[This is a story I started several years ago, with my old writing group at Washington State University Vancouver, back when I was still working at the Writing Center. (I miss that group. We had a LOT of fun together.) I really loved this story, but in the shuffle and jive of daily life, I lost the inspiration and dropped the tale before I’d concluded it. I’ve decided it’s time to bring Sharkey and Alice and Adam back to life, revise them a bit, and FINISH their story. WARNING: This gets violent—and really weird. There are some bad words and freaky situations in the story that follows, and frankly a GREAT DEAL of nonsense, so if you find silliness and blood offensive, you’ll want to look elsewhere for your entertainment… otherwise, ENJOY! —RFY]
Chapter 1 – “Friday Night”
The overhead light had been torn from the ceiling during the incident, so the first team in the room had grabbed a pair of halogen flood lamps, which were too bright for the small space once they were turned on, while simultaneously creating huge swathes of deep shadow. It made the whole scene look as if it were the inside of some strange cave—or a chamber in Hell. Loveless was new to the force, just out of the academy, and he had to rush out of the room and throw up when he saw the mess on the bed. Jensen and Schitt were twenty-year veterans, and truth be told, they both felt their stomachs turn when the lights first fizzed into life.
And that’s sayin’ something because the Broken Ankle Point P.D. had seen more than its fair share of violent crime. Though there were fewer than a million people in the city, the criminal element that did reside there was particularly energetic. In fact, the International Crime Guild had conferred its coveted “Most Creative Murder of the Year” award to individuals working in Broken Ankle Point on no fewer than three occasions, most recently in 2010 to the notorious “Pussy Fiend,” Jack Dillman, who murdered over two dozen people by shoving live kittens down their throats. Jensen and Schitt had worked that case, had even been closing in on Dillman, when he’d panicked and committed suicide with a lawnmower. But even that hideous mess was tame compared to what they found in this bed, smoking just slightly in the heat of the halogens.
Jensen scratched his bald head while Schitt photographed the blood splashes on the walls and ceiling.
“Hey Jensen,” Loveless called from the hall. Poor kid hadn’t been able to even look through the doorway since the lights came on. “Sharkey’s here,” he said.
“Finally,” Jensen grumbled as a tall figure in a light gray trench coat stepped into the room. His muzzle twitched, lightly, as he sniffed the air. His pointy ears poked up through holes cut in the brim of his hat.
“Hey Shark,” Jensen said. “We got a real mess here. Can’t make much out of it.”
“Forensics get anything yet?” Sharkey asked.
“They think we’re looking at three victims in that soup. Maybe more,” Jensen said.
Sharkey took off his hat and scratched at an ear with his paw. His muzzle twitched again as he sniffed a little closer to the bed.
“What you got, Shark? I know that twitch,” Jensen said. Schitt filed in behind Jensen as they both watched Detective Sharkey work his jaw. He snarled and growled low in his throat.
“What did this,” Sharkey grumbled, “wasn’t human.” It wouldn’t be admissible as evidence unless they found something physical, after all Sharkey couldn’t prove what he’d smelled in court, but Jensen and Schitt knew that Sharkey was never wrong.
“What’a we lookin’ for? Werewolf?” Schitt asked.
“No. This is somethin’ that isn’t even remotely human,” Sharkey said. He shivered. He couldn’t I.D. the smell, but it somehow reminded him of his puppy-hood, of campfire stories and nightmares—but he couldn’t quite put his paws on it. “I’m not sure what it is, but it’s old. Really old. It smells like decay and nightmares,” he said and growled again.
“Nightmares got a smell?” Schitt asked.
“Mine do,” Sharkey said.
[LOTS more to come from Sharkey! I made it through seventeen chapters on my last draft—and this time, we’re taking it ALL THE WAY! However many chapters that might be… —RFY]
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)
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