El Club Cinco

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Detective Laura Kimber cursed deep in her throat. Her breath froze on the air, misting her eyes, though it couldn’t cover up the sight that surrounded her. She let out a slow breath, trying to calm the slamming of her heart against her chest. The stench of death hung suspended around her, the gang violence that had been part of her daily existence for as long as she could remember finally slapped her with some reality. It was the first thing she wanted to cure when she graduated from the police academy.

She had sleepless nights and she knew something like this was going to happen. While off duty she’d stare at the ceiling, imagining fleecy sheep leaping over fences in a peaceful land of green, rolling hills. They leaped one at a time, making long, lazy jumps. It worked every time and she’d be off to sleep, but it didn’t make reality any easier. Her dreams were mostly of her childhood. She loved the way her mother used to sneak up on her and hug her when she wasn’t expecting it. Or the way she would recite nursery rhymes with her own little twists. The bedtime story of Little Red Riding Hood always happen to have a Laura Kimber in it and a Big Bad Wolf dressed in pimp clothing. Her childhood was amazing, but still she had to wake up from her dreams to face the world.

El Club Cinco was an underground party club, located on the lower side of Madison Avenue, where bad things happen even to good people. On the night of the shooting, several patrol cars were pulled off detail to cover the dog tracks over on Kossuth Street, and the shooting over gang colors left a floor of flesh and blood. Kimber realized that if the details were left alone, that would have made a difference here. Many of the dead were under age drinkers and party goers who wanted some mischief in their routine lives. However, the price was too high, and their lives picked up the tab.

Laura Kimber glared at her reflection in the partially shattered dance mirror against the wall in front of her. She was amazed on how much she aged since she’d joined the police force. Or was it the joining that aged her? Nonetheless the signs were there and there was nothing she could do about it. She continued staring at reflection ignoring the littered bodies that were also cast in reflection. Her pupils were dark, yet luminous. It was cold, but she could still feel a heat rise in her body, it made the skin tighten across her face.

Kimber knew that if she’d dug up some information on many of the dead, she would find some history in the computer, which can scan city arrests going back several years. But there would be nothing exceptional to lock many of them up for a long period of time; there would be mostly a few arrests for assault, disorderly conduct, and other misdemeanors. Nothing would have prevented what happened here in El Club Cinco.

“More dead in the back room,” shouted two uniforms from across the dance floor.

Laura Kimber nodded knowing all to well that they couldn’t see her acknowledgement. Suddenly against all common sense, Kimber caught sight of a shadow moving in the background. It was a tiny shadow, but a shadow nonetheless. She moved slowly towards the shadow and then she realized that she hadn’t really moved anywhere. She was caught in a daydream that she had no control over. She didn’t even realize that she’d closed here eyes in a grimace until the moment had sustained itself, frozen in time, and she became aware that she couldn’t see anything. She then opened her eyes and there was no shadow, and no blindness, only littered bodies of young people trapped on the floor of El Club Cinco.








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© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 32 comments

btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

I love the tone and the cadence! i enjoy your writing style and your characters. I do have to admit, this one had me a little confused both with her childhood memories and the end. Pease illumiate! Thank you! up+, my friend!


Ghaelach 3 years ago

Hi Frank.

Enjoyed this very much, and the twist at the end. It was like she had dreamed her own Biography of her life.

I know how hard it is to keep these F/F hubs down to between 500 - 700 words. I have a little series running at the moment, as yours.

LOL Ghaelach


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you btrbell and Ghaelach for reading my club cinco... and btrbell Kimber was just looking for a release something to keep her mind off the senseless killings.. but thanks for taking the time out to read :) Frank


Valleypoet 3 years ago

Nice write Frank...I think Laura Kimber could do with a vacation...the horrors of her profession are affecting her life....even in her dreams of childhood she can see the 'big bad wolf in pimp clothing'...and at the end, a daydream she didn't even realise she had entered into...thanks buddy:-))


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Valley for seeing what I was trying to write bless you bro :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

It is in times like this, that sick humor and random happenings creeps into the dialogue between officers. Anything to break the tension and give the mind respite. Good story.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

I'm wondering if Detective Kimber might need the number of the police department's Employee Assistance Program, as she seems to be experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout? Well written and interesting hub. I particularly liked the line, "However, the price was too high, and their lives picked up the tab."


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you Becky Katz for stopping by and thank you too Flourish for commenting bless you both..:)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Frank, this is one of your best. Superb storytelling that takes us into the character’s mind and heart, with echoes o f her past and what she had hoped to achieve when she first joined the force. We see the reflection of Laura as she catches a glimpse of herself in the shattered mirror at El Club Cinco. Senseless death and gang violence had taken more than part of her youth, and at a cost. Voted way up and shared. I hope you plan to publish these stores…I see a book on the horizon. Voted up and shared.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I can't take Steven King so you know you are top of my list for scary stories~ ^


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Genna East for reading my club cinco and for commenting, and thank you too Jackie...bess you both Frank


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

You captured the true essence here of one who has seen one too many crimes scenes and it is past time to take a bit of a break from such daily scenery. That line, "She didn’t even realize that she’d closed 'her' eyes in a grimace until the moment had sustained itself, frozen in time, and she became aware that she couldn’t see anything." is great! Very telling indeed. I know it is just coincidence, but there is an Avenue named Madison Avenue in the city in which I work and there could actually be a club such as the one you have written here at the end of Madison Avenue.

Up and more and sharing (Did not realize this was published until I clicked on your name in another comment I saw somewhere---but I have been under the weather, so trying to get caught up : ) ... feeling a bit better now, thankfully! Very interesting imagery there at the end.

Hugs to you, Frank Atanacio


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Senseless killings like that would be enough to make anyone turn their mind off onto any other tangent so they didn't have to face the reality of the horror. Well thought out story.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Faith, Im sorry to hear you were under the weather c'mon girl time for you to get a hug (((~~)))... And Blossoms thank you for always showing up on my pages bless you both Frank


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank another great write! I love your ability to not only show the horror, but you get into the head of the police woman. It doesn't matter how strong the detective is, senseless killing of so many young people must affect her, as it would any human being. Job well done as always. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you tobusiness :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, Frank, your warm embrace of a hug was felt all the way down here in southern USA, and guess what, it worked, for I am back with the living this day! LOL

Have a lovely evening.

(((Hugs))) right back at you,

Faith Reaper


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

I could relate to the transference between daydream and reality (though not about crimes). It makes Kimber's character into an authentic individual. So many good aspects to your stories.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Faith..:) :) and thank you MsDora for weighing in bless you both :)


Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago

This was great! I really enjoyed it and was swept into Detective Laura Kimber's daydream. I can definitely relate to her need to slip away just for a moment, in order to deal with a situation that she know is going to be bad! This short look into her life felt complete, however it did leave me wanting more! In my opinion that is just more proof that you are a truly gifted writer!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia

Dang Frank, this was some spooky s*** man. This is what I love about your writing Frank, I'm always taken into the character. I'm reading, looking at myself in the mirror and so on. I'm seriously not a big reader although I read a LOT on Hubpages. I enjoy learning and reading others sweat and ink. For your work my friend, I could read all day. I'm always connected and it's like watching a movie for me. Remarkable Frank and has been from day one. Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

You really are very gifted in this genre. Multi layered and suspenseful. You always have me really involved in the story and the characters :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Lisa :) thelyric writer and Anna your comments made my day bless you guys :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

Love your writing style Frank. I must admit I had to reread this one a couple of times to work out what was going on with Kimber and in her head, but made sense in the end....all good....


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

LOL sorry bout that Jodah, and thanks for stopping by :)


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Your slice of life portraits render me speechless. You open me to another reality, Frank. Thank you.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Story :)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

another wonderful write, Sir. Your great way of writing brought the characters at my very before. I love the little detail you invested to bring the character of Kimber home. Your way of storytelling is exceptional.

More power to your elbow.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you uban :)


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Frank: Great story :). Thank you for sharing :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Hey Frank--I love flash fiction although I think it is hard to do well--yet you seem to be able to get it clear and in front of the reader again and again--kudos!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you carrie and audrey for visiting my club :)

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