Demon Pen – WIP

I’ve been playing with this idea for a while and this was just put down on “paper” so it’s definitely rough. Whether anyone like it or not is immaterial since I enjoyed writing it. I’m going to continue this story/idea more this weekend. I like where it’s taking me.

Settle down, Cap’s on deck,” said Sergeant Marcella Stork. Stork tapped her pen impatiently on her podium. Tap-tap-tappity-tap-tap. Espinoza kept making the pen do it’s dance even as the morning song of roll call conversations and whispers came to an end.
“First order of business, we’ve had some minor tagging in the Boyle Heights area, no surprise there considering the past, but the brass wants an extra eye on that to keep our presence known. The area has come a long way and no one past our pay grades wants to see that ruined. Secondly, there have been a string of church break-ins in Boyle Heights. Nothing taken, but there’s been property damage and not to mention two assaults within the premises. Goes without saying, keep your eyes open. Community leaders hate people of faith getting beaten more than gentries hate having gang graffiti show up outside their door.”
Stork droned on as Officer Penelope Penn rubbed her right temple while she took notes. Penn’s head was thrumming with a headache, and she wasn’t sure how much more of the noise around her she could take. As an Asmodeus she should have been oblivious to normal discomforts. This was something unheard of for her.
She shut her eyes and to block the pain and was successful up until the time her partner, Roy Valdez, nudged her back into pained awareness.
“We got our assignment, Penn. Time to shine.”
Valdez was standing, staring at her for a moment in confusion. “Penn? You okay? You look like you’re hurting.”
She opened her eyes and for a moment she could see the demon he was, and not the human he pretended to be. For two seconds the sight of him frightened and angered her. Her nostrils flared and her nails bit into the fake wood of the table.
“Yeah,” she said, regaining her composure. “I’m good. Let’s get our shit together and get out there.”
“Right. I’ll get our long guns and meet you at the black and white.” Valdez hesitated long enough to give her a doubtful look.
Penn stood, collected her notebook and pens and turned to leave when Sergeant Stork called for her.
Penn joined Stork at the podium, and Stork gave her a look meant to silence her as the room cleared of the last two officers to leave.
“Good job on handling that homeless homicide the other night.”
“It wasn’t that good of a job. I had the assholes-”
“You’re goddamned right it wasn’t that good of a job. What the Hell were you doing, engaging three angels like that? Are you trying to start a Holy War or something? Valdez told me he had to back you up because you were letting a little fire show to get your point across. You know they have free reign to take who they want. If they help a lostie to their end, what’s it to us? Nothing, that’s what. You keep your mind on regular human LEO matters and not this shit. You suspect something dirty with the Hosts and their bullshit you report it to me and then leave the aforementioned Hosts’ bullshit up to Semyaza and Aolas. Copy that?”
“You copy this, Halpas,” answered Penn, dropping human pretense and using her demonic rank. “That was murder of a human being. It wasn’t his time. It was three spoiled kids kicking a puppy to death. We’re cops, right? Or at least we pretend to be to keep up appearances. I get cruelty, I like it, but this was something different. I’m telling you it wasn’t his time, and they…”
Penn trailed off. Her vision dimmed for a minute and the sight of Stork in her true form appeared before her. Once she found the bloodied bird like head with its barbed hooked beak, twisted horns and pointed ears amusing, except now it angered her. She still gripped the pen in her hand and it splintered oozing the black ink onto the podium.
“Are you sick? Can’t be. We don’t get sick, not from human bugs anyway. What’s your damage, Penn? You on your monthly?”
“Fuck you. Go lay an egg or suck one. I’m fine, and it wasn’t his time.” She was never good with comebacks, and it felt like her worst one yet.
A malicious chuckle cleared Stork’s mouth. “Who says it wasn’t his time? You? Neither you nor I get a say in that. Only the dicks above and below get to make that determination. Go meet your partner. We’re done here.”
Penn scowled at Stork and then at the shattered pen still in her grasp. She let the remains fall and walked out of the briefing room, forcing herself to remain calm.
She walked into the hall and found Valdez waiting for her, leaning on the opposite wall.
“What was that all about? It sounded like you had her shitting all over you.”
“No one heard any of that, right?”
Nope. Not that anyone would understand either of you. You were both speaking Aramaic of all things. Why in the High Heaven would you even think that’s okay, by the way?”
“I didn’t even realize it. Let’s get to the car. We’ve got to talk something out.”
“Yeah, well…” said Valdez, straightening up. “Here’s your Bushmaster and mags.”
Penn grunted, and took the rifle.
They pulled out onto 1st Street in silence. Penn waited thirty minutes before addressing Valdez and what Stork had told her.
“Look, I never said I had to save your ass from the Lordship and her dogs. I told her I backed you up, and that was it.”
“Stork left me with the impression that you had to pull my ass out of the fire.” Penn popped a dozen Tylenol into her mouth as stared out the window at the passing neighborhood. She chewed them feverishly and gulped down water to cleanse her mouth.
“That stuff will kill your liver,” joked Valdez, trying to lighten the mood.
“The sight of you in your true form will do that faster. What the Hell were you even thinking.”
Valdez glanced at her disbelievingly. “What are you talking about? My true form? Pen Penn I haven’t changed but once in the past 24 hours and that was in the flame baths to get the human stench off me. True form. Huh, you’re either coming down from a high, or you’re sick. And that’s two things I know are impossible.”
“Goddamn it. I’ve got a headache. That shit happens to us from time to time. For fuck’s sake why is everyone bringing this up? It’s just an aftereffect from touching the Lordship. For Christ’s sake.”
Penn drained her water bottle as the cruiser slowed for the red light.
“Wow. Enochian, German, and Russian all jumbled together. I get the Russian and the German. They’re good for limericks and tongue twisters, but the Enochian? No one speaks that dialect anymore, thank you very fucking much, Baal. Something is literally eating you.”
What had once been a 16th century attempt to make a human’s soul wither as a practical joke had led to the near annihilation of a common dialect of demonic speech. Baal had been demoted in the hierarchy due to the stunt.


This is copyrighted 2018 by Jason McKinney. Enough said.


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Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders – Chapter six

Chapter Six
Trouble, Trouble Everywhere

The pond was still and empty that Sunday morning and Geraldine was nowhere in site. Teddy and Puffy checked her nest and found that it was empty also. The nest was left in disarray, which was odd for Geraldine. Geraldine was famous around the farm for keeping a well-kept nest. On that day however, the nest had sticks and straw strewn on the ground all around it.
“This isn’t how Geraldine lives,” Teddy commented. “It’s a mess here.”
“She wasn’t alone, Teddy,” said Puffy. “Look here. There’s a handprint in the dirt.”
Teddy walked over to where Puffy had found the handprint and was amazed to see that it looked like a human handprint.
“Do you smell bananas, Puffy?” Teddy asked as he raised his nose in the air.
Puffy sniffed the air and confirmed Teddy’s suspicion. “That’s an odd smell to be near a goose nest.”
“Indeed, indeed, Deputy. I don’t like this at all. First Joey flies in dazed, confused and hurt then we find Brownie is missing and now Geraldine’s gone too. This has gotten way too complicated.”
Puffy studied the handprint for a moment longer before he realized that it wasn’t a handprint at all. “Teddy!” He meowed in astonishment. “This isn’t a handprint like you’d see from a human. It’s a footprint from a chimpanzee!”
“A chimpanzee?” asked Teddy in amazement. “Are you sure Puffy?”
“Yeah, I’m one hundred percent sure. I watch those animal world shows with the farmer and I’ve seen chimpanzees on there. They leave footprints just like this one.”
“How can you tell it’s a footprint from a chimpanzee?” asked Teddy.
“Look here,” Puffy instructed, “see how you have this wide space between what looks like a thumb and the first finger?”
“I see it. What does that mean?”
“The space between them is too wide!” Puffy said triumphantly. “And look over here, see these four dents in the dirt?
“I see them, Puffy. What are they?” Teddy asked in a very interested tone.
“Knuckle prints, boss. Chimps walk on two legs like humans but they sometimes need their knuckles to move faster.”
Teddy’s eyes widened as he listened to Puffy impressive explanation. “So you think a chimpanzee snatched Geraldine in the middle of the night, but why?”
“I don’t know, boss but the direction of these prints look like the chimp was leaving Geraldine’s nest.”
“Are there any more prints we can follow, Puffy?”
“Afraid not boss but it looks like they were heading toward the border of the farm. Chances are they won’t be far. A chimp is going to be very noticeable on the farm or any where around here.”
“I suggest we start looking around the forest for starters,” suggested Teddy.
“I understand that chimps like trees.”
“Good call, boss. Let’s go take a look,” Puffy said.
The two law animals walked off toward the forest armed with the new knowledge of what kind of animal they were looking for. The reason for Geraldine’s abduction still escaped them but they were confident they would find out soon enough.

While Teddy and Puffy were searching the pasture and old barn, a strange duck was impatiently waiting next to the tall grass at Geraldine’s pond. The duck was not used to being kept waiting and hated dealing with bounty hunters and especially hated farms.
“Where is that chimp?” The duck said to himself in an agitated voice. “He should have been here by now.”
“I am here, monsieur,” said a French accented voice from within the grass. “I ma just making sure you are alone.”
The duck quacked loudly in surprise and turned around to face the direction the voice came from. “Get out here, Cyril,” the duck said angrily. You’ve gotta stop being so sneaky and let respectable ducks know you’re near them.”
Cyril walked out of the tall grass and sat cross-legged in front of the duck. “Qui, monsieur, I should stop being so but my job is, how do you say, extremely dangerous and I am behind the enemy lines, so to speak.”
“If you’re asking for more payment then you’d better forget that idea.”
“Oh, no, monsieur, I am getting plenty of the bananas. You are paying more than enough; it is just the law animals here are more difficult than I expected.”
The duck stretched his neck forward and quacked furiously. “You said you were the best and here’s where you prove it so do what you’ve been paid for.”
“Ah, I intend to. I have asked you here to let you know that I have your wayward comrade, monsieur Slick.”
The duck became enraged and hissed at Cyril. “My name’s Charlie Muscovy, chimp! Nobody calls me Slick or even Charlie Slick to my face.”
Cyril merely shrugged his shoulders at Charlie’s anger. “As you wish monsieur Char-lee. I just thought you would like to know that I do have your friend.”
“He’s no friend of my, paly. Where is he now?”
“He is in the forest hanging from the tree. I will bring him to you or you to him once you have given me the rest of my payment.”
“The rest of your bananas are in the same place as always at Great Egg Harbor. Now where is he?”
“Patience monsieur Char-lee, I have to verify it through my own network of ducks and geese. It’s not that I don’t trust you its just business.”
Charlie Slick had become very angry. He wanted to slap Cyril but Cyril’s reputation prevented him from doing that. Charlie knew that in a fight between him and Cyril that Cyril would always win.
“Fine, I’ll wait but my associates that are waiting for me may not be so patient.”
“Understandable but that is the way of business. You were lucky that I had a friend who knew that goose from Goose-slavia that came here some time ago. True, finding your friend through a crazy goose was not what you had expected but it worked out in your favor, no?”
“Yeah it worked out but who can trust what those crazy Goose-slavians say?”
Cyril chuckled. “Obviously you put enough trust in that goose, monsieur Char-lee for here we are.”
“It don’t matter; you just check your own sources and then give us that duck!”
“Qui monsieur, you shall get him. I will let you know sometime tomorrow when that will happen.”
“We’re in the forest next to that field right now. We’re going to be moving on to a barn we saw when we came in. Next time I see you, chimp, I hope you have the duck ready to be dropped off,” Charlie said with a threatening voice.
“Once again, monsieur, you shall get him soon.”
Charlie looked Cyril over then shook his head before leaving. Charlie couldn’t believe that he was dependant on a chimpanzee to get Joey la’Orange but Charlie was smart enough to know that Cyril was the best at getting the work done and not causing a big mess.
Charlie waddled his way to his two associates hiding in the forest. They had flown in earlier that morning and neither of them had any idea that the two law animals had been searching the forest before their arrival.
He was so intent on his thoughts that he didn’t realize that he had wandered right into the farmyard and had been quickly spotted by a horse at a fence.
“Hey, Joey, where’s the Sheriff. I want to be put down now!” the horse yelled in his direction.
“What, what!” Charlie said in surprise. He looked over and saw the horse looking directly at him.
‘Aw, geez.’ Charlie thought as he waddled faster. ‘Just act like that big hayseed ain’t there.’ Charlie hurried along toward the forest and disappeared from the horses’ sight.
Charlie waddled back as fast as he could back to the forest; taking time to avoid open places on the farm.
Two other ducks, one of which had a scar running across the right side of his bill, were waiting for him behind a pile of brush.
“Did that Frenchie get the target?” The scarred duck ask.
“Sure did, boss but he’s making sure he’s got his bananas before he turns our boy over,” Charlie responded.
“Good. If he were anyone else I’d say it’d take about a couple of days for him to find out.” The scarred duck cleared his throat with a raspy quack. “But if I know Cyril he’ll find out by tomorrow at the latest about his cut.”
“Then why would he wait to give us our boy?” The third duck inquired. “It’s bad for his business to make clients wait.”
“Patience, Vercilli,” the scarred one said smoothly. “Cyril’s nothing if not methodical. I’m sure he wants to make sure the heat don’t get turn up when he delivers the goods.”
“I don’t like it, Dante,” the duck called Vercilli said impatiently.
Dante, the scarred duck slapped Vercilli in the head with a wing. “You aren’t here to like anything, mook. You just do what you’re told, capesh?”
“I’m sorry, boss,” Vercilli said remorsefully. “I meant no disrespect.”
“You’re a good boy, Vercilli. Just relax and leave the heavy thinking to me. Once we get our wings on Joey the Duck we’ll be able to put this whole misunderstanding between him and us in the past.”
Charlie and Vercilli nodded agreement with Dante. The three gangster ducks then found the old barn to lay low in and spent the rest of the day running through their plans on how to properly deal with Joey la’Orange.


Cyril the Bounty Hunter watched Charlie leave the pond with blatant dislike. Deep down inside he couldn’t stand working for the Duck Mob. He constantly complained to himself about their rude behavior and ill tempers. “I will definitely retire after this mon cher,” Cyril said as he pulled the large bag containing Geraldine from behind him. “Silly little duck believes you are in the forest. I am much too smart and how do you say, wily, to leave my prize lying around where any animal may find it.”
Geraldine struggled briefly in the bag to get free but Cyril had her bound too well. “Please, my friend, do not excite yourself.”
A little while later a goose landed in the bush almost beside Cyril. “I’m here, chief,” the new goose said as he shook his feathers back into place.
“Ah, my good friend Gerald. Did you find the bananas where they were supposed to be?”
“Sure did, chief,” Gerald said. “They left all the bread you told them too as well.”
“Good, good. We will deliver this headstrong duck to them tomorrow morning and then we will be away to the French Riviera and retired, no?”
“You got that right, chief. I can’t wait to get out of this business. I’m getting to old for these long distance errands.”
Cyril petted Gerald’s head and smiled. “Then we are agreed, my friend. Come let us take our prize back to the forest and prepare for our much earned permanent rest.”
Gerald was about to fly off when he saw Teddy and Puffy walking toward the pond.
“Oh crud, chief, we got a dog and cat coming this way,” Gerald said in an alarmed voice.
“Quickly, follow me deeper into this grass,” said Cyril as he grabbed the Geraldine filled bag. “We must egress from here, no?”
Cyril and Gerald retreated as far into the grass as they could and still watch Teddy and Puffy with careful eyes.
Cyril watched them intently paying careful attention to Teddy. “This isn’t how Geraldine lives,” he heard Teddy say. “It’s a mess here.”
The Cat, as Cyril preferred to call Puffy responded, “She wasn’t alone, Teddy. Look here. There’s handprint here in the dirt.”
Hearing Puffy make that discovery made Cyril’s’ heart skip a beat. Gerald made a move to go after Puffy and Teddy but Cyril stopped him. He placed a finger on his lips to keep Gerald still and quiet.
Cyril watched Teddy walk over to Puffy and listened even closer to Puffy’s explanation of the walking habits of chimpanzees. His nervousness increased when he saw The Dog stick his nose into the air and ask if the cat smelled bananas.
The Cat sniffed the air too and gave his thoughts on the smell as well.
In time The Dog and The Cat left the pond and a clearly shaken Cyril behind.
“This is getting problematic mon ami,” Cyril said to Gerald as they slowly stood up.
“Its getting hot here, chief. Who’d think that a couple of rube’s like them could be so sharp.
“Quite, my dear Gerald. Now let us go before they decide to look around again,”
“Right, chief,” quacked Gerald softly. Before Gerald could fly off Cyril placed a hand on his wing.
“Gerald, I want you to go back home and make sure that we are ready to leave once this is over. I am tired of this work and this job in particular.”
“I’m on it, chief,” Gerald said as they slowly walked out of the tall grass.
With much practiced quiet and precision, Cyril ran around the edges of the farm toward where he had left Geraldine. Cyril didn’t like running the long way around to get to his hideout but he didn’t want to take chances. With his new orders in wing, Gerald flew off staying close to the ground to avoid detection himself.
In the mean time, Joey was oblivious to all that was going on at his adopted home. He had fallen into a deep sleep on the front porch under the farmer’s rocking chair. Little could he even suspect that his dear friend Brownie was in outer space, Geraldine had been kidnapped by a chimpanzee who thought she was Joey and that two old associates and his old boss were on the farm looking for him. At that moment, Joey was only concerned with sleep and the bright blue sky he was dreaming about.

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Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders- Chapter five

Chapter Five
Can It Get Any Weirder?

Back on the Earth, Geraldine was in just as much trouble as Brownie was in space. She had been carried far into the forest that lay between the farm and the old barn. When she finally had the bag pulled away from her head she was startled to see that it was morning. As she looked around a dark, furry face with a turned up nose greeted her as a hand plucked the rubber band from her bill.
“Bonjour!” said the furry face. “How are you today, monsieur?”
“What in the name of Swan Lake is going on here? I demand to know what this is all about! Who are you? Where am I?” Geraldine crowed loudly.
“Please, calm down. I was told you were chatty as well as feisty but you are, how do I say, a loud mouth,” the strange beast said with a strange accent.
“Loud mouth? Who do you think you are? Do you know who I am? Who are you anyway? What are you anyway? Why do you talk so funny?” Geraldine’s string of questions was never ending and for a moment her kidnapper considered letting her go and telling his employers that he couldn’t locate their target.
“I do not talk funny,” he said. “I think what you are hearing is my French accent. My name is Cyril the Bounty Hunter, monsieur. I am here to take you to your bosses that you have abandoned. Now please, monsieur, if I give you this banana will you shut your trap?” Geraldine’s kidnapper said as he offered her a banana. “For a duck you are quite the, uh, bag of wind.”
“Bag of wind? Duck?” Geraldine yelled. “I don’t have to take this! I’m leaving!” She made a move to go but a furry hand stopped her.
“You would do well to look around. We are above the ground and in a tree. Your wings are in a bag as well as your legs how will you get away?”
“What, what?” Geraldine shrieked as she looked down. She was indeed in a tree and had no way of escaping.
“So you see, monsieur. You are too far up to get away. Ah yes, your employers are most disappointed in you and your failing to return. You did not complete the task you had set before you. They are not pleased with you at all,” said Cyril the Bounty Hunter.
“Now see here, you brute. How did you get up into this tree? You have no wings and you’re not a bird! She shouted, as she looked over Cyril the Bounty Hunter’s body. The only thing she could see that was on his back was a small backpack. “Answer me this instant!”
Cyril the Bounty Hunter looked at Geraldine in amazement. “Forgive me, monsieur; I thought that you would know a chimpanzee when you saw one. My species are most adept at tree climbing.”
“I demand you let me go!” Geraldine screamed again. “When Sheriff Teddy finds out…”
“Ah, but your new, and soon to be old, employer cannot help you. I could hear them last night as we entered this forest. Lots of quacking and barking nearby and they had their bright lights out looking for you. They were quick to start their search and seemed very upset that you are missing. Now enough of this chit chats! Let us away!” Cyril snapped the rubber band back on Geraldine’s bill, shoved her into the bag and leapt off the tree limb swinging to another corner of the forest.
“Do not worry mon ami! We will be at our final location to meet your associates in the near future.” Once again, Geraldine had the feeling of airsickness as Cyril swung with her through the forest.


At the barn Teddy and Puffy were investigating Joey’s strange report. They had no idea that Geraldine was in trouble or that she was close to them. Teddy was busy in the barn sniffing around a large partial circular imprint in the ground where Joey said he had seen the saucer. Puffy was in the field in front of the barn also looking for clues to what had happened the night before.
“Hey Puffy!” Teddy barked from inside the barn. “I’m seeing some very odd tracks in here and some really strange smelling dirt. Do you see anything out there?”
“I’ve got some weird prints out here too,” answered Puffy. Puffy went inside the old barn to sniff the dirt that Teddy was in front of.
“What do you make of that dirt, Puffy?”
“I don’t know,” Puffy said in between sniffs. “Kind of smells like it was burned
“That’s what I thought also. I also noticed the air has a faint smell of something like ice to it as well,” Teddy said as he sniffed the air, too.
“Really?” Puffy said as he stuck his nose in the air. “I can’t quite catch the scent like you can.”
“It’s just odd the two smells being together like that,” Teddy said before he reexamined the tracks in the barn. “Look at these, Puffy. Four legs but the feet are close together. Kind of like a dachshund but with shoes on.”
Puffy looked closely at the footprints and grunted. “This dirt smells funny to me too. Like dirt after a good rain.”
“Indeed,” Teddy said as he sat to scratch behind his left ear. “What about tracks and scents in the pasture?”
“The ones I found point to what Joey was talking about. His tracks end like he took off flying after a dead run and Brownie’s are scattered all over like he was running for his life. I don’t like this, Teddy. Not one bit. Especially if I have to admit that the duck might be right.”
“Are you telling me that you think Brownie was abducted by aliens?” Teddy asked in astonishment.
“I’m not quite ready to agree totally but I’m not going to discredit it either,” Puffy answered warily.
“I have to admit it is odd. My question is though, how did they get their ship into the barn. I mean the barn roof has holes in it but not big enough to get something like that in here,” Teddy pondered.
“I don’t know what to tell you, boss. Maybe they teleported in here or maybe they dug their way in. They are supposed to be giant worms after all,” Puffy said sharply.
“Careful, Puffy. You’re close to admitting the alien story is true and if it is then anything is possible.”
“Yeah, I know and that honestly worries me,” Puffy said with great concern. “If what happened here was the work of aliens, then what are we going to do?”
Teddy looked intently into the sky before answering Puffy. “I don’t have an answer for that, old friend. I just hope that wherever Brownie is right now that he’s okay and not in any serious trouble.”
“Humph. If aliens do have Brownie it’s they who are in trouble and not him,” Said Puffy.
Teddy laughed good heartedly. “I’m more than willing to go along with that. Come on, let’s head back and ask some questions around the farm. Maybe somebody saw something and I’m hoping that somebody is Mavis. She knows everyone’s business,” Teddy said as they were leaving the barn.
Puffy let out a small hiss. “Why do you have to do this to me, Teddy? Dragging me along to meet with her. She’s such a babbling bore.”
“I can honestly say she feels something like that toward you, too. God knows why you two don’t like each other.”
“I like her fine as long as I’m not around her, boss.”
“All you have to do is just stand there and look sour. I know you can handle that, Puffy,” Teddy said with a grin as they reached the edge of the forest.
The two law animals walked back to the farm taking a short cut through the least dense part of the forest. As they walked through the forest, Teddy and Puffy had no idea they were being watched by three sets of strangers eyes. The owners of the eyes said nothing to each other in the chance that they’d be heard and their plan disrupted. Instead they just watched and calculated on how they would deal with the law dog and law cat if the time came.

Back on the farm Mavis had woke up early that morning and started in on Benny. “Why isn’t this stable in shape yet?” She blustered at him.
“Same reasons as why you always feel the need to talk, which is no reason by the way,” Benny replied smartly.
“Now you see here. I’m expecting Geraldine over any minute this morning and I don’t want her to think we live in a stable.”
“New flash, dear town crier! We do live in a stable! We’re horses!” Benny said mockingly. “And your friend lives in weeds as all water fowl generally do.”
“I am a thoroughbred and don’t you call my friend foul!” Shrieked Mavis.
“I called her a water fowl and not foul! F-O-W-L not F-O-U-L! Aw, forget it,” Benny said bitterly. I think I’ll go break my leg. Maybe the farmer will put me out of misery.” Benny left the sable with his head held low. He decided that maybe he could stop Geraldine from coming over if he got to her before she got the stable.
While he was making his way to the fence he saw Joey walking away from the pond. “Hey Joey!” Yelled Benny. “Hey, Joey, where’s the Sheriff. I want to be put down now!”
Instead of answering, Joey just looked at Benny for a long moment and then waddled away faster toward the forest.
“What the dickens was that all about. That’s not like him at all. Usually can’t shut the bugger up,” thought Benny aloud. He decided to mention it to Teddy the next time he saw him.
Benny waited by the fence for an hour but saw nothing of Geraldine. After the first twenty minutes of waiting Mavis joined him which made the forty minutes that came after that much harder for Benny. When Geraldine didn’t show up, Benny himself became concerned.
“I’ve got my doubts about your friend showing up, Mavis dear,” Benny said with concern. “She’s usually not ever late at all.”
“Hmph, why would you care, Benny?” asked Mavis in a harsh tone. “You’ve never shown any concern for her before.”
“Yeah, well normally I wouldn’t but life’s taught me that when the punctual don’t show up on time, it’s not a good sign. We’d better get Sheriff Teddy.”
“You do that. My heart can’t take much more of this stress. I’m going inside,” Mavis said before going into the stables.
Benny was about to bay for Teddy when Teddy and Puffy came trotting up to the stables’ back fence.
“Good morning, Benny,” Teddy said as he stopped at the fence line. “Mind if I speak to Mavis?”
“Don’t mind at all, actually. I was just about to call for you. Geraldine was supposed to be here an hour ago and she hasn’t shown up yet.”
“That is odd,” Puffy said seriously. “That goose never shows up late to flap her bill.”
“Agreed, Deputy,” Benny said. “I don’t know why but I’ve got a bad feeling about it.”
“We’ll head down to the pond and have a look see,” Teddy said turning toward the pond.
“That may not be necessary, Sheriff,” said Benny. “I saw Joey down there about an hour ago. I tried to talk to him but he didn’t say anything to me not even any smart alecky remarks. He was acting pretty weird even for him.”
“Since when did you become Mr. Community Watch, Benny?” asked Puffy.
“Since I decided that the Sheriff might give me time off from my sentence for good behavior, Deputy.”
“We’ll see what we can do, Benny. See you in a little while,” Teddy said nodding to Benny.
“See you later, fella’s,” Benny said amicably in return. Benny turned toward the stables calling for Mavis. “Get out here, Mavis. The Sheriff wants to talk to you.”
Mavis walked up to the fence as Benny went inside the stables. With her usual grace and poise she addressed the law animals. “Thank goodness you are here, Sheriff. My dear friend Geraldine is missing and I fear for her safety.”
“Well Mavis, being an hour late to meet with an animal is hardly missing but we’ll look into that,” said Teddy. “ The reason we’re here is that I would like to ask if you saw anything unusual last night around the farm or pasture.”
Mavis stood still staring at Teddy for a moment. “Sheriff, that question implies that I am knowledgeable about anything that goes on here at the farm.”
“You’re the farm busy body, Mavis so yeah you are knowledgeable of what goes on here on the farm,” Puffy said sarcastically.
“Why do you always bring him with you, Sheriff?” Mavis asked angrily. “Do you always keep such impolite animals in your employ?”
“Puffy, please let me handle this,” Teddy said without looking at Puffy.
Benny bayed loud laughter from inside the stables. “Deputy, you’re on your own with this one. I don’t have a horse in this race.” Mavis didn’t bother to respond to Benny’s remarks. She just shook her head and muttered something about how she loved him regardless of what he may say.
“Okay, okay, okay. I’m sorry for what I said Mavis,” said Puffy.
“I accept your apology deputy now please allow your superior and I to converse,” Mavis said as she proudly raised her head.
Teddy rolled his eyes and resigned himself to try to talk to Puffy again about his dislike of Mavis again. “Mavis,” began Teddy, “You keep your eyes and ears opened in the best interests of all the animals. I appreciate you looking out after everyone so I figure you may be the one to have seen something out of the norm last night.”
“One does what one can to look after their community, Sheriff. Sadly I have not noticed anything out of the ordinary today. Last night is a different story though,” Mavis said as she walked closer to the fence and lowered her head toward Teddy and Puffy. “Last night, there were all sorts of barking and quacking from the pasture. Why I thought the duck was trying to kill that poor nephew of yours, Sheriff.”
Teddy stretched his head forward. “Could you make out anything that was being said?”
“No, I couldn’t hear anything being said but your nephew and that duck were carrying on something terrible. I could have sworn they were attacking a giant squeaky toy because I kept hearing the most horrifying squeaks. I also saw some strange flashes of light on the horizon,” Mavis said in an almost whisper. “Then I saw a streak of blue light that flew off toward the sky. It was most peculiar.”
“Well, that seems to match some of what Joey told us,” said Puffy.
“Indeed,” answered Teddy thoughtfully. “The more I hear the more I think we have a rather big problem.”
“A rather big problem, Sheriff?” Mavis said with a grin. “Please elaborate, Sheriff. I’m dying to know.”
“I bet you are Mavis,” Puffy hissed before he stuck out his tongue and bit it to keep from saying more.
Mavis furiously scowled at Puffy. “Rude feline. Rude, rude, rude!”
“Please, Mavis, just ignore my deputy for now,” Teddy said calmly. “If you happen to notice anything else unusual, Mavis, let us know.”
“I will do that, Sheriff. Please excuse me; the stress of this day is giving me the vapors.” Mavis walked back inside the barn leaving Teddy and Puffy to decipher what they had been told.
“Now this is just weird,” Puffy said as he stood up.
“Indeed it is,” Teddy said. “Puffy, let’s go to the pond and look for Geraldine. Maybe she knows something.”
The two law animals walked to the pond without saying a word to each other. Teddy was trying to figure out what to do about a deputy being abducted in an alien invasion while Puffy was trying to convince himself that there wasn’t an alien invasion.

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Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders Chapter four


Chapter Four
Brownie: The First Law Dog in Space!

While Joey was telling his incredible story to Teddy and Puffy, Brownie was on his way to the far reaches of outer space. He was in a rather big room and trapped in a large transparent bubble made of a strange stickiness. Brownie being Brownie couldn’t resist the urge to lick to bubble that imprisoned him and was greatly surprised at how it tasted. “Gross!” he yelp with disgust. “This tastes like tree goo.”
“As it should Earth human,” said a loud squeaky voice from the corner of the room.

“Your cell is made from what you would call a ‘plant’ on your world.”

“A plant? You made this from a plant on my world?” Brownie asked curiously.
“No, we made this from a plant on my world,” the voice said. A moment later one of the alien worms walked from its dark corner toward Brownie.
“Then why did you say a plant from my world?” Brownie asked.
The alien sighed impatiently before answering Brownie. “I meant that it was made from something you call a plant on your world.”
“Why didn’t you say so?” Said Brownie as he sniffed another portion of the bubble. “Geez, you guys are more confusing than Joey. And why did you call me an Earth human?”
“That is what you are. You are an Earth human. Obviously a part of the ruling class judging by the domicile you found us in,” the alien said in a snobby voice.
Brownie laughed at hearing what the alien had said. “Boy, you guys are not too bright! There was nothing dome shaped about the barn you were in! Besides, I’m not a human; I’m a dog!”
The worm aliens’ beady eyes appeared to grow in surprise at Brownie’s response but the alien quickly regained its neutral expression. “Good try human. We know that you are the ruling class as we have watched with great interest your dealing on your land mass.”
Brownie laughed harder and longer this time, which annoyed the alien even more. It raised a tentacle that held the ray gun that had fired the silver beams at Brownie. “You will be silent! I will not tolerate your insolence!”
“I’m sorry,” Brownie said still laughing. “It’s just that you think I’m human and that I’m in charge of the farm!”
“Stop laughing! Your attempt at trickery will not work! We were disappointed that we were not able to get the dog accompanying you but when we return to your land mass we will succeed where we failed.”
Brownie was on the bottom of his bubble cell now rolling on the floor laughing. “You think Joey’s a dog! You are too much! He’s a duck, wormy!”
This made the alien furious. He fired a silver beam at Brownie but it didn’t have the same immobilizing effect as it did before. It in fact it made Brownie stop laughing and start moving one of his hind legs in a scratching motion.
“Ah, yes! That feels so good! It’s just like when the farmer scratches my belly,” he said smiling.
The alien was dismayed by what it saw. “Stop that this instant!” Shrieked the alien in a tone that sounded like it had started to breath helium. “Look what you’ve done! I’m beginning to hyperventilate!”
The alien shut the ray off and stomped all four of its feet out of the room. “What an annoying Earthling! The fubilizer is not meant to do anything pleasurable.”
Brownie couldn’t understand the alien anymore as it tromped away but the high-pitched squeals that he heard now hurt his head too much at that moment to think about it.

“Wow. Puffy’ll never believe this!” he said aloud. “These aliens are more high strung than Benny is!”
His talk with alien had tired him out more than he had wanted. He lay down and took a nap for a while before another alien worm entered the room. It was a different worm this time; Brownie could tell by the way it smelled.
“Awake, human!” The second alien squeaked.
“Huh? What do you want besides having me tell you that I’m not a human?” Brownie said in sleepy defiance.
The alien blinked its beady eyes at him and then spoke in a softer tone of voice. “Forgive me and my comrades, human. We mean you no harm we just wish to get to know you while we are on this long trip back to our home world.”
“Long trip back to your home world?” Brownie said as he cocked his head curiously. “Where do you guys live? Somerset county? I know that’s a long ways from where I live. You know that place where I live? It’s where you took me from.”
“We know we took you from Earth, human,” the alien said as he sat down. To Brownie it wasn’t sitting so much as it was watching the legs disappear into the alien worms body.
“Glad to hear it. Like I told your friend, I’m a dog. A law dog to be exact and not a human.”
“We are verifying what you say at this moment,” the alien said as it pulled a silver bag from inside its rust colored body suit. It opened the silver bag with a tentacle and scooped out a thick mud like substance and proceeded to eat it. The alien paused after its first bit and looked quizzically at Brownie.
“My apologies,” it said in squeaky sincerity. “Would you like some?”
Brownie was horrified by the offer. “Are you kidding? I know dirt when I smell it and I don’t eat dirt. I mean I eat a whole lot of things I probably shouldn’t but dirt’s not one of them.”
“Forgive me, please for indulging in this snack. Your world is made of such tasty food indeed.”
“It’s made up of dirt!” Brownie roared. “You know, dirt! The stuff you walk on?”
“We live in it actually. You will see that once you arrive on our planet,” the worm said before taking another bite of the mud it was eating.”
“At least it’s close to home and I can just walk back,” said Brownie optimistically.
This time it was the aliens turn to laugh and it sounded once again like a voice that had breathed in helium. “Human…”
“Dog!” Brownie said.
“Whatever,” responded the alien. “You are going to Pluto. Please look and see how far from home you truly are.” A tentacle waved through the air and Brownie was amazed to be able to see through the wall of the room and out into space.
“The planet we are now passing, you call Neptune on your world.”
“Holy baloney!” Brownie shrieked. “This is like the coolest thing ever! Uncle Teddy’ll never believe this!”
The alien was a little stunned and unsure about how to respond to Brownie’s reaction. “Um, yes. Coolest ever, of course.”
“I have a few questions, wormy,” Brownie said as he gazed at what he saw.
“My name is Kynorgblip,” said the alien. “And we know that you are called ‘Puffy’.”
Brownie whipped his head around in extreme surprise. “What do you think my name is, how can I understand you and what do you call yourself again, Knee-orb-lip?”
“Your name is Puffy, my fellow Plutonians and I release a chemical through our suits that allows you to speak to me and me to you, and I am called Kee-norg-blip,” explained the alien with great patience.
The thought of the alien having such a funny name coupled with the alien and his friends thinking that Brownie was Puffy caused Brownie endless laughter.
“Look, Dee-dork-flip, my name is Brownie, not Puffy. Puffy’s a cat and my bestest friend!”
My name is Kynorgblip!” the alien screamed, “I will also not tolerate any more of your human trickery.”
“Brownie is my name and I think I’ll call you Alphabet and I’m a dog!” Brownie said gleefully.
“Milnorpop was right!” Raged the alien in another helium sounding tone. “You are an infuriating beast!” The second alien worm turned off the view to space and stormed out like the first.
“Hey! I’m getting hungry, by the way!” Brownie shouted. He then started to giggle for no reason at all. “I’m getting hungry and you need to stop being so funny! Start with the food and stop with the funny!” Brownie howled as he fell onto his side and then into sleep.

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Werewolves of the Dead Chapter thirty

Chapter Thirty

Drexler awoke to thin sunlight piercing the horizon. She was exhausted and hungry. Sleeping in unconsciousness wasn’t restful like sleeping because you were sleepy. Not by a long shot.
She struggled to stand, and fought harder to keep upright. She went to wipe the hair from her face and realized that her left arm was unresponsive. Drexler looked down to find that particular appendage was a mass of broken bone and burnt twisted muscle and skin. Her gaze traveled up to her shoulder. It was just as ruined. She felt the right side of her face. It was rough and crusted with dried blood.
“Fuck,” she scoffed. “I need to eat. Goddess, am I hungry.”
She’d left the little bastard five or six miles back, she didn’t really remember, stashed in a grated drainage ditch. She’d snatched them right from underneath the soldiers’ noses with very little effort. The poor fools were tired, hungry, and their only lycan was busy with other pressing matters. It was easy just to wait for Shannon the Mongrel to leave with her…whatever she was…and then lure the mother out with the boy. She’d snatched them and kept them hidden from the soldiers without any of them being the wiser.
Department stores had hidden passages with strategically placed mirrors to look out for shoplifters. The only people that were privy to such knowledge were store managers and the police. She’d kept them in such a location, and in one instance, two soldiers had been mere inches from Drexler as she’d peered out at them. One of them had even flossed his teeth as she made faces at him on the opposite side of the glass. The bound and gagged woman had been alive then. She killed her right after the soldiers had left. Killing her sooner would have more than likely alerted them to her presence. Humans had a habit of soiling themselves when they expired. It made dining difficult, but sometimes you didn’t care. That was one of those times.
Drexler had stripped naked, transformed, and then killed the woman in front of the boy. She didn’t do it out of malice or to make the boy suffer. It had been a moment of opportunity. She was hungry and she needed to be fed. Human meat was more satisfying as a werewolf than a human. She derived no joy from the boys screams, if he did scream, she didn’t remember either way, or from the fact that once she had finished she realized the boy was unconscious. That worked out for her; it made transportation that much easier. She’d followed two miles behind the parting soldiers hoping to maybe take a straggler or two for additional ammo for her stolen weapon when she realized they were staying close to the freeway. They were either hoping to come across transport to save boot leather, or they were meeting up with another group.
That’s when she decided to stash the kid and run her own recon. If they were linking up with more, then she’d go her own way. There was only so many she could stand against and win. If not, then maybe she could do some damage. And things had worked out better than she had hoped. Things had also quickly gone sideways. She’d gotten overconfident and had paid for it. Now she was without useable salvage, but at least she had the boy.
“Hmmmmm. The boy.” Drexler began to salivate and that saliva dripped in thin drops from her the left corner of her mouth. Her wound needed those precious fluids so she forced her mind away from the hunger and the images that came with it. Her body was healing, but like anything else, no fuel meant slower recovery times. She had to get back.
Slowly, she began her trek back to her base camp, humming In the Year 2525. “If man is still alive. If woman can survive…” Drexler had always loved the song. She had given the thought of what lycan life would be like with such helpless meat at the ready. A pointless thought, but she entertained it even now. “I guess it’s time for the judgement day,” she said, glancing over at two slow moving figures over six hundred yards from her. They were shamblers and not worth her time and effort. Not that she had much effort left to give them. She blew them a raspberry and tromped onward.
In time she had made it back to the drainage ditch and was appalled to find the grate and been wrench away. Her meat was gone, but her stashed weapon and thermal imager remained buried under a reeking pile of washed up storm washed detritus.
“No, no, no, no,” she pleaded as she sloshed through the brackish water. She ran her hands through the water, splashing it everywhere in the vain hope that he had heard her coming and was holding his breath. He wasn’t there. The boy was really gone. She paused fist halfway to striking the wall in a mindless rage when she realized there was a scent. No, not a scent; scents. Both male, and not more than fifteen minutes old. They couldn’t have gone far. The men had only cared about the boy. They hadn’t searched for anything else. Maybe they thought he was in danger, with him being tied up and gagged, and decided that Good Samaritanism still applied.
“Ha!” Drexler scoffed as she dug in the mess for the rifle and the thermal imager. She looked at the imager and smashed it against the concrete wall. She’d only stolen it to take away any advantage it gave them in the night.
Drexler hurried out of the ditch, hunger almost forgotten.
“Fee fi fo fum,” she said sniffing the air. She followed the scent, breaking off from following once she felt comfortable they were going to continue on their main trek. They were avoiding the freeway, but keeping to space with nearly knee high crab grass that allowed them cover should they need it while allowing them a full range of sight for any trouble. They knew enough to be dangerous, but she knew more.
She circled wide, using her instinct the plot their course. She was off course twice but correctly quickly each time. Her stomach growled as she caught the boy’s scent. Fresh meat was on the menu for lunch and nothing was going to stop that ala cart treat.
Drexler crouched low as she moved along the grass. She could hear their faint voices as she closed on them. Were they laughing and whooping, and carrying on like they were on a hunting trip? And was that whimpering she heard? First and foremost, it sounded like they were having a high time, and as she raised up enough to aim the M4, she froze.
They were having a high time. A high hard one as a matter of fact, and at the cost of the boy’s virtue. They were raping him. Those motherless sons of cur bitches were raping that boy. She didn’t know what angered her more; the fact that they were bespoiling her meal or that they were sexually assaulting a child.
‘I’m a mother fucker,’ she thought, as she lowered her rifle, and eased her breathing, ‘but even I have a limit that must be maintained.’
She raised the rifle up quickly and squeezed off a shot. Her marksmanship skills were always sharp and the round that entered the man taking the boy from behind proved it. He slumped forward, pinning the boy beneath him.
The second had been massaging his hardened prick as he watched his friend work the boy over. The shot had taken him by surprise, and he dropped his dick and lurched for a bolt action rifle leaning against a battered backpack. Drexler squeezed the trigger again. The shot slammed into the shoulder of the arm reaching for the rifle.
“Don’t fucking move, and you won’t get hurt,” she said, rushing to the man. She kicked the rifle away. “Down on the ground, hands on your head, now!”
Drexler stomped on the man’s back, causing him to howl in pain.
“You’re a cop? Ain’t no jailing us now. World’s over,” he sputtered before Drexler moved her booted foot up to the back of his neck.
Her face itched like crazy. She scratched it and found that new skin was forming, but it was nowhere near what it could be if she were operating on a full tank. She hit the man on the back of the head, and quickly handcuffed him.
“You didn’t have to hit me again,” he cried as she flipped him over.
“Shut up,” snapped Drexler.
She moved to the boy and checked his pulse. He was out, and his breathing was slower than what it should be. She licked her lips and looked form him to the dead man. She laid her rifle down, and went to work on the man.
She tore out his neck at the shoulder and swallowed greedily.
“You’re one of them.” The man’s shrieks were high and shrill. The sounds he made were very similar to that of a terrified preteen human female. Hell, Drexler knew women that hadn’t screamed like that before their deaths. And how much more irritating and nerve wrecking he was to her hearing.
She whipped her face toward him. The change was evident on her face and she wanted to see it as she snarled at him. She knew her now lovely golden eyes and sharpening features would scare the man into submission. In reality, all he did was scream louder. She wrenched his dead friends arm out of the socket, the sound it made as it was ripped free was more satisfying than the sound it made when she struck him with it. His moan pleased her as his head slammed into the ground.
“Better,” she said, returning to the meal.
She fed until she was beyond satiated. This was the werewolf feeding equivalent to grudge fucking. It was satisfying, but not in the act itself. The act of stuffing her face and filling her cave like belly was nice, but the violence and rage that the act allowed free was the true release.
Drexler pushed herself away from the body and leaned back, propping herself up with her arms. Her stomach growled back at her in pain at the amount of redneck meat she had consumed. She belched loudly and laughed at the sound. She cut the mirth off as she remembered the boy.
“Child,” she asked, looking around the camp sight. The boy was gone. She moved toward the still unconscious dimwit.
“Where’s the boy,” hissed Drexler through her bloody teeth, meat wedged firmly into every crevice. “Where’s the boy?” she said, slapping him. She licked her muzzle anxiously as she struck him again and again. “Where’s.” Slap. Harder and louder. “The.” Slap. Slap harder and louder still “Boy.” Slap harder yet, followed by a sharp even louder crack.
She opened her hand and watched the body fall to the ground.
“Shit. Fuck.”
Drexler stood and drew cool the air deeply into her lungs. The smell of decay and different gore caught her attention.
“Fucking shit.”
She ran full out in the direction of the smell. She crested a knoll and found two undead ripping into the boy. Neither noticed her approach as they performed their own gluttony. She reached the first, a newly dead mid-teen girl, and snapped her neck. The arms ceased their pulling at organs and flesh, though the mouth still worked at chewing the flesh, and the eyes still moved, seeking answers to where the body had gone.
The second, a boy of the same age, didn’t notice what had happened to his partner. He continued digging into the boy. The ripping sound of flesh had never bothered her, but this time the sound made even her cold skin crawl. The rip, slurp, crunch, rip, slurp, crunch repetitiveness tickled her conscious and subconscious mind. She almost had to force herself to move for the final kill with purpose and not overzealous anxiousness to end the noise. Drexler smoothly snapped his neck, giving it an extra pound of torque. Like the girl, his mouth still worked at what had been shoved into his mouth. Drexler stood, reverted back to her human form, and contemplated her next move.
“Oh well. What the hell,” she sighed, turning the boy’s head toward his left shoulder. She then pulled the boy’s corpse close to the girl’s. “Maybe you and she can gaze upon each other for however long it takes for you both to rot away. Gaze, and perhaps contemplate how damned ugly you are. Or how you’re love, be it true romance or sibling what have you, lead you to this place.”
She moved to the boy, and breathed deeply. She bent down to close his eyes. She paused when the mouth moved as her hand passed over it. He’d come back. He looked Drexler in the eyes and his mouth worked again, this time opening wider before snapping closed. She could’ve sworn that he was trying to say something, but she could’ve been wrong. Wrong or right, Drexler had to do something.
“Not good,” she said flipping him over. Organs that she had exquisite familiarity with spilled from the boy. “Oh what they have done to you,” Drexler said, searching her pockets. She didn’t have anything sharp on her so she searched the undead teenager first, and found nothing useful. The girl proved otherwise. She had a number two pencil stuck into her pulled up hair.
“Let’s give you a go,” Drexler said. She gave the pencil a twirl between her fingers as she straddled the boy.
With a well-honed motion she drove it into the back of the boy’s skull. Drexler flipped the boy’s body over, and was pleased to see the motions of the jaw and the searching eyes had stopped. She smiled down at the still face, the unseeing eyes and the aging that death and undeath had brought to his face. “Come along, Sonny-Jim,” Drexler said, sweetly brushing the boy’s hair from his face. “I must make sure that you are reunited with your friends.”

This work is copyrighted by Jason McKinney. Any use, in whole or in part, is prohibited unless authorized by the author.

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Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders Chapter three

Chapter Three
Joey’s Fantastic Tale

Teddy and Puffy woke up the brilliant summer morning feeling well rested. They walked out into the farmyard to accompany the farmer on his morning rounds of the farm. When Brownie didn’t run up to them like he did every morning, Puffy and Teddy knew something was wrong.
Puffy looked around the farmyard but didn’t see Brownie anywhere. “Where’s that goofy brown menace,” Said Puffy in an annoyed voice.
“That’s a good question, old friend,” Teddy said as he turned from watching the farmer feed the cows to looking around. “He’s not even in the farmyard or we would have seen or at least heard him by now.”
Just then a loud quacking filled the air as Joey swooped in from the pasture. He landed clumsily in front of the barn and skidded to a stop ten feet away.
“We’ve got to help Brownie!” Joey said as he stood up and then fell over after taking a couple steps.
“What?” Teddy barked. “What do you mean we’ve got to help Brownie?”
“Brownie’s in trouble? Where, Joey? Where is he?” Puffy growled.
The farmer came out of the barn to see what the commotion was all about. He saw Joey attempt to stand up and fall over again before running to Joey. Teddy and Puffy ran closely behind him.
“Land of gumption!” The farmer yelled before he gently picked Joey up. “What have you done to yourself duck?” He asked as he walked back to the farmhouse with Joey in his arms.
Wilma, Florence and Stella Cow had all come out of the barn when they heard about Joey’s current troubles.
“What’s the matter duck?” Stella mooed loudly as she walked to the fence. Got into the farmer’s cider again!”
Teddy turned to look at Stella and her sisters. “You gals just need to tend to your hay. This may be official farm law business.”
“Why do you keep him around anyway, Sheriff?” Florence said in a shrill voice. “He’s not one of us!”
Puffy who was halfway back to the farmhouse with the farmer, ran back to face the cows. “You watch your mouth, cow!” Puffy snapped back. “You’re right, he ain’t one of you! He’s a duck who serves this community and has laid his life on the line time and again to protect you and me both!”
Florence and Stella stood dumbfounded before they tried to stutter a response. “You… I mean…who are you…Sheriff! We don’t have to stand for this do we?” Stella sputtered.
“Ladies, go back inside and we’ll forget all about what you’ve said here” Said Teddy sternly.
Florence and Stella slowly walked inside their barn leaving Wilma behind. “I’m sorry, Sheriff. Deputy Puffy, I apologize for the way my sisters acted. I truly hope Deputy Joey is fine,” Stella said with care in her voice.
“Thanks, Wilma,” Teddy said. “I know he will be. We’ll see you later.” Teddy and Puffy returned to the farmhouse at a quick walk.
“We need to find out what happened to Brownie and Joey as quickly as possible” Teddy said as Puffy walked through the pet door.
“You got that right, boss,” Puffy responded once they were both in the farmhouse living room.
The farmer sat at the kitchen table and held Joey in his lap. “What did you get into, duck,” The farmer said as he trimmed some of Joey’s wing feathers with a small pair of scissors. “You got singed feathers here and a heck of a goose egg on your head.”
Joey turned his head toward Teddy and Puffy and started to quack in a whisper to them. Teddy quietly barked to Joey. When Teddy stopped, Puffy started to switch between growling and meowing to Joey. At one point Joey pulled his wing out of the farmers’ hand as if he were showing it to Teddy and Puffy. The farmer was amused at the animals acting as if they were talking to each other, but he put it off to animal concern mixed with friendship and nothing more. If he knew what they were really saying he would have been greatly surprised.
What the three law animals had actually said to each other was this. “Boss, we have to…we have to get Brownie back,” Joey said tiredly.
“Take your time, my friend and speak slowly,” Teddy said as he sat down. “What do you mean we have to get Brownie back? Where is Brownie, Joey?”
“It was aliens, Teddy,” Said Joey softly. “Aliens took Brownie last night while we were on our patrol.”
“What? What nonsense is that your talking about, Joey?” Puffy said in disbelief. “Aliens took Brownie? You’ve been into the cider while watching X-Files, haven’t you?”
“Does this look like something cause by cider and a TV?” Joey asked as he jerked his wing away from the farmer and held it up.
“I’m just saying that it’s far fetched is all,” Puffy said as he looked away.
Teddy glanced at Puffy before speaking to Joey. “Just tell me what happened after you and Brownie left for patrol.”
“We saw pink flashes coming from the pasture so we went to have a look. The flashes were coming outta the old barn and when we got there we saw three giant worm looking things trying to fix a flaying saucer made outta rocks or something.”
At that moment, the farmer finished trimming Joey’s feathers and placed him on the ground. Joey gave his wings a little flap to see how they were and promptly collapsed to the floor.
“You act like you done flew a million miles, duck. You should take it easy for a while,” The farmer said as he picked Joey up again and then carrying him out to the front porch. Puffy and Teddy quickly followed and watched the farmer walk out into the farmyard to finish his morning chores.
“So what happened after you saw the ‘worm things’ and their flying saucer?” Puffy inquired sarcastically.
“You think I’m crazy, don’t you?” Joey loudly quacked.
“No one thinks you’re crazy,” Teddy calmly said.
“No, I do think he’s crazy,” Puffy said which made Joey even more upset.
“I ain’t saying anything till ya make that grumpy flea ridden excuse for a cat apologize!” Joey said as he flapped his wings. That didn’t help Joey’s cause any because he then promptly fell over onto his left side.
“I’m sorry, Joey”. Puffy said with mock sincerity before Teddy could interject. “You’re not crazy, you’ve been into the cider!”
“I have not!” Joey howled as he tried to get back onto his feet.
“DEPUTIES!” Teddy roared. “CALM DOWN!”
Teddy’s loud barks calmed both Puffy and Joey down as well as shame them into silence.
“Look, you seem to think Joey’s been up to no good, Puffy,” Teddy said impatiently, “So please tell me where you think Brownie is?”
“I don’t know, probably sleeping off his share of the fun somewhere,” said a sulking Puffy.
“Argh! Will ya please listen!” Joey pled. “Brownie and I were attacked last night by aliens.”
“Calm down, Joey. Please tell me what happened after you saw the aliens,” Said Teddy.
“We watched them using some pink ray gun thing to fix their…ship I guess ya’d call it when one of them saw us. We tried to get away but they had some gizmo gadget that shot out silver rays that kept me and Brownie from getting away.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Teddy said. “So how were you able to escape, Joey?”
Joey appeared lost in thought for a moment. “I don’t know. Maybe my flying had something to do with it. Brownie’s stuck on the ground but I’m not so maybe their ray guns don’t work so well on things that fly.”
“Alright,” Puffy began. “This is all very interesting but now let’s go find Brownie and get on with our business.”
“Fine!” Joey screamed. “You don’t wanna believe me, that’s just fine. I’m going right back up to that barn and get our pal back.” Joey flew into the air about three feet then crashed back down. “Wow. Dear God am I tired. Farmer’s right. I do feel like I flew a million miles.”
Puffy rolled his eyes at Joey as Joey sat down on the ground in front of them.
“Go on up to the porch, Joey,” Teddy said kindly. “Puffy and I will go to the pasture and barn to look around. Just rest there till we get back.”
“Okay, I’ll do that but ya better be careful. Those worms play for keeps.” Joey walked up the porch steps and sat down under the farmers’ favorite rocking chair.
“Don’t worry, Joey. Hopefully we won’t see any giant duck eating snails while we’re out either,” Puffy said with a laugh.
“Ah, stick it in yer ear, cat! You’ll see I was for real when ya get there!” Joey said as Teddy and Puffy left the farmyard.

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Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders Chapter two

I figured why not post the second chapter. It’s been a while since Sheriff Teddy has seen the light of day.

Brownie and Teddy are real animals, by the way. Brownie was two years old when I wrote this nine years ago, and Teddy had past away three years earlier. The personalities for both dogs portrayed in the books are true to life. Well, to a certain extent it’s true to life with Teddy. Brownie is spot on, but Teddy… Teddy was something else at times.

I only knew Teddy through my wife, Tabitha. Teddy was her dog and she loved him dearly. “He’s a great dog,” she’d say. “He’s soooooo sweet.” Yeah, he was so sweet. I, on the other hand, have a different memory of him. I only met him once and that was more than enough.

Here’s a fun fact about Teddy. The only time I “met” him was while visiting Tabitha. It was my first trip to her home, so no one had first hand knowledge of me. We were best friends, and this was two years before we even began dating. Yes, I wanted to be her boyfriend, but she was with someone at the time. I was in the friend zone, and quite happy with that. Seriously, I was. Don’t judge me. My patience paid off! Anyway…

“Wait here. I have to put Teddy up,” she said, opening the front door. “Okay,” I responded. I was going to meet her folks and I was a little nervous. I should have been afraid. Once that front door opened a great white horse came bounding towards me. “I got him,” she called to her parents. Tabitha went left to intercept Teddy, and that’s when this dog with brilliant tactics reminiscent of George S. Patton and Erwin Rommel made his feint before launching his pincer movement.

I vaguely remember someone screaming Teddy’s name before he clamped down on my posterior. That’s right, he bit me in the ass. My memory says I was facing him head on as he rushed towards me, but the physical evidence says I was more in the processes of making a retreat. You bet I ran. That dog was huge and pissed.

To this day she still laughs at the way that he tried to warn her that there was something wrong with me.

“He was protecting me,” she says, always laughing at the memory.

“He hated me,” I always answer.

“Well you know what they say, baby. Stranger, danger. And they get no stranger than you.”

I have to admit, I find the recollection funny as hell, too.

With that said and shared, I hope you enjoy Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders Chapter two, dear reader!

Chapter Two

A Duck, A Dog and Three Worms


Brownie and Joey silently went about patrol. Joey was still taken by the wonder of the shooting stars. The only thing Joey said as the ambled along was, “amazing, simply amazing’.

“It is pretty awesome,” agreed Brownie.

“Hmmm? Oh yeah, it is. If I’d known life could be like this I’d have moved here a long time ago.”

“I love it here. All the food I can eat, all the friends I could want, and not to mention that everybody loves me.”

A small chuckle escaped from Joey’s bill. “Yeah, everyone loves ya, buddy. Manfred sure does.”

Brownie smiled. “Yep, he’s my best friend.”

Joey chuckled again. “Let’s get this patrol over so we can go home and get some sleep.”

They patrolled the area between the only road leading into and out of the farm to the cornfield. Both were content to find that everything was calm.

They had decided to call the night complete when Joey noticed pink light flashing from the pasture where the old barn was located. At first Joey thought it was a flash from a shooting star, but when he saw it again he mentioned it to Brownie.

“Did ya see that, Brownie?”

“See what?” answered Brownie as they continued walking to the farmhouse.

“That flash of pink by the Pasture of Banishment. There were two of ‘em.”

“Nope, didn’t see it.”

Just then another pink flash appeared over the pasture’s horizon. Joey stopped suddenly and stared in its direction. “There it was again,” quacked Joey excitedly. “I love ya to pieces, but please stop and look ya blind brown goof!”

Brownie stopped and turned his head toward the pasture in time to see another pink flash. “Cool! Maybe the farmer’s building a cotton candy machine or something.”

“Somehow I doubt it, Brownie. I think we should take a look out there.”

“Do you think that a good idea? It could be a surprise for us.” Brownie’s voice sounded timid.

“Don’t matter if it is or not. We’re law animals and it’s our job to check out stuff like this.”

“I don’t know, Joey. Going through the woods at night is dangerous.”

Joey thought for a moment and then agreed with Brownie. “Good call, pup. We’ll cut through the pasture. It’s a longer walk, but it’s safer.” Joey ducked under the fence and waddled toward the flashes.

Brownie barked at Joey. “Hey, wait up! You forgot me!”

“Nobody forgets you, Brownie. Ever,” whispered Joey. “Now keep it down. We don’t know what’s going on out there.”

“Okay, let’s just be quiet,” Brownie whispered back.

They walked as silently as they could through the pasture, not speaking to each other until they came within sight of the barn. The barn stood dark for a few seconds, and then lit up in a series of bright pink flashes.

“What is this?” whispered Joey suspiciously. “Whatever is in that barn is lighting up the entire inside.”

“Yeah, well, we saw it now let’s go home and tell Uncle Teddy.” Brownie sounded frightened.

“Just wait a moment. We need to see what’s in there.” Without warning Joey waddled closer to the barn doors.

Brownie shook nervously, but his concern for Joey overcame his fear. He found Joey staring intently through a crack in the door.

“Look at that,” said Joey almost breathlessly. “What’s going on here?”

Brownie looked in the direction Joey stared and saw a large brown saucer shaped object laying flat on the barn floor. The saucer looked as if it were made from dirt and rocks. Its rocky exterior took up most of the inside of the old barn.

Running around the saucer were three odd looking creatures that resembled earthworms. Each had a toothless mouth and two beady eyes. The aliens walked on four stubby legs, had two tentacles for arms and were dressed in rust colored suits that covered most of their worm like bodies. Their bodies were close to the same color as their flying saucer.

The creatures appeared to be repairing their ship. They stopped from time to time and squealed at each other in high-pitched tones. On the end of each of their tentacles were large silver, three pronged fork-shaped objects that emitted the bright pink flash that filled the barn.

The flash looked like it was sealing holes in the saucer, using large clumps of dirt scattered around. The creatures didn’t seem to notice the deputies watching them. They were too intent on accomplishing their task.

“Oh my,” said Brownie in stunned voice, “that’s a flying saucer and those are aliens.”

“Ya got that right, mac,” said Joey. He refused to take his eyes off the saucer. “We gotta get to Teddy and tell him about this. He’ll have a cow.”

“That’s impossible, Joey,” responded Brownie lowly. “Teddy’s a dog so he can’t have a cow.”

“Whatever, Brownie. We need to get outta here.” Joey looked away from the saucer and its three unusual inhabitants. “Come on. We’re leaving.”

“No way. This is just like the X-Files. How cool is that?”

“It’s cool, but we’re still leaving, pup. C’mon,” hissed Joey impatiently, swatting Brownie in the head with his wing.

Just then a louder, higher pitched squeal came from within the barn. Joey looked back in time to see one of the wormy aliens pointing its silver fork at him and Brownie. The others stopped what they were doing, and squealed as well.

“LET’S GET OUTTA HERE,” quacked Joey in panic. He ran across the pasture and was about to fly away when he realized that Brownie hadn’t left with him. He turned toward the barn and found Brownie still at the barn door.

“Brownie,” screamed Joey. It didn’t work. Joey flew to the barn as fast as he could and bit down on Brownie’s bobbed tail. Brownie yelped loudly and turned to Joey.

“You bit me!” Brownie cried out incredulously.

“Ya bet I did. Now come on!” Joey took a second to look into the barn again, and saw that the worm aliens were half way to them.

“They can’t move all that fast, doofy, and so now’s the time to go!” Joey yelled.

A bright silver light ray flashed over Joey and Brownie’s heads. Brownie then ran off done the pasture toward the farm and Joey flew off in the same direction. Silver rays flew past Joey as he soared through the night sky. He looked down and saw two of the alien worms running after Brownie firing their silver ray guns at him as well.

Joey flew back around and went into a dive at the two aliens pursuing Brownie. He landed on one of them for a couple of seconds and pecked at one of the alien worm’s head. It squealed loudly and frantically waved its tentacles over its head. A moment later, Joey was back in the air and away from the invaders. He looked back to check on Brownie and saw something made his heart sink.

There was Brownie being held in the middle of a silver ray. The ray didn’t appear to be hurting Brownie but it made him yelp in panic and kept him from running off. Joey went into another dive after the invader that had the ray on Brownie. The other two saw Joey coming and focused their rays on trying to capture him. Joey flew in and out of the rays’ paths but was unable to get back to Brownie.

“Help me, Joey!” Brownie cried.

“I’m coming, buddy!” Joey responded as he flew back to rescue Brownie. He circled around the alien and tried to knock the ray gun off the tentacle but missed. Instead Joey found himself trapped in a silver ray. Unlike Brownie, it didn’t stop him from flying but it slowed him down greatly. The ray didn’t hurt it just made moving very hard.

“Let me go, ya fishing bait rejects! Let my buddy go too or I’ll make a Christmas present for the fish outta ya!” Joe bellowed.

The alien worm that had Joey appeared to be having a hard time controlling the ray while he was in it. The invaders then started to move back toward the barn taking Joey and Brownie with them.

“This isn’t cool anymore!” Brownie howled. “This isn’t cool and I want to go home!”

“Don’t worry, Brownie!” Joey yelled. “I’ll get ya out!” Joey flapped his wings harder and faster than he ever had in his life. He felt that he was able to gain moment the longer he tried and then suddenly Joey was flying free through the air.

“I’m free, Brownie!” Joey yelled hopefully. “I’ll get ya out…” Joey never finished his encouragement to Brownie because he flew straight into the barn wall. He flew so hard into the wall that he knocked himself unconscious. When Joey awoke a few hours later the sun had come up and Brownie, the invaders and the saucer were gone.


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Once upon a time… Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders

Once upon a time I wrote kids books. I still dabble from time to time in that genre, and I regret not doing it more. Tabitha is the one that mentioned the subject of this post.

“You know, baby, you’ve written a lot of stuff,” she said to me this evening over dinner.

“Yeah, I guess I have. Why’d you bring that up?” I asked before cramming my hot ham and Swiss sub into my overly large mouth.

“I was just thinking about Sheriff Teddy. I remember when you wrote all those for him when he was little.” She took little bites of her sub. She’s dainty like a mouse, eating a bit of cracker. I’m like a bulldozer gouging the life out of my food. I bet you get the picture.

“I had fun writing those.”

“Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders was the best of those. You should work on getting that published.”

“It was funny, wasn’t it?” I had to smile at the memory of writing that. I thought it was a pretty funny story.

“It was more than funny. It was the best thing you’ve ever written. Seriously. You should look into getting it out there.”

“Hm. Okay. I’ll post it weekly on the blog.”

“Great idea. Make it a weekly thing.”

“You’re so smart, sweetie.”

“That’s why you married me.”

She gave me a wink to make sure I knew she was serious. She’s right though. That was one of the reasons I married her.

So to lightening things up and to make sure it sees the light of day, here’s chapter one of Sheriff Teddy and the Plutonian Invaders.


On a little farm in Nebraska there was an old albino German Shepard named Teddy, an orange and white fluffy cat named Puffy, a big, anxious eleven-month-old brown puppy named Brownie and a wise cracking white duck named Joey. Teddy was the farmyard sheriff and Puffy, Brownie and Joey were his faithful deputies.  They loved their jobs as much as they loved their farm.

The two law dogs, law cat, and law duck have had more than their fair share of adventures, but nothing could have prepared them, or the farm, for their latest adventure.

The hard-working mystery-solving quartet has confronted menaces like weasels, mad goats, human sheep stealers and Deputy Brownie’s out of control happiness. Never in a million years did they or any animal on the farm expect to have to deal with invaders from outer space.


Chapter One

What a Night!

On a typical late summer night at the farm’s pond, Geraldine Goose got into more trouble than she ever thought possible. A mysterious visitor watched her as she slept. After hours of patient waiting, the visitor crept toward her. With swift speed and surprising agility, he snatched her from her nest, placed a rubber band on her bill, and dumped her into a burlap bag. Geraldine tried to call for help, but the rubber band was too tight. She tried to struggle, but the bag was too small. Then that her kidnapper spoke to her.

“They told me you would struggle, but as you can see, mon cher, it is pointless,” whispered the voice. “Ah, but I have you now and you are much wanted elsewhere.”

Geraldine struggled harder, but still couldn’t free herself. She felt like she was being bounced around on an animal’s back for the longest time. Before Geraldine knew it, she felt as if she was flying. For the first time ever she felt airsick.




At the farmhouse, Sheriff Teddy, Deputy Puffy, Deputy Joey, and Deputy Brownie sat on the front porch, enjoying the warm summer evening.

Puffy, who hated summer, spent his time trying to smooth out his uncooperative fur.

Teddy and Joey, neither of which minded summer, spent their time watching the shooting stars streaking across the sky. Brownie, who didn’t notice weather of any kind, was busy barking loudly, and running across the farmyard.

Puffy had a hard time concentrating on his appearance due to Brownie’s barking and decided to intervene on his peace of mind’s behalf. “Dog gone it, Brownie! What in the name of peace and quiet are you doing? You the know the law against disturbing the peace applies to you too!”

“Sorry Puffy,” answered Brownie, “I’m just trying to get the stars’ attention. They look like they’re visiting everywhere else except here and I don’t appreciate that.” Brownie began barking louder at the stars.

“Sheriff,” called a voice from the sheep pen. “Please get him to be quiet! Sam and Sally are trying to go to sleep!

“I apologize about that Shirley,” answered Teddy. He looked at his nephew as he ran by. “Brownie, please stop that. Just so you know the stars aren’t really falling to Earth.”

Brownie stopped barking, and turned his attention to Teddy. “Really, Uncle? If they aren’t falling here, then where are they going? I mean they can’t just disappear, can they?”

Puffy being Puffy couldn’t resist the urge to tease Brownie “I can tell you where they’re going. They’re running away in fear because you’re Earth’s mightiest pest.”

“Really? See I told you I was the best at something. Thanks to you, I now know what that is.” Brownie held his head high and grinned.

Teddy could do nothing but laugh. “Brownie, falling stars are space rocks that burn up in the atmosphere. They disappear when there’s no more rock or no more atmosphere for the rock to skim against.”

“Burning rocks? Holy cow,” said Brownie in wonder. “Why would you want rocks filled with burning stuff to come down from the sky? Somebody really needs to do something about that.”

“Indeed, nephew.” Teddy returned his gaze to the sky.

Meanwhile Joey stood by and placidly listened to their conversation. Usually Joey would have added a few wise cracking remarks, but he, too, was intently focused on the nighttime show.

“It’s so beautiful,” said Joey, looking up in amazement.

“It is a beautiful night, Joey,” remarked Teddy.

“Well, yeah it is, boss, but this…these falling stars and all… it’s just…beautiful.” Joey didn’t sound like a tough duck from New Jersey. At that moment he sounded like a child watching their first fireworks show.

“Yep, it’s nice,” added Puffy, “but this heat’s not helping my fur at all.”

Joey had another chance to let his humor show, but he didn’t say anything. He simply continued looking at the sky.

“Hey Joey,” said Brownie, joining Joey. “Do you want to go on patrol with me?”

Joey didn’t hear Brownie. He silently sat looking up at the colorful streaks filling the sky.

“Joey!” Brownie’s bark caught Teddy and Puffy’s attention more than Joey’s.

“Huh? What?” answered the distracted duck.

“Do you want to go on patrol with me? Maybe see the stars from another spot?”

“Yeah, sure, Why not.” answered Joey, standing. He walked to the farmhouse pet door, but was stopped by Teddy.

“Joey, patrol is out there. You’re heading inside the farmhouse.”

“Oh, yeah.” Joey turned and walked back to Brownie. “You ready, Brownie?”

“Hey Joey,” called Teddy. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Sheriff. I’m just really struck by all of this wonder and beauty. We never see anything like this in the city.”

“I’m glad to hear you’re okay. I was getting worried about you for a second. You two have a good patrol.”

“And make sure not to get lost, okay?” added Puffy jokingly.

“And you make sure not to get yer tongue tied into knots dealing with that rats nest you call fur,” responded Joey in a teasing voice.

“He’s okay, boss,” said Puffy to Teddy. “He just needed the proper push to get back on track.”

“Yer never far from my thoughts, cat,” called Joey as he waddled to the farm’s boundary lines with Brownie.

“You just be sure not to get lost, smelly duck!” retorted Puffy, watching them leave.

“Furball!” called Joey as he and Brownie disappeared into the darkness.

“You love that duck, Puffy, and you know it,” said Teddy.

Puffy grunted while he continued grooming. “He’s okay. Just like Brownie’s okay.”

“Right,” said Teddy skeptically. “I’m going in. I’ll see you inside.” Teddy disappeared through the pet door.

Puffy stopped grooming to stare at the shooting stars. ‘Joey’s right,’ he thought. ‘It truly is beautiful.’ Puffy watched for five more minutes before following Teddy lead into the farmhouse.


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“4 Adam 6, we’re 10-97.”
“4 Adam 6, do you require assistance?” Dispatch never made me feel better about anything.
“Negative, dispatch. We’re code 6.”
I placed the microphone back on the cradle and stepped from my car.
‘They give you the feeling that help is always around the corner.’ I was told that once by my field training officer. Of course, she’d always finish up with, ‘Intermediaries never help as quick as direct action though. For us, they’re good for letting them know what location to find the bodies.’
This felt like was one of those times.
“I’m glad we get the vagrant calls,” said my partner, Roy Valdez. “No one ever misses them. Plus they’re always rife with taint anyway so that’s an added bonus.”
“Don’t you ever shut up, Roy? Show some respect.”
“They’re only dirty flotsam people, Penn. The cast offs and shit like that.”
“You know, when you talk like that you only show how little time you’ve spent on the job.”
“So? You’ve been doing this for, what? Ten years? That’s not long.”
“Eleven,” I corrected as we strolled across the park.
It was coming up on 10PM, and the park still had people milling around. The closest was a group of two men and a woman, about a hundred and fifty feet way. I made sure to make eye contact with them. I focused for a few seconds on each pair of eyes. Their eyes flashed green briefly at me as we made our way to the location of the disturbance call.
I gave them the I’m-watching-you hand signal. They just kept staring at me.
“Damned angels,” I groused.
“Hey, I think this is the one of the guys we’re looking for.”
The man was sprawled out on the park bench. Normally the homeless could be found lying down, facing outwards, or sleeping while sitting up. This guy looked like he was about to roll off the bench and splash across the ground. I could already smell the blood and it smelled like a lot.
Roy knelt beside the man and shook his shoulder. “Hey, buddy. LAPD. You okay?” Roy shook him again, harder. He looked quizzically to me, that stupid grin plastered across his face. I stared hard back at him.
“Respect,” I said with an edge to my voice.
“Right.” His face soured before he shook the man harder. “Sir. Los Angeles Police Department. Are you okay?” The playful malevolence was gone from Roy’s voice. Now, he was just angry. “Wake the Hell up, drunkie.”
I was about to say something to Roy when the man stirred and lifted his face to us. “Wha…” he said weakly. “Wha happened?” His voice was slurred from his lips puffy, pulped lips. The man’s left eye was swollen shut and even in the dark I could see it and the adjoining cheek had taken on a raging purple hew. “I think I got hurt,” he said, producing a small bloody bubble from between his lips. The bubble popped midsentence. Roy sprang back to his feet in disgust. He jerked out his flashlight and raised it above his head to add to the vagrant’s misery.
“I’m not going to tell you again. Repect.” My eyes flash menacingly at him. While I may have agreed with him personally, we were in uniform and that made things different, even if by just a little.
“You and your morals.” Roy’s lip curled at me.
I glared at him, making him stare into my eyes. He quickly turned away and held a hand out to me to talk to the vagrant.
“Call for an ambulance, Roy.” I knelt down to the man. “Sir, my name is Officer Penelope Penn. Can you sit up and talk, or at least just talk and let us know what happened?”

“I can talk.” The Hell he could. His words were mashed and it was all I could do to understand him. “Three people… three people were messing with me. I just want to be left alone. But they scattered my stuff everywhere. Said I was unworthy of having what I got. Then one of them hit me again and again and-.”
I speak numerous languages, but understanding him was difficult at best.
I stroked his head. He was unworthy like the rest, but what was done to him was unnecessary. Killing him outright would have been better.
“What’s your name, sir? Do you remember your name? Do have any ID?”
“Wentworth,” he said, struggling to sit up. “Gilbert Wentworth. I live… I live in the park. I just wanna be left alone.” The last sentence was a plea more than a statement.
“Hey, Penn. Ask him if it was those three losers over there that beat him up.”
“Mr. Wentworth, were the ones who attacked you the people behind me?” I leaned over, hoping he had enough space to make an ID.
“I dunno.” His good eye closed as he laid his head back down.
“Hey, Mr. Wentworth.” I nudged him. “Mr. Wentworth.” I nudged harder. He snorted softly. “Gilbert.” I pushed him hard enough to crack a backboard in the bench. The audible crack could have been his clavicle giving way in time with the board.
“Oops,” I said in unison with Roy. Unlike Roy I felt a twinge of guilt over it.
“Jinx.” Roy smiled that razor toothed shark smile at me. By God I hated him sometimes.
“Where’s the ambulance? You called for it, right?”
Roy shrugged. “Yeah. I don’t think he’s going to be around long enough to enjoy the ride though.”
“Stay here. I’m going to talk to those ‘people.’ If they were the ones, I’m taking them in.”
“Might be pointless, Penn.” Roy looked concerned, not for their safety, but for mine. “They look above it all to me. You know? Hell, maybe they called it in. It’s possible.”
“Stand watch over him. I’ll be back in a tic.”
I went to pull away and realized that Roy was holding onto my sleeve.
“Please, Penelope. I don’t like this. I called for assistance so let’s wait-”
I jerked my arm from him and proceeded to the three good citizens.
“Good evening. I’m Officer Pen-”
“We know you, Officer Penelope Penn,” said the only female in the trio. She was a redhead and tried to give the impression of demure stature and attitude. I knew better. I sensed a giant in her that was straining at its leash. “We know you, and we know what you are.” She spoke with calm smugness, and I felt her arrogant attitude straining to be unleashed.
“And you are?” The fact that they, and by they I mean her in particular, made my blood boil more than usual confirmed my suspicions as I had talked to Mr. Wentworth.
“We are only humble citizens of the City of Angels, Officer. We saw a fellow human in trouble and made the call to insure he received the help he needed.” The woman smiled at me. Her perfect teeth and pleasing breath was sickening. She smelled of mint, and I hated mint of any kind. It came off her in waves and it did little for my growing anger.
“I get it,” I said, keeping my teeth from becoming the needle points I saved for intimidating suspects in truly difficult matters. “You’re just a Lordship on a stroll with her Powers dogs. Thought you’d take a trip through the park and catch the night air to clear your minds. Is that it?”
The redhead smiled beatifically at me. I hadn’t shaken her, but the Powers behind her had stepped out in an attempt to flank me if need be.
“Oh no, Officer,” she said, her face going into a mock look of dismay. “Now you have us.” I have to give her credit for not laughing. Angels like to laugh; God or Satan knows why. They have no reference to hardship, especially the hardship of others, and that pisses me off. God or Satan knows why.
“You’re on my beat, Angel. I don’t know why your boss declared open season on humankind, but…” I was at a loss for words. I didn’t care about humanity, LAPD be damned, but in the past century the angels were horning in on our territory. Where once we tormented mankind by making them turn on each other by bringing out their worst, the Angelic Hosts were physically targeting humans for sadistic pleasure. For us demons, it wasn’t a matter of maintaining a balance, but saving face. We were the bad guys. I was a cop because it was a guaranteed soul feast. Now I was witnessing things that enraged even me. What the Hell happened to the world.
I must have really lost my train of thought because the Lordship was just an inch from being face to face with me.
“But what, Officer? Do you really live by what it says on the door of your car? To protect and to serve? You may be Asmodeus, but you come across as Nephilim. You protect and serve humans? You reek of them.” Her voice was starting to lose the calm and was undergoing a transformation into self-righteous zealot.
Her sweet breath streaming into my nose was my trigger. I gripped her by the throat, lifted her off her feet, and pulled out my pistol. I alternated my aim between the Powers, who had become as they naturally are.
The Powers human street clothes disappeared in a flash, and were replace with Romanesque armor and shield. Dear Beelzebub they looked pretentious. These ‘enlightened protectors’ had bought into man’s image of them.
“You’re under arrest for assault. Place your weapons on the ground.” My eyes flashed Hellfire as I used the Lordship as a shield. I could feel my strength growing as my horns pierced my flesh and I moved her in front of each Power as they sought to close with me.
“I believe their shields are mightier than the one you wear, Officer Penn,” tittered the Lordship maliciously.
“Get back,” said Roy, joining me. He had his pistol out and his flashlight on. Why was he trying to blind beings that he knew could look harmlessly into the sun until it burned out?
“How sweet,” the Lordship said brightly. “The Abaddon has come to stick up for his bitch.”
“Back it up or I swear to your boss I’ll pop all of you.”
My first reaction to Roy’s bravado was, ‘Surprise, surprise, He’s become the epitome of the job for once,’ but then I replayed what he’d said. “That’s not protocol, Roy.”
“Yeah, well, the guy’s dead. He looks like he keeled over from a heart attack, not getting the crap beat out of him.”
“His body healed right in front of me. He said he was feeling better, then all of a sudden, he gasped, and then flooded my space with death breath. They did their funky Angel crap on him to cover it up.”
The Powers’ armor transformed back into their street clothes, and they took a step back while moving closer together.
The Lordship laughed merrily as she pried my fingers apart. My fingers burned with her Angelic light and I could smell the brimstone we demons carried spilling from the scorched flesh. Hellfire has nothing on Angelic light these days.
She backed up from me, swinging her arms back and forth, mocking us. “Oopsy daisy. I guess Hell-spawn are unable to multi-task. I’ll give you this one for free because you’re good people. Our boss quit around a century and a half ago. He really gave up caring about this so why should we. But keep up the good work on that whole serve and protect thing. You’re doing great.”
She and the Powers winked out before us, leaving behind that mint smell.
“Why do they have to leave an area smelling like a damned Orbit factory. I hate it.”
“That’s all you can say?” I was beyond incredulous. “She just admitted that God’s gone. Judas! Have we been lied to this whole time?” I holstered my pistol, and rubbed my left hand. The blistering was disappearing, but the burning felt like it was rooted in my bones. I rushed back to Mr. Wentworth only to find that Roy wasn’t mistaken. Mr. Wentworth was not only dead, but looked…younger. Leave it to Angels to restore some youth to someone they murdered.
“Penn,” said Roy, putting his hand on my shoulder. I shrugged him off. “Penn, seriously, listen. You had to have heard the rumors.”
“Yeah, but mostly from humans! I heard the majority of the God was dead or God’s given up BS from them. I’ve even heard it from Mammon and Belial to the Pythius of Lucifer’s throne. But to hear it from them?” I motioned to wear the Angels had been. I couldn’t believe it. Lucifer is the Prince of Lies, but this was too much even for me.
“Sorry, Penn. I had a feeling one of those was true. Now, it’s confirmed, and somewhere along the way, we became something we were never meant to be.”
I didn’t have a response to that. In the distance I heard the sirens of responding units and an ambulance. Help sure as Hell wasn’t on the way for us.


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I didn’t want to kill them, but I did. I loved them so much that I couldn’t let them live in this world.

I killed my sons first. That was easy and done with a mix of sleeping pills and the last five oxycodone from a nasty dental extraction five months earlier. I’d ground it to fine powder and put it in the last of our chocolate pudding, which in this world of dead light was a luxury in itself. They became drowsy, and my wife and I lovingly carried them to bed. We tucked them in, told them we loved them, and kissed their foreheads as the red-orange of the sky bled through their bedroom curtains.

Our daughter, done with university studies as higher education no longer had any value, sat on our couch reading a book on her iPad. The iPad’s battery would soon expire and be as useless as technology faded from the planet. The internet still worked most of the time, but “who wants to read the same depressing shit day after day?” That was what she had said before abandoning life in the dorms.

“What are you reading,” I asked, leaning over her. She had the back light turned down to conserve power.

“Psalm 43.” She didn’t look up at me as I leaned over the couch back. “Not that I get much from it. God’s dead.” She had picked up reading the bible since she’d left home, but with what had happened to the world, she’d lost what faith she had gained. Reading passages was only a way to pass the time. “The burning is getting closer. Can you smell it?”

I nodded in agreement and kissed the top of her head. She returned to reading, and I hovered over her for three seconds before acting. I had practiced pulling her head back cutting her throat many times and had diligently researched what would happen in the moments after the carotid artery was cut. Her neck gave little resistance as I jerked her head back by her hair and slid the barber’s razor from ear to ear.

The blood sprayed out in a gush for one second, and then pulsed in time with her dying heartbeat. The pulse became weaker as her heart lost blood pressure. I had taken care to get her windpipe so there wouldn’t be any screams. There was only the rush of air from her body’s only highway for breath. It took mere seconds for her to die.

I eased her body on the couch and closed her eyes. Allow me to say that it isn’t like the movies when you close the eyes and they stay closed. They sprang open, staring dully at me. I felt a sharp pang of regret and hatred at what I had done, but it really was for the best. Hell was coming, and I didn’t want her to live through it.

I turned to the window with its open curtains. The horizon burned and so did the all-encompassing sky. Everything during the day was coated in Hell born red-orange, and a dull red at night. My daughter had been right; the sulfur stench had gotten worse in the past two days. Looking out I could see the silhouettes of distant flying objects locked in their dance of death with each other. We still had some fight and resources left. I sighed knowing that it was a very brave, but very useless attempt at hanging onto life. I closed the curtains and turned to the bedroom hallway.

My wife would be in our bed, listening to her audiobook, likely one she’d listened to once already because that was her comfort. I entered only to find her facing away from the door, folding laundry.

The clothes she folded weren’t even clean. They were clothes we had only worn once or twice since the water had become dingy with filth and decay, making it unfit to clean anything. At first boiling water had gotten rid of enough of the impurities, leaving a lingering smell of rot. Drinking it would quench your thirst if you were able to get past the faint tang of blood. Of course, drinking it on a regular basis would make you sick with bleeding mouth ulcers and growing tumors that made you curse a dead God and a joyous Devil. With civilized medicine being eradicated in the months leading to now, you avoided drinking the water in copious amounts. And don’t make me talk about bathing in it. That was a quicker way to die than drinking it.

“You don’t have to do that,” I said, standing in the doorway.

“It gives me something to do. The server to my Star Wars game was taken over by ‘the news’ yesterday. God, I need some coffee. I haven’t had any in a week. Is coffee too much to ask for?” She threw down the pair of socks she’d been matching, and leaned forward on her clench fists as she sobbed.

“Baby, I love you, and it will be okay. I promise.”

“It’ll be okay?” she growled. Her voice rose as she roared her response to me once more.

I knew she would whirl around to face me. Her face was one of rage at my false reassurance. I don’t think she consciously registered the baseball bat that collided with her temple. The swing knocked her to the floor. I dropped my bat, sat down, and held her convulsing body.

She looked up at me with bewildered eyes as her limbs twitched. That dying light that people mention in the eyes of the dying is real. I gazed tenderly into her irises as she retreated into eternal darkness. I stroked her bloody hair and ruined face, and smashed skull, not even offering an apology for I knew I had done what was right.

I laid her down on our bed, and pulled the comforter over her. It was now my turn.

I had my grandfather’s .45 automatic from the Korean War. That was my end. I wanted everyone’s end to be thought out and personal. I gave their ends much thought and consideration. Instead of being homogeneous for them all, I wanted their souls to know that I cared enough to research something individual and close to painless for each. I loved them from start to finish. There was no malice involved, except for me. And in that. this weapon of war and hatred would be mine.

I loaded a single hard ball round into the magazine and chambered that round.

I placed the muzzle to my head and squeezed the trigger. The world vanished for a moment, and then reappeared. I wasn’t in my bedroom; I was floating above a city. It might have been New York City or Melbourne, Australia. I didn’t know, I didn’t care. The sky was transitioning from red to red-orange and the only sound I could hear was the beating of furious wings; my wings. I had become what I feared would consume my family. In my desire to save them from the evil that had become our world, I had become what had killed hope, kindness, and love.


This work is copyrighted by Jason McKinney and cannot be reproduced in whole or in part with express permission from the author.

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