Happy Labor Day! Thanks to Booknibbles.com for the wonderful tour! If you’re just coming across this post, you can catch the beginning HERE.
Chapter 1: Shards
Daniel Guthrie sat in the street, the blood and the noise made no impression on him. The body in his arms dragged against him; its weight pulled at his shoulders, his back. The tears had dried on his cheeks, his chin; he stared at the ground somewhere by his feet. He felt hollow, numb. David Behan was dead.
He knew when the police came, their sirens pierced his ears. Blue and white strobed through the nighttime blackness, cut through the street lights. He heard Bryan Sullivan speak to them, his voice cutting through the din.
“Yes, sir. I saw the whole thing. Self defense.”
The words made no sense to Danny. The detective kept trying to speak to him, even asked Bryan to try to get a response. Danny didn’t care. His throat closed, shut tight, and it felt like he’d never speak again.
“Sir, we have to take the body.”
A hand closed on David’s shoulder, crossed in front of Danny’s face, tried to lift the body away. He saw that much before Bryan appeared, holding his arm and shoulder in front of Danny, blocking him from moving. He realized Bryan had been speaking for a while, repeating the same phrase over and over.
“Danny. It’s okay. They’re here to help. You have to let them take David, Danny. It’s okay.”
It felt like his ears popped, like in a plane landing. He sat on the ground, in the street. The grit stuck to his hands grated where he gripped Bryan’s arm. His neck felt stiff but he turned to meet Bryan’s gaze from inches away. Bryan’s face looked haggard, twenty years older than his twenty-five. Tear tracks and blood splotches stood out against his pale skin. Danny blinked.
“Bryan.” Danny’s voice felt worn, hollow.
“Danny!” The relief in Bryan’s voice almost embarrassed Danny, like Bryan revealed personal information to strangers.
“Yeah. I’m here. I won’t… fight them.” Hurt them, he almost said. He couldn’t say that openly, not when the detective hung over his shoulder.
After a moment or two, the paramedic apparently decided Danny was not going to interfere again and motioned his partner forward. They moved David’s body to a waiting gurney. He saw Bryan out of the corner of his eye, watched him track the gurney and swallow. But Danny didn’t turn. He knew they would take David to the ambulance and then the hospital morgue. All he could focus on was the blood. So much blood, it pooled in the street, soaked his jeans and shoes, squished in his socks. He knew it matted his hair, streaked his face. The mad detachment welled up again, swallowed the sound and the light. Bryan started to speak again but Danny could only focus on the blood on the ground nearby. Gravel and broken glass studded it, here and there sparkling in the light from the nearby police cruiser.
David Behan was dead.
Okay, on to the next blog. I hope you make it to the end, where I’ll be giving away a gift certificate. Good luck!