First of all, yes I did complete National Novel Writing Month last night. It nearly killed me, but I did it. I’m totally going to detox for the next week. And sleep (as much as the baby lets me, of course). I’ll post a recap tomorrow.
In other news, I didn’t win the contest at Karen Lee Field’s blog, but I did come in third. So, if the winner and the runner-up are unable to fulfill their duties, I totally get a $25 amazon gift card.
So, for those of you who missed it, or those who didn’t want to click, or those of you who want to read it again, or for prosperity for my own sake I present:
Happens All the Time
Officer Dan stared at the blank sheet of paper, clueless on where to begin. He had been on the force in this sleepy little college town for over twenty years and had never had a night like this. Nor had he ever been so perplexed by his paperwork.
Maybe, he thought, it would be best to start with the date. Friday the 13th. Or perhaps it would be helpful to mention that a full moon had illuminated the chilled autumn sky. Superstitions, for sure, but these details were better than any other explanation he had for what happened that night.
How about the beginning? It began with a routine call. Fire alarm in one of the freshman dormitories. Happens at least once a semester. When he arrived on the scene the building was gone, and in its place stood a group of happy looking dwarfs guarding a large cauldron filled with gold doubloons. Happens to everybody, right?
No, that little incident would be better left unmentioned. After all, by the time backup arrived everything was back to normal. The dwarfs had magically transformed into undersized underclassmen and the gold into a hackey sack.
The second call of the evening was no better. According to the witness,a student was passed out in a shrub near the stadium. It was a serious matter, for sure, but sadly not terribly uncommon.
What the caller failed to mention was the bearded man standing over the unconscious student, holding a wand and mumbling Latin, or some variation of the dead language. They told him at the hospital that the young man will make a full recovery, but Dan wasn’t so sure.
None of that could be included, nor could his run-in with Officer Smith. Dan’s head throbbed as he remembered the smug look Smith’s face when he had offered to cover the rest of Dan’s shift. Dan declined, refusing to give his rival the satisfaction, using what remained of his fragile will to refrain from punching him in the face.
The memory spiked Dan’s adrenaline and led him to an epiphany. He picked up his pen, ready to do something he had never done in all his time on the force. He would lie, and not just a little white lie. He would report that it had been a quiet night, with nothing out of the ordinary happening. Maybe he would mention the fire alarm, and maybe he wouldn’t.
Smiling for the first time all night, Dan put the tip of his pen to the paper. Just as he began to write, he caught movement outside his window out of the corner of his eye. A black cat, raised a paw to its brow, saluted, and with a smile walked away. Officer Dan’s pen was not far behind.
The following morning, the Chief of Police opened the door to his office and found a note, in which the following text was written in shaky handwriting:
I QUIT – OFFICER DAN