Saturday, June 11, 2011

Indivisible Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Under Sheriff Bob Garrity decided that he liked Neil Diamond which was an unexpected divergence from his normal 80’s hair-metal playist. He also decided that he had grown too corpulent since his divorce.

He switched on his interior light and examined his flabby, rose-colored face in the rear view mirror while careening down Hamilton County Road 73. His chubby cheeks were beginning to squeeze in on the flanks of his push broom mustache and his beady eyes appeared to be receding into his skull as if being sucked in by some cranial vacuum. His bloat was a weakness that must be overcome, he decided.

“No wonder she left you,” he muttered to himself scornfully as his eyes reaffixed from the mirror onto the road…

He slammed on the brakes!

His cruiser screeched and fishtailed to a halt in the middle of the road just short of a pair of red, flashing taillights.

It was a moonless night, a pitch black country night illuminated only by the range of the headlamp’s arc. Garrity turned down the insanely loud whimsical riff of Diamond’s ‘We’re Coming to America’ and radioed in. He could see no motion in the car ahead. He flipped on his flashers and siren…still nothing. He aimed the intense beam of his searchlight into the back of the car revealing two silhouettes.

“Morons,” he muttered, while processing the details.

Their SUV was new and clean, a ‘luxury edition’. Its tags were current. The taillights were in working order. It had a “Coexist” sticker affixed to the rear bumper as well.

Commies! Was Garrity’s first impression.

As a cop, Garrity could discern the caste of most civilians by a quick glance at their automobile. Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover? The dangerous ones were the meth-heads with their matted hair and gyration twitchiness. They usually drove rusty sedans that rode low due to blown out shocks. Another caste of self-manifested self-destruction were the wiggers: short, skinny, adorned with sparsely grown porn mustaches and rap music thumping from their 19″ spinner-wheeled econoboxes. Best to unsnap one’s holster when approaching these douchebags. In Garrity’s worldview, these wannabes were a subset of white trash. Garrity could picture ‘him’ perfectly because they all seemingly emanated from the same genetic line: beady-eyed, greasy-haired, accentuating their flexed ligaments with a grease-stained muscle-shirt, low-sagging pants like the male-prostitutes wore in prison. If they only knew! Both strains of mutant had hair-trigger tempers, a disrespect for authority and a foul mouth full of ‘something to prove’.

The occupants of the car ahead were definitely neither of these.

There were other breeds of troublemaker as well. Welfare queens with their dinged up minivans…dangling trim pieces and puffing smoke. Drunken cowboys in their pickup trucks. Bitchy housewives in their dirty SUVs. Punky adolescents in supped-up Jap cars, mufflers cut off. They always had drugs. Tree-huggers in their faggoty hybrids—smarmy but at least they followed orders.

A clean, luxury edition SUV with a “Coexist” bumper sticker meant something else, probably a upper-middle-class-metro-sexual-white male that Garrity could intimidate with a mere scowl.

“He probably hit an elk,” Garrity muttered to himself as he approached the driver side. The window slid down. “Hello,” Garrity called out as he approached. There was no answer. “I said hello!” He stopped approaching at the rear quarter panel of the SUV and took out his flashlight. “Hey, buddy. You’re endangering me out here! What’s your problem? Answer me!”

“Sorry officer,” came a male voice from inside.

Garrity continued towards the driver’s side and shined his flashlight directly into the man’s eyes to momentarily blind him. Garrity scanned the interior taking mental notes: male driver, milquetoast; female passenger, crying, probably man’s wife; stereo playing that whiney Dave Matthews shit…yep, commies for sure; small brat in back set, sleeping; no signs of drugs; no one looks like they’re hiding anything; no odors of contraband or alcohol; no wait…sniff…what’s that? Wine? They’ve been drinking.

“Do you mind telling me why you’re parked in the middle of the highway? You coulda gotten me killed,” Garrity asked, switching the flashlight beam into the woman’s eyes to blind her too. She woman was sobbing uncontrollably.

“He just ran out in front of us. We didn’t see it at all,” the man explained.

“What ran out in front of you?”

The woman burst into a wail.

“I don’t know what it was,” explained the man.

“It looked like a little boy,” cried the woman.

Garrity’s head swiveled towards the front of the SUV and scanned the road ahead. Where’s the body? He asked himself. Blood splatter? Nothing could be seen from his vantage.

“I want you to stay in your car and keep your hands on the wheel,” he ordered the driver. And get her calmed down while I go take a look.”

Garrity gave the man another blast of light into his eyes to re-blind him while he radioed in. He walked to the front of the SUV. It was pitch black except for the arcs of the headlamps and the red and blue flashers. The road was empty. Off either shoulder was a thick wall of ponderosa pine. He swept the darkness with his flashlight as he moved towards the shoulder. Miller moths fluttered and danced in the beams of light.

His flashlight arc swept a large stone or trunk or…no it was something else. Could it be a boy? Exciting! His adrenal glands surged into action. A dull evening might actually end on an interesting uptick.

But no, it was just an animal. Too bad, Garrity thought. What is it, then? He stepped closer. The flashlight’s beam locked on. Far away, headlights appeared down the road. What was it? It was blond and long, facing into the trees. Could it be a…yes, yes it was…it was a mountain lion.

Garrity heard the woman wailing again in the car. She must have been watching him from there, breathlessly anticipating the instant at which he made his discovery. She probably couldn’t see the big cat from her vantage. Garrity knelt down over the animal. It didn’t appear to be breathing but there wasn’t any blood. He unsnapped his holster just in case and leaned in closer extending his hand. He carefully touched the fur. Then he stroked it. The fur was course like straw. It didn’t move.

The car down the road was approaching and Garrity thought it best to walk back to the passenger’s side of the SUV. He blinded the milquetoast man again with his flashlight.

“Roll the damn window down, will ya?” Garrity barked at the crying woman. “Will you please calm her down?”

The milquetoast whimpered to her to stop crying and patted her hand but she yanked it away.

“Is it a kid?” The man asked.

“Is he dead?” The woman asked.

“It’s dead,” Garrity answered with a faint smirk forming under his push-broom mustache.

The woman howled again in grief.

“Calm her down. It’s not a kid. It’s just a cougar.”

“A cougar?” asked the milquetoast.

“That’s right,” Garrity answered as he put his flashlight under his arm and took out his ticket book.

“Are you writing me a ticket?” asked the man.

“License and registration, please,” Garrity replied as the other car whizzed past them in the other lane.

“Are you seriously writing me a ticket?” asked the man again.

Garrity scowled, then blinded him yet again with the flashlight. Garrity had a low tolerance for citizens exhibiting contempt-of-cop.

“Please stop shining that light in my eyes,” the man barked.

“I said license and registration!” Garrity growled.

The milquetoast man reached into his visor, took out his papers and handed them to Garrity who took them back to his cruiser. Once inside Garrity keyed in the info and radioed dispatch. Another set of headlights appeared, far off, up the road. The driver’s papers came back as in order. Garrity filled out a citation making notes as to the man’s belligerent attitude. Then he waited an additional thirteen minutes. Two more cars zipped past. To pass the time he fumbled with his iPod finally settling on ‘Here I Go Again’ by Whitesnake.

He glanced up startled to find that the milquetoast man was getting out of his car. Garrity quickly jumped out of the cruiser to subdue him.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He shouted at the driver.

“Are you seriously going to write me a ticket?” the man asked.

“That’s right. Now get your ass back in your car! You are endangering a Sheriff!”

“I want to know why you’re writing me a ticket.”

“I said get your ass back in your car,” Garrity hollered as he reached for his holster. “I’ve had about enough of you.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I just want…”

“Get your ass back in your car or I will take you down. Do you understand?”

“For what? For asking a question?”

The woman in the car started to scream. The toddler who was asleep woke up and started to scream as well. Another set of headlights appeared from up the road.

“This is your last chance,” Garrity commanded as he reached down along his belt to his holster.

The woman screamed, “No, no!”

“I have a question. That’s all. I just want to know why you are writing me a ticket. It’s just a question. Just answer that and I’ll get back in my car.”

“You will do as I say or I will take you down. Get your ass back in your car!” Garrity could not believe the defiant attitude of this prole. Even meth-heads had more sense than this guy. He pondered at what moment he should he draw.

“Get back to the car!” the woman screamed. “You’re gonna get run over!”

The headlights from down the road grew closer, the woosh of its tires on the road growing louder.

“You have no right to give me a ticket for hitting that thing,” The driver continued. “There was nothing I could do. It ran out in front of…”

Garrity drew and charged forward, following the beam of his flashlight into the man’s face. He fired systematically, dropping the man to the ground in a heap in the middle of the road, screaming in pain from the taser shock. The woman screamed in response. The kid screamed as well. The approaching car decelerated with a screech. Garrity pounced onto the man, driving his knee into his back, deftly cuffing him.

“Why are you doing this?” screamed the man.

“You’re under arrest!” Garrity declared.

“For asking a fucking question?”


“For what?!?”

“For resisting arrest.”

“You’re arresting me for resisting arrest? What the fuck?”

“Shut the fuck up or I’ll tase you again.”

The approaching car came to a full stop which added to Garrity’s aggravation. There were too many variables to control. He threw his prisoner into the back of his cruiser and then angrily waved the car on. He went back to the SUV to subdue the hysterical woman who had since exited her car herself and was now screaming on the shoulder of the road.

Garrity drew his gun but the sight of it had no effect on her. She cursed Garrity with burst of foul language that would offend bikers. She looked as if she wanted to rip Garrity’s eyeballs out with her finger nails. The kid screamed. Garrity took aim but thought for a moment about the witnesses in the car in the opposite lane which had not yet moved on. He holstered his gun and lunged into the woman, tackling her onto the rocky shoulder.

As he was subduing her the window of the other car rolled down.

“Is everything okay, officer?” Came the voice of a concerned citizen in the other car. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“No! Just move along! Everything’s under control!” The other car slowly pulled away.

As Garrity knelt on the woman and radioed for backup, the cougar, which was only stunned, gathered itself up and limped into woods.

Chapter 3         Chapter 5

Indivisible can be purchased here from Amazon: