Jacob Hero’s life took a turn for the worse after he killed the barbecue. The first shot had ripped clean through it. The second though embedded with a satisfying thud that knocked it across the deck where it twirled, accelerating, in diminishing circles like a spun coin until coming to rest. He heard the sirens shortly after that and quietly removed the clip from the .45 caliber weapon and laid them on the picnic table next to the citronella candle. He was sitting in an Adirondack chair with his hands on his head when the police officers rounded the corner with their guns drawn.
The first officer was older with eyes weary enough to indicate he had seen worse than a dead barbecue. The second was young; with all the authoritative presence of Barney Fife. The first surveyed the scene and holstered his weapon.
“Cuff him,” he ordered the younger man, and he secured Jacob’s weapon. The young officer zealously snapped the handcuffs on Jacob’s wrists.
“Name, sir?” The older officer asked.
“Jacob, Jake Hero.”
“What’s going on here, Jake?”
“I shot my barbecue.” This elicited a small grin from the officer.
“I can see that. It screw up your steak?”
“I thought it would be a bad idea to shoot Bob. The barbecue was,” Jake trailed off for a moment, “it was not Bob.”
Jake answered the routine questions. Yes, he lived there. Yes, in fact he had been drinking and had polished off the better part of a fifth of Wild Turkey that morning. Yes, he was married. No, his wife was not home and probably wouldn’t be any time soon.
“So, who’s Bob?”
“The guy fucking my wife.”
“Ahhh, that sucks.”
“I’m still going to have to arrest you, Jake.” This reminded Jake distinctly of the “it’s not you, it’s me” note on the kitchen counter. What the hell did that even mean? Of course it was her. He wasn’t the one fucking Bob. He was however the one who killed the barbecue. The charges, as they were read to him, did not include barbecue murder. They did include illegal discharge of a weapon, reckless endangerment and a few others. As he listened to the deep shit he was in, Jake considered if it might have been more satisfying to have just shot Bob.
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