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Your Story 18 Winner: Sugar-Free

Out of more than 500 entries, we chose this entry, submitted by Katherine Hollien of Hanover, Mass., as the winner of our Your Story #18 contest. Judging for the Your Story #19 competition will take place in late July. For more info visit writersdigest.com/YourStory.

Another one?” Sergeant Reese said, slamming down his still half-full “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug. It was given to him a few years ago by a former friend and officer who, ironically, was now his boss, Lieutenant Matthews. Matthews was one step closer to being Police Chief of Osborne country, Reese’s dream job.

“Yes, Sir, this time it was the one on Cherry Street,” Officer Craig said as he stepped further into Reese’s office. He was holding a manila-folder, filled with photos of the burnt remains of a Krispy Kreme donut shop, the latest in a string of mysterious arson cases on the donut franchise in the Osborne Country area. Craig walked closer to Reese’s desk, handing him the folder as soon as he got with arm’s reach. Being a relatively new member of the force, Craig was greatly intimidated by any higher-ranking officer, especially Reese.

“Bastards,” Reese spat as he opened the folder and flipped through the pictures, “I stopped at this shop everyday on the way to work!” Reese was known among the force for being the “stereotypical cop”. He was short, heavy, and also had quite a sweet tooth—devouring around four donuts a day and washing them down with a coffee each time. His doctor often warned him that his blood sugar content was reaching a dangerous level, and he was looking at type-two diabetes if he kept up his current diet, but Reese was stubborn. Plus, he loved his Krispy Kremes.

His wife, Joanne, did everything to try to stop him from eating so much sugar. She made him healthier meals, complete with sugar-free chocolate cake for desert. But no matter how hard she tried, Reese would always come home with a layer of sugary glaze on his fingers and a content smile on his face.

“There’s only one Krispy Kreme shop left within a 20 mile radius,” Reese pointed out, talking more to himself than to Craig, who was starting to edge toward the doorway slowly.

“You know what this means, don’t you?” Reese said, finally looking up from the folder. Craig shook his head.

“It means we know where they’re going next,” Reese told Craig, a smile creeping onto his face.

It had been a week since the last arson. Every night since then, Reese and a few fellow officers had staked out the last Krispy Kreme shop, on Bailey Road, next to the dry-cleaners and the antique store that was days away from closing down. So far, Reese had seen no action, and he was getting anxious.

It was a little after two in the morning when Reese saw an old station wagon pull in and park on the opposite end of the lot. Reese and the four other officers in the cruiser, including Officer Craig, watched the vehicle carefully.

The door to the station wagon opened and Reese held his breath. He took out his binoculars to get a closer look. Under the faint street light he could see the figure, coming slowly into view. Whoever they were, they were dressed in an all black and a ski-mask.

“Typical,” Reese scoffed. The criminal was holding a bucket, which Reese assumed was filled with gasoline. Reese signaled to the four officers in his car to take action.

They quietly opened the car doors. Two of the officers went around back, not wanting to give the thug any chance to bold, while Reese and Craig stayed in the front. Once Reese was sure they had the criminal surrounded, he signaled his men to move in.

“Freeze!” he yelled, taking out his gun and pointing it directly at the arsonist, who dropped the bucket in surprise and turned around to face him.

“Put your hands on your head!” Reese yelled again, stepping around the thick black liquid that was seeping out of the spilled bucket on the ground. The culprit, knowing they were caught, immediately dropped to their knees and put their hands on their head. Reese was disappointed, he always liked a fight.

Reese walked slowly to the motionless criminal, while the three other officers closed in as well. Once Reese was within reach, he ripped off the ski-mask as Craig cuffed the crook. As soon as the mask was removed, Reese drew in a quick breath.

“Joanne?” Reese whispered, frozen in place. His wife looked up at him in defeat.

“You wouldn’t listen,” she said to him, bowing her head, “I had to get you to stop eating those Krispy Kremes!”

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