” The Writer Under Test” by Rocky Romano

0702152111-00This story is not true, is fiction. Any similarity is just coincidence. It is in honor those men and women who give their live for others, in honor of those who fall in the line duty, the duty we owe to life itself. Rocky Romano.

The cold froze the skin, only that morning was not present as particularly rainfall in Washington state, Sonny De Greco stepped onto the balcony of his house while drinking coffee with vanilla, observed the landscape which brought to his mind living memories that filled his soul with warm nostalgia, a feeling he grieved but not allow him to retain the past, everything was left behind.

That was a very special day for Sonny, who had served the local police for twenty years, was his last day of service in the police, decided his retirement after the overwhelming success of his latest book, “The Forgiveness Without Revenge” because he had led two parallel career in his life, police and writer, people in Bellingham loved him for his passion to serve the community, his passion for writing something that come naturally from his heart, his passion for the hard sports also his passion for his little daughter Alice, the only reason that could make him postpone any commitment he may have, yes so many passions that made him  imperfect  so his wife Lindsay filed for divorce. Inside his house he looked at family photographs, sigh ” Well, nothing is forever”, then puts on his police badge for the last time and went to the police station.

Once there his superior Lieutenant Cooper said, “Sonny, all you have to do today is, just enjoy the place, is your last day…”  “Lieutenant, not matter what, I will do my routine as always I really enjoy it and I will miss much all of this”. Then his partner Andrew patrol asked, “Sonny, how do you feel?” “How to explain?…I feel like an old man bound for a nursing home”. then both laughed , while they were interrupted by a warm and sensual female voice, “Too cute to a nursing home, I could give you a place in my apartment.” Denisse, the dispatcher of the front desk smiled and added, “Sonny, I hope I did not interrupt anything important, but this envelope come for you, it seems urgent given the indicating warning”. Then he took the envelope and smile gallantly and replied, “Thank you, Denisse, by the way I will keep in mind the offer”. Andrew enthusiastically express, “Wow, you are a lucky man, she has refused all invitations of headquarters”. “Come on, Andrew, I’m not, I still miss my wife”. “Sorry, Sonny I did not mean to hurt you”. Sonny opened the envelope curiously and to his surprise read the following, “Sonny De Greco I’m following your footsteps, I will be where you are, all your books talk about faith, hope, forgiveness…you think We all deserve it? Good question, right? I will challenge every word of your writings, you are being tested, you will have news soon…very soon, I’m sure that you will have very exciting retirement, you will be a disgrace to your readers”. Sonny thought it might be a joke but meanwhile his sixth sense told him there was something more behind that message. during the patrol that morning Andrew and Sonny received a radio call from police headquarters, “Suspect in school facilities located in DuPont 1300 attempt to abduct a child, without success has fled”, Sonny talking by the microphone answered, “Roger that, we’re on our way and send other patrols to intercept the streets around the school”. While the other troopers surrounded the entire perimeter of the school unsuccessfully, found no trace or evidence of the suspect, Andrew and Sonny were at the school questioning witnesses, Sonny asked Valerie the principal, “How did it all happen? she with extreme nervousness, because of what had happened, replied, “Everything happened very quickly during the recess of the first-graders, a stranger crossed the gate of the corner of the fence on the west side and approaching the playground attempted to take the child Peter, teachers saw this and rushed to help the kid and then alerted the stranger jumped the fence, he is in very athletic shape”. “Fathers working in the WATCH D.O.G.S program?”. “No, not at this time”. “Hum! that is not correct, should implement the program is very important and helps ensure the safety of children and school and also fathers being a role model helps children to society insert with great values”. “You are right, officer, we’ll start working on it soon”. “What is the reason of the gate in the corner fence on the west side?, all the visitors must enter though the front door and follow procedure for records of visits. Someone could describe the individual physically and details how he was dressed?”

One of the teachers came up to Sonny and said, “My name is Ethan, nice to meet you Officer. Well, I was very close to the suspect, I could see his face when I intercepted him and then he turned to the right and jumped the fence, height more or less than 6.2, very thin, athletic, his face was covered with a tick beard, blue eyes, wearing a black hat. I cannot remember the color of the rest of his clothes, I think his age is around 35-40 years old”. “Wow! good job!! Ethan, you should be working on my team”.

At that moment Officer Sonny’s cell rang and an unknown number appeared on the screen, “Hello, Officer De Greco” a distorted voice by machine said,” I warned you, I’m behind you, exactly fifty minutes ago I attacked a child, you still think I deserve forgiveness?” Sonny replied, “The child is safe, what do you want from me?”, then the voice became s frightening laugh and said, “I want your forgiveness for what I will do, this is just the beginning “. Immediately Sonny called his ex-wife, “Geez!! Lindsay, for God’s shake!! listen to me urgently!” “Sonny what’s going on? Always under stress, what’s is your problem now?” “Lindsay, go to school and picks up Alice and do not leave the house under any circumstance, I am sending a patrol to make a permanent guard in your home”. “Come on! Sonny you and your paranoia!” “Just do it!!” a psychopath is following in my footsteps, I think it can go far. Please! just do it”.

Again from the police station another call to unity of Andrew and Sonny. “Addressing urgent 196 E Kellogg Rd., an old man named Arthur was attacked while walking in that neighborhood, the attacker took the crutches of him and pushed him off from few steps and he fled”. Sonny replied while Andrew was driving fast, “Oh!! God!! It is my neighborhood and Arthur is my neighbor, is he hurt?” “A few scrapes and a blow to the head, the paramedics are there and say he will be fine”. Once on the scene, “Arthur, I’m so sorry! tell me how it happened?” “Well, I was giving my short walk as every day, suddenly a tall man with a beard and black hat stood before me and said while took off my crutches,” tell Sonny that I had mercy on you”, and pushed me roughly. I last remember I fell for these steps, then I lost consciousness and woke up with the help of paramedics”. Sonny’s cell rang, “You are so good, with your retirement, you will have time to watch the news, something big is coming, just pay attention”.

Hours later, after completion of paperwork to hand over the leadership, main event of the day, Sonny finally said goodbye to his beloved workplace, on the road recalling the best moments of his police career, remembered when Lindsay was in his life. It was two days after that, everything looked like it had returned to normal. During his daily workout at the gym, Sonny glanced at the news on the television, suddenly a brief interruption with a message of warning, “A child disappeared around Arroyo Park, by the name of David, he is eight years old, brown hair, fair skin, light brown eyes, at the time of his disappearance wore a white T-shirt and jeans at the time was walking not far from his parents. It is unknown who could kidnap, any information go to the police department or call the following numbers…”. Sonny froze with such news and knew would sound his cell phone and that was it, “Ex-officer De Greco you’ve heard the news, I told you. it would be very big”. Sonny interrupted him, “Bastard, do not touch the kid, I will find you and I will kill you!” “Hey!! Hey!! What happened to the preacher of love and forgiveness?? you will not have to seek me, I’ll tell you where I am but you will come alone, you will not inform any of this to your fellow cops, alone or the child does not reach its nine birthday, but all at due time”. “Do not touch the boy, you want my damn life psychopath!! my life for the child”. “Sonny, careful with your vocabulary seems that is not the same as you use in your writings, I did not hear any word of faith and hope… I think you’re just a liar and that you do not even have guts to face me, very soon you will receive details about the meeting”.

Sonny called to Andrew, “Andrew the child’s disappearance…”  “Sonny, yes we are working with all our efforts in the search for the boy”. “Andrew, promise in the name of our friendship you will no say anything, go out where no one can hear you, I do not have much time”. Andrew pulled away to a place without witnesses, “Sonny, are you crazy? this may cost me my career, my job”. “Andrew, the abduction from the child is connected with me, remember the author of the above incidents, is the same man, is a damn psychopath , when I receive the details and I will rescue the boy, The police must not know about it or he will sacrifice the child”. Andrew promised secrecy, two hours later, Sonny receives a text message, “No police, in two hours at Lake Padden, the challenge is, if you can defeat me the kid it will be release, if not both are going to leave this life, I have known you were a fighter from old school, we will see how good you are against one of the new era”.

There was not much time to think, Sonny prepared his personal weapon and put a small knife grabbed around his ankle under the pants. Then step by Lindsay House, “Hi Lindsay, can you give a few minutes?” “Yes, Sonny I hear you”. “Lindsay, I want to apologize because I was never the husband that you expecting of me, I’m sorry! I was always very selfish with my time and my passions, I apologize for it, I ask forgiveness for not having been able to give you what you wanted, what you needed, I have many faults, you have more virtues…” “Sonny, Sonny, what is wrong with you? this seems like a farewell without return”. He held her, she knew in that embrace that something was very wrong, “Sonny, do not go, I beg you please! to wherever you’re going, do not go!!”  ” Lindsay, you are better than me, I accept that I hate you did not know how to listen and much more, hated you did not know cooking but I could overcome it, I have forgiven the offense that you offense that you made me, the worth that I had ever received from anyone, but the episode frame me the rest of my life, something is broken inside me that could never be repaired, that offense gave the strength to accept the divorce when you asked for it”. “Sonny, do not go!” while she sobbed, “Do not go, I have many memories of you that cannot be forgotten, I have your smile, I have all the times we shared together…”. then He smiled and said, “Also you cannot forget the mess I left in the house”. Then went to the Alice’s room, she engrossed playing with her new tablet. “Hi, Daddy, watch this, I will teach you to play this new game, you want to play with me?” “My Sweet Little girl, “Play” is a very important word for you”. It’s because I miss you Daddy, before we played every day, the monster game and also we boxed and I always won also we would gather flowers and talked about what God created while we walked, I miss all that”. “My daughter, very soon we will do those things again, now I have to go and I need lots of kisses to have energy. The little one rushed at him, “Here are many kisses to you Daddy”. and left with a song invented by themselves, was always the same, Lindsay had never paid attention to this until today. Sonny began the first part, “You are my life, you are my love…” and the sweet Alice ended it, “You are the hope of my heart”. Lindsay heard them and looked at them both and went into another room to mourn. Sonny went away and stopped before leaving by the church and entered a prayer room, he knelt, “My Lord forgive the mistakes of my life, forgive me. Sometimes I wish I could return to my past and change it, I would like to change the world for a better place, but I have not the ability to do that, Lord forgive me, my selfish attitude in my marriage, forgive the pain that I caused to the people who live around me. Give me the strength to save the life of this innocent child”.

Then come out of the church, a light rain began to fall, the street was desolated and gray, Sonny went to Lake Padden and when he got there, he saw at the opposite end of the lake a light shining on the dense forest, then he rushed to get there, once in place, almost all was quiet just a few birds were heard to fly from one tree to another and to complete the grim scenario loud thunder was heard to the distance and a glowing lighting lit up the place and there was the figure of the hijacker in the middle of that light and the child was only a few steps away tie the trunk of a tree, he said, “Sonny, do not take another step and you can call me, Jack”. “Okay, Jack just let me check that child is okay.” “Yes, you can do but leave your weapon where I can see it, I’m aiming straight at your head, so do it carefully”. Sonny left the gun on the ground and headed up the child, “David, how are you? Are you hurt? Please, tell me”. “No, Sir he has not hurt me, not yet, get me out of here, I want to go home”. “Take easy, I will, but I must to warn you that you will see a bloody fight, trust me I will defeat him”. Sonny that is enough I also drop my gun. Come and show me your power”.

Both men were in combat position, they looked at each other rudely, there was no mercy. Jack said, “here we are old man” and turned with spectacular throw kicked Sonny on the head who fell to the ground rolling over his body. Sat up quickly and try to attack with a punch that was blocked by Jack giving both a sharp blow on the left side of the body, Sonny grasped, bowed but did not fall, again in position, he try to catch up with some punches, but could not find the rhythm to achieve it. Jack with satanic smile said, “Sonny too much desk work…”, they crossed many blows of fists, which were blocked in a surprising way, Jack turn extremely fast on this own body giving a hammer blow in the face of Sonny who fell almost senseless, dizzy could not stand up, spit blood, looked at the boy and that was enough to give the necessary will power to do so, he said to himself, “I will not allow it, I will not allow it!!”. Standing once said, “Jack is all you have to give damn maniac!”, then found the rhythm, jumping like a professional boxer, dodged some punches, Jack threw a kick with the right leg which Sonny caught with his left arm and dealt a heavy blow with the elbow of the right arm on top, exactly on the quadriceps, Jack fell to the ground in pain, limping he stood up, throw some punches cuffs without success. Sonny blocking a beating arm and dealt a terrible blow on the right side of the raptor’s face, the stagger the ex-officer applied a left punch on the other side of the face, Jack collapsed, Sonny put his knees on Jack’s arms and apply blows, so hard that they broke the nasal septum, telling, “Yes, I’m a man of the old school and this is what we do, bastard!!”. Jack, seemed totally unconscious in a pool of blood, Sonny stood up, raised his gun and head up the child with a smile, “Kid, I won, I won”, suddenly was heard, “I never lose”, Jack was pointing directly to the child, then Sonny very quickly covered with his own body the boy, receiving the shot in the back and both fell to the ground by such impact, Jack fired several shots without hitting a target, then Sonny sat up with great difficulty pointing the gun at Jack. Sonny , “Do not kill me, forgive me, forgive me!” “Jack, you do not leave choice I will die soon then you will murder the child.” “But, you believe in forgiveness.” “I also believe in justice.” and was given the first shot in the right shoulder, “Oh!! I do not want to die! forgive me!!”. Practically powerless, Sonny pointed exactly in the middle of the Jack’s eyebrows, “Is not my business to forgive you, I know what I’ doing, not forgiveness for you, not forgiveness for me…then, I will see you in hell.”Two consecutive shots hit he head of psychopath, the nightmare over.

Then Sonny collapsed on the ground and crawled to where David was, took the knife from his ankle and with difficulty breathing cut loose the bonds, the child once free hugged Sonny while called Andrew, “Friend, I’m dying the kid out danger, I eliminated Jack, tell my father that I did the right may not understand my death and protect my daughter..” “God!! we’re on our way”.

Sonny said, “Son, I’m sorry that you saw all this horror, there must be a reason, please try often to visit my little daughter…” , it was the last thing that he said coughed and gush of blood came out of his mouth while the boy hugged him crying, “Yes, Sir I will”. A few minutes later a helicopter and patrol arrived, the paramedics were caring for David, Andrew approached Sonny’s body, “My old patrol partner, you did the right thing rest in peace.”

Days later during the funeral, Sonny’s farewell by the police station was done with twenty one shots, there was also a representative of the White House sent specially by USA President, there was eloquent allusive speeches regarding such a heroic deed, others only highlighted Sonny’s life. Lindsay, received the American flag wrapped around the coffin in ceremony that impacts the spirit of who love those heroes who fall in the line of duty.

Denisse, laid a red rose on the coffin, “Babe, no place in my apartment to anyone except you…” Lindsay approached her, “He was very special to you, right?” “Just that, peace for your mind, he was all a gentleman, never touch a hair of my head, he loved you.” Lindsay broke into inconsolable crying, “I still love him”. But the most endearing image was that of a boy holding the hand of a little girl, Alice and David, “Alice I’ll be around you as long as necessary, I promised your Daddy”. “I know David, I dreamed last night my Dad, told me that he is okay although I cannot see him and also told me I could trust you”. They continued walking holding hands in deep dialogue that nobody could hear.

Some daily news, criticized the extreme action of former police saying, “The creator of numerous books about forgiveness did not know to forgive”. Others justify the fact of saving an innocent life said, “There was not choice, not alternative. In fact, Sonny’s follower readers not forgive his action and the punishment was that stopped reading his books, Andrew made a public a letter to end the dispute, “These words are addressed to those who judge the action that my former team mate took. Sonny that day saved the life of David, I think he did the right thing, it was an extreme situation, I think in life often we find very difficult situations where we must make decisions, this was one of them, it was not let evil triumph over good, was to preserve the life of an innocent child who just begun to live, beyond to believe in forgiveness, what would you have done instead of Sonny, leave it to your conscience rid judge the fact, but not forget to ask before you do”.

Time passed and something happens, books and writing of Sonny was requested by the general public and libraries. Andrew aware of this, walking along Lake Padden, looked at the sky and said, “My friend Sonny, I have fulfilled my promise to you and the Law of Forgiveness has finally done its job”. that day had begun coincidentally spring, life was reborn again.


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