Original story written By Chris Sharkson, Reviewed and rewritten by Blitzkrieg the Dragon
"Chris? Chris, where are you?" Mac asked as he walked into the locker room. It was 8:50 PM, and I was just getting ready to go on duty. I was busy pulling up my navy blue uniform pants. I tucked my shirt in and peeked around the bank of lockers, fastening my fly. "I'm in here," I called to him.
"Christie's been looking for ya."
"Okay, I'll be right out," I returned to my locker as I buttoned up the front of my uniform tunic. I gave myself a once-over in the mirror attached to the back of my locker door. I wasn't exactly what you'd call drop-dead gorgeous; but then again, vanity has never been my strong point. Ten years on the force had given me a weathered appearance; at least my rough complexion complimented my chisel jaw quite nicely. I ran a comb through my short brown hair and adjusted my badge. Satisfied, I strapped on my belt.
I took out my titanium and steel pistol, checked it, and loaded it with a solid *CHICK CHICK*. I holstered my gun, locked my locker, and walked out. I walked past the front desk, where Dave was sitting, reading an old issue of Time. "Dave, have you seen Christie?"
"No, why?" He asked, without looking up from his magazine.
"She's looking for me."
"Oh, that's right. The chief said he's assigning her as your new partner." He flipped the page and leaned back a little in his chair.
"I gotcha," I swiped my ID card through the slot at the entrance. The door clicked, and I opened it.
"Oh, and Chris?" Dave put his magazine down. "Chief wanted me to tell you that you're in ninety-eight tonight. He wants ya to take Beverly Hills this time."
"Okay, thanks Dave," I turned and went through the door.It closed behind me as I walked out back to the parking lot, putting on my cap. It was a relatively clear night; not a cloud in the sky. It wasn't too warm or humid out either, excellent summer weather.
"Chris?" I turned around to see Christie walking towards me. She was petite to say the least; less than five feet tall. She was lithe, but she was attractive. She had a warm complexion; courtesy of the bright California sunshine. She kept her blonde hair tied back in a tight bun, giving her a professional, yet friendly demeanor. She was the no-nonsense type; she always did things by the book.
I greeted her with a smile and a nod. "Evening, Christie. I hear we're going to be partners."
"I know," she returned the smile. We turned to head for our assigned cruiser. "So, what's the plan for tonight?"
"We pulled Beverly Hills; I hope you're ready for the high life."
She chuckled softly. "I'm always up for the classy neighborhoods." We got into our police cruiser, ninety-eight. I turned the ignition, and the V8 engine roared to life. I put the cruiser into reverse and backed out of the parking space. As I pulled out of the parking lot, Mac waved to us as he emerged from the station, dressed in civilian clothing; his shift was over. Christie and I waved back as we turned out of the driveway.
It took about a half hour for us to get to the Beverly Hills area, even though the station was only a few miles away. The nighttime LA traffic is downright brutal! Of course, that is all the more reason police are needed. I began driving up and down along the shopping district, keeping an eye out for potential trouble.
We pulled to the side of the road and parked. There was a Krispy Kreme Donut shop right down the street. "Want to grab some donuts?" Christie asked.
"Sure, you go ahead; I'll stay here."
She got out of the cruiser and walked down to the Krispy Kreme. I rolled down my window and rested my arm on the frame. People crowded the sidewalks, window shopping for clothing and accessories. I shook my head watching a couple of teenage girls fawn over a designer purse. I couldn't understand why someone would need a two thousand dollar handbag.
Suddenly, the radio crackled to life. "Unit ninety-eight, we have a disturbance reported on Dorrington and Almont. Please investigate."
I grabbed the receiver and radioed in, "Roger, we're on our way." I replaced the receiver on the hook just as Christie returned with a styrofoam tray of donuts and two cups of coffee. "Get in," I said, "We've got a disturbance on Dorrington and Almont."
"Don't know yet," I pulled away from the curb and drove down to the corner, which was not too far away. A large crowd of people was gathered there. I braked and pulled up alongside. Christie and I got out of our police cruiser. I slipped my thumbs under my belt; Christie did the same. Both of us walked to the crowd of people. Some of them seemed a little shaken, the rest looked on in curiousity.
"What seems the problem?" I asked an elderly woman in a pink bathrobe and hair curlers, who seemed to be the most distraught.
"There's a monster in my house!" she wailed.
"Alright, hold on. Can you be more specific?"
She took a deep breath. "I was just stepping outside to bring the cat in, and I looked up, and I saw the most bizarre creature in my life. It walked upright like a person, but it looked like..." she hesitated a moment "It looked like a shark."
I blinked and raised an eyebrow. Christie just sighed. "A shark, ma'am?"
"I know it sounds crazy, but it was right there in my back yard, looking at me. I screamed, and it screamed back at me. I think we might have scared each other. It ran past me through the back door and into the house. It's in my house!"
"We saw it too," a man, probably a neighbor, added, "Could you get it outta here?"
"Alright, we'll find it," I pushed past the crowd and walked toward the elderly woman's house with Christie in tow. A shark? Never heard that one before. I thought to myself. Probably just a bunch of teenagers playing a joke.
"Christie, you cover the front door; I'll go in the back." She nodded and drew her weapon, standing on the front porch. I kept my hand on the grip of my pistol, slowly pushing the gate into the back yard open. The sliding glass back door was open. I poked my head in. The house was dead silent. I made my way into the kitchen, listening for any signs of life. Suddenly, there was a rustle in the pantry, followed by the loud *CLUNK* of a can hitting the floor.
"Alright kids," I said to whatever was in the pantry, "This is the LAPD. You are trespassing on private property. Let's get this over with shall we? Come out so we can go meet some nice police officers."
There was no response, just another rustle. I became a little wary; the person might be armed or mentally ill. "This is your only warning, come out of the pantry and keep your hands where I can see them. You are under arrest."
Once again, I was met with silence. Drawing my pistol, I approached the pantry door. I reached out and took hold of the knob, turning it slowly. Not sure what to expect, I took the safety off my gun and pushed the door open. All my experience as a police officer could not prepare me for what I saw.
The old woman was right! What looked like a shark was huddled at the back of the pantry against a bank of shelves. The creature was anthropomorphic; it had arms, legs, fingers, and toes like a human. From the brief glimpse I got, I could tell the creature was female; she had that distinctive hourglass figure. She was dressed light. Wearing a dirty spaghetti strap and tight cut off shorts. I stumbled backwards, managing a startled, "Holy Sh-" before falling onto the table. The legs gave way, and the tabletop and I crashed to the floor. The female shark morph leapt to her feet and ran out the open back door.
"Hey! HEY! Come back here!" I struggled to get up and grabbed my radio off my belt. "Christie! We have a runner! The old lady's right; there is a creature! She's heading through the back yard, call for backup!" I started running across the back yard after her. She reached the edge of the property and clambored over the chain-link fence.
"Christie, she's getting away!" I jumped onto the fence and jumped down to the other side.
"It's female?" Christie asked on the radio. "Are you sure?"
"I am pretty damn sure of that! Where's the backup? This thing is definately not human."
"It's on its way, keep her in sight. I'll meet you with the car on the next street."
The shark morph clambored over the chain link fence at the edge of the yard and dropped to the ground behind it. She had disappeared into an alleyway by the time I got there. Keeping my pistol at the ready, I peered into the alley. She was long gone. Running over to the net street, I met up with Christie in the cruiser. "Damn! I lost her!" I said, still stunned by the unusual encounter.
"I just got word from HQ, they're sending a special team out. They'll take it from here."
"Oh well, I'm sure they'll be able to take care of it. Let's get going, we still have a whole neighborhood to patrol."
We did not see any sign of the strange creature for the rest of our shift. It was around 4:00 A.M. by the time Christie and I returned to the station. I pulled into the drive way and parked the cruiser in its space. I smiled at Christie as I unbuckled my seatbelt. "I wonder what happened to that shark we chased."
"Eh, the SWAT team probably took care of it."
"I sure hope so; I was pretty freaked out back there."
Christie smiled and shook her head. "Well it's not every day you see a human-shark hybrid."
I swiped my ID card, unlocking the door. I pushed it open, and Christie and I stepped inside. The door slowly closed behind us. Dave was still at the front desk; I noticed that he had switched to a People magazine.
"Pull the morning shift, Dave?"
"Yeah, somebody's gotta do it"
"Our shift just ended." I said in fake glee.
"Whoop-de-frigging-doo..." Dave replied with a complete lack of interest.
I walked into the men's locker room. I opened my locker and took a look at myself in the mirror. The daily grind had taken a particularily harsh toll on me tonight; I was a sweaty mess. It felt good to unbutton my shirt and peel my uniform off of my body. I would have to wait until I got home to clean myself off, so a quick wipedown with a damp towel had to hold me over for now.
I pulled out my civilian clothes and got into them. It was then that the fatigue chose to strike me. I must have really strained myself pursuing that shark creature; my body was positively aching! I hung my uniform on the rack in my locker with my belt and put my gun in, placing it on the box of bullets I kept on the shelf. I shut and locked it, then checked out at the front desk. "See you tonight, big guy," I said tiredly to Dave.
"Not if I see you first," Dave replied with a soft chuckle as he flipped the page of his magazine. I only smiled and walked out of the station, ready to get some much needed rest.
I got my car keys out as I crossed the parking lot. Getting into my car, a blue Toyota Prius, I spotted Christie as she got into her Chevy Impala. When she caught sight of me, I waved to her.
"Well goodnight, Christie. See ya again same time, same place?"
"Young man, you've got yourself a date!" Christie laughed and started her car.
I let her go out ahead of me, and she sped off into the not-so-dark night. There were plenty of streetlights illuminating this part of the city. I turned the ignition of my hybrid and backed out of my stall. As I put the car into drive, the image of that shark I had encountered flashed in my memory for a moment. I can't help but say I was startled; sure, the incident was strange, but why would it, or should I say she, cross my mind out of the blue like this? I shook my head a little, dismissing the passing image as a lack of sleep. All the more reason to get home, I thought wearily to myself. I pulled out into the street and headed off down the street, the automated gate slowly closing behind me.