Friday, October 19, 2012

A Strange Life A Novella by Frank Zubek

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This is the story of Nick Crowell, a Cleveland Detective who got shot in a cemetery. While he survived the wound, he encounters people with weird life changing problems that defy explanation.He tries to help them but has no idea how to and this weighs on him.


“I just wanted some money. Everybody needs money.” As he kept talking, he continued to inch his way toward the office, glancing back over his shoulder, trying to decide what his next move might be. If he made it into the offices, he could take the chance that he could make it out a back door. From there, the fence that led to the metro parks - and freedom - was just a few yards away. It was his only hope since Crowell had the main entrance to the place blocked.

   “I can’t let you get into the office,” Crowell said. “Why don’t we just stand here and talk?”

   “I just wanted some quick money, man.”
   “I understand that. I do. But now you’ve got some problems. Kidnapping for one. Let the lady go.”

   “And then?”

   “Let her go first. You know how this works. You give me something and then I give you something.”

   The kid glanced toward the office and then back at Crowell, probably thinking of his few options. “And then?”

   “Come on, kid. I can’t let you get everything you want. But I can talk to the judge on your behalf. Don’t make things worse. Drop the gun now.”

   Crowell glanced at the old woman and could see that her eyes were closing and that she had stopped wriggling. Crowell was guessing that she was about to pass out. This meant that the kid was about to be holding onto about one hundred pounds of dead weight.

   Just then, Ben appeared from behind a tree to the rear of the kid, gun drawn.

   As Crowell had guessed, the woman passed out and the kid decided to let her fall to the ground. It was then, seeing that he had an opening that Ben called out to the kid, who spun around and fired at Ben, who ducked to one knee, took his shot and caught the kid in the shoulder.

   As the kid spun around from the force of the bullet, he fired off a round toward Crowell as he fell.

   The round caught Crowell in the gut and he fell to his knees. Within seconds, both men were on their backs, facing the afternoon sky.

   Crowell heard several women scream. As he lay there looking up at the sky, he took note that the sky didn’t look as blue as it had earlier. It seemed more like that time of day when the sun had slipped behind the horizon and dusk took domination of the evening.

   After what seemed like several minutes, he could see Ben kneeling over him and he was shouting something into his cell phone but Crowell couldn’t make it out.

   As the sky got darker and darker, Crowell wondered if the woman he had saved was okay. He wanted to tell his partner to check on the kid. To make sure he was down because he still had the gun in his hand. He wanted to tell him to go check on everyone in the office and to tell them that everything would be okay. He wanted to say all those things but his mouth wouldn’t form the words.

   Then he thought of his ex wife, Karen. Someone should contact her. Maybe even tell her that he still loved her despite the divorce.

   And then the darkness covered him like a warm blanket and he passed out.

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