Cop on the Edge, Episode 8
Santa Ana

M. Stanley Bubien

I pushed my way out of the building. A rush of hot, dry wind caught me in the face. It wasn't blowing when I went into the chief's office, but that's how these Santa Ana winds work---they flare up quick as a changing mood. The heat gave me an idea, though. My next move---check the arson scene.

I headed for the car, but a guy wearing a three-piece suit sauntered into my path.

"Sir," he nodded in an English sort-of way, "Do you happen to have a fag?"

"What?" I blurted

"A fag, my good man. That is---a cigarette."

"Oh. No." The English have a way with words. Next thing you know he'd be asking for a rubber.

"My dear sir," he pointed toward my pants. "Would that be a cigarette, or---I believe the saying goes---are you just glad to see me?"

Reaching into my pocket, I produced a crumpled cigarette. Must've fallen out of the chief's pack before I tossed it onto her desk.

I wiped my brow and my eyes caught sight of a plume rising in the distance.

"Smoke." I said.

"Thank you," the Englishman reached for the cigarette.

"Sorry buddy, but on a day like this, smoke is the last thing we need."

I brushed past and hopped in my car. Tossing the cigarette into the glove box, I revved the engine and steered toward the scene of my new case, which, funny enough, happened to be in the same direction as that rising pillar of smoke.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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March, 1997
Issue #11