Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Beneficiary (2)

--- What happened Next? ---

Detective Jones and the Mutt and Jeff cop tandem had allowed a winter chill to settle in the foyer. His revelation of Beth’s death and my unexpected naming as her beneficiary accentuated the shiver that streaked down my back. Reflexively, I grabbed my coat from the coat closet to go with them.

I stopped. “Why do I need to come with you?”

“We have questions.” Detective Jones popped something into his mouth before grabbing the door knob. His gaze didn’t waver from me. The cops leaned toward the door as though it was magnetic, and their steely glances and tin badges couldn’t resist its pull.

“Why don’t you ask your questions here?”

“I’d prefer to ask them at the station.” He released his grip on the door knob. The two cops stood at ease, the magnetic pull broken.

“I’d prefer they be asked here.”

“That would be inappropriate.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

“Because why?”

He took a step toward me and split open his tan overcoat to place his hands on his hips. He stood several inches over six feet but was reed thin in his loose fitting brown suit. The long face appeared elastic and a droopy eyelid nearly covered one of his pale blue eyes making him appear older than he probably was. I pegged him for his mid-30s like me. The thin Roman nose had been broken and an impossibly large cookie duster hung like a costume prop above his thin lips.

Jones leaned towards me. “Because I said so.” His words carried the sweet smell of cherry cough drops.

“My mother used to say that to me. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. Am I under arrest?”

“No.”

“Then I choose not to go. Whatever you have to ask and whatever you have to tell me, do it here.”

His eyes moistened. His mouth opened to an oval. I thought he was going to cry. He swung his arms in front of him like pendulums. His sense of authority evaporated along with my mild indignation, yet the feeling of being strong armed remained. I hung up my coat, snickering silently at his comical stance despite the underlying sadness and peculiarity of why he was here.

He pointed to the taller of the two cops and then opened the door with a jerk. “Arrest him for obstructing a murder investigation.”

1 comment:

FARfetched said...

Ouch. You have to hate lazy cops who won't do their job the way they should... or at least, I do. :-P

Looking forward to the next installment!