Arlington

May 21, 2010
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As the wolf trotted along the road, it could sense despair ahead. It was as white as snow not grey like the rest of its pack. It knew it was special. But even special wolves needed to eat. It remembered where it was, and that now was not the time to think. It walked another twenty paces, then stopped. It could sense prey, but for some reason the scent had just gone completely cold. Scents don't just waiver off. They end at prey. Prey for him to eat. Suddenly he heard a child scream from above him. As he looked up towards the branches, the last thing he saw was the pebble sized piece of iron hit him between the eyes.

Officer Jeff Howie knew he would be home late tonight. Arlington was a relatively small town compared to the behemoths like Tare Beach or Orange County. Again he sighed. Gunshots were normal in the other places, but here the only buildings around seemed to be retirement homes and 5$ a meal diners. “Oh well,” he muttered to himself as he put the car into first gear. He finished up the jelly donut, Turned on the sirens, and started speaking rapidly into the radio.

Jonathon woke quickly as the piercing sirens cut through Arlington. He listened for a minute, to make sure it didn't come from his brother, who often played his Playstation late at night. After listening intently, he determined the siren was coming from outside. Sure there was crime- Everyone knew that, but the last time anything requiring sirens happened it was when Ray Diamond highjacked the car. After being caught they had shipped him into another state, as the rumors went. Jon reminded himself to stay alert. This was his favorite time in the world. His older brother, Jacob, had once done the paperwork for the cops. Through this job he learned their radio channels, and Jon never missed a chance to listen to the exciting news whenever he could. To him it was an action movie. He turned on the radio, and suddenly heard a crash. He turned the radio up and realized it was just static. The crash had come from outside.

Jacob had been up playing video games. He knew it wasn't good for him, but what else was he supposed to do on a friday night? His parents were sound asleep, and when the gunshot went off, he didn't realize it, thinking it was part of his game. But as soon as he heard the sirens, he realized that his parents may have woken up. He turned off his computer, and quickly slipped into bed. As soon as he was under the covers, he felt like he was falling. He then heard the high pitched scream of his brother, halting as the bed stopped, and he was sprung put of it. He hit the wall and passed out, trying to remember if he had saved his video game. He never woke up again to get the chance.

As Officer Howie pulled up to the road, he saw the winter-white wolf lying on the ground. He quickly got out of his car, one hand on the holster of his gun, the other pointing the flashlight at the white mound that lay in front of him. He saw the pool of blood and immediately realized the wolf was dead. He relaxed his other hand, soon stiffening again as he saw the bullet that had gone through its skull. He called out, “This is Officer Howie. Hello? Is anyone there? ” His only answer was the start of his own car. He had left it in park with the keys in the transmission. Oops.

Officer Lucian Martel was feeling sick. He had eaten eight donuts, and written out 50 pages of paperwork. He was dozing off a little, as it was about ten, and tonight he had to work the night shift. Oh well, he thought, as he closed his eyes. No sooner had his head touched the desk and the gunshot startled him, making him throw his arms out, spilling papers and donuts into a jumbled mess on the floor. He pulled out a gun, and aimed it at the door of the station, using his desk for cover. “Martel?” The radio murmured in a deep voice. “We got two people on this squad, me and you. Are you already in your car, or are you hiding under your desk? Shot came from the mountain. I'm gonna go investigate. I'll probably be there when you meet me in 15 minutes. Don't be late.”

Benjamin Lucifer had screwed up. His order had been simple. “Bring the bag. Don't look in it. 817 Main Street, Arlington. 200 dollars. Go.” He needed the money and figured it wouldn't matter if he didn't get caught. Unfortunately, on the half hour bike ride he had spent getting to Arlington, he had taken it upon himself to hit the only pothole on the way. As soon as he did, the bottle had hit the ground and broken. Wine. He had been transporting wine. And he reeked of it. And he was only 16. He put the shards back in the bag, receiving a couple of cuts, and decided he would deliver the bag, collect, and then avoid Martin for the rest of his life. About ten minutes later he was reaching the Main Street in Arlington. His hands throbbed. He imagined his handlebars were covered in blood by now. The moon was full. He was scared. He turned on to Main Street, just as he started to hear sirens. He was determined. He didn't care. 400. 500. 600. 700. Suddenly he heard a screech to his right then an abrupt crashing. A scream. He stopped, afraid to look. He opened his eyes, and saw a police car, sirens and lights still on. He could see a house, the second story had collapsed onto the car. He knew immediately by the officer's body position, with his body halfway through the windshield, that he was dead. Now he was a murderer too, he thought to himself. And with that, he turned around, and pedaled as fast as he could back to his house, determined never to mention what had happened to anyone. Martin could yell at him, his parents could think he had been drinking. But ten minutes later, he had fully convinced himself he had never been in Arlington.

The Mayor was sleeping. “Of course he is.” his wife muttered, as the sirens blared in the background. It wasn't her job to deal with those problems. It was his. He hadn't done anything for the past three years in office, and she was sick and tired of his laziness and the immense amount of housekeeping it took to clean the grand house. The first crisis in decades, and the most politically powerful person in the whole town was sleeping, beer in hand, head propped up against the headboard. She had been up for an hour, thinking about what to do, when she decided to take matters into her own hands. She opened up the town book, which the Mayor had left on his desk in his laziness, and she turned onto the police channel. She immediately heard the chief officer, Officer Howie radioing for help. She picked up the intercom and immediately started talking. “What happened?” She asked, “What was the shot?”
“Ms. Rubek? Am I allowed to tell you? Where is the Mayor?”
“Sleeping. Go.” She responded hastily, hoping that she wouldn't wake her husband.
“I'm stranded up here on the mountain. You know, the one overlooking the cemetery. I came up to investigate the shot and I found one victim, a wolf.”
“A wolf? Why are you stranded? Was it not dead?”
“It was dead all right.” He responded, “But someone decided to steal my car while I was examining it.”
“Should I pick you up?”
“That'd be great, if you wouldn't mind, ma'am.”
“Ok, I'll come.” she responded, “Bye.” She immediately turned off the radio. She decided to leave a light on just in case.

Detective Allen didn't like the fact that he had to drive through Arlington every day to get to his house in Orange County. The lights often got mixed up, sometimes giving the wrong signals, and some of the signs were even wrongly labeled. Luckily, all he had to do to get home was drive through Mainstreet, but he could remember nearly a dozen times where some sort of crash, misspelling or closing of Route 7 had forced him to take a side road. Tonight he was hoping that that wouldn't be the case. Unfortunately, as he came closer to Mainstreet, he began to hear the sirens. “Awesome,” He muttered to himself.

Officer Howie couldn't believe that his car had been hijacked. He had worked with the Department for 15 years, seven of them in Arlington, and he had never once lost anything, not even a bullet from a cartridge. At least he still had his pistol, but his flashlight was running low on power. He focused on what to do: maximize the light so that it would be recognizable, and stay warm. He kept one hand on the trigger just in case. Suddenly a bright light brushed the branches above his head. He focused his eyes, squinting to protect himself from the light, and raised his gun. A car came near him, seemingly oblivious to the shining gun in his hand. He recognized it as belonging to the mayor's wife. He fired.

The Mayor awoke from a bad dream. He wished he wasn't mayor sometimes. He had only become mayor through faulty promises, and evidence he had forged to get the prior mayor out of office. The dream haunted him whenever he felt unworthy to his job, and he would always become afraid that someone had discovered his secret. He awoke by the gunshot. Two gunshots, a blaring siren, and the ring at the door were too much to ignore. The ring at the door? He thought back a second. It seemed as though the ringing had just started. He rolled over, expecting to see his wife, but what he saw made him much more scared than he had been a moment ago. She was gone. Maybe it had something to do with the gunshots, he figured. Still, it could be her at the door. Finally, five minuted later, he got himself out of bed and dressed, in the darkness. As soon as he entered the hallway, he realized the light was on. As he was about to reach the hallway, the ringing stopped. He hoped he hadn't locked his wife out. He opened the door, and was staring down the barrel of a gun. He looked past the gun and saw the face he hadn't seen since he locked the former Mayor away. It was Kenner. A face he hadn't seen in three years. “I'm sorry.” were the last words he said, before his head was blown ten feet across the hall.

The shot that pierced his ears sent shivers down his spine. The sirens already scared him, but a shot was something he rarely ever heard. He figured he might as well go toward the police station, just to figure out what was going on. He heard an owl, and a few crickets, and noticed the gleam off the mailboxes as he passed by them. Suddenly he heard two more gunshots. He could feel the goosebumps going through his body. He started to think about turning around, but decided against it. He saw the mayor's house coming up on his right. He started down the drive.

She hadn't meant for it to be this messy. She hadn't counted on the massive amount of blood in her house. She hadn't counted on Kenner actually showing up. As soon as he had killed the Officer, she had hidden in the back of the car. She waited for about half an hour, and heard a car driving up to the house. She could hear the crunching of the ornamental sand footpath as the person walked by her. She felt it was her obligation to do something. As she heard the last gunshot, she got into the front seat and turned the car on. She raced out of the driveway. She only had one goal; to survive.

She became famous after the incident, and Kenner went to jail. She published her account of the night in the Arlington museum, and soon after disappeared, and has never been heard of since. This third person conception of what may have happened is simply a tale. But it has one simple meaning that I hope rings loud and clear: Never go to Arlington.





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