He stared up at the moon in the crimson sky. He lowered his head and squinted at the syringe as his fingers drew back the plunger. Golden liquid rushed into the barrel from the steel tin.

He slowed his breathing and took off the wrist watch the Department had given him for his twenty years service, throwing it over the edge of the roof. He smiled as the ticking faded forty floors.

Flicking out air bubbles he walked to the edge, considering the moving masses below. His gaze led him to the still parts. He shook his head and fought off tears.

Low pops of gun fire melodied with siren howls on the rising wind. Screams spattered the ether.

Eyes of corpses stared at him through fixed lids. Eyes of their killers winked at him. After two decades in Homicide he didn’t know which looked more dead.

He pictured his desk in the station. Dusting manila cardboard and fresh pulp piled five feet high. Stacks of unsolved filling the office floor space. He saw the shelf holding his commendations, counting nine captures and felt a lopsided weighing scale inside his chest grow heavy.

He heard a multitude of whispers. Begs and pleads. He closed his eyes and refused to engage. Blocking them out with trickles of piano keys playing in his mind of tunes long forgotten.

He felt his hand tingle as the belt dug into the bicep.

He dropped to his knees and pierced the bulging vein, watching the bevel sneak between pores.

He grimaced as the needle slid deeper.

The discarded badge glimmered in the moonlight in his peripheral awareness.

He depressed the plunger.

His nerves tingled electric and swam through his body like a deep kiss.

He sighed with an open mouth and a warm hiss.

He rose his head and took in the moon. He felt himself ascending.

He knew. Here, he was never going to see no sunrise.

~ fin ~

 L.A. Sykes is from Atherton, Greater Manchester, UK. He is the author of the short story collection Noir Medley and the novella The Hard Cold Shoulder published by Close to the Bone. His next book is coming out in April 2020.