I’ve been a lazy sack of bones all winter break, and it’s time to get crack-a-lacking on all things writing once more!
To prove that I did indeed keep writing over the break, I’m going to post another segment from my novel. It’s probably my favorite part so far! We come in farther in the novel than you’ve been shown so far, and some crazy stuff is about to go down!
After a day in Pike’s we decided on a big Sockeye salmon for dinner. I was surprised. I hated seafood when I was a kid. But, born and raised on the coast, they probably didn’t have a chance NOT to eat it. We walked through the front door, Brandon helping me with the bags of vegetables. Evie walked behind me carrying the small bouquet of flowers she had begged for. After setting the salmon down on the counter I retrieved a vase from the top of the refrigerator, poured some water in it, and set it on the table for her. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she carefully placed them in the vase, and arranged them so that her favorite purple flowers stood out the best.
Evie watched as I helped Brandon slice vegetables. I taught him how to hold a knife properly, and how not to hurt himself. Once I was sure he wouldn’t chop off a finger I started preparing the salmon.
“Is there anything I can help with?” Evie asked from her spot on the barstool.
“I’m sorry Evie,” I told her. “There’s not much else to be done.” I ground some pepper onto the fish. “Why don’t you go turn on the TV and get settled in. I’ll bring your plate to you.”
She nodded, then bounded down to the floor and into the living room. I heard the TV come on, and the interrupted sounds of channels being changed. She must have found something she liked, because the interruptions stopped.
“We’re on the TV!” Evie yelled from the living room.
“What?” I looked at Brandon, who shrugged. I turned the heat down on the fish and walked out to the living room. Brandon’s footfalls followed me.
“See?” Evie said, pointing at the screen.
There, on the evening news, was a picture of each of us. Beneath the images were the bold letters reading, ‘Amber Alert.’ Underneath that was a phone number.
“Amber Alert?” I picked up the phone and dialed the hotline number.
“Amber Alert Hotline,” the smooth female voice answered.
“Yes, I know the location of Evie and Brandon Zimmer.”
“Can I get your name, Sir?”
I stalled. “It’s all been a misunderstanding,” I told her.
“Your name, Sir?”
“I didn’t kidnap these kids,” I yelled, desperate for her to listen to me.
A knock on the front door signaled bad news.
“Sir?” the woman asked in my ear. I opened the door to see a wall of policemen. Evie poked her head into the doorframe, curious to see who was at the door. Every last police officer drew his weapon when he saw Evie. The girl squeaked and ran further into the apartment, to Brandon.
Cops were yelling at me to put my hands up, to drop the phone, and to stand still. Amidst all the shouting I heard the woman on the phone, “Sir?”
Next thing I knew I was facedown, nose smashed into hardwood floors. Evie wailed from somewhere behind me. I heard Brandon try to explain.
“He didn’t kidnap us!” The boy shouted. The officers ignored him. My arms were wrenched behind me, forcing the phone to fly out of my hand. Two cops lifted me from the floor and hauled me downstairs to their car with lights flashing.
The movies are pretty accurate when it comes to arrests. They pull your arms behind your back, making your shoulders ache and feel like they’ll tear your arm out of socket. Then they walk you to the car. Heaven forbid you just walk, no! They love to jostle you every step of the way. No wonder mug shots are always awful; they rough you up for your close up. Then they literally throw you in the back of the car. Sure, they make sure you don’t knock your brains out on the roof, but other than that they could less give a fuck.
The whole ride they ignore you. No matter what you ask them.
“Look,” I sighed. Cop Number One glanced at me in the rearview mirror. “I didn’t kidnap those kids.” I was fresh out of patience and energy.
“I’m going to remind you one more time,” Cop Number Two said from the passenger seat. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say-“
“Or do can be used against me in court.” I shot him a wicked look. “I heard you the first time.” The car went silent. I had decided to give it a rest when Evie’s face flashed into my head.
“What happened to the kids?” I demanded. The cop duo looked at each other then back at the road.
They continued to ignore me. In my frustration, and I admit extremely heightened emotions, I slammed my forehead against the partition separating me and the cops. That got a reaction.
“Hey!” Number Two shouted.
“What’s going to happen to the kids?” I shouted back. My hair fell forward into my eyes, making me look more than a little insane. And still the cop ignored me. I considered bashing my head into the partition again, but I won’t lie; that really hurt. I didn’t want to concuss myself, so instead I sat seething in the back seat of the patrol car.
About ten minutes later I felt the car slow down. I looked up to see the police station. It was far less grandiose than I had imagined, and I was anxious to get the hell out of the car.
Actually getting out of the car was harder than I anticipated. You try climbing out of a Crown Vic with your hands cuffed behind your back. It sucks. After being hauled through the lobby of the station, I was fingerprinted and processed, then left alone in a monochrome room with what was obviously a two-way mirror. Since I had an audience I decided to do a bit of acting out.
“What?” I asked, staring at the mirror wall. “You guys think I’ve never seen an episode of Law and Order?” Silence. “I know how this works,” I bluffed. “You leave me in here by myself to make me sweat.” I paused again. “Well, the joke’s on you, assholes, I didn’t kidnap those kids. I saved those kids from their monster of a father!” I heard the click of audio equipment being activated.
“Are you done yet?” A voice asked from nowhere.
“On whether you’re going to listen to reason or not.” The electronic hum clicked off, and a moment later a balding man walked into the room. He wore a brown suit that didn’t quite fit him. It only made him look more sad. He sat down across from me at the metal table, and offered me a cigarette.
“I don’t smoke.”
“Me either,” he said. “But since you think this is some kind of television show, I thought I ought to offer.”
I kept quiet.