|The Story||The Authors|
After a brief and respectable pause of disbelief Matthew let out a bellow of
rage that would have rattled a hippopotamus's teeth. Heaving himself to his
feet he wheeled as quickly as his winded bulk would allow and crashed into the
bushes after the fleeing Jeremy, the echoing canyon bringing Crink's maniacal
laughing back to taunt him twice.
Down the steep slope he half ran and half slid, trying simultaneously to keep his balance and follow the bouncing top of Jeremy's head. A flickering thought of pulling his gun and shooting occurred to him. The distance sucked. And the target was moving, but he'd at least feel better...He never finished the thought. A loose clump of dirt under his feet gave way and he was down. And rolling. Tumbling willy-nilly head over ass, he began picking up speed and swearing a blue streak. His ears and nose filled with topsoil. Stray bits of vegetation tore at his uniform. He lost a shoe. Hickey whipped his arms around wildly in a desperate attempt to find something to grab and came up with two fistfuls of grass. Thump Thump Thumpthump Thump Thud He came down, and stopped. A roughly cut path hewed into the side of the mountain stopped him.
Hickey rolled over with a groan. His nose was bleeding and his left knee was beginning to send out the first awarenesses of a painful throbbing. A slight breeze fluttered across the skin of his chest where the shirt was torn. The bloody scratch oozing its first blood. He lay there a moment blinking and dazed and staring the last fiery rays of day turned the clouds the color of his welts. "That one looks like a puppy" he thought to himself, "a pretty red puppy" His view of the puppy cloud was suddenly obstructed by the grinning face of Jeremy Crink.
"Looks like Matthew fall down, go Boom! Well, don't you fret there Hickey boy, Ole Crink'll get you up and running right fast. Trust me I'm an EMT."
Matthew growled and using every ounce of strength he could muster reached his right hand for Crink's throat. But he couldn't seem to close his fist. Two broken fingers. He gave up and sank back to the earth.
There was a long silence as both men sat panting. "OK, enough with the dilly-dally, Officer Matthew J., we gotta get you fixed up and cleaned up for your big night. Tonight's the night and you're the guest of honor." Meekly Matthew allowed himself to be lifted and with a supporting arm crushing Jeremy's neck together they hobbled the stricken policeman down the path.
|"Hi! How are ya?" a chipper voice cried from behind them. The two men turned to see a man in a furry cat costume drop down out of a tree. "Hi! How are you?" he said again. "My God," Hickey said into Crink's ear. "Is that Timmy Sanderson?" Timmy Sanderson had lived down the street from Officer Hickey when they were kids. When Timmy was five, a high fever damaged his brain. Mentally, he would never mature beyond five years old. As a concesion to his mother, the schools allowed Timmy to attend classes with his friends, as long as he didn't disrupt them. He liked being with his friends and thought school was lots of fun. He was too innocent to realize that his 'friends' were laughing at him rather than with him. After highschool when all his friends had gone on to college, Timmy occupied himself by standing on the street corner in front of the local Piggly Wiggly and waving to traffic and passing pedestrians. He became a sort of landmark. You could always count on Timmy being out on the corner waving and shouting "Hi! How are you?" with that goofy smile on his face. Then one day he wasn't there. He had said something to his mother about going into the forest. He left the house and never returned. Though they searched for him for weeks, they couldn't not find a trace of him. His mother kept praying that he would come back to her someday. And now here he was standing before them, a potbellied, balding man-child dressed like in a cat costume, the fur of which was matted and entangled with weeds and spurs. "Whatcha doin'?" asked the man-child. "Timmy? Is that you?" asked officer Hickey. "Yeah," Timmy answered. "Whatcha doin'?" "I'm hurt, Timmy, I have to go to the hospital." Hickey explained. "I have a dog." said Timmy. "His name is Cheetoh. You want to see?" before Hickey or Crink could decline the offer, Timmy unzipped the front of his costume and pulled out a very stiff dead squirrel. "This is my pet, Cheetoh." he said. "I named him Cheetoh 'cuz he's got a curly tail. See? Want to pet him?"|