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Aug 17, 2020

General

“Did you do it?” He sounded agitated. Agitated being the understatement of the century. 

“Define it,” I said. I’m not stupid- I had the highest standardized test score in the school once. Granted, that was in third grade and I guessed the majority of the answers, but still. There has to be an underlying point somewhere. 

He slapped the metal table with his hands. (Metal table? How weird is that? Who even owns a metal table? Obviously Polk City interrogation, but who else? I might have to complain about that sometime. If I get out of jail, that is, which could quite possibly be a while.) “You know what it is, Miss. Sanderson.”

Yes, yes I do. “Enlighten me.”

“Did you break into the mayor’s house, steal the building plans for the new supercenter, and write a note insinuating that you are out to get him for running over Conner Britain’s niece with a car, a fact that is not allegedly true?”

Oh, that. “No, I did not.” Not all of it anyways. Plus, that list didn’t even begin to cover what happened last Thursday night. 

No, of course, I’m not going to tell you. Not all of it, anyway. I don’t want any chance of staying here for longer than I have to. 

He sighed. He being Detective Gonzales. “Emily, we have evidence.” 

Now I’m confused, because a) that’s not possible. I don’t make mistakes. Oh, sure plenty of mistakes were made that night, but I didn’t make any of them. And b) the mayor isn’t all that bright, and neither are the Polk City police force. 

No. “If you have evidence, then why did you ask me if I did it?” I asked.  Ooh, got him there. His eye twitched. Yes.  Victory is nigh!  (I think someone famous said that once)

“Well, ah, the evidence isn’t exactly… entirely accurate. We need a confession.”

Huh. I guess that’s their reasoning for knocking on the door of my house at three AM. “Excuse me, am I being arrested?” 

“You don’t have to be.”  Is that a threat? Never mind, of course, it is. 

“Then I’d like to go home.”  Yeah, I know my rights! I think. 

“Now, Emily, there isn’t any guarantee that you won’t be if you don’t cooperate.” 

“Uh, then I’d like a lawyer.”  I know I said I wouldn’t tell you what happened, but I suppose that at this point it’s necessary.  I’m somewhat of an evil genius.  Okay, I’m just a fifteen year old who’s smart enough to take down security cameras and come up with carefully formulated (sometimes illegal) plans for worthy causes. I’m working on the official title. 

“Miss Sanderson, this is just an investigation.” He kind of looked annoyed. Which means I’ve achieved my goal. I have to say, though, I’m shocked that the US government hired an interrogator who lets a young girl get under his skin. 

At this point, you kind of have to know what happened. That’s just common courtesy. For months, my best friend, Conner, has been absolutely convinced that the mayor of Polk city is evil. Normally I’d just roll my eyes and walk away- he’s a kook on an average basis and basically lives on those cringy conspiracy theory blogs- but this time he brought me the evidence. I was with Conner, and my eyes (mostly) don’t lie. I say mostly because once I thought a rabbit was a flowerpot, but I’m told this is a common misconception, so I’m not especially concerned. 

Anyways. 

Conner (who just turned sixteen and can legally drive) and I were on our way to pick up his niece, who was attending a protest with her dad but wanted to go home. The protest was for the new supercenter, which was totally going to be lamer than the beautiful forest they were chopping down for it. I’m talking clear streams, treehouses, playgrounds, the whole shebang. (Is that even a word?)

We honked a couple of times and she came running after looking both ways to cross the street, which is basic fourth-grade stuff. The mayor’s limo came speeding down the street at breakneck speed and ran her over.  The mayor was there to help break up the protest. He kept going. There were no other witnesses, and of course, he denied it. 

Conner was angry, of course. No one believed him, or me, and after three months he was finished being sad. He knew I was good with breaking and entering stuff- everyone knows that. In second grade I took the teacher’s treasure box and gave everyone the candy bracelets. In fourth grade, I nabbed hot dogs for me and Conner at the minor league baseball game that we took a field trip to. Of course, there were plenty more higher-key things, but I’m not exposing myself, even if not all of my expenditures were illegal. Keyword being all. 

Yes, I stole the building prints for the supercenter. But if the guy doesn’t have a spare, he’s not cut out to be mayor in the first place. Yes, I messed around with some stuff to scare him. But no, I am not out to get him. Conner is. 

So no, I did not do it. 

I did part of it. 

So that I never lied. 

Right?

I don’t know. My conscience isn’t always in tune.  Honestly, it’s the mayor who should be sitting here right now, but I wasn’t going to tell Mr. Investigator that- I refused to reference anything affiliated with Thursday night. 

“Just out of curiosity, what exactly is your proof? Sir?” I batted my eyelashes, but honestly, I was still ticked that there was evidence against me at all. 

“We found footage of someone with long hair that looked pretty young right before the cameras were covered. You’re known for…” he glanced at me over his pathetic wire-rimmed glasses “suspicious activity around here, and you’re Conner Britain’s best friend, allegedly.”

“Conner? He and I got into a fight a while back. He’s a jerk.”  True, a while back being in fifth-grade math class. Plus, suspicious activity? He was over-exaggerating a little. If a little is a lot, which makes no sense anyway. 

“Huh. I’m sorry, Emily. I don’t believe a word that just came out of your mouth, but your story checks out. You’re free to go.”

How exactly does that excuse barging into my house this early in the morning?!

I didn’t say that, of course. I’m much too polite.  And considerate. And kind. 

But the Polk city police department had better watch out. 

They’re not ready for Emily Sanderson. And believe me, I don’t make the same mistakes twice. Next time, there will be no evidence. 

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2 comments

Keerththan 😀
05:09 Sep 04, 2020

The personification of the main character was wonderful. Well written, Halle. Would you mind reading my story "The adventurous tragedy?"

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Christina Hall
21:41 Aug 26, 2020

Hello Halle Your story came up in my critique circle, so I'm leaving a review. Your main character has loads of personality, good job with this. Your story is cute, fun, and I hope a good prompt comes up for you to make more stories for these characters. The only thing that took away a bit for me personally, was how directly you were speaking to the readers...like when you were telling us you wouldn't give us the details, then out of courtesy you would give us the details, and then asking if 'shebang' is a word. This kept pull...

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