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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

String Theory



Chapter 2

Somewhere on Earth a police siren screeched—and occasionally blurped—disturbing the peace and tranquility of Center City. It traveled along Center Street, searching for Center Avenue. After arriving on Center Avenue, it made a sharp left onto Center Road-it didn't need to make a sharp left, the turn was perfectly navigable, but the driver was often in the mood for sharp turns, and since he was a police officer, no one questioned this. From Center Road the car turned down Center Drive and finally arrived at its destination. Or, rather, what was formerly a destination and was now rubble.

Officer Harrison stepped out of his car and clutched his gun. There was no danger-the building, Center City Apartments, had exploded, but there was no report of gunfire or any other disturbance; he just liked the effect this particular action had on people when he arrived: they'd immediately look at his gun and know he had authority.

Suddenly, Officer Harrison detected movement in the shadows from the corner of his eye; he clenched his gun tighter and turned. He promptly shot himself in the foot.

Somewhere on Earth a police officer screeched-and occasionally blurped-disturbing the peace and tranquility of Center City. He had been shot in the foot by his gun, which was still attached to his side.

The man from the shadows approached Officer Harrison, but Officer Harrison was too busy screaming to notice. Had he noticed, he would have recognized Private Detective Inspector Detective Harold A. Detective instantly, but he didn't notice so he didn't.

"You appear to have shot yourself in the foot," hazarded Private Detective Inspector Detective Harold A. Detective.

"Yes! It's the fifth time this year! The boys at the station are never going to let me live this down."

Officer Harrison turned to see to whom he was speaking and recognized Private Detective Inspector Detective Harold A. Detective instantly—just like I said he would have had he noticed him before.

"But it is an artificial foot."

"Well of course it bloody well is! If you keep shooting yourself in the foot you eventually wise up and have it cut off so that it isn't so painful when you shoot it."

Harold A. Detective hadn't considered this, reflected on it for a moment, and then queried, "Well then, why all the screaming?"

"Because these things cost a lot of money to replace! And the boys at the station are never going let me live this down."

Harold A. Detective wished to pursue the matter further, but thought it best to come straight to the point of why the both of them were there.

"There's been a burglary," Harold stated, and waved his hand in the direction of Center City Apartments.

"A burglary?" retorted an already annoyed officer Harrison, as he glanced at the pile of bricks that were formerly Center City Apartments.

"Precisely!" exclaimed Harold A. Detective, who proceeded over to the rubble, rummaged around, pulled out two metal objects and then returned to where Officer Harrison was standing and loathly observing.

"The person who lived in Room 217," as he said this Harold brandished the metal form of the number 217 which he had just recovered from the rubble, "stole and opened a package that was addressed and delivered to room 218," with that Harold also held up the metal number 218.

Officer Harrison just stared at Harold A. Detective for a few moments before responding. During those few moments all confidence he ever had left him. He desperately wanted to ask Harold A. Detective if what he saw before him was, in fact, a smoldering pile of former building, or if he'd lost his mind when he shot his foot. Just before those words flew off his lips he relented—remembering he was a police officer and that arrogance and condescension were part of the job.

"Do you realize," he began menacingly—just enough to put someone in his place, but not enough to scare them away (a technique forged by his years on the police force and polished by achieving a management position)—when suddenly all experience left him and he forgot where he was going with it. To recover, he added-and a bit shaky despite his trying, "that the cheese will be delivered Thursday?"

Private Detective Inspector Detective Harold A. Detective remained unfazed.

"Officer Harrison, there has been a burglary in that… building… there." He indicated to further illustrate his point.

Officer Harrison finally broke.

"THERE'S A PILE OF RUBBLE THERE THAT, NOT TWO HOURS AGO, HOUSED AT LEAST 500 PEOPLE!"

Private Detective Inspector Detective Harold A. Detective generously and elegantly supplied Officer Harrison with a left hook.

Officer Harrison's immediate reaction was to grab his gun.

He promptly shot himself in the foot.

He fell over and lost consciousness.

Harold A. Detective checked to make sure Officer Harrison was still alive, went back over to the rubble, rummage a bit, and pulled out some scorched cardboard.

He then left the scene.







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.