Precinct: Issue Five
pinch me. All I could think about after I jimmyd
the back door to the Yak Hair Tattoo Parlor was
how much it seemed like a bad dream after one
serious jalapeno nacho orgy. Id seen the
layout of the place, hell every detective in the
squad had made a copy of the floor plans to keep
in their files and I really didnt remember
any area designated as hell frozen over.
"Just as I thought." Boyd muttered
as he shut the door behind us and we took in the
"This cant be the right place."
I began, then turned to my partner to ask what
he meant by that.
"Theyre getting bolder by the minute,
Johnny. That or maybe Im helping them turn
the joint into one of their familiar haunts."
"Thats it, Boyd, I want to know here
and now what all this is about and start with
the Museum fire that you and your pal busted in
on, or Im calling the house to say Im
sick then driving to Atlantic City." I responded,
still not believing what my own eyes were showing
It looked like a Salvador Dali rendition of the
North Pole; a Grinch town as seen from the mind
of a genius or madman. Long tentacles of ice,
stalactites of frozen jello in every color imaginable
hung and seemed to almost vibrate as they clung
to the walls and ceiling. And what should have
been a relatively small storeroom was instead
a long narrow corridor, the floor littered with
rolling puffs of what resembled giant snowflakes,
some red some blue, all of them illuminated by
an almost dayglo light that came from nowhere
in particular but was everywhere.
"That, my friend, is a long story."
Boyd said as he reached inside his jacket and
took out his ancient .38. "Vic is
a friend, Johnny. The kind of friend youd
drop everything and go to, no questions asked
if he needed a favor. Long time ago he and this
other guy had a falling out, and like Ive
told you, every now and again they crack horns.
Look at it this way, kid; maybe creation didnt
take six days, but seven. Maybe we were never
meant to be the top of the food chain but the
next rung down. I honestly dont know everything,
hell, I dont know squat when it comes right
down to it, but theres people, if you can
call them that, who are head and shoulders above
us in every way you can count. Vic was one of
them. Believe your own eyes, kid, all this is
real, or real enough to kill you if you dont
pay attention, and put that gun away, it aint
helping, not here."
Boyd was dead, but back, so I had to believe
that at least some of the things he was trying
to tell me were true, but I jacked a round into
the chamber of my Glock anyway.
"That peashooter of yours works and mine
dont, and thats because this is your
hometown now and not mine. Okay," I responded
as I began to get the jist of the madness around
me, "but I feel a lot better holding it so
humor me, Boyd."
"Fine. If it makes you feel better then
by all means milk the thing, but the walls are
solid enough so be careful of a ricochet if you
get the urge to snap off a few. Now stand a little
behind me and lets see where this hallway takes
us and for gods sake if you gotta shoot
the thing try to keep it away from my ears, you
know how I hate it when somebody caps around my
We walked. Dont ask me how long, my Casio
digital, and it was froze
like I was looking at a picture of a watch not
the real thing. One minute my feet were beginning
to feel numb from the cold floor that seemed to
leech the heat right out of me, and the next they
were as hot as if Id decided to take a barefoot
run down Jones Beach in the middle of July. Hot,
then cold, then hot and cold and I was starting
to get the feeling that my body didnt have
the right wiring to decipher the input. How does
a fish feel when hes out of water, when
everything is suddenly dry and alien, when he
wants to move and all he can do is gasp and kick
"Johnny." Boyds harsh whisper
dragged me back to reality. Hah. Reality. "Stick
with me here, kid. Dont let it get to you,
I think were almost there."
Almost there? Almost where? I blinked, I swear
I didnt close my eyes for more than a spilt
second and when I unblinked we were no longer
in a chilly hot corridor of flaming ice.
"Need my shades." Boyd muttered as
he patted himself down, but I could have told
him that his sunglasses were back in the car.
He always left them in the car. I could have told
him if I could have opened my mouth to speak.
Dark blue sand crunched under my feet. Not real
sand, more like polished ground glass hammered
into fragments the size of sugar granules. There
was no sun, there was no sky, just the blue glowing
sand and an abyss of nothingness, darker than
darkness, that slowly swirled in throbbing ribbons
of energy over our heads.
"I got an idea, Johnny." Boyd said
as he gestured ahead. "Ill bet these
guys dont know your gun wont work, so heres
what well do."
Guys? My eyes are 20/20 but all I could see was
miles and miles of emptiness all around us.
"Soon as they get a little closer Ill
start dropping a few, and you crank away at the
sand in front of them like youre trying
to get the range. Might slow them enough for me
to finish the rest, or even chase the frigs away,
"Boyd, theres no one
Like a mirage shimmering in a true desert, the
area a hundred or so yards ahead became alive
with activity. I squinted, rubbed my eyes, but
the look of what was heading our way didnt
"What the hell are those things?" I
shouted to Boyd as I fired round after round into
"Beats me, kid." He answered, dropping
to a knee and taking slow, careful aim at the
charging figures that looked like
triple cross between something with a vaguely
humanoid head, long ape-like arms, and a neck
that stretched up like a giraffes. They
werent very fast for four legged animals,
but it seemed like for every one Boyd took down
another two did an ungainly gallop at us out of
the shimmering light.
"This isnt gonna work, Boyd. If I
cant help theres too many of them."
My puffing up the blue kitty litter wasnt
doing any good and as accurate a shot as my partner
was, he couldnt stop them all.
"Yeah." He grunted as he downed the
nearest one thatd made it not fifteen feet
away. "Run, Johnny. Run as fast as you can
back the way we came and Ill try and keep
Up close they werent as tall as Id
thought, maybe seven foot, tops, but if those
long legs werent fast they were powerful
as Boyd was kicked to the ground when he stopped
to reload. Another one was heading right for me
and I flung myself to the side and just managed
to roll clear of the clumsy but sharp enough hooves.
I couldnt help, I sure couldnt just
leave him and run, and it was sheer instinct that
made me do what he told me not to do. I slapped
a full mag into the Glock and forced my shaking
hands to center on the creature that had almost
run me down.
Somewhere I could hear Boyd shouting "No!"
but I wasnt signing off without doing something
so I squeezed the trigger.
Such pretty lights. Man, I never saw such pretty
[ END ]
©2002 Bob Yosco