Cop on the Edge, Episode 5
An Unwanted Assignment

M. Stanley Bubien

"What the hell is this?" I slammed the file on the Captain's desk.

"Your assignment," he replied.

"An arson case? But I'm a homicide detective!"

He shrugged.

"I don't do fires! I do murders---got that?---murders!"

The Captain rocked back in his chair and frowned. "You do whatever I tell you."

"Oh?" I said, stepping to his side and leaning against the desk.

"Yeah. And this one's a special request from the chief."

"You know how I feel about his requests," I reminded him, eyeing the phone.

The Captain snorted, "Look, the chief wants you on this case." I began to reply, but he waved of his hand. "You're stuck. You gotta take it."

I sighed. It's scum who do murders. But arson? That's for weirdos who wet their beds. I was in the scum business, not the weirdo business.

Then again, I could use a change of pace.

"Okay," I said. "Just this once."

"Good!" the Captain replied. "Now, you gonna go with your usual methods?"

"Yeah." I stood and the Captain leaned back to keep eye contact. "Always eliminate the most likely suspect. And you say it was the chief that requested this?"

The Captain nodded, "But you're not---"

I gave him my most innocent smile. "Trust me," I said and patted him on the shoulder---it was just hard enough to push him off balance. His mouth gaped open as he teetered back and the chair slid out from under him.

I left his office feeling much better than when I'd entered.

Copyright ©1996 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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August, 1996
Issue #5