Constable Joke

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A nervous rookie Police Officer struggles to enforce order whilst on the beat.

Submitted: August 31, 2016

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Submitted: August 31, 2016

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It was a mild October morning, which saw a nervous PC Wilberforce Crisp arrive in his marked car at Wolverhampton town city centre for his first real tour of duty. Wilberforce had decided to join the Police force in July of that year, after much debate, both within himself and with his family,as to whether it was the right career choice for him. He had always worked back office administration type jobs, where social contact with new people was minimal and he could effectively work several days on end without saying one word to anyone. However he had seen fit to take up the challenge and had gone on to enroll at his local branch.

There had been much concern within the force as to whether or not Wilberforce had what it took to become an all powerful officer of the law. He stood only 5'4" and weighed all of 8 stone, little of which was muscle. At school Wilberforce had been bullied uncontrollably and endlessly due to being seen as a weak and easy target. He was the kid who was always picked last for teams, kept as far away from the ball as possible during rugby and seemed to come last in any race he was forced to compete in. This physically weakness and ineptitude had carried through college, university and into adult life. As well as his diminutive physical appearance, Wilberforce had soft facial features and a feminine look. His overbyte, weak chin and narrow face gave him the weak look of a person who could be easily intimidated. He had done little to disprove this negative perception throughout his life. Rather just accepted the torment and offered no resistance when abused.
 
Now Wilberforce took a deep breath and stepped out of his patrol car to begin his city duty. Slightly to Wilberforce's annoyance, the force had supplied him with a uniform that was too large; his trouser ends were dragging along the dirty ground, and his hi-vis jacket came almost to his knees. He could not fit his hat on his head properly, so it peaked at a strange angle, as if he were appearing in a Benny Hill sketch. The officer who was scheduled to accompany the nervous rookie PC Crisp had called in sick at the last minute and the station could not offer a replacement. Wilberforce found it odd that his would be partner had chosen this day to pull  a sickie, as usually he had  a spotless record. It was clear to Wilberforce that the officer who was assigned to guide him did not want to be seen with him. So alone he walked, down an industrial street toward the city centre. Already Wilberforce could feel sets of eyes starring at him. Wilberforce ignored this and carried on, until he heard a man clearly say "Is that a real copper?" to his friend as they shared a quiet giggle. Wilberforce turned his head to look at the men, only to see that they were both grinning directly at him. The men turned back to their front as Wilberforce did the same and turned a corner to his left.
 
It was almost immediately after turning the corner where Wilberforce sensed his first call to action, painful as it may be. A loud argument had broken out between a tall, powerfully build middle eastern man and an older white man wearing a business suit. The man wearing a suit had already suffered some sort of injury as he had a bloodied nose. Wilberforce knew that he had already been witnessed as a figure of authority and someone who was expected to take charge and deal with the situation. Wilberforce felt his mouth go dry and a hot flush comer over him. Already he was sweating under the arms and forehead.
 
"OFFICER!!" a witness shouted and eagerly beckoned him over. Everyone involved in the street ordeal, which included the two men and around 6-7 witnesses stopped dead and looked directly at Wilberforce, waiting for him to make his moves. Wilberforce started to walk forward, fully aware that his legs felt shaky and his hands were trembling. He looked at the ground whilst moving toward them trying to hide his red face. During this short walk, which seemed to take forever, Wilberforce was mentally preparing his opening question. He was visualizing how he would take control and calm the situation down. No matter what he planned on saying, he knew full well that this was not going to go down like it had in the classrooms. This was the streets and he was all alone out here, no mentor, no second chances, no breaks when he had had enough.
 
As Wilberforce arrived on the scene, he tried to open with 'Morning everyone, what seems to be the problem?' However only got as far as the second word before the large man cut him off with an angry tirade
 
"Officer, arrest this man now! He had racially abused me for no reason. I was only here doing some shopping and he accosted me!"
 
"Thats a lie, you provoked the argument then became aggressive. I'm the one with blood all over his face!" The older man replied.
 
"Don't listen to him Officer, he's lying through his teeth" came the sharp response from the Middle Eastern Man.
 
Wilberforce knew that he had to speak up quickly or else he may as well not even be standing there wearing that uniform. He started to speak again however only got as far as
"If e.e.e"
before the older man responded with more aggression and accusations against his opponent. Neither of them was really talking TO Cuthbert, only talking at him. Wilberforce stood red-faced and awkward as the argument raged on and a larger crowd drew former around the ordeal. He was very aware that several of the onlookers were glancing over at him, some with obvious concern. He could read the look in their faces. They were wondering why an officer of the law was standing there like a lemon allowing an argument to rage on in public.
 
Finally the larger bald man addressed Wilberforce directly. His faced red and taut with anger. His eyes bulged from his sockets and veins stood out on his forehead and neck.
 
"Are you gonna actually sort this mess out mate?"
 
He boomed, spit flying from his lips. Wilberforce instinctively looked down at the floor and felt a rush of heat to his face as he was put on the spot in such a direct way. He clearly heard several sniggers coming from within the audience. He opened his mouth to speak however, as before, only managed a few stammered syllables before being cut off by the Middle Eastern Man. By now he was feeling like a total fool. A mockery of a Police Officer. Wilberforce had it in his head to just turn away quietly and walk away around the nearest corner, then just try and make up an excuse if this was ever brought to light. However, Wilberforce had already seen several phones being held up aloft to record the incident, at least two of which had caught him on camera. There was already clear evidence that he was not doing his paid duties as a Police Officer. If he was to walk away from this he may as well walk away from his job.
 
With this thought, Wilberforce took it upon himself to step in and make an authorative move. He raised a hand between the two arguing men and made a clear step forward. This however, still had little effect. The older man simply pushed Wilberforce's arm out of the picture and stepped forward into the Middle Eastern man's zone. Wilberforce found himself backing up and lowering his arm in defeat. He noticed now that the majority of the audience were starring at him directly; some grinning and shaking their heads, some looking confused at what they were seeing, some frowning. Wilberforce dropped his eyes and again felt heat flush from his cheeks. He felt out of steam, defeated and just so weak! He decided then to make his escape as the two men were locked in argument. He turned on his heels, dropped his head and started to walk swiftly away, trying to make himself look as small as possible. He could feel people's eyes on him as he walked away, but this in itself bothered him little.
 
As he turned the corner, he upped his pace and found himself breaking into a gentle jog as to distance himself from the situation. He felt a wave of relief wash over him as the pressure was temporarily off. He felt like a coward for acting as he did, but knew that he just wasn't cut out for this line of work. His relief was short lived however, when he saw a bunch of unruly looking youths loitering about where he had parked his squad car. Two of the youths were actually sitting on the car bonnet, smoking cigarettes and swearing loudly. Some of the other youths were kicking the car aimlessly, spitting on it and generally acting in a loutish way. There were about 12 youths who looked to be between 15-20 years of age. Wilberforce stayed where he was, measuring up the situation. He did not feel that he had the strength to challenge them verbally, or at least without looking like a total fool and joke. He was halfway between the heated argument he had just come from and the loutish youths who had congregated around his squad car. He could not stand there all day doing nothing. Wilberforce knew that he had to make a move.
 
Wilberforce found himself walking down the road toward the rowdy youths. It was his plan to keep eyes down and take the right exit just before reaching them. He would keep quiet and hope to go unnoticed. Once out of the way, he would kill time until the youths had moved on. He only hoped that during his tour he didn't come across any further confrontations. He would then return to his car and return to the station. This however did not quite go to plan.
 
As Wilberforce was around 20 feet from the right hand turn he planned on taking. One of the youths screamed and pointed at Wilberforce.
 
"HAHA...Its a mini copper"
 
This insult was immediately followed by a huge roar of moronic laughter from the gang of louts. One of them hurled his empty alcohol bottle across the road, which sailed through the air before descending and smashing near Wilberforce's feet, spraying shards of glass everywhere. Wil ignored this blatant offence and carried on with his head down, desperately trying to avoid any confrontation.
 
"Is this your car mate, do you mind if we trash it?" shouted another youth.
 
Wil heard the sound of glass smashing behind him, and although he didn't look, was pretty sure that one of the squad car windows had just been smashed. At this point Wil heard his police radio buzz from his utility belt. He knew that he had little choice but to answer it and explain himself when the inevitable line of questioning came.
 
"PC Crisp 2378 over" Wil managed in a shaky voice
 
"PC Crisp, this is Chief Inspector Jones from headquarters. We've had reports come in that you failed to act at the scene of an incident and walked away. Could you explain yourself?.......PC Crisp?"
 
Wil ended the call without a further word and switched off the radio. He knew in that moment that his job with the Police was as good as over. Wil turned into a doorway and quickly removed any Police uniform he was wearing; hi-vis jacket, stab-proof vest, utility belt, shoulder badge. He walked out of the doorway wearing only black trousers, a short sleeved white shirt and black trousers. He was now a regular civilian with no identifiable markings as an officer of the law. Now simply Wilberforce. He managed to find a black bin liner lying nearby and use to carry his equiptment, rather than carry it in his arms. Wil carried on the way he was going, however he could hear voices and scuffing feet not far behind him. He did not need to turn to realise that the youths who had mocked him were on his tail, clearly looking for further enjoyment at his expense.
 
"Wheres your uniform mate? you lost it somehwere spaz?"
 
The 10 or so youths all laughed aloud, one threw a piece of stone which sailed inches past Wil's narrow head. Wil felt himself panic and knew that he had to get out of the area quickly. He could hear the youths only feet behind him now. He had by now come to a slightly more congregated retail area with more people around. Wil then recalled with a degree of shock horror that he was the only officer in the area that day. None of these random civilians would be obliged to help him or rush to his aid. Instead, various passers-by simply gawped then looked away as they witnessed a large rough looking gang of youths closely pursuing a feeble looking man who clearly wasn't enjoying any of this. It was not long before one youth urged forward and kicked his leg out, tripping Wil and causing him to almost go to ground. As Wil managed to gain his feet, the youths howled with laughter. Another youth, or for all Wil knew it was the same one, lunged forward and pushed Wil so hard that he lost his balance and went to the tarmac in a clumsy sprawl.
 
The youths howled even louder and appeared to form a menacing semi-circle around him. Wil was about to try and get up and walk away when a shaven-headed thug kicked his legs out from under him again with an audible grunt. Passers-by continued to be no more than that, leaving the thuggish louts to get on with their bullying. No-one wanted to get involved, it seemed to Wil. Wil sat there on the ground, looking up at their grinning, mean looking faces. He quickly backed away on his hands and tried to launch himself into a running turn, however a youth lunged and grabbed his ankle before he could get away, before violently pulling him back to the ground with a painful smack. At this point the youths closed in around Wil, shoulder to shoulder. They formed a solid circled through which there was no easy escape. Still, Wil saw no sign of rescue from the uninterested shoppers. The youths started taking turns in pushing Wil around the circle, laughing at the terrified look on his face and the way his small body flew around so easily. One vicious youth went one step further and smacked Wil hard about the side of the face. The sounds of the laughing were replaced by a constant ringing sound in Wil's ear . Half of Wil's face rang with shock and pain. He did not notice that a pair of hands had closed around his ankles until he felt his feet snatched sharply from under him and pulled savagely backward. Wil instinctively put his hands out infront of him to catch the blow. Wil felt himself float in mid-air for a second before crashing back down to the hard tarmac. Even catching the impact with his hands, Wil felt the shock shoot straight up to his shoulders. A youth pulled him roughly to his feet and seemed to grip his arms in place. Another youth stepped forward from the circle and followed this up by swinging a hard closed fist directly into Wil's narrow jaw. There was a loud smacking sound on the outside, however Wil felt himself come apart on the inside. His whole face went into shock, everything appeared to go dull around him. He felt his eyes water with the effect of the hit. The youths were still roaring and pointing at Wil whilst hurling verbal abuse.
 
Wil decided that enough was enough. Even though he could not out-fight these thugs, he could atleast mark one. With that thought, he made it an action. This action was to clench his fist hard and swing it at the nearest unsuspecting face. Wil knew that the hit would not knock the youth out cold, but he was remarkably encourage when it did atleast wipe the smile off his face and cause the laughter all round to cease. The struck youth held his jaw in the same mixture of pain and shock that Wil had felt several times in the past few minutes. Wil braced himself now, awaiting the comeback. Wil kept his eyes on the youth he had just struck and ONLY on him. It was fortunate for Wil however that he never got to experience what the backlash from his punch would have been.
 
The youth 4 people to the right of the struck youth was suddenly dragged backward by a sudden force. Wil recognised now that this was the same youth that called him a "mini-copper". Wil could see that the youth had a strong arm wrapped around his neck in a choke hold.
 

"You want to know how I deal with bullies?!" bellowed the saviour before dumping the youth on the tarmac and taking a step back. Wil could only see one saviour from where he was standing. A lone man, not huge but strong looking, with a fierce look of anger in his eyes. His stance suggested that he was not afraid of being outnumbered and had no intention of backing off. The saviour stood legs apart, fists clenched, looking directly into the eyes of the thugs nearest him with his jaw clenched hard and veins bulging on his forehead.

"I'm gonna bang you out you mate!" shouted a youth as he swung a fist wildly forward.
 
The saviour checked this attack quickly with a swift dodge and counter-attack. The youth went sprawling to the ground, clutching his bloodied lip in pain. The saviour swung harshly and kicked another bully so hard in the stomach that they doubled over and went to ground, moaning in pain, their face screwed up after such a solid winding. Gradually, the youths began to back off from the saviour and retreat to a safe distance. The saviour stood fast until all were gone from the area. He then turned toward Wil and stuck out a hand.
 
"Thanks for the rescue sir!" Wil replied with more than a little gratitude, as he shook the hand back.
 
"Think nothing of it. I'm glad I was here to help" replied the saviour.
 
"I'm Wil, by the way."
 
"I'm Vincent, Vincent Griffin. Please, call me Vince."


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