Center of Center (6)
a serialized novella-in-flash by Chris Wiewiora
The buses drove past the shooting. The on-board cameras record everything inside and outside the bus, but erase as they go. The red button by every driver’s windowsill saves everything five minutes before, and five minutes after, it’s pressed.
The Polis didn’t get to see any vid-scrolls from the buses. The Center Times posted to the Panoptic audio recordings of the city-wide emergency radio channel with the Polis Patrol’s chatter. Then, the Polis Patrol released their dash cams’ vid-scrolls. Perhaps they didn’t want people to only hear what had happened; people needed to be able to see it, too, albeit from their angle.
Before the vid-scroll stops there is a nineteen-year-old body in a suit ready for a funeral or to give a speech, except for a backwards ball cap and except for a shattered skull and burst heart. Before the body, there were two Polis Patrollers standing with smoking guns from seven bullets fired with two shots hit; one in the chest and another in the head, and five who knows where. Before the body, there was a Polis Patrol dispatcher saying, for the second time, Back down. Before the body, there was a nineteen-year-old who rammed a truck into two squad cars blocking him in on central campus. Before the body, there was a nineteen-year-old who drove a truck the wrong way onto Center Circle against a gate, against buses, against students. Before the body, there were two Polis Patrollers in squad cars with their sirens and lights on full-blast while they pursued a truck onto campus. Before the body, there was a nineteen-year-old who backed up a lawn care trailer once connected to a truck that detached into the hood of a squad car. Before the body, there was a Polis Patrol dispatcher saying, Back down. Before the body, there was a Patroller in a squad car pursuing a truck and trailer reported stolen, both of them driving twice the speed limit on Center Street. Before the body, there was a man who reported his work truck and trailer stolen. Before the body, there was a nineteen-year-old who took his host-father’s truck and trailer without permission because he had to get to Center University to deliver a speech. Before the body, there was a hungover host-father refusing to help his nineteen-year-old host-son with that ridiculous cap jump his car’s dead battery. Before the body, there is Jonathan “J.J.” Jones, a nineteen-year-old, and one of my brightest and youngest, but untimely students.
CENTER of CENTER is a new serialized novella-in-flash by Chris Wiewiora. Go here to start from the beginning.
Fiction Attic Press is a reader-supported publication. Subscribe to receive new stories in your inbox.