My Donuts!

(short story with a red herring)

It was a soft sunny day with habitual humdrum traffic. From the summer heat, all people hid in buildings, hoping to find salvation in their air conditioners or fans. A police car was parked outside the 24-hour coffee shop, waiting for something. The city of Milton, Massachusetts, has not experienced any significant crime in the past several years. What is there to hide? Even this tiny town was stingy with events.

But for Jared Parker, a rookie with the Milton police for a week now, hope hasn’t faded. The young spirit had a restless desire to catch all dangerous criminals, investigate murders, and his heart longed for a real chase, but all he had the following week — a few parking tickets in handicapped spaces, prank calls from teenagers and breaking into private property. Jared really hoped for something significant, but as it turned out, it was the grandson of the cafe owner who simply forgot to warn his grandfather about his arrival, so again, nothing unusual.

Sitting next to Jared was Owen Harris, his partner, a sergeant at thirty, an incredible grouch and, in truth, the laziest man Parker had ever seen. He smelled of tobacco and donuts from Misty’s coffee shop (near which they are now located). And right now, Owen was munching on a portion of vanilla-filled chocolate donuts while sitting in the car next to Jared.

Parker, on the other hand, checked the car radio every 10 minutes for the presence of, at least, some sort of a call, but to no avail. From the device, unpleasant sounds were heard annoying the sergeant chewing the second portion of the most delicious donuts:

“Officer Parker, if you touch the radio every minute, then the signal will not magically appear by itself.”

“Sorry, sergeant, Jared sadly put the radio back in place and looked out the window with a bored look.”

“I belay, officer. I’ll be surprised if we even see anyone outside in this heat.”

There was a frustrated breath from Jared.

And then his eyes were attracted by one strange detail near the store. Several teenagers crowded in the alley near the cafe and discussed something vehemently. Parker was about to go out to check what happened there, when the dispatcher’s voice suddenly sounded from the radio, which made the guy jump sharply and hit the back of his head on the seat. Owen, who was sitting next to him, was frightened by Parker’s reaction and knocked over a box of donuts on himself:

“Damn you, Parker!”

“Excuse me, sir! Something bumped!” Jared spoke happily.

“Yes, wait, from your joyful squeal, I can’t hear what the dispatcher says.”

Turning up the radio volume, they heard:

“Attention, 10-70* in the Dorchester area, please patrol move there. Attention, 10-70 in the Dorchester area, please patrol move there…”

Taking the radio, Owen answered:

“10-4*, Sergeant Harris and Officer Parker move in there.”

Starting the car and heading towards the fire, Harris replied:

“Congratulations, Parker, at least, something big for your week of service. Dorchester is far away, but we will try to get there quickly.

“Yes, sir! Yeah, I’ll try!”

“Put aside the pleasantries.”

“Yes, sir. Excuse me, sir!”

Arriving at the place, Parker jumped out of the car fast and started seeking a place of a possible fire.

“Parker, do you see something unusual?”

“No, sir, everything is clear. No fire.”

“But the dispatcher…”

Then a voice came out of the radio again:

“Attention, there was a false report about 10-70 in the Dorchester area, right now 10-57* at Misty’s coffee shop, attention….”

“Sir, is this where we have been recently?”

“It was a red herring!”

“Serge, I saw teenagers in the alley near the cafe, which means…”

“My donuts! I`ll show them ‘the hit and run’ spree…Let’s go, Parker!”

The car quickly moved off and drove back.

*10-70 – Fire alarm
*10-4 – Message received
*10-57 – Hit and run

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