By Shawn Cropley
Nov 3, 2018 · 1,323 words · 5 minutes

From the author: A deputy makes the most terrifying traffic stop of his life.

Years of experience have taught Robbie that bad things happen on curvy roads. The twisting pavement incites a sort of madness in some drivers; generally those young and with penis’. Having worked most of his adult life as a Sheriff’s Deputy, he knew the locations where some sort of vehicular chaos held a high possibility, where the trees lining the road were likely to become victims of out of controls cars. Though, the tree was probably going to come out better than anyone else in this situation. Crawford road was a place like this. Whenever Robbie figured there would be a lot of folks running wild, this was his favorite haunt. There were times that he knew there would be a higher chance of carnage; weekends of course, just about any high school event, full moons, and holidays. At times like these, he knew he needed to be down here at Crawford road, keeping the likely intoxicated drivers safe from the clutches of the darkness beyond the asphalt.

The moon sat full in the sky, casting an eerie brightness upon the world. He hadn’t spent 30 minutes sitting in park when a red sports car flew by at what had to be twice the speed limit. Siren wailing, lights flashing, Robbie sped after the crimson coupe, his aging Chevy doing its best to keep pace.  Its best was good enough. Pulling to the side of the road the red car quickly went dark, its engine stopped, the drivers arm hanging out of the window impatiently.

“Must be in one helluva hurry.” Robbie laughed to himself.

He approached the car slowly with his flashlight in his left hand, his right resting on his belt.

“Ma’am, license and registration, please.”

The young woman, agitated, tore open her purse and retrieved her identification. She then reached over the center console and searched the glove box for the registration, finding it under the car’s manual and some napkins.

“I don’t understand why you’re pulling me over. There’s no one else out here, it’s not that big of a deal.”

“Well, ma’am, whether there’s other folks out here or not the speed limit is the speed limit. Plus, I’m out here.” Robbie smiled, “I’m gonna go run this. Just stay put, I’ll be right back.”

The woman said something Robbie couldn’t make out as he walked away, but he assumed it wasn’t anything nice. He sank back into the front seat of his cruiser, punching her information into the computer. His radio dug into his side due to his slouching, so he unbuckled the strap and tossed it into the passenger seat. Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t her first stop for speeding, but everything checked out. He sat and mentally debated whether he wanted to write a ticket or not. His main reason for being out on a night like this was to keep people from destroying their lives, not to dole out punishments.

A scream cut through the quiet of the night, so full of pain and fear, it felt as if the sound crept into his chest and held his heart in a closed fist. Robbie caught his breath and quickly climbed out of his cruiser. The scream came from the woman’s little red car. Robbie removed his gun from its holster, holding it close by his right side. Slowly, he inched up toward the driver side of the car. Although he wasn’t sure why, he was doing his best to be quiet.  He stopped at the rear panel, not detecting any movement or sound from inside the vehicle, he called out.

“Ma’am, you alright? I heard a scream…”

His voice trailed off as he ducked down to peer through the small rear window.  There was blood across the inside of the windshield.

Bring the gun up so that he could hold it with two hands, Robbie took a deep breath and took three large steps up to the driver's window. He nearly dropped the pistol as he brought a hand up over his mouth. The woman’s torso sat planted crooked in the seat, her lower half was strewn across the dashboard, center console, and passenger seat. Viscera littered the compartment, and her legs, what was left of them, were hanging partially out of the passenger window, which had been broken. Broken inwards by the look of the shards of glass mixed with the blood pooling inside the car. Her face held terror, confusion. Robbie lurched over, barely able to keep himself from spilling his stomach’s contents across the crime scene. The sound of growling instantly broke him out of his panic. Slowly bringing himself back to vertical, he peered around the car, towards the woodline, towards the snarling. Two yellow eyes stared back at him from the shadows. The creature took two steps forward, revealing itself to be a massive wolf. Robbie knew there were wolves in these parts, but they didn’t get to be this size and they didn’t go around mutilating people in cars. Without warning the creature sprinted towards him, rearing up on its hind legs and running as a man would. Its arms raised, maw gaping, Robbie barely had enough time to bring up his handgun and fire. Three shots rang out, echoing through the world around them. The beast didn’t make a sound, but turned and ran back into the woods, disappearing among the pines and shadows.

No way I missed those shots, Robbie thought. An epiphany struck and he shot his hand to the right side of his belt, where his radio would be. But he left it in his car.

Moving with the same caution as before, only now instilled with more fear, he crept back to his cruiser. A rush of movement by the car made him stop and nearly run away. The creature leaped onto the top of the car, it’s rear claws shearing through the roof, it’s dagger-like fingers effortlessly slicing through the windshield. Robbie quickly fired three more shots, seeing the shots make contact.  The beast made no notice, the wounds closing just as quickly as they had formed. It descended on all fours from the car, each step crumpling the metal beneath it, until it joined him on the asphalt. It stayed that way for a moment, staring Robbie down, eyes full of judgment. Steadily, it stood up. Robbie knew he couldn’t run. He knew bullets had no effect. Taking a deep breath but trying not to show it, Robbie decided to stand his ground, the only thing he could think to do. Step by step, the creature got closer. Blood still dripped from its jaws, the smell of death permeated the air around it. Robbie couldn't tell if the creature was growling or letting out a low laugh. It stood in front of him, towering and menacing. Robbie’s eyes never left the creatures gaze, defiant in the midst of death itself. Bending down until it’s face was level with his, the beast’s eyes narrowed, its lips snarling. It grabbed hold of Robbie’s left arm and in one swift movement removed it from his body. A scream echoing the same terror he’d heard from the red car escaped Robbie’s throat. The wolf-like monster dropped down to all fours, swiping Robbie’s torso on the way down and dragging him to the floor. It dug its teeth into his leg and began dragging him off the road into the woods. It was playing with him. Robbie fired two shots into the top of the creature's skull to the same effect as before. As they reached the tree line Robbie did the math; three shots the first time, three shots the second, 2 shots the last time, 9 bullet clip.  He pressed the still hot barrel to the side of his head and pulled the trigger. The beast released Robbie’s lifeless leg. It sniffed his corpse, grunted, and continued on into the woods.

This story originally appeared in Self Published.

Shawn Cropley

Shawn Cropley writes stories.