard-earned property, I just lost it.
I accelerated towards him, the engine cheering me on, a sort of hot, rushing sound in my ears and then a jarring thud. He flew through the air like a ragdoll, arms flailing madly. He landed on the road in a messy heap as his bike skittered along the tarmac. I floored it again, bump bump, over him, and I was off, gone. Half an hour later the car was in flames.
A doctor steps into the room and stops, a little surprised to see me.
‘When can I speak to him?’ I ask.
‘We’ll call you.’
‘He’s out of danger?’
The doc nods, picks up Jake’s chart and starts to read. He wants me to go. I ought to go.
‘He’s one of our frequent fliers,’ I say. Jake’s pimply face is greyish and feeble looking against the hospital sheets. ‘Wonder if the little shit will have learnt his lesson.’
The doc shrugs. ‘Do they ever, officer?’
‘Like hell,’ I say. ‘Better get back to the station. Got to report my own car stolen today, can you believe it?’
The doc gives a short, humourless laugh, and shakes his head in sympathy. The doors slap shut behind me.
Copyright © Elizabeth Cutts August 2019
This brief story started life as an exercise for the NCW crime writing course I took recently.