Write an interrogation where the interrogator gets his what-for by the end. Fair warning, this is filled with an insane amount of in-jokes.
“I’ve been after him for months, the rat bastard,” he gasped, wondering how much longer he could hold on to life. “Do you have a sketch artist?”
A rather large, bald yet bearded man in street clothes approached with a spiral book. He flipped a page. “Start.”
For the next six minutes and twenty-eight seconds, he described his assailant in every detail. His last breaths were coming.
Detective Kautz approached the hospital bed. “Do you know the rat bastard’s real name?”
The dying man shook his head. “Just the name I gave you.”
“Do you have a real name?”
“Not for a long time, I haven’t. They call me…”
He cocked his neck with his last ounce of strength.
Detective Kautz had seen men die before. Heck, he’d even killed a couple himself. But never before had he felt such a chill. His body twitched.
He turned to officer Mitchell. “Josh, I’m going downtown to see what I can get out of the twerp.”
Officer Mitchell nodded, continuing with his drawing.
“And please try to submit your sketch on time.”
Detective Kautz left the ER and headed towards the precinct. The chill he had felt earlier wouldn’t go away. This was the biggest case he’d ever been given. And it scared the fuck out of him.
“You watched her die, you sick fuck!” detective Kautz bellowed, mere inches above the witness’s stoic face. “And you did nothing!”
“Are you going to charge me with doing nothing?” said the twerp, apparently bored. His name was Perry Baker. Kautz assumed it was fake, but he ran his ID and it appeared legit. Other than a possession charge when he was nineteen, the guy was clean.
Kautz was fuming. “If you help me out I won’t charge you with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.”
Perry leaned back in his chair. “You know I did no such thing.” He yawned.
“Would you rather spend a night in jail before I realize that?”
Perry laughed. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. “You know what, detective? I like you. You don’t take no bullshit. I’ll tell you what I know.” He leaned back again. “What you say the guy’s name was? Rubbish?”
Kautz stood up and smirked. “Nibbish.”
“Right, right. And you think he killed the bimbo?”
“Ms. Ashley was not a bimbo. And he didn’t just kill her.” Kautz began pacing the room. “He cut off her hair, raped her, gouged out her intestines, and…”
“Took a dump on her face?” Perry grinned.
“What? No! And fuck you!” Kautz wanted to slap this guy. “He covered her with love poems.”
“Doesn’t sound like him,” Perry said, checking his fingernails.
“So you do know him!”
“Well,” Perry continued, satisfied his nails were clean. “I know of him. Never met him, though. I’ve just done some favors for his posse.”
“His what? Who?”
“Yeah. They call themselves the Vogons. Not very well organized, or bright for that matter. They killed three of their own in just the past few months.”
Kautz’s anger was tempered a bit as it was slowly replaced by curiosity. “How many are there now?”
“Just four. Wreisner, Novak, Maki, and a guy they just call Beau. He used to be a judge, I think. I don’t know much about the rest.”
“And what kind of favors do you handle for them?”
Perry grinned, wider this time. “Let’s just say I’ll still be alive tomorrow because I didn’t call the police.”
“Uh huh,” Kautz grunted. “So even if I find these Vogons, they won’t squeal either?”
“Doubtful. Novak’s kind of a weasel, but he’s too dumb not to be loyal.”
Kautz sat down again, trying to show an air of trust. “So you’re the guy who can help me out. Just tell me what he looks like, and where I might be able to find him, and I’ll let you go.”
“Heh,” Perry rebuked. “I told you I’ve never met the guy.”
“But you were…”
“Nibbish didn’t kill your bimbo.”
“She was an aspiring actress.”
“What’s the difference? Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if nibbish authorized the deal. But he wasn’t there. Just the Vogons.”
“Tell me what you saw.”
“And I can go?”
Perry sighed. “All right. So I was supposed to meet up with the Vogons down by the docks. For what, I don’t know. I never got that far. Anyway, when I got there, I saw two more people than I expected. So to be safe, I ducked behind a corner and listened…”
“Oh Grey! Does your wife know?”
“Of course she doesn’t. I’ve convinced her I’m going to auditions.”
Shawn smiled. “Care to audition my lips?”
“I’m ready. I’ve memorize the script.”
She bit her lip. “Just tell me I won’t always be your understudy.”
“Oh, baby. You’ll always be the star of my show.”
As the necking commenced, Perry tasted bile. He was about to choke when he heard four sets of voices talking low, not twenty feet from him. They were barely illuminated by an overhead light. Apparently, the happy couple hadn’t noticed.
“Lookie what we have here,” said Novak, cracking his knuckles. He was the smallest of the group, but talked the most. “A two-for-one night, eh boys?”
Maki replied. “My one chance to feel like a winner again.”
Beau grunted, said nothing. Wreisner calmly chewed on a piece of grass.
Novak continued. “So, what do you guys think?”
“Beau can take care of the dude. The rest of us will take her.” Maki grinned as he pulled a stick of Odell’s margarine out of his pocket.
Beau grunted in approval, removing a pair of scissors from his jacket.
“What do you think, Wreisner?”
“I think,” he said, temporarily removing the blade of grass from between his teeth. “I think that in this current evening, as we are watched over by the luminescent moon beneath an onyx sky, calmed unequivocally by the quiescent winds, and with our spirits fomented by the thrill of our venery, we shall henceforth partake in the cleansing ritual.” He removed a small stack of papers from his shirt pocket.
Novak beamed, gripping tightly to a meat hook. “I couldn’t have said it more long-windedly myself. Okay boys, let’s go.”
“…and you know the bitter end of that story,” said Perry.
“You know what I think?” said Kautz.
Perry stared at him dismissively.
“I think I believe you. One man could have pulled this off, but it seemed like the work of several. Unfortunately, I’m no closer to the truth.”
“I’m sorry,” Perry said, with a hint of earnestness.
“Maybe the evidence will lead us to one of these Vogons. This shit is crazy.”
“I hope so, too,” said Perry. “After what I saw, I’m thinking of taking a permanent vacation, somewhere nibbish can’t find me.”
Kautz chuckled. “I think that’s a good idea.”
“So, can I go now?”
Perry reached out his hand, and Kautz shook it. As Perry left, Kautz slumped in his chair. Grabbing a pencil, he tapped it twice, as if doing so would provide the next clue. His eye caught a file on the desk. It was a cold case he had been thumbing through on break. Harry O’Dell was the name of the victim.
His eyes then darted to a paperweight. It was onyx. He then noticed his leftover meatball sub from lunch. It was sitting atop the DVD that detective Wells had returned. It was Hook.
“That son of a bitch!” Kautz yelled as he hurried out of the room. As he did, a fax came through. The picture looked not unlike a twerp.
As the cabbie pulled away, he looked in the rear-view mirror. “Where ya headed?”
“Taking a trip, eh?”
“Lucky bastard. You got a name?”
“Perry,” he said, looking out the window. He saw a young boy walking his dog. They were both grinning ear to ear, enjoying the day, and life. He smiled, too. “You can call me Pete.”
I tossed away several bad ideas before settling on one I knew wouldn’t win immunity. Sending up the plot of “The Usual Suspects” was a strike against me, but with no other good ideas on the table I went with it and just tried to make it as funny as possible. I wish the ending would have made more of an impact, but there it is.
There’s one in-joke nobody playing will get. But there was an incident when I was young with me, a pair of scissors, and a Smurfette doll. Shawn, I’m sorry.