Stone Cold Sober

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Stone Cold Sober

The man wasn’t breathing. But the lips weren’t blue. “Anyone call 911?” Detective Jarvis shouted.

“Is he still alive?” someone shouted back.

“Call anyway.” Even if the man was dead, Jarvis wasn’t qualified to make the declaration.

The man lay on his right side, both arms splayed as if he’d tried to break his fall. Jarvis tugged on the jacket; the man rolled flat on his back. He gestured to one of the officers near the beer cooler. “Come help me.”

A tall state cop came. While Jarvis performed fast chest pumps, he asked, “Anyone find the weapon?”

“Weapon?” the officer said. “No, sir.”

“Find it!” Jarvis shouted to no one in particular.

He evaluated the scene as he performed chest compressions. No blood. No obvious wounds. Vomit had made a trail down the front of the guy’s parka, which meant he’d vomited while on his feet. The throw-up explained the gurgling sound witnesses heard. Man, he hated doing CPR, especially if this was indeed a corpse. Glad he had seniority and could choose which end to be at. “Shit.”

“Yes, sir?” asked the rookie officer.

“What?” Three…four…five. God this was tiring.

“You said something.”

Jarvis gave a nervous chuckle. “I know this guy