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Crime Fiction

Sirens blared as Steven pulled off to the side of the road. He kept his hands tight on the wheel, waiting for the officer to approach. 

"Goodmorning," the officer said.

"Hello," Steve said, looking at his uniform, "Captain."

"And you must be Steven Ross. Sorry for the theatrics, but you're a hard man to track down."  

"You've been looking for me?"

"I make it my business to know everyone who comes to Angel's Heaven. I make no exception, especially those that I need to falsely pull over to meet."

“Yeah, I've been trying to keep busy with Gwen out of town.”

“Well, after your next stop, you wanna stop by the precinct.”

“It might be a while. I have a lunch meeting with Dr. Grey.”

“I'm patient. Have a good time and you should check your left taillight, it’s starting to flicker,” he said, patting the window frame.

“Thank you, see you then.”

Steven pulled away, with the weight of the conversation sinking his shoulders. It stayed through the drive to the diner and most of the lunch that he barely touched.

“Alright, Steven, what’s wrong?” the doctor asked, setting down his glass.

 He turned away in his chair. “What do you mean, Dorian?”

Dorian leaned in. “You look worse than when I met you-” he switched into a whisper - “and you had been beaten for information for several hours the night before.”

“Every time you talk about that, you make my ribs hurt.”

“Well, tell me wants up or…”

“I get it. I get it.” He showed his hands above the table before leaning his arm on the back of the chair and leaning his chin upon it. “What are your thoughts on Captain Moore?”

“He’s not the best cop, but I’ve met worse.”

“He asked me to go see him after this.”

“Oh, yeah, his ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ chat. From what I hear, I’m glad I was ‘grandfathered’ in.”

“Great for you!”

“You might want to get a move on. He’s not as patient as he claims.”

“Yeah,” he sighed, picking up his pack, “probably should play nice with local law enforcement if I want to live here. See you next week.”

“Can we eat at the hospital next time, ‘cause this isn’t edible at all,” he said, picking up a floppy oozy shoestring fry.

“Only if we go on Wednesday: I like Will’s chili.”

“Only if you survive your meeting with Moore,” he laughed as Steven left.

Steven tried laughing it off as well, but it eased into a clenched jaw. His knuckles gripped white on the wheel and if one more car came to a complete stop before turning onto a side street, he was going to lose it.

“Hello?” Steven asked, wandering into the precinct. “Captain Moore?”   

“Eh?” a Canadian voice called out. “Come on back.”

Steven walked past the desk sergeants and through the door into the offices.

“You must be Steven,” the officer said behind a desk full of files, “the Captain went out on a call. He should be back soon. Make yourself at home.”

Putting his bag on an empty desk, he asked, “What are you doing back there, if I may ask?” 

“Organizing. Putting like files together. Getting files ready to go to cold case.”

The corners of Steven's mouth perked up, at the sound of his workplace. “I grew up in a library. Do you mind if I help?”

“I'll need to check your identification before I agree.” 

Steven dug his wallet out and handed over his driver’s license.

The officer swiped it on his card scanner on his keyboard. He hummed "O Canada" as he looked through Steven’s information. The tune came to a screeching halt. “I would love your help.” He stood, finally appearing above his piles. “I’m Detective Emelius Hamilton,” he said, reaching his hand over.

“Steven Ross.” He shook the hand. “A detective?”

“I know, eh? When was the last time you saw a detective doing something so mundane?”  he asked, spearing his arm wide with a showman's flick of the wrist.

“Where would you like to start?”

“Anywhere. Pile by crime and severity within. And put names together no matter what.”

“Alright,” he said, taking the first file.

They worked in silence until Emelius finished drumming his fingers and spoke up. “Moore got used to me during his reports before the promotion. Told me I was good at it. Now, after the promotion, that’s all he has me do. Filing and refiling. He thinks it’s the only thing a canadian boy could do even though I beat his scores on the detective’s test and the shooting range.”

“I know how you feel. My boss thinks this is the only thing a librarian boy can do.”

“Hamiton, you done-!” Moore yelled, stopping when he looked at the two of them. “What were you thinking?!”

“It’s okay. He works at cold case. He would have read them eventually anyway.”

“We’ll talk about that later. Now Steven, about that conversation."

"One second," he said, reading a file. “I saw this figurine at Flynn Seaver.”

“What do you mean?” Moore sniped, stealing the file. “The robbery and assault of Jenny Walts. This was eight years ago.”

“And one of the things stolen was an antique statue that I saw on Seaver’s desk when I helped him carry in his sister after she fell down the stairs.”

 “How do you know it’s the same one?” Moore said, throwing the file down.

“There is only one. It belongs to a unique set that was in England during the 40’s. This one was the only one that survived the blitz then it was sold at auction in 1963 along with the owner’s estate.”

“Even if that’s true. Why would he still have it?”

“Probably waiting for the statute of limitations to run out. Both his crimes that day end in two years. He wants his cake and eat it too.”

“Okay. Okay. We can check it out. Come on, Hamilton.”

“Can I follow in my car?” Steven asked.

Moore huffed, facing the door. “If you stay in it.”

He picked up the file and his bag with a school boy pep in his step.

Moore rolled his eyes, marching away with Emelius on his heels. Safe inside the car, he said, “I'll never forgive you for this.”

“Then you shouldn’t have pulled him over.”

“When’s your vacation again?”

“Not soon enough. You better go before Steven goes and arrests Seaver on his own.”

“This isn’t over.” He pulled out.

They drove past well manicured lawns, spakling white picket fences, and five rotating cookie cutter styles. Nothing about the house Moore pulled up to shouted robber nor assaulter.

When Moore left the car, he walked up to Steven’s car behind his. “Stay in the car or I’ll arrest you!” 

Steven flopped the file up with his eyes glued to it until the officers walked away. His eyes skimmed the top of the file to watch them knock on the door.

Seaver opened the door a crack, with a chain lock across his face. The officers swayed as they planted their feet. Suddenly the door closed and Moore grabbed his gun. He broke the door down with his hand on his gun as Emelius went around back. 

A while later Seaver came out the upstairs window and shimmed down the porch’s structure. He ran towards the cars.

As he neared Steven’s car, Steven squeezed his eyes closed then pulled the door handle. He opened the door, hitting Seaver in the left knee. When he pulled the door back, Seaver fell to the ground. 

Moore came running out of the door. He looked in Steven’s direction with his expression falling into a scold. 

Steven rolled down his window. “What? I stayed in the car!”

June 04, 2021 02:07

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1 comment

Drew Andrews
00:53 Jun 06, 2021

I saw that going differently. Lol. At first I got the same feeling I did watch a few episodes of : resident alien.

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