Instructions: The six sentences below are true. All else is subjective. The first two establish setting, and the rest describe events. Describe, from the point of view of someone involved, just what happened that afternoon on Rashomon street.
- Rashomon Street crosses the main thoroughfare in a city of 300,000.
- The events described below happened on a summer afternoon.
- The red-haired man on the corner was singing a Johnny Cash song.
- A tall man with a flock-of-seagulls haircut got into an argument with a traffic cop and was punched out.
- Someone came out of the donut shop and hit the traffic cop with something that broke.
- When the fight was over, eight people were lying on the street, not moving.
1, by Archibold_the_Benificent
I sure liked this town better a few years ago, when it was smaller. Easier to keep folks in line when you know most everyone along your beat. They do half the work for you. But now, with the factories goin' up we get a lot more crazies moving in, lookin' for work, they say, but that doesn't seem to stop them goin' out startin' shit at two in the afternoon when everybody respectable's earnin' money.
Yeah, I guess I am tryin' to tell you a story. I'll buy your next drink if you stay an' listen; I've been wantin' to talk about it outside of an incident report.
So here I was, walkin' my "revenue-enrichment" beat --that is, bein' a hardass meter maid-- down on Rashomon Street. It's not exactly proper cop work, but it's easier and safer than chasin' actual crooks. Most of the time, anyways. Less so with the new crazies we got now, like I'm tryin' to tell you.
Like I was sayin', I'm on Rashomon Street, near where it meets the highway, down by that great little chink-run donut shop. I'd slapped a couple tickets down, emptied a bunch of meters, generally earned my day's pay already, and thought I'd sit down for a cup of coffee and maybe a bearclaw. Relax a few minutes before I finish my beat, I was ahead of schedule anyway. I come 'round the corner and there's this homeless lookin' ginger kid twangin' away on a guitar, singin' somethin' or other about a how the times are changin' through his nose like he never listened to himself. He had his guitar case out front like a tip jar, like people were gonna give him money for that racket. Maybe somebody did; there were a few small bills in the case. Nah, I bet he put 'em there to remind folks he wanted their money.
So the kid's whinin' and playin' and beggin' for money instead of workin' in one of the factories or doin' somethin' else useful for it. I don't like it, but he's not blockin' enough of the sidewalk to obstruct foot traffic or breakin' any other laws, so I just frown a little and let 'im slide. We didn't used to have many kids like that before, but I guess the're mostly pretty harmless. Not like this next guy.
Some middle-aged guy who forgot or never noticed that punk rock is for kids pulled his shitty little car up onto the sidewalk where there wasn't a meter right in goddamn front of me. He's got some awful racket playin' way too loud on cheap speakers, oil stinkin' up his exhaust, and some kinda dumbass haircut that woulda still looked stupid even if it wasn't mostly gray. If the ginger kid annoyed me, this guy pissed me right off. And he'd violated traffic law, too, so I could wreck his day and still cover my ass.
So when he opens his car door, I says to 'im, he can't park there. It's a fire lane, even if wasn't on the sidewalk. I pull out my little notebook and clipboard and start writin' his ticket then and there. He turns to me, gives me that funny blank look all the real assholes use when they want you to think you don't impress them, (or maybe he's just high on something) and stands up out of his car real slow-like. Turns out he's a big guy, at least half a head taller than me, and only a little scrawny.
Hey, barkeep! I'll have another Coors when you can spare a minute. And --what's that?-- a scotch & soda for my friend here. Great. Thanks. Where was I?
So the asshole with the car and the hair is big, and I guess he thought he could scare me. He says somethin', I forget what, but I didn't buy it. I tells him again, he can't park there and if he doesn't move his car, I'll fine his ass. I don' know what kinda drugs he's on, but they must be pretty good shit, 'cause he decides to try to take a swing at me. I was almost hopin' for that. I turn so his fist just kinda glances off my shoulder, then whip back an' catch him across the temple with the edge of the clipboard. He goes down like a, a, a limp, heavy, kinda thing. I guess that showed he really was a punk. Hah.
Well, that showed him, I says to myself. And since he won't be movin' that car for a while, I wrote out the rest of his ticket on my bloodied clipboard. Serves the asshole right. Then, when I look up from tuckin' the ticket under his wiper, I notice some scruffy light brown kids --some kinda beaners, maybe?-- comin' outa the donut shop all nervous and pissed at the same time. Turns out the old punk I clocked was somebody's uncle or godfather or some shit like that, was gonna try to settle some kind of argument 'fore it turned into a real gang fight. So now half these boys are jabberin' at me in --what are they callin' it? Spanglish? Sure, something that ain't real English-- tryin' to get me to either mediate in the punk's place or hold still so's they can pay me back for what I did to him, and the other half're lookin' all around, like they're expectin' to get jumped, tuckin' their hands in their pockets, grabbin' for weapons, I guess.
Of course, I'm on duty, I'm armed, but I'm not allowed to escalate to deadly force right away. Most of these kids are posers anyway, but I put a hand on my nightstick anyway, just in case. Suddenly, all the spic kids got quiet, and spread out around me a little. All eyes on me. Of course, that's when the other "gang" showed up. Buncha chinks with sticks an' chains an' sticks on chains came outta, somewhere, I dunno, and got to wallopin' on the beaners. Most of 'em turned around to fight back, but one of 'em --maybe the nephew?-- thought I was bigger trouble, and smashed a coke bottle over my head.
That was it, for me. I hear half a dozen or so of those damn kids wound up dead or in the hospital. I didn't really see any of it. 'Stead of my coffee and a bearclaw, I got a concussion, some stitches, and a couple weeks' paid medical leave, which isn't really that much worse. Now, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't spread this around too far; the story I told you ain't quite the same one I told my bosses. Want another scotch? It'll cost you a story of your own. I got nothin' else to do this week.