Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Bird in The Hand (Part 2)

The following is the second of two excerpts from A Bird in the Hand by Ben Shakey. It will be published by Will Jordan books in April 2009

The police were waiting for me when I got home.

“Mr. Rogers?” said the cop.

“Please call me Ian,” I said “I know you mean it as respect but it’s impossible to say Mr. Rogers without sounding sarcastic or like a children’s show puppet.”

He didn’t even smile when most people would give me at least a courtesy laugh at that line.

“Mr. Rogers” he said and ignored me “where were you last night?”

“I was doing surveillance on a client form 9 pm until the morning.”

“Was there anyone that can confirm your exact whereabouts? A witness to this?”

“I hope not. It’s pretty hard to do surveillance when people can see you”

“And who were you watching?”

There was a pause. It was long enough to consider if I wanted to continue with this and long enough for the police officer to move into what is called the interview stance where he tries to look like he is casually and thoughtfully placing his finger on his chin but is actually move his hand so that it can quickly block a strike or reach for his weapon. I didn’t like that he was considering that I might feel the need to strike or force him to draw.

“Uhhm Do I have to tell you this?” I asked “Is there like, client confidentiality or something?” I knew that there wasn’t but I wasn’t sure if he knew.

“That only works for lawyers and priests.” He said

“Her name was Jill Flynn.”

“So you were watching Jill Flynn. All night.” He said, recapping the conversation. “Did you enter her house?”

“No, I’ve never even met her.”

“Never met her once? Gave her a business card? Anything like that?”

It was pretty clear where this was going.

“Is Jill Okay?” I asked

“Was she okay last night? You were watching her from 9 pm until morning. Did she seem okay then?”

He moved on. He never answered my question. Which meant she was dead. He was waiting for me to say it first. It was an old cop trick. Act like he said that she was dead but never actually say it and maybe later I would slip up. Maybe even mention the way the she died and therefore admit prior knowledge.

I knew better than to act like I knew it but it was safe to say that Jill Flynn was murdered and my business card was in her house and I just admitted to being outside her house as long as the night shift at the mill.

“Who hired you to watch this woman?” asked the cop.

“Some guy named Ken.” I said

“Does Ken have a last name?” He opened his notebook and he was poised with a tiny wooden golf pencil to write down the name.

“I don’t know his last name. At first I thought that he was George Bush but I just found out that he is only some guy from Staples.” I didn’t realize how insane that sounded until right now.

The cop bit his lip for second and thought about how to word his next question.

“Okay,” he said “Why would the president come to you?”

“I know this sounds crazy but he wanted me to find Osama Bin Laden.” I said. I realized that also sounded crazy - and not crazy like ‘look at that guy krunk’ but crazy like a legal defence.

I tried to elaborate more “You see it wasn’t like he said that Osama was at her house or anything. He told me that she was sending messages from Osama on cassette tapes.”

“So George Bush told you that she had cassette tapes that contained messages from Osama Bin Laden?” He asked. I should have shut up. I was making myself sound more and more unstable.

“Kind of” I said. I didn’t want to but I let a nervous laugh slip. I’m sure the cop here a maniacal laugh.

“Were you aware that two weeks ago Jill Flynn called from that house saying that a man of you description was parked outside here house photographing her?” He put the note pad away. He didn’t really seem to care what my answer was.

I didn’t even bother answering the question. There was no point. Anyone could make that call two weeks ago and make me look like a stalker. Anyone could hire a Bush impersonator and make me sound delusional. Anyone can hire a private eye and stake him out at the scene of the crime.

The set up was complete. Wheels were set in motion.

“I think I want to talk to a lawyer” I said

“We can set that up at the station” Said the cop. He pulled the handcuff from his belt.

First thing was asking my lawyer to do was to see if Jill Flynn was recently divorced. I should have known along that this would never be about terrorism. People only see me about unfaithful marriages.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.