Hometown Hero

Inspiration flowed so quickly from the weekly writing prompt at Studio30+ that my contribution is here on the first day.  Join us at Image 

Lieutenant Taylor shook her head when she saw LeMaire coming through the sallyport door.  Again.  His lank oily hair hung low from the shaggy mop of his head, and dirt rivulets streaked down his face from an overexerted rain of sweat. His grungy jeans fell low beneath his hip bones, wrists manacled behind his back preventing him from pulling them up where their length would otherwise not trip him. He cast quite a different image than the one in Taylor’s memory from years before.

Taylor hated working night shift, but they were short a commanding officer tonight. It was often these “regulars” who came in on the weekends, the drunks and druggies who showed up in the wee hours of the morning. She also disliked seeing LeMaire among the group with him being in so much trouble over the last few years. Quite a shame.

Jumbo-Gold-Tone-Basketball-AwardLeMaire and Taylor had gone to school together, graduating just two years apart. He had actually been in her older sister’s class and was among the more talented athletes her age. What he lacked in brains, he more than made up for in trophies encased behind glass within the halls of their alma mater. It was a sad statement of fact that a few of the stellar jocks from their town had remained in opposition of the law since they graduated. LeMaire had a basketball scholarship that he blew with partying too much at college. He ended up back home, in typical manner, working for his dad at the local hardware store.

His being a local merchant, both Taylor girls had known Mr. LeMaire from growing up there. It was too bad his son disappointed their family with the embarrassment of his drug abuse returning him in shame. He got popped over and over for possession. It was a wonder he hadn’t ended up with State time for distribution, with that being how he ended his college days as the frat house supplier.

Anyone who lived there knew the story of how young LeMaire had gone from “Hometown Boy Done Good” to disgraced druggie hoodlum, tarnishing his family name. There forward his poor mother shunned her bridge club and drove further to the next town to shop at the Superco rather than face her neighbors at the local Grocery Mart. She quit going to service at Our Angel of Faith all together, the stares and whispers just too much for her.

Taylor had gone along with their mom and dad to her sister’s school functions, where LeMaire’s parents were always friendly and talkative. She felt sorry for them now in the sorrow their son wrought upon their good name and reputation within the community. Many of their classmates had chosen to stay close to home but had secured respectable jobs, gotten married and had kids of their own who were growing up at the same schools they had attended. She, like them, had made their parents proud, as would their progeny. Even though she knew better, especially in her position of authority, Taylor felt her own angry disgust rear itself in a judgmental stare at LeMaire.

Taylor locked eyes with him. She grudgingly wagged her head from side to side and shot him a look of disdain with her inquiry, “So what was it this time, LeMaire?” He turned in her direction and stayed his own gaze upon her. LeMaire gave her a wistful grin, full of an irony she couldn’t quite place, and turned away from her mocking without an answer.

The Lieutenant guffawed at his slight, shaking her head at a fellow officer and shrugging her shoulders in mocking contempt. She broke the uncomfortable silence by calling out after LeMaire, “You’re becoming quite the frequent flyer here.  Your miles might just get you a free night’s stay.”

The arresting officer handed the culprit off to a clerk at the booking desk, and sauntered over to where Taylor stood chuckling with another employee. The man asked her, “You know what they say about the one who laughs last, don’t you, Lieutenant?” Taylor had long since grown used to how everyone gave each other shit at the station but shook her head in agreement, and replied, “Sure, why?”  handcuffs

He told her, “LeMaire was the passenger in a DUI stop.” Taylor’s eyes grew wide, and she laughed a bit harder in surprised amusement. The arresting officer said, “He was arrested for trying to fight me when I put the driver in cuffs. He’s quite the Knight in Shining Armour.  I had to call for backup.” He exhaled his own wry laugh and gestured toward the bay doors.

A combative young woman there resisted against a female officer’s hold of her arms, the shackles around her ankles refraining only her gait but not the spasmodic thrust of her torso. Long hair covered the woman’s face, her trusses being thrown about veiling her identity. She bellowed, “Let me out of here, goddamnit! Do you know who I am?”

“Yes, Princess,” came the reply. “Just hold still a minute,” the officer commanded, helping move the tangles of hair out of the woman’s line of sight so she could see where she was walking. A final shake revealed the full visage, and the officer beside Taylor announced, “That’s right … your sister.”  

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Hometown Hero

  1. Tremendous use of the prompt (I needed to say tremendous today, I’m glad you gave me the opportunity to do so…)

    Great story. I love how the focus on LeMaire’s life and parents distracted me from Taylor’s sister being arrested. A fun read with an unexpected outcome.

  2. Lance

    Terrific dialogue. I really ejoyed this.

  3. Oh, how the mighty do fall. Great twist at the end.

  4. Joe

    Well-done! Very easy to relate to these people and their issues. And a cool bit of misdirection made it fun.

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