Badge Bunny

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Badge Bunny

Stranded alone, submerged within concrete walls,

amidst squabbling voices, it finally strikes

me that an ulterior motive is

at play. Instantly, a room choked

with bodies is nearly empty-it’s

just me and her. Gold strapped

around my finger tightens and becomes

too heavy to carry. Puppy-dog

eyes continuously bat and she flutters

closer. Lust in her eyes smacks

me in the face like a

two-by-four. I retreat, she

advances. I’d been warned before, but

my age and inexperience drowned the

cautionary, unbelievable tales. She’s up against

me now, gyrating, moaning, and whispering

unmentionable things. My face flushes. Slowly

her hand travels from my shoulder

toward my gun-belt. I take off

like a rocket, up through flights

of stairs, and find the door.

Clean, pure fresh air pierces my

skin. A gaggle of co-workers roar

and point as I flee to

my patrol car. Drenched in sweat,

I reach for the air conditioning

button, then look up to notice

a senior deputy shaking his head

at me. I’ve failed the initiation.

I’m not one of them. A

career shroud in speculation, based on

being honorable, with integrity, is my

punishment, what defines me with them.

-C.L.Swinney 2015