Tag Archives: psychic cop

FP438 – Tony Dibbs Knows Fear

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and thirty-eight.

Flash PulpTonight we present Tony Dibbs Knows Fear

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Melting Potcast!

 

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight, with perhaps the faintest bit of a smirk and a dash of fanservice, we revisit the worst Actual Psychic Cop on the Capital City police force.

 

Tony Dibbs Knows Fear

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop, was standing in a QwickMart aisle, beside a wall of potato chips, doing mental math.

Was it worth stopping the sixteen-year-old shoplifter currently scooping ring pops into his pockets as the counter jockey shouted lottery numbers into the phone?

He knew by instinct that it was not, but Tony hated to let an opportunity pass unexplored.

With the deft skill that had come from long experience with such intrusions, Dibbs skimmed the boy’s mind as a poker cheat might shuffle a deck with an eye for aces. He found plenty of ring pops, but nothing worth blackmailing the child over.

He could have run the kid in, or at least given him a stern talking to, but, while it may have saved the shop’s owner a few rubles, Tony couldn’t see the advantage in wasted time and paperwork.

Besides, perhaps one day the kid would really screw up, and then they’d have something worth talking about.

Bending low enough that his shabby gray trenchcoat swept the floor, the policeman stooped to retrieve the heftiest plastic sack of M&Ms he could locate on the shelf. Personally he preferred his candies to be made of beef and in the shape of steaks, but Dibbs knew, as only he could, that his commander had a secret weakness for the candy-coated chocolate.

FP438 - Tony Dibbs Knows FearFinally, approaching the counter, the cop’s mind turned to why this particular fellow had been selected to work the night shift. His thick arms spoke to the well-used weight rack his family had kept in their garage. Those same limbs also displayed a history of cheap tattoos left to fade under a relentless sun.

His name tag read “Jose.”

Dibbs knew the name was a lie. He also knew, without having to dig deep, that the man’s eldest brother had been arrested for murdering twin hatchetmen from an opposing gang, and that the act of violence had been but one in a seemingly endless count of cousins and uncles being stabbed, bludgeoned, or buried in secret.

When a boy, the clerk had fought off an attacker till the man’s features were smeared and limp, but it had been the final straw that had pushed him into seeking a new life on the northern side of the border.

Yet, though the minimum wage hulk had brushed elbows with assault and murder, Dibbs was unconcerned.

Like a bear, he knew the man was more afraid of him than vice versa.

“Listen,” Tony said to the supposed Jose, “I forgot my wallet in the car, so you’re going to cover this for me.”

The big man chuckled at the notion until Dibbs asked, “what’s so funny, Francisco Javier?” – then the laughter stopped.

“Who are you?” asked Francisco, his face now taut.

“All you need to know is that I’m a cop, a psychic cop, in fact,” answered Tony, and he waved his ID at such a speed as to back up his point without allowing the clerk a chance to read his name.

Fear flooded the undocumented worker’s mind – fear followed by rage. Yet Dibbs drank it in like a six pack of Coors, knowing full well which emotion would win.

He threw the M&Ms on the counter and added, “I’ll take ten – no, twenty – picks for tonight’s lottery as well.”

Francisco’s hands were trembling slightly, but his voice was smooth and well controlled. “Fine. Any specific numbers, Mr. Psychic?”

“Nah, doesn’t matter, I’m not paying for it.”

They stood in silence until the printing was done and the exchange made, then, scanning the candy, the counterman asked, “how could a cabrón as sweet as you ever need something so sugary?”

“Oh, it’s not for me, I can’t stand ‘em,” replied Dibbs, “they’re for my commander. The best part is that I get brownie points for thinking of him, while at the same time he gets to suffer with the knowledge that his wife has him on a diet he’d rather we not know about.”

In his time as a policeman Tony had found himself in many situations reeking of panic and desperation, but he himself had never been particularly concerned. He did not fear the thieving teen, nor the tattooed foreigner, nor even the metal-pierced bikers who ran the meth trade on the south side of town: To know them, as he thought only he could, was to master them.

From behind came the sound of a throat clearing, and for perhaps the first time in the entirety of his adult life, Dibbs was surprised by another human being.

Turning on a startled heel, the Actual Psychic Cop found himself face to face with what should have been a non-threat: A man of medium height and slight build, his hair a mess, and his black hoodie rumpled.

The stranger took a long draw from the Slurpee in his hand.

No matter how hard Tony strained, there was nothing to be heard of the newcomer’s thoughts, and that’s when the man who had always known everything discovered one fact he was unaware of: This blankness, this void of knowledge where he’d always found an open book, terrified him.

“Who are you?” asked Dibbs, and the question felt foreign on his lips.

“Did you hear that?” announced the stranger, his voice raised, “this fella is a policeman.”

He spoke not to the others at the counter, but the teen who was now quickly emptying his pockets back into a box of Ring Pops.

Satisfied, the hoodie-wearer returned to the business at hand.

“Capital City PD’s supposed psychic, huh?” he asked, “A few of Dad’s chums have mentioned your ‘reputation,’ though it sounds like you’re making enough on the side that you should be able to pay for your own goods, Mr. Dibbs. I’d hate to have to pass on this video I’ve been recording to your superiors. Especially after that crack about the chocolate.”

Seconds later, empty handed, Tony was back in his car. It would not be his last encounter with Mulligan Smith, though few of their future run-ins would end so peacefully.

 

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Intro and outro work provided by Jay Langejans of The New Fiction Writers podcast.

Freesound.org credits:

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to comments@flashpulp.com – but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

– and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.

FP402 – Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and two.

Flash PulpTonight we present Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download MP3

(RSS / iTunes)

 

This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Melting Potcast

 

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight we present Tony Dibbs, a man with absolute power.

 

Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

He was dressed in the uniform of the plainclothes detective. In an age of t-shirts and low hanging shorts, however, his cheap suit and tie marked him a cop as quickly as if he were still knocking around pavement squatters in his patrol blues – but Tony Dibbs didn’t mind, he was proud of his occupation.

In fact, he was proud to be Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop – so much so that when speaking in the third person, as he often did, it was entirely how he referred to himself.

The shack in question was two stories high, but old enough that the extra space didn’t mean extra money. The siding was wood and original to the place, but rot had set in and the nails had begun to give. Pulling free of their bonds, patches of the long white slats had warped, and were now really only being held together by luck and the natural settling inherent to decades of being ignored.

As he reached the halfway point of the yellow front lawn, the road-facing screen door swung out like a yokel’s skewed jaw. A woman in a cotton nightshirt stepped onto the stoop.

“Yeah?” she asked, her eyes having pegged his profession immediately.

“Fuck off, Tasha, or we’ll talk about last Saturday night,” answered Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop.

Tasha was uninterested in discussing snorting a one-night-stand’s cocaine, in the bathroom of a dive bar, with the man of the law, and, as if a nosferatu, an imperceptible shuffling step carried her back into the shadows beyond the house’s entrance.

Percy, Tasha’s inconstant love interest and source of inestimable weekend drama, was in the backyard, nestled close to a flaming barrel in which he was igniting garbage he could not afford to have tagged for the city to remove.

“I’m no fire warden,” began Dibbs as he approached, “but I’m pretty sure setting light to bags full of half-eaten McDonalds is a crime in this town. Probably falls under the same law regarding leaving burning bags of dog shit on people’s steps.’

With a slow turn, Percy looked over the officer, then shrugged his shirtless shoulders and prodded his smoldering pile with a singed length of tree branch.

“Must be a pretty slow day downtown if they’re paying you a salary to come hassle me about waste disposal,” he answered.

“Oh?” asked Tony, “you figure that’s what I’m here about?”

The lumber paused in its rotation, then churned through a flattened collection of boxed wine husks.

“I don’t see what else it might be,” replied Percy, but his eyes were now intent on the point at which his stir met the flames.

“Remember that time, when you were ten, and you felt bad about shooting your neighbour’s dog with that pellet gun but you insisted on blaming it on the kid across the street anyhow?”

The stick stopped.

“Who?” asked Percy.

“You know, Bobby Mills, the kid across the street.”

“No – I mean -”

“You should’ve learned a lesson about coming clean back then,” replied Tony. “You sure you don’t have something you want to say?”

“I’ve got plenty I’d like to tell you, but maybe you should explain what the hell this is all about before I start providing commentary on that fugly suit?”

Tony nodded. He liked a little fight, it made the job more interesting.

FP402 - Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop“I wouldn’t talk,” replied the cop, “you have exactly two collared shirts, and one doesn’t really fit anymore. You only have the other because you won’t stop going to job interviews that will never hire a high-grade dumbass such as yourself.”

Percy pursed his lips and tossed a stack of crudely shredded cardboard boxes onto the fire. It pulled a smile from the detective. He didn’t require his special talent to read the meaning behind the red creeping into his target’s face.

“That’s a mighty fist,” said the psychic, “take your swing so they can paperclip the photo of my black eye to your resisting arrest sheet.”

Instead, Percy asked, “why are you here?”

“Two years ago you and your brother, a former meth head, murdered your mother.”

The stick in the fire began to move again. “Uh – former?”

“Your brother’s dead.”

“Shit. I guess it was inevitable, but I always hoped he’d, you know, pull out of it.”

“If he pulled out at all it was so he could then back flip into a pool brimming with rocks. He couldn’t even speak when I wandered by his gurney down at Cap City General. He still told me plenty, though.”

Up the short hill, behind the gauzy curtains that offered a view from the home’s kitchen, a round face of five appeared at the window.

“How’s your talking going, Perceval?” asked the curly haired girl.

“Perceval,” snickered Dibbs, knowing full well that young Sierra was the sole person allowed to use the name. The child was, in fact, the real reason Percy ever bothered coming back. She wasn’t his but he’d grown fond of her.

With an eye roll, Tony motioned that he should send her on her way so they could get on with business.

“All’s well,” answered Percy, “I’ll be in soon, Stay Puft.”

“Don’t give me your nice guy bullshit,” Tony muttered, in a tone low enough to keep fireside, “I know about Clifford the Big Dead Dog, remember?”

The child disappeared into the shadows.

“Yeah, the mutt thing is true, but I’ve felt shitty about it for years, and I’ve changed a lot since I was fourteen.”

“You people never change.” answered the cop, “I’ve seen what you people are really like. I’ve seen the memories of the deviant porn you people dig into when you think no one’s looking, I’ve rifled through the lies you people tell your loved ones to keep them out of your way.”

“Who the fuck are you and what the fuck do you want?”

“Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop – and that brings me to the matter of your mother, and your murderous tendencies.”

“Screw that – she asked me to help her a bunch of times, but I did no such thing.”

“Did you miss the psychic part of the title, asshole? In the end you and your brother put a plastic bag over her head and divided her earthly goods to buy crank. Almost got away with it too. The Medical Examiner was an idiot to call it a heart attack, her cancer docs had tested her system up and down, and, except for her lungs, she was as strong as a horse.”

The fire burned on, and Percy watched it. Finally, he said, “yeah, when Ma went I did have to sell a lot I didn’t want to, but every penny went to paying the ridiculously overdue rent on the shitbox behind us. I’d already learned Maury’s lesson for him, and I’ve never touched meth. Did he tell you all this as he was sick or something? You can’t seriously be trusting the blathering of a dying addict?”

“They never do believe me,” replied Tony, “but that’s always part of the problem. I can’t haul you in for something the M.E. screwed the pooch on just because I have the ability to pick through your brain like a roasted chicken carcass. Tough to keep oversight on the ability to see everything, you know? They learned that back in the NSA days.

“Still, you’re coming in one way or another.”

“You just said there’s no proof!”

“Yeah, well, the jury won’t know any better, will they? I know a guy who’s planning a robbery later this evening, and he’s pretty excited about the idea of shooting someone.”

The fire-tender turned then, confusion plain on his face, and Tony hit him hard across the mouth with a cheap looking revolver.

“Now your blood’ll be found on a weapon at the crime scene, such a shame,” said the officer.

“But – I didn’t – I haven’t -” he began to answer, but the ringing in his ears was too heavy to continue.

“That’s what they all say. Good luck explaining things to the judge, be sure to start with killing your mother before getting to my psychic powers,” replied the self-appointed arbiter.

Smiling, Tony Dibbs, Actual Psychic Cop, returned to his car.

 

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Intro and outro work provided by Jay Langejans of The New Fiction Writers podcast.

Freesound.org credits:

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to comments@flashpulp.com – but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

– and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.