Charlie Broker

My feet pound the hard concrete sidewalk as I chase the bastard. I can hear someone blowing a whistle - I mean, honestly, what good do they think that's gonna do?! We've been chasing this guy for months (nearly literally) and now they think he's just gonna hand himself in like a good little poppet? Think again, brother.

I'm gaining on him - I can hear his breathing. He's running out of energy. Unlike me - I could run for ever! My chest heaves, and I force my legs to stretch even further. If only I wasn't so damn short!

He half turns and I guess what he's going to do a split second before he does it. I duck, and the gunshot ricochets off the walls of buildings. Someone behind me swears and I grin. The feel of the wind in my face, gunshots, danger, a master criminal basically in the bag - what more could anyone want?

The sound of sirens are louder now. They're not going to catch my criminal for me! That's my job, brother! It's now or never - last chance saloon...

Just an extra burst of speed...

He trips, sent sprawling by some goddamn piece of trash or something. The gun goes flying. He doesn't get up again. I come to a stop, panting, staring down at him.

He can tell he's lost. He's got no chance. But he's wild, oh yeah, he's a wild bugger. He's deep in it now. He's got Charlie Broker on his case.

My knuckles smack into his nose and come away bloody. Oh yeah. This is what it's all about.

I suppose you might want to know why I'm out in the street on a cold autumn morning beating up some poor sod. I could tell you. But I'm not really the storytelling type. You'll just have to take my word for it that he's a bastard. He deserves it. Honestly.

Plus, this is kinda my job. No, I'm not a boxer. I'm a copper, peeler, rozzer, bluebottle, whatever. And - before you get any ideas - I am also female. So shuddup and accept it, brother. I'm not in a chatty mood right now.

When you're my size, you have to stand up and defend yourself. I've gotta be the shortest bluebottle in the history of bad cop dramas on TV. And that's a loooooong history, believe me.

The rest of the bluebottles come swarming up now, with not even a nod in my direction. I caught the guy! Did no one notice?!

Huh. I'm wasting my time if I'm looking for recognition in this goddamn job. But that's not what I do this for. I do it because I love it. I'm having a love affair with the justice system. Or at least the catching bad guys bit. It's what I live for. I took up karate when I was nine, and, well, you could say it's been a straight road from there on in.

Some people here, they've got chips on their shoulders the size of Cape Cod, or their goddamn geniuses like some Sherlock Holmes or whatever, but me? I'm here for the fun of it. The adrenaline.

The feeling when you're about to be shot dead, when you're chasing some guy in a car for miles and miles, driving at a hundred miles an hour and laughing, when you know the criminal hasn't a hope in hell - it's that chemical mix of joy and ecstasy and danger and feel that makes you feel like laughing, like you could keep going for ever, like you haven't a hope of getting home but don't give a damn.

I'm an adrenaline junkie, I suppose. But it beats jumping off cliffs any day.

The End

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