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Just Another Joe
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Just Another Joe
A gumshoe takes it as it comes
Writer and artist living in South Florida
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (22)
A Thousand Camels (Poetry) A caravan of long ago [173 words] [History]
A Treat For Heinke (Short Stories) A girl finds hope during wartime [1,028 words] [Spiritual]
A Werewolf? (Short Stories) A man entrances a woman in Miami, or is he a werewolf? [1,492 words] [Mystical]
And The Winner Is (Short Stories) A summer camp sports competition has a surprise ending [1,132 words]
As It Comes (Short Stories) A discarded, ragged notebook found on the sidewalk brings impressions and thoughts to the person who found it. [756 words] [Drama]
Down In The Country (Short Stories) The end of the line ain't what it's cracked up to be. [840 words] [Drama]
Endangered (Poetry) A love goes bad [45 words] [Romance]
Garlic, Ginger And Golden Seal (Short Stories) An old woman's recipe for a long life [1,868 words] [Mystery]
Grandma, I Love You (Non-Fiction) Memories of my maternal grandmother [1,027 words] [Biography]
How Lizard Lenny Svaed My Life (Short Stories) A woman escapes life under the El thanks to a man called Lizard Lenny [1,255 words] [Relationships]
It's About Time (Short Stories) Ups and downs in the world of quantum physics [1,475 words] [Humor]
Kylie (Short Stories) Success is not always what we think it is. A girl chooses between fame or love. [1,700 words]
Magnolia (Short Stories) A young woman finds out what a magnolia smells like [1,208 words]
Ode To Wayne Dyer (Poetry) A light roast of self-help books [262 words] [Humor]
On Turning Seventy (Essays) A woman ponders the march of time [717 words] [Motivational]
Ovidio Gets A Smoke (Short Stories) A party turns sour but Ovidio ends up sittin' pretty. [1,160 words] [Suspense]
She Saw It All (Poetry) Statue of Liberty Saw 9-11 [190 words]
Teacups And Time (Poetry) A troubled, cold soul finally finds warmth [151 words] [Spiritual]
Thank You For Not Sleeping (Short Stories) Thoughts go all over the page during the night [1,257 words] [Mind]
The Mysterious Gypsy (Short Stories) Among old photos of Northern people, an exotic gypsy's photo appears. Who is she? [1,457 words] [History]
Tom's Moon (Short Stories) A little doll makes a difference [857 words]
Too Late For Coffee (Short Stories) An old man's last days with an angel [1,489 words] [Spiritual]
Just Another Joe
Back in 2006 the department added seven tasers to the mobile division. The so-called non-lethal X26 was state of the art in those days. A hit of 50,000 volts stopped a man in his tracks all right. The officers had fun frying bushes and plastic cans. The sicker ones played pranks on unsuspecting critters. In the end, the joke was on us, though. The captain picked me along with five other men and one girl for training. There would be a little extra in the paycheck, so we considered ourselves lucky.
"In order to gain an understanding of the force of the weapon," is how the training manual put it, each of us would take a one second hit of the stuff. It's been almost 10 years, but I still feel the nerve-numbing crunch on t hat June morning at the pistol range. The others seemed to bounce back pretty good, even the girl. I tried to stay cool but something in my gut cried out, no, screamed, "Get out of this joke, and fast." But as usual, I tried to 'fit in,' be one of the gang, you know. After all, we were cops. We had the power. Besides, this was the only job where I had a little respect. I felt like part of something. There was a lot of clowning around and sometimes things got out of hand.
But back then I overlooked a lot of stuff. I had a sharp uniform, the dough to dry clean it and got some female attention. I never hooked up with any chick for long, though. It was mostly a couple of weeks or a night or weekend, depending on how much beer we put away. I figured I had lots of time. Hell, I wasn't even thirty yet. Believe me, I had worse incidents in my three years on the force that a measly hit from a couple of thousand volts of juice.
I decided to prove I had the guts so I talked "crazy" George, my roommate, into hitting me with a couple of extra zaps with my new toy, right in the friggin' living room. George was on the detective squad and got a kick out of anything illegal, immoral or fattening. You couldn't help liking him.
I filed that pistol range incident in my circular file and life went on as usual. A couple of months later I was tossing some bozo in the back of my cruiser and he sneezed right in my face. I started to feel really lousy after a while and called in sick for the first time in a year. I was turning shades of green and purple and could hardly get off the bed to take a leak.
A lot of the men would call in sick and went off on a boat or something, so the captain checked up on us. He wanted a note from the doctor. The doc took the usual blood tests and sent me off with a bottle of cough syrup. I barely made it home. I passed out. Next thing George is standing by my bed in the local ICU unit, looking like I'm dead or something.
"What the hell is going on, man?" he tried to sound cheerful. "Don't flake out on us, old buddy." I went out again. Next there's a medic leaning against the bed that that same weird look. I was too weak to ask questions. I figured he'd tell me.
"Joseph, you're a mighty sick man," he said.
Tell me something I don't know, I thought.
"We're still waiting for some tests to come back, but severe autoimmune deficiency, Crohn's Disease and cancerous lesions on your spinal column are some of the findings."
This had to be a bad dream, I thought.
"I have never seen a case like this in my practice," he continued. He took a deep breath and said "except one."
I could hardly wait for what was coming next.
"A middle aged female in good health suddenly developed similar symptoms. The extreme impact shut her system down completely. It began with a slight cold." Then he kind of tilted his head at me.
"Have you ever had taser training?" he asked.
It all fell in place right then. It was all over. I knew that cop shop would get me one way or another. But so soon? Even I didn't deserve this.
I'm close to forty now. Somehow I squeaked through and they still can't figure out why. Most of the others from training picked up a bug somewhere and within a couple of weeks were history. I've been in this nursing pod for the last year, after playing musical chairs with some really scary places. I get physical therapy and they tell me I can take short trips to the outs in my wheelchair soon. The fatigue gets me after about an hour or so.
Now I even have a little laptop and write stuff about this and that. Heck, it would take two lifetimes to tell all the crap that went on in my three years on the force. I'm friendly with some of the girls on the staff, though there's a lot of turnover around here. The place does smell a bit and most of the inmates are over eighty or so.
It must have been those extra zaps George gave me that blew away the virus and bacteria the first zap brought into action. The guys who only took one hit were sitting ducks for the bugs this jolt set off.
The 50,000 volts slapped on criminals in seven-second doses was enough to cure them everything, including the common cold. For a while, the slammers were full of very healthy cons and the cops were dropping dead. When the authorities finally figured it out, they discontinued the taser and used small, modified stun guns and chemicals they cooked up during the terrorist scares back in the early part of the century.
Thanks to my disability check I have some kind of an existence. Mostly I lie here pounding out detective stories and cop high jinks on my laptop. It passes the time. George stops by now and then and fills me in. He's still on the force, as crazy as ever and he recently got hitched. They are expecting a little George soon.
Well, that's my story. I guess I'm lucky to be alive. I especially feel lucky after a heavy dose of anti-depressants. Well, now you know what happened to this Joe. What's your story?
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© 2007 Liilia Morrison
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