Officer Mike Tampinaro pulled into the garden center's parking lot next to the law office. He stepped out of the police cruiser in his dark blues, his badge sparkling in the sun. He heard no music at all, much less the reported rock concert. He removed his sunglasses.
The sign over the door said, ‘Sheinker and Goldmann, Attorneys at Law.’
Nothing sounded like a routine disturbance of the peace, though dispatch reported that Gene Goldmann had called to complain about loud music from the store next door. Traffic roared on the interstate a half-mile away. Hair rose on the back of his neck at the lack of noise.
Thomas––the dispatcher––had confided, “You know, that guy on the commercials, promising to get people out of their DUIs?”
Yeah, that guy.
The old office building squatted in a neighborhood where rent was cheap. The attorneys could afford a midtown high-rise thanks to the money cow they’d milked for a decade. The facade would never spill how much milk that cow had produced, but with the money they spent on late-night commercials, it had to be a small fortune. It looked more like an inner-city bail-bonds office, which wasn’t far from the truth.
A myriad of flowers sat outside the garden center's fence to entice onlookers to beautify their own habitats. The neon sign read 'Open', but the store stood vacant. Empty. A ghost town as devoid of ghosts as it was loud music.
The front window of the law-office burst outward in a cascade of shattered glass and the distinct, high-pitched reports of a .38. A bullet zinged by his head. He leapt across the hood of his patrol car as another slug punched through the windshield. He ducked behind the tire as a shrieking impact pelted the cruiser’s hood a foot from his head.