Triumph Of Bureaucracy
There was a knock at Ted’s door.
He answered it. It was Sheriff Whaley.
“Hi, Ted. I just wanted to…I can’t thank you enough–you saved my boy’s life. I thank God you were there, or else I don’t know what that monster would have…” He choked up.
Ted put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s OK, Sheriff. It was nothing. I know you would have done the same for my boy–anyone would have done the same thing I did. That…thing had been terrorizing us for years. I was just in the right place at the right time with the right weapon to do something about it.”
“Yes, Ted, speaking of which…the other reason I’m here is…I’m gonna need to see your license.”
“Your license. I’ll need to see it.”
Ted reached for his wallet.
“Oh…no, Ted. Sorry. I should have been more clear. Not your driver’s license. I need to see your Chupacabra license.”
“Sheriff, are you serious?”
“Afraid I am, Ted.”
“Well, here’s the thing: I don’t have one, and you know that.”
A few months ago, when the mayor had announced that anyone interested in hunting down the Chupacabra had to pay for a license to do so, Ted had refused to get one on principle. He had found it offensive that the town–although they needed the money–was using the fear of the Chupacabra help fill their coffers.
The Sheriff cleared his throat. “Well, I sure am sorry, then, but I have to give you this.”
He handed Ted a slip of paper. It was a ticket fining him five hundred dollars for Chupacabra hunting without a license.
“This is for real, Don? You’re fining me? For saving your son’s life?”
“Ted, come on, please. You know that’s not–”
Ted slammed the door in his face.
He was going to pay the fine; he didn’t see any way out of it. But he knew one thing: Beckettsville would have to hunt down and kill that Swamp Thing that had been menacing the townsfolk without his help.