By: Phoenix Daniels


Taylor, so engulfed in her thoughts, almost hadn't noticed the dark SUV that was moving dangerously fast behind her. She immediately changed lanes to see if the driver was simply in a hurry. But once the SUV was parallel to her, she was face-to-face with the business end of a firearm. She gripped the clutch and kicked it up to the sixth gear, riding faster than she'd ever ridden, successfully leaving the SUV in the dust. But, all of a sudden, a dark sedan swerved into the same lane, almost clipping her rear tire. When the sedan sped to parallel her right side, Taylor snatched her pistol from the back of her pants. When the barrel of a shotgun extended out of the back window, Taylor fired a succession of shots at the driver. The sedan began to swerve and veer to the side. She must have hit the driver.


Unfortunately, Taylor's brief celebration was short-lived when she was suddenly, struck from behind and sent flying to the grassy knoll on the side of the expressway. Unable to control the bike, Taylor dropped… hard.

She hit the ground screaming, knowing immediately that her shoulder was either broken or badly dislocated. Her vision was blurred by tears, but she knew that she needed to run. Still, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't move. She could faintly hear cries of agony, and suddenly realized that they were her own. Taylor had never felt such intense pain in her life, and she didn't think it could get any worse, until she was mercilessly flipped onto her back. She howled in agony as her helmet was yanked from her head. Whoever wanted her dead was about to get their wish. Taylor was sure of it. And although she cried, she refused to beg. She took a painful breath and looked directly into the eye of the person that was about to end her life. Her heart nearly stopped when she saw the face hovering above her. To say that she was shocked was a gross understatement. Warm tears escaped her eyes, falling into her ears.

"W-why?" she choked.

Without the mercy of an explanation, he pointed his weapon and fired a shot into Taylor's chest. Her body jerked violently upon impact. As she began to lose consciousness, she realized that a bullet had actually entered her body, and although it burned, it wasn't as painful as she would have assumed. As she looked up at the angry, but familiar face, thoughts of the people she loved danced around in her mind. But just before the world went dark, it was his name that she cried out.


Four months prior...


Taylor rolled her eyes during uniform inspection. Because of a ridiculous new rule that officers with tattoos on their arms had to wear long sleeves to cover their ink, inspections were more tedious than ever. She often wondered who down at headquarters had the time to sit and figure out what they could do to fuck with police officers, even more than usual. Working the unforgiving streets of Chicago, one would think that the bosses would try to make life at work a tad bit easier. But no, some fat white shirt was actually sitting in his office like, "Ooh, let's fuck with them like this." Nine times out of ten, it was someone who made supervisor because of someone that he knew, someone who'd probably never worked a day on the streets, and surely someone who had never even seen "The Hood.”

As she stood for the petty inspection, she tried to remember a time, not long ago, when she was in love with her job.

Taylor was thirty, and she'd been a cop for eight years. She grew up in Roseland, a tough neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago. Her dad was a cop, so being a cop was in her blood. Ever since she could remember, it was always her career path. She didn't mind donning her uniform and strapping on her duty belt to interact with the citizens. She didn't even mind the possible danger that she faced every night. But what she did mind was the politics that came along with the job. If she could work her beat and assist her fellow officers without the drama from the powers that be, her job would be a dream. Maybe then she would even have more time to work on her nonexistent love life.

After roll call, Taylor and the rest of the midnight crew began to file out of the roll call room.

"Montgomery, fall back!" the watch commander shouted over her chattering colleagues.

Taylor rolled her eyes and turned to face her supervisor.

"Yes, sir?"

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