The Next Short Story for My Book

Hi all, I’m busy at work for the next week so there will be some delay before I can post about The Scorpions’ “World Wide Live” album. Sorry, it can’t be helped. In the mean time, I have just finished the next short story for my book. It’s called “Protecting Our Neighbourhood” and here’s part one for you to read.

Philip Baker had a sneaky suspicion what the letter was going to say even before he opened it. Nevertheless, he opened the brown envelope from the Metropolitan Police. Unfolding the letter inside, he braced for what it was about to tell him.

Dear Mr Baker,

Thank you for your application to be a Special Constable.

Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have decide not

to select you for training. Your desire to serve your community

is greatly appreciated.

He shouldn’t have been surprised at the letter’s content. He had applied to be a real police officer as well at some of the other constabularies around London and each response was the same: no thank you. Now that even the special voluntary police didn’t want him, it was now clear that he had no chance whatsoever in becoming a police officer.

His first instinct was to write to them and inquire why his application was unsuccessful but he had done that with two of his previous failed attempts. Only one of those bothered to write back to him and they informed him that it wasn’t public policy to disclose the reason. Philip found it all very frustrating.

One speculation behind his lack of success went back nine years to when Phil was eighteen. On one particular evening, his friend had stolen a car and saucily drove it by Phil and two of his other friends, offering them a ride. When the offer was accepted, the driver set off like a madman around the Bow and Clapton areas of London. Zipping around East London felt exhilarating and that feeling only rose when the car went speeding down the Blackwall Tunnel Road. However, the rush came to an end when the speeding car zoomed across the roundabout beneath the Bow Flyover and came to an abrupt stop on the central island. The four young men quickly got out of the car and ran off in different directions. Unfortunately, for Phil and his friend, their escape path led right into four police officers who wasted no time in apprehending the pair.

Philip was charged with assisting with the theft of a motor vehicle. The police and prosecutor demanded, “Tell us who stole and drove the car and we’ll drop the charges against you.” But Phil adamantly declined. “I’m not giving up my mate!” Therefore, he was taken before a magistrate who gave him a £150 fine and 50 hours of community service as well as a three month jail term suspended for one year. He had a criminal record and even though the minor offence didn’t hinder his employment in a factory. The boss who interviewed him stated light-heartedly, “We all did things like that when we were younger.” However, it did stop him becoming a police officer. This was in spite of the fact that his conviction had long since been considered ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The sad thing was that many people agreed that he would have made a good police officer because they all thought he was good at solving problems.

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