I'm lucky to be here. Things are peaceful. I do good work for Maud, and I'm well cared for. I will never be cold again.
I'd so badly needed to escape. Months had passed since I'd last been able to relax. In my mind, I was always on duty, no matter what the clock said. Then my partner went to the hospital on a bullet fired by a twelve-year-old girl, and I started suspecting everyone I met of being armed and dangerous. The chief suggested I take off the uniform and badge for a while before I wound up shooting someone for startling me.
So I filed a request for a six-month leave of absence and advertised my apartment on Denver Craigslist under "sublets & temporary". I found the ad for Maud's farmhouse just a few clicks later. No phone number was provided, just an address in some town I'd never heard of called Shempf. Google Maps helpfully asked whether I'd meant Brighton. It sounded likely. I started driving. Forty-five minutes later I was pulling up in front of Maud's place.
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Nicole J. LeBoeuf is a New Orleanian writer living in Colorado, where she spends almost all of her non-writing time skating roller derby with the Boulder County Bombers under the name Fleur de Beast. She releases flash fiction four times monthly as part of her Friday Fictionettes project at http://www.patreon.com/NicoleJLeBoeuf. She blogs at http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/. Her last name is pronounced as though to rhyme with "I write stuff."