That’s right, mall cop. The elite certainly wasn’t me, but I could do my job well enough. The people would try to steal things, but I kept a close, discreet eye on anyone suspicious. Usually they would think a mall cop unhealthy and slow, but I ran track in my free time. It was relaxing. So when they started running, I started sprinting.
Of course, one day a week I was given the night shift so it gave me an opportunity to stay at home, sleep and relax throughout the day. I preferred to watch action films while munching chips, but the reality was my guilty work ethic would push me to do something productive. I did online work while I munched and watched. Cheating, but hey, it takes a lot of stress off my shoulders.
Now, by no means did I enjoy the night shift in its entirety, but there is a wondrous feeling in walking around such a massive mall with other night-shifters. However, having been stationed in opposite sides of the mall we rarely bumped into each other. I walked through those echoey paths between the stores, enjoying the solitude.
The night was going well, but that is when I started hearing a curious clicking noise. Falling silent I listened carefully. The clicking noise was quick and familiar. The good news was it was approaching so I would soon have my answer. Carefully placing myself around the corner I waited and watched until it came into view.
To my horror, what turned the corner was a wolf. A large, four-legged, dark-furred wolf. With animal curiosity, it wandered onwards towards me and I was struck with a strange fear. I believe I learnt enough from wolves from the discovery channel, but when one starts walking towards me I am more than nervous.
Still, I found myself to be braver than some and did what any rational man would do. I left as quickly as I could, but dare not make enough noise for it to realize I was there. Sure enough, I made good time, but then it turned the corner and caught sight of me. When our eyes met, I knew only my instincts and they told me to run as fast as I could and lock myself away in the security booth, so I did.
A fact about wolves for you, don’t run. Running from wolves should be considered a last option, but not the first. It looks at you as if you are prey when you run away and as fast as I was, I must have looked like the most vulnerable prey. As I heard the patter of its claws clicking on the tile increase in frequency, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was in my job description.
I mean, I know it seems like a dumb thing to think when you are being pursued by a wolf, but in that moment I didn’t think I would die. At most, I believed that I would be attacked, maybe...mauled...but I would get out of this alive. Once I did get away alive, I wondered if my job offered me compensation for dangers of wildlife. Still, no matter the compensation, I wasn’t about to risk a bite or two for a fatter bank account.
I reached the security booth and with startling efficiency I shut the door, locking as if the wolf would open it with the handle. Once in the booth I looked through the glass at the darkened mall around me. I heard clicking, but I couldn’t see the wolf. However, it hoved into view, walking in front of the glass and turning to look at me.
It was massive. I never thought wolves were so big, but this was easily twice my size. It looked at me as if it were any other dog, not baring its teeth, but eyes wide with curiosity. It wasn’t vicious at all, but simply a childishly playful.
It opened its mouth in surprise at the sight of me and bent down, head on the ground and tail in the hair, springing from side-to-side. It was almost amusing, but heart was still beating panic and I picked the radio up from my hip and called the other security guards.
“Fella’s? There is a wolf outside my booth,” I told them.
“What was that?” one asked.
“There is a wolf...outside...my booth,” I told them plainly. “It is huge and bouncing around like a rabbit.”
“What are you on, Eddy?”
“I am not on anything, but I am terrified. Check camera feed now.”
Minutes passed and soon I had three other panicking mall cops on the radio with me. One had been walking close by and upon hearing the chatter he ran back to his booth and locked himself in as well.
“Okay, I called animal control and they will be here in a moment,” the East mall cop told me. “Eddy, what is it doing now?”
“It’s fetching my nightstick,” I replied.
“...you’re...you’re playing with it?”
Yes, I did leave the safety of my booth to play with the wolf. No, I didn’t just jump out and suddenly became its best friend, but I did test out its playfulness by throwing a few things for it to fetch.
Ten minutes later I was being watching by the other mall cops, from a distance, as I threw the nightstick for the wolf and it brought it right back. It was trained and harmless in a sense. Its claws were still there, menacing and sharp with teeth to match. However, its tongue hung out its mouth as it panted happily fetching the nightstick.
Animal control did arrive, surprised at the sight of us as they held tranquilliser guns and wore special armour to protect from animal bites. Something the canine unit at the police station would wear training attack dogs.
No darts were fired and the wolf was led into the back of the truck and shipped off. There was a strangeness in all of this I couldn’t pin down, but I understood the following day when we discovered the stores we left unguarded were expertly broken into and robbed while we were on one side of the mall playing with a wolf. It was a unique and effective distraction, I will give them that.