Disclaimers: This is a work of original fiction. Please do not reproduce this story without permission of the author. Copyright by Jenah, October 2003.


Thanks to the Academy for asking me to participate in their Halloween Special. Also, thanks to KGG and Gin for taking the time to beta read for me.

The Title Needs Some Work




Shannon Marshall was totally absorbed in the words on her computer screen when the telephone rang.

"Damn!" She reached for the phone without taking her eyes from the monitor.

Sam grasped the bottom of Tina’s tee shirt and slowly lifted it over the compliant woman’s head. Dropping the garment on the floor, she leaned in for a kiss, reaching around and unclasping Tina’s bra at the same time. She slid the straps off broad shoulders and down lengthy arms. The bra quickly joined the shirt on the floor. "I’ve wanted you for so long," Sam said softly.

Sighing, Shannon put the receiver to her ear. "Animal Services. Officer Marshall speaking."

"Shannon, this is Stephanie over at 911 Dispatch. We’ve got a doozy for you tonight."

"Hi, Steph." Shannon reluctantly closed the computer file and picked up a pencil. "What’s up?"

"There’s some Yankee over in Woodland Heights who called here in hysterics saying there’s a bat in her house."

"A bat?" The officer began jotting down the information on an incident report. "And how do you know the person is a Yankee?"

"Well, she was very upset and talking so fast, I didn’t get all of it. But I did catch that she was outside on the pawch because she thawt it might be a vampiah bat."

"Vampiah?" Shannon laughed. "Give me the address and I’ll get right over there. We can’t have those high-faluttin’ Yankee ladies being attacked by vampiah bats!"

"362 Lakeshore. I already have a patrol car on the way."

"Okay, got it. Thanks, Steph." The officer hung up, grabbed her keys and headed out on the call.


Kellie McNamara paced back and forth nervously on the porch. She frequently glanced skyward, assuming if there was a bat in her house, there most certainly could be more outside. Just as she was contemplating sprinting for the safety of her Honda, the police showed up.

Finally! Kellie jogged down the steps and hurried toward the patrol car. When she got there, the officer was still inside. She watched impatiently as he typed something on a small computer, fidgeted with several knobs on the dashboard and picked up his hat, which he dusted off with his hand before reaching for the door handle.

Kellie sighed. What was I thinking…leaving New England and moving here? I don’t know anybody. And these people! It’s like they’re in slow motion. Absolutely nothing seems to affect the pace at which they do things.

The officer climbed out of the car. "Evening Ma’am," he drawled.

The woman rolled her eyes. If one more person calls me Ma’am… Kellie started back toward the house quickly rattling off the details of her predicament.

"A bat, huh?" The officer went up the porch steps and looked through the living room window.

"YES! A bat!" Kellie’s voice rose in irritation. "Ah you goin’ to get it out of my house?"

"Someone from Animal Services is coming," the man explained. "It’s best to let them handle it."

Kellie threw her hands up in exasperation and started pacing the length of the porch again. By now it was well after midnight and she was feeling tired, cold, and downright cranky.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long before a white van pulled into the driveway.

"You wait here Ma’am, I’ll be right back." The policeman strolled over to the vehicle.

Several minutes passed as the two officers conversed through the open driver’s side window.

Sheesh! Kellie glared in the direction of the van. What the heck is taking so long? All he needs to say is…there’s a bat in the house… go get it!

As Shannon listened to the policeman, her attention was focused on the porch and the homeowner who was well illuminated by the overhead light. The attractive woman looked to be in her late twenties or early thirties, slim and fairly tall, with shoulder-length reddish-blonde hair. And she appeared to be mad as all get out. I wonder what color her eyes are?

"Officer?" The policeman tapped Shannon on the shoulder. "Are you all right?"

"Oh! Yes." Shannon shook her head as she admonished herself for her lapse of concentration. I’ve obviously been reading way too much fan fiction. She got out of the van and retrieved two blankets and a muslin sack from the cargo area. "Let’s go."

Kellie was trying not to lose her temper. After all, these people were going to get rid of the bat. Being confrontational was NOT going to expedite things. She took a deep breath and tried to calm down as the officers approached.

"Evening, Ma’am," Shannon said as she stepped from the darkness up onto the porch. "I’m Officer Marshall from Animal Services."

Kellie was momentarily speechless. She had put no thought whatsoever into who might be arriving to help and she was completely caught off guard when she saw the person standing in front of her. The female officer was about two inches taller than Kellie and all five foot ten of her seemed to be well-toned muscle. She was dressed in a short-sleeved khaki shirt, matching shorts, brown hiking boots and white ankle socks. Her long, dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She looks like one of those crocodile hunting people on TV, except this is an even better version. And when SHE calls me ma’am, it suddenly sounds like the most charming expression I’ve ever heard. Kellie managed to stop staring and find her voice. "Offissa Mahshull," she smiled and extended her hand, "I’m SO glad yaw hea."

Blue. Shannon grinned. She has beautiful blue eyes that have checked me out from top to bottom. And that accent… she’s definitely a Northerner. Why is she in Woodland Heights?

Seeing the playful sparkle in the officer’s dark brown eyes, Kellie realized that her staring had not gone unnoticed. She felt the heat rise to her face and she attempted to hide it by directing her attention to the gun hanging next to the woman’s left hip. "Yaw not goin’ to shoot it, ah you?"

"No, Ma’am." Shannon chuckled. "I rescue the animals, not kill them. Besides, I don’t think you’d appreciate a bunch of bullet holes in your living room, would you?" I’d only need one shot, but there’s no need to brag.

"No… of cawse not." Kellie said. "I’m sahrry. It’s been a long day. I don’t know what I was thinkin’. I just saw the gun…" and it was a suitable diversion from my blushing.

"A woman working the night shift alone… it could be dangerous." Shannon patted the holster. "It’s a good idea to have protection. So, I got a permit to carry this."

"That makes sense."

"You’ve been very patient and we appreciate it." Shannon said sincerely to Kellie before turning to smirk at the policeman who had warned her that the Yankee was going to irritable and difficult.

The man shrugged. He’d been standing there silently, totally perplexed at the homeowner’s change of demeanor. Women.

Shannon handed him a blanket. "Are we ready to catch a bat?"

The policeman’s eyes widened. "We?"

"Yes, we." Shannon unfolded the other blanket and gave it to Kellie. "It gets chilly here at night this time of year. Put this around you. We’ll take care of the bat as quickly as possible so you can get back into your house."

"Thanks, Offissa." Kellie wrapped the heavy material around her shoulders and immediately began feeling warmer.

The Animal Services officer gave the policeman his instructions and they entered the house. Kellie heard several shouts, thumps, muffled curses and one distinctive crash before it got quiet and the door opened.

Shannon came out first, muslin sack raised in her left hand triumphantly. "Got it, Ma’am!"

My hero. Kellie smiled. And she’s adorable.

The policeman stumbled out next, rubbing his shin. "I almost had him. If I hadn’t run into that coffee table…" The man was interrupted by the walkie-talkie clipped to his belt. "Excuse me ladies." He went to the far end of the porch to take the call.

"Is it safe for me to go inside now, Offissa Mahshull?" Kellie asked.

"Well, I think we should check the house first to make certain it’s secure. You wouldn’t want me to release the bat and have him go right back in, would you?"

"NO!" The thought of a repeat performance of the bat swooping around her in the living room alarmed Kellie. "You mean… the bat could…" Eying the muslin bag warily, she moved away from Shannon. She pulled the blanket tighter against her body and unsuccessfully tried to restrain the tears that sprang to her eyes.

"I’m sorry." Shannon tied the top of the sack and carefully placed it on the lowest step of the porch. "I didn’t mean to scare you. I just want to be sure you won’t have the problem again."

At that moment, the policeman returned. "If everything’s taken care of here… I have an emergency call."

"Everything’s fine." Shannon replied. "Thanks for your help."

"No problem, ladies." He tipped his hat. "Ya’ll have a good evening."

The women watched as the officer got in his car and drove off.

"So," Kellie said with significantly more bravado than she felt, "time to check the house to be sure it’s safe. Right, Offissa Mahshull?" PLEASE don’t leave yet.

"Right, Ma’am. Why don’t you wait out here…"

"Nope." The homeowner took off the blanket, folded it, and draped it on the porch railing. "If yaw goin’ to be in theah, I know I’ll be awlright." She squared her shoulders. "Let’s go."

Shannon smiled. The woman was obviously still frightened, but she wanted to face her fears. What a gal. And pretty as can be, too. "Follow me."

Kellie walked directly behind Shannon and rested one hand on the officer’s back.

They entered the living room slowly, with Shannon scanning the area for any sign of where the bat may have gotten in. "Were any windows open earlier?"


"Doors left ajar?"


The officer stopped in front of the brick fireplace.

Kellie bumped into her. "Sahrry."

"It’s okay." Shannon was acutely aware of the woman’s close proximity. She felt tingling where the warm hand was pressed against her back and it was making it difficult for her to stay focused. Sheesh… it’s been a long time… or maybe it’s those mushy fan fiction stories… maybe it’s a combination of both… but this woman has me all flustered.

Kellie peeked around the officer to examine the fireplace. "Do you think he came in from theah?"

"It’s a good possibility." Shannon bent down and jiggled the handle of the chimney flue. "Yup… this is loose here. Even when it’s closed, there’s a space where he probably came in." She straightened up, again being bumped by the homeowner who was mere inches behind her. "We’re going to need to block this off until you can get it fixed."

"Okay." Kellie looked around the room at the piles of boxes and hodgepodge of furniture. "What can we use?"

"Do you have any heavy duty, plastic garbage bags?"


"That’ll work. I’ve got some strong tape in the van." Shannon turned and looked at Kellie. "Will you be all right while I run out and get it?"


The officer hurried out to the vehicle, got the tape, and came back to find Kellie standing in the doorway with a handful of garbage bags. The women went inside and Shannon used the silver adhesive tape to seal the plastic over the fireplace opening. "How’s that?"

"Do you think it’ll be strawng enough to keep the bat out?" Kellie looked skeptical.

Shannon was quite sure the tiny bat wouldn’t be able to break through the barrier. However, she could see the woman was still scared. "Why don’t I put a few boxes in front for extra support?"

"That’s a great idear!" Kellie gestured toward the living room. "I’ve got lots of boxes that I haven’t unpacked yet."

Shannon started pushing some of the cartons up against the plastic. "You just moved in?"

"Yeah. My grandmotha left this place to me. I’ve only been hea for about a week."

Shannon worked quickly, completely covering the fireplace with boxes. "Is that better?"

"Yes." Kellie answered. Maybe now I can actually sleep a little tonight.

"Well, Ma’am." Shannon picked up her roll of tape and the blanket the policeman had left on a chair. "I guess you’re all set."



"My name… please… call me Kellie."

"Oh… okay, Kellie." Kellie… I like that. Heck, I like HER. "Umm… I’m Shannon." The officer took a business card from her shirt pocket. "If you have any more trouble at all, you call me. I’ll be on duty all night."

"Thanks, Shannon." Kellie visibly relaxed and smiled. "I feel MUCH betta now."

"Good." So do I.

The women walked to the door together and stood in awkward silence for several seconds. Suddenly, they both started to speak at once and they broke into laughter.

"You go ahead." Shannon grinned at the homeowner, who blushed and ducked her head to try and conceal it.

"I just wanted to say thanks again." C’mon Kel… it’s your first chance to make a friend here. Kellie mustered the courage to look up into interested brown eyes. Maybe even more than a friend. Don’t let her get away. "And I… umm… was thinkin’. When yaw finished with werk… if you want to stop by, I’d like to express my gratitude by makin’ you breakfast."

Shannon felt her heart pounding rapidly. There was nothing she wanted to do more than spend some time with the attractive Northerner. "I’d really like that." She reached for the knob and opened the door. "How about around 8:00?"

"Okay." Kellie smiled at the officer, whose cheeks had also become flushed.

The brisk air from outside was a welcome relief to the overheated women as they exchanged good-byes.

Kellie closed the door and then rushed over to the window.

Shannon took the blanket from the railing, picked up the muslin sack, and went to the van. She put away the supplies, untied the sack, and shook it a little. That was all the persuasion the bat needed and he flew up into the night sky.

Observing from the house, Kellie strained to see the bat when it was released, but it was too dark. She watched as Shannon climbed into the driver’s seat and drove off. Long after the van disappeared from sight, Kellie remained at the window, deep in thought.

Stopped at a red light, Shannon checked her pager. No calls… great. Maybe I can finish that fanfic story when I get back to the office. The light turned green and she proceeded down the deserted street. I MUST be reading too much of that stuff, because tonight I kept thinking I was in one of those stories. Though, I doubt anyone would write about an Animal Services officer rescuing a woman from a bat. It’s just not as exciting as the stories about cops or outlaws or corporate intrigue.

What in the world would they call it?

Shannon Marshall To the Rescue Hmm… too egotistical, even for me. Perhaps something about vampires or bats. That would sound exciting.

Vampires in the Mist Nah. No mist tonight.

The Good, The Bat and the Ugly Ack…nothing ugly about that Northerner, no siree.

The Vampire Strikes Back Shannon laughed out loud. Okay… the title needs some work.

But… I sure am looking forward to breakfast in the morning. It could turn out to be the beginning of my own, real life fanfic adventure. Wouldn’t that be something?

And it was.



The End.

Return to What's New

Return to the Academy