Sunday, June 19, 2005


The delivery man knocked on the door and looked down at the slip of paper to confirm the address. Yup, Room 425. As he waited for an answer, he eyed the two policemen standing one door down, at 423. They knocked on the door and it opened within seconds. "Ma'am, we're here about a noise complaint," said the taller officer.

"Thank god you're here, officers," said the old woman from inside 423. "It's the man next door. He was screaming and making such a ruckus.

"Thank you, we'll check it out," the shorter officer assured her. "Please, stay in your apartment, ma'am." The old woman kept her head poked out of her doorway while the two officers turned towards the delivery man. Suddenly feeling uncomfortable, the delivery man looked away and knocked on 425's door again.

The two policemen approached and the taller one said, "What are you doing here?"

"I'm just delivering these flowers for a...," he looked at the slip again, "...a Brandon Collins." He offered his slip from the flower shop as proof.

The shorter officer gave it a cursory inspection and then handed it back. "Please, stand aside."

The taller officer pounded on the door and shouted, "Mr. Collins, this is the police. We've had a report of screams coming from your apartment. Please, open the door." There was no response.

The delivery guy asked the shorter cop somewhat excited, "Is this dude in trouble?"

"Please, stand back sir."

"Mr. Collins, this is the police. If you do not let us in, we will be forced to enter your apartment."

Smiling at the prospect of some excitement in his otherwise boring day, the delivery man said, "Sweet, this is going to be awesome!"

The old woman from 423 piped up, "Officers, I think he might be hurt, he was screaming bloody murder."

The door from 428 opened and a balding man with a mustache stepped out into the hall and inquired, "'Ey, what's goin' on out here?"

The delivery man turned and said with enthusiasm, "The cops are gonna break down this dude's door!"

The shorter officer, annoyed at the growing audience, spoke, "Everyone stay inside your apartments." Turning to the flower delivery man, he said, "I'm going to need you to take a few steps back." As if he hadn't spoken at all, no one moved.

"Mr. Collins, this is your last warning. If you do not open the door in five seconds, I will be forced to kick it in!"

"What'd this guy do?" asked the mustachioed man.

"Fuck if I know," replied the delivery man.

"Mr. Collins, we're entering your apartment now." The taller officer tried the door. It was locked. He took a step back and kicked in the door. He looked back at his partner and said, "I'll look around, you take care of these guys." His partner nodded. The taller officer removed unbuttoned his holster, placed his hand on the handle, and cautiously walked through the door.

The delivery man tried to look over the shorter officer's shoulder into the apartment, "Do you think he's still in there?" The shorter officer didn't say a word, but listened for his partner.

Ten seconds later he heard a gasp. "Holy shit!"

"How's it going in there?" the shorter officer said over his shoulder.

"Carl, keep everyone out. I'll call an ambulance. My God, there's so much blood!"

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