Most people know that cop shows get it all wrong. If you’re a cop, you’re not likely to ever fire your weapon at someone. You’re not likely to ever be shot at. In fact, you’re really not likely to have much of anything happen. We’re like a human gun. We’re there for protection, but odds are you’ll never really need us.
The truth that any cop will tell you is that being a cop is hundreds of hours of complete boredom punctuated by brief moments of absolute terror. Unfortunately we never get a warning when those moments of terror will happen.
The day had started off like any other. After checking in at the squad room and getting the latest list of stolen cars, I responded to calls for burglaries, pulled over people for traffic infractions, and responded to burglar alarms where nothing happened.
But then, just as I was about to finish up my shift, I saw it. It was an old station wagon. One of the wheels seemed to be attached incorrectly. It wobbled. Inside there were an unknown number of individuals and balloons. The car was all over the road. I hit my sirens and lights. The car kept going at a steady 25mph. I hit the loudspeaker, “PULL OVER NOW.”
The car lurched over to the side of the road and stopped. I stayed on the loudspeaker. “DRIVER. PLEASE SLOWLY STEP OUT OF THE CAR.”
What happened next occurred so quickly that I simply wasn’t ready for it. All four doors of the car opened and over a dozen people jumped out, each of them dressed as clowns. I jumped out of the car and told them to stop. It was no use. Worse, I wasn’t sure which one was the driver.
I noticed they weren’t running away. Instead, they surrounded me. And then, in unison, they each pulled out a pistol. I thought about pulling my gun, but what would be the point. I stood there and heard soft ‘bangs’ all around me as each pistol revealed a little flag that said, “BOOM”.
This was just the beginning. Ten minutes later, they had driven off and my car was covered in cream pies. Sure, the cop shows lie to you. But that’s because you’d never believe the things that really happen around here.
Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas
About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.
So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story. Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal.