Some of you may not realize it, but I write short stories that are not related to mental health. Who knew! Right? Anyway, I wrote this short story a while back and wanted to share it to help you laugh to break up any boredom or anxiety you may be experiencing. So, enjoy it! Shirley
The Coswell Cop
Andy Sower and his partner Rodney Pew drove slowly down the dark streets of the small town of Coswell shining their spotlight on each business establishment in the small town. There were only three businesses, so the job took only a few minutes. Being policemen in a small town was rewarding as all the residents were neighbors. The crust of the new-fallen snow beneath the police car was the only noise they could hear except for the music coming from Betty Boop’s house, the town prostitute. Betty was much beloved by the men and much despised by the women of Coswell.
Andy broke the silence, “Quiet night as usual.”
Both men knew one of them would be laid off as soon as the mystery of the town had been solved. Someone had been spray-painting inspirational sayings on the sides and storefront windows of the local businesses.
Rodney answered as he poured himself a cup of coffee from his thermos. “Yeah. How about paying Betty a visit? We need to get her to turn that music down anyway.”
Andy had a wife and six kids; he didn’t favor ruining his marriage over the likes of Betty Boop. “You go ahead, I’ll go home and get my supper.”
Rodney laughed loudly, “Man your wife can’t cook!” As they pulled up to the curb outside the prostitute’s house he added, “Sure you won’t come?”
Andy considered it for a moment then he remembered his wedding vows, for better or worse. His wife’s cooking certainly constituted worse. No, he would go home to the chaos there. With envy in his voice, he declined.
“Okay, buddy. Go home to your wife and kids. I’m gonna have a little boop in my step when you get back if you get my drift.” Said Rodney smiling and smacking his lips.
As Rodney got out of the car he looked back at the sad face of his partner once more with pity on his face.
Andy waved goodbye and pulled away from the curb heading for home.
Rodney stood in the snowy street looking after the police car as it drove away then under his breath he whispered, “Poor bastard.”
Pulling into his driveway Andy was met by a menagerie of toys and bicycles. Letting out a deep sign he got out of the warm squad car and into the freezing night air to move the toys out of his way.
Having accomplished his clean up duty he pulled into the garage and sat for a moment gathering his thoughts. Ellen wasn’t a bad wife. She loved him and kept the house and the kids clean. So why did he dread being going home? Slowly he got out of the car and entered the house through the door that leads into the house from the garage. Once inside he smelled supper. Rodney was right, Ellen could not cook. Whatever she was attempting to prepare for supper smelled acrid and the smoke detectors all over the house were squealing. This was not a first for this phenomenon so Andy began to open and close the garage door waving cold fresh air to eliminate the smoke from the house. After a few minutes, all went silent.
“Ellen!” He called out truly concerned, “Are you alright?”
Ellen appeared from the kitchen holding a pan with something that looked like it had once been food still smoking. “Hi, Andy!” She said in a silly tone. “I’m making supper!” Her hair was matted about her face and food particles were stuck to the apron he had gotten her for her birthday to encourage her to practice cooking. Now it seemed like a cruel thing to do.
Andy looked at his wife and mother of his children. She weighed probably close to three hundred pounds and was ugly but he loved her. “Want me to order the pizza or will you?” he said as he removed his hat.
Ellen wasn’t insulted. They both knew kept the local pizza joint in business. “I’ll call it in,” she answered in defeat. “Will you have time to wait?”
Andy sat down in his favorite recliner and answered, “I don’t have to go on patrol for another three hours. I’ve got time.” He then reclined and got comfortable. He could hear Ellen on the kitchen phone ordering their supper.
As soon as the chair reclined the sound of thudding of paws could be heard as their huge Great Dane lopped down the hallway from the direction of the bedrooms. He was being chased by six young children who were squealing in delight. Ernie, that was the dog’s name, lived under the delusion that he was a lap dog and jumped onto Andy’s lap landing on the Sower family jewels. As Andy crossed and re-crossed his legs in agony he became aware that Ernie was wearing a pink tutu and a blue tiara.
The children, ranging from one to eleven years were running towards the recliner at top speed and began to jump one by one on their father. The recliner gave a mighty crack and then fell back throwing all its occupants onto the wall behind it. There was utter silence for a few moments as Andy and his brood took inventory. No one was hurt. Suddenly Ernie broke the silence and began to dig his way towards Andy. The children squealed with irritation as the Great Dane tossed each child aside until the dog finally stood over Andy and licked his face.
Just as Andy was about to find his way through the mass of humans and dog the doorbell rang. All Andy’s assaulters got up in mass and ran for the door yelling, “Pizza!” The children must have smelled Mommy’s dinner and knew the routine of sending out for a meal.
Having gotten up from the broken recliner Andy walked to the door picking his way through the children and his loudly barking dog. Upon opening the door he was disappointed that instead of the expected pizza man there stood their next-door neighbor, Mr. Alexander Trust. It became apparent quickly that he was not on a friendly visit.
“Sower,” he yelled, “Your children have been climbing my privacy fence again!”
Andy gave out a loud sigh and suddenly remembered why he dreaded coming home. “Mr. Trust, when the balls go into your yard toss them back and they won’t be tempted to climb your fence to get them.” His suggestion made perfect sense to him.
Alexander Trust looked even madder than before and large veins stuck out on his neck. Andy wondered if the old man was going to have a stroke. “I’ll do no such thing! That fence is to keep out vermin like your hoodlum children and to keep my little Florence safe. After all, she is a Chihuahua and easily injured.”
Andy thought about the strange name of the dog having been named after Alexander’s deceased wife and then answered, “I’ll see what I can do.”
Alexander seemed turned abruptly and left seemingly satisfied with his neighbors answer for now.
Ellen’s voice yelled from the kitchen where she was trying desperately to clean the burned food from her favorite pans. “The front walk needs the snow cleared.”
Andy answered, “I’ll get it in the morning.”
Having had the pizza supper all seven members of his family waved good-bye to him as Andy drove off toward Betty Boop’s house.
Upon arriving Andy found himself in a pickle. Rodney didn’t emerge from the house of ill repute and Andy knew he couldn’t honk because it would bring attention to what the other policeman had been doing. Finally, he decided to make it look like a legal problem. Taking out his nightstick from the car he approached the house and was met at the door by the burly Betty Boop herself. She made Ellen look like Marilyn Monroe by comparison. What the other men in town found in her was a mystery to him. All they would reply when he asked them was “She knows things.”
“Betty,” Andy said with a slight squeal to his voice, “Is Rodney still here?”
Betty stepped back to reveal Rodney dressed in a slinky red dress and high heels. Sheepishly he waved at Andy and said, “I’m not quite finished here Andy. Go on without me. I’ll take a dock in pay for being unable to finish my shift.”
As Andy left the whorehouse behind him to go on patrol he thought, “Yep, she knows things.”
The following day found Andy blowing snow from the driveway and sidewalk in front of his house and that of the front of Mr. Trust. Although Mr. Trust didn’t like Andy or his family he felt it was no reason to leave the lonely old man stranded in his house. As Andy plowed out his sidewalk he noted small paw prints in the snow leading from Mr. Trust’s front door to where he was plowing. It was then that he heard a thudding sound coming from his snowblower.
Upon examination, he realized that the thuds were tiny dog turds, most likely from Florence. Andy got an idea. Adjusting the nozzle on the snowblower he began to work again only this time when he heard the thuds an evil smile played across his face. It would be a stinky summer for Mr. Alexander Trust as the feces from his Chihuahua was being blown on top of his roof. Andy thought of all the grief his neighbor had given him down through the years about his kids and dog. He thought quietly out loud, “Yes, there is a God!”
Rodney had few words for Andy later that evening, so they made their rounds in silence. Andy was truly curious as to what other “things” Betty Boop knew but he was too much of a gentleman to ask. As they rounded a corner and turned down the alley of the hardware store they saw a light and someone spray-painting its stone wall. Excitedly both policemen jumped from the car and prepared to give chase but to their amazement and relief, the culprit stayed in his place and continued to spray the wall.
It was Rodney who spoke first, “Stop that right now young man!” The person standing before them was camouflaged in a black shirt, black pants and a black stocking hat.
After completing the spray job the suspect spun around to face the lawmen. Suddenly the person of interest reached up and pulled off the stocking hat to reveal a stalk of long red hair, which fell effortlessly onto a beautiful woman’s shoulders.
Both Andy and Rodney were shocked. Neither man recognized the woman and they looked at each other in surprise.
“Hi boys.” said the woman in a sexy come-hither voice.
Rodney was taken aback and thought to his younger years when such a fine woman would have not stood a chance against his charms.
The woman was clearly twenty years younger than Rodney, so Andy doubled up a fist and hit Rodney hard on the shoulder.
“What was that for?” said Rodney in a hurt voice.
“For knowing things,” he answered. Andy then turned his attention to the women in question. “Okay, what’s your story Miss?”
The young lady laughed a soft lilting laugh as though Andy had just told a good joke.
Andy grew angry, “I said,” he hissed through his stressed-out lips, “What do you think you are doing? This is private property and you’re defacing it!”
The woman still managed to smile even in the face of the cop’s anger. “My name is Simone. Andrea Simone.” she then reached out a hand for a shake.
Andy took her hand and shook it out of habit.
Beside him stood Rodney obviously mesmerized by the woman’s name as he said it real slow under his breath enjoying the sound of it.
Andy quickly, to the women’s amusement, dropped Andrea’s hand.
Andrea blew Rodney a kiss.
“Stop that and put your hands behind your back!” yelled Andy a little too loudly.
Andrea did as she was told, and Andy immediately applied handcuffs to her wrists.
“Now good buddy,” said Rodney in a soothing voice, “she didn’t do anything that bad.”
Andy glared at his partner and turned to the woman trying to control his anger.
“Andrea let out another laugh and said in a sexy voice, “Aren’t you boys gonna search me?”
Rodney took one step forward and was stopped by another even more evil look from his fellow policeman. He stepped back again.
“Why are you doing that?” Andy said pointing to the saying painted on the wall.
“It makes others feel good. Read it!” she insisted.
In big letters of dark blue spraypaint was the saying “People show their true character by what they laugh at.”
“Very profound,” said Andy sarcastically.
The woman suddenly looked serious for the first time in the encounter. “Hey!” She began as her face turned red, “you’re really arresting me aren’t you?!”
“Madam,” began Andy. “You have been defacing property all over our fine town.” he emphasized ’fine town’. “Judge Simons will put you in the county for a few days and then set you to cleaning up the mess you’ve made.”
It was Andrea’s turn to yell. “Hey!” she began, “I brought notoriety to this ’fine town’. Don’t you see all the mystery has caused people from far and wide to come to see the latest message left by an unknown criminal? Those people are buying gas for their cars and food at your restaurant.”
Andy thought for a moment about what the woman had said. It was strictly against the law to do what she was doing but so was Betty Boop’s establishment. “Besides,” he thought to himself, “so long as there is a mystery to be solved neither he nor Rodney would be let go from the police department.”
“Listen,” began Andy as he unlocked the handcuffs, “I’m gonna let you go but you gotta tell no one who let you go, and you have to tell me who you are.”
Andrea smiled widely then stated with a giggle, “I’m Judge Simon’s granddaughter!”
All three began to laugh.
As Andy drove home that night he smiled. Somehow the events of the past few days had made life a little easier to swallow. As he pulled into the cluttered driveway he carefully dodged the many toys of his brood. Upon entering the garage he spied the broken recliner where he had left it without any hope of repairing it. Suddenly he began to laugh, a deep belly laugh. Just then he heard the sound of the smoke detectors going off once again and saw his oldest child open the garage going into the house and begin to fan it.
“Such is life for a Coswell cop,” thought Andy with a smile. “Looks like pizza again tonight.”