The Voice- Part 2

As always, Please keep the constructive criticism coming. I do appreciate it!

From Part 1

“They’ve been investigating the case for quite some time, and with the new developments, they’re sure Peter is involved. Drug use and school arrests have nearly doubled in the past year, and now they think they have their man. The only problem is I’m just not convinced there’s any truth to it.

“Mrs. McCla . . . um, Margie, I’d appreciate it if you keep this discussion confidential. There are a lot of things we don’t know, but I don’t think there’s any proof Peter is involved in drugs.”

On the drive home, Margie’s mind was in turmoil. Her visit with Peter was uneventful. Peter was asleep most of the time. Now Margie knew for sure that someone was setting Peter up on drug charges and that someone tried to kill him. Who? Why? For what? What could she do?

Margie’s cell phone was ringing when she pulled into the driveway. “Mrs. McClanahan, Jeremy Richards here. I’m going to need you to come down to the station tomorrow. I need to fill you in on the investigation concerning your son.” Without leaving time for a response, Detective Richards disconnected the call.

Continuing

Within minutes Margie was on the phone with Officer Marx.

“Officer Marx, this is Margie McClanahan. Two days ago my son was brutalized and left for dead. Now they’re trying to pin a drug ring on him. He’s become the criminal! He’s the victim! What’s being done to find his attacker, and bring him to justice?” Margie continued in an emotional fit of anger for quite some time before Officer Marx interrupted.

“Mrs. McClanahan . . . Mrs. McClanahan! I’ll be glad to help you, but you need to calm down . . . Mrs. McClanahan, please! You asked a question. Now let me answer.”

“I don’t handle homicide cases. You’ll need to talk with Detective Lance Fisher. Now if you’ll just hold on, I’ll transfer you to his desk.”

Margie impatiently waited while the call was being transferred.

“Homicide – Fisher.”

“Yes, Detective Fisher. My name is Margie McClanahan. My son was attacked two days ago and left for dead. Fortunately, he’s still with us. I want to know how the investigation is proceeding. I was just made aware that my son, Peter is being investigated for involvement in drug activity. I would hope his would-be killer is getting just as much attention.”

“Oh yes, Mrs. McClanahan. I was just about to call you.” Margie doubted that was so.

“You see, we have a slight problem with the case.” Margie rolled her eyes.

“Peter is unable to communicate. We don’t know what happened because he can’t tell us. Just as soon as he is able to answer some questions, we’ll get right on it.”

Margie broke in, “Wait a minute! What if Peter had actually died? - As in murder, as in homicide! He couldn’t answer your questions for sure. Do you mean to tell me you’d not investigate just because the victim couldn’t speak?” Margie was off another round of emptying her emotions.

“Mrs. McClanahan, we’re doing all we can for now. Forensics has gone over every bit of evidence available – which by the way, isn’t much. We really don’t have a lot to go on until we speak with Peter. The main piece of evidence we have, that of the bag of cocaine was covered with fingerprints – all Peter’s. We’re waiting for the doctor’s report from the hospital. We’re interested in tracing the steel-toed boot that was used in kicking Peter.

“It would have been a help if we could have seen him as he was, prior to surgery. We may have been able to detect clothing fibers, material from where the assault took place, maybe even some DNA, but his emergency situation called for immediate attention. He would have been prepped, no doubt destroying what little evidence there may have been. “We’ll continue to follow up on any leads we may get, but we really need to talk to Peter. Call me as soon as that’s possible.”


Margie Calls on Richards

“Hello, I’m Margie McClanahan. I’m looking for Detective Richards.”

“Last cubicle on the right.”

Margie thought to herself, “My, what a friendly welcoming committee.” It’s no wonder Detective Richards is Mr. Personality.” She tiptoed down the hall between the cubicles until she came to the last one on the right.

“Ah, Mrs. McClanahan. So nice to see you.” The sarcasm dripped from Richards’s lips. “May I call you Margie?”

“Absolutely not!”

“Okay. Okay. Let’s start fresh - Mrs. McClanahan, there is someone dealing drugs over at Lafayette High School.”

“. . . And you think it’s Peter.”

“I didn’t say that, but I do think it’s a strong possibility. You have to realize, Mrs. McClanahan, that it’s my job to protect the kids, and the town. I have to investigate all leads. Finding a sizable quantity of cocaine on Peter is certainly considered a lead. But I need your help.”

“You need my help?”

“Yes, I need your help. You see, I can’t talk to Peter right now. It may be weeks until he’ll be able to communicate again, but I need some answers to some big questions.”

“Aren’t you going to tell me that anything I say can and will be used against Peter in a court of law? Oh, forget it! What’s your question?”

“Thank you, Mrs. McClanahan. My first question is, how long has Peter been using drugs?”

“He doesn’t.”

“He doesn’t what, Mrs. McClanahan?”

“Use drugs. That’s what he doesn’t.”

“You don’t actually believe that now, do you? I understand you want to protect your son, but you have to accept the fact that drugs were found on Peter. If he’s not a user or better yet a dealer, how do you explain it?”

“I don’t have to explain it. I just know what I know. Peter is not a user or a dealer.”

“Please, Mrs. McClanahan – I need your cooperation.”

“Look, Detective, I can only tell you what I know. I’m not going to sit here and make up stories just so you can earn a promotion. That is what it’s about, isn’t it?

“There are a number of explanations that could account for the cocaine in Peter’s pocket. Maybe Peter was trying to break up a drug deal. Did you ever think of that? In the process, he was attacked and the drugs were planted on him to get your focus off the real drug dealer. How’s that for an explanation.

“Maybe Peter happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the drugs were stashed unknowingly on Peter in his pocket, so the actual dealer could avoid being arrested.”

“Well, Mrs. McClanahan. I see you’ve thought this through on Peter’s behalf, but there’s one problem. I suppose you think that the true dealer tried to get his cocaine back, and that’s why Peter was beaten and left for dead.

“It’s a possibility,” Margie added.

“That’s quite a theory. They hunted Peter down, tried to kill him – left him senseless, and then forgot to take their cocaine back. Really! Mrs. McClanahan? That doesn’t even begin to make sense.”

“It does if one of your officers came upon them while they were beating Peter. They ran for their lives, leaving Peter to die. I was really hoping for more from Lafayette’s finest men in blue.”

Margie pushed in her chair, and exited, leaving Detective Richards wringing his hands.


Peter Communicates

Peter was just rousing from sleep when Margie entered his room. Detective Richards was right. Communication was hard, and probably would be for several days. Due to the slice through Peter’s throat, he couldn’t speak. His right hand had been injured and nearly crushed by his assailant’s heavy boots. He tried to write left-handed, but to no avail. Yes and no questions answered by nodding were difficult because of the injuries to his throat and neck. Margie took her time and relayed the information about the botched drug deal to Peter as calmly as she could.

“Peter,” Margie began. “Can you blink your eyes? . . . . No - no, one at a time.”

He had control of his left eye, but his right eye wouldn’t cooperate due to the huge gash above it; however both eyes worked together when blinked at the same time.

“Okay, okay. Listen, if the answer to my questions are yes, blink your left eye. If the answer is no, blink them both.

Margie began. “Peter, do you know who gave you the drugs? Peter’s left and right eye closed and opened in unison. Margie continued, “Are you sure? His left eye winked.

“Do you know why they gave you the drugs?” Peter signaled, “no”.

“Did you know they gave you the drugs? Again, Peter’s answer was no.

“Did you take or buy the drugs?” Once more, Peter answered in the negative.

As Margie looked repeatedly into Peter’s eyes, it became apparent, as she knew all along, that Peter was innocent. Proving it however, would be a different matter. Peter rested, and Margie headed for home.

As she turned into the driveway, she saw in her rear-view mirror Detective Richards pulling in behind her. “Oh no, now what does he want?” She thought to herself.

“Sorry to bother you, Mrs. McClanahan.” Richards’s sarcasm was beginning to irritate Margie. She whispered back, “You’re not bothering me,” as she pushed her way into the house leaving Richards standing alone on the front porch.

He rang the doorbell. No answer. He walked over to the open living room window and shouted, “Mrs. McClanahan, the plastic bag was tested for fingerprints. Peter was the only one to handle that bag. I’ll be waiting for your theory on that one. When Peter’s able to talk, believe me, I’ll be back.” Margie watched from behind the curtain as Detective Richards drove away.

. . . Six Months Later . . .

Detective Richards stood at 2124 Dawson Street waiting for Margie to open the door. It had been a long night and neither she nor Peter were easily roused on this early morning. Stumbling to the door, she opened it a crack as Richards forced his way in.

“Good morning, Mrs. McClanahan. Such a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

Margie returned the sarcasm with a cheery, “It’s so nice to see you, Detective.”

“Call me Jeremy.”

Margie didn’t reply but thought to herself, “Not a chance.”

“Mrs. McClanahan, the office has been more than patient. It’s time I talk to Peter and get his confession.”

“Confession to what?”

“Come on now, Mrs. McClanahan. You know. Let’s not play games. I don’t have time for that.”

“Peter, his lawyer, and I will be down at the station at 2:00 o’clock. I’ll see you then. Now, good-bye.”

Richards was getting pressure from the chief to make an arrest. Reports of drug use at Lafayette High had been on the rise for the past several months and had reached epidemic proportions. Peter’s rehabilitation was making significant progress. He was able to communicate, and Richards was ready to seize the moment.


Peter and Margie were busy going over notes with Peter’s attorney, Larry Goldstein. It was a known fact that Peter was under surveillance since he was dismissed from the hospital. But none of his rights had been violated.

It was decided that even though Detective Richards was annoying and obnoxious, he didn’t break any rules or technicalities. He was playing clean. The 2:00 o’clock meeting would be helpful to both sides. Still, Peter was directed to not answer any questions without the permission of Goldstein.

Margie led the way as she walked right past the front desk and headed for the last cubicle on the right. Richards sat behind his small desk impatiently drumming his fingers.

“It’s about time,” he smirked.

The Meeting

Margie looked at her watch – 1:56. Larry looked at his watch – 1:56. Neither said a word as they sat down.

“Peter, I need some answers. Things aren’t lining up, and it’s time we set the record straight. Level with me and I’ll level with you. Deal?

Peter sat looking into Richards’s eyes without saying a word.

“Okay, I see we’re off to a wonderful start.” Margie could only think – “Sarcasm. Sarcasm. Sarcasm.”

“Peter, where were you on the night of May 12?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Now Peter, your mother is good at coming up with theories. Surely you can come up with one. Tell what you do remember.”

Peter sat still for a moment staring at the floor. Then he spoke. “I have no theories, but this is what I remember. I left my house about 6:00 that evening, and walked to a friend’s house across town. We finished our homework and played some video games. Then I left to go back home about 7:30.”

“ . . . And . . .”

“. . . And that’s all I remember.”

“Well Peter, you certainly don’t have the imagination your mother has. Surely you can do better than that. Let’s be specific. Tell me about what happened between the hours of 7:30 and 1:00 a.m. when the 911 call came in.”

“Don’t you get it? I don’t remember. It’s like I didn’t exist for five hours.”

Margie interrupted, “You see Detective, it’s not that he forgets or can’t remember. It is as if he didn’t exist during that time period.”

“A convenient case of amnesia! So Peter, are you sure you want to stick to that story? We have the polygraph set up.”

Without hesitation, Peter answered, “Let’s go. I’ll take the test.”

The four traveled a short distance down the hall to an adjacent room. Richards opened the door and ushered in Peter. Margie and Larry followed but were stopped. Richards held up his hand. “This is as far as you go.”

Larry brushed his hand away and followed Peter into the room with Margie close behind. Peter was wired up and the questioning began.

“For the record, state your full name.”

Peter obeyed. “Peter Allen McClanahan”

“Where do you live?”

“2124 Dawson Street.”

“Okay Peter, let’s begin. Are you using any kind of drugs illegally?”

“No.”

“Have you ever sold any kind of illegal drugs?”

“No.”

“What happened between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. on May 12 and 13?”

“I don’t know.”

“Who tried to kill you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where did the cocaine come from that was found in your pocket?”

“I don’t know.”

“For the record, state your full name.”

“Peter Allen McClanahan.”

Richards again smirked as he led the three back to his cubicle. He sat down shaking his head in disbelief. Peter actually went through with the test as if he were innocent. The detective sent Peter, Margie, and Larry away with the promise to get back to them as soon as the results were complete.


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Comments 14 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

Me thinks the Detective is going to be quite confused when the test results come back. Looking forward to the next chapter.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 7 months ago from The Beautiful South

Interesting to see how this will turn! Will be back for more.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Me thinks you're right, Bill. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your visits.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jackie,

Thanks for making the trip. Always glad to see you!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 7 months ago from Pacific Northwest

I LOVE Margie and the conflict between her and Richardson. One critique I have is that suddenly you will start a new time period in the story. It's so abrupt I get confused. I suppose there are different ways to deal with that. One way i do is to put little headings over the next time period. billybuc might have some tips, but then it may be just me having this struggle. As for the story itself I'm hooked. I think Margie is the central character at this point and the conflict and relationship dynamic between her in Richardson is well done.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Lori,

I usually double space between scenes, but did notice that I failed to do that a couple of times here. Don't mean to confuse you, so I'll work on that aspect. Another thing I try to do is put a picture at the beginning of scene changes. Not every picture indicates a change, but often that's the case. Thanks for the input. I'm learning a lot from this.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori, Me again.

Of course it doesn't help when I had a couple capsules out of place - just noticed that, but I'll have to work on that tomorrow. Have a great night.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 7 months ago from Pacific Northwest

It's all good Bill. Hurry with part 3. I hope that jerk Richardson gets his comeuppance and that Margie does the deed. I like how after the initial trauma of her son's misfortune that Margie gets feisty. I'm rooting her on.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 7 months ago from The Caribbean

I like the amount of dialogue you include. It helps us to know the characters, and keeps the interest while the plot is building. I'm already forming opinions about Detective Richards.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I changed some things including getting the capsules in order. Hope that makes a difference, Lori.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Dora,

I prefer to let the characters tell the story, but sometimes I wonder if I use too much dialogue. If you say it's okay, I'm good with that. Thanks for being here and have a great weekend.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Lori,

If you get a chance, could you skim over the installment and see if it makes more sense now. I added some headings, and rearranged the capsules. I'm not sure why, but they were terribly out oforder. I think I added a part and didn't get it in its right place which threw off about three other capsules. Anyway, what I'm concerned about is, is the story making sense? you can let me know, and only if you have time. Thanks, Sister.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Bill

A very enjoyable story, but detective Richards has his 'work cut out' in trying to 'close the case'

So far I've got the same feeling Marjorie probably has, I'm looking forward to unravelling the story!

Great story

Lawrence

Actually ive been trying to be polite with my opinion of detective richards but I see I didn't need to


lifegate profile image

lifegate 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lawrence,

Richards is a creep. That's all there is to it! But Margie has him in his place. As always, I enjoy hearing from you!

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