Posts Tagged ‘interactive’

[Read first installment here]

Catastropia – Part Two

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“Don’t shoot!” Chuck barked as he pulled his girth free from behind the wheel. Jake leveled the weapon over the top of the door, using the frame to steady his aim.

“Why the hell not?”

“Aside from the victims in the car? There’s a BOLO for two cats that got out of the preserve a few hours ago.”

“Two?” Jake responded, his face sheet white.

Chuck continued to the trunk and opened the special kit each unit carried at all times. Inside was an unassembled rifle along with what appeared to be fancy playing darts. Jake joined him at the rear of the vehicle.

Furtively glancing about, his shoulder pressed up against Chuck’s, Jake said in a low voice, “Two?”.

“Glad to see you’re comprehending the English language buddy. Yes, two. As in dos.” Chuck formed a peace sign and held it in front of Jake’s face.

“Then where’s the other one?” Jake whispered.

Like a bad dream that didn’t stop upon waking, Peterson appeared alongside the car.

“Guys,” she said forcefully as she tapped her watch. “Tick-tock. We need to get these patients looked at and transported to the ER. What’s the hold up?”

Chuck cocked the rifle and headed towards the driver’s side door which remained winged open. Behind him, Jake shared the latest information with Peterson.

“So what? You’re going to shoot at that thing? Within inches of injured patients?” Peterson’s shrill voice knifed through the pelting rain.

Chuck heard the slosh of footsteps from behind him. Reflexively he removed his finger from the trigger. No sooner had he freed his hand, Peterson grabbed his arm.

“For fuck’s sake,” he took a step back. “You could have gotten yourself shot or worse, one of the patients shot.”

Peterson glared at him as Jake yanked her back and threw her against the sedan.

“Do I have to cuff your sorry ass? Those are tranquilizers. Even if Chuck misses, the harm to your patients is minimal.”

“The hell it is,” Peterson screamed back while Chuck once again sighted the animal.

“That tranq will bring down an animal at least twice the size of one of those patients. All kinds of bad things could happen. Life threatening—”

“Knock it off you two,” Chuck barked. “Jake, take a look at this.”

While Jake peered through the scope, Chuck turned a wary eye on Peterson whose face likened to that of a beet. Wondering why she wasn’t moving, he glanced down to see that Jake had cuffed her to the rear door handle. He couldn’t help but grin. For one, the department had all but phased out the old cars—theirs being one of the last; meaning that had they had a newer model, that little feature wouldn’t be available to them. Secondly, he had a mad distaste for the blond. It started back when she had just come on board with Winslow Fire. It was long overdue she finally got her comeuppance.

“Jesus,” Jake breathed, pulling Chuck’s attention back to the present. “What the hell is going on here? Did that son of a bitch tie that cat to the roof before or after?”

“No idea,” Chuck replied. “I’m guessing after because I don’t see the victim.”

Jake moved the weapon and thus, the scope downward to confirm Chuck’s observation. “What are the odds the other cat got to him? I don’t see him anywhere.”

Both were stunned into silence when a loud growl erupted just behind them.


The Adventures of Jake & Chuck is a never-ending interactive (you get to add your thoughts and ideas to the adventure by commenting) story with weekly installments published here (be sure to follow so you’re notified when new posts are released).

Beginning as spear carriers to a novel, these two hilarious characters were not about to be relegated to taking the main characters from point A to point B. Their nagging  insistence brought about their own vignette published in 2008 titled Jake and Chuck Blow S[tuff] Up, which documented the Winslow Police Department partners as they attended mandatory Weapons of Mass Destruction training in the desert. Look for a release of that story here in the upcoming weeks.

Feed the muse! Comments and likes are much appreciated.

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Catastropia

Part One

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Jake finished writing the citation and passed it over to the driver, one Daniel Huckster of Winslow, to sign the promise to appear in court or complete the tasks as outlined and turn in the signed off items to the courts.

The rain had started once again. Gullies were becoming streams, streams had the makings of rivers, and the rivers were in the beginning stages of supporting pontoon boats. Meaning that their evening would quickly become a nightmare. It never failed. Some jackhole would come zipping down Winslow Ave, hit the sharp turn, and slide off either into oncoming traffic or the ditch. And just as inevitably, they’d go into the opposing lane when there was a vehicle, the ditch when the road was clear.

Firefighter/medic Kim Peterson and the latest recruit—Jake didn’t bother to memorize the name (there was a reason Peterson was referred to as a man-eater and it wasn’t the way Hall and Oates sang about); were posting nearby the slippery slope, but that didn’t alleviate the need for police presence. Nonetheless, the downturn in staffing that particular rainy March night combined with the uptick in traffic (Winslow High was hosting a basketball tournament), meant that no one from the police side of the equation had the luxury of posting nearby.

“Please drive extra carefully, Mr. Huckster,” Jake tore off the pink copy of the citation. “On account of the rain and the number of teenagers we have roaming the streets this evening.”

“Will do, officer. Thank you,” the man said with the utmost sincerity.

Jake shook off the rain like a sheepdog before stepping into the warmth of the squad car. “Nothing finer than giving the recently retired auto shop teacher a fix-it ticket,” he remarked as he buckled in.

“That was Huckster?”

“Ayup. Bought the car off of the school last week.”

“Which explains why the plates came back as Lila Spencer,” Chuck remarked as he dropped the gears into drive. Both watched as Huckster eased away from the curb with his hand stuffed out the window in the appropriate hand signal in lieu of the turn signals—hence his citation. Huckster turned down Calaveras Street and headed towards home. Chuck drove on until Winslow Ave and headed towards the school.
The tournament apparently ended. The parking lot outside of the gym was lit up like the red light district.

“Ten minutes,” Jake said.

“Really? That long?” Chuck harumphed. “I won’t give it more than five.”

“You’re on.”

Both settled back as they waited a block away, tracking the movements out of the east and west driveways.

Eight minutes later, less than a few hundred feet from the nose of the cruiser, a Ford Taurus broadsided a Toyota Camry.

“Guess who’s buying dinner tomorrow night,” Jake grinned as he reached over and flicked on the wigwags. He then reached for the mic and radioed it in.

Except dispatch told him to wait. The radio traffic right after gave the reason. Fire was dispatched, medics were already on scene, and Jake and Chuck, Adam fourteen, were reassigned to the scene of a head-on collision.

By then Jake was already at the vehicles. Once assured that there were no life-threatening injuries and given the go-ahead from dispatch to relay the details and get a second unit sent out to cover the collision, he hustled back to the cruiser.

“What the hell?” Chuck murmured as they neared the scene.

Jake was in the process of opening his mouth to say the same thing, or a variation thereof.

The fire crew had already arrived. They’d pulled up alongside the scene and directed the apparatus spotlights onto the mangle of vehicles. But that they’d seen a dozen times at that very spot. What got their jaws dropping was the most peculiar sight. So peculiar that Jake had his weapon drawn.

“I knew there were cats in the area, I just never saw one before and definitely not that big,” Jake said.

Chuck’s phone rang. Jake grabbed it and answered. It was Peterson.

“You see this?”

“Yeah. Stay in your rig.”

“No shit.”

The wildcat stared at them from the roof of the truck. Jake dialed back out, this time to the fire captain. He told them to stay in the engine.

“I doubt that pistol’s gonna do you much good,” Chuck said.

Jake agreed. Holstered his weapon. Reached for the shotgun.

“What are you planning on doing?”

“Shoot it.”

“I think we should get fish and game out here.”

Jake opened his door. “We don’t have that kind of luxury of time,” he said just before he stepped out and sighted the rifle.


Jake & Chuck’s Adventures is an interactive (you get to chime in with your own thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment) never-ending story that appears in installments weekly here.

As always, comments, likes, and ratings are much appreciated and help feed the muse.

 

June Bugs (Part 6)

[Read first installment here]
[Read second installment here]
[Read third installment here]
[Read fourth installment here]
[Read fifth installment here]

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Chuck was going to die. There wasn’t another way around this. The engine had sputtered. An array of lights flickered across the control panel. An alarm rang. This was it. The only thing left for him to do–other than be graceful in his death–was to steer clear of the commotion below and preserve the lives of the valiant men and women.

“God save the queen!” he declared. Which, to anyone in the know, meant Bridget, his queen. His bride. His life.

He threw his weight to the left and sent the Mosquito Lite into a tailspin. Instinctively he maneuvered the controls down which meant that the machine itself was supposed to go up. Only it didn’t. Chuck was going to be sick. Could feel the acidic burn roaring up his windpipe. Clenching his teeth, his lips, he blew air out his nose. The burn seared his nose hairs. Caused his eyes to tear.

June of 2000. Three months after he married Bridget. Two years before they bought this estate. The couple lived in a single bedroom apartment in Red Bluff. He worked as a deputy. Bridget, at the time, worked as a sketch artist for the justice system, traveling up and down I-5 as needed. She worked a big case out of Lodi. He had doubles for the next two days. If it weren’t for the work, he’d have gone mad being away from his true love for so long.

The day before she returned, his only day off for the next five, he spent it preparing something special. Something exquisite. Something to herald his wife’s return. Make it that much more special. Show her how much he missed her. How much he appreciated her. How much he loved her. Money was no object. But then again, it was.

He stopped by to visit his pal, Oscar, who at the time owned his own shop. There, Oscar customized vehicles. His specialty, the hot dog mobile as he called them. The shop, therefore, was appropriately known as Oscar’s Wieners. Oscar was all ears when Chuck told his woebegone story. As he lamented, Oscar came up with an idea.
For the next eight hours the two worked arduously. And while Bridget started her trek home, they took their creation over to the apartment complex and hoisted it up on the rooftop of the four-story building. They didn’t have time for a test run. On Oscar’s way out he slapped Chuck on the back and said, “Well it’s do or die, buddy. Good luck.”

Chuck sat inside the thing for over an hour, his field glasses trained on the main road. When he saw Bridget’s dark blue Taurus rumbling his way, he readied himself. Threw his entire weight into pushing the wiener glider off the ledge. It swooped and soared. Caught the wind as it should. Pulls to the levers allowed him to guide it down over the roadway as the banner unfurled in his wake.

Except he got giddy. He’d seen Bridget look up. Saw the recognition on her face. Saw her beam. It’s what he didn’t see that got him into trouble.

He managed to avert the glider before crashing into the flagpole. However, the directional change he created in the wind current sent the banner whipping towards the pole. The eddies churned and once the banner’s tail slipped around the pole, it began winding itself. The glider yanked back against the pull of the banner.
Without an engine, his simplistic controls were worthless. The glider lost its momentum and began plummeting to earth. He may have screamed while he tried to push-off the bubble cover–which didn’t budge. He definitely screamed when he used his fist to hammer at the plexiglass–which didn’t budge.

That stupid joke about the last thing that goes through a bugs head popped into his own head. The punchline: his ass. Chuck thought for certain that he’d know first hand how that bug felt. And just when the earth came into view by a microcosm instead of generalized shapes, the wiener glider yanked back. It was like a giant hand came down and plucked him out of the air. The glider shot back up.

Dear lord, he might have said out loud. He knew what would come next. As soon as the glider lost momentum, it would shoot straight back down. Any chance of Bridget recovering his body was lost. He hoped she had a big enough soup tureen.

An ear popping whistle accompanied the return descent. When retelling the story, he would leave out the part about him sobbing as he slammed his eyes shut. Usually he said he faced death like a real Jedi. Eyes wide open. Beating his chest. Come at me bro! being his war cry.

The silence and stillness begged of him to open his eyes. When he did, he found himself staring at Bridget’s face. She had tears running down it, her mascara like deadly rivers trailing down her cheeks. With her, a crowbar. She wedged it in and pried off the bubble of plexiglass. Two seconds later both heard a horrific tearing noise. The banner had given out. The same banner that now hangs in their living room. The one with the heart ripped in half. “No, we never split up,” Bridget would explain when guests asked. “But in the seconds before that happened, I thought for sure my heart was going to break into a thousand little pieces.”

He couldn’t do that again to Bridget. He couldn’t break her heart again like before. And he wouldn’t. Because this time he had a back-up plan.

_________________________

Jake & Chuck’s Adventures is a weekly interactive never-ending story. You, the reader, can chime in at any time and leave ideas on where you want to see the story headed in the next issue. Make sure you sign up to be notified of when the next installment comes.

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