The Long Yarn of the Law
It was Knit Night, and Agent K was headed for some much-needed relaxation after a tough week of alien-wrangling. It was a beautiful evening in early May, one of the few days of sunshine between the traditional May showers, so Agent K decided to walk over to the LYS instead of drive. She picked up her canvas project bag, slung it over her shoulder, and headed out the door.
It was only about a ten-minute walk to the LYS, and Agent K whistled while she strolled, only occasionally interrupting herself with an allergy sneeze. (She’d be glad when the pollen season was over!) About halfway to Knit Night, however, several police cars hurtled by, sirens wailing, and screeched to a halt with a smell of burning rubber, right in front of the small independent bookstore. Agent K watched in astonishment as a group of uniformed police jumped out of the cars and pointed their guns at the store front window.
Agent K glanced around quickly, then, when she was sure she wasn’t being observed, she slipped into an alley just across the street from the bookstore.
“Headquarters, this is Agent K,” she said into her Agency-issued radio wristwatch. “I have a 2-63. Please advise.” A 2-63 was “altercation on the way to a knitting function, local police on scene.”
“Agent K, this is Headquarters, standby,” replied a tinny voice. Agent K let out an exasperated sigh as the on-hold Muzak played through her wristwatch. Muzak was bad enough with a proper speaker, but on the microscopic speaker the Agency supplied her with it was like fingernails on a chalkboard.
“Agent K, be advised that the local authority reports a robbery in progress with hostage. Please render what assistance you can.”
“Roger, Agent K out.” Agent K surveyed the scene again, then walked up to the policeman who appeared to be in control.
“Hi, I’m your backup, the fuzz,” Agent K introduced herself, giving the nickname that the local police gave the Agents. “How can I help?”
“The fuzz, eh? Why don’t you go knit up some socks?” the policeman sneered.
Agent K gritted her teeth. “I am here to help, officer.”
“Fine. Go around and watch the back entrance, then,” grumbled the policeman, waving her off.
Agent K rolled her eyes, then began to work her way unobtrusively towards the back alley behind the bookstore. Maybe she could find a way into the store without the robber noticing her. She glanced around the alley – there was one door into the bookstore and a window high up on the wall, which seemed to lead to a storage area above the store. She estimated the height and determined that she could just make it if she could push the dumpster a few feet closer.
The dumpster was fortunately empty, so Agent K was able to shove it a few feet closer to the window, making a horrible scraping noise as she did so. She paused, crouching down behind the dumpster, waiting to see if anyone came out of the store to investigate. When no one came out, she pulled herself up on top of the closed lid and reached up to the window. It was open just a few inches, with a screen covering the opening. Agent K reached into her boot and pulled out her trusty crochet hook. She wiggled the hook into position between the screen and the window jamb, and with a few hard shoves managed to loosen the screen enough to pop it out of the window. Agent K slid the hook back into her boot and scrambled over the ledge into the store room.
The store room was thick with dust. A cloud billowed up around Agent K as she tumbled through the window. She quickly covered her mouth and nose with her sleeve to muffle the sneezes that wouldn’t be denied. Finally, eyes streaming, she got control of herself again and tip-toed to the door of the store room. Carefully she pulled back the latch and eased the door open. Her luck was still with her, because the siren of yet another police car arriving on the scene covered the squeaking of the door. She slid through to find herself at the top of a staircase.
Peeking cautiously over the balcony, Agent K was dismayed to find that the shop owner was being held at gunpoint by a wild-eyed woman. The woman was waving the gun around in a very irresponsible manner, and demanding the police send in a pizza and a bag of fun-sized Snickers. The shop owner cringed as the gun swept back and forth, alternately covering her and pointing at the shop’s merchandise.
“I already told you, I ain’t leaving here until you get that out of print copy of The Comely Bride and the Werewolf!” the woman yelled into the phone. “I can wait all night if I have to, so you just get us some food while we wait!”
Agent K knelt down behind the balcony railing and considered her options. They were the nickel-plated Knit Picks Options, which she had brought along with her for Knit Night. She unscrewed the ends of the cable that she was using for her project, and re-screwed one of the tips onto the longest cable she had. At the other end, she screwed on an end cap and knotted some of her Cascade 220 around the end cap. She played out the Cascade carefully, lowering the needle end over the railing. Her tongue stuck out of the corner of her mouth as she concentrated on gently swinging the yarn and needle back and forth, building up momentum.
The needle flashed through the air as it reached just the right speed and Agent K let the yarn out, sliding it through her fingers so fast it burned them. The end of the needle was just heavy enough that it wrapped around the wrist of the robber, and Agent K gave a hard jerk.
The gun flew out of the woman’s hand and skittered across the floor. The bookstore owner pounced on it and moved it out of the robber’s reach. Agent K leapt over the railing and landed on top of the robber, momentarily stunning her. Quick as lightening, Agent K trussed up the robber with the yarn, and the fight was over as quickly as it had started.
Agent K went to the door of the store and signaled to the police. The policeman who had dismissed her stared at her in astonishment.
“All in a day’s work, gentlemen,” Agent K called in a smug voice.
“How can I ever thank you?” asked the store owner. “You’ve saved my life and my store!”
“Aw, shucks, ma’am, it was nothing! Just maybe dust that store room of yours once in a while.” Agent K looked down ruefully at her dust-smeared clothing.
She glanced at her watch – just enough time to go home, change clothes, and make it to the tail end of Knit Night. She slipped out the back door while the police were busy tidying up the robber and the store owner, and ran off into the sunset.