Sunday, April 22, 2018

Frame Crawl ⋆ Flash Fiction


It's a sight to behold. Passengers screaming, hands waving high with delight; big breasted bimbos bouncing around in bikinis and cut off shorts, their keys 'carabinered' to their belt loops. Glints from sunglasses flashing in the light.

Flip-flops, sunscreen, enough cotton candy and popcorn to make you sick from just the smell alone.
Fuck this place.

“You see it?” A phantom voice asks me from my left ear.
“No. Fast forward two minutes.” I reply.

People scuttle past, sped up. Zooming over ups and downs on the coaster's rails at lightning speed. Funnel cakes disappear in seconds. Lines for rides speed up to a steady, slow walk. Then I see the light flair against the barrel of a gun. 

“Pause.” I growl, making a run for the weapon.
Everything freezes. Popcorn halfway to the ground stays put mid-drop. People's faces freeze in laughter, children's tears stop mid-tantrum. Change jettisoned from passenger’s pockets floats in the air, unmoving on its way to the grass below the rides. And all is silent.

“Whadaya see?”
“Gun.”
“Identify. I'll call it in.”
“Headed for them now.”

Three feet. Two. One more and I'm on it. I weave around unmovable fair patrons. Ducking under an arm here, and a balloon there. Squeezing between children and their parents. Disturbing nothing, absorbing everything. 

“Joss,” I glance around, puzzled. “Inch forward by a tenth of a frame.” I pull my own weapon out of it's holster and check the sun's position in the sky. As I wait for life around me to move again, I pontificate on what direction the sun might reflect itself off of a metal barrel.

People begin to move again in slow motion. As if they were the subjects of a series of three dimensional photos and I was smack dab in the middle of it all. 

That was the worst mode: “frame crawling” they called it. Not for beginners, not for the faint of heart. Not really for me either, but that's what I get paid the big bucks for; not throwing up halfway through a bust.

I see the flash and head for it. 

“Pause again.” I bark at Joss. I hear him grunt and my surroundings freeze. Rather than jog towards my target, I walk at a comfortable pace. 

A young kid holds a 22 caliber pistol under a long, dark green trench coat, a startled look plastered on his face. 
“Got him.” 
“Identify.”
I shove my weapon back in its holster and take out my scanner instead. I power it on. It whirs to life, blue lines sluice over the kid’s dead but nervous eyes. The scanner clicks, sending Joss the identity he needs.
“Get it?” I asked Joss.
“Yup.” He chuckled in my ear. “Okie dokie. We're done for the day.”
Life goes back to normal speed. The kid jumps back when he sees me standing in front of him. I wasn't there before, so how could I be here now? Towering over him, getting into his personal space, coming from nowhere? I already know the kid has a million questions. None of them will ever get answered.

He tries to be cool. To not to reveal his weapon. He knows if someone sees it, he's done. Then, seconds pass and he realizes it's too late. 
I watch his eyes go blank. He drops to his knees.
His gun clatters to the concrete. People gasp and move back. Some stop to look, but most mind their own business. 

When I blink again, the kid and the gun are gone, and all is right with the world again. 
For now.




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