6 min read

She was fifty-nine going on seventeen. Celine was one of those women who refused to grow old gracefully. Not that fifty-nine was old; Celine was youthful looking, that’s all.  Celine just lived life with more energy than a harassed wasp’s nest. Funny, witty, the life of a party. A mother of seven; two boys, four girls, and her rottweiler, Bronson, the baby of the family. She was a retired park ranger, volunteering in the woods, capturing and relocating bears. She could tell that the officer was surprised after reading the details on her driver’s license, as there was the briefest flicker of a raised eyebrow.

“I get that a lot.” She snickered.

“Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?”

Saying that she wasn’t a mind reader would have been rude, so she feigned ignorance.

“This is a 30 mile an hour, winding, slippery, mountain road. Do you know how fast you were going?”,

“Yes ma’am. Faster than the speed limit.” She stifled a laugh.

“This isn’t funny, Mrs. Wallace.” The officer looked at her license one last time before handing it back to her.

“I know, dear. I am so sorry.” Celine started giggling.

“Then why are you laughing?”

“I apologize. I have PBA.” She covered her mouth with her hands.

“Say again now?”

“Pseudobulbar Affect. I get the giggles for no reason. You should google it.” Now she was laughing hysterically, till her eyes were watering.

Celine could tell that the officer didn’t have the slightest clue what she was on about, so she took out her phone and asked Siri. After an embarrassing pause, the officer apologized.

“Please be careful on the road, ma’am. You could get yourself…” The officer paused mid-sentence. Her eyes fixed on someone standing on the rocky embankment, his rifle pointed at her. As she sealthily reached for her firearm, the assailant dropped her once her eyes had diverted.

Celine gasped as the officer collapsed next to her car, the perfect crimson hole in the middle of her forehead. Now her laughter was beyond controllable. She slapped the car into gear and sped off, leaving a trail of swerving skid marks. Three miles down the road she regained her composure and pulled over.

“Siri, call 911.” She said while nervously looking behind her.

“911. What’s your emergency.” The volume was too loud, and it startled her.

“Hello, an officer has been shot. No, killed.” Celine was struggling to hold herself together. Her nerves were all over the place.

“What is your current location?”

“I am parked about one mile from Ferns’ Diner on Pikes Peak Highway.”

“Can you tell me the number you are calling from?”

Celine started giggling again and muted the call. After sparring with herself for nearly a minute, she finally answered the dispatcher.

“Can you please tell me your name?”

“Mrs. Celine Wallace.”

“Okay Celine. Tell me exactly what happened.”

“A police officer… she got shot.”

“Celine, could you tell me the condition of the officer?”

“She was pretty dead when I sped off.” Celine laughed so loudly; birds flew away.

“Ma’am. Can you repeat that?”

“I said… she was pretty dead.” She barely got the words out.

There was a pause, an unscripted pause. Celine knew they were wondering if it was a prank call.

“Mrs. Wallace, are you safe?”


“Can you go to Fern’s Diner and wait there. Emergency vehicles have been dispatched to your location.”

Celine hung up the call. She had not considered for a moment that she was still in danger. After already driving several miles away from the scene of the incident, she felt quite safe. But nevertheless, she drove to the diner. Colorado was cold, and she turned up the heating in her car and rubbed her hands for warmth. Then the tears began to flow. This was the first time she had ever seen anyone killed. She also wanted to scream for not being able to control her condition. It had gotten considerably worse after her husband had left her. At twenty-three years of age, they had diagnosed her with PBA.  A laughing fit on her honeymoon had nearly brought a quick end to her marriage. Her husband was in love with her then, and they worked it out. But as her condition deteriorated, he began to yearn for a different life.

“Good luck finding that at sixty-three, you jackass.” She had flung the divorce papers back at him. That was two years ago.

She was finally warm enough to head into the Diner. As she opened the door to her car, a cold object was pressed against her face.

“You just scoot on over now to the other side lady.” He jabbed her twice in the cheek with the rifle.

She complied. Her eyes darting around quickly for an escape. There was none.

“Keys.” He held out his hand.

“It’s in my purse on the back seat, along with several hundred dollars in cash. I could get you more.” She lied, as the giggle was welling up inside her.

“I didn’t come for the money, honey.”

They drove off in the same direction she had just come. Her phone rang, and he ended the call. It rang again, and he did the same.

“It’s probably my daughter. Would you at least let me say bye to my child?”

“I am not one for sentimentality.” He didn’t take his eyes off the road. A police SUV sped past them, heading to Fern’s Diner. She contemplated jumping out of a moving vehicle, but he was too alert.

“I suppose you aren’t.” she agreed.

“Don’t you worry yourself now, lady. I promise it will be quick.”

He yanked a tuft of her thin blonde hair and shoved her head into the side window. She retaliated with a quick overhead right, catching him across the jaw. It surprised him, and he struggled to regain control of the car. It accelerated and headed down the embankment. Celine could hear metal crunching, a gunshot, and as her world spun, cartwheeled, and belly flopped, she hit her head several times before the car settled on its hood.

From her hanging position, she could see him. His neck was broken, and a small trickle of blood was oozing from his right ear, and his arm was in an exaggerated unnatural position. This was bear country, and they would come looking for food soon enough. She could hear the sirens coming toward her location, but they needed to hurry. The gunshot wound to her chest was spouting like a geyser, and she was losing a lot of blood. Flashing lights had always amused her. She smiled, and while coughing up blood, all she could think about was her rottweiler, Bronson.

Author’s Note:

Celine Wallace was an interesting character to write about. She suffers from psuedobulbar Affect, a condition which cause uncontrollable crying and or laughter. I had met Celine (not her real name) one day at work, and we struck up a fascinating conversation about her life’s work. She is a retired park ranger, and she loves writing short Stories. She is a grandmother of four, and she does own several rottweilers. She apologized in advance for her condition, which she admitted was far advanced and incurable. But it has not stopped her from living what has so far been a wonderful and fullfiling life.

11 responses to “Celine”

  1. This is a CRAZY story, Nigel.

    I enjoyed every word of it – but I wish I knew more about the bad guy(s)! What was his motivation? Who was he?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should’ve added more. But 6 mins of reading deters a lot of people. So Celine I spoke of, and the villain, is a hitchhiker I once gave a ride. Stories he shared with me about his past..I never gave another person a ride after that. I’ll share his story soon
      It’s a task finding the right balance when doing shorts. . I’m happy that you enjoyed it man. Made my morning.
      Thanks for reading David.🙏


      1. what? he’s real? he really killed people?


      2. Yes…😂 He did a stretch in Juvenile, then got into drug dealing, fled the country, got extradited, did another stretch in prison.. nicest guy you’ll ever meet. I have an entire series plotted out for his story.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yip..never stopped for another hitchhiker. This was 12 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have heard of pseudobulbar affect, but I’ve never met anyone with it. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Happy Sunday. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t heard of pseudobulbar before. The story started out light but got darker and darker. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pooja. I hope to keep entertaining. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure and I have no doubt you will.

        Liked by 1 person

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April 2023
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