Underwear (VI)

Sam wanted to destroy something, maybe just himself. He sat in the driveway in the dark for a long time, engine off, his hands gripping the wheel with the same panic that was crushing his throat. What had he almost done? Was he really the sort of cop who would…?

Finally, he climbed out of the car, consciously willing each individual muscle to move, accomplishing something that approximated normal movement. Precise strides carried him to the door. He unlocked it, stepped inside and went immediately to the gun safe, shutting his sidearm away without his usual care. He simply couldn’t carry the thing any longer.

It was not a heavy gun, but having it safely stowed still lifted a noticeable weight from Sam’s shoulders. Unfortunately, this allowed the cycle of confused and anxious thoughts he had been unconsciously suppressing to resume their parade through his mind.

A corpse.

A pair of underwear.

His underwear.

A millionaire.

A slum.

A bodybag.

A corpse.

That body was the gravity well around which all his mixed up emotions now swirled.

He needed a distraction. Settling into the couch of his narrow living room, he finally took his phone off of airplane mode, and the device nearly leapt out of his hands with vibrations from text messages.

“Saw you on the news. Looking good!”

“Yo, did you catch that killer?”

“Was that you on the news?”

“Hey, nice uniform Farnsworth! Saw you on 57. When are we hanging out?”

“Did someone really kill Rupert Polbrock?”

“I can’t believe I’m friends with a TV star!”

And from his father, simply: “Call me.”

Right, so no distractions to be had from his phone. Sam sent the damn thing sailing across the room into the recliner. He hated news cameras, at least when he happened to pass in front of their lens. Attention made him uncomfortable for reasons he had never entirely understood. And Sam really didn’t want to be associated with this particular news story either. But a job is a job. He had to secure crime scenes, and news crews had to secure footage for evening updates.

A part of him was tempted to turn on the news or to look up the video online and see the events the way everyone else did, but even that pulled him back to the image of a corpse lying on a living room floor wearing the same underwear he did.


Sam suddenly felt like he was back in that same room, back in that house that had almost the same layout as his, back in that “slum.” His life was somehow superimposed on that murder site. There was an outline on the floor where a human life had ended. And the gravity pulled him down. Sam rose from the couch and fell to his knees in almost the same motion. He sprawled out on the floor of his living room in the exact same pose that he had found Rupert Polbrock.

Strands of old shag carpet brushing against his lips, Sam muttered, “What the fuck am I doing?” But he didn’t move. In the chair nearby, his phone buzzed repeatedly as he missed a call. Sam stayed right where he was on the carpet, wishing for something to destroy.

* * *

First // Series

Story by Gregory M. Fox


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