Crime Drama Sad

      The day starts off the same way it always does. Cold coffee – Jamie always gets distracted by the TV in the morning – and a slice of slimy toast. He’s lucky it isn’t covered in a thick layer of mould today, like it normally is. The contents of his fridge are minimal, but in a job like his, it’s to be expected.

           Jamie Harroway is a police officer. A police constable, to be exact. Having recently started the job, he has been fighting tooth and nail with his fatigue to do the long hours they require him to do. In truth, his body is struggling to adjust, but there hasn’t been a challenge he hasn’t succeeded in yet. With the lack of nutrition, and the ridiculous amount of strenuous activity he endures, it’s a wonder how he’s managed to cope with it for so long.

           He’s already been there a few months, but it hasn’t got any easier for him. The rest of his colleagues still treat him like he’s nothing but a sack of rubbish, and whilst he’s been trying to deal with it, it is getting harder for him. A particularly nasty incident occurred yesterday, and it made him doubt about his dream of become the chief of police.

           He had been carefully minding his business – sifting through a million sheets of paperwork to pick up the slack for his colleagues – when his boss had entered. Having failed to stand up to greet him time, unbeknownst to his presence, he’d already managed to anger him before even opening his mouth. And then there was the part where Jamie made him the wrong coffee (too much milk, not enough sugar, and just overall disgusting – his words exactly). And then there was the part that Jamie spilt said coffee straight down his boss’s crisp, clean suit. Looking back on it, his boss’s face had turning an alarming shade of plum, which Jamie hadn’t realised faces could even turn that colour. If that wasn’t enough of a tragedy for you, because of Jamie’s waning concentration from his fatigue, he filled the paperwork out wrong for all of his colleagues, thus managing to irritate all of them, as well as wasting his own time. After that debacle, his face had paled, and he had swooned around the precinct, until one of his colleagues had the decency to send him home.  He had crawled like a zombie straight into bed, and hadn’t resurfaced until the next morning. Now he’s only half-asleep, instead of fully asleep.

            Whilst he absent-mindedly combs his hair that morning, not bothering to check in the mirror, he spots something that catches his eye. On the top of his chunky TV, there lies a feather. It’s a brilliant white, and it’s unusually clean for a feather. It looks as if it has been just placed there, too far away from the window to have flown in, but Jamie is the only one who lives there. Picking it up gently, he twirls it in his hand, inspecting it. After a few seconds, he opens the bin, and puts the feather in it. He continues his mission to get to work, as time seems to be running away from him, and before long he’s walking down to collect his car.

           Having remembered he had left it at the precinct the night before, he decided to walk to work today; he couldn’t face taking the train. All the foul stenches and smug faces, all cramped together like sardines in a tin – oh no, it definitely wasn’t his style. And as he left his house that morning, he had to step over another pure white feather that lay on his doorstep. It was exactly the same as the one that had been on his TV, and yet there was still no culprit.

           Even as he is travelling to work, Jamie can tell something is off. Call it an officer’s intuition, but he is fairly sure the world is too calm, too tranquil today. And every step he takes, another cloud in the sky becomes darker and fuller, and more feathers can be seen. There’s one in the window of the café he passes every day, and he doubts the waitresses notice because the staff are stellar at their jobs, and they would have got rid of it immediately. There’s one in the bin in the park next to the coffee stand, which Jamie visits every morning. He gives a cursory nod to Carol, the vendor, as he spots yet another feather on the counter. He brushes it off with his hand, and as he turns to face Carol again, he finds one in her hair. She seems unknowing about the peculiar object living on her person, and Jamie feels he ought to say something.

           “Sorry, ma’am, you have a little something, in your hair.” He points it out to her. In return for his kindness, he is greeted with a dirty look and no reaction to his comment. So, off he trots with his coffee, starting to feel like he is being pranked with all of the strange feathers about. Is he part of some social experiment? A reality TV show? Who knows, and Jamie certainly doesn’t. Unease creeping through his body, he completes the rest of his journey to work, haunted by the feathers that keep cropping up in unusual places.

           By the time he’s got to work, he’s had enough. Just on his morning commute, he’d seen a road-sweeper scooping the feathers up into his little vacuum, the rubbish men emptying a bin full to the brim of these feathers (each one identical to the last one) and someone was even tipping a street mime with the feathers. Vowing he’s gone mad, Jamie soars through the precinct and sits down at his desk, inhaling his coffee. He’s been sitting down for a total of three milliseconds before one of his colleagues begins jibing at him.

           “Oi, where’s your gun, Jambone?” Ah yes, the cruel nickname he’s been anointed with, arising from an incident where he was accused of not brushing his teeth for a long time. First mistake. “Oh yeah, that’s right – you don’t have one.” Second mistake. The whole precinct erupts into guffaws of laughter, as Jamie sits back, not in the mood to deal with the harrassment. He is not in the mood at all.

           “Oi, cat got your tongue, eh?” He bends down to get in Jamie’s face. Last mistake. “I said, where’s your gun?”

           A swift flick of Jamie’s wrist results in his colleague receiving a bloody nose. “It’s in my car.” Jamie says calmly, watching as the colleague squirms away from him. He stands up, everyone suddenly fearing him and his erratic, unpredictable mood. He’s never punched a colleague before. “I’ll go get it now, if you like?”

           No one utters a word, but still Jamie wanders out of the precinct, snarling at some as he goes, hissing at others, but mostly staring at them so they feel the impending guilt he hopes they feel. Just as he promised, he goes to his car, parked safely where he left it yesterday. Although it’s hard to tell it’s his car; it’s covered in feathers.

           Those blasted feathers.

           Infuriated by this elaborate, sickening game that is being played on him, he follows the trail of feathers leading away from his car. Gun and car abandoned, he keeps following, unable to see where he is going, when a car suddenly swerves and knocks him forcedly off of the ground.

           The speed at which the car was going, there was no way he would survive the accident. And he didn’t. He died later that night, in a hospital bed, surrounded by no one. And the last image he has before losing consciousness is the face of his boss in front of him, clambering out of his car, wearing a deliciously devilish grin, before masking the joy on his face. He pretended to care as a crowd formed, but Jamie knew the plan all along had to get rid of him from the precinct. And as Jamie lay there, immobilised, he wished he could say one last word, to at least get them to start a line of enquiry into his death.

           But he didn’t say anything. He kept quiet, and no one ever found out. 

July 23, 2021 23:22

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Tanner Burke
14:44 Jul 29, 2021

Wow, this is peculiar (in all the best ways, I promise). I think the title is the most compelling, otherwise I would've been completely mystified, but it's marvelous.


Abbey Long
03:37 Jul 30, 2021

Thank you for your feedback 😊


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