“I, Hero – The Beginning” – Excerpt III

Officer O’Malley stepped into the quick care area that Nathan had been staged in.

“You gave us a bit of a scare dropping like that Devron. I only want one flash of excitement per morning.”

Nathan smiled slightly at the comment. He knew Officer O’Malley from his beat and while he was a gruff man, Nathan always knew his heart was in the right place.

“I really don’t need a statement or anything from the two of you. We pretty much know what went down there, but from the lack of anything more than the general description Cici gave us, these thugs were like anyone else hanging around and wandering the area.”

“So it’s unlikely you’ll be able to catch who did this?” Lisa asked.

“Not from a lack of trying, Miss Cooper,” he replied sternly but in a friendly tone. “I personally will try. Cici’s been on that block from before I was on the force. Tough old broad. If it were ten years ago those thugs would be the ones on the ground.”

Nathan cracked the smallest hint of a smile. He could picture that scene in his head. He pulled at his right arm so there was a little more play in the IV lines and he looked down at the copper bracelet attached to his right wrist.

“Yeah,” Jack O’Malley replied as he lifted and dropped his police hat. “She slapped that on your wrist while holding your arm. I heard one of the ambulance techs say it was hot to the touch when they were working on you.”

“Well Cici did have a tight grip on it,” Nathan replied in a monotone response.

“What was it she said to you?” Lisa asked.

Nathan focused for a minute. “You know, it’s all a blur now. It was almost like a poem or something.”

“Barry Falxon my partner joked it was a spell,” Jack said as he adjusted his gun belt just slightly.

“So Cici was a follower of the Wiccan religion?” Lisa asked.

“No, more like a real witch,” Jack O’Malley quickly replied. “Shop keepers would complain that she would cast “spells” and “hexes” on customers as they walked by,” he responded, making air quotes. “Really freaked people out.”

Lisa looked at Nathan as he knew the old woman better. He shrugged his shoulders slightly at the comment and then reached over at the bracelet with his left hand. As he touched it the copper metal felt slightly warm. He touched and released it with his fingers and then rubbed his fingers together as his fingers took on a “pins and needles” tingling.

“I’m going to head back to work,” Jack said tipping his hat lightly. “I am sure they’re going to discharge you. I overheard the attendant. Make sure you head home and rest the remainder of the day. I think you’ve had your fill of excitement.”

“Thanks, Officer O’Malley” Nathan replied quietly.

Officer O’Malley turned to leave the area and then turned back and smiled at the man that was young enough to be his son. “Why not call me Jack from now on Nathan? I think you’ve earned it.”

Nathan smiled just a little. He knew Jack O’Malley as big on formalities and offering someone to address him by his first name, especially in uniform, was a big deal.

Jack said nothing further, tugged a little on his gun belt that rested bellow a belly that was just a hair too large, and turned and left the room.

“Take care of him, Miss Cooper, he’s all yours now.”


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