The Badge

As far as the eye could see, a sea of debris stretched where once whole neighborhoods were dotted with trees and privacy fences kept things orderly.

Climbing over broken studs and wading through a sea of blown insulation I emerge in a small patch of grass. This had been my grandfather’s front yard. His condo was small, holding his few possessions that now were lost in this wasteland. A photo album page danced down the street in the merciless wind as it rolled in another wave of dark clouds on the horizon.

Something sparkled in the green. My empty hands ached to salvage something, one thing from this wreckage that would make it all make sense. I stepped carefully toward the sparkly thing as the last rays of sun were swallowed up in heavy clouds. I bent low, pushing aside the grass that dared to raise brave blades to the sky.

It was a silver star. A badge. Nearby was a pouch, as if the star had slid out at the last second to glint at me, SHERIFF etched on its face. Curious, I stowed it in my pocket.

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