Screaming

Jones could hear the screaming as soon as she stepped out of the squad car. She directed a grim nod to her partner and approached the house.

Nancy could barely hear the pounding at the door. The second or maybe third time that a fist beat against her front door, she finally managed to break through the haze, stagger over and open it.

Noise tumbled out of the open door and with it, a woman: frantic, desperate, wide red-ringed eyes. “Thank God you’re here,” she cried.

“You’re the one who called?”

“You have to take him away.”

“Is there someone else here?” Jones asked, looking past her into the house.

“Please,” Nancy said. She held out the screaming infant. “I haven’t slept for three days. You have to save me.”

The officer’s jaw clenched. She glanced back at the squad car. “Collins—”

Another officer appeared. He strode over with a calm gate and a gentle smile. “May I?” With her permission, he flipped the baby onto his belly, draped him over an arm and started patting his back. In a matter of moments, the sobs had turned to small sniffling breaths.

“But . . . how?”

“You have a nice day ma’am.”

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox