Shift Change


This is another offering by one of our guest authors, Lee McMullen. Some sentiments are universal. 🙂


Tick. And the second hand moves to another number. How can time move slower at the end of a shift? It had been a typical Saturday night shift from 1830 to 0630 Sunday.  The only possible description was boring.

As usual the first couple of hours were slow as Saturday night got its momentum going.  Destiny is a mining camp so the weekends, especially after payday, could get rough and provide business for the local police station.  Being the junior sergeant, I was as usual assigned to the intake desk to process drunk and belligerent miners.

About eleven the street patrols began bringing in the night’s guests and by two thirty all the bars had closed on the last people were brought to the station.  By three all the paperwork was done and the boredom began in earnest. Now with minutes to go the clock seemed frozen at 0625.

Another “Tick”, this can’t be all there is to a police career. I got into this for the excitement and coolness of being a cop.  Last night’s exciting point was seeing a regular drunk projectile vomit more than six feet.

Maybe it was time to look into a transfer to another station or even a new department.  It would have to be more exciting anywhere else.  Possibly I could even apply some of the investigation techniques they taught at the academy as being the proper way to deal with suspects. In retrospect I am sure the instructors never had a drunk vomit on the fingerprint machine causing it to short circuit.

Finally, like the rising of the sun, my relief has entered the building. After she gets her coffee and reads the current notices, she approaches the booking desk. “Tick”, 0630.  I turn over the night’s paperwork and sign out of the log. This night is finally over, and I have two days off before it happens again.

Leaving the station, I looked out of the viewing port to witness Jupiter rising. Europa’s ice surface. Below that ice were the billions of dollars in rare metals that paid for this station and my salary.  But it was still boring.  I’ve decided. I will apply for a transfer to somewhere with more going on for a cop.  Maybe Mars, or even Earth.

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