Sandy O’Rourke caught up to his partner, wheezing and out of breath. He stopped, doubled over, and vomited into the rain filled gutter. What spewed from his mouth was little more than sputum and bile, and that minute he spent hacking with his head between his knees was the last long minute that he struggled for his breath.
His young protégé, Officer Randy Parsons, had taken off in rush, chasing a tall man in a long coat, who was himself chasing a giant down Lake Street, a man so large and menacing that he could only be one person—the notorious Karl Thorrson, the new crime boss over the city of Saint Anthony.
There had been an incident at the Round-up, a busy watering hole that Sandy was fond of drinking in. Sandy didn’t know what had happened but Karl Thorrson had been involved. There was a fight and then a terrible stroke of lightning struck down and a kid who worked behind the bar…maybe killed him…then Karl Thorrson took off running followed by the stranger.
His partner, Officer Parsons, who didn’t have the sense to leave well enough alone, took off after them, and Sandy followed suit. He didn’t even think about it, its what his training told him to do.
Sandy wasn’t sure how far they ran, four maybe five blocks or so. Thorrson and his tail turned down a dark alley and his partner had the wits to slow down to wait for Sandy to catch up, instead of going in alone.
Sandy was spent, he puked and clutched at his heart while his partner watched, unsure of what to do.
He fell to his knees in the pouring rain and pushed his hat off his head, finding some relief in the falling water as it washed his face clean.
His partner came up behind him and put his hand on his shoulder. “Are you all right old man?” He asked.
Sandy just nodded and shook his head in an uncertain motion, he didn’t have enough air in his lungs to push out any words.
Officer Parsons pulled him backwards, away from the curb and up to the windows of a store front. He got the old timer under an awning and set his cap back on his head.
Just then a squad car pulled up, it had the markings of a park police, radio car. Parsons tried to flag them down to get some help for his partner. He watched as the driver looked at him, with no emotion on his face, and no indication that he was willing to offer any kind of aid.
Parsons spat and cursed.
Sandy took his hand and tried to tell him that it was okay.
Another stroke of lightning hit the city somewhere nearby, and the lights went out everywhere, just as the lights went out from Sandy O’Rourke’s eyes.