"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beginner's luck

Another edition of Three Word Wednesday. This week the words are admire, follow and piece.

"It's been four hours, Kopack...FOUR HOURS." Andrews clenched his teeth and growled for emphasis through his last two words. "And what have we seen?"

Kopack turned from where he'd been monitoring the warehouse out the passenger's side window, stopped mid-chew with a mouthful of slightly warm Snickers bar. He glanced over at his partner carefully, as if expecting his apologetic gaze to be met with a right hook.

"I'm sure they'll show up," he mumbled around the sticky caramel. "They have to pick it up eventually, right?"

Andrews let his head drop onto the headrest of the driver's seat, sighed, and shrugged sarcastically.

"Well sure, they'll have to..." He tensed and turned to focus on Kopack. "...if your crackpot theory is even right."

When there was no immediate reaction from the junior officer, Andrews finally couldn't contain himself anymore. He let loose.

"Look, I know the chief is obligated to put a little extra stock in your investigations since he's your father, but isn't this overdoing it a little bit?"

Kopack admired the contours of the last unchewed peanut left in his mouth, trying very hard not to pay attention to his superior.

"I know you'll probably tell him everything I say, but at this point I don't really give a fuck. If he was any kind of cop at all, he could see plain and simple that your evidence is all circumstantial, at best, and that accusing a legitimate, well-respected, squeaky-clean local businessman of counterfeiting hundreds is completely absurd, especially in this town."

The peanut finally met its end, and Kopack swallowed it slowly, nervously. He had been sure of his theory, as sure as he'd ever been of anything since graduating from the academy. Andrews kept talking, proceeded to poke holes in every little pontoon of evidence Kopack had built. He felt himself sinking. What was it that always happened to cops who failed? He thought for a moment, then nodded slightly to himself. Traffic duty. He'd get bumped down to traffic duty for sure.

"And I know you always hear in TV and movies and whatever the hell else you kids watch that the guys with the perfect records are always hiding something, but in the real world, people actually do go a very long time without getting in trouble." Andrews stopped to breathe, his complexion noticeably reddened with frustration. "Are you listening?"

Kopack nodded vigorously, but with a tinge of sadness.

"Yeah, and you're right," he said breathily, letting the last of his confidence escape into a fog on the inside of the windshield. He turned to the side window again, stared blankly into the growing murk of nighttime. "I guess there were a few more checks I should have done before I went to my dad..."

Andrews threw up his hands in sarcastic joy.

"Thank goodness, the young lad has learned his lesson," he said. "And it only took up four hours of my weekend to make it happen. Glad to have volunteered my time." He nodded at the keys in the ignition, motioned out the front window. "Shall we?"

Kopack looked back at him, nodded sadly, concentrated on the pieces of dirt nestled the fibers of the floor carpet. Andrews sighed again and shook his head, then put his hands to the keys and turned. The engine rumbled back to consciousness and the cruiser's headlights popped on, spewing dirty yellow light across the front of the warehouse and the road in front of it.

Andrews saw it first, and groaned loudly before slapping his palm to his forehead.

"Mother fuck..." he said, enunciating each unbelieving syllable.

Kopack looked up and followed Andrews' gaze out the window. Standing frozen in the road, red-handed deer in the headlights, were the legitimate, well-respected, squeaky-clean local businessman and two of his associates, each shouldering as many duffel bags as they could carry, the occasional hundred dollar bill fluttering out of an open zipper onto the dusty asphalt.

The young policeman felt his skin stretching as his smile grew wider and wider. He turned to Andrews, then back to the counterfeiters, then back to Andrews, who looked up with disbelief still stamped on his face. Andrews could see that Kopack was still searching his brain for the right procedure, trying to dodge the clouds of euphoria that interrupted his judgment. Andrews' expression finally softened, and he smiled at his partner's elation.

"All right, rook," Andrews said, his tone bordering on fatherly. "Go book 'em."

Also, Quick Links to some fellow Three-Worders whose work I very much enjoyed last week:

Thom gives us a disturbing look at Another Thursday Night in the 'Burbs.

Dee eloquently touches on the subject of the 99%.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Pharoahe Monch, Free


  1. It had to happen of course and was I relieved when it did, but the occasional $100 dollar bill fluttering may have overdone it! Probably my favorite line line was "The peanut finally met it's end." Utterly absorbing all the way through.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this, and it's really, REALLY well written ... well done! :o)

  3. They had to be up to something, didn't they?

  4. amazing story.

    check out short story slam,