Cat and Mouse

by Dan Sanders

Cat and Mouse

“You don’t look so hot, you know that right? You look like shit.”

“Yeah. I can’t sleep. This whole thing is giving me nightmares.”

“Yeah? What is it, the kid? You’ve seen kid jobs. My thing in West Chester; that was worse than this.”

“What? No way. West Chester didn’t have some weird psycho. West Chester could have been an accident.”

“It wasn’t”

“I know it wasn’t, but it wasn’t so bad that it couldn’t have been.”

“West Chester had a dead kid is all I’m saying.”

“West Chester didn’t have some guy leaving you notes in the mud.”

“I’m just saying West Chester was pretty bad.”

“Apples and oranges.”

“C’mon…”

“Apples and fucking oranges, Dave.”

“I don’t even see how you think it’s an argument –“

“Did you get a fucking pen pal on West Chester? Guy leave you fun little dead kid notes?”

“No but still –“

“I got mud notes! I win. It’s way worse. Giving me fucking nightmares worse. Had to send my wife to live at her sister’s worse.”

“Alright, fine. You win. Your dead kid is worse than my dead kid.”

 

—-

 

“Did you ever play video games when you were a kid?”

“Sure. Sometimes.”

“There was this game called Peasant Quest. You’re a peasant, the king is a tyrant, you find a magic sword.”

“He’s The Chosen One”

“Right, always the same thing: You work your way up and up. Get stronger. Better swords or whatever. Until you fight The Tyrant King — Oh, sorry, I’ll have a coffee and and BLT with fries. And a coffee cake with the coffee.”

“Coffee.”

“Anyway – his face. The guy. Our guy. My guy. That’s how I think of his face.”

“Like a game?”

“Yes. But that game specifically. It was this really bad 3D. Everything was boxy and sharp corners. So faces were just a mess of triangles, kinda flat, sharp but you know – polygons.“

“Had no idea you were into this stuff.”

“I’m not – I was, but I’m not. But his face. Giving me nightmares. Just grey and flat and that’s it. It’d look normal from sixty, seventy feet away. But then he gets close and there’s just nothing there. Just sharp edges, a kinda grey glass. Like a prism! Prism. That’s what you should think of –  a grey prism for a head, Dave. That’s what I see. For nightmares, Dave. That’s what this case is doing to me. Weird headed nightmare man coming to get me.”

“You should — maybe cancel your coffee.”

“Oh well fuck me for having a conversation.”

“Jesus, sorry. Just saying – I don’t know – you look like shit.”

 

—-

“What do they say?”

“The notes? I don’t know. Kind of a mess. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. You know Lanahan?”

“Yeah.”

“Says he’s probably done this before, a few times. Guys like this never make contact like this unless they’re bored.”

“Lanahan’s a drunk.”

“Yeah, but he’s old enough to know about this stuff.”

“Any idea where he got your name?”

“Who?”

“Polygon head. You said the notes were for you.”

“I don’t know. The fucking internet.”

“Oh right, the website. They put you on the website.”

“Fuck you.”

“C’mon, that’s a little funny.”

“How many times did I tell them this would happen. And now it did. To me.”

“To you. Which is awful, but also pretty funny.”

 

—-

 

“I get that Lanahan knows about this stuff.”

“He’s old.”

“He’s really old. He’s a grown up. This is old timer stuff.”

“You’re still talking about video games.”

“Exactly – the hell do I know about dead kids?”

“Every time I pull off the latex gloves, I think “I should have gone for Computer Science.” Nice air conditioned desk. Nobody talks to you.”

“Pay is better. Hours are better.”

“Probably work from home.”

“Oh, also, no dead children.”

“Right. Unless you have those at home for some reason.”

“Right. So, maybe some dead kids, but they’d be yours.”

“From your murder hobby.”

“Gotta blow off all the Computer Science steam.”

“Making all those computer games where you kill kids with your weird angular face.”

“Do you think he killed this kid with his face?”

“Prism Face?”

“Polygon Head?”

“Prism Face. Of course he did, how else do you get that name.’

“Like maybe angled his face, so that the sun caught it..”

“And then lit the kid on fire.”

“I think we cracked the case.”

“I think so. I think we did.”

“The fuck are we talking about.”

“I don’t know. You want dessert?”

“Yeah. One slice of apple. One slice of blueberry. Order it if she comes around.”

“Where are you going?”

“Gotta go throw up and call my wife to make sure she’s ok.”

 

————–

I like to write just the middle parts of cop stories.  

Next Week’s Prompt: Mirror Image

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