Darlene stood over the restrained man sprawled face down on the floor. She wrestled with her incongruent urges: use the adrenaline to “finish him off,” or place a tissue under his bleeding nose. Instead, she stepped away and watched from a distance. The slight movement of his torso with each shallow intake and exhale of air soothed her indecision.
Check him for ID and weapons. Taking her cue from the cop dramas she’d seen on TV, she rolled the man onto his side and felt inside his jacket. Coming up empty, she hesitated before shoving her hand into his front pants pocket. She grasped the contents in her hand and let them spill to the floor. Spare change, loose aspirin, a book of matches, and a wrapped butterscotch candy.
Darlene’s heart fell. What if he really is a transient? She let him rest on his belly again and then rolled him on his other side. Her hand brushed against metal on his waist. Her heart pounded faster as she realized it was a Glock. She removed it from the holster and slid it across the floor away from them. From his pants pocket, she recovered folded papers and ring with four keys on it.
She noticed a bulge in his back pocket. His wallet. She worked it out of the fraying pocket and then let him roll forward onto his stomach again. She read the name on the driver’s license: Jeff Weissman. Darlene slid away from the man and slumped against a partially charred wall.
She shoved the papers and Jeff’s wallet into her own pockets. Her nervous fingers fidgeted with the keys, the clanking metal echoing in the too-silent room. Her mind began to juggle what to do with this knowledge. Call the police? The FBI? Run away and pretend like she never saw him?
The man stirred, and then groaned before opening his eyes. Darlene’s pulse throbbed in her ears. Their gazes locked.
Too late to run.
JUGGLE (transitive verb): to handle or deal with usually several things (as obligations) at one time so as to satisfy often competing requirements <juggle the responsibilities of family life and full-time job — Jane S. Gould>
This continues Darlene’s story (if you haven’t read the other parts and are curious about what has transpired so far, here are the links:)