Ice stepped out of the brownstone office and into the bright sunlight. He pulled off his sunglasses and tucked them into the left breast pocket of his navy Armani suit. He turned his face to the sun, and closed his eyes.


His head snapped toward the sound. An elderly man, 70ish, with white hair and wide, frightened eyes, stood pointing a shaking, bony finger at him.

“It’s you. I know it’s you.”

Ice locked his gaze onto the old man’s eyes and let his mouth go slack. His feelers moved through the man’s skin, past the cranium, and searched through the gray matter to find a weakness. There. Right there. He focused intensely for a second or two. That’s all it took. The man crumpled to the floor, his fall finally breaking eye contact.

Ice rushed to the man’s side, pushing through the surprised bystanders that moved in to help. He pulled off his jacket, dropping it to the ground as he knelt. He turned to a young woman with a cell phone.

“Call 911,” he said.

He placed two fingers on the side of the man’s neck. A faint pulse still fluttered beneath his fingertips. He tilted the man’s head back and checked for breathing. Barely a wisp. He clasped his hands together, positioned them under the man’s breast bone where the ribs of each side came together. He began CPR, pushing against the man’s chest, knowing he was sending more blood to the damaged brain, building greater pressure. He paused to give mouth to mouth resuscitation, listened again to the slowing breath, returned to massaging the man’s chest. He continued as a crowd grew around them, until he was certain the blood vessels in the old man’s brains were exploding under the onslaught, until no breath and no heart beat could be detected.

He heard sirens. An ambulance screeched to a halt at the curb next to them. The paramedics pulled him back, took over the CPR where he had left off. The senior paramedic pronounced the old man dead at the scene. He patted Ice on the shoulder.

“You did all that you could.”

Later that afternoon, back in the dark of the brownstone office, the captain paced angrily.

“What the hell did you do that for?” he said through clenched teeth.

“I had to,” Ice said. “He almost blew my cover.”


by Shelli Proffitt Howells

copyright 2013

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