fear
adult

WINNER!

On the Streets Live

by Jim Runyan
Illinois, United States
genre: Horror
content warnings: Described Blood

Scalding, blinding light pierced his eyes as he hurried towards his mark on the floor.  It was the one hundredth episode of “On the Streets Live” and Sam Aherns was ready for the best show of his life.

3….2….1….

“Hello again everyone, I’m Sam Aherns and THIS is On the Streets Live! Tonight, we’re following twenty- two police departments across the country and, as always, with me here in the studio is retired Baltimore Police Sergeant Sean “Twigs” Larson and from the St. Louis Sheriff’s office Captain Curtis Wilkins. Good evening gentlemen and let’s get right to it,” Ahern’s gaze turns upward, seemingly scanning several in-studio monitors. “We’ve got lights flashing in Cook County, Illinois, let’s go live to Patrol Officer Darren Woodley.”

Chicago, Illinois

Officer Darren Woodley approaches a store front with bars on the windows and a flickering lit up sign in the window spelling out most of the word “Liquor”. A camera person follows slightly behind him and to his right. Officer Woodley begins to speak out loud without looking at the camera.

“So, we received a call about a robbery in progress at this liquor store. It sounds like someone tried to come at the owner behind the counter and the owner shot the perpetrator, so we have a gunshot victim.”

The camera pans to the ground to show a large amount of blood coming from the door of the store and continuing out on the pavement of the parking lot. Inside, officers are already on scene questioning the owner and Woodley goes to the interrogation while the camera person hangs back, just out of earshot. The camera pans to show the store in a state of dishevelment with displays overturned, broken glass and liquid on the floor and more blood. After a few minutes, Woodley returns to the camera person…

“So, it sounds like a man came in here and was apparently intoxicated and attacked the store owner. The owner has a legally registered firearm and shot the man four times point blank, including one shot to the head. Incredibly, the injured person was still able to leave the scene and we’ll be searching for him now. It shouldn’t be too hard to follow the trail of blood and he couldn’t have gotten far.”

In Studio

“Alright, while Officer Woodley searches for the wounded perpetrator, let’s go to Milwaukee County, where Police Captain Alice Hooper is rushing to the scene of a rollover accident.”

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Windshield wipers feverishly work to clear water as an anxious Captain Hooper is trying to see the road and maintain speed while rushing to the accident. An unseen camera person sits in the passenger seat filming her. She begins to tell the situation…

“We are en route to a rollover accident, presumably with injuries and air bag deployment. We don’t know much yet, as this was an OnStar notification, and it looks like we may be the first on-scene.”

The police cruiser slows as they approach a car on its hood in the middle of the road.  A bloodied person is attempting to get out of the broken driver’s side window, but they are struggling and obviously injured.

Captain Hooper acts quickly to position her vehicle to halt traffic and exits the cruiser to help the victim, the camera person follows, trying to keep up.

“How bad are you hurt? Can you get out?” she asks as she tries to help the victim by pulling and giving some leverage.

“Not too bad but I think I was out for a while. She came out of nowhere, I couldn’t stop.”

“Who? Did you hit someone?”

“Yes, that’s what caused this. She just ran into the road, right in front of me.”

The camera pans back up the road and ambulances and other police cars are beginning to arrive. Once paramedics arrive, Captain Hooper leaves the victim with them and walks up the road in an attempt to find the other victim. The rain was increasing, and a sheen reflected off the wet pavement as the lights and reflections painted an abstract collage of light, water, sound and now…blood. Even though it was raining very hard, a large pool of blood remained about one hundred and fifty feet from the rolled over vehicle. There was no body, only blood and a swath of it swept across the pavement as if someone had crawled off the road. Following the path, Hooper shined her light across disturbed gravel and matted grass as the blood path disappeared into the woods.

In Studio

“As Captain Hooper looks for the person hit by the car, I want to show you something that happened earlier in Gary, Indiana. A shipping freighter came ashore near the Greater Gary Indiana Electric Substation but there’s something strange about this particular docking. I’ll let Officer Jerry Wade tell you about it.”

Gary, Indiana

Officer Wade walks on a beach with a large ship in the background. The ship is grounded about one hundred feet offshore. Smaller boats are anchored nearby and there are a lot of people on the beach looking at the curious sight.

“The Coast Guard has been tracking this ship for a few days as it got closer and closer to shore. They were unsuccessful at reaching anyone on board and boarded her as she approached Gary.  But here’s the thing, there is nobody on board. All 27 crew members are unaccounted for, and this ship has been missing for six months…a ghost ship as they say.”

A pre-recorded segment begins…

<<A ghost ship? On Lake Michigan? It appears that way as dozens of Coast Guard agents and local law enforcement try to determine what happened to the crew and begin the search for any survivors. Piracy and human trafficking are the leading theories at the moment, but one thing in particular has authorities a bit spooked.>>

The camera moves along a metallic corridor and down some stairs finally ending in what appears to be the crew’s quarters. 

<<This (dramatic pause) is what has authorities worried.>>

The camera lowers to the floor where there is a single word scrawled in a dried brownish red substance…WEREWOLF.

<<The ship’s manifest indicates it was carrying animals, but the origin and destination were not mentioned nor were there any identifying comments about the companies or people involved, just a list of animals to be accounted for at the final destination.>>

An overlay appears on screen showing animated pages of the manifest with bullet points highlighted of specific cargo:

4 Red Tailed Hawk

2 Armadillo

2 Jaguar

1 “Experimental” Feral Canine

6 Rhesus Monkey

55 Lab Rat

<<Like the crew, all of the animals are missing.>>

In Studio

Sam Aherns has a puzzled look on his face as he puts one hand to his right ear, seemingly listening to some information from a producer. Uncharacteristically, Sam is flustered and looks into the camera.

“Ladies and gentlemen, in an unprecedented move, we are being told by the FCC that we must end the broadcast.  Our management and producers told them they needed a warrant and we’re going to hold on as long as we can. We have no idea why this is happening; they won’t tell us anything.  Look, we have to go back to Gary as Officer Mitch Hernandez is heading to a report of a person who claims to know what is going on with the ghost ship.

Gary, Indiana

Walking along a wooded path, Officer Hernandez explains,

“We got a call from a man who says he knows what is happening with the ghost ship and we’re going to go talk to him.”

The camera pans to show and old secluded shack in the woods. The only light is from the camera, Officer Hernandez approaches the shack and knocks on the door.

“Gary PD” he says loudly, but not shouting.

A voice comes from inside the shack, but the door does not open.

“I know what’s happening. You’ve got a real problem on your hands,” says a man’s voice, sounding ragged and exhausted.

“Sir, step out so we can talk,” commands Officer Hernandez.

“No, listen, the ship had a wolf, or…or, a dog or something. It killed everything. You’ve got to stop it.”

“Sir…”

“Look, you’ve got to listen to me. It ain’t natural. The animals got out. The wolf attacked the crew, it ate them! It threw the bodies overboard.”

“How do you know…”

“I was on the ship! I hid and got to a lifeboat, I got away! Some of the men, they came back to life, like they turned into one too! You’ve got to find it and…”

<<We’re sorry. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stay tuned, we will resolve the issue as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.>>


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