I smell nothing but dirt and blood. What have I gotten myself into now? The last thing I remember was buying Kody another shot, then things get a little fuzzy. I told Elissa I’d be home right after work, but Kody really needed a friend tonight.

Maybe that isn’t blood I smell. It’s more like an oil-drained-over-dirt kind of odor. My eyes have not focused completely but I can tell it’s not morning yet. What the hell did we do tonight? I feel like I was hit by a truck.

I feel the cold steel of the gate; it swings open with a long creaking sound and brushes over the damp untrimmed grass. From a distance my senses gravitate to the sound of a shotgun blast, along with some screams.

Being on the force for over five years, your instincts kick in automatically, even when you feel like shit. From the outline of the trees and the gothic steeple of the local church, I finally get my bearings and figure out my location.

My house is just three streets over. With each and every step my body convulses with pain. My mind becomes fuzzy again, trying to think back. What happened with Kody? Did our tempers flair up? Did we go at each other? Being partners on the job, it almost feels like a marriage where two people don’t always get along.

The sirens mix with the screams and gunshots. Sounds like the whole town’s civil service departments are being called into action. My hands grope inside my suit pocket, looking for my pager; I come up empty. Shit, I even lost my wallet. My hand instantly goes for my piece, but it’s gone too -- a much more complicated matter.

From the other side of the street, deep down within the wooded area beyond the neighborhood, I see a flickering light that explodes into a full-blown fire. It seems this night is turning into one hell of a mess. I’m sure my captain is trying to hunt me down to get as many bodies possible on this.

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