"The Long Shot"
A F L A S H F I C T I O N S T O R Y B Y S H E I L A B U S T E E D
Brockheart and Choi approached the door. "DeSoto County Sheriff's Department," she shouted as she banged on it. "We have a search warrant." No one answered. They drew their weapons, and Choi kicked in the door. Advancing together, they cleared the front room and moved through the dining room, which was filled with computer equipment. Next, they checked the filthy kitchen, and Brockheart signalled for Choi to head upstairs and clear that level.
Meanwhile, Brockheart returned to the computer station. After a few clicks, she found a film-editing program with a project in progress. She watched the video for only a few seconds but was horrified by what she saw. As soon as she stopped it, she heard what sounded like something striking metal. Frozen in place, she listened. There it was again. The sound was faint, but she could tell it was coming from beneath her. Glancing around, she spotted an old rug on the floor. Once she kicked it aside, she realized it had concealed a trap door.
Brockheart pulled out her flashlight, opened the trap door and descended into the cellar. The wooden steps creaked under her weight, and the smell of damp concrete filled the air. Brockheart shone her light around the room and noticed the walls were lined with blades and tools, with crates and cages stacked against one side.
Suddenly, her light landed on a figure in the corner. A man leapt toward her, swinging a crowbar at her arms with such force that it knocked her gun and flashlight out of her hands. She heard them slide away as the man tackled her to the floor. She managed to elbow him in the nose, but the injury didn’t slow him down. Brockheart panicked as his hands wrapped around her neck. She flailed about as he leaned forward and tightened his grip. That's when she finally saw him. It was Robbson. Struggling for air, she watched an evil grin spread across his face.
BANG! Brockheart was stunned when she saw Robbson's neck rip open as a bullet rocketed through it. Robbson's body went limp and collapsed on top of Brockheart. As she shoved him aside, she spotted Choi rushing down the steps.
"Nice shot, partner," gasped Brockheart.
"That wasn't me."
Puzzled, Brockheart retrieved her flashlight and pointed it toward the stacks. There, locked inside a cage, was a battered teenaged girl. She had reached through the cage and grabbed Brockheart's gun. Now, as she set it down, her hand shook and tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Thank you," Brockheart said softly as she knelt in front of the girl. "Let's get you out of there."