Wednesday Briefs: Bear to Bear

This week Avery’s back in business…so to speak. She’s finally made time to work on a piece of flash fiction. It is slightly—very slightly—inspired by real world events and a prompt. It will hopefully be a longer series…keep your fingers crossed! Her muse has been hit or miss of late.

This week’s prompt was making an Ozzy Osbourne reference. I’m sure you’ll spot it with no problem.

Remember these flashes have to be under 1000 words.

Bear to Bear

by

Avery Dawes

Rain fell harder as Trooper Jared Kingsley jogged to his patrol car. Nothing like a busy, rainy first day of early shift. Jared despised the dreaded six-to-four, made worse today by bad thunderstorms which tripped several residential alarms, necessitating a police response.

“If I get one more friggin alarm,” Jared grumbled from his dry car. He punched the clearance code into his mobile computer before allowing his head to thunk against the headrest. Nothing like being soaking wet after only two hours of work. He raked a hand through his now-flattened hair.

He’d hit the snooze button one too many times to eat breakfast before he left home. Now he was paying for it—his stomach rumbled loudly, making even the squawk of the radio seem quiet. Jared queried the pending calls for service. “Thank God,” he breathed. Nothing in his area of the county.

No sense in jinxing myself. Jared put the car in gear and turned the wipers on high. He’d head to The Grind, his favorite coffee shop, while the going was good.

As the police radio chatter subsided, Jared decided he needed some good music to help him get through this miserable day and began punching buttons. By the third station, he found some classic rock. Now Ozzy Osbourne was something he could get into. Unless…Jared pounded the steering wheel. Why did it have to be ‘Crazy Train’? That could only be a sign of bad things to come.

Three days ago, Jared had worked night shift. He’d never dealt with so many crazy people in his life. It seemed like the calls for suicidal and mental subjects kept coming, one right after the next. Maybe, he told himself, you shouldn’t be complaining about running alarms in the rain. At least you don’t have to talk to anyone, and you definitely don’t have to pretend wearing a foil helmet works to keep aliens at bay.

He had to chuckle at that. He’d been dispatched to a man wielding a shotgun, who claimed aliens had just landed in his backyard. When the dispatcher asked for details, the man quoted several lines from Men in Black. While Jared had enjoyed that movie, it wasn’t one he watched over and over. When he turned into the driveway, he hoped the man wasn’t wearing an Edgar suit—and that he’d put down the shotgun. He got lucky in one respect—the man was buck-ass naked, with the exception of his foil helmet and his shotgun. It took several minutes before Jared could convince the man to put down his weapon. Once he did, Jared didn’t waste any time. He placed him in handcuffs and helped him into the back of the ambulance for his ride to the hospital.

“What a loon.” He chuckled again.

His computer beeped—he had a message. He kept one hand on the wheel and typed with the other, dividing his attention between the road and the text. Thankfully, this backroad was fairly empty given the bad weather and the fact rush hour had come and gone.

So the guys were meeting for breakfast at The Greasy Spoon. Jared’s stomach turned at the thought. With his dedication to CrossFit, he wouldn’t dare put such horrible food in his body. He typed a quick “no thank u” and turned onto the road that would take him to The Grind.

He no sooner accelerated than a black shape loped into the road. For such a large animal, it moved with amazing speed and grace.

Aanndd…

“Shit!” Jared had been so busy admiring the animal he forgot to brake. He took his foot off the gas and managed to swerve before making impact with the black mass.

Still cursing, Jared quickly pulled onto the shoulder. Maybe—just maybe—he’d clipped the animal and not caused any noticeable damage to his car. Jared decided to check on the car and then the animal before contacting his supervisor. He’d struck a deer with the same car just over three months ago. No way he wanted to shoulder his sergeant’s wrath with more damage and paperwork.

Sighing, he couldn’t believe his bad luck. The fender was crumpled. It would definitely need to be replaced. On the plus side, at least he could drive it back to the shop and wouldn’t require a tow. Now for the animal.

With his hand on his gun, Jared approached the mass. As he thought: a black bear. The animal hadn’t moved. Not a good sign. He started to walk a slow circle around the animal when a groan escaped its parted mouth.

“Could this day get—” Jared decided not to finish the question. He didn’t know what more could happen. It looked like he needed to put the animal out of its misery. He never liked shooting a wounded animal, but he couldn’t stand the thought of it suffering.

After checking his backdrop, Jared withdrew his pistol from its holster. As he took aim, the air around him seemed to shimmer. He paused, his brow scrunched. “What the—”

He blinked. And blinked again. He couldn’t really be seeing what he was seeing.

In place of the black bear lay a naked man. Before his mind told him that he’d now boarded the Crazy Train, he took note of the man’s well-defined arms and shapely ass. The blood streaming from beneath his dark hair had Jared worried. The man—or whatever he was—needed medical attention.

Too bad Jared’s body was frozen in place.

to be continued…

Check out stories from these other Briefers!

Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak
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