CW Prompt: Ten Seconds

Here’s a slow-motion story that covers ten seconds of real time. No internal monologue was allowed. Let me know what you think!

Jerome held out his Glock 19, relaxing his right hand while maintaining the weight with his left. His right index finger extended along the rail, careful not to break the plain of the trigger guard until he had to. His muzzle was pointed downrange at the man who was now standing fifty feet away just outside his own driver’s side door.

Jerome was standing beside his squad car, his door open, used as cover while he held his gun out through the rolled-down window. He stared at the man facing him. The man looked to be about forty years old with an unkempt dark beard with patches of gray. The man stood stoically, his arms hidden from view behind his back, gripping an object in his waistband. The man was standing at ease, his white T-shirt flapping and flowing with the passing breeze.

Jerome shouted orders at the man after he’d quickly exited his car without provocation on the traffic stop. “Let me see your hands! Show me your hands! Get down on the ground!”

The man stood, unmoved, unflinching. He stared through Jerome. The radio crackled inaudibly, the sounds were lost in the dead air. A quiet stillness formed between them.

Sweat trickled down Jerome’s brow. His throat was hoarse from yelling and his mouth hung open. Silence fell between him and the man standing at the car door, their eyes meeting each other’s.

The man’s arm ripped around from behind his back and he extended his arm at Jerome, pointing the black object at his head. Jerome’s index finger instinctively entered the trigger guard and he desperately squeezed off a single shot. The round split through the air before striking the man in the chest, tumbling through his breastplate and settling within his flesh. Like a rag doll, the man’s legs buckled as his body crumpled on top of itself.

Jerome shouted into the radio. Looking down the sights, his barrel was shaking. He was unable to move from his position, out of training and dread. His chest constricted as he came back to reality. A life, reduced to a pile of flesh, lie in front of him.

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