The Axe

Jimmy liked working dead-beat dad and missed alimony warrants.  They were usually good for a little high comedy.  The creativity of the lies always amazed him.  The dumber the guys were the more convoluted and idiotic the lies.  They were like old country songs where every medium sized tragedy known to man conspired to keep them from mailing a check for 6 months in a row.

Once, a guy tried to climb out of his window in his underwear to avoid Jimmy.  It might have worked except, he only had one window big enough for his fat ass to climb through and it was on the second floor.  He broke his ankle on the fall.  Jimmy heard him hit the ground and yelp.  He walked around the back of the house and saw a beached whale with his white belly pointed to the sky.  He took a picture on his phone.  They keep it up on a wall in the station locker room.

Today’s first warrant was a return trip.  Either Jimmy or one of the other deputies seems to make the trip to Vince Heyward’s crappy shotgun house every 6 months or so.  He doesn’t pay, they serve him the warrant, he is threatened with jail time, and he “finds” enough money to keep sleeping in his fire-trap for a few more months.  It was the glamorous life of a penny-ante drug dealer and stoner.

The dawn was just starting to break through the trees.  Jimmy noticed the light was on in the rusted sheet-metal building Vince managed to build off to the left side of his house as he pulled into the gravel/mud drive way.  The door was also open a little bit.  Jimmy knew something was strange since Vince didn’t wake before the crack of noon on a good day.

A couple of years ago, Jimmy was driving home from 5-1 shift, came around a curve and saw a deer in the middle of the road.  The deer stood stock still for a good 2 seconds like one of those bow targets you can buy at Wal-Mart.  It stood for those 2 seconds frozen, staring at the headlights of his car, surprised and confused as to what was happening.

When the headlights hit him, Vince stood staring at the front of Jimmy’s car, surprised and confused as to what was happening.  His face and bare chest covered in blood as he held an axe over the dead body of what turned out to be another drug dealer.

Jimmy would never admit it, but he may have been more surprised than Vince at that very moment.  In fact, he didn’t move until Vince started to swing the axe again.

“Do not move.  Put the axe down, sir.”  Vince turned back towards Jimmy who was out of his car with his weapon drawn.  Vince dropped the axe and stood, wobbling and breathing heavy.  Jimmy called on all his training to keep his voice calm and his Glock steady.  “Step towards me slowly…Stop…Turn around and interlace your fingers on top of your head…Get down on your knees.”  Jimmy walked over to Vince and cuffed him.  His hands and wrists were sticky with congealing blood.  It was over.

Jimmy went and secured the storage building and checked the house to see if anyone else was there.  He didn’t find anything except a mangy one-eyed dog, tied to a tree with chain on the other side of the house.  Jimmy couldn’t tell if it was sleep or dead.

When his sergeant got to the scene and got Jimmy to give him the report on what he saw Jimmy still didn’t understand it.  “Why did he swing the axe again?  I had him.”

“Maybe he was just tired of holding the damn axe.”


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