Excerpt from my new story: Beyond

The shot buzzed through the air on a 92 degree angle and popped open the flesh of the young man just below his right shoulder. He staggered, brushed against the window of the shop, but regained his footing as the gunman fled with three others into a black Cadillac Escalade. Somebody called an ambulance on their cell phone, and before too long, the man was whisked into an ambulance as squad cars swarmed the crowded intersection…

Three weeks earlier…

Lieutenant J. Harold Shaughnessy, medium height, slim, with grayish-brown hair, put down the phone with what calm he could muster, and thought to himself, “I can’t believe the lab forgot to email me the fingerprint report.”

Captain Stephens wanted him upstairs in five minutes, and while Harry knew what was up, he needed that report to corroborate his theory.

He walked upstairs to the office of Captain Roger Stephens. The Captain was a good guy, and while he was a professional, he tried to be suitably involved in the lives of his team.

The Captain’s office was simply furnished with an antique desk that had a brass lamp on it, two armchairs, a rectangular beige rug, some nondescript file cabinets and a big picture window overlooking Central Park and West Eighty Second Street.

He had some photos on his desk of his wife Donna, his twin daughters and his black Labrador, Buddy; a Parker pen, and an old fashioned blotter.

His secretary Irma was an older lady from the Bronx, nearing retirement. “He’s ready for you now, Harry said Irma. Chief, as he was usually called, was heavy set and dark-skinned, with thinning, salt & pepper hair and big, black-framed glasses. He entered the reception area, leaned out the door, with his eyes peering over his glasses, and said, “Harry, come in.”   He gestured Harry to a leather-like armchair and sat down at his own canvas-clad chair:

“Harry, we did get the ballistics report about that hold-up on Riverside, the one near your apartment. I don’t want you to worry about the fingerprints. The lab is going to deliver them first thing Monday.”


I know you already have it sewn up, but I got wind that the lag guys were dragging their feet, so I put a little pressure on. You were right about Condran – He took her pocketbook and then fired a shot into a dumpster to intimidate her. She’s a tough lady though, and I think she’ll make a good witness at trial…How did you know the prints were his?”

“I didn’t, but a guy did a similar thing last year on our block. I found out it was Condran. That time he shot a mailbox of all things.”

“You wanna grab some lunch, Harry?”

“Sure. Just let me check my cell phone. I want to see if Greta called.”

“Ok, I’ll see you downstairs in a few minutes.”


Harry and the Chief walked over to Famous Original Ray’s on Columbus, grabbed a quick pizza, and shared old NYPD war stories before returning to the grind.


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