The Voice - Part 18
AUTHOR"S NOTE: If you haven't read Part 17 yet, please do so before continuing with Part 18. Without reading Part 17, you will not be able to follow the rest of the chapters.
- The Voice - Part 17
The Voice speaks and demands complete obedience. You better pray it doesn't speak to you!
From Part 17
“Margie, nobody would have believed it was Peter, but it is. Let me ask you another question. Is it possible Peter is using drugs?” He plants a small bag of cocaine on each of his victims. If we could charge him with possession, he may be able to get some help. There’s even a slight possibility he won’t even get jail time, but we need a way to keep him from Medford Alley. We can’t allow him to go on committing more murders. Margie, is it possible?”
Margie, still shaken spoke softly. “I guess it is. If he’s capable of murder, he could be capable of using cocaine. Oh Lance, are you sure?”
“Yes. I’m positively sure. Do I have your permission to search his room for evidence? It’s probably going to come down to a search warrant, if not.”
“Sure . . . why not . . . but may I come with you?”
“Absolutely. Let’s go.”
Margie was pulling off pillow cases, looking under the mattress, looking under the bed, but found nothing. Lance began going through the drawers of Peter’s dresser. Again – nothing. The closet was next followed by Peter’s night stand. To Lance’s surprise, and to Margie’s relief, the search added no new evidence. The question remained – where was Peter getting the drugs?
Thursday morning arrived all too soon. The group was ready to attack the case in earnest. After the morning briefing Chief, Fisher, Marx, and Shields met to discuss the next move. Thursday night was to bring torrents of rain upon Lafayette setting the stage for yet another excursion into the future .
Lance felt he had only one choice. “Chief, I have to be the one to go through the portal. I have to see this for myself. Bobby’s been through enough. I have to be the one.”
A confused expression crossed Bobby’s face. He didn’t want to put Lance in that kind of a position. If Lance was to be lost, it would be devastating to the department. Bobby had the experience, and the best shot at recovering information. His stress levels had also been worn very thin. Mentally, emotionally, and physically he knew he just wasn’t up to another trip. He would have to concede to Lance.
Ready for Another Excursion
The men took their usual places and waited. Only this time Bobby viewed from Jackson Street as Lance took his position at Medford Alley. The rain was coming down in sheets. The wind was picking up. Drops of rain clouded Lance’s eyes as they ran down from his forehead to his eyes to his cheeks. It did no good to try to dry them. His hands were too wet.
The street lights had become one, big blur as He glanced through the rain. Finally, he heard the words he dreaded.
“Lance, Bobby here. Peter’s on his way and running fast. Get ready, Buddy – hopin' for the best!”
“Yeah, I got a bead on him. I’ll be right behind him.”
Within seconds Peter furiously approached and made a quick left turn into Medford Alley. Lance reached out to grab Peter’s arm but stumbled on the wet pavement. Unknown to Peter, he still had a grip on Peter’s arm as both swirled through the portal. A spinning sensation wasted no time depositing Lance and Peter into the . . . past.
The sloppy entrance played tricks with time. Neither was where they expected to be. Lance found himself sitting in the back of a courtroom. Around the huge room were portraits of past judges. The uncomfortable wooden benches looked and felt like old church pews. A lack of proper ventilation warmed the room and gave everyone that sleepy feeling.
“All rise. The honorable Judge Wright presiding . . . " "you may be seated.”
"You may be seated.”
To Lance’s shock he recognized the defendant to be a young Peter; the same young Peter he first investigated over thirteen years ago. The District Attorney addressed the jurors.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are here today to decide the guilt or lack of guilt in this case. This young man has been found guilty of possession and intent to sell cocaine. You will hear the story of a drug deal gone bad. Certainly, the defendant sustained serious injury in the fray but don’t allow that to influence your decision. You must base your decision purely on the facts – and the facts, as you will see, will show beyond any reasonable doubt that Peter McClanahan has been using and dealing drugs – specifically cocaine to students at Lafayette High School.”
Lance was shaken. He was ready to catch a murderer, but he wasn’t ready to see a young child be railroaded into a juvenile criminal facility for a crime he didn’t commit. One thing he knew, and he knew for sure, was that Peter was not a drug dealer then, nor was he using illegal drugs.
To make matters worse, he heard a familiar laugh from somewhere in his past which was now his present. Detective Jeremy Richards sat three rows in front of Lance snickering softly at the charges that were brought against Peter.
The DA began, “Peter McClanahan, you are here because cocaine was found in your possession on May 12th of last year. You were attacked most probably because you failed to negotiate a drug deal. In haste, the one, or ones you were selling to fled the scene without their merchandise. You are charged with possession and intent to sell illegal drugs in this County.”
Time dragged on as lie after lie, and witness after witness came against Peter.
The next witness called by the DA was Kaylee Lynch. “Ms. Lynch, How do you know the defendant?”
Kaylee began her onslaught of falsehoods mixed with some truth. That proved more dangerous than outright lies. “I know him from school,” she admitted. Without being asked she continued, “. . . he sells drugs over at the HS all the time.”
“The HS? What do you mean, Ms. Lynch?”
“You know, the HS. Do I have to explain everything to ya? It’s the high school – the high school. That gross McClanahan, he tries to sell to all the little lambs?”
“Oh, please! Are you trying to humor me or sumpthin’? Little lambs – kids! Get it? - little lambs.”
Lance was just about ready to stand up and laugh due to Kaylee’s blunder, but he couldn’t. He was not at Peter’s trial. He could only observe the past. He couldn’t change it.
Kaylee continued, “Now look, this is how it went down. Mr. Drug Dealer – that would be the McClanahan creep, he tried to sell me that stuff. Of course, me who got more sense told him to get lost. He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for the answer. I spit on him. He said I was marked. I laughed at him and walked away.
“But most lambs are dumb. That reminds me, do I have to explain lambs again for you ole people? Anyways, as I . . .”
The DA cut in quickly, “Ms. Lynch, you may return to your seat. It was obvious Kalee hadn’t been prepped enough. She was making the case worse, but it seemed that her ineptness as a witness may have actually helped incriminate Peter. Although her testimony had no class, she was believable.
The next witness was called just as the swirling sensation began again. Lance’s erratic entrance into the time machine upset its order within the portal. When all was settled he found himself in the future. Back at the station, Chief was trying to break through without success.
The same courtroom was now a futuristic scene. An older version of Peter was on the stand being interrogated by Marissa Powers, a DA known for her tenaciousness and her pit bull bite. She would stop at nothing to put away the defendant.
As Marissa closed out her session with Peter, she turned away, then looked back smirking at Peter.
Lance noticed the strange connection. As she looked back Peter’s eyes grew wide. He knew something he wasn’t sharing – or perhaps couldn’t share. Lance knew he had no choice. He had to reveal himself to Peter. The afternoon break would be in ten minutes. That’s when Lance would approach Peter.
Lance made his way to the back of the courtroom and waited. As the judge announced the break, Peter, and his lawyer headed to the back as well. Lance met them. Peter looked surprised but tried to pretend he wasn’t. “Lance, it’s so nice for you to have come. You remember my attorney, Larry Goldstein, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes. It’s good to see you again. Peter, I need to ask you a question if it’s okay with Mr. Goldstein?”
“By all means. We’re in the fight for our lives. If you have some thoughts, we’d like to hear them.”
Lance continued. “Peter, I noticed when the DA looked back at you, you seemed a little on edge – maybe like you remember something from the past. What was that exchange about?”
Peter studied Lance’s face. Then he met eyes with his attorney. Goldstein directed, “Go ahead, Peter. Tell us.”
Why Do We Experience Déjà Vu?
"I felt like I had been here before.That one glance from the DA, and something clicked but I don'tI remember it all. Do you know who that DA is? Marissa Powers. Maiden name, Richards. She’s Jeremy Richards' daughter. She was the real cocaine dealer at Lafayette High. She was the one who should have gone to juvenile jail – not me! It was all a part of Detective Richards plan to spare his daughter. Pretty sick, huh?
“I was coming home from Steve’s house in the rain. You know the story – the girls we were to meet. Of course, they never showed, but Marissa did. After Steve left for home, I continued on for about a block when Marissa and Tara Johnson came down the street. She wanted me to buy some cocaine. I refused.
“That's all I remember, but Marissa has a way of turning up her lip to show disgust – the way she did in the courtroom. She did the same thing just before she tried to force a needle in my arm.
Goldstein cut in, “Peter, I’m glad it all makes sense to you now. I’m glad for the realization of what happened that night. And of course, Richards orchestrated the courtroom scene and the evidence when you were tried as a teen to protect his daughter. That’s all well and good. We might be able to see her prosecuted for her crime against you, and that’s so very important, but you’re being tried here for murder – murders you say you didn’t commit.
“As an attorney, I honestly don’t see how this information will make a difference in your present case. I wish you had known this thirteen years ago.”
Lance broke in. “Peter, you say you didn’t commit these murders. Who did?” Was it Marissa?” All the while in the back of Lance’s mind he knew there was more than enough evidence to find Peter guilty. “Who did?”
“Peter, I’ve never met The Voice. Would you introduce me to him?”
“I would if I could, but he only makes himself known to me.”
“You referred to The Voice as he. You weren’t sure about that before, but you are now?”
“And he’s led you here to take his punishment? Peter, if you know anything at all about the murderer, now is the time to say something. It could be too late in only a few minutes.”
The dizzying, out of control sensation began a third time. Within seconds both Peter and Lance were back at the corner of Jackson and the alley. Peter walked off in a daze as if he were in a trance. Lance staggered over to Bobby’s cruiser. Both were on their way back to headquarters with Shields close behind.
Lance understood from experience what Bobby had gone through twice. “Chief, sorry I couldn’t get a good connection for you, but I do remember most of what happened. At least I think I do.”
“What do you mean no good connection? We have a perfect recording of all that happened right here. I couldn’t speak to you, but we were able to record the whole thing. Now we need to figure out what our next move will be. We still need to do something about Peter, but I guarantee you Marissa Powers and Tara Johnson will be prosecuted for their part in Peter’s attack.
“Chief,” Lance began. “I know we have to get Peter off the street. We know he has cocaine in his possession, at least at the time he commits the murders. Is there a way he could be arrested for possession of illegal drugs. I don’t think he’s aware of reality when he commits the crimes. If having him arrested on drug possession doesn’t work, could he be placed in a mental facility?”
“These are all areas we can look into, but we still have the fact that there’s no evidence he needs help since there’s no evidence at all to connect him to the murders.”
“Yes, we do, Chief. We have that perfect recording you were talking about.”
“Lance, I know it’s been a long night, but you forget . . . tonight hasn’t happened yet. It takes place thirteen years in the future. We’re done for tonight. All of you go home and get some rest. I wish I could give you another day off, but it won’t work this time. There’s too much to do. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
- The Voice - Part 19
The Voice speaks and demands complete obedience. You better pray it doesn't speak to you!
© 2016 William Kovacic