Graham L. Bernard; Patrolman

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Graham L. Bernard; Patrolman

Postby Ghost » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:20 pm

Here's something I've been batting around and hacking at every now and then. T_C inspired me to post it up. Maybe I already did once before? Who knows. Not me.


The police commissioned dirigible loomed lazily in the June sky above H.B. Thompson Square, casting a fat grey shadow over the children and filthy transients floating aimlessly in its memorial fountain/makeshift public swimming pool. In the clear sky above the washed out city, the Sun seemed to revel in its tyranny, oppressing anyone foolish enough to step outside and brave its scalding gaze. On Franklin Boulevard, the main thoroughfare past the park, several older model sedans had given up trying to climb the hill towards the intersection and instead conceded to death on the side of the road, disgorging various coolants from their overheated, underserviced engines. The highly poisonous fluorescent liquids were pooling at the bottom of the hill, much to the dismay of a rather attractive woman leading a thirsty mongrel down the sidewalk on a leash. An old blue hair was lasciviously eyeing a Popsicle vendor at the corner of Pineapple and Third. A typical Tuesday afternoon was in fat, low motion.

High above all this thrilling action, police patrolman Graham L. Bernard was sitting, left eye scrunched shut, right eye pressed into the viewing end of a spyglass, in a small cramped basket hanging beneath the recently commissioned Public Safety Airship One. By order of Police Commissioner Richard Perry, Graham was “promoted” last winter to the esteemed position of zeppelin captain after an intense personal scandal surfaced involving false beards, bad accents, and ill advised amorous advances. Once this information came to light, it was determined after almost zero deliberation that the streets were safer if Graham was nowhere near them or, at the very least, high above them.

Under Graham’s watchful eye, no illegality committed in broad daylight directly under or within the basket of the blimp would go un-policed. The citizens of the St. Jesper barrio in the lower Miami area subdivide could all sleep a little more soundly. Today, however, was far too hot for villainy and it seemed that any individual with mal intent was keeping to themselves inside their air conditioned hideout or sin filled crime shanty. In a display of gross misuse of company equipment and funding, Graham was using the spyglass to ogle the chests of any women or, curiously, men within range then recording his findings in his ticket book.

After a lousy morning of writing tickets ranging from, “ripe, delicious melons” to “contact the glue factory, re: nag on the loose”, Graham was seriously considering putting his hateful wool trousers back on, pulling up the anchor, and steering the blimp over to his apartment for a nap and maybe-definitely-an afternoon drink. At least in his little hovel he could sit in front of the refrigerator with the door open. Here in the basket all he had was a small, battery-operated pen fan which he was pretty sure had been given to him as a joke. “Police equipment, patrolman Graham”, police captain Perry nearly choked on his words, doubling over, tears filling his eyes, “don’t lose it.” The rest of the office erupted in laugher as he handed it over.

Graham, fed up but not willing to chance being seen floating over to his building across town, tipped his patrolman’s cap over his face and, using his folded up trousers as an ersatz pillow, leaned back against the basket and closed his eyes. Within minutes he was dreaming of black haired Mexican girls and swimming pools. And the fans? The fans were large and plentiful.

Eight miles north from where Graham slept in his floating basket, on Paramoure and Twenty-Second, at Percival Maxwell Cabineting Inc., a tall thin man wearing a crème colored fedora pulled down low to obscure his tan face and a matching oversized swing style suit placed a bony hand over his resume and slid it across the pitted surface of the warehouse manager’s desk. The man accompanied this action with a sly, ridiculously inappropriate wink. The manager, a browbeaten man in his late 40’s named James Frith, ran his plump sausage fingers through his slicked back, outdated hairdo then straightened the hideous tie his wife had given him. He pretended to start in on the resume, occasionally nodding his head in agreement to the words he was also pretending to read. After a moment, Frith looked up at the career criminal sitting across from him, cut his eyes back and forth a few times between the costume and the paper, then stopped playing at scanning the document entirely.

“It says here your name is Zeus Marigold.”

“Of course”, a voice from beneath the hat lied; then echoed the alias back at the manager in a self satisfied tone.

James Frith rubbed the space between his eyes with his thumb and forefinger, not the first time he had done so since waking up next to his horsefaced wife that morning. For just a moment he stared past the applicant sharing his cramped office and through the smeared glass that looked out over the production floor. How he longed to be at one with the napping workforce in that hot warehouse; coming in late and sleeping off the previous night’s drunken debauchery on a conveyer belt, smoking cheap knockoff Cubans and croaking obscenities at under-aged girls walking home from the Catholic school just down the block. Maybe staying out all night--why the hell not?--and telling his wife, that cow, that he’d be home when he walked through the front door and not a moment before! And by God if she looked at him cross one more time, just once more…

The tactless clearing of his visitor’s throat brought James Frith back to reality before his daydreams of domestic violence could progress any further. Warehouse manager Frith looked the applicant over quickly then leveled his gaze with the brim of the hat.

“Your fake mustache is falling off.”

“Absurd” cried the man with the obvious alias. He frammed a skinny fist on Frith’s ratty desk and when he did, the cheap glue holding his mustache above his lips finally gave up the ghost. The summer heat had just been too much for it. The tan face pursed its thin lips and arched an eyebrow in Mr. Frith’s direction.

“I fear, Mr. Marigold”, began Frith, “that your ruse has come to an abrupt end.” Zeus Marigold hung his head in mock shame and took the hat into his lap, exposing a pointed head of jet black hair forced into slicked back submission with what looked to be a full jar of pomade.

Frith picked up the application and resume, both practically swimming in falsified information and outright lies, and placed them gingerly in a folder marked “New Hires”. He raked the rest of the file’s contents into the wastebasket behind his chair, tossing out applications from men and even some women with excellent qualifications and far shorter criminal records. Hell, some of them didn’t have a criminal record at all and to James Frith, this was unacceptable.

“Welcome to Percival Maxwell Cabineting Incorporated, Mr. Marigold.”, Frith said through a huge grin and with some bit of noticeable fanfare in his voice. He extended one hamfist over his desk and shook briskly the loose coldfish hand of his newest hire; his newest completely puzzled deeply bewildered hire.

“I should expect you back here tomorrow morning at 9:30 sharp to fill out some paperwork and put down your signature. All standard procedure, you understand.”

The man calling himself Zeus Marigold did not understand, but he agreed to the terms all the same. The manager called after him, “You have a very bright future here, Mr. Marigold. Very bright!”

As James Frith watched Zeus Marigold, actually Ignatio C. Lesmoll ex-convict, exit his dusty little office, he couldn’t help smiling. From this tiny back room in a hot warehouse full of known illegal immigrants, he had just taken the first real step towards ruining the good name of Percival Maxwell the Third, that smug bastard. The future was looking bright indeed. Now if he could just get a bull dyke or two on staff, things would really start hopping in this place. He lit a cigarette and picked up the telephone.



Patrolman Graham roused slowly from his sleep with a fat stupid smile on his fat stupid face. The dreams had been excellent today, suggestive but not perverse, and a mid-day’s nap was always welcomed in the heat of summer. He yawned once or twice, stretched out his heavy arms, and peered over the side of the basket at the milling people below.

The park was still buzzing with activity, though the sun had travelled far enough across the sky that the fountain was masked in shadow, running off all of the children and half of the sunning bums. Out in the streets, people were still running about, mostly ladies in broad hats holding shopping bags and laughing loudly. Shop bells jingled constantly as doors opened and closed along the avenue. Here and there men could be spotted with their ties hanging loosely and their top shirt buttons undone to allow heat and chest hair to escape. One old man was sitting on a park bench almost directly beneath Graham, clutching a pipe in one hand and holding a folded newspaper in the other.

Sitting under the balloon all day might not have been as glamorous as being a homicide detective or a receptionist, but the ease of the job was pretty rewarding in its own right. In the six months Graham had been captain of the skies he had only drawn his gun once and even then the owl had flown away before he could get a single shot off.
Last edited by Ghost on Tue May 13, 2008 11:45 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby MT » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:27 pm

i would like to move to this town.
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Postby GD » Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:32 pm

I would so take commands from this captain.
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Postby Ghost » Tue May 13, 2008 11:45 am

Updated if anyone is interested. Reworked and reworded from the top down in addition to new material.

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