Saturday afternoon

October 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is how the punches fall sometimes. Sometimes they rain down, and sometimes it’s like a pillow collapsing around a fist. You can never tell.

The policeman is hurrying through town, past Boots and the retired greyhound lady’s stall. Threading his way through the groups of teenagers drifting along purposeless as clouds.

His radio is crackling at him; this day that should have been easy is starting to pile up around him. A routine beat round town – as much about being visible as anything. The directive from HQ said that the public like to see their police force out and about, it makes them feel that the police are doing something, but really you can’t be everywhere at once, and for every old dear muttering her approval there’s some young lad ready to prove a point with spit or fists.

A call to the department store this time, and as he hurries he wonders what’s wrong with their security guards anyway. Nobody does their job properly now. He’s been doing this for thirty years and whilst he reads in the papers and at the briefings about how the job of the police is easier nowadays, he knows not to believe it. You see everything, you miss nothing, apart from the lad stepping out of the shadows with an iron bar.

Two weeks in hospital, and six months signed off sick. He’s only been back a week; he’s thinking about pensions and holidays and retirement and how he really doesn’t care any more about protecting the public. He just wants to protect himself.

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