“9-11-Bravo-1, come in…”

“This is Bravo.”

“Malcom—psych intervention needed on the freeway.”

“Not again…”

“I’m afraid so… intermittent phone calls reporting a woman with a hatchet.”

“Is she violent?”

“She isn’t chopping firewood, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“Did you call the psychologist?”

“He isn’t much good at anything besides writing reports. He has a horrible social life, and even worse social skills.”

“I know, but maybe it would help him to practice.”

“If Andrew spends more time with crazy people, he’s liable to cross-over. These psychologist-types are a bit crazy themselves, and they go to school to figure-out their problems… but it doesn’t work. You can talk to people, Malcom. I’ve seen you do it.”

“Okay—I’ll speak to her.”

“DC Police thanks you.”

“How are you at talking to women?” Malcom asked me.

“Fair, or—I do alright.”

“You’re being modest.”

“Modesty is the quintessential Southern virtue.”

“Wait until you try speaking to one of these modern women. Southern sophistication fails every time…”

I stared-out, at the night. Malcom was probably right. The streetlights were a forest of different colors, and I was ready for the wild woods.

There she was, beautiful, in the moonlight, torn dress, like a Southern belle, angrier than hell—my, she was a sight for sore eyes.

“Nooo! You are supposed to give me the right-of-way!” She screamed.

“Blare the siren, will you?” Malcom asked.

I touched-off the warning, and she turned around. Her teeth were rotted, and her eyes were two sunken holes. It frightened me to look at her.

“Now, miss—go ahead and put down the hatchet.”

It was held by two hands, high above her head. “Nooo!”

“Okay. Why don’t you lower the weapon so we can talk?”

I watched Malcom. He was calm, but the woman wasn’t backing down.

“What’s your name?” Malcom asked.

“Faye.”

“Well Faye, you’re blocking traffic. Don’t you want to go home?”

Her neck was twisting in a weird way, and her eyes were rolling into her head. I hollered at the EMTs— “You got anything, that could put that bitch under?”

“Here’s a syringe of sodium pentothal.”

“Truth serum?”

“It’ll knock-out a Rhino, or—an angry feminist. She’ll tell you the truth about the patriarchy, but that’s why you wear earplugs. It also helps to block-out the siren.”

“Much obliged, mam.” I circled around the rig, lookin for a direct shot at her neck! My adrenaline was so high, it was better than the roller-coaster I rode for free when I worked as a Carnie.

Then she hurled her hatchet at Malcom’s head, and he caught the missile two inches from his nose. I dove, jamming the needle into her, and she became docile—like a Southern belle. In 30 seconds, her eyes reopened, and they were like the eyes of hell.

“Straight-jacket!” Malcom said. The intern, and the EMTs gave her proper clothes to wear, and we took her back to the hospital, screaming all kinds of progressive profanities.

“Is this routine?” I asked Malcom.

“In this line of work, you can expect even more surprises.”

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