December 19th, 2009

autumn

(no subject)

Miami isn't a city of bored police officers. The metro police department barely has time to investigate murders, let alone the near-constant stream of vandalism, assault, and theft that goes on every day. But the sleepy suburb of Pinecrest has had its own police department for years. The most they have to deal with is traffic tickets, toddlers falling into pools, and the occasional case of minor vandalism. The dispatchers for the area are warned on their first day about bored suburban kids calling in false emergencies.

But no one thought to warn them about another kind of call. It comes from a number that isn't in service--the house it used to belong to is nothing more than a vacant lot now. The voice on the line is steady and even, almost mechanical.

"No matter what kind of calls you get from this block," the voice says, "do not send an officer to answer them." And then the caller hangs up. The call cannot be returned--after all, that line hasn't been connected for years.

Anyone who reads fairy tales knows that the best way to make someone do something is to tell them that they can't. They'll also know that mysterious warnings ought to be heeded. But the caller learned a different sort of tale growing up, and the police don't depend on children's stories to do their jobs.

It's a pity that they'll answer the calls that come in later. The hunter doesn't have a taste for the authorities, but will protect its kills at all costs.