In the Line of Duty


His eyes snapped open at precisely 7:10 A.M. He hadn’t owned an alarm clock in years because every single day, even on weekends, and no matter how late he had gone to bed the night before, he had woken up at 7:10 A.M. on the button. Not surprisingly, he had never once been late for work.

His Spartan bedroom had no pictures on the walls and contained one king-sized bed, one small night table with a lamp on it and one full-length mirror. There was, however, an enormous home theatre system at the foot of the bed.

He sat upright, swung his legs over the edge of the bed, lifted his arms in the air and stretched from the tips of his toes to the roots of his hair. He got up and walked purposefully to the bathroom which was as magnificent and immaculately tidy and clean as one found in a five-star hotel.

He stood naked in front of the oversized vanity for a few moments scrutinizing himself. He had a near-perfect body. It was muscled in a proportionately toned way as if it had been sculpted – not quite Michelangelo’s David – but close (his penis was about four times the length of David’s though). He was also remarkably handsome from the neck up, with high cheek bones, square jaw and George Clooney smile. Although the skin of his face had slackened a bit, the way it does when men get into their late-thirties, he hadn’t lost a hair of his thick, black, short-cropped hair and he had the most astonishing blue eyes. They were as piercing as a wolf’s. Many people had told him over the years that, when he looked intently at them, they felt like he was seeing right through them and reading their innermost thoughts and secrets. Needless to say, women adored him. He would have needed a bedpost up to the ceiling to keep track with notches.

He began the very quick morning ritual. Five minute shower, under near-scalding hot water, during which time he washed his hair, brushed his teeth, soaped his body top-to-bottom and rinsed off. Back in front of the vanity after towelling off, he had not only trained himself how to shave with a straight razor – he could do it perfectly in two minutes flat. Slap on a modest amount of understated cologne, put on some Paco Rabanne deodorant and, voilà, he was done in under ten minutes.

He went back to the bedroom to put on his uniform. He always got dressed in front of the full-length mirror to make sure it was perfect. Crisply ironed black pants and shirt. He loved the shirt with the silver shield over the heart and the crest of the department on the left shoulder. Then the belt with handgun holster, radio pouch, flashlight, pepper spray, magazine pouch, baton holder, key holder, disposable gloves and knife pouch. He hooked the radio up over his left shoulder, firmly holstered the Glock 9mm and sheathed the baton. Finally, he placed the flat billed cap firmly over his head, the bronze metal badge in the centre polished to a gleam. Perfect.

He left the bedroom and went down the corridor towards the kitchen. He paused on the way to admire the small picture frame on the wall that housed the three medals of honor he had been awarded over the past fifteen years for outstanding heroism and valor in the line of duty. He smiled and continued on down the corridor.

When he got to the kitchen, he opened the fridge door to get a glass of orange juice and was confronted with the severed head of the little girl he had chopped up into pieces the night before. Her face was still frozen in an anguished mask of shock and horror.

‘Well’, he thought to himself smugly as he put on his policeman’s bomber jacket and closed the front door behind him, ‘at least I won’t have to bring home supper tonight’.

About Requiem for the Damned

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