Chapter Nine
Connie listened for Bruen’s answer as she waited outside. The patio furniture was in her way. She figured Bruen planned to kill her. What was one more dead law enforcement officer at this point? Even if he was caught, this would only improve his stake in prison. She had a plan, and hoped to God it would work. She caught a glimpse of Marv around the oak tree and he waved at her. Time this exchange correctly, she could be inside as Marv rushed over to the sister and blindsided Bruen.
The door opened. A lady’s hand stuck through, palm faced up, waiting for something to be placed on it. She passed her gun to the hand. Connie wrapped her hand on top of the gun and hand. Hers still poised on the grip and finger around the trigger. “Not so fast, Mr. Bruen. I want certain confirmations here. I’m not stupid. We switch at the same time. I pull the sister here out at the same time I enter. Even swap.”
“My rules, Sheriff. You let go of the weapon, and I’ll do the same for the lady here.”
The door was opened about six inches. Enough for Connie to survey the scene. The sister with the short hair was the one who stuck out her hand. Sister Margaret, if she remembered correctly. Bruen must have been behind Sister Margaret at an angle, because she couldn’t see where his body was. He wouldn’t have been so stupid as to leave his body in the open for her to see. The minimal view was enough to offer Connie the location of other nun. They locked glances. Sister Joan sat on a loveseat; her hands pressed to her thighs, crouching as if ready to start a sprint. Connie recognized her from church. With her move to Hexewald, Connie returned to church, albeit irregularly. Sister Margaret and Sister Joan acted as Eucharist ministers. How many times had this woman popped a communion wafer inside her mouth?
“You want in, you play by my rules, Sheriff.”
The hand jerked back with her gun. Connie couldn’t say that she was surprised, only that she was taken aback that it happened this quickly. The door opened wider. Connie was greeted by her own gun in her face, held by the nun.
“I’m sorry, Sheriff. He ordered me to, said he would kill Sister Joan. But I promise, I will not pull this trigger,” Sister Margaret said. Connie sensed the fear in her voice.
“All right, Mr. Bruen, you must know that I have officers and volunteers around this home, so let Sister Margaret go, and we can talk.”
“Step inside, Sheriff.” His voice was strained.
Connie glanced down at his leg. It must have still ached from the tussle. His shoulder looked worse for wear. She assumed her bullet had penetrated his torso at the jail, but the sister covered any view of his chest. She held up her hands and turned to the back tree where Marv was stationed and nodded to him. Two steps and she was inside the home. Sister Margaret lowered the gun and apologized. “I’m sorry, Sheriff. He made me. I want you to know that.”
“I understand, Sister. Besides, I could never be angry with a nun.”
Bruen pushed Sister Margaret into the door. “Close it,” he said.
She did as ordered. Margaret was the more timid of the sisters. Joan stood in the background, looking ready to pounce. Connie matched gazes with her and shook her head. Sister Joan frowned back in response.
Sister Margaret appeared at Connie’s side. Bruen raised Connie’s weapon to her forehead. Connie yanked herself and Sister Margaret to the ground. Click, click, click, click. The gun was empty.
Connie reached for her lower back and ripped Marv’s revolver from the back of her belt. She aimed at Bruen’s chest. He dropped her weapon, but raised Dodge’s gun. Connie rose to her feet, keeping Marv’s firearm aimed at Bruen’s chest. Bruen aimed Dodge’s firearm at her head.
“Sister Margaret and Sister Joan, please evacuate this residence immediately.”
Which one would fire first? Each side knew the other had it in them.
“Mr. Bruen, it’s over and you know it. Please surrender your firearm.”
“The same to you, Sheriff,” he said, his eyes black and hollow.
A shadow behind Bruen moved. The voice was strong. “Mr. Bruen, I grew up in an area like this. But I wasn’t as civilized as the sheriff here was. My family. They were tough, strong, and full of hate. It took me being loved by the Lord to acknowledge that I shouldn’t allow hate to rule my life.”
Bruen’s focus remained on Connie. Sister Joan stood behind him. “As I was saying, I learned a lot growing up. I learned how to steal. I learned how to lie. I learned how to cheat. I learned that Jesus Christ doesn’t like it when you steal, lie, and cheat. He gave those rules to Moses years ago.”
Bruen scoffed at the lecture. Connie swallowed. Marv was fifty feet away. There were no sharpshooters. She had ordered her kin to stay away from the home unless there was a call from her and a definite chance to retrieve one of the hostages. She didn’t want her cousin to be caught in this mess.
“If you embraced Jesus into your heart, you wouldn’t have the problems you’re having now. He’s the only one who will love you no matter what.”
“What does this have to do with me, sista?”
Sister Joan twisted her torso and wound up. She slammed against his head with a thick copy of the lector book from church. A crack emanated from Bruen’s body. It wasn’t enough to knock him over, but enough to distract him. His arms went toward the ceiling. A gunshot echoed in the home.
The sister was behind him. Connie couldn’t take the chance that a stray bullet wouldn’t take out the nun. Connie could kill a murderer, but not a nun. “Move, Sister!” She dropped out of the way. Connie fired three rounds into his chest.
Bruen stumbled backwards. He slammed against the door. It flung open. He dropped back. Connie pulled Sister Joan over to the side.
Outside. Marv rushed towards Bruen. The gusts of wind fought against him and he tripped over to the ground. Bruen struggled to get up. Connie aimed Marv’s gun at Bruen. One bullet left if she was lucky, and she didn’t feel lucky.
Bruen teetered to his feet. He opened his mouth. Blood poured out. He turned toward Marv on the ground. Connie exhaled, planning to fire. But she never made the shot.
A wind band whipped around the house. It flew through the air at over a hundred miles an hour. A stray beach umbrella impaled Bruen in the gut. Propelled backwards, he traversed through the air. Another gust of wind burst the umbrella open. Rainbow-colored material hoisted Russell Bruen into the air. The image appeared as though the projectile were a weather balloon bounced across the sky as if following the words to a jingle. The umbrella flopped in the wind. As the gust ended, the beach umbrella hurled to the ground. The javelin jabbed the earth. He crashed down twenty feet away. His arms flailed in a twitch. His legs did the same.
The sisters stood next to Connie. They seemed absorbed with the same display. Connie had seen much in her years as a police officer, but this was something else.
“God dammit, you fuck with the Lord and the Lord will fuck with you,” Sister Joan said.
Sister Margaret turned to Sister Joan. “Sister Joan!”
“Come on, so I have to go to confession tomorrow.”
0 0 votes
Article Rating