The Haven Watch: Quota

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jonathon Pratt, Watcher of Haven, reporter wild, fills his quota.

Submitted: June 15, 2015

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Submitted: June 15, 2015

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"He was about thirty-feet tall with tentacles on his face and this big, green bulbous belly," Jonathon said into the phone, idly twisting the cord around a finger.

"Oh, really?" came the voice of his editor, Caroline, at the tabloid's main and only office. "Did he drive people mad with his presence, and devour people's souls, too, Jon?" The boredom in her voice was very real.

"He just devoured people, period," Jonathon said. "Souls came included in the meal, of course, so, technically, yes."

"Uh-huh," Caroline said. "If you saw this supposed creature from some other dimension or somewhere, why aren't you insane, too?"

"Am I not, dear editor? Am I really not?"

Caroline sighed. "Why did I ask?"

"Because I have the most interesting stories to tell you, for the black-and-white back sections."

"Uh-huh." Caroline could be heard scribbling. "So, it was big, squiggly, green, drove people mad--except you, because you're crazy enough to dream up this kind of stuff--and it ate people." A period could be heard tapped onto paper. "Anything else?"

"Yes, actually." Jonathon kicked his feet up on his ratty old, spring-bare couch. "There was a Catholic priest."

"God..."

"Yes! Exactly!"

"No, Jon," she said. "I mean, God help me, why did I inherit this job from Mike, and you."

"It's the funny and bizarre section of the paper, dear Caroline," Jonathon reminded her. "It is a section of the Inquirer reserved for equal parts funny and/or bizarre."

"Right." She tapped on paper again. "Okay, so, we're not walking into a bar here, are we?"

"No." Jonathon said. "That was Sunday."

"Righttt."

"You know that rundown church on the edge of the city, east side?" Jonathon asked.

"That was Tuesday, Jon. You ran that story Tuesday."

"Ah, yeah, well, it's a popular hangout for paranormal."

"Uh-huh..."

"Okay, see, this is what happened," Jonathon explained. "This Satanist summoned this eldritch abomination named K'ylar."

"You're just making this up as you go along," Caroline said.

"Well," Jonathon ignored her. "K'ylar wasn't happy. The Satanist had used farm-grown goats for sacrifice, instead of ones from the wild."

"Hold on," Caroline stopped him. "This is on holy ground?"

"An eldritch abomination is not a demon or evil spirit, Caroline," Jonathon replied. "Totally different beings. Try to keep up, my dear editor."

"Righttt. So, okay, FDA-approved goats are bad, and What's-His-Face--"

"K'ylar."

"Yeah," Caroline picked back up again. "He wasn't happy about this. And then what? Was there a devouring?"

"Well, K'ylar tried," Jonathon continued. "But the Catholic priest stepped in."

"Was he tending the church the whole time?" Caroline asked. "Like some kind of, I dunno, forsaken custodian?"

"Hey, you're getting a hang of how this sometimes goes."

"Joy."

"Anyways," Jonathon picked up again. "The Catholic priest went to save his son."

"The Satanist?"

"Hey, you--"

"Deadline, Jon."

"Okay, okay," Jonathon said. "This Catholic priest had this old hand-me down relic."

"'Old' and 'relic' are redundant, Jon."

"And that's why you're the editor," Jonathon reminded her. "For about the millionth time, I say, 'anyways', and then the Catholic priest confronts K'ylar--remember him?--with the relic--"

"'In the Light of God, I cast thee out'?"

"Yeah, well," Jonathon admitted. "Yeah, but that's kinda boring. We need to spice it up a bit. Do a little artistic licensing."

"No, Jon," Caroline sighed. "I think it's good as is."

"So, quota?"

"I'll write it up."

"You are a dear, Caroline."

"Yeah," Caroline said. "Don't mention it. No, please. Don't mention it, please."

"Sure," Jonathon said, and hung up.

His girlfriend, Zoe, looked up from her black book, raising a questioning brow.

"And that was before lunch," Jonathon told her. "I met the vamps down at Butcher Realty for lunch."

"You didn't drink the red wine, did you?" Zoe asked.

"Ah-hah," he replied. "Yeah, that's the oldest vamp trick in the book. No." He stretched out on the couch. "What's for dinner?"

"I thought you were getting dinner?"

"Hello? Tabloid reporter by day, supernatural mediator by night? Busy."

Zoe rolled her eyes, sighing, "Fine. I'll go to the black market." She got up off their bed. "Don't want you going out at night. How many nocturnal predators did you piss off this week?"

"Five," Jonathon answered. "Actually, only two swore to bite my head off and devour my entrails." He waved it off. "I get that all the time." He smiled up at his girlfriend. "No shrooms, please. I remember last time..."

Zoe shook her head. "You're something else, Jon."

"And that's why you love me."

Zoe sighed, pulled on her heavy coat, and stepped out into the perpetual wintered streets of Haven.


© Copyright 2019 Jack Motley. All rights reserved.

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