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Title: The Right to Rebel
Author: jsblume
Style/Genre Prose / Fiction / - Not Listed
Description: John is concerned about his son's activities.
Notes: A "sentence starts the story" story. The sentence is: The cold of the night would soon arrive.

"The cold of the night would soon arrive."

John gave his partner a disgusted look. "Do you have to say things like that?"

"I'm just telling our story," Al replied. "Besides, it helps pass the time."

John picked up his coffee from the dashboard and took a gulp.

"We're supposed to pass the time watching that house," he said, nodding at the two-story Cape Cod across the street.

"In silent expectation, the two detectives remained alert for suspicious activity."

"Al, I swear--"

"Wait up, John. Something’s happening."

John and Al hunkered down and peered over the dashboard as a hooded figure approached from the opposite end of the street. Clad in sneakers and jeans, the youngster walked with the odd gait of someone whose pants were sagging in the current fashion. Halfway up the sidewalk, he suddenly cut across the lawn and around to the side of the house.

"He’s going for the back door," John whispered. "Let’s go!"

Two car doors slammed, and two figures ran across the street to the front door of the house.

"Ow, my heel," Al said, stumbling on the front porch.

"Sh! I told you not to wear heels."

John eased the door open and slipped into the living room. Al followed, walking awkwardly with one broken shoe. They made it to the other side of the room just as the hooded figure emerged from the kitchen. He stopped short and looked up, a startled expression on his face.

"Mom. Dad." Jimmy gulped. "You’re still up."

"Do you know what time it is?" Allison asked.

"Uh, no mom, I don’t. Heh. I lost my watch."

"Your cell phone has a clock," John said.

"Oh. Heh. Yeah, it does. I forgot."

"Up to bed young man," Allison said. "You’re grounded for the rest of the week."

"That includes the weekend," John added.

"Fine," Jimmy said, shrugging.

Jimmy shuffled across the living room and up the stairs. John and Allison walked into the kitchen and sat down.

"Where did we go wrong?"

Allison sighed. "I don’t know that we went wrong anywhere. He’s a typical teen-aged boy."

"I don’t know. It seems like it’s more than that."

"Darling, you’ve been a cop too long."

"Maybe," John said, smiling slyly. "But you’re the best partner I’ve ever had."

"I think Dan might have something to say about that."

"Come on." John stood and held out his hand. "Let’s go to bed."

* * *

Jimmy lay in his bed, listening intently. He heard his parents come up the stairs and go into their bedroom. His phone buzzed in his hand.

*done* the message read.

*y* Jimmy texted back. *p911.*


*n but paw*

*k hang low*


Jimmy put his phone on the night stand and rolled onto his side, pulling his covers close.

* * *

Jimmy seemed to have only one pair of jeans and one hooded sweat jacket. The jacket he wore regardless of the weather, and this morning the temperature was already in the seventies.

"Dude," Eddie said when Jimmy came around the corner. He was leaning against the wall with a butt in his mouth; the other boys hung around him to hide him from the teachers.

The West End Bad Boys hung out exclusively in the same corner on the west side of the school. Jimmy joined the group with a head nod.

"What up, dog?" Eddie said.

"The parents dropped on me last night."

"Snap. What the Doc say?"

"Said to hang low."

The first bell rang, but the boys didn’t move.

"Doc says we gotta give the appearance of obeying," Jimmy said.

"Don’t get that," Eddie said.

"Me neither, but we gotta do what Doc says."

Eddie scoffed and tossed his butt to the ground. "Don’t like it."

Pushing himself from the wall, Eddie pushed through the crowd of boys and led them into the school.

* * *

Dan absentmindedly pulled at a stray hair on his bald head as he studied a report. "Hey, looks like we’ve got a lead on that gang leader they call The Doc."

"Let me see," John said.

Dan rolled his chair over to John’s desk and handed the report to him.

"Hm," John said. "This could be a positive ID. What do you say we stake out the address?"

"It’s a date. Long as your wife don’t mind you spending Saturday night with me."

"Heh. I’ll make it up to her."

* * *

The brownstone was in a slightly run-down section of town not far from Jimmy’s high school. John and Dan arrived shortly before nine pm, and didn’t have to wait long. Three hooded figures approached from the opposite end of the street. Clad in sneakers and jeans, the youngsters walked with the odd gait of someone whose pants were sagging in the current fashion.

John had brought a coffee to his lips for a sip, and nearly choked.

"Ah!" John cried, spilling some on his pants.

"Quiet!" Dan said with a hiss.
"I think that’s Jimmy."

"How can ya tell ‘em apart?"

"I’m going in." John opened his door.

"Wait! Let me call for back up."

Dan placed a quick call and hurried after John.

The boys had walked into the house without knocking by the time John and Dan reached the sidewalk.

"Hold up," Dan whispered. "Watch the door. I’ll peek into the window."

John remained ready by the door and watched Dan craning his neck to see in the window.

"I’ll be a…" Dan finally said.


"You ain’t gonna believe it."


Dan straightened up and smiled crookedly. "You ain’t gonna believe it."

Both men looked back to the street at the sound of sirens.

"We gotta send them back."


Dan grabbed John by the arm and headed back to the street.

"Trust me."

"I don’t--"

"Come on!"

Dan dragged John to the street just as the squad car pulled up.

"It’s okay, fellas," Dan said. "False alarm. Sorry to trouble you."

"Okay," the officer said, and pulled away.

Dan continued to drag the struggling John across the street to their car. He opened the passenger door and pushed John in.

"Are you going to tell me what’s going on?" John demanded after Dan slid in behind the wheel.

"Sure," Dan said, starting up the car and pulling away. "This doc may be a gang leader, but he’s a good guy."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, he’s teachin’ the kids good things, but on their terms."

"You got all that just by looking through the window."


John shook his head. "I don’t see how you could have gotten that--"

"I know what I saw."

"So tell me what you saw!"

Dan sighed. "He had a big poster up that was explaining the right way to rebel."

"There’s a right way to rebel?"

"Come on, John, don’t be stupid. We have a right to peaceful protest. He’s teaching ‘em how to do that without causing harm."

"It sounds suspicious to me."

"That’s ‘cause it’s your kid in there." Dan shook his head. "Don’t do nuthin. We know the guy, we’ll talk him up tomorrow, make sure he’s legit."

John squirmed in his seat. "Alright."

Copyright @2013 by jsblume. All rights reserved.
jsblume has granted JS Blume Publishing™ non-exclusive rights to display this work.

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