The police station buzzed with the white noise of justice in action. And the bored scribbling of paperwork in, if not action, then reluctant motion. The sound flooded the police captain’s office as the door swung open, and then returned to a dull mumbling as the door clicked shut.
‘You wanted to see me, captain,’ said Detective Bevan Shootout.
‘Take a seat,’ said the police captain.
Bevan did so. ‘Is this about the jazz litterer case? Because I’ve almost cracked it.’
‘In a way it is, yes. In a way it’s about all your cases. I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go.’
‘What? But I make more arrests than anyone!’
‘It’s just that, well, when we hired you we thought we were hiring a lone wolf maverick who plays by his own rules.’
‘I am a lone wolf maverick who plays by his own rules!’
‘Nobody’s denying that. I wish they were. It’s just that your own rules are… different than we expected.’
‘It’s the pantaloons, isn’t it? Courtney said you wouldn’t understand the pantaloons.’
‘Courtney the squid.’
‘She’s the only one who truly understands me.’
‘Can you see how that might look to the public? A police detective holding hands with a squid?’
‘Squids don’t have hands. They have tentacles.’
‘That’s sort of my point.’
Detective Bevan Shootout exploded to his feet, knocking his chair to the ground. ‘I put The Scary Abacus behind bars!’
‘You gave him multiple jobs as a bartender!’
Detective Bevan Shootout carefully picked up the chair and lined it up neatly with the captain’s desk. ‘And his stable income, increased sense of self worth and belonging turned him away from his life of crime!’
‘You had sex with a convicted arsonist in a library.’
‘You told me to do it by the book!’
‘You drizzled Vinnie Gold Elbows in honey.’
‘You said to make the charges stick!’
‘Look, Bevan, you’re a basically decent guy, and nobody can say that you don’t technically get results. It’s just that we were expecting car chases and explosions, not laughter therapy and fondu.’
‘But car chases and explosions are incredibly dangerous, to say nothing of the cost of repairs.’
‘I know, but they’re just so cool.’
‘Well, if you’re sure this is what you want, I’ll go and pen my resignation letter.’
‘Aren’t you going to slam your gun and your badge down on my desk?’
‘And risk scratching that beautiful mahogany?’
Former detective Bevan Shootout was careful not to slam the door as he left. What could have been, thought the captain, and in his mind’s eye a police helicopter crashed into a public park.