Nightmare

Jimmy moved up to the door. He turned behind to Terry. "Quiet now, we want to surprise them, this time?"

"Haha, very funny," Terry's voice still showed embarrassment from the last time they'd snuck up on a perp and Terry had alerted them with an elephant sized sneeze. Jim smiled and checked his bullet proof vest, suddenly being unsure if he had put it on.

The door swung open, he listened to it squeal and winced. Stepping into the dark hallway he moved forward, Terry tight at his back. Both had their guns raised. This was it, all their information said their guy would be here with the guns and they could get their case closed tonight, and more than that, he could feel it. He could also feel something unfamiliar, a cold feeling in his belly, like something was wrong. He turned to look at Terry, but it was too dark; he couldn't make out Terry's face.

Two, three steps, along with a thin strip of light, sound leaked under the doorway ahead, radio? No it was late night TV, down low and people laughing, behind that the sounds of weapons being cleaned. He smiled. Best way, catch them in the act. Moving forward he tripped over something, landing heavily on one knee. He looked back, embarrassed but Terry didn't seem to notice. No one had heard his "oof!" as he went down, so he just picked himself up and started forward. In the dark his outstretched hand met with Terry's back. Jim frowned, surely Terry had been behind Jim a moment ago.

They were at the door. Jim stepped forward, around the door, pushing it open with his shoulder and leveled his gun, but although he could hear a ruckus, men scrambling weapons being reassembled, thrown down, a table toppled, he couldn't make out the people in the murky dark relieved only by the flicker of light from the TV which faded too as he strove to focus on even one figure before him. His heart beat spiked, and adrenaline poured unrestrained into his blood, fuck, where were they? He swung around to the wall, groping for the light, how could it be dark, there was light a moment ago? "Stop, lay down your weapons!" he heard Terry call out and the sound of guns being placed on tables. The light switch moved uselessly in his hand. His breath caught in his chest and he backed up against the wall, trying to make out what was going down in the gloom in front of him. Shapes, dark shapes, was that Terry? Was it a perp?

"On the floor, hands behind your head," Terry's Brooklyn accent broadened as he manhandled someone right there in front of Jim.

He didn't seem to notice that Jim was just standing there backed up against the wall, invisible.

Jim strained, unable to find faces to match the voices he heard, it grew darker still. The TV flashed to his right and he turned to stare. On the screen someone was loaded onto a stretcher and pulled into a waiting ambulance. Then Jim could feel a cold breeze and the sheet over the casualty on the gurney flapped. He was standing outside, up against a brick wall, rough under his hands. The flashing light atop the bus was sharp and unrelenting, his head ached from the overload. Jim turned away from the bright light of the bus' siren. Terry was loading the perp into their car, he could hear the guy complaining but it was too dark, Jim couldn't see the car, let alone his partner or their suspect.

He closed his eyes tight and shook his head but when he opened them again it was to a calm dark, a quiet dark, no sounds of struggle, a dog snored. Hank, it was Hank, and Jim had only had another dream.