The Night The Arrows Flew No More
" Am I a police officer or a samaritan? Why do I get lumbered with this? "
" Dunno Sarge, " Constable Pooley spat egg sandwich across the dashboard. " Guess you must have a sympathetic face. "
" The only sympathy I have is for the poor bastard who has to fish his body out the river. Not that he'll actually jump of course - they never do. Get his fifteen minutes of attention and then back home to his semi-detached. "
" Oh well, enjoy. Break a leg. "
" I'll do more than break their leg, push the time-waster into the river myself. "
Sergeant Cooper ducked under the cordon and strode up to the officer already on site.
" Right, what we got this time? Drama queen? Tortured soul? Or is this one really gonna take the plunge? "
" Um, it sounds pretty determined sir. " The young officer wore a pale, spooked expression.
" It? What do you mean It? "
The officer just shrugged, mystified.
" Him...her...it..." Cooper muttered away at himself, hugging his coat around himself as he walked out to the centre of the bridge, "...Don't care what it bloody is, it's got five minutes and then.....oh..."
He stopped. Blinked furiously as he tried to comprehend his subject.
Cooper had reason to be moody and bad-tempered. He was above most of what he had to deal with.
Cultured and educated. A big fan of Greek and Roman mythology among other things.
" Oh, " he said again. " So it's you. "
The It in question was technically a he. Sat precariously on the edge of mortality.
The wings were tangled, riddled with mould. Naked of course, true to the myth, but unshaven with a world weary look in his eyes. Scattered on the ground next to him lay a bow and several arrows, long devoid of any radiant glow that might once have surrounded them. Now rotting away, rusting.
" You know who I am then? " He croaked with surprise, raising a bottle of Bells to his lips.
" Of course. I know who you are. But what happened to you? And why end it? Why now? "
Cupid, for it was he of course, finished the last of the whiskey.
" My work is done, " he replied. " I gave it my best shot... if you'll scuse the pun. "
" I don't understand. "
" True love is dead. Romance is dead. Look around you. Divorce rates, domestic abuse, sordid affairs, internet pornography when the wife's away, teenage pregnancies, Burberry nappies and casual sex rife amongst the masses. You people disgust me. "
" But.... "
" Love is something you buy nowadays, not something you feel. As for romance... " Cupid scoffed dismissively, " A BurgerKing meal infront of Eastenders, there's your modern ideal of romance. "
The mythical amoretto braced for the jump.
" We're not all like that, " Cooper blurted desperately. " I'm happily married. "
" Your wife's sleeping with your brother. "
" What! "
" And your daughter had an abortion last month. "
" My daughter? She's fourteen! "
" Yep. That's the one. "
Cooper watched dumbstruck as Cupid splashed into the dark waters below.
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