Charlotte was infamous for her practical jokes. The whole department expected something crazy on April Fools Day.

Cheryl’s Daily Prompt

Charlotte was infamous for her practical jokes.  The whole department expected something crazy on April Fools Day.  It was a given and as assured as breathing she’d pull something hilarious off.  So, when she didn’t show up for work on time, her fellow detectives figured it was part of a prank and they smilingly nodded at one another awaiting her appearance and what would inevitably follow.  Even the Captain, who came to his door and looked out and spotted her empty desk, grinned. 

When two hours had transpired and she hadn’t shown or called in, they were getting concerned.  For although she might pull jokes and pranks, her job was everything to Charlotte and always came first.  If she was working a case before hours, she called in so someone knew what was happening.    

Bradly wandered past her desk and moved a few papers around.  There was nothing on her calendar to indicate she’d caught a case so taking the initiative, he walked to his Captain’s door.  “Anyone heard from Charlotte?”

“I checked, she hasn’t called in and no one had heard from her.  I don’t like this Bradly.  Take Harris, find out what’s going on.”  The undisguised concern in the Captain’s voice had Bradly on alert. 

“On my way, Captain,” he assured him.  Walking passed Harri’s desk, he said, “Let’s go.”

“Where to?”

“To find out what’s happened with Charlotte.”

“Seems odd.  Cap is concerned too?”


They hurried to Harris’ unmarked car hopped in and headed toward her address (a little bungalow near the waterfront) while Bradley called her cell.  “Nothing.”

“My gut says something’s up.”

“I hear ya.  It’s not like her.”

Within moments they’d arrived at her house and found her car in the driveway.  They glanced at it and each other and unsnapped their guns and placed their hands on their guns in their holsters, “Shit!” Harris mouthed.

They hustled toward her front door, and while Harris prepared to knock, Bradly looked through the front window.  He hunkered down and hurried to his side and mouthed, “trouble.”

Bradly gently tried the nob and when it turned, threw the door open and rushed in low while Harris followed moving high and to the left.  They called out, “Police!  Middleton, you here?”

Hearing a sound from one of the back rooms, they pulled their guns and moved in tandem. As they made their way down the hallway, they could hear something that sounded like a moan.  Carefully moving toward the sound of a gentle thump, they entered the bedroom, guns drawn, to find charlotte hogtied on her side with her mouth and eyes taped.  The place had been ransacked.

Bradly gently untied her and Harris removed the tape and as she eased her body into a more comfortable position, he gently massaged her legs and arms to assist in getting the blood flowing and easing the cramps in her body.  “Charlotte, what happened?” he asked gently.

“Need a minute,” she responded.

Harris called the Captain and an ambulance.  “Don’t need a fraken ambulance.  Help me up, I need to get moving.”

“You’re not going anywhere, Charlotte until your checked out, you know the rules.”

“Hang the rules.  I need to catch this fraken ass hole.”

“What happened, Charlotte?”

“Don’t know why I didn’t see it coming, he caught me off guard and knocked me out.  When I came too, I was hog tied.  Never even saw him.  All I know is he was a tall guy, big, heavy set.  Came from behind the hedge and I’d just unlocked the door when he shoved me sent me flying and before I could get up whacked me on the head.”  Raising an arm to her head, “Yeah, that’s a doozy.  Shit!”  She seemed more embarrassed than hurt but protocol was protocol.  And she’d have to go get checked out before returning to duty.

“Heard him moving around, his prints have to be here.  No idea what he was looking for.”

“We’ll get forensics on it pronto.  You just let us do our job,”  Harris assured her.  Hearing the ambulance arrive, they both assisted her outside and onto a gurney.  They knew how it felt.  It sucked.

“Call when your done, one of us will come get you.”  Charlotte nodded and laid down and closed her eyes.  Damn, but her head hurt.  She had every confidence in her fellow cops.  If there was something to find, they’d find it.  She counted on it.  Someone needed payback!

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