My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, August 10, 2001

The first shot

>> Queens Medical Center

In the intensive care unit, the patient known only as 46-225909's eyes fluttered open. Her mouth felt like plumeria bark. "Mmffn," she said.

Hallelujah, Nurse Connie Bonham thought. Her prayers had been answered.

Connie didn't talk about her Christian faith with patients, but she did pray for them. That, at least, was still legal. And it made her a better nurse, because prayer gave her faith that her patients would be healed. In that she believed she was doing God's work. "Hello," she said, pouring the patient a small cup of water. "Welcome back."

Connie checked the various monitors attached to the patient, everything looked good. She checked the medical record at the foot of the bed. Hmmm. It said to notify a Detective Sherlock Gomes of HPD when the patient awoke. She would let her supervisor handle that. The young woman had apparently run afoul of the law. So Connie would begin praying for 46-225909 with a new litany.

>> Portlock

Mickey was millimeters from the unconscious Filipina maid when he heard a male voice shout "Hold it right there!"

It was a shock to his system -- he thought the only person he had to worry about was a little girl in the maid's cottage. He would take care of whoever it was, then get back to business. His .22 pistol was already in his right hand.

"Sure, pal." Mickey said, rolling slowly to the right, using his body to shield the view of his gun.

Quinn Ah Sun knew better, but he started to relax -- he'd prevented his cousin Lily's maid Rosalita from being raped and he had his Glock 9mm aimed at the guy's okole, which was rolling off the woman. The situation seemed under control.

As the guy with the black surf shorts around his ankles rolled off Rosalita, Quinn suddenly saw that she was unconscious and bleeding from a wound to her cheek. He took a step toward her just as the guy whirled, brought up a silver pistol and from a supine position fired.

Quinn was directly in the doorway, couldn't go right or left. His only move was to spin backwards, pivoting away from the shooter, and try to limit his profile, returning fire as he moved. But it was not enough.

>> In the maid's cottage , Lily and Elizabeth were hugging each other on the couch, saying their own prayers, when they heard a gunshot. And immediately another. They hugged each other tighter, prayed harder.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at

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