Rain, rain, rain. That’s all it does here… rain! Drive a person crazy, all this rain. First the mist that soaks everything, then the incessant sprinkling and finally raindrops so big it hurts when they hit you. Grey for days. Grey streets grey buildings, grey people, grey lives. No black, no white, just various shades of grey. What I wouldn’t do for some color! It messes with your head. People devoid of color become complacent, show no emotion, they no longer care.
Winters here are hard. Not hard on the body, but hard on the soul… the psyche… The local news is full of home invasions, assaults, suicides, murder… Death. It’s all one big obituary, just one big police ledger. You pick up the Journal, the Times, the Post and read with indifference the daily roll call of those that have passed on. The only emotion evoked for the day is when you timidly turn to the page showing the forecast, wishing for a ray of sunshine, praying for a break from the monotony, only to have your hopes dashed upon the grey, cold clouds full of rain. Dissolute, you resign yourself to the day, to the Grey.
You swallow the last of your coffee, don your armor against the elements and grab keys as you head out the door only to remember that you have no gas. There has been no gas for days. Old habits die hard. Hoping you can catch the Metro, you run to the bus stop only to see it pull away, and you swear the bus driver is laughing as he drives off. You flash him digits because it makes you feel less helpless, then quickly look up and down the street hoping no one has witnessed your lapse into crudeness. Opening your umbrella, you start walking.
The pace is slow and not because you want to take in the scenery. You’ve seen it before… grey. You don’t even care of you’re late for work. Why should you? The boss certainly doesn’t. Hell, he’s happy you show up.
Just for a change you try to make eye contact with the other wet pedestrians. You make a game of it, but soon quit. It’s no fun to play a game when you know you’re never going to score a point.
Something catches your eye, movement in an alley off to your right. Was that a muffled scream? You undo the strap on your holster and place your hand on the butt of your gun. You touch the button behind your left ear and hear the familiar click and whir of the video/audio camera begin to record and send a live feed to the station every move you make. Simultaneously you feel a rush of adrenaline infuse your system. Instinct and training take over. Every sense is hypersensitive. You are in combat mode.
You cautiously walk into the alley, your eyes focusing on every movement that may present a threat. More muffled screams, but now mixed with laughter, come from around the corner. Slowly you pull your gun out, and get into a half-Sabrina as you stand with your back to the wall, just as you were taught at the academy. Everything done by the numbers, never know when someone important is watching, someone with the key to your next promotion. One, two, and go on three.
You step around the corner. There he is. One perp, one victim. Time slows almost to a stand still. There is no need to shout out "freeze", "halt", or any other cliché command that Enforcers of old used to say. He sees you, you see him, simple as that. You see a twitch in the muscle that is connected to his finger on the trigger. You react. A gunshot echoes through out the alley. He falls, the victim cries out in fear and surprise. You hear sirens in the distance and that familiar, "Well done Enforcer 0426 one more victim rescued, one shot, one kill". Yet all your eyes can focus on is the vibrant red slowly turning to a dull pink against the grey pavement. A smile begins to form on your lips. Finally… some color…