The Line-Up by Kat Cade

Elliott had never been in a police line-up before. His sunburnt skin tingled with anticipation and aloe vera. 

Standing to his full height of 5’3” he felt at least a foot taller. The suspect was the leader of an organised crime gang. A ferocious and powerful man by all accounts. This gave Elliot permission to swagger. 

He liked to keep up appearances and had tried a sunbed for the first time. He wouldn’t be doing that again, he thought as his starched shirt collar rubbed against his blistering skin. 

The previous evening had been spent in front of the mirror, applying aftersun and practising his most menacing mob boss face. Overlooking that the charges were for fraud in Horsham, and not murder in New Jersey. 

Elliott examined the rest of the line-up. None of them looked like a criminal boss, none of them appeared ferocious, none of them had even made an effort. This whole experience was turning out to be a real letdown. 

“Look forward everyone.” Boomed a weary voice over the intercom. 

Elliot assumed the stance he had perfected in his bedroom. 

“Try and look casual.” The last thing the officer needed was someone in the lineup acting out his Scorsese fantasy. 

Elliot tried to imagine who was on the other side of the mirrored glass. 

“Number 5 stay where you are, everyone else is dismissed.” The intercom crackled and clicked off. 

The rest of the line traipsed out, giving Elliot a wide berth. He flexed his shoulders and grinned into the mirror. He didn’t know who was on the other side, but he knew what he was going to do when he found out. After all, he was a ferocious and powerful man by all accounts.

Published in Issue #14

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