by Marvin Calloway
A young, female detective and an aging male detective work together on what could be his last case.
Note: This is chapter 3 of my short story, Crime in a Suburb. it has nothing to do with my novel, Loophole.
Characters so far:
Police Lieutenant George S. Brennan. Nickname: “Stickler”
Amanda Doherty, Police Grade III. She calls Brennan, “S.B.”
Herman Sterling, Manager of Wilton Savings and Loan.
Last lines of chapter 2
“So the robber was wounded?” said Ms Doherty.
“Mortally,” said the manager.
“I see,” said Brennan, “and whose idea was it to haul him away?”
“It all happened so . . .”
“Fast. Of course,” the detective said. “I wish the same could be said for our coffee.”
“I'll get to it as soon as we're done.”
“We're done,” said the detective.
“This will make a fine interrogation room, Ms Doherty.”
“But it's so drab and dingy, Lieutenant.”
“That makes it the perfect atmosphere in which to force a confession from a miscreant."
“Is she the short lady with too much lipstick?”
“Oh, Ms Doherty . . . I had such high hopes for you.”
< < ^ > >
The approximately eight by ten feet room was finished in a monotonous repetition of cheap paneling, broken up by an old calendar hanging by a nail, on one of the short walls. On the other was a photo of Wilton Farm Dairy which thrived on this land some sixty years ago.
In addition to a metal file cabinet standing in the corner, there were three non-matching chairs. One was a typical desk chair. It rolled, swiveled and leaned back. Another was a straight-back, wooden chair of more recent vintage. The third was a relatively new folding chair.
Brennan tried the desk chair and fell backward onto the floor while testing it. Ms Doherty rushed to his side and knelt on the floor, next to him. “Are you . . . should I call for an ambulance?”
Brennan rolled over, got to his feet and helped Ms Doherty to her feet. “Never felt better.” He limped over to the photo, studied it closely and said, “Just think, Ms Doherty, we could be standing where a herd of cows were once grazing and swatting at flies with their tails.”
“Then you realize what we could be standing in,” she said.
“Of course! That's why I've decided to call this case, “Fly On Wall or FOW Play, for short. Get it?”
“I get it, Lieutenant, but wouldn't most people say, 'A' Fly On 'The' Wall, or FOTW,' for short?” Amanda tried to pronounce the four letters and finally gave up.
“Perhaps I should give this a little more thought.”
< < ^ > >
Once the detecting duo maneuvered the desk away from the wall, the need to replace a missing leg became evident. Brennan looked around for something to use, finding nothing until he opened the right hand, bottom drawer. “Ah hah!” he said, upon seeing the brick and employed it immediately.
“I have to do this before I forget.” Brennan clicked on his recorder, “Note to self. Herman Sterling, the bank manager, did not ask us for any I.D.” Turning to Ms Doherty, he said, "Don't you find that extremely odd?"
Amanda thought Brennan was speaking to his recorder and continued removing the contents of the two canvas bags: a cassette recorder, a fingerprint kit, a 100 foot measuring tape and a camera. She readied for imminent use.
She looked up and saw Brennan staring at her. “Oh! You were speaking to me. Yes. I absolutely thought that was odd, lieutenant. No doubt about it. I thought you were talking to your recorder.”
“A simple yes or no would have sufficed, Ms. Doherty. By the way, when no one else is within ear-shot, let's lose the formalities. I'll call you Amanda and you may call me . . .”
“I was about to say, George, but S. B. is fine, as long as you don't add an 'O' in between.”