The Approach


Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

Taped on the surface of a fold-up table is a big poster where all the children are supposed to put their hand print.

The instructions read:

  1. Pick a color for your handprint and squirt it onto a paper plate.
  2. Place your hand in the paint, making sure your palm and fingers are covered.
  3. Place your hand carefully on the poster to make your handprint.
  4. Wash your hand off, then come back and write your name by your handprint.

Sounds simple enough. Amelia picks a color (she always picks blue), squirts it onto a plate, and wiggles her hand around in it. Then she goes to choose a spot on the poster. At that point, she realizes everyone else’s handprints have the fingers pointing towards her.

Dilemma: Is the direction of the handprint a rule? It wasn’t written in the instructions. If Amelia did it…

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The Water Hole


Photo by Nathaniel Chia on Unsplash

We’ve all been children. We all know what it is to half-believe something we’ve made up. If you don’t know, I suggest you go behind the old family home on Greenfield St. in Albertsons, Wisconsin.

Back there are the thin woods where me and my cousins used to play. And just past that first layer of skinny trees, where the house is almost out of sight, is the Water Hole.

It’s just a hole full of water, really. Very round, not big. A twelve-year-old boy could have jumped it, though to my knowledge, no twelve-year-old boy ever did.

It was my cousin Joey’s eighth birthday when we decided to try fishing it. My pa had given him his first fishing rod of his very own, and Joey wanted to get a feel for it. We tramped out to the woods, Joey, Billy, and me…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 15


Chapter 15 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

“Uh, Jim? About the sergeant thing…” Malloy grimaced. “You know how I said it might not happen for a while?”


“Well, at least six months.” He told Reed about the Captain’s opinion and Mac’s decision.

Reed’s frown was heartwarming. “That’s so rotten! You didn’t do anything to convince him that you were more than an officer! He did it on his own.”

Malloy shrugged. His friend’s feelings did a lot to appease his own; he returned to his stoicism.

Reed kicked the table leg, causing his coffee to jump, but not quite spill. Then he sighed. “Though, honestly, it’s probably a good thing.”

“Not you, too!” Malloy’s eyes were wide. “First Mac says he’s been pushing me too hard and takes away the promotion he offered me. Now your vote of incompetence?”

“It’s not…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 14


Chapter 14 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

The time up until roll call passed slowly. Malloy sat at one of the tables in the break room, paging through the file Mac had given him. The light seemed to grow dimmer and dimmer the more he read until the door popped open and Reed stuck his head in.

“Here you are,” he said. He got himself a cup of coffee and set it in the table beside Malloy. Then he turned the second chair at the table backwards, sat down, and folded his arms on top. He was in uniform. “I’ve been waiting for you in the locker room. What’re you reading?”

Malloy closed the file and slid it to Reed. He took the last drink of cold coffee from the bottom of his cup. Then he tipped his chair back on two…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 13


Chapter 13 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

It was the next evening. Mac’s door was open. Malloy, still in his street clothes, stepped in and knocked softly on the glass.

The sergeant looked up. “Pete. You’re early.”

Malloy smirked. “Looks like I’ll start making a habit of it. You’re early, too.”

“Right.” Mac’s eyes dropped back to his desk, where only one page sat. He held a pen, but after a moment, he set it down.

Malloy held up a piece of note paper he’d found taped to his locker. “You wanted to see me?”

“Oh, yeah. That file you requested came in.” The sergeant stood and reached for a thick bundle of paper that rested on top of a cabinet in the corner. He held it with two hands as he brought it over. His eyes were serious. “Pete, be careful…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 12


Chapter 12 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

The next day after watch, Malloy and Reed were allowed to see Bobby for themselves. They stood in the doorway of his hospital room for a moment to take in all the color. Someone had hung yellow curtains in the window, and the room was bright with sunshine. Bunches of flowers formed a pyramid atop the bedside table, and a round wreath, like those that decorate war memorials on Veteran’s Day, leaned against the bed.

Reed looked puzzled. “Is he famous or something?” he murmured.

Malloy raised his eyebrows. “You haven’t heard?”

Reed frowned.

Margaret sat in a winged chair in the corner reading aloud softly to Bobby from a dime-store book. At the sound of voices, the siblings looked up. Margaret broke the puzzled silence with a laugh. “Oh, it’s the officers!” she said…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 11


Chapter 11 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

About five minutes later, the three hostages squinted as the door opened and the sun lanced their eyes. A silhouette peered in at them. “I’ve waited for this a long time, Malloy,” a peppy voice told him. It was Wells.

Officer Ed Wells

“Yeah. What took you so long?” Reed said. “Did you lose the keys?”

The other officer ignored him. “I have the honor–or should I say horror?–of returning you both to the land of sunshine.”

Wells was joined by Brinkman, and first Malloy, then Margaret, then Reed were lowered to their feet on gravel. Somebody brought out a key and removed their cuffs.

Malloy looked around. They were on the side of the highway that wound through the hills on its way to San Diego. Mac leaned with his palm against the back…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 10


Chapter 10 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

Malloy stood ready before Jus came back for him. He took a last look at the blanketed figure in the dark and let his anger rise. He didn’t know if Mac would have, but he had to.

When they came to the van, Will held the passenger door of the cab open. “You’re up front with us, Sarge,” he said.

Malloy stopped six feet from the back. A hostage at gunpoint is the worst place to be… And it would make things messier later. Time to use that anger.

“Well?” Malloy demanded. His voice was ragged. “Are you happy? One fewer of those pathetic, petty people in the world.”

Will’s jaw tightened. He came a threatening step towards them. “Now don’t say anything you might come to regret.”

“I won’t,” Malloy answered. “That boy was…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 9


Chapter 9 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

Malloy’s heart sped up as fear and anger at his helplessness shoved up his throat. But his eyes didn’t shift from Will. “Well?” he asked in exaggerated expectation.

At first, Will looked away, as though he might refuse. But then he said, “Alright. But slow.”

Malloy nodded graciously and got to his feet. The way back to Bobby and Reed seemed long. At last he turned the corner of the dead-end aisle and saw Bobby’s face. It shone against the shadowed floor, pale and wet, like the moon’s reflection in a rain puddle.

Malloy swallowed. He continued his slow walk, but not because Will had his gun near-to-hand. It was because of the reminder of death; death awed him, and he couldn’t shake its hold over him, heart, mind, and body. He came to Reed…

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The Sergeant Thing: Chapter 8


Chapter 8 of my Adam-12 fan fiction story! You can find Chapter 1 here.

“Sit in that chair,” Will said. “And keep your hands where I can see them.”

The robbers had set up a campsite beside their van, a couple of blankets laid out with wide, clear bottles of water and cans and boxes of food, and two chairs made of canvas stretched over a fold-up metal framework. Malloy sat in the nearest chair and left his hands in his lap.

Will stood in front of him and seemed to be sizing him up more scrupulously than he had before. He tapped his own upper arm. “What are you? A sergeant or something? Reed treats you like a sergeant.”

Senior Lead Officer patch

Malloy checked his shoulder where his Senior Lead Officer patch, two chevrons and a star, was stitched in silver. He tried to make his face…

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