Thursday, September 28, 2017

Night Duty

Night Duty

By Michael Cannata  

He checked to be sure that all his police gear was in place, double checking his gun before getting into his car. He could feel the anticipation building deep inside. The next three days were a special time for people in his line of work. It was the first night of the full moon, the killing moon, the time of the month where people went just a little more insane than usual. He would hate to be put in a spot where he couldn't respond with the proper force if the need came about.

Police were always on a higher alert, as were most other emergency personnel in the city. They were on always on edge. They took shorter breaks, paid more attention to their radios and were ready to respond faster. The tension they felt was almost palpable. Like a dark electricity that permeated the night air.

Despite the usual anxiety, he also felt exhilarated. Maybe this would be the month where it all came to a head. He always fantasized about taking part in the big shootout. He was as prepared as he could be, but, so far, it never seemed to happen. Senseless, random violence erupted sporadically all over the city, but he was never in the middle of the action. He always seemed to be on the quiet side of town.

There was a reason for that. He planned it that way.  Drunks and violent altercations happened in almost every bar or club where booze and bad attitudes were a lethal mix. Real killers, those that preyed upon people without provocation, never struck in a crowded or busy place. He always tried to think ahead and patrol the areas where people wouldn't expect a lunatic to surface.

He drove his usual route, listening to the chatter over his police radio. Things seemed quiet on the surface but he could sense the impending surge of violence that came with the full moon. It was the quiet before the storm. Statistics showed that violent crime rose along with the full moon. Domestic violence and sexual assaults increased more than most. Murders also happened more often. Especially on nights like tonight.

It was a hot, stifling summer night. A lot more people would be out on the streets, seeking relief from the heat indoors. Arguments and bar fights would soon be taking stage as the hotter temperature and the shorter tempers it brought started to mix with the drinks. Parties would go sour. Soon, the sirens would be sounding across the city as the police found their night getting busier by the hour.

History was full of legends about the full moon. Werewolves were one of the most popular monsters that were brought to life when the moon was full. He didn't believe in werewolves. But statistics didn't lie. People really did go crazy during the full moon. It was where the term "Lunatic" came from.

Many people were superstitious and believed the legends. They feared the night and the monsters it harbored.  He knew better than to believe in such creatures. Monsters and the evil they committed weren't creatures of legend; they were real, living, breathing people.

People just like him. It was in his blood. He could feel the lust for blood coursing through his veins. He searched the quiet streets for his first victim. He always tried to kill at least two people during the full moon. Dressing like a police officer made it easy; almost too easy.

Everyone trusted a cop.

No comments:

Post a Comment