Small Town Sheriff

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by terryweide, Jul 15, 2011.

  1.  
    terryweide

    terryweide Smarter Than I Look

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    I was sitting in the Tastee King eating a Whomper when the aristocratic guy in the cape walked in. And no, he wasn't wearing a crown. He had widow's peak hair and deathly pale skin. That alone might not have made me suspicious, after all, he could have been a Goth, but the long teeth protruding from his mouth tipped the scales. Yep, he was an undead bloodsucker all right. I ate a French fry and took a slurp of my coke.

    He turned at the sound, saw me, and started towards my table. Good thing, too. Jimmy, the manager and lone employee working the late shift, looked like he was going to freak out at the counter. It was also good that it was night and I was the only customer. I didn't want people to see this. Sometimes, small towns have their advantages.

    "It's okay, Jimmy," I called, "this guy's a friend of mine. Go home and I'll lock up." Jimmy was a streak out the door.

    The aristocrat walked to my table, stopped in front of me and inclined his head. He didn't put out his hand. I wouldn't have shook it.

    "I am Dracula," he said, in a thick, Romanian accent.

    "Of course," I replied. "Who else would you be?"

    He smiled, revealing more teeth. "I am pleased you know me. And you are the sheriff?"

    "That's right, I sure am." I slurped my drink again, just to be rude. "What tipped you off, the gun, the badge, or the uniform?"

    He threw back his head and laughed. The sound was a cross between wolves howling and graveyard gates squeaking. I think it was supposed to intimidate me—probably works on great on the yokels.

    "I give you credit for being brave," he said. "I understand you've sworn to 'take me in.' That's the term, isn't it?"

    "That's it, all right." I put my coke down and stood. I am not a small man. "To me, you're just another serial killer, albeit one with supernatural powers. You've left a trail of bodies and victims, of families who will never be the same, wherever you've gone." I looked him in his black, depthless eyes. "You're not scary, you're a despicable murderer. And worse, you've made the mistake of moving here and killing in my town."

    "Pity," he said. "Whatever do you intend to do about it?"

    I ignored his comment. "We can do this the easy way—you surrender now, I arrest you, read your rights, and take you to jail. We'll try to get you a cell away from sunlight. Or we can do it the hard way. You resist, and well, sometimes accidents happen."

    He laughed again. "Let's try the hard way."

    "I was hoping you'd say that."

    His fist was blur moving towards my face and his mouth was suddenly larger, looking like a shark's grafted onto a human body. Unfortunately for him, I had no intention of being fast food for Dracula.

    I stepped aside and backhanded him on hard on the jaw. Teeth flew. They weren't mine. He crashed across another table before landing on the floor. Instantly, he was back on his feet. There was blood in his eyes--and insanity. Good. I'd already gotten to him.

    "Your death will not be clean," he hissed.

    "Probably not," I said, "but I'm not in the mood to die right now. Come and get me."

    Emitting a scream like all the banshees of hell, he charged. He was fast, but not fast enough. I met the charge, grabbed his shirt and belt, and lifted him high overhead. Then I brought him down over my outstretched knee. I heard his vertebrae snap as I tossed him on the floor amidst discarded wrappers. He landed on his stomach. For good measure, I reached down and broke his right arm, and because I jcouldn't resist it, I stomped his head into the linoleum. Then I handcuffed his hands behind his back, grabbed him by the neck and lifted him to his feet.

    "You have the right to remain silent…" I began. He bounced in and out of consciousness as I continued the litany.

    "Who are you?" he managed, when I'd finished.

    "I'm the law," I said. "And we don't like your kind in this town. You're going to jail, and if I were you, I wouldn't try to escape. That would really piss me off." I smiled and my eyes changed. He saw the pure vengeance in them and seemed to shrink. "Let's go." I started him towards the door and my patrol car parked outside.

    "Things were never like this, never," he said, as we walked out.

    "Get used to it," I replied. "Dracula, there's a new sheriff in town. There's going to be a lot of changes."

    I shoved him in the back of the car and slammed the door. The night was still young. I had more work to do, and I had to come back and lock up for Jimmy. Maybe I'd get a doughnut to eat after I booked the count. Or maybe not. I patted my waist—all the fast food was getting to me. Maybe I should start a diet. I got in the front of the car, turned on the lights and siren and started for the jail. Yep, just another night in a small town. Glad I didn't live in a big city where they had to deal with real criminals. I hit a pothole, and from the backseat, Dracula gave a moan of pain.
  2.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    First off, Very good.

    A few things jawed (sorry), but on the whole an excellent twist on the theme.

    However, I thought you missed a few opportunities to build the scene and background. I think you could expand it to great effect.


    Here goes with the usual caveats :-



  3.  
    terryweide

    terryweide Smarter Than I Look

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    TEIN,

    Hmm...some good observations and suggestions, especially about "so you're the guy who's been ripping out throats around here." I can use that. Thanks for the feedback.
  4.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Sorry about that. Mrs. Tein hd arrived to take me home so I had to cut short

    As I said before, you could expand this a lot more IMO. Maybe even to book length if you start at the unusual deaths and forensics etc.


    But, as I said, I do like your take on a the Dracula theme.

    Hope I helped.

    TEiN
  5.  
    Nik

    Nik Speaker to Cats

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    ROFL !!

    That was fun !!

    I'd take it as it came, but the suggested tweaks would help...

    FWIW, I'll PM a kindred take-down...
  6.  
    terryweide

    terryweide Smarter Than I Look

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    Nik,

    Thanks for the read and the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

    Terry
  7.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    It's great Terry, as always. The only improvement I can see (this being a crits column) is that I think, with the characters involved, the dialogue could be more laconic. A couple of takes:



    "It's okay, Jimmy," I called, "this guy's a friend of mine. Go home and I'll lock up." Jimmy was a streak out the door.
    "I know this guy," I told Jimmy. "I'll lock up." Jimmy was a streak out the door.




    "Of course," I replied. "Who else would you be?"
    "Who else?" I said.



    He smiled, revealing more teeth. "I am pleased you know me. And you are the sheriff?"
    He smiled, revealing more teeth. "And you, of course, are the sheriff?"



    "That's right, I sure am." I slurped my drink again, just to be rude. "What tipped you off, the gun, the badge, or the uniform?"
    "What tipped you off: the badge or the uniform?" I slurped my drink again, just to be rude.


    etc ... :)
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  8.  
    terryweide

    terryweide Smarter Than I Look

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    TEIN,

    I overlooked your second reply when I responded to Nik. My apologies for that. I appreciate all of the effort you put into your critique. It's going to make me go through this piece and really tighten things up. The only place I disagree is on the use of the term "backhanded." I've known people who can backhand you harder than a lot of people can throw a punch. That might be a matter of the environment you grow up in. Thank you again for your feedback.


    RJM,

    Being more laconic is an interesting idea, especially if I do more with this character. Thanks for your comments. Glad you liked this story.
  9.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Terry: I agree backhanders probably hurt more, but I doubt you could knock teeth out with one. Especially in a vampire. However I'll accept it isn't a big problem.

    However a mention to the fact his teeth, given their age, are less firmly held in the jaw might help it work.

    In any case no major thing.

    Cheers for the reply.

    TEiN

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