Narrative: Nighthawks


                “A pig,walking on two legs and standing upright like a person robbed the bank!”


                It’s another after-work coffee night for Greg atPhillies.  There’s a couple getting icecream in the corner of the bar.  They arelaughing about some kind of inside joke. Besides them, Greg is the only other patron in the place. 

                Aftergetting a chocolate waffle cone for the girl and a vanilla cup for the guy,Mike walks over to Greg.

                “Damnit’s slow in here tonight.” Greg comments.

                “Yeah,it has been lately now that the leaves are starting to change.  You figure anything out with thoserobberies?” asked Mike.

                Gregwas a detective,  a very experienced oneat that.  He was the kind of guy who hasseen it all.  He has arrested every kindof criminal from vandals to murderers. His complexion reflected his many long and hard years at the office and onthe streets.  Though he liked to keep hischin and face clean shaven, he could never find the time every day, so he oftenhad a bit of a shadow.  Each line in hisface seemed to tell of a separate case that he had solved.  He was starting to bald in his old age, andhad very thin hair in the front.  Thiswas something that he didn’t try to hide either.  Greg was the type of guy who didn’t reallycare all that much for what he looked like. He was known to not match his socks and wear underwear with ridiculousholes in them.  He has had the same longcoat for twenty-nine years now, and he refuses to get a new one until the damn thing falls off of his body.  Even though he was starting to look verytruly old and frail in recent years, he was still intimidating.  He just had that sort of demeanor that everygood cop or detective needs.  He was alsovery quick witted and sharp, and this was a quality that was not diminishingwith Greg’s age. 

                “Anotherone got hit today.  I’m going down tocheck out the PNC down on seventh in the morning.”  Greg replied.

                “Is ittrue what they say?… You know with…”

                Greghad seen just about everything in the world of crime.  He had encountered just about every type ofcrook.  From psycho to mastermind, Greghad encountered and jailed them all.  Thisis something that Greg knew and took great pride in, but lately he had beenquestioning exactly how experienced he really was.  He had been on the force for thirtyyears.  In fact he was the oldest memberof the force.  He knew more about thecriminal mind than anyone else in the great city of Philadelphia of course, but the most recentcase he had been put on was very different from anything that he hadencountered in all of his thirty years in action.  Lately there has been a slew of fairlystandard bank robberies, except for the fact that there is no evidence leftbehind to point Greg in the right direction as to who committed them.  There have been no finger or shoe prints leftbehind, nor any human DNA.  However,there have been foot prints left behind. Greg has also discovered hair. The only thing is that these foot prints and bits of hair are not thoseof a person.  They are those of apig.  The strangest thing is thatsurveillance cameras don’t catch anything. The money is just somehow gone in the morning.  There is never any sign of a forced entry,and the videos never catch the safe ever opening.  Eyewitnessaccounts are also very weird.  Everyonewho claims to have seen the robbery take place claims the same story:

                “A pig,walking on two legs and standing upright like a person robbed the bank!”

                Howcome the surveillance tapes never caught any sight of this human-pig thing?  This story was far from adding up.

                Greggot up and left the place without answering Mike’s question or finishing hiscoffee.

                “Waityou forgot to pay!” yelled Mike.

                Thenext morning Greg went down to the bank. After checking for finger/shoe prints and coming up with nothing besidesthe usual pig’s foot prints, and the usual blonde pig’s hair, Greg was gettingfrustrated.  The chief of policeapproached Greg with vague intentions.

                “Youever seen anything like this before?” asked chief.  Greg chose not to reply.  Instead he decided to leave.  Frankly this was the first time in Greg’slife that he had been truly stumped.  Hewas actually considering visiting all the farms in the area and questioning thepigs. 

                As hewas walking towards his car a lady approached him.

                “Sir,are you with the police?  You look likeyou’re with the police.  I’m aneyewitness!  I saw what happened!  It was the strangest thing I ever saw!  Do you want to hear about what I saw?  I’ll tell you!  You should listen to what I have to tellyou.  If you were a good police officer, or law-enforcement guy, or whatever you are youwould listen to my story!  Don’t walkaway from me!  Hey, what’s yourproblem!?  Can’t you hear me!?”

                “Let metell you what you saw!  It was apig.  A pig that walks on two legs, likea person, broke into the bank and took all of the money!  I know what you saw, ok!  I’ve heard the story before!  I’m sick of it!  I’m sick of these pointless eyewitnessaccounts!  They give me zero newinformation, and the surveillance tapes show nothing!  The case is hopeless!” responded Greg to thelady in a very frustrated and angry tone.

                “Well Inever!!!” huffed the lady.

                Gregdecided to go back to his favorite after-work hideout.  After parking the car and locking its doors,Greg headed inside. 

                “You’rein early today, Greg.  Do you want theusual?”

                “Whatdo you think, Mike!?  I’ve been coming inhere now for twenty-five years god- damnit! Do you think I want the usual!? Actually no!  I don’t want theusual.  Forget the usual.  I’ll have a ham sandwich with bacon on theside!  That’ll be a good warm-up!  Then I’ll take a pork dinner, and after thatI’ll go across the street and pick up some pig ears for the stray dogs outsidemy apartment, and I’ll get some pig ears to snack on while I watch Oprah!”

                Justthen the door to Phillies flew open and Greg hit the floor, but not because hewas fast enough, but because he was hit three times. 

                “I wantall of the money!!!!!”

                Theremaining three seconds of Greg’s life was spent looking up at a pig thatwalked on two legs and carried an automatic rifle.



by John Chelednik, English 101-58






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