Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction

Expert Work

Plaster radios Winnie at the sta­tion. He knows there is a code for this. He knows the code, some­where in his mind he knows the code.

One-sev­en are you there?” She asks. “Dennis?”

Yeah, we have uh… uh… we have an appar­ent Nine-four­teen ‘S’ out at the Currie house.”


It’s not Andy.”

Static hiss­es, breaks, and hiss­es again. Winnie has­n’t any words to send.


I’m here.”

It looks like Mose.”

More hiss­ing and then Winnie speaks con­fi­dent­ly, sound­ing like a voice from a TV cop show, “Unit one-sev­en, main­tain your posi­tion. Emergency ser­vices are on the way. Over.”

One-seven…uh…staying put. Over.”

Dennis has heard that peo­ple will often throw up when they see the results of a shoot­ing at such close range. He has­n’t yet. Instead, he won­ders at how expert­ly Mose chose the stick to push back the trig­ger and how he knew just the right posi­tion to bal­ance the weapon — butt against the side of his boot, foot pulled up close to his body in order to push the bar­rel against his nose and eye sock­et. The man knew exact­ly how to use a shot­gun to com­mit sui­cide. Most peo­ple don’t. In his short tenure as a police offi­cer, Dennis has been called to four sep­a­rate failed attempts (nine-four­teen ‘A’s), all of them clum­sy and most of them caus­ing more dam­age to the home than the per­son.

On Mose’s lap is the let­ter he wrote to his fam­i­ly ear­li­er that morn­ing. Dennis Plaster’s head throbs as he bends over to pick it up. It’s then that he smells the man. Mose’s liv­ing smell — cof­fee, laun­dry deter­gent, the fire­house, body odor — fad­ing into the smell of his blood and bod­i­ly flu­ids. Now, Dennis is sick. He heaves up his own cof­fee and break­fast at the base of anoth­er tree. He turns back to Mose’s body and looks at the man’s ruined face. “You fuck­er,” he whis­pers and walks back toward the house to greet the Emergency Service vehi­cles.