Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Best Of: "Swerved"

With "Swerved," the chase is a foot and as usual, all is not what it seems. Will the predator corner his prey? "Swerved" originally appeared on

My victims have been plentiful throughout the years, and I must say that I have an aptitude forthis sort of thing. I don't get to choose them at all, yet that is what makes hunting them such fun.

Some of them get radar.

They panic.

Their eyes go wide with fear as I reach into my jacket pocket.

Even in places crowded with people, they see me before I can separate them out.

Even with those dark sunglasses on, I could see the whites of his eyes.

Even as big as he was, he broke off from the pack like a frightened gazelle.

He was not graceful. He was not lithe by any stretch of the imagination. Yet like a sumo wrestler or a defensive tackle, he had that good initial burst of speed.

The chase was afoot.

With some of the victims, you want this…this sheer, unadulterated panic. The thing was not to be a like a lion, but like a hyena.

The lion is not built for long-distance pursuit, but for the quick kill and he will usually not go after his prey beyond the initial five hundred yards. The hyena will follow his prey…and follow…and follow. When you are a hyena, you simply and relentless pursue. You let the prey panic and that panic will help wear them down and disorient them.

His once sure feet now became uncertain…then they started stumbling. His tongue was lolling out just like prey when the predator sinks his jaws into the throat. Schadenfreude may not be good for the soul, but the brain enjoys it entirely too much.

I was within feet of him and just when I reached into my jacket, he stumbled into the street. A minivan skidded just inches short of him and a woman got out of it. She was beautiful, this angel, this would-be savior.

I kept a certain distance and with a quick certainty, she glared at me.

"Are you okay?" she asked him, and he responded simply with a wheezing gasp.

"Hold on" she said as she got her cell phone out and dialed. Some of his breath came back to him when he saw me at bay.

"Hello, 911 Operator? Yes, hello? I'm here with a man and it seems that he is being chased. We need the police and I think we might need an ambulance." This angel looked down and asked my prey, "What is your name sir?"

"Jerry" he huffed, "Jerry…Benson."

I quickly closed in and reached into my jacket for the last time that day, to deal the fatal blow.

"Gerald Benson, you have been served!" I threw the subpoena at his heaving chest and pointed at the woman "and witnessed!"

The look of shock on his face? Literally priceless. You can't buy that or have somebody recreate it. I got into the driver's side and the woman got into the passenger's side. I drove around the heaving and bewildered Jerry Benson.

I asked the woman sitting beside me "did you get the picture, Sis?"

"No I didn't take a picture this time, Carl. You're sick, do you know that?"

"But that reaction? Oh, that would've the best one for my trophy room yet."

"Carl, you are sick and you need help," she said as we drove off into the Sunset…District, that is.


Paul Brazill said...

Brilliantly swerved.

Cormac Brown said...

Paulie Decibels,

Thank you and well said.

SkylersDad said...

I love this, and really enjoyed the Lion/Hyena comparison.

Cormac Brown said...

Sky Dad,

Thanks and you can tell that I used to be an animal show devotee.

lakeviewer said...

Wow, you got me there. I was sure you were a wild animal for sure.

Cormac Brown said...


Contrary to what you read elsewhere on the Internet, I am house-trained.