Unauthorized Passage
KJ Hannah Greenberg


Dorothy nudged the stiff with her left foot and shrugged. There were passerbys who had witnessed the “paraplegic” charging her and had seen her shooting him in self-defense. Equally confusing was that the dead man’s wife had wounded him before he had murdered that wife and had then tried to kill Dorothy. The wife was on record as having paralyzed arms and hands - operating a gun requires working thumbs, plus control of the long flexors, the extensors, and the intrinsic muscle groups. Either way, much had occurred quickly.

Dorothy and her partner had arrived at the deceased couple’s property with an arrest warrant. They told the two sunbathing elders that there had been multiple, unanswered summons for them to appear in court on fraud charges. City van drivers had complained that the man and woman’s rider passes had been wrongly issued and that the seemingly able bodied duo had been exploiting free municipal services to get to: bayou tours, the Garden District, and the French Quarter, gratis. Saying nothing more, until the shooting began, Dorothy had assumed the tanning oldsters were yet more swindlers set on obtaining tax payer-funded perks.

Because of the ensuing gunfire, the pair never heard their Miranda Rights. Likewise, neither Dorothy nor the lieutenant, with whom she traveled, had had to be careful to use minimum force. After a set of corpses lay on the grass, those police merely had to call an ambulance.

A cavalcade of uniforms soon took over. Dorothy and her partner left the scene for South Broad Street Headquarters. As they drove, she began to file her report.

Dorothy hated intransigents almost as much as she hated child molesters. While adjusting the cruiser’s air conditioning, she took her vial of Atropine out of the glove compartment and thumbed off its “childproof” cap. She dreamed of a society in which jaywalking, panhandling, and illegal parking, were the only existent crimes.

Her partner said nothing. As long as Dorothy’s habit didn’t impact their work, she could pop anything she wanted without consent from him. As long as she remained functional, she was welcomed to ride shotgun. He dreamed of working with a recruit who lived through more than five dispatches.


First published: August 2018
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