On a Good Day

Three Cheers and a Tiger ~ Bronze
Alison Hogue


“Two bacon biscuits, tater balls, large coffee with cream, and a newspaper. Anything else today, hon?” Shirley beamed at him from behind the register.

“Throw in a pack of cigs for me, sugar.” Glen leaned on the counter and shot her his best sexy wink. He had been practicing in the mirror so his cheek wouldn’t scrunch up and his open eye wouldn’t move when he did it. Shirley giggled. He had nailed it that time.

Glen handed her a few bills and made sure to drop his change in the tip jar. He watched Shirley’s hips move as she glided behind the counter and packaged his order up. “I threw in a piece of chocolate pie just for you,” she whispered as she handed him the bag.

“Thanks, doll. Stay pretty,” he smiled.

The melting snow crunched under Glen’s feet as he stepped outside and walked toward the parking lot. Water dripped from the roof and sprinkled his hat as he left the overhang. The air was unseasonably warm and birds twittered excitedly in the pine trees that lined the road. He knew it wouldn’t last. Spring had already hit the lower altitudes, but mountain weather was unpredictable. Glen unlocked the cruiser and stuck his coat on the seat. He turned the ignition and pushed in the chrome lighter button on the dashboard.

Tapping his new pack firmly against his palm, he pulled out one cigarette and lit it. He inhaled half of it and took a few sips of coffee before he put the car into gear.

Glen drove along the road for awhile, squinting against the sun that poured through the windshield. He found a nice shady stretch along the highway and pulled onto the shoulder to wait like every other day. First, he would eat breakfast and go through the paper: comics, then the advice column, horoscopes, and the classifieds. About that time, he would pull someone over for speeding, and after that he would skim the sports section. Later, Glen would go home and shower and stop back at the restaurant to ask Shirley out for a beer. Maybe they would end up back at his place, or hers if he were lucky. This kind of weather always put him in the mood for a lady friend. Shirley was soft and she smelled good, and more importantly she liked him.

Glen had just tucked into his first biscuit when the familiar buzz of static came over the radio, “Deputy Wheat, you there?”

“How’s it going, Pete?” Glen said into the speaker between bites.

“I need you at Anderson Park pronto, buddy.”

“What’s the situation?” Glen felt a rush of adrenaline in his veins.

“There’s been an incident involving a snowman. I need backup, over.” There was an edge to Pete’s voice.

“I’m on my way, over,” Glen crammed the biscuit in his mouth and flipped the siren on as he pushed the gas pedal to the floor. The tires squealed as the car jerked forward. He gunned it the entire way as his mind churned with possible scenarios.

As Glen approached the park, he saw that a crowd had gathered around the edges of a large rectangle ringed with caution tape. An ambulance and three police cars had already arrived. “What do we got?” Glen called excitedly as he slid under the yellow tape and pushed his way past the other officers. Pete glanced over and nodded to a large mound of snow with a scarf and a carrot lying on top. Boots stuck out from the bottom.

“Neighbors say some boys took the top ball with the pipe and the hat yesterday when it was still cold,” Pete said quietly.

“So?”

“Got a smoke?”

Glen handed him the pack.

“The shoes on the ground,” Pete continued as he took a drag, “Got feet inside them.”

Glen let out a whistle, “You don’t say.”

“Yep, been finding all sorts of parts packed in snow.”

“Any suspects?” Glen asked.

“Nah, can’t identify the body yet,” Pete grimaced.

“Why not?”

“Glen, I brought you here to talk to the news crew that’s coming. You’re better at these things than me. Now, don’t go getting everybody all worked up, but we need to find those boys.”

“What’s wrong?” Glen asked.

“The snowman’s not the only thing missing a head.”

pencil

Alison Hogue currently resides in Chicago, IL. Although her background is primarily in theatre and improv, Alison has secretly been writing since she was a child. She would like to say that she enjoys Toasted Cheese not only as a creative outlet, but also as a delicious snack. She would like to thank the editors for creating this online community which has inspired enough courage in her to enter her first writing contest. She would also like to thank anyone who takes the time to read her story. Alison finds it both funny and uncomfortable to talk about herself in the third person. E-mail: pishoguepooka[at]yahoo.com.