Sergeant Victor Yamamoto immediately recognized the three short pops as gunfire. He took a quick look in the direction of the sounds and determined they were coming from right across King Street.
Having just finished dinner with Chieko, his wife, at King’s Bakery, and after a few healthy belches on the way to the car, he was multi-tasking, fiddling both with his car key and a toothpick at the same instant.
Chieko, not attuned to the sound of gunshots going off on a regular basis, stood waiting for Victor to manage the lock while he dug for bits of chicken katsu between his perfect teeth. Chieko had been surprised when, on their first date, Victor had told her with beaming pride how he’d never had a cavity in his life.
Right now, at this moment in the King’s Bakery parking lot, she was equally surprised when her husband’s huge hand clamped down on top of her head and forced her to the ground.
“Stay down,” Victor said, feeling under his coat for reassurance from the service revolver he kept with him 24 hours a day, even tucking it under his pillow when he slept.
Most policemen – this was some twenty years before there were policewomen on the HPD force – would have lock-boxes or small safes where they stored their weapons when they were at home. This is what Lieutenant David Chan, Victor’s partner, had, a small safe exclusively there for his snub-nosed .38 service revolver.
Victor, on the other hand, besides the .38 that slept with him as though he were anticipating a visit from the cartridge fairy, also had a huge safe holding larger handguns, a wide variety of rifles, and his second go-to favorite for home-security, a legally shortest-barreled 12-guage shotgun with pistol grip and shoulder strap that would be easy to swing around in tight spaces. This was his number-two best protection if an intruder happened first to find his unfortunate way into Victor’s home, and second, live beyond six well-fired revolver rounds.
Victor was acknowledged the most deadly accurate shot in the Department, followed closely by David Chan, and he could see like a cat in the dark, which made him extra dangerous 24/7, his finger always mentally sliding back and forth on the trigger-guard of his pillow and shoulder-holster buddy.
Victor and Chan would often compete at the Koko Head shooting complex to see who could fire the most center-shot rounds, the competition usually coming down to the closest groupings, or even to blowing out the entire black center of the bullseye on especially tightly contested days.
Chan would sometimes tie Yamamoto, but he more often came in a close second. Or as Yamamoto would put it, “Only got two of us, David, so you came in last.”
The good news for criminals, however, was that Sergeant Yamamoto drew his weapon judiciously. For all his love of guns, he rarely pulled his pistol. Most times he would take the more humane route of beating the stuffing out of a perp.
This is why, along with his being much taller than the average Japanese, and the fact that he was built like a single, solid muscle with a natural facial expression that spoke of grave consequences for anyone who looked sideways at him, that people feared him.
Everyone was pretty much afraid of him. Even his co-workers were a bit leery when Victor was in a bad mood. Like if he couldn’t find parking around the downtown police headquarters, or if someone talked too long and too enthusiastically about how great it would be when Hawai’i became the 49th State, something he dreaded.
And woe be unto him who snagged Victor’s favorite donut from the morning community bakery box
Victor’s face, however, would soften for his wife who, besides David Chan and Chan’s family, was the only person in the world he liked.
So at this critical moment, while shots were being fired, his face softened when he looked at his wife as he told her to hit the pavement. To her questioning expression as she looked up in bewilderment from the ground, he said, “Honey, get bullets flying around. Keep your ass down.”
Two more shots rang out, and Victor Yamamoto, because he was a policeman and very brave, ran across King Street toward the location of the shots at Mō‘ili‘ili Chop Suey Gardens.
A few customers were scurrying from the eatery as Victor made his way to the door and slipped inside. From a crouched position he could see more customers hugging the linoleum, but there was clearly no shooter here.
Another two shots. They came from the rear. Victor figured this was happening either in the kitchen or the parking lot behind.
“Everybody stay down,” Victor hissed, “I’m police.”
Victor stood up but stayed hunched low, and ran like hell to the kitchen door entrance. Straightening up enough to peak through the glass window circle of the double swinging doors, he could see cooks and waitresses also in prone positions.
Another two shots. Victor figured with prolonged shooting like this that there must be some kind of stand-off. He eased open one door, scurried through, and again told everyone to stay down.
Victor could hear sirens in the far distance. The way to play this at this point, he thought, would be to stay low and wait for back-up. But what if there were more innocent people caught in the crossfire. Better to go now.
The back door stood wide open. Victor ran to it and peered out into the lot. Sure enough, there were a few people hugging the asphalt. Scanning the area, he could still see no likely shooters.
Just then two men, both armed, came running from an open gateway behind the restaurant dumpsters on the left
Victor stepped out into the parking lot. “Stop, police.” Both men froze.
A shot came from the right, and Victor saw black.
This is how the Case of the Curious Car Accidents began.
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Aloha #WriterMonday. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use it to inspire a piece of writing, short or long, a haiku, a sentence or two, a few lines of dialog, any style, and then post that piece on your site and link back to me, or simply post it as a comment below. I would love to read it : )