Friday, March 23, 2012

Flash Fiction VII—That Damned Dog

The worst calls are the neighbor disputes. You've got two kings (or queens) of the castle, you've got boundary issues both literal and figurative, you've got long-simmering resentment. But what's a small-town cop to do? We get the crimes we hope for; I am usually grateful.

The temperature was running 20 degrees above normal so you have figure there was an epidemic of spring fever and that dance Venus and Jupiter have been doing for the past month has been pulling out the crazy in everyone. We’d had calls about the usual stuff: vandalized mailboxes, missing booze, youths gathering in the library parking lot. I had 10 minutes left on my shift.

“Report of a menacing dog over on Willow, on Will-ow. Do you read?” Brenda likes to add drama to her dispatches.


“The dog is allegedly menacing. Do you copy?”

“I’m on my way.”

“Copy that.”

She was one of those tall women who haven't finished a full meal in 25 years, silver gray hair pulled into a ferocious bun my wife calls “a poor woman’s facelift,” but the clothes proved she could afford to go under the knife the way most of us can afford to go for coffee. The shotgun looked like a prop. “That dog is a menace. I’ve been warning him for months.”

“Ma’am, I need you to hand over the firearm.”

“This? Don’t be absurd; this is an heirloom.”

“Regardless, until this gets resolved I need you to hand over the firearm.” She made a little noise at the top of her throat but she gave it to me. “Now, the dog?”

She pointed and I thought I’d have to get the body bag out of the trunk (which adds at least half an hour to the call). But the dog was alive. So was the owner, though I’m pretty sure he could have died of embarrassment. Crouching behind a decoratively decrepit pony cart is never good for the self-esteem.

“She tried to kill me!”

“Don’t be absurd, I’m simply making a point,” she told him. “This is what it takes,” she told me.

I had to arrest them both. That’s going to be at least two hours overtime.

1 comment:

RAB said...

I like it! But you have a couple of typos you might like to fix--especially the missing "g" in "That do is a menace," which I first took to be a criticism of the "ferocious bun" (LOVE the "poor woman's facelift"!).
Ever your fan,