Evanne Lorraine
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Teaser Tuesday

July 21, 2009 | Teaser Tuesday

Sometimes it takes me awhile to sort out what’s really happening from the snippets of conversation between characters and the flashes of action that bombard my mind.

The following mini-scene never happened in the final version of Dangerous Secrets being released this month.

The driver turned off the grin and clicked on the meter. The normally hair-raising ride passed without Karina even lamenting the lack of a passenger’s safety belt. The taxi driver deposited her and her bags at the Central Precinct.

She bounced her luggage up the station’s front steps, and pushed open the glass and metal door. The foyer was dominated by a wooden counter, which separated a small communication center from the civilian population. A uniformed female office stood stoically waiting for her.

“I’m Karina Chadwick, Officer Chambers called me. Is he available?”

“I’ll check for you Miss.” The woman on duty sat to consult a computer screen. “I’m afraid Officer Chambers is not on duty. Can someone else help?”

“Please. I need to know what happened and I want to collect my brother’s things.” She pressed her hand hard against the base of her nose to forestall a fresh flood of tears.

“Have a seat and I’ll see what I can arrange.” The woman’s words were brusque but her manner was kindly.

Karina appreciated both the business-like speech and the sympathetic expression. Any further coddling on the woman’s part would have only guaranteed another crying jag.

Within minutes, the woman returned, followed by a plain-clothes detective. A picture ID dangled from his short-sleeved shirt pocket, a shoulder holster with a dark metal gun rested under his left arm, a gold shield and a small cell phone rode his belt.

“Ms. Chadwick?” The officer held the door open.

Karina stood and followed the officer to a small but neat workstation.

“Have a seat. “ The detective didn’t wait for her to comply with his suggestion. He scanned tiers of shelving holding an array of documents. Selecting a form, he fastened it to a scarred clipboard with a dangling pen.

A lumpy manila envelope lay in the center of his desk. Suddenly, she didn’t want to accept Todd’s effects. She didn’t even want to look at them.

“Have you caught the man who killed my brother?”

The officer seated himself with a discreet hitch of his sharp-creased slacks before communing with his computer. Minutes ticked by as he pecked at the keyboard and checked the screen for results. Finally finding the information he sought, he used the mouse to scroll down the record. He logged out of the program.

“The case is still open. Detective Chambers is the lead detective. I could leave a message for him to call you,” he offered reluctantly

“Yes, please.”

“I’ll need a phone number,” he said more kindly.

Her mind blanked. She rummaged through her tote, locating her cell phone. It needed charging. While she thumbed through her phone book, she tried to remember if she’d packed the charger. At last, she found her cell number and recited it for the officer.

He entered the number into the system, reciting it back to her at the same time, and then stood–the universal signal the meeting was over. She scooted her plastic scoop chair away from the desk, standing unsteadily.

“May I have a copy of the police report from last night?”

He frowned. “I’ll print you a copy of the officers’ statements. The case is still open. If you’re looking for an official cause of death, I’m afraid you will have to wait until the coroner’s office completes its examinations. They will issue a death certificate when they are done.” The detective offered her the computer printout and the envelope of Todd’s things.

She folded the report, stuffed it into her bag, and then accepted the surprisingly heavy package. This time when the officer strolled toward the door, she remained silent, following him back to the building’s entrance.

“Thank you for your help,” she said stiffly.

“Is someone meeting you?”

She shook her head, and then cleared her throat. “I’ll call a cab.”

“I’ll take care of that, you rest here.”

She sank onto the scant comfort of another molded plastic chair, faintly resentful of being treated as if she were a basket case. Then she reflected that she probably looked like a zombie. Her fingers danced nervously over the bumpy paper surface of the envelope. Todd’s bulky key ring was easily recognizable by touch. Suddenly she knew what she needed to do next.

Posted by Evanne @ 5:00 am  

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