I Need a Name

by F E Anderson

Officer Grettle had just pulled up on the edge of the traffic circle on Bainbridge Island. There was a snarl of cars trying to avoid a young woman who was running erratically around the plantings, calling plaintively. The officer intercepted her and began his questions:

“What are you doing?”

“They are all gone, I don’t know where to find them,” she answered.

“Well, you can’t run around and block traffic. Who are you?”

“I am the sheep lady.”

“That is not an answer, try again.”

“Little Bo Peep, who has lost her sheep!”

“What I asked was, ‘What is your name?”

“I suppose,” she said, hands on hips, “that you have intentionally left off the ‘little girl’ part of the question, right?”

“Look, Missy, I’m going to ask one more time, and then you get a ride downtown. What is your name? Do you have any identification at all with you? And put down that long stick you got in your hand. What’s that all about?”

“Fine with me, man in dark blue, downtown is one of the places I haven’t looked.”

“That does it, smart mouth, turn around, put your hands behind your back, and lean against the car. I’m arresting you for loitering, blocking traffic, and refusing to answer a lawful question.”

The cuffs clicked shut, and the officer opened the back door of his cruiser.

“You are going to have to take off that hat.”

“But it is part of who I am.”

“I DON’T CARE! And what’s with the funny dress, anyway?”

“It’s not funny. It is lovely, and I adore all of the petticoats and ribbons.”

“Well, this isn’t going to work out. With that hat on and that dress, I don’t think you’ll fit into the back seat.”

“Oh, look!” Peep cried happily, “there they are! Now I don’t have to go downtown. Here come my sheep. But don’t think you’re getting off easy, mister man in blue. Soon as I get back to The Cottage, I’m telling Mother Goose all about you. Then we’ll see who has to answer questions.”

Smiling, her handcuffs simply fell right off, and she walked away, right through the stalled traffic. She gathered her flock, and disappeared behind the small church on the corner.

And Officer Hansel von Grettle? Two weeks later, all they ever found of him was his badge and his boots, out on the sidewalk by Guinevere’s Wickedly Good Candy Store at the edge of town.

F E Anderson

I write speculative fiction, poetry, essays, mostly as speculative fiction. I am published, participate in writing groups, and discussions. My latest two books are, “About Here”, and “7from my Shadowy Pit,” both self published, Amazon.

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