SHARKEY AND THE JABBERWOCK – Chapter 6 – “Sharkey and Howitzer” by Richard F. Yates

[Howdy folks! Are we ready for another dose of Sharkey? If so, I’ve got you covered. As always, if you haven’t read from the beginning, you can get busy HERE! Otherwise, here we go!!! —RFY]

“Captain Howitzer, you wanted to see me?” Sharkey said as he entered the darkened office. The captain, a balding man with bushy, gray eyebrows, was sitting behind a large, cluttered desk, his face painted a sickly white by the glow from the computer screen. The man nodded and pointed to a chair but continued reading his screen. Sharkey sat, removing his hat and placing it in his lap.

“I read Schitt’s report this morning from the Eastberry Apartment case,” Howitzer said, turning his attention to Sharkey, “and I just got a partial report from forensics. There were four vics, two male, two female. All late teens to early twenties. All of them swimming in some kind of ecstasy-like drug.” He rubbed a dry hand across his chin, which hadn’t been shaved in a few days.

“They were on ‘E?’ That surprises me,” Sharkey said. “I thought that went out with rave parties in the ‘90s.”

Howitzer shrugged. “It’s a super concentrated form, apparently, either that or they were on a Hunter Thompson binge.” Howitzer glanced back at his screen, “Anyway, the apartment belongs to a Mildred Zdilar. Single, 48, works at the cannery on the north-side. According to her shift leader, she’s on vacation in South America. Some kind of singles’ cruise. We think her niece, Jennifer Hardglove, 19, is probably one of the vics. She was supposed to be ‘apartment sitting.’ As soon as we get dental back, we’ll know for sure.” Sharkey nodded.

Howitzer continued, “The reason I wanted to talk to you, Schitt’s report mentions that you smelled something funny at the scene. Forensics found nothing that can help I.D. the thing that did this. I want to know what you’ve got.”

Sharkey shifted in his seat. “Not much,” he said. “Half formed memories—from when I was a pup. Before the operation. Before I got language.”

Howitzer mumbled a “Hnh.”

“I can barely remember it, but the smell was familiar. Definitely not human. That’s all I know right now—that and, well,” Sharkey picked his hat up and looked at it. “Frankly Captain, that smell scared the shit out of me.”

Howitzer sat back in his chair, his eyes wide. In all the years he’d known Sharkey, he’d never seen him scared. Of anything. Werewolves, ghosts, djinn, demons—nothin’ seemed to faze him, so if some THING out there could cause Sharkey to quake, it was seriously bad news.

“It ain’t much,” Sharkey said, shaking his head, apologetically.

“You be able to recognize that smell if you come across it again?” Howitzer asked.

Sharkey nodded, a slow snarl forming on his lips, and his teeth showing, “Yeah, without a doubt. I’d know it anywhere.”

“Then we got somethin,’” Howitzer said.

[Alright, that’s what I’ve got for this week. Next week, we’re back to hanging with Alice for a bit—so we’ve got that to look forward to! See you THEN!!! (If not before…) —RFY]

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)


About richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)
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