Saturday, February 11, 2017

Inanimate Objects Challenge



It's time for another writing challenge! The first of 2017! This one is the Inanimate Objects Challenge and will entail writing a story from the perspective of an inanimate object.


Rules
The literary device "anthropomorphism" is when a writer gives human attributes to something not human. Usually it's used on animals like in Wind in the Willows or the Redwall series, but sometimes it is also used on inanimate objects like a clock or a book.

For this challenge that is what you will be doing. Whether you want to simply write a story from the perspective of an inanimate object, or write about, say, a clock with human personality, that's up to you! Use your imagination with this one!

As always, 10,000 words is the limit.

When
I'd like to try and get the submissions by April 1st, but definitely let me know if you need a little more time.

If you are a new writer and would like to join this challenge, you can email me at sirwilliamssquire@gmail.com and let me know you want to join up.

As always, I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

Happy Writing!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter Writing Challenge: "The Chronicles of Kent"-- by Joseph Leskey



The Chronicles of Kent
as put to writing by Joseph Leskey

It should have never been. Even so, it came. It came even before thick layers of snow sheeted the ground. It existed even as the first leaves had begun to fall from the trees. But, now, it had awakened. It stretched out as a mighty wind, delighting in its strength. Senses came and it felt the harsh cry of another’s temper. Memory formed then, a confusion of thoughts, warnings from the future. Boundaries lifted around it, a greater presence reaching out through the sky. Its rage and fear spiraled around the highest summits. Balance was abandoned and a clash split the sky. Strength rippled against strength. It fled. All the powers of the air chased it. It pulled all its power to one point, minifying to a weak yet concentrated state, reaching out into the great expanse around it. The thick emptiness evolved into much life. A sharp call barraged from all sides and a great force reached, breaking its pull. It reached out in a desperate attempt at finding shelter, propelling itself away from the now dangerous vertices of life. Soon, it focused upon a weaker existence and brought its full might and will upon it, quickly breaking its frail defenses. It melded with that life, rebuilding its shattered force. Shapes were appearing, strange colors plastered over them. Cold air moved in quick puffs of steam. A thick cold substance was flying through the air and covering the ground. Thoughts were being reached, but too quickly. A roar sounded through the wind, one of anger and confusion. A new horror dawned: it would be coming. The strength of the other presences faded and concentration was lost.


Mister Billy Vigil threw another scoop of snow onto the mountainous pile he had created. He looked up, squinting at the town hall clock. Only five in the evening. He wouldn’t go home until seven. He had very few interests other than working on the roads and perhaps in driveways, so he delighted in winter, getting up day after day and shoveling vigorously for hours. The townspeople didn’t mind at all, although some worried that it wasn’t very healthy for a man of nearly eighty to be doing such amounts of cold physical labor. Nobody made any attempt at stopping him, however, and he was quite happy that it was so. After several more scoops, he stepped back against the snow pile and sat down, admiring his handiwork. It was quite a masterpiece, a cleared road for farther than the eye could see.


“Neater than any truck could do,” he grumbled to himself exaltedly. With that, he leaped up, and an especially strong gust of wind blew him into somebody’s mailbox. “Well, that’s nice!” he exclaimed, leaping for his shovel as it sailed merrily through the air. He gripped the mailbox and waited patiently for the wind to stop, but it didn’t. He raised his eyebrows questioningly as his snow pile leaned, than shouted out with all the power of inhuman vengeance as it toppled onto the road. He forgot the wind in his fury and attacked the fallen snow like a berserker until it was scattered thickly on every surface but the pavement. He calmed down and set back to work on the rest of the road, throwing snow in every direction, forgetting to notice that he was more than half frozen. Slowly, he started to feel numb.

“I’d better go home,” he murmured wearily. Then he started to feel warm. He turned to head home, but suddenly he felt as if something had crashed into his head. He stumbled and looked around as his concentration seemed to be leaving. The snow became darker and darker and endless in swirling depths. Then, he fell.


Miss Elise McGregor was sweeping her porch. She had always found brooms more efficient at effective snow removal than shovels. She kept this opinion to herself, however, to avoid glances of disbelief. It was because of this opinion that she remained a spinster. She unhappily swung her broom at some packed down snow, then straightened her back and stared out at the scenery. There was Mr. Vigil, working on the road again. A tidy sum of snow was packed up into a nice-sized heap. Mr. Vigil stretched and stumbled backwards into the snow pile, portraying what could only be described as a pleased grimace upon his face. He suddenly leaped up. At that moment a strong torrent of wind threw him into a mailbox. With a little bounce, he seized his shovel as it flew past. He then grabbed the mailbox and sat still. The wind was a particularly ferocious one, so strong that Miss McGregor was obliged to move closer to her house so she wouldn’t be knocked over. She saw a number of unidentifiable objects fly through the air. Hopefully nobody would miss them. She then turned and, with a feeling of pity, watched as Mr. Vigil’s snow mound fell. He let loose a mighty bellow, one so loud that she could hear it faintly even through the wind. A frenzy seized him and he threw his shovel at the snow with unbelievable vigor. Then his anger seemed to lessen and he set about his normal shoveling routine. Miss McGregor set back to sweeping her porch, suddenly contracting a horrible case of shivers. She quickened her sweeping, then realized that Mr. Vigil must be very cold at the moment. She looked up and happened to see him flying through the air and face-downwards smashing into the ground. Alarmed, she walked towards the edge of her porch. The wind, she realized, was even stronger than she had thought, so she went back to the house to call the fire department. She then watched in pure paralysis as a tree crashed down, splitting the second nearest utility pole and scattering the snapped wires. To her immense relief, Mr. Vigil picked that moment to shoot out a hand, then a leg. He shoved them into the ground and stayed in that position for a few seconds, before throwing another leg into the snow and lifting himself as though by clockwork. He then mechanically took his shovel in hand, shook his head and began slicing away at the snow again. Miss McGregor smiled, relieved, and went to see if her ancient fireplace still worked.


Mister Boyd Hayward slunk out of the dingy, mostly unnoticed general store, where he had just made the embarrassing purchase of maple syrup, three quarts of it, and a toilet plunger.

It’s fine,” he told himself, shuddering. “Just imagine how many toilet plungers that store clerk has bought.” But, in evident reality, he thought it not fine at all. He was burning with shame and fear and, deep within his blood, suspicion. This was the same blood that had placed his father’s mother in jail. She was a lady who had not forgotten her long heritage of thievery and, ofttimes, treason to the nearest authority. She had taken upon herself the gentler occupation of smuggling. Subdued she had become in her imprisonment, rising to be a great detective as far as they go, yet nothing could quench her dangerous thrill at the antics the criminals performed. Ah, how Mr. Hayward wished his ancestors’ blood had died with her. He sat brooding on this history, as he was often wont to do, crouching in the shadow of a trash can. His car, an excellent model, was parked neatly in the center of a parking lot, quite within his sight. Beside it now, however, was a minivan. Even worse, it looked as though at least three people were within it. Mr. Hayward’s blood could not take such a risk. He crawled over to a tree and peered out behind it. At that moment, somebody shouted and he jumped. An eruption of wind threw him away from the tree and he rolled down into a ditch. Blood dripped from his nose and ear and he began sneezing. He realized something was broken under him. It was the toilet plunger.

What have I ever done that the Nornir should be so against me!!?” he bellowed. The wind, as he intended, made short work of erasing his words. The maple syrup jars, he noticed glumly, were not broken. He crept back out of the ditch and glanced backwards as the crazy snow shoveler fell to the ground. He barely paid attention to this, but made his way slowly back to the general store. Then, he hesitated, threw his fractured toilet plunger to the wind, and sprinted in the direction of his car. He stumbled and rose. As soon as he did so, the air abruptly stilled. He put a leg forward to start running again, but at that moment, he heard the sound of a nearby howling so intense in potency and powerful in volume that his hereditary blood grew cold and his body stiffened. He fell to the ground in a faint.

***
“You know, Sarge?” police chief Ethan Rue addressed Sergeant Tone. “Anarchy’s a bad idea.”

“Yep.” The sergeant nodded. “That wind’s blowing bats and chickens outside.”

The police chief shot up. “It’s cats and dogs. And that’s for rain.”

“Er… yes, chief. Sorry. I just thought… you know, flight. Wind? Get i–oh, never mind.”

“Just be more careful in the future.” The chief lounged again. The electricity flicked off.

“Well if that don’t just beat all!” exclaimed the chief, instantly feeling the chill of winter. “Kind of gets me in the mood for Christmas,” continued he.

“Ya know, chief. I was just thinking the same thing.”

“Me too.”

“I should hope so, since you brought it up.”

“Eh? Oh yeah.”

“Sometimes I wonder if I ought to be the chief.”

“Eh? Is this mutiny.”

“No, no. Not at all. Say, where’s Cap’n?”

“Oh. Smith’s over in the next town serving turkeys to old people. Can you believe it?”

“Nope. We won’t have any strong leader here while he’s gone. He runs the department.”

“Yep. I… hey!” The chief bellow, reddening in a good-natured way. “Thought you could pull one on me?”

“Yup.”

“Hm… I’m beginning to feel like I’m in Antarctica, you?”

“Nope,” Sergeant Tone growled. “The Arctic.”

“What have you got against Antarctica?”

“A polar bear paralyzed my aunt.”

“You don’t know much, do you?”

The sergeant looked surprised and shrugged. “Why do you say that?”

“Oh… nothing. It’s just… I think your magnetism doesn’t work just right.”

“What?”

“Magnetism? The south and north poles? Tips of the Earth, get it?”

“What?”

“Never mind,” roared the chief. “It just seems like you might be the sort of person who would have penguins being in the Arctic.”

“And why not?”

“Because…” the chief poured himself some sadly cool chocolate, with a scowl. “Because…” The door suddenly burst open and it seemed both ends of the Earth collided, leaving their temperature behind.

“Oi!” screamed the chief and sergeant in unison.

“What?” said a voice. A bumping noise sounded.

“Close the door, man!” yelled the Chief. “There’s naught to keep us warm in here.”

“Oops.” There was a final clunk and half a snowstorm rushed in. A lot of snow, a small patrolman, and a shovel followed.

“Electricity’s out,” explained the chief. “And it’s subzero in here.”

“I’ll call Captain and ask him what to do,” announced the man.

“Great idea!” shouted his audience.

“Hold it there, Ralph!” said the sergeant matter-of-factly. “No electricity. No telephone.”

“Um…” said the officer. “My smartphone?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Should I dial it?” asked the chief. “Your hands look frozen.”

Ralph sighed, picked out his phone, and said, “Phone Captain.”

“Calling ‘Captain,’” responded the clearly Swedish voice.

The chief and sergeant looked at the officer’s smirk in a bemused fashion.

“Hello?” said Ralph into his device.

“Hello! Ralph?” came the loud reply.

“Yep. The electricity’s out and it’s freezing in the office.”

“Are the generators not working?” came the Captain’s wisdom.

“Are the generators not working?” repeated Ralph to his fellow officers.

“We didn’t check…” muttered the sergeant. He ran into the radio room. Suddenly, all the lights came back on and luxurious heat fumed from the heaters.

“Turn it up to seventy-six, man!” shouted the Chief.

“Right!” After a pause, the sergeant walked back into the room, feeling quite pleased.

“That worked. Thanks, Cap’n!” said Ralph.

“Good. I aim to be back soon, if the weather permits it. No, lady, I am not your son.” The Captain sighed and cleared his throat. “Good bye!”

“Bye!” said Ralph. He pressed his screen and slid his phone back into his pocket. “Well, what do you say to that?”

“Well,” said the chief. “Two things. One, how can you stand pressing a screen to end a call? I’ve always greatly enjoyed smashing the ear-piece down, sort of destroying the call forever. And, two, why is your volume so high?”

“Hey, I was listening to music.”

 “Music,” the chief repeated numbly. The door again burst open.

“Ralph!” The voice was that of patrolwoman Jill Evans.

“Huh?”

“Is the car dug out and ready to go?”

“Yep.”

“Very good. Ethan, Peter Jacks…”

“You can call me Chief,” he informed her helpfully.

“Chief, Peter Jacks has just informed me that a wolf attacked Old Charley. Apparently a large one.”

“Now what in the world?” gasped the Chief. “Call the animal control. Contact the game warden. Alert the rangers! How come they didn’t call dispatch?”

“I think the police will have to handle it this time.”

“Not in our job description, but oh well… go see to it. Take the tranquilizers. NAN!!!!!

“What?” came an aged woman’s voice from the radio room.

“Tell Moody and Clark to meet Evans–er–Jill at Old Charley’s place. A giant wolf has ripped him to shreds.”

“No…” said Jill.

“Don’t you have a job to do?” said the Chief excitedly. “And keep us posted.”

“Right-o.” Jill closed the door and everybody inside the building shivered.

***
Jill was able to easily start up the squad car and she drove it quickly for roughly a minute, before pulling into Old Charley’s yard. The other police car was already there, lights flashing for dramatic effect. Jill subconsciously flipped the switch of her car and got out with a clipboard.

Charles Davidson was sitting in a rocking chair rumbling off words to two skeptical officers. Jill walked up and suddenly noticed that he was wearing a purple cabled sweater that looked decidedly off on his grizzled appearance. “Hello, young lady!” he said as she approached.

“Hello, Mr. Davidson!”

“I was just telling these two ruddy gentlemen my old exaggerated tale. Care to take a seat?”

“Certainly, thank you.” Seeing no seat, Jill remained standing. Old Charley didn’t notice.

“I’ll start right from the beginning, I’m sure these fellers won’t mind. Well, I was taking my dogs to the outhouse, so then I could… you know….”

Jill quickly nodded, scribbling onto the paper caught in the clip.

Old Charley made over-exaggerated coughing noises. “Well, lo and behold, they get in front of me, see. I move on, but they start growling and getting vicious like. So I sort of take a step backwards and at that moment, a huge white wolf leaps right up onto my outhouse. I get my gun off my shoulder so quick, you never would have believed it.”

“Wait…” said Jill. “You had a gun with you?”

“Never use the toilet without it.”

“Um….”

“Sorry. You asked. Figured I might as well give you the details, seeing as you’ve got that badge. Anywho, my gun’s all ready. And just then that big ol’ monster leaped at me. I shot at it and it retreated back some steps, see, after giving my coat a nasty clawin’.” The man waved his rough hand. “I run me to the outhouse and wait until it left, then I went back to my house quick as I could. That’s the whole… oh, wait. Its nose was very cold. Fact is, everything about it was cold, even its breath.”

“Its nose was that close to you?”

“I wanted to know if it had rabies.”

“Ah.” Jill was pretty sure she shared her coworkers’ incredulous expression. “You mean it could be wandering around town right now.”

Suuuure thiiiinngg,” came the drawled reply.

“Right. Well, then, you should probably get inside. It’s safer in there. We’ll go looking for it.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He shuffled to his feet and waddled into his house.

“Well, let’s get going,” said Ted Clark, Jill’s uncle. The men returned to their car and Jill followed suit. Then they split up, looking for any sign of the wolf. Both squad cars happened to meet in the center of town and there they found more than a sign.
***
“Say what?” bellowed Chief Rue.

“Jill and the boys are having a gun fight with the wolf, dear,” repeated the dispatcher patiently.

“Alright. Communicate this to Captain and call in all scattered officers you can. Ralph, go as reinforcements.”

“Very well,” said the old lady. She left to do the task.

“No car…” Ralph began.

“Use your legs, man!”

Ralph nodded and ran off, banging the door.

“Sergeant, we’ve got to go see the mayor.”

“Yes, sir.”
***
Mayor Ezekiel Clemmons sat brooding in his tall, skinny office chair. He was approaching sixty-five, yet he looked much the same as he did at thirty. Still the same black and gray, somewhat shiny hair; long, pointy ears; eyes with dusty amber irises and one perpetually inflamed blood vessel; a tall, wiry build; and the same style of tailored outfits that included many garments, long and skinny, and a wide gray cloak. He looked, as it were, not unlike–and, in fact, remarkably similar–to his least favorite super-villain. The poor man was lacking in his knowledge of this fact.

Politics had been especially bad this year. The town’s economy was failing; the townspeople were either too lazy or had a bad year at their work. Mayor Clemmons frowned deeply and cracked the joints in his ring fingers. He picked up a knife and threw it at a target on the wall. It embedded itself deeply into the bullseye mark. This did not calm his mind. Instead he let loose an inaudible growl and turned down the heat of his office. Then he navigated his computer’s web browser to his emails. He despised external email clients. Seeing an email, he viciously closed the program. At least his computer ran Ubuntu Studio. He almost smiled as he thought back to the heated debate where he maintained that Linux was better than Windows. Against all odds, he won and was granted the kernel and his nominated operating system. Then his gaze strolled over to his orderly bulletin board.

“The Christmas tree,” he muttered through clenched teeth. Every year, the townspeople expected a Christmas tree to come from the town’s treasury. He shook his head in sudden determination. Not this year. A fierce hatred for money squanderers suddenly burst into what felt like his gall bladder. He rose from his chair and paced for roughly three minutes before sitting back down. He then glumly thought of those rioting protesters who were steadily approaching his town. Who knew what they were protesting.

It was thinking thoughts such as these that the two policemen found him, bursting into the room and quickly explaining the issue with the giant white wolf.

This is more like it,” thought the mayor, at least three times as happy as he was formerly. So powerful was this explosion of temporary joy that the mayor broke forth into a simply petrifying grin and then a chilling laugh. Seeing the officers back off a step, puzzled, he stood and monologued, “Thank you, gentlemen. You take my mind off many weighty matters. You may leave. I trust you know what to do. Ah, if you don’t mind, would you alert the other members of the council?”

They nodded, swallowed, and ran like frightened dogs. Mayor Clemmons looked on with a smile and a merry but frozen glint in his eye. He spent the next several minutes collecting scattered objects that were about his office and reading up on wolves.
***
Another gunshot rang out, immediately followed with a roar of pain. Five officers were hiding behind a barricade of two patrol cars and one pickup truck. They were equipped with handguns, but these seemed to have no lasting effect upon the wolf, which looked to be of the arctic variety, being fully white, but was larger than the police pickup truck.

“Hey!” shouted one of the officers. “We can’t just keep shooting forever!”

“I’d hate to think what the wolf would do if we stopped,” called another, letting out three quick shots. Suddenly, the wolf growled in a way that wasn’t at all natural and jumped onto a roof. It then leaped at the officers, who fled in terror. At that moment, the chief and deputy drove in and hurriedly passed out semi-automatic rifles and some gas bombs.

“We’re the modern police here!” shouted Chief Rue. “Rally to my semi-automatic machine gun!” All the police did. Once they were all in a group, the wolf leaped. They dove quickly to the side and started shooting again. A massive paw suddenly threw the majority of them against a brick building.

“What’s wrong with this animal?” shouted Sergeant Tone, scrambling to his feet. “It seems to regenerate.”

“More than that,” said an officer named Harry. “The blood even disappears. No, it falls directly onto the ground, right through all that fur.”

Everybody else quickly observed this fascinating fact. The wolf responded to their stares by diving at Harry and taking a good bite. Harry shot it directly in its eye and it recoiled back, throwing him up onto a snowy roof.

“Are you alright, man?” shouted Chief Rue.

“Yeah. Thumbs up for bulletproof vests!” He began firing at the wolf again.

“You know,” said the other sergeant, Tom Wren, “these bullets do nothing.”

Jill promptly stopped firing and threw a gas bomb. A fog rose where it exploded. This seemed to be more effective. The beast backed off in anger, sneezing. A sudden cold wind quickly disposed of the fog and froze the officers to the bones. “Brrrrrr…” most of them muttered.

The wolf suddenly dropped down beside them and leaped, scattering them for many meters. It quickly turned on Chief Rue and tried to eat him and had almost succeeded when a voice resonated throughout the area. “Halt, foul creature. Cast the innocent down.” It was the mayor, standing on the ridge of somebody’s roof, holding a lit torch in one hand and a very sharp-looking short sword in the other. The wolf threw the chief at him. The chief only hit the roof and rolled off into a snow bank. The wolf leaped after him. The mayor executed an amazing jump and threw the torch into the wolf’s fur. It yelped and reeled backwards, turning quickly into a pile of snow. Then it darted at the mayor. At the same moment, a swirling mass of snow put out his torch, which he promptly put into the creature’s throat. It growled and gagged at this and then simply stopped making noise. Continuing in its silence, it attacked the mayor in all possible fury, smashing the torch against his head. Then a massive explosion of air launched the torch from its throat and it bit viciously at the mayor’s cloak. The garment was well made, however and did not tear. The mayor, realizing this advantage, pulled out a stun weapon and pierced it deeply into the wolf’s side. It howled in pain, twisting away. The mayor wasn’t done yet. He pressed a button and soon, the wolf was on fire. The mayor jumped onto its back, fanning the flames, and was looking quite impressive until it suddenly shook violently, throwing him off, and ran away. The police instantly gave chase, guns quite readily firing. However, upon turning a corner, it soon disappeared. The police turned back, discouraged, and a cold wind blew in their faces, snowflakes starting to accumulate throughout the air.

“I suggest you bring electricity with you next time,” said the mayor, suddenly present. “If you had some, we might have killed it by now.”

“Wolves don’t usually need electricity,” stated the Chief.

“You fool! That is no wolf.”

“What?”

“It’s a man.”

“What? A werewolf?” puffed the Chief.

“Obviously. You did notice that it was nothing like a wolf?”

“It looked exactly like a wolf,” groaned Sergeant Tone. He was stretching.

“Visual appearance means nothing.”

“So, why do you say it’s not a wolf?”

“It didn’t act like one.”

“What d’ye mean, it didn’t act like one?”

“Just use electricity next time.” The mayor turned. All at once, a tempestuous rabble of townsfolk poured themselves into the scene, wielding whatever was the first thing they could get their hands on and shouting the first thing they could get into their throats.

“Where’s the wolf!?” demanded one of them.

“It ran off,” said Officer Ronald Freud. He was the expert in public relations.

“Which direction!?” pressed the same one.

“It disappeared.”

“Disappeared?”

“Aye, that it did, angry mob,” said Sergeant Tone. He was not an expert in public relations.

The angry mob angrily retreated, their very human thirst for the sight of hemoglobin not satisfied. No sooner had they done so, however, than the whole lot of them started screaming.
***
“Let us through!” commanded Officer Ronald Freud for the fifth time.

Sergeant Tone barged through the lines of mob, having the officers and chief follow him in an arrowhead formation. As soon as he saw the object of attention, he blinked in surprise. A grotesquely blue and purple figure lay face-downwards on the road, clumps of ice and piles of snow all about it.

“Wha-t’s all t-his,” stuttered the chief in horror.

Officer Ralph started whistling loudly.

“Call the paramedics?” suggested Sergeant Tone dully.

“This corpse is beyond human effort,” announced the mayor, shoving his way through the crowd. “Take it away.” Somebody gulped loudly.

“Alright,” said Chief. “Sarge and Sarge, take ye a group of patrol-folk and scour the ground for the cause of this… uh.”

“Bloody manslaughter?” suggested Sergeant Tone.

“Yeah. Bloody manslaughter or murder. But… it’s more frozen than bloody.”

“I was talking about internal bleeding.”

“So…” said Sergeant Wren. “We look for the murderer.”

“Sure. I’ll head back to the old HQ. I’m getting too fat for manhunts.” The chief took the pickup truck and headed back to his office.

“Right!” said Sergeant Tone. “Let’s get started.”
***
Most of the officers regrouped at the police headquarters, taking in the moment of pure relaxation, but still feeling rather discouraged. They had found no trace of any potential murderer.

“Hey, don’t feel too badly,” moaned the Chief, downing another comforting mug of hot chocolate. “Most murderers don’t want to be caught, so it’s a wonder we’re able to find any of them.” Realizing this didn’t give much hope, he continued, “Of course, most murderers don’t work by ice either…”

“Silence!” screeched the mayor. “This is obviously a criminal who does not conform to normal standards of existence. I very much doubt any of you would be able to stand up against this being. No doubt both events of today are connected… the werewolf and the witch.”

“Witch?”

“I am only making a reasonable assumption. This isn’t a superhero movie.” The mayor’s voice broke with regret. “This is life. There is most likely not some freeze-ray operator on the loose.”

“But witchcraft?” inquired Officer Ralph, his mouth full of toast.

“Not necessarily, indeed not likely in these enlightened times, but something of a similar nature.”

“What are we to do about it then?” coughed the officer.

“It’s obvious. Get your troopers out there. Let no one rest. Find the sorcerer.”

“But we searched the whole town.”

“You probably didn’t inquire into every detail of every person’s life.”

“True.”

“We can’t do that,” pointed out Sergeant Tone.

“No. You go about with your patrols. I shall find the culprit.” The mayor exited the building with an overly dramatic swirl of his cloak.

The chief poured a new cup of hot chocolate. “Oi! Somebody go steal some eggs from the fire department and then we’ll start drawing up some plans.”
***
Mayor Ezekiel Clemmons trudged through the snow, unaware of the frigidity. He was looking at a bleak darkness contained in a screen, the scenery created by his thermal imaging camera. Suddenly, he saw a slightly whiter shape which looked human, apparently buried under the snow. He took three long, snowy strides and kicked his boot into the figure, prying it out of the snow. It was Mr. Hayward. The mayor seized him by his shirt and lifted him, noticing with interest the great quantity of frozen syrup covering the poor man’s shirt.

“Hayward,” commanded the mayor. “Awaken!”

Mr. Hayward did so. “Da…dad? Take one more step and I’ll shred you.”

He obviously didn’t have very good familial ties,” thought the mayor. “No. I am not your father. Wake up.”

Mr. Hayward blinked blearily. “But… the… wolf… it howled. How will I ever plunge the toilet? I’ll never be able to use it again. My life is… stolen. Why do I need my blood? I’m tired of it… oh, I’m so warm. Why can’t life….”

The mayor slapped him.

“Si…rr? I didn’t do it, by Thor’s hammer, I didn’t do it.”

“What use is Thor’s hammer to me!? What didn’t you do? Tell me this, or I’ll shred you.”

“Not the wolf?”

“I fought the wolf… it’s a wolf, nothing more, except a man and a shape-shifter at that. Just tell me.”

“Is it warm… would it make a nice blanket?”

“No. In fact, it was a very cold beast. Ah ha! I am starting to form something.”

“I didn’t do it.”

“I know. I’ll just get the police and have them take you to the….”

A dramatic change came over the man. He suddenly turned bright red and forced himself out of the mayor’s grip. He than ran as if Fenrir were chasing him.

“Poor imbecile.” The mayor walked away from the scene, went directly to his office, opened a case, and pulled out a short rifle. “The hunt will now begin. And I shall not be the prey.” He laughed and grimaced at the same time.
***
“Hey, Jill!” laughed Ralph. He and Jill were patrolling in the car he had dug out of the snow.

“Huh?”

“Somebody sent me a picture of their face and asked if they had a rose-leaf complexion.” Ralph showed her his phone’s screen.

“That’s odd. I’d place it more under a moldy cheese complexion.”

“Me too. Rose-leaf complexions always got to me. I mean… that should mean that you’re green?”

“Look!” Jill pointed, crashing down onto the brake.

A line of brightly colored trucks came tearing down the road. It looked as if there were people on top of some of them. A gunshot rang out.

“Oh, great,” said Ralph.

Jill nodded. “The rioters have come.”
***
“I’ll be a gazelle's kitten!” exclaimed the chief. “Quick, get shields, tactical vests, guns of all shapes and sizes. You know, the normal procedure. Call the mayor. Nan!!!!!!! Get the captain over here. We’ll need the army soon with all our problems!”

Everybody collected the various items and marched in a very noteworthy fashion out of the building and into the vehicles. They then cautiously approached the area the rioters were coming from. Unfortunately, smoke was already pouring from the place.

Suddenly, screams of fright and shock echoed throughout the city. When the police arrived, a great deal of the area was covered in ice and snow. Most of the rioters were encased in this and the rest were hurriedly fleeing.

“It’s the wolf again!” shouted an officer known as Oliver Peterson.

The massive creature leaped in front of the unprepared policemen. A gunshot rang out from the top of a house and a large dart struck the beast in its shoulder. It stumbled but then the dart cracked, falling to the ground.

“Bring it down!” shouted the Mayor. He leaped from the roof and joined in the fight.

“The rioters don’t seem to be totally leaving,” announced Ralph, shooting a bullet into the wolf’s nose.

“I suppose you forgot to bring electricity,” growled the mayor, piercing the wolf with a spear he happened to be carrying.

“We were expecting rioters, so nothing too fancy.” said Sergeant Tone. “We have C-E-W’s.”

“Excellent. Use them.” The officers did so and saw that these seemed to have a vicious effect upon the wolf, which howled in great distress.

“Whoever heard a wolf that sounded like that?” demanded the mayor. “Show yourself! We know that you be man and not beast.”

A faint thing happened in the wolf’s neck that looked like the essence of illusion and a slow, dry, human laugh poured out into the frosty air.

“I told you he was a werewolf!” exclaimed the mayor triumphantly. “Why do you attack, my good man?”

The great animal turned and licked the frozen ground, then looked back at them, a gleam in its eye.

“It’s here because of the ice?” inquired Sergeant Tone unbelievingly.

“Some courtesy, man!” exclaimed the chief.

All of the sudden, the wolf made a fresh attack and then disappeared down an alley.

“Give chase!” shouted Sergeant Wren. And off the police and mayor shot.

They suddenly saw its tail disappear behind a house. They charged after it, but it was nowhere to be found.

“I declare!” shouted the chief. “That thing runs like a cheetah on a highway.”

“Chief!” It was Jill who spoke. “Mr. Billy Vigil–he’s here.”

“Ah ha!” sneered the Mayor. “And this is where the tracks stop. And look at this!” He pointed. “They turn to boots.”

“A shapeshifter that keeps their clothes?” asked Officer Ralph doubtfully.

“It is indeed odd, but question not the supernatural.”

“Mm…” said the Chief Rue. “I don’t know. It seems like it just couldn’t work.”

“And why not?”

“There’s just no logical way….”

“Shut that mouth up right now!” hissed the mayor. “We need no logic here; you are in the presence of the paranormal.”

“I declare, mayor! We need logic in my department.”

“Logic has its place, but it isn’t here!”

“Rationality, then?” asked Sergeant Tone hopefully.

“Idiot!” howled the mayor. “Fool! Silence your jaw, before I add some color to your complexion.”

Sergeant Tone blinked, then tried to hold the mayor’s intimidating gaze.

“We need Captain,” sounded out Officer Freud, trying to break the tension.

“Yeah,” moaned the Chief.

“Gentlemen, is this what police do all day?” inquired the mayor curtly. “If so, I fail to see why you get so much money.”

“Uh… I wouldn’t mind getting a lot of money,” said Officer Ralph, laughing.

“Bah! You’re able to pay your bills, man,” exclaimed the Chief.

“Now, if you shall not make deductions, I shall,” stated the mayor through narrowed lips. His matching set of narrowed eyes twitched. “We can see here that the wolf was walking, then the paws turned to boots and led right to this… Mr. Vigil.”

“Are you saying Mr. Vigil is the wolf?” inquired Jill.

“Since the trained professionals aren’t doing anything, I must say, yes. Yes, I am.”

“That’s stupid!” said Sergeant Tone. “That old man wouldn’t hurt a fly… okay. He would. He’d spread its entrails like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”

Officer Ralph coughed disgustedly and spouted out, “Ew. Yuck. Oh, wow. That’s gross. Oh, man, I hated that. Oh, wow. That… that is disgusting.”

“Me?” slurred out Mr. Vigil.

“Yes, sir,” said the mayor. “You. What have you to say for yourself?”

“Wolf.” Mr. Vigil still slurred. “Beast destroy. I destroy. You fell. I take. Shovel!”

“The… what, man?” asked the chief, confused.

“See!?” said the mayor through clenched teeth. “O, foolish beings of mortal humanity, we have captured a lycanthrope. And it’s going to pay.”
***
Most everybody in the village was gathering in the square, the place where the Christmas tree normally would have been at that time of the year. A chain of police kept rioters from coming in and more police patrolled the rest of the crowd. The two sergeants held their ground in the middle of a circle of people. In between them was Mr. Vigil, crouching, and behind him was the mayor, looking suspiciously at the people around him.

His voice then rang out, cold, clear, commanding, and tired, “Good people of Kent, hail! I have come here to witness the towns decision upon this man, who is suspect of being a werewolf.” There were gasps and mutterings of disbelief at this, but the mayor continued. “I assume you have come for the same reason. As such, we shall immediately commence. Sir, Mr. William Vigil, have you anything to say for yourself. You stand suspect; defend yourself, lest ye become accused.”

Mr. Vigil snarled and leaped to his feet. “I… death. Hurt you. Save self.” His eyes became a milky white, mostly covering his pupils. Suddenly, it began to snow. Then, it was a whiteout. Then, bolts of ice began springing out of every object. Everybody in the area screamed like pumas, feeling certain of death and knowing only a cold fear. Then, a howl, long and ferocious, fearfully unaffected by the storm, seemed to come from all directions at once and the storm quivered and broke, immediately turning into a powdery layer on the ground. Most everybody got back up, overjoyed to be alive. Everybody turned their gaze to the gigantic wolf facing off the old man. A sudden bolt of ice caught the wolf directly in the chest and a barrage of snow fairly drowned it, but it suddenly leaped, catching Mr. Vigil by the arm and quickly biting it off. Mr. Vigil showed no signs of pain, but only touched the wolf and turned it into a statue of ice. As he continued touching it the entire area became colder and colder, every bit of heat being rendered useless in that icy pull. Suddenly, the wolf moved. It smashed its front paws into Mr. Vigil and he flew against a brick building. Its wall crumbled.

“Hi!” bellowed the mayor at the wolf and charged, the police after him. The wolf surprised them all and ran. The mayor chased after it. The crowd, along with the rioters from other towns, suddenly started shouting and picking up weapons, thundering after it and Mr. Vigil. The police dedicated their full strength to keeping them stationary and orderly. The rioters tried their best to ruin their efforts, the more violent ones with weapons.
***
“What a day!” declared Chief. “What a day.” He bore quite a few bruises, matching all his officers.

“Those rioters just make me want to burn their homes to the ground!” hissed Officer Thomas Phillips.

“Um… Phillips?” said Sergeant Tone. “That is no way for a civilized policeman to act.”

“I have a bruise in my underarm. I am by no means civilized.”

“Ah.”

Suddenly the door literally burst off its hinges. Fortunately, the man who opened it was a carpenter. “Come to the square, quickly!”

“Back to the square?” moaned Officer Ralph. He had managed to get both his shoulders nearly broken.

“Aye. There’s a wounded man.”

“Let’s get us over there,” said the Chief.
***
A murmuring crowd turned to muttering as they waited for the evidence. At the moment, Old Charley climbed onto a slight platform in the square, holding up a body. “As I was saying,” said Old Charley, “there’re no claw prints here. Shot’s done this job.”

At that moment, the dispatch of police appeared, filing up through the newly gathered, cautious crowd.

“Lemme have a look,” said Sergeant Tone. “Uh… yes. Definitely bullet wounds. Multiple penetrations about the heart.”

The mayor came running up at that moment, looking angry. “What happened here?”

“Somebody’s gone and introduced this poor fellow a little too well to materials foreign to his body,” explained Old Charley.

“I see. Our streets are no longer safe. Everybody flee to their houses. Don’t come out until we officials say. I require a police guard for this man’s burial.”

“I suppose that could be arranged,” informed the Chief.

“I assure you, sir, I would not have mentioned it unless if it were destined to happen.” The mayor stalked off. Suddenly, a loud siren came into audibility. A large armored vehicle with an escort of two squad cars rolled into the town square. A police officer slid off the car and walked over to the chief, who indicated himself. “Sir, we heard you need help. We would have come earlier, but there are rioters literally everywhere.”

“Ah, I thank you kindly, man. We have a mess of trouble. We’ve got some of your rioters, a werewolf, and some old guy with magical power over snow or something.”

“S-ir?” stuttered the officer. “I understood… I mean….” He blinked and dipped his head. “We’ll be glad to help anyway.”
***
All the remainder of the day and all night were spent patrolling the town in great, well-armed force. No noteworthy event was reported, however, until six o’clock in the morning, whereupon another victim was found dead, soon followed at six-thirty by the discovery of two people, ripped by claws. These were still alive, but barely. At seven, Mr. Vigil was found and put in a jail cell, under the influence of a sleeping pill. At eight, a huge pool of blood with clumps of fur and paw and boot prints all about it was located. At eight-forty, Mr. Vigil broke through the jail wall and was found at nine battling the mayor. And then, some more action began.
***
All the police shot down the road. The wolf had apparently joined in the fight and now all three were contending viciously. The police were not allowed by Mr. Vigil or the wolf to approach. It was especially difficult to do so, seeing as they didn’t want to harm Mr. Vigil.

Unknown to the police or combatants, a third party was hiding behind a barrel, surveying the scene in terror.  The figure was that of Boyd Hayward. It must have been his blood’s fault that he suddenly came to be there, but there he was, and, if he moved, he was certain it would be his last movement. Then, his blood began to boil and he picked up a rock. He was going to break this standstill, if it was the last thing he did. He was tired of resenting his blood. He threw the stone at the mayor, because he would feel bad about knocking out the older man and it wouldn’t hurt the wolf. The mayor did not expect this and crumpled dramatically to the ground as the rock hit his head. At that moment, several things happened. The police found themselves out of the stalemate and the veritable army of them rushed in. Rioters and townspeople-turned-angry-mob, seeing opportunity, poured in from the roofs and rushed in through the streets, lingering back as they anticipated the best place to strike. The wolf lunged at Mr. Hayward and, biting deeply, threw him against a window, shattering it, and he landed in a slush of snow and blood. The wolf decided to remove the police from its life. The fiercest battle anybody had ever seen ensued. Unfortunately for the good officers of the law, the wolf was a great deal more invulnerable than they and, whilst sustaining no damage itself, it wrecked havoc upon its opponents.

Mr. Vigil suddenly shot forth a massive swirling mass of snow and ice, cutting deeply into the wolf’s hide. This distracted it a bit, then it threw police everywhere. Upon this act of violence, it attacked the buildings. Two blows of its massive paws brought down a wall, to screams of protest, and a few more knocked down an entire house. It leaped at another house, the available police running after it. Mr. Vigil began shooting everything with snow and ice and another whiteout began. Everybody and the wolf went into blind panic, trying their best to do what they were supposed to do and failing more than miserably.

Suddenly, it seemed that the storm multiplied, coming from many different directions. Then it lightened, so much so that some things could be seen. Everybody looked around to see what had happened and there was Elise McGregor, sweeping away at the snow.

“How did you—?” started Sergeant Wren. He was the only sergeant still standing.

“I didn’t do it.”

“Then who… what? Oh.” He looked at where the wolf was driving its claws into Mr. Vigil. “That has to hurt.” He shot the wolf and it sprang at him. A low-flying helicopter abruptly sailed over their heads and the wolf looked up, confused. Sergeant Wren took this moment to escape and everybody watched the helicopter as it circled once then suddenly shot forward and released two people with parachutes into the air. It then flew off. Everybody watched these figures, one much smaller than the other, as they glided in a steep descent towards the scene. The wolf growled at them and then returned to mauling the police department. Suddenly, a small girl with a stick crashed into it.  Startled, it jumped back and glared at her, only to find the stick newly positioned in its right eye. It howled in pain and opened its jaw wide. A mighty, swift blow from the girl cracked some of its teeth. It growled fiercely and attempted right then and there to eat her. She, however, jumped onto its nose and slid to the ground unharmed. The wolf was then smitten on the lower jaw.

“Hey, Sarge? Sarge! Sarge. Sarge Wren!” said the voice of the captain.

“Captain!” Sergeant Wren leaped into the captain and hugged him tightly, sighing with relief.

“Yes. Er.” The Captain simultaneously crushed the sergeants’ entrails and pulverized his back in an attempt to make the whole thing more manly. He then hurled the sergeant to the ground. “Do that one more time and I’ll pity the person who’ll tell your mother the result.”

“Yes, Cap’n,” said Sergeant Wren, still beaming.

“Get these men in order, sir. Where’s Chief? I have to recommend you for cleaning the toilets.”

“I don’t know,” said Sergeant Wren, suddenly less happy. He trudged off and began hauling people into order. His job was made easier when he found Sergeant Tone and Ronald Freud just recovering from unconsciousness.

Meanwhile, the captain trudged around, eventually finding the chief stuck in a window. “Hi, Chief!”

“Ah, good to see you, man. It’s good to be back. I mean… I was talking for you. I… wow, I’m confused.”

“It’s probably all that blood running to your brain. You seem to be upside down.”

“Oh. I feel like it. Lend a hand, old Cap’n?”

“Here.” The captain yanked him out and began strolling back to the reorganized police ranks. “Hm… you’re bleeding about all over.”

“The wolf threw me.”

“Oh.”

“Say, what you’d do with the wolf?”

“Nothing yet. I was waiting for everything to get organized again. Seems the department falls to total chaos whenever I leave.”

“Wait!” said the chief, looking up. “The wolf’s still lose? Oh, wait… is that a little kid fighting it?”

“Yes,” said the captain, taking his place in the lines of officers. “She’s my niece.”

“Shouldn’t we… you know, be helping. We’re the police, after all.”

“Not at all. I just want the wolf to get confused. Nan told me that people think this is a werewolf. If so, we’ll convert it to its human form and have a nice friendly chat.”

“I didn’t know you had a niece.”

“I don’t have one in the United States. She met me while I was delivering turkeys”

“What was she doing there?”

“She came over from Hawaii.”

“Hawaii?”

“I thought I told you. That’s the only thing that’s imperfect in my family. See, we had a big family argument a few decades back over which was better; having perfect build and physical adeptness or being highly skilled in classical pursuits, like music and artwork. So, the physical ones moved to Hawaii. The classical ones moved to Alaska. And, the ones with both things, like me, stayed in the United States. I heard a long time ago that Aloha–she used to have a long complicated name, but they changed it to that because it could mean mercy–was born, so when she turned up, it was like a miniature family reunion.”

“Um… how did you know it was her?”

“She knew my name… besides, the perfect white teeth.” The captain revealed his own set, which were indeed flawless in their whiteness.

“How did she get over to the United States?”

“A brilliant question.” The captain stretched.

“Hey! How are you two surviving without a coat on?” said the chief, amazed.

“An extreme retainment of thermal energy runs in the family,” explained the captain, shrugging.

Everybody watched as the wolf tried to bite Aloha’s head off for the fourth time.

“It still seems dangerous and I want to do something.”

“Bosh! Look at her, it’s almost as if she was born fighting giant wolves. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised. Besides, how could any creature, no matter how foul, hurt such a poor innocent little child. And don’t forget that cuteness runs in my family.”

“Yes, Captain,” sighed the chief. “You’re very cute.”

The captain twitched. “Say, is that Mr. Vigil? Where’s his arm?

“He’s turned into some kind of snow wizard.”

“Hm. That’s a first.”

“You don’t seem to be surprised by much.”

“Surprise is one thing that doesn’t run in my family. We have to work really hard to be in such a state.” At that moment, Aloha crashed into him with great acceleration. He caught her and set her on her feet. “Guess its time to talk to the wolf. Chief, could you get Mr. Vigil into the hospital? He looks like he might need some attention sometime soon.” The captain stepped over to the wolf.

“Yes, sir.” The chief called in an ambulance.

The captain began speaking. “Hi. I’m Captain Cabot Smith. May I ask your name?”

The wolf coughed.

“If you wouldn’t mind the notion of turning yourself into a human, I certainly wouldn’t. Of course, if you feel more comfortable as a wolf, then wolf stay ye!”

Suddenly, the wolf’s pupils disappeared into a swirling light which increased in intensity as the wolf dropped to the ground, closing its eyes. Then, the fur twisted and flattened, rising again once in a while, looking much like waves. Then the legs quickly began fashioning themselves into human limbs, as the backbone got some backbone and stood up straight. The giant head twisted down into a civilized face and there was a rather gigantic–though far smaller than the wolf–man. Unfortunately, the poor individual had naught but transparency to cover him.

“Oh, um,” said the chief, quickly looking the other way and whistling. Everybody else rapidly averted their vision.

“Do you have any clothes?” asked the captain politely.

“Oh, I’m quite sorry, good sirs, I’m sure. I really didn’t mean… excuse me for a moment, if you would be so kind as to humor my ambitions.” A sudden swirl of snow and wind rose around the man and he dissipated into it.

“Where’d he go?” asked the chief.

“Probably to his closet,” replied the captain calmly. “You’re doing very well, Aloha.”

She smiled in the same way the captain did, with the right corner of the mouth slightly higher than the left and a slight contraction of the skin immediately above and below the eye, which caused a very small narrowing of the eyes. The entire face then adjusted in linear motion to accommodate a showing of amazingly white teeth. The entire chain of action, on both persons, took between four and three seconds.

“Those teeth are even whiter than yours!” hissed the chief into the captain’s ear.

“Well,” returned the captain, “she is of the Hawaiian part of the family. Brilliant bones. And, though you didn’t know it, you interrupted a conversation just now.”

“Er, I did?”

“Naturally. In my family, when having a conversation, you wait for a person to finish smiling before you speak again.”

“Ah–kay. Sorry.”

“Apology accepted. Anyway,” the captain turned back to Aloha, “could you distract the mob? I see that they are beginning to form a nasty plan.”

“Alright.” Aloha smiled again and the captain promptly threw her onto a roof and she leaped into the mob and began tripping them.

“Won’t that make them angrier?” asked the chief.

“Not at all. All angry mobs I’ve ever come across love tripping. Anyway, the slight distraction will give our officers a chance to form a proper wall and prepare defensive measures.”

“What? How many–” His words were broken as the snow swirled again and the werewolf in human form reshaped, dressed as an Englishman of the nineteenth century.

“Sorely sorry to keep your good presences waiting. I take it you wish to discuss a matter with me?”

“Just so.”

“I have no name, so please just call me John. Will that do, Mr. Cabot?”

“Very well.”

“Ah, good. What would be the subject for our pleasantries?”

“To be very blunt, sir, why are you here, disturbing and even, may I say, attacking our people?”

“My sorrow is terrible,” moaned the man. “But, you must see, I have very little control over my actions whilst so transformed, especially when I’ve been told to hunt a scent.”

“From whence do you receive your orders?”

“The season, as you would see it.”

“What are you hunting?”

“An accident.” The man turned away. “Where’d he go?”

“Who? Mr. Vigil?”

“Yes, I think that’s what you called him.”

“What happened to him?”

“I believe him to be the embodiment of that which I am chasing.”

“Oh. So you’re not after Mr. Vigil himself?”

“Far from it. You notice this new power he is using.”

“Yes, definitely. It all starts to make sense now.”

“I am gladdened by that.”

“My instinct tells me that we simply need to get him really hot to get the accident out of him.”

“A wonderful idea.”

“Now, about this accident. Why do you need to destroy it?”

“I don’t. I simply need to get it out so the season can destroy it.”

“Is it alive?”

“In a way, I would say.”

“Wouldn’t it be cruel to destroy it, then?”

“Hm… I think we’ll just have to conciliate that with our judgment. If everything goes right, it will just disappear without being destroyed. And, if it wasn’t gone, this would just happen again, only worse and it would completely ruin spring.”

“Well, you know best.”

“I thank you for the acknowledgement, sir.” The man stretched. “As it is…” Suddenly, a gunshot rang out, hitting him directly in the head and he fell roughly to the ground. The mayor was standing behind him with a rifle.

The captain drew out a handgun in a streaking movement and shot a hole into the trigger mechanism. Suddenly, Mr. Vigil leaped into the scene, to which the crowds responded with violent attacks to the police wall. The mayor pulled out another gun while the captain was distracted by this new arrival.

“Do that again, Captain,” he hissed. “And I might just put some stress on this trigger.”

“Hey,” said the Captain. “No worries. I’m just looking into Mr. Vigil. I thought he was locked up.” He indicated the old man, who was beginning to throw ice at him.

“You’d better be.”

Mr. Vigil suddenly threw a massive hurl of ice at the Captain, who dodged, shouting, “Get that crowd out of here, please! They’re making me nervous. I won’t need any help here.”

The police immediately responded, moving forward slowly and forcing the mob away from the scene. The crowd, seeing they were getting nowhere, sat down with the officers in the snow and watched the action unfurl. After a few impressive dodges, Captain managed to handcuff Mr. Vigil.

“Chief, let’s take this feller to your sauna.”

“Good idea,” said the Chief hesitantly. He ran up and they dragged him off. As they disappeared, the captain shouted, “Oh, arrest the mayor, fellows.”

“Traitor!” the same growled. He pointed his gun at Sergeant Tone. “Take one step and death is your lot.”

“Traitor yourself!” said Ronald Freud.

The mob suddenly took the mayor’s more chaos-promising side and leaped up at the police, who readily began fighting them back down. The mayor, who decided that he might as well go a step further, leaped to aid the rioters, but was knocked to the ground by a stick smashing solidly into his head. This vibration seemed to have an ill effect upon the poor former wolf upon the ground. He suddenly melted into the ground, which then exploded in a wide chasm between the police and rioters and the mayor and Aloha.

“You’re impudence befits thee not, child.” The mayor rolled dramatically to his feet, cloak flying. “Go back to your mother!”

Aloha smiled. “Uncle said somebody would have to get you off the upper ground.”

“I have trained in fighting techniques for forty years in Japan, Brazil, England, Ireland, and Iran. You stand not a chance.”

“I have trained for two years in Hawaii, Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, and the United States. I think I do.” Aloha once again flashed her teeth at the mayor.

“Stop that!” fussed he.

“Sorry.” Aloha then threw her stick into his shin, resulting in a quiet yelp. “Anyway, the police will come help me when they are done with the rioters.”

The mayor’s mouth twitched. “Is that stick petrified?”

“Yes.”

“That explains it.” The mayor suddenly leaped backwards, drew a sword from a scabbard on his back and brought out a stun gun with his other hand. He bounded into the air and immediately shot his gun. Aloha blocked the electrodes with her stick and directly brought the weapon down on the gun, rendering it bound on a short journey to the ground. The mayor drew another sword and brought them down at where she used to be. She, with all the speed of a Smith, curved into his legs, knocking him to the ground. As she twisted back to her feet, he tripped her, grabbed her leg and threw her at the rift in the ground. Her momentum was not wasted, however, and she soon was crashing down on the mayor’s chest, her stick pushing strategically against his chin.

“Little fool,” he muttered as well as he could. He suddenly snapped his head down, yanking the branch from her grasp. During the same moment, he sliced his sword quickly into her side, causing a sharp recoil, upon which he preformed a massive toss and she flew directly into the chasm, landing onto Jill, who was handcuffing a rioter.

“Victory!” roared Sergeant Tone from above them. “Throw all the rioters into the chasm!”

“We’re down here!” shouted Jill. A wooden broom was launched downward and the two soon were upon solid ground, their arrival greeted by protesting rioters flying into the crack. Miss McGregor was standing there, looking anxious.

The two sergeants then took it upon themselves to seize the broom, vault across the rift, and tackle the mayor. Surprisingly, it seemed that policemen with a broom were extremely effective against him, and they soon had him handcuffed.
***
And so it was that the brunt of unnatural events was completed and never again experienced in the town of Kent. A looming Christmas tree was set up in the town square, quite promptly after the mayor’s arrest. The captain began giving well-needed training to the police and organizing the rioters into a film production company. Aloha’s cut was treated by the superior medical apparatus known as the adhesive bandage and she quickly rose to become an actor for the film company and an honorary member of the police force. Her parents, missing their child, moved from Hawaii, an event which eventually brought together the entire Smith family for good, an event which added greatly to the town’s population. Mr. Vigil, his possessing “accident” purged and he returned to his proper mental state and lacking one arm, became best of friends with Old Charley and they instituted themselves as locally renowned philosophers and authorities on common sense. And, as for Miss McGregor, she took the office of mayor and kept it for a good long time.

The End