With their appearance, the peace in Marion’s afternoon was broken. In the six short seconds between when she looked out the peephole to see the two police officers standing on her door step and when she opened the door to these officers, her imagination had already conjured up a half dozen tragic scenarios. What had happened to her children? Her husband? Images of empty school desks, torn flesh, and mangled machinery flashed through her mind.
Marion could not bring herself to open the door fully, peering at the two officers with her face in shadow, nor could she speak.
“I’m sorry to disturb you, ma’am,” the officer on the right said, tipping his hat like a cowboy. “Don’t worry, I don’t have nothing bad to report about your kids or your husband.”
“Oh,” Marion let out a sigh of relief and swung the door open. “Well, officers, how can I help you?”
The officer on the left handed Marion a piece of paper. “City ordinances require us to notify the residents of a neighborhood whenever this happens.”
“Ma’am,” the officer on the right took over, “you should know that a registered playerhater has moved in across the street.”
The peace in Marion’s neighborhood was broken.