Love Strikes After Midnight

Detective Joe Rubinovich rubbed the tension out of the back of his neck as he watched the bomb squad robot slowly roll across the pavement. A call had come in about 12:30 a.m. about a suspicious object of unknown origin on the walkway of a private residence.

Details were still sketchy. A family member discovered the object shortly after midnight. A vehicle was reported leaving the scene at approximately the same time but of course no one got a plate number. The family had thrown a large party the night before. It was the same old story—lots of witnesses but nobody saw a damn thing. At least the guest list would be a good place to start looking for possible suspects.

The robot was finally in position. Joe chewed the inside of his lip and mentally calculated the number of days he had left till retirement. He watched the robot carefully lift the object and place it in a blast proof container. Joe saw its reflective surface sparkle mysteriously before it disappeared behind the blast shield.

“FIRE IN THE HOLE!”

A muffled boom, a puff of smoke and it was all over.

Joe exhaled and tapped a cigarette out of its carton. It was up to the boys in the lab now. They’d piece it back together—whatever that thing was—and he’d read the report in a few days.

Joe made his way through the crowd back to his squad car—that’s when he saw her. Maybe it was the shabbiness of her dress, so out of place in this upscale neighborhood, that caught his attention. The smudges on her face did not hide the fact she was a classic beauty. She was probably a maid from one of the other houses who had come outside to see the show. Joe straightened his tie and walked toward her. What the heck, he thought. Maybe she’d wanna get a burger or something...

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Sara A. Judson Brown is a freelance writer in Des Moines, Iowa. She has writing credits with dsm Magazine and Des Moines Woman.