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You Can Take the Dog Out of the Park

By Curtis C. Chen
Oct 14, 2020 · 3,761 words · 14 minutes

Petunia and the city night lights

Photo by Matthew Henry via Unsplash.

From the author: A lightly edited excerpt from my NaNoWriMo 2010 project (CAVE CANEM), based on the unsold short story ("Working Graves") that got me accepted to Viable Paradise 2008. Inspired by real life locations in San Francisco, California.


The radio clipped to my shoulder buzzed and crackled, and I heard a female dispatcher’s voice. “Unit Thirteen, 10-91 reported near your location in Lafayette Park, corner of Washington and Laguna. Please respond.”

My partner Charlie beat me to the switch. “10-4, Thirteen on our way.”

Police ten-codes are a holdover from the mid-twentieth century, when radio was still a noisy analog medium. It’s a lot faster to say “10-91” instead of “stray animal,” and easier for the receiver to distinguish...

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