Sunday, November 01, 2015

Incredible Comics #4

The small wooden cargo ship crashed into the pier around 2 o’clock. The pier had been abandoned for a couple of years so no one was around to witness the splintering of the wood into the dock. Two figures left the ship, splitting up as they entered the night. One, a small figure, lanky and quick. The other, animal-like and snarling. The creature left the dock and warehouse area and emerged onto the well-lit Water Street. The hulking dog foamed and drooled as it growled and looked around. A couple blocks down the street, the dog spotted a lone figure, a man in tattered clothes wandering the street, ducking into the alley and coming back out after a minute or so.

The dog slowly headed toward the man, picking up speed with each step. The man saw the dog just a second before it knocked him and tore into his flesh. When done, the dog ran off and disappeared into the shadows.

Harold stayed late at the Fix-It Shop the following night to finish some work he had been lax on after spending more time as Time Man. As he left the Shop, he noticed a beat officer walking down the street. “Good evening, officer. What brings you out here? This neighborhood hasn’t had a beat cop in years.”

“A man was murdered nearby, over by the piers. The department is increasing the number of beat cops until the suspect is found,” the officer explained.

“Well, I hope you catch him and welcome to the neighborhood. I’m Harold Banner.”

“Officer Gareth Murdock,” the officer smiled. The two men shook hands and parted ways.

Harold went around the corner and then ducked into an alley, slipped on his sundial and changed into Time Man. He flew into the air and circled around his neighborhood, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. He landed in the alley next to his apartment building, took off the sundial and went upstairs to his apartment.

Officer Murdock continued walking his beat, soon becoming the only person in the neighborhood, save for a few stragglers, night-time workers, homeless people and a couple of prostitutes that Murdock ignored, even when one of them climbed into a car. Around one, Officer Murdock was heading back to the precinct when he heard a blood-curdling scream. He ran to where he thought the scream came from. Down the street, on the next block, Murdock found the mangled corpse of a man. “54, this is Murdock. I need an ambulance and back-up to 112th Street and Belle. Also, send the coroner,” he radioed in.

The next night, Officer Murdock started his beat on only two hours of sleep. He was only thirty minutes into it when Time Man landed beside him. “I want to help,” he said.

Murdock let out a gasp by the sudden voice. “Time Man, right? I would love the help, especially from overhead. We’re dealing with some kind of monster. The victim’s throat was torn out.”

“I think it’s some sort of animal. I don’t know what kind. Has anyone stepped forward, said that they’ve seen it?”

“We had a couple eyewitnesses say they saw two things running from the abandoned docks. One looked human and the other looked like a dog or wolf.”

“We should go look. We may find something.”

The smashed boat was still in pieces at the dock, some of it had washed out with the tide. “Why did no one report this? This had to have been heard from at least a mile away,” Murdock exclaimed.

“No one in this part of the city cares. They tend to ignore what goes on around them,” Time Man said. He went into the ruins of the ship and into the steering compartment. A body lie on the floor. Time Man went over and rolled the body over. “The captain,” he said quietly. He saw a book on a table against the wall. It was the captain’s log. He turned a few pages then turned and left the ship, carrying the book out. “The captain is in there, dead. No one else on board. The ship is from Constanta, Romania. It seems the captain took on a passenger and that passenger killed crewmember after crewmember, dumping the bodies in the ocean during the voyage.”

“What the hell?” Murdock took the log from Time Man. A scream echoed through the streets and alleys.

Murdock and Time Man looked at each other. “The southeast, along Water Street near 109th?”

“Sounds like.”

“I got this,” Time Man said and stopped time. He flew over to Water Street and saw a giant dog standing over a man who was laying in the gutter of the street. Time Man landed next to the two, the man clearly dead. “How do I stop this thing?” he asked himself.

He uneasily kneeled down and wrapped his arms around the dog’s neck and tightened his grip. He squeezed, pulled and twisted the dog’s head and tightly closed his eyes and shuddered when he heard the neck snap.

He stood up and shuddered again, shaking his arms. He unfroze time and the dog collapsed and went limp. A few minutes passed and Officer Murdock arrived at the scene. “That’s it?” he was surprised.

“Yes, this isn’t the passenger the captain was talking about so they are still out there but they don’t seem to causing any problems.”

“Yet,” Murdock said. “I’ll call this in. Thanks for helping. A lot on the force are skeptical of you but you’re okay in my book.”

“Thanks. That’s a ringing endorsement,” Time Man smiled and lifted off.

As Officer Murdock radioed in, a lone figure watched him from the top of a nearby building. She was dirty, with brown hair, wearing a tattered white ie with black designs in front and along the arms and a plain white dress that was also in tatters. When an ambulance and other police cars arrived, the girl lifted her arms, revealing leather-looking bat wings and flew off into the night.