From "Writing Multicultural Part 5" post
DISCLAIMER: Sorry if there are errors and other grammatical hiccups. I didn't have time for another pair of eyes to look at it. I read this out loud in class. Sorry I couldn't provide it as a 3 formats. Also, Blogger won't allow me to save multiple pages in the 3 required formats (PNG, GIF, and JPEG). Sorry for the inconvenience!
My title is a play off the movie, "The Usual Suspects"(TM).
Here's "The Usual Witnesses"...
The Usual Witnesses
There had been a no-contract murder. An unauthorized death. And as usual, the neighborhood wasn’t talking. Neighbors saw nothing, heard nothing, not even the hounds barking in the alleyway because they had been woken by the disturbance and were, in their own way, joining in the ruckus.
“And you SAW nothing?” Simon Ominnous wrote everything down as fast as the non-witness spoke.
“No sir,” the hollowed eyed girl spoke from behind the door with it barely a crack.
“Not a thing. I was in my bed, I was. Half past 10. Sleep like the dead, I was, Sir.”
“And STILL nothing?” Simon smiled in that ghoulish way of his.
“Not even that horrid, blood-curdling scream at half past 10.” The girl said. “Not a thing.”
Emmaline, in a faded black walking suit, came up the steps of the brownstone.
“Anything from this…witness?”
Simon tilted the notepad to her; Emmaline did an imperceptive glance though her partner knew she had read all the shorthand, taken in the info, and knew the type of paper in the notepad.
Emmaline looked directly at the young girl. The girl shrank more behind the door.
“The Protectorate is here to serve and protect. I give you my word. I am Detective DeathStone.”
The owl-eyed girl, all round, pudgy face and innocence, drew in a whisper.
Even her voice was too small for her age.
“I heard of you, Missus…”
Emmaline smiled and her arched, narrow eyebrow over her left eye punctuated her sincerity.
For the first time since Simon began talking to the reluctant witness, the young lady did a smile and made it disappear as quickly as she did behind the door.
Emmaline knew that she now had this witness’ trust. Out of her jacket pocket, she took out a business card.
“You have a cell?”
The girl scraped the door with her forehead as she nodded.
“If you clearly don’t recall anything, text your concerns to either myself or Simon. This is my partner, Detective Ominnous, that you had the pleasure of speaking to.”
“It was a pleasure. Missus. Sir.”
The door shut. Not abruptly, not in a rude way. But in the way when a person did not want to be spotted. And even with most of her behind the door, Det. Emmaline DeathStone saw that the girl had done a curt bow to them.
As both detectives went down the steps to the sidewalk, Simon put on back his high crown hat. Emmaline knew he was a clotheshorse if he could don that instead of the police standard bowler.
“Delightful girl.” He said.
“Just your type.” She said.
“Unlike you, I know when someone is far too young for me.”
Emmaline looked a few houses down. The uniformed police were having trouble.
The fourth house from the one they just left.
Emmaline, always with her left hand, lifted her voluminous dress and ran ahead of Simon.
More uniformed cops milled in front of the brownstone’s stoop, nervous as bees.
“Problem?” Emmaline asked.
A female officer, in her navy blue dress, turned to the newcomer.
A male officer whispered in the young woman’s ear, “This is Detective DeathStone.”
“Oh!” the female cop’s eyes widened and a sudden berth opened in the tight crowd of police as silent as magic.
“Hostile witness.” Another bobby offered, “We finally found someone that could talk when ‘e started up a fight with one o’ the lads!”
“Exactly how?” Simon came beside Emmaline.
“Swearin’, the usual lark. This guy’s a real fun time.”
Detective DeathStone began trotting up the stoop, her left hand holding up her skirts. The right hand clutched her signature walking stick, a rosewood cane.
The hostile witness watched when a woman approached. He continued to peep from his window. The same height as he, she was in a walking suit, long skirts and faded
jacket with broad-shoulders and in a smart mid-sized hat with bow in the back. He continued to peep from his window. “Mr…?” She looked at the nameplate to the side of the door.
“Quill-Raven? I wondered if you may offer me a few moments of your beleaguered time, if that will be all right with you?”
It pleased him to talk to her while observing her through the peephole. The space between him and the outside world gave him an advantage. He glared at her through the peephole. Even with the curvature of the peephole’s glass, the woman had striking features indeed. A narrow face, hawk-like, dark eyes, and her hair pulled back; even through this door, she emitted authoritative energy. He didn’t like that. The civil lackeys had brought in a superior. “What of it? What do you what?”
“It has come to my attention that a credible witness of great import has been found, and I believe that witness is you.”
He watched her calmly await his answer by pulling an inch from each finger of her right-hand glove in the manner of someone about to remove it. He knew she didn’t look the type to pull her gloves off with her teeth.
Real proper, stuck-up cow. He would fix her.
“Bugger off!” he sneered as he said this though he knew no one saw. The look she gave him reminded him of a trained falcon about to snap the meat from its owner’s fingers. Satisfied, he walked away from his door.
A banging that shook his house’s foundations quaked even through his floors. He ran
back to the door. What were they using, a battering ram?
He took a peek through his peephole again. The woman had her ungloved hand raised and was systematically banging her cane on the top part of his front door.
But no ordinary walking stick this was, like what most gentlemen carried, with an ivory shaft of a regular lion or eagle, but a thick rosewood cane with a large creature’s head.
“What the bloody hell?” Quill-Raven said to himself while he began sliding back each of the eight bolts he had installed.
Let him give her a piece of his mind. People had a right to have their property respected, even by the police.
The door opened barely.
“Now what is you--?”
The ‘proper lady’ lifted a laced up boot. A violent kick in the door and Quill-Raven felt himself thrown back into his foyer. He almost slid across the tile.
He barely got to his elbows when that woman stood over him and the cane’s silver shaft drove into his Adam’s apple. She gave it a practice tweak and he watched her face. If a falcon could grin before it swooped in for the kill, that’s how this policewoman grinned.
Detective Simon Ominnous rushed in with a contingent of the city’s finest in tow.
“Emmaline! Emmaline! Can you spell…Police Brutality?”
The uniformed officers in the room stared as frightened children. None came from
behind Detective Ominnous, however.
“Oh, I don’t think he will speak anything EXCEPT what he witnessed last night, am I right, Mr. Quill-Raven?” her grin grew more raptor-like.
The rosewood cane scraped from his throat to the side of his face. Now he could smell the cane’s wood, scented by its owner’s personal affects. He could now clearly see the shaft; it was a silver dragonhead in magnificent detail of snarling rage.
He barely moved his head from side to side in a ‘No’.
Detective DeathStone pulled back her cane, hooking it over her right arm.
“I can’t abide bad manners.”
C. Welsh 6 The Usual Witnesses THE END