It was my first day on campus. I sat in the Dean’s outer office while he finished his meeting with someone else. Probably the basketball coach. I spent the time reviewing the last few months of my life.
Up until Friday of last week, I had been running the small security force at a large Community Hospital on the coast. It is where they approached me. A good scandal always creates job opportunities. Such was the case with the University of New London. UNL was the largest private college in the state, and the fastest growing one in the country.
If I moved again, it would probably be into state law enforcement. Everything seemed to be going toward the state system. Well I could avoid it for a few years, I hoped.
Even that depended on how I handled the scandal prone campus police department. I had some firing to do first thing. I knew it, but I couldn’t decimate the department on the first day. The Dean of the college had hired me because I had done the same thing at the hospital where I had been previously employed. I had replaced half their security force within a year.
I had also made the papers for another reason toward the end of that first year. I had picked up a knife scar on my stomach. I did so while keeping a mob hitman from using his knife in our hospital. Having a mob boss as a patient was a direct result of the inland waterway which ran behind the hospital. A complete case of being at the right place at the right time.
Angelo D. had a heart attack on his yacht. The yacht was practically on the doorstep of the Sandhill Community Hospital. So Angelo Demattus checked into our little piece of medical heaven. When I found out who our guest was, I did a heck of a lot of worrying. It turned out to be for good reason.
“Ed, keep a close eye on the elevator door. My guess is that if trouble comes it will be from there,” I said.
“Why do you think that?” he asked. “No reason not to come from there, you have all the time in the world before it starts. You only have seconds after to get away. They will be going down the stairs for a quick escape I would expect or maybe not.”
“We got cops everywhere. I don’t think we have any worries Ms Osborn,” the older man said almost with a smirk. Ed was a retired city police patrolman with a lot more experience that me. He hadn’t risen in the ranks with the city even though he was capable enough. He just wasn’t imaginative at all. He just was not an outside the box thinker.
“Just remember one thing Ed, a uniform isn’t what makes you a cop,” I said. Even though he had ten times the experience he shook his head in agreement.
“Yeah that’s how I would do it now that I think of it,” he said.
It was totally by accident that I happened to be standing with Ed when the elevator door opened. The police officer who came through the door didn’t look right. His uniform just didn’t fit well. If he had been a rookie I could see it but he had two strips on the sleeve.
“You know him Ed?” I asked.
“No I don’t,” Ed said. “But there are a lot of new guys.”
“Check his ID. He isn’t supposed to leave his post at the front desk. He has no reason to be here,” I said.
The cop, if he was one, seemed lost. He had no idea about our screwy numbering system. “Could I help you officer?” Ed asked. “You look a little lost.”
The cop looked past Ed at me. “No, I can find it,” he said.
“Could I see your picture ID,” Ed suggested.
Instead of getting his ID the cop came out with a knife with no hilt. He drove the blade into Ed’s soft over sized belly. The knife was the weapon of choice since we were unarmed security. While Ed lay there bleeding out, I went to the fake cop and engaged him. But only after I tripped the fire alarm button on the wall. The fake cop had turned and was trying to get away.
With the sound of the fire alarm sounding, the knife and stealth was no longer needed. Why he didn’t switch to the pistol to make his escape was beyond me. Still he turned to me with the knife in hand. I remembered that it wasn’t a boxing match. It was a fucking street fight. I took the slash across the stomach as I push his hand to side while kicking him hard in the testicles. I managed a hard blow to the body at the same time.
There was a satisfying whooshing sound as he tried to breathe. I succeeded in kicking him hard in the head, before the blood loss made me weak. Then it was dark.
I have no idea if the campus security job was payment for saving Angelo D’s life or not. I just took the big jump in pay and the move inland no matter where it came from.
Edited by Walt