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Sneak Peek: The Year I Almost Drowned

The Year I Almost Drowned written by Shannon McCrimmon

From Chapter 1

The sound of a police siren blared from behind me. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw flashes of blue and red whirling in a circular motion. My heart thumped wildly and my sweaty hands gripped tightly onto the steering wheel. I’d never been pulled over by the police. Not once. Not ever. I glanced in the rear view mirror again and saw that it was Cookie, one of Graceville’s oldest police officers, shuffling my way.

Everyone called him “Cookie” because he sputtered things out that sounded like they had been stolen from a Chinese fortune cookie. Cookie was a Graceville institution of sorts and probably should have retired years ago, but since Graceville’s crime rate was dismal, he was able to keep his job on the force. He and my grandfather had met in elementary school and had been friends ever since. They played bingo together and Cookie was a regular in the diner. I liked Cookie even if he did say strange, philosophical things that didn’t seem relevant to the discussion. He was a kind, trusting man and probably should have chosen another line of work.

I felt a sense of relief seeing that it was him coming my way. I knew if he was pulling me over, once he saw it was me, he’d give me a warning for whatever it was that I did and tell me to go on about my business.

The relief was short lived. I checked the rear view mirror again and saw another police officer approaching my car. This one was well built, tall, and much, much younger than Cookie. I didn’t recognize him. My heart started to beat a mile a minute.

Cookie peered down in my window and motioned for me to roll it down. “Hi, Finn,” he said. He spoke really slow and enunciated every single syllable with a long southern drawl. A toothpick hung out of the corner of his mouth. Cookie was very thin and appeared older than he really was. Lines and creases inundated his face, his skin loose and sagging. His white mustache covered his thin upper lip. There was very little hair left on his small oval shaped head. “Confucius once said ‘be slow in your words and earnest in your conduct,’ Finn.”

Whatever that meant, I’m not sure. I had to fight not rolling my eyes at him. The other police officer lowered his head to the window, his caramel colored eyes met mine. A subtle five o’clock shadow showed on his youthful face. He was a little older than I thought, maybe in his mid twenties. Golden streaks blended in his short light brown hair. 

“License and registration, please,” he said in an authoritative tone.

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