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The morning sun glistened off of the low hanging leaves, leaves still tender from shedding the buds that had sheltered them from late winter freezes. I looked across the park as early morning joggers set their pace against the rising sun, each step welcoming the warmth now embracing their path.
Soon, I would leave this moment of serenity and begin another day protecting the unsuspecting from the inevitable. Attacks on a pristine world would soon taint our surroundings. Reluctantly, I reached below the bench and recovered my litter stick. Time to pick up yesterday’s trash others left behind. Job security.
“I don’t think I can run another lap. Blending in at the park seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m not so sure. Ah… a bench. Maybe if I just stretch out here and cool off for a few minutes.”
Dean stretched and rolled to his side. The folded paper he had carefully placed deep in his pocket began to inch to the surface. As he woke up and stood to resume his façade as a health enthusiast, he didn’t notice the paper that stood between him and certain death escaped and landed below the bench.
The morning chill meant the usual park visitors would not filter in until much later in the day. Wind swirled among the stately shade trees assaulting the brittle leaves and sent them to the piles already accumulating at the chain link fence. Papers normally retrieved by city workers rested securely beneath the colored peppering of foliage.
The dark tinted windows of the black SUV hid peering eyes of desperation. Day after day he came. Waiting. Watching. It had been a month of patient stalking for one who had eluded him at the 7-11. Edgar stared at the empty bench. “Someday.”
Winter came. Wet and cold. Freezing rain layered with snow covered the park bench and inched upward on the nearby fence. A graveyard of sorts for debris left for another day.
A patrol car pulled into the parking lot. A thermos of coffee and a box of pastries would be the fare for the weary policeman assigned to wait. And watch. The lead from headquarters was solid and it would be Ron’s job to keep a sharp eye, even on a cold, wintry day in a silent park. Surely today would be the day.
Ten feet away, the answer. Undisturbed.
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