Case #1 “All Skate (or, The Birth of Scorpius)”

May 2001

I have recurring dreams. Nightmares really. Sometimes they come at, shall we say, inopportune times? Who has nightmares sleeping on a plane?


I have several, so if I had to pick one, while sleeping on a plane, a very public space, it would be this one.

It always begins the same way. . . .

The dream was deeper this time.  I was back under the stadium chasing him, gun drawn, sweat running down my back.  Would I get him this time?  Could I stop him before. . .

My footsteps echoed in the tight, subterranean, tunnels.  Service pipes running water, sewage, electric, and other necessary stuff lined the corridors making the space feel even tighter.  A steady drip of water kept getting louder and louder.

The scores of fans up above were clueless about the horror 30 feet below them.  They screamed their opinions at a ball field.

Another scream came right on cue.  I was too late, again.  As before, I picked up my speed, I didn’t care if my footsteps could be heard.  He knew I was coming.  That was the point.  He wanted me to come.  He lured me here to finish things.  The game had gotten old and he was bored.  After months of playing cat and mouse we would finally end things here, right where we began.

I knew his prisoner was bleeding out. I could hear him moaning.

And then I heard him lose his cool.


Oops.  He didn’t mean to show a sign of weakness.  He was always so controlled. I was getting to him.

I quietly laughed to myself. “Hah, nervous?”

I knew I was getting close.  I wiped the sweat off my shooting hand and reset myself.  He was not going to get away this time.  Just a few more steps . . .  I was close now . . . very close. . .


The combined thunder and shaking of the plane AND the insistent hand of the flight attendant woke me with a start.

“Huh? Wassamadder?”

“You need to sit up and get your seat belt on now.  We are making an emergency landing in Portland.  Right Now!”

We were supposed to be landing in Seattle.


NextPortland to Poulsbo.