Oct 2, 2010

Chuck, Stop Touching The Radio Transmitter

By Sama Khawaja

Chuck, stop touching the radio transmitter. (five minutes later) Chuck, stop touching the radio transmitter. (two minutes later) CHUCK, WILL YOU STOP TOUCHING THE GODDAMN RADIO TRANSMITTER?!’
‘No fair, Freddie, you never let me use it!’ Chuck whines.
‘You’re an officer-in-training not a three-year old!’ Freddie snaps at the youth lolling in the seat next to him as he switches gears and swerves the car onto Bottleneck Boulevard. ‘And you are to address me as Officer Budkins! Not Freddie, not Fredster, not Fredman and not Frederoonie!’
‘Look, I’m doing you a favour here!’ Chuck insists. ‘Do you REALLY want me calling you Officer BUDKINS? Do you know it sounds like Butt-!’
‘I don’t really want to know!’ Freddie exclaims angrily and slams his foot so hard on the brake that the car screeches to a halt. He turns to Chuck, his face set in a scowl. ‘Now stay put. I have some important errands to run here so don’t do anything stupid!’
Chuck leans forward to read the sign on the building they have parked in front of.
‘Dandy Doughnuts?’ he queries and raises an eyebrow at Freddie.
‘If you must know ‘Dandy Doughnuts’ is an internationally recognized chain restaurant and the owner wants police protection from rivals,’ Freddie counters as he clambers out of the car. ‘Plus I get free doughnuts.’
‘Whatever,’ Chuck drawls as he fishes out his iPod and soon immerses himself in his music.
‘That kid’s going to get nowhere in this business,’ Freddie thinks exasperatedly as he enters the empty store (it is a working day) and smiles brightly at the cashier.
‘Hey, Ernie!’ he says cheerily. The veteran jumps and begins to fiddle nervously with his fingers, beads of sweat dotting his temples.
‘Officer Budkins!’ he stammers. ‘Wh-What a pleasant surprise!’
Freddie gives him a curious stare. Old Ernie looks like he’s had a packet of jitter jellybeans. He’s shaking like a leaf and is constantly fixing his already balanced ‘Dandy Doughnuts’ cap. That’s when Freddie’s eyes fix on the mirror behind Ernie and his entire body goes rigid.
A man in a ski mask is sitting hunched under the counter with a gun pressed against the veteran’s leg. One wrong move and the man would shoot Ernie. The wheels in Freddie’s mind begin to turn slowly as he tries to come up with a plan.
‘So, uh, Ernie, listen,’ Freddie says as casually as possible while moving backwards to the exit. ‘I forgot my wallet in the car so I’ll just go get it and-!’
‘Don’t move!’ the thief suddenly hollers and pops out of his hiding place while pointing his gun at Freddie. ‘Or I’ll shoot!’
‘Take it easy, buddy,’ Freddie says gently, trying to soothe the robber as he raises his hands to show that he is unarmed. The robber has a bag, probably filled with cash, and has moved around the counter to the door while keeping his gun trained on Freddie at all times.
‘Later, sucker!’ the thief says smugly and as soon as he turns around to exit, the door comes smashing into his face, sending him crashing to the ground. His head makes contact with the tiled floor and he blacks out.
‘Yo, Freddie!’ Chuck calls as he places one hand on the door to keep it open. ‘While you’re at it, can I get a jelly doughnut? I’m starved!’
‘Chuck, you son-of-a-gun, you just caught your first robber!’ Freddie says in disbelief as he rushes forward to the unconscious man to fasten handcuffs on his wrist.
‘I did?’ Chuck blinks and gazes in wonder at eh groaning man Freddie is hauling up. ‘I mean, of course I did! I meant to do that! What you don’t think I’m capable of being a good cop? It was all an act, Fredster!’
‘Don’t push your luck,’ Freddis scoffs as he shoves their captive into the backseat of his car. ‘And it’s OFFICER Budkins!’
‘Yeah, yeah!’ Chuck says casually. ‘Oh man! I’m going to be famous! No one else has been able to catch their first bad guy yet! Wait till I tell the other guys!’
Freddie rolls his eyes and focuses on the road ahead. Silence lapses between them and Freddie actually begins to enjoy it.
‘So can I use the radio transmitter?’ Chuck asks with a grin.
‘Shut up.’


Lamia Fahim said...

I absolutely adore Chuck's cheeky character. Amusing and playful short-story. Like! :)

Misha said...

Excellent combination of comedy and suspense!

Sana Riwzan said...

The intro is A LOT like the two brothers in Artemis Fowl. I can't remember their names though. The two officers in the LEP Squad.

fatinnawaz said...

This actually made me 'lol'

yusrabbasi said...

a very enjoyable read
i loved chucky's happy-go-lucky attitude.. its a good respite from all the gloomy stories we often read and write

Saman Wahab said...

hahhaha!! i loved chuck's cheeky character :D
and OFFICER BUDKINS complimented him

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