“Look, gumshoe, we ain’t got all day. Don’t make me empty this Roscoe in ya, pal.”
There I was again, trapped in a musky, poorly-lit interrogation room. A thunderstorm was raging outside. Across the table, some fat palooka was trying to put the screws on me. His nose flared each time he fired off a question.
“Whaddya wanna know?” I spat back.
“Hotshot huh? Let’s play a little game. If you had a Death Note, who would you stick it to? I bet you’re a real piece o’work. I bet you’d off the mayor of Animetown if ya could!”
I scoffed. “I don’t care about him or his two-bit operation. In fact, I don’t give a damn about the lot of ya.” It was true. Ever since I left the force, I’ve been beating my own path. It has been a lonely journey, but it’s my journey.
The copper rolled his eyes and snorted, “Yeah right. People are talkin’, y’know.” He got up and started pacing the room. His clumsy steps shuffled across the floor as if he was a baby rhinoceros. “People are talkin’ and they say you’re a real fan of the ladies. Got a chippy or two on the side, huh?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh yeah? What ’bout a monster chippy?”
I shrugged and rolled my eyes. “You got the wrong guy. Canaries are trouble, my friend. They can’t help but sing.” Again, my interrogator snorted derisively at my answer. How did I even get into this mess, I wondered. It must’ve all started when that blonde walked into my office. That’s how it always begins. I was about to recall the events of that foggy night by the bay when a couple of photos flew at me.
“You like to take pictures, huh? Maybe a peeping tom, huh? What were you doing down by the tracks? What were you lookin’ for, pal?”
I glanced at the photos. Yep, I took’em, alright. But I wasn’t about to spill the beans to the palooka. I had my secrets. “Just a walk,” I said. “A leisurely walk at the ‘yard. Why? Is there something hidden there?”
“I’m asking the questions, buddy!” He tossed something else at me: a communist manga. The kind you see a lot nowadays. The kind that you might find on an impressionable young fool in college. The palooka bellowed, “We found this in your footlocker. You like to read? You like to stir up trouble?”
“A kid gave it to me. I don’t read. No time.”
“Bullshit. I bet you regularly attend these communist hangouts. Maybe even play a gaycat to some ol’ anarchist. I bet you would love to see this city burn.”
I wasn’t going to dignify his response with an answer. He had nothing on me. “Are we done here?” I asked. “Are you done badgering me with these stupid questions?”
The palooka suddenly got up real close. He wanted to intimidate me — spook me outta my shoes. But all I could feel was smug superiority when I saw the vein throbbing on his forehead.
“You better cooperate,” the man nearly whispered. “Make it easier on yourself, y’know? Accidents happen all the time in Chinatown. We wouldn’t want fine English speaking folks like yourself to lose his way in some dingy alley surrounded by a bunch of savage Chinamen, now would we?” The copper paused for a second to hock a spit to the side. “Now what do you wanna do, gumshoes? We’re both on the same side of the law. Why don’t we work together? Why don’t you scratch my back and maybe I’ll think twice about spitting lead your way the next time I see ya?”
“I’ve got my own way. I’m not here to get my rocks off. And no,” I said as I shook my head. “We’re not on the same side of the tracks. I’ve got the law. I’m not here to pretend I’m doing my job by knocking some skulls together and pocketing the kale. Now, get your dumb mitts off of me. I ain’t got nothing to say and nothing to ask. If we’re done here, let me go.”
The palooka’s face contorted into a snarl, but he had nothing on me. He could do nothing but storm out of the room. Soon enough, I’d be let go. Then the real fun can start. Now, if only I can find that blonde again. There are a few trees I’d like to shake.
- Who killed Elizabeth Short?
- Where’s the zodiac killer?
- What exactly happened to Tammy Zywicki?
- Who was the Somerton Man?
- Why did Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana kill themselves?
These are the questions swirling around in that head of mine. These are the questions I am going to answer.