Vengeance on Patrol
Michael Koenig

THE COPS in my town are on a reality show, which is why they keep arresting me. They shove me in the back of a patrol car and book me. I spend a few hours in jail and they let me out again.

The crimes that I've committed are petty, but they tell me that I'm a particularly photogenic criminal. The show is called Vengeance on Patrol! or Freeze!, they're not really sure which. They haven't sold the pilot yet, but the sergeant tells me there's definite interest from at least three cable networks.

I'll be out on the street for a couple of days, long enough for me to start thinking that they've forgotten about me when Wham!, a black and white unit pulls up and Dave and Manuel come charging out, guns in hand. I immediately throw up my hands in resignation and turn my back to let them frisk me. Why would I carry a weapon when they're just going to take it away from me again?

"Let me try that again," I tell the director. "It didn't feel very natural that time."

"You worry too much," the director says. "It was great. Really. But let's try it once more."



Michael Koenig is a writer, editor, and designer in Oakland, California whose stories have appeared in recent issues of The MacGuffin, Harpur Palate, Literary Orphans, Drunk Monkeys, Hardboiled, and the Paterson Literary Review. His work has also been anthologized in Awake! A Reader for the Sleepless (Soft Skull Press) and The Shamus Sampler 2, an international detective fiction collection.


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