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January 23, 2023

When Fairy Tales Come Alive 10

By Lydia Manx

Ignoring the rocking pain in my shoulder, I laughed and said, "Aw, you can pull your ass up enough to break the clasp free from a rotten piece of fifty year old wood. What's next? You going to juggle? No, you still have chains on your hands and your feet."

He growled loudly enough to cause the steel door to actually vibrate. That wasn't good. What made it a tad worse was that nobody came to see what the hell was happening inside the remote jail cell. This was not promising in any way.

Looking at me, the troll simply snarled and stretched his hands wide. The iron eye hook in the middle did nothing to prevent the 'standard' issue chains from snapping and his hands were free. He was focused on rushing me -- thankfully he'd forgotten his legs were chained together so he took a quick trip to the floor and his face slammed into the ground, temporarily dazing him.

"Hey, Lenny, got a second?" I called out fruitlessly over my shoulder. Not a peep from the other side of the steel, so instead of fretting I simply dove into my bag next to Charlie's collapsed body -- he still wasn't able to focus on me. Whatever Sam had said to grease the wheels at least gave me my carryall. You'd think they would have checked me but shrugging, I pulled out the gun. Yeah, I had a gun. A Glock. Despite the urban legends about all-plastic Glocks, they are a Hollywood invention, at least in my known world. That said enough of the components were plastic and with the right finesse and friends in all the wrong places I was able to get my toy on the plane and through the jail. But then I was pretty sure that Sam had sent some cash ahead to make my tool kit invisible.

Everyone always gets fixated on the guns, not the bullets, but that was something Amber Consulting Firm had taken some serious time working on in their hidden little labs. Plastic bullets with a bit of a deadly twist. Inside the bullet instead of just barbs or silver were assorted poisons. Not just any but all the nasty CDC vaulted toxins that really destroyed flesh. I'd used a few in my days and nights and never yet seen any creature get up and shake it off.

As Charlie started to get up slowly I carefully asked, "Do you surrender?"

His rather maniacal chuckle was a heads up to his unspoken reply. But I wanted to play fair, so I asked again, "So I gather that you are refusing to surrender?"

With his hands now separated, it was simple for him to reach down with his strong fists and tear the ankle restraints apart, and then chuckling with a nasty little of bit of evil he looked at me and said, "Ms. Monroe, I certainly will not surrender. Looks like it's my turn now."

I barely resisted sighing and instead pulled the gun free and simply shot him twice in the forehead. He certainly hadn't expected that, and fell lifelessly to the ground in front of me. The gun may have not been fully steel but the rounds with their hidden surprises that I'd loaded took him out. I wasn't sure what exactly had been in the mix of the second round but Sam had promised it would even any playing field with trolls. It lived up to the billing. That's when the drama started.

Alarms sounded and the door was suddenly unlocked, and Lenny burst inside with a dozen other cops that hadn't bothered to show up when I'd arrived. I'd already dropped the gun to the floor, but that didn't stop the newcomers from manhandling me to the ground while shouting out like we were in a bad Cops episode. I was grateful not to see a camera crew over their shoulders, so this little mishap could be contained.

Lenny was busy trying to see if he could revive the totally dead troll with no visible results, unless you counted the fact that his mouth was now ringed with troll drool and blood. Lenny was sobbing out something stupid as if we were still on an episode of Cops, or something all about him. He was more lifelike than when I'd first met the guy.

"Stay with me!" Lenny was heroically vamping for the assorted cops who were busy snickering at him and looking decidedly hungrily at me.

But I wasn't very much impressed, given that I was being rather rudely ground into the crappy ass vinyl flooring, held by at least two large men ... and old Charlie's blood was still seeping along the worn flooring towards my mouth. Faced with such nasty bits of a troll flowing into my lips revolted me, and add in that I had no desire to have troll blood touch me in any manner other than the blood spatters that already flecked me, I was pretty ticked off at how horribly south the visit had gone. Lenny's overwrought dramatic sobs and ill-fated attempts at resuscitation of the troll made me smile inside while it was pissing off the watching cohorts.

Even the somewhat sympathetic feelings that were being sent out towards me didn't last long once Lenny stopped thumping on the corpse. I was yanked from the floor and handcuffed. My bag, that had been completely ignored earlier, was suddenly a point of interest to all the guards and cops filling the small space. I was just happy that I hadn't been ripped to pieces. Their oohhing and awwwing was more than a bit disgusting. Every little thing seemed to set them off on a darkly sarcastic mocking comment or three. Loads of fun.

All too soon I found myself a few cells over and across from empty spaces without even the benefit of a phone call. They'd taken off the cuffs, but not until I had a good five heavily armed cops surrounding me with Tasers and each of them with their own style of a tough-guy demeanor. I was smoking hot -- not in a good way -- but at the same time I knew that shooting good old Charlie Woodvine had crossed a line as far as the local cops were concerned. I'd watched the body dragged down the hallway and knew he appeared to be a frail old man, not the true nasty ass troll that he was -- before I plugged him. After making sure I was secure in the cell, one of the female cops tossed me a set of light blue hospital-styled scrubs and had me hand out my clothing and drop it into a plastic evidence bag for further testing. It also made me extremely obvious in the event I was able to leave without permission. Someone wanted me available for their own agenda. Since I hadn't called anyone, I wondered how long it would take Archie to decide I might have a problem. During the next few hours I heard some of the cells being filled up. I'd forgotten it was now getting into the weekend hours of drunken collections of DUI offenders killing time in cells before hauled in front of the court. The cells were starting to get a bit more rambunctious as the men called out to each other between cages. The cell across from me and on either side remained empty.

Not having seen any signs of the eye-in-the-sky types recording sort of devices in my cell, I figured that the technology facing me was all the 'he said she said' for now. There was a gray zone in the legal community about spying on uncharged suspects, but I knew personally from my own experiences that many jail cells had such recording systems. They claimed it was to protect their staff from wrongful lawsuits from alleged abuse and molestation at the hands of their staff. I'd found over time it was also helpful in not recording supernatural creatures who were caught and the sanctioned escaping. So now, as far as I knew, it was just me against the 'he,' him being unable to say anything, because he was really dead and as far as the locals were concerned, it was looking like he was just an innocent old man in his corpse form not a nasty ass troll. I knew that I was somewhat screwed. That his wrist chains had been yanked from the table along with his thumping me, and that his legs had been freed from his ankle restraints when he'd snapped the wrist chains, and he'd decided to kill me -- would eventually work in my favor, but at the moment it wasn't looking that good. But rock-paper-scissors me and my Taser had taken his little plan off a tad. I knew I would eventually be able to work this all out, but with Sam Fortuna missing and Archibald Roberts in charge of me from the Amber Consulting Firm, I wasn't doing as well as I should. Growling in my head, I looked around my small jail cell I paced and plotted.

Finally sinking down onto the thinly covered 'bed' supplied by the angry cops in my cell, I focused on my options. All I could conclude was that it was perfectly lovely. Yeah, I didn't mean it, but it wasn't like I had much of a choice. And add in that this was what I got for shooting at a troll inside the police station. Fuck. Apparently, from some softly spoken whispers and some overheard conversations in the hallway and distant cells, (I had really good hearing) I concluded that shooting deadly trolls was only allowed and ignored if all the damn humans could see that 'alleged' troll. The broken bonds were weighing heavily in my favor, but that I packed a gun undetected into the station house had pissed a few of Lenny's testosterone-fueled chums. But I was pretty impressed how many cops were far more open to the idea of the supernaturals than average humans. I also found out that there were a few enlightened cops in the area, but not nearly as many as I'd like.

Now, as I had been told time and time again from Sam and his Amber Consulting Firm buddies -- Archie not being one of them -- was that if a troll had broken into my house, I could easily shoot the crap out of him, and there would be far less of a hassle with folks, because it was sort of a supernatural 'stand your ground' rule that was acknowledged with the supers. That said, it wasn't always the same in the 'real world.' Trolls were so sneaky and they normally appeared like a normal human to humans. Even in death they could maintain the human form -- part of how they stayed off the radar. More than once I'd seen glamour-soaked creatures that looked so sweet and innocent with my normal gaze, who walked obscenely through crowds without a single word or action that was even picked up by the cops. Their non-human form was far scarier than the sheep expected. Mentally I shoved aside the term 'sheep,' and stuck with stupid humans instead, but it didn't stick for long. No, it seemed that all I had to do was pull out a gun and pop a few shots in a rabid troll's head killing his furry ass, and I got stuck not explaining my damn self behind jail bars. Again. The rule of thumb being don't speak and just wait until released was a deeply respected part of the supernatural hunters' creed for all those like me.

Overall I've been pretty good at keeping the corpse count down when in view of the public while actively chasing and usually ending the life of trolls out of sight from the locals. But every now and then the very same people who'd pleaded for me to save their town, city neighborhood -- whatever -- would suddenly get an attack of conscience, while I was literally running all the risks and facing possible death. The idiots would suddenly be on their cell phones calling up emergency services and anyone else they thought about while I was running the troll down, looking for a place I could disappear convincingly with the troll.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2014-12-22
Image(s) © Lydia Manx and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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