It was a dark and stormy night. It is how many stories begin. This one was no different. I was sitting in my car on the side of the street, out of gas, mentally bemoaning my abandoned condition. There wasn't a building for miles. I'll be the first to admit that this was from a complete lack of foresight on my part, as I didn't even check the tank before leaving town. But, as it was at my fault, I only mentally bemoaned my abandoned position. My partner, on the other hand, didn't hesitate to voice any of his complaints.

"When are we going?" he whined, leaning his head against the window pane. I silently watched several cars zoom pass us, sending up sheets of dirty water. I didn't flinch as the wave hit the car. There were very few things that could phase me now, it seemed. My partner appeared to be one of those things that could. I simply wished to get out of this remote place before I exploded at my partner and his body would end up outside the car, getting soaked through by the rain.

"Maybe we can push it," he suggested.

"That's fine with me," I said, reaching past him and unlocking his door. "I'll stay in here."

"No, I'm not pushing if you're not pushing," he said, leaning back into the seat, arms crossed with a defiant air. I found his defiant air odd, considering that he was a sycophantic little beetle only months before when he joined the force. He was the one who would kiss up to superiors, me included, bringing in donuts on Fridays and logging in extra hours when everyone else left early. At first it seemed as though he was a run-of-the-mill good worker, but that idea was soon squashed when he demanded a raise and a promotion, thus landing him as my partner. His little niceties continued for some time as he polished my gun and kissed my shoes, but that soon ended once he realized what a lot of good it was doing him.

"God, can we at least do something, anyways?" he complained, bouncing his head off the back of his chair. "Maybe… do you have any whiskey?" he asked and turned towards me expectantly.

"Wouldn't you think that it would defeat the point of being a cop if I'm carrying whiskey in this thing?" I groaned, rubbing my forehead. He grumbled and kicked the glove compartment. He fell silent for a few moments, staring ahead into the musky darkness outside.

"What's that?" he said presently, raising a hand to point out the front window.

"I don't know," I responded. I stared stubbornly out the side window, watching cars go by. I wasn't in any mood to entertain his little delusions.

"You're not even looking."

"Yes, I am."

"You're looking at the road, not where I'm pointing."

I glared at him out of the corner of my eye and swiveled my head to look out the front windshield.

"You see that?"


"What is it?"


He gave an exasperated growl and leaned forward, putting his hand on the dashboard and jabbing a finger at the glass. "That, there. You see that? That shape."

"It's a car."

"What's it doing there?"

"What are we doing here? Sit down and stop tearing up my car."

"I'm going to go see what it is."

"Maybe it'll make you shut up."

He opened the door, letting the fresh smell of rain pervade the inside of the car. Raindrops splattered on his seat as he pulled himself out. The car shook as he slammed the door.

I watched him turn part of the coat collar up to keep the rain off his shirt as he walked off into the darkness. He soon became a silhouette in the darkness as he approached the other vehicle. He knocked on the window. I couldn't believe how he could act that way without any means of protection.

"Idiot," I hissed, pushing open the door and dashing up next to him. "What do you think you're doing?" I snapped as I stopped next to him. I put a hand on my gun. He was silent for a moment as he stared at the car. And I could see why. There was a large, perfectly circle hole in the driver's seat window. "What…?" I whispered, leaning down and looking through the window.

"What is that?" I asked. I ran my thumb along the inside of the opening; it was perfectly smooth. There wasn't a tool on earth that I knew of that could make such a circle without completely shattering the entire window. Not out of all the burglar's cases that I had investigated, nor any murders or kidnappings, not in a single one had I seen such a bizarre hole. My partner elbowed me aside to shove his head in through the hole. He turned on a flashlight to illuminate the interior. There wasn't even anybody inside that could have made the hole, no passengers or drivers, there wasn't anything in the car.

Except for the motion in the back seat.

My partner glanced at me. "Did you see that?" he asked.

"Of course I saw it. And I don't see any reason for us to stay here watching it," I replied.

"What if it's a person?" He pulled his head out of the window and opened the back door.

"Hey," I said, grabbing the back of his coat. "Watch?"


There was a loud shriek and a hiss, and a cat scrambled off my partner's feet, screeching loudly. It landed with a flat plop in the mud and dashed underneath the car.

"You idiot," I muttered underneath my breath. He gasped, holding his face where dark red lines had appeared. I sighed and shined the flashlight inside.

"There's the whiskey you wanted," I muttered, pointing at the bottles littering the back seat of the car. There were several dozen of them, enough to make a energetic teenage party go wrong, as well as what looked like an athletic bag full of bats.

"Thank god," my partner sigh and slid into the back seat.

"You shouldn't drink that," I warned as he grabbed a bottle and pulled out the cork. I sighed as he took a swig.

"Hey, this stuff's not bad," he said, taking another drink. "You should try some."

"Yeah, right," I said, rolling my eyes. He handed me a bottle anyways. "Quit drinking that, you don't even know what it is." The bottles were unlabeled.

"Ooh, phosphene…" my partner giggled, and started waving at hallucinated things floating in front of his eyes.

"What in the world is this stuff, moonshine?" I opened the bottle and took a sniff. It was horribly acrid, with a odor akin to burning battery acid. "You don't need to drink this stuff," I said, grabbing for the bottle in his hand. He pulled his hand away and glared at me. He wasn't laughing anymore.

"Maybe we could hitch a ride," he said, his voice flat.

"Perhaps," I cautioned. His stare lingered on me for a moment longer before he looked forward out the front window. He took another swig of the drink, whatever it was. He continued staring out the window, snarling, for another minute.

"What is this?" I demanded, holding up the bottle. He became furious and threw his bottle at me. I yelled and jumped out of the way. The bottle shattered on the road. Immediately he had another in his hand. This one hit my arm, breaking and sending that evil liquid everyone.

"Stop!" I yelled. "What in the hell are you doing!" He dove back into the car and came out with one of the bats. He swung at me and missed by several feet. I continued yelling--"Stop, stop!"--but he couldn't hear me. All he could hear was that drink in his veins as he came at me.

He chased me into the middle of the road, bat held high. He lunged at me and missed. The bat slammed against the concrete with inhuman strength and the bat split and splintered. He hoisted the bat up again, accompanied by the screeching of a car. I was hoping that this was some kind of dream when the headlights came bearing down on me.