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Part I - The Walk

Chapter 5

Lieutenant Sharon Holmquist

Lieutenant Sharon Holmquist parks in her grass driveway. Hearing static on her handheld police radio, she shuts it off.  Off. It must be nice to be off, she’s thinking.


The sun is far in the west and sits like a pink crown on her circa 1940’s house. The Jays scatter in the trees as she walks the pathway, blue wings, throwing shades of purple in the twilight on the pond bordering her yard.


There are four steps up to the verandah. She walks them on automatic, and with each, Lieutenant Holmquist becomes Sharon. She retrieves a week’s worth of mail from the mailbox. Screen door at her back, she leaves the front door open to let the air in.


Dropping her keys, badge, radio and firearm on the side table, there is an echo down the hall. It’s not feeling good to be Sharon today. Tired of “lonely.” Tonight the jeering of the birds outside isn’t enough dither.


Standing in the kitchen, palms down on the counter Sharon can’t keep the tears back. So she weeps. It’s one of those nights where she lets it all go. When she does, Skye, her four-year-old feline BFF comes to comfort. Skye might know that the distraction gives Sharon some cheer. There’s the hunger incentive too. Sharon’s hand leaves the counter and stretches up to the pantry for a noisy bag of food, and somewhere in the motion, the tears stop and chuckles ensue when Skye jumps on the counter.


They both make their way to the couch. On the way, Sharon puts the needle down on Magical Mystery Tour. The walrus album cover is still recognizable, despite Skye’s scratching it into colorful confetti on the Berber carpet. Horizontal, propped by an oversize pillow, Sharon sifts through the mail in the remaining twilight. Most of it hits the floor. Skye jumps down and sits on it because he is King of the Mail.


Sharon opens the one piece she’s dreading. Spending thirty minutes in an MRI chamber is stressful enough. Waiting for the results sucks. The doctor says she wants Sharon to retake the MRI to investigate a suspicious lesion. More waiting. 


“What the fuck,” under her breath. “Love that shit away, John Lennon.”


Skye confirms, jumps up on Sharon’s stomach and they both fall asleep.


She dreams of counting coins, and watermelon fields. In the morning, she remembers hearing the police radio in her sleep but distinctly recalls turning the thing off.


The Jays are jeering full force. The uniform that she never took off is wrinkled. Lieutenant Holmquist. Not into it today. A walk by the pond first. The air is cool. Skye is already scratching at the screen door, and something left over from a dream encourages the thought.


"Take the walk," she's thinking when her radio crackles again.


With that Sharon and Skye, head through the damp morning grass to the pond. Skye sits on a boulder overlooking the water because he is King of the Pond. Sharon kneels on the bank to get a closer look at her odd reflection. 

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