Roll Call

Image courtesy of Matthias Kinsella on Unsplash

“ — Sherman?”






“Zimmerman, Kate and Zimmerman, Walter?”

“Yeah, we’re here.”

“Need you to answer individually for the record — ”


“Unfortunately, I am present.”

“Funny man, Walt. Fine, okay. Sergeant Martinez, have the assembled officers passed uniform and weapons inspections?”

“Affirmative, Captain.”

“Noted for the record. Everybody, sit, we’ve got a lot to go over this morning. First, general announcements. The baptism for Officer Cain’s little girl … uh, Ophelia Louise, has been scheduled for the twenty-first, Saint Catherine’s over on Westchester. Those of you who bet on the seventeenth as the birth date, congratulations, drinks are on you. Second, someone’s been pilfering Officer Sherman’s lunch again. Stop snickering. Me, I like all my body parts. I don’t want him getting hungry and furry — ”

“Thanks, Captain.”

“Welcome, Sherman. So, whoever you are, leave the raw deer heart alone. Moving on, shift notes. Hrmm. There have been scattered, unconfirmed reports of a herd of pocket unicorns in the neighborhood of Kelsey and 24th. Keep your anti-venom handy, call for back-up, and do not engage, if possible. Next, the harpy colony living on top of the Brewster Building has been experiencing increasing harassment over the last few weeks; started as graffiti, has escalated to death threats and bronze nails hidden inside fast food scraps scattered around the neighborhood. Nest mother managed to get the nails away before the fledglings could chew on them. Special Crimes Unit is investigating, but, Tannen and Zimmerman, be sure to swing by a couple times on your route.”

“Will do.”

“And … third … the Sisterhood of Ishtar is dedicating their new temple on Crenshaw and 14th at sunset tonight. Expect lots of loitering and rubber-necking. Priestesses get a pass, but be sure to double-check the cards you get off any prostitutes; we’ve been seeing a lot of fake religious id cards lately. And … okay, last, the lamia JoAnne Keats goes on trial this morning. The 24th Precinct caught the security detail, but be prepared to offer back-up: some of the family members of her six victims have threatened to *cough* take the law into their own hands, and big crowds are expected around the courthouse. Also, traffic delays. Moving on, anything from the floor?”



“Um, any word yet on Hooper?”

“Hrm-hrm. I spoke with Hooper’s wife late yesterday. She’s still in Special Isolation at the Temple of Dian Cecht. The healers there are doing everything they can for her, and her shifting has become more controlled, but — what was that, Sherman?”

“Ah, Captain, I ….”

“Spit it out.”

“Yes, sir. Just glad that bandraíodóir isn’t around to kidnap and enchant any more of our fellow officers, sir. It isn’t — it’s just not supposed to happen that way.”

“Forced shapeshifting is a crime for a reason, son, we all understand that. And when — emphasis on when — Hooper comes back, she will be welcomed as an officer in good standing.”



“Can we put swan feathers in her locker on her first day back, or do we have to wait a few days?”

“Oh, for — No swan feathers. Stop snickering. That it? Anyone got anything else? All right, then: Sergeant Martinez?”

“Sir. Buckle up, everyone, and let’s be careful out there.”

[Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine, Eternal Haunted Summer. A complete list of her published poetry, faerie tales, fantasy, mystery, romance, and science fiction can be found there. “Roll Call” was originally published in the inaugural issue of Enheduanna: A Pagan Literary Journal, and so is being offered here to read for free. Currently, four volumes of Enheduanna are available, with the fifth planned for late 2020.]