Vaguely he recalled the recent events:
The old man was walking down the crowded sidewalk when the young, desperate mugger seized him roughly.
Riley Rikshaw saw it all happen from across the street. He saw the old man get pushed against the vandalised wall of the alleyway, saw the mugger’s mouth move, no doubt demanding money and spewing threats of beatings or death.
Riley dashed, darted, and dodged through traffic. Car horns blared, and taxi drivers hollered in different tongues and made rude gestures with their hands.
Riley didn’t care for them. The drivers and passengers could be delayed, could be five minutes late for their appointments. But Riley could not be five minutes late for his appointment with the man and the mugger. The man might be severely injured in the five minutes it took to get to a crosswalk, cross the road, and run all the way back to help. Time refused to be on the side of innocence, it seemed.
The elderly man had taken off his gold wristwatch and placed it in the mugger’s hand. He was in the process of removing his wedding ring. The mugger kept his right hand tucked away in the pocket of his hoodie, causing Riley to suspect a knife or gun.
“Stop what you’re doing this instant,” Riley demanded as he cautiously approached the two. “I’m a police officer and I’m ordering you to stop.”
“Help me,” the aged man implored weakly.
“Shut your face,” snarled the mugger. He eyed Riley up and down, as if searching for something. “You don’t look like any cop I ever saw.”
“Undercover,” Riley answered, flashing a badge, “but not unarmed.”
The mugger grinned, flashing yellow teeth. The he pulled a pistol.
With a bang and a bloody hole in his forehead, the man’s long life ended in an instant. Riley shouted out in protest and reached for his own standard-issue handgun inside his jacket pocket.
Time refused to be on the side of innocence, it seemed. The mugger had already fired a second bullet, and his aim was true.
Officer Rikshaw collapsed to the ground. His hand clung desperately to his chest, as if it had a chance of stopping the flow of blood. But he knew it was impossible to stop death’s wrath.
Vaguely he recalled the recent events . . . .
Text copyright © 2008 by Terri Freedom. All rights reserved.