Prompt 2: Where were you on the night of Mr. Miller's murder?
I'm sitting on the wooden chair behind the wide desk. In front of me are two detectives and one yellow folder on the desk. All the officers are giving me are scrutinizing glares, so I stare at the folder. What could be inside? Are they going to show me pictures? I know why they've brought me in. They think I killed Mr. Miller, but I have no idea why they think that. I don't even know who he is, but that isn't saying much.
The first officer, a bald guy in his mid-forties who said his name was Detective Stones, clears his throat. I look away from the folder and up into his eyes. He's standing away from me, against the wall. The other officer, a man in his late-thirties who says his name is Detective James, is sitting across from me. I understand that Detective James is the one who will be interrogating me, but he's yet to make a move. The other one looks a little less comfortable, maybe because the younger detective is a higher rank than him. Detective James finally speaks. "Hello, Miss Stevens. Have you been read your rights?"
"Yes," I answer.
"Are you willingly answering questions without a lawyer?" he asks. I nod. My heart starts beating. Should I have asked for one? No. That would only make me look guilty. Detective James opens the folder in front of him and pulls out a photo of a man "Do you know this man, Miss Stevens?"
"No." I stumble to correct myself, "I mean, he doesn't look familiar, Detective." I could tell my answer had piqued his interest and I criticize myself.
"This man's name is Kevin Miller. He was found dead two days ago in his home." Detective James pulls out another picture. I shrink away from it. "He was murdered after what looks to be an argument. Could you tell me where you were on Tuesday night between the times of nine and eleven?”
I rack my brain, trying desperately to remember. I come up blank, and sit there in silence.
Detective Stones says impatiently, “The detective asked you a question, Miss Stevens. Where were you on the night of Mr. Miller’s murder between the times of nine and eleven?”
“I- I don’t remember,” I say. Detective Stones walks forward gleefully. Detective James keeps a calm demeanor but I know that I just became the prime suspect.
Detective Stones says,"We have fingerprints placing you at the crime scene. Now, where were you on the night Mr. Miller was murdered?" I can't answer. He says to the other detective, "What do you think, Michael?"
My mouth finally decides to work and I try desperately to change their minds. My heart beat raises as I say, “I don't know Mr. Miller. I don’t remember ever meeting…” I brake off and sit back.
“Miss Stevens?” The man sitting in front of me asks. The man standing shakes his head.
“We have her fingerprints at the crime scene, her denial at knowing the victim, and no alibi. That’s at least enough for a warrant.”
I cross my arms around myself and stare blankly at the two. I look down at the picture in front of me and my mouth opens. “Is that man- is he dead?” I look up into the two sets of eyes in front of me.
The man standing says, “Yes, you know he’s dead. We told you that! James, she’s playing us.”
The man sitting down shakes his head slightly and looks at me. “Miss Stevens, do you know why you are here?” I look around and shake my head. Where is here? The man sitting pushes away his chair and stands. He walks around to me and I shrink back. “Do you know who I am, Miss Stevens?”
I shake my head again. I speak up softly, “How do you know my name?”
“My name is Detective James. You are in an interrogation room. The man in the picture died two days ago, and we are going to ask you some questions. This is my partner, Detective Stones.”
“Why am I here?” I ask. “I don’t know that man.”
“Miss Stevens, I’m going to bring in somebody. Will you be okay staying here for an hour?”
“I can wait.”
“Good. I’m just going to call someone in here so you aren’t lonely. Is that alright, Miss Stevens?”
“Yes,” I say. I look at the other officer, Mr. Stones. I don’t like him, and am glad he isn’t staying in here with me. The officer nods at his partner, then they both make their way to the door. He nods his head at me then closes the door. I look around the room again. Detective Stones had taken the picture and folder with him, so there is nothing on the table. I stare at the spot where the picture had been, and the image of the corpse fills my head. Who is he? Why am I here? Why am I being interrogated? On one wall of the room is a big mirror so I end up staring at my reflection. I push a strand of my blonde hair that fell out of the ponytail behind my ear. My eyes are a brighter blue than I’m used to in this light. I hear a door open and I turn around. In the doorway is a woman with short red hair. She walks over to me and sits down on the table.
“Hello, Miss Stevens. My name is Julie Kingston, and I work here at the station. How are you?”
“I’m a little confused about why I’m here. Could you tell me?” I ask.
“I don’t have all the details myself, I’m sorry to say. But Detective James and Detective Stones will be back in less than an hour and he will answer your questions. Would you like something to drink?”
I say, “No thank you.”
“Would you mind if I had some coffee? I’ve been up since five in the morning.”
“No, I don’t mind.” Julie Kingston leaves for a few minutes then returns with a cup of steaming coffee. She pulls the chair that was across from me around to next to me.
“Where do you work, Miss Stevens?” Julie asks.
“Please, call me Macie,” I say. We have a nice conversation and before long Detective James and Detective Stones return with a new man. I notice Detective James' brown eyes taking in the scene in front of him and I smile. He returns the smile briefly then looks at the new man next to him. “This is Mr. Dicing. He’s just going to watch.”
I say, “Hello. I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer your questions, Detective, but I’ll certainly try as hard as I can.” Julie stands from her chair and puts it back where it was. I say to her, “It was pleasant talking to you, Julie.”
“You too, Macie. Have a wonderful day.” I nod and she leaves. The three men walk forward and Detective James offers the seat to Mr. Dicing. He takes it and the detective pulls the other chair from against the wall. He sits down across from me. Detective Stones leans against the wall.
“Let’s start with your name,” Detective James asks.
“I don’t understand…”
“I know it seems silly, but could you answer the question?”
“My name is Macie Stevens,” I say.
“That’s a very pretty name, Miss Stevens. Are you named after anyone?”
“Yes, I’m named after my mother’s best friend. She died in a car crash a month before I was born.”
“That’s very sad. How did your mother cope with the loss?”
“It took her a long time to get over the death. I was about ten when the therapy finally worked.”
“Why did it take her so long, or do you not know?”
“My mother was supposed to be in the car the night of the crash, but at the last minute got a phone call from my father saying he’d pick her up. They were at a birthday party for one of their other friends, and on her way home Macie got hit by a drunk driver.”
“Is your mother alive?” the detective asked.
“No. She committed suicide when I was thirteen.”
“I’m sorry for your loss. Is your father still alive?”
“He died when I was twenty. Heart attack.”
“You have a lot of pain in your family. How did you handle the deaths of your mother and father?”
“My mother killed herself after getting drunk one night and running in front of a car. She wasn’t supposed to drink, for the therapist feared that that exact thing would happen. My father died quickly and painlessly. They both were happier, and I got over it.”
Detective Stones snickered, “Did you get over it like your mother got over her best friend’s death?”
I say calmly, “No. I went into therapy straight away, and after half a year I was dismissed.”
Detective James says, “Has anything else happened that would lead to any stress?”
The question stops me and I sit there for a second before answering. “No.”
“Are you sure, Miss Stevens?”
“Yes.” A knock on the door stops the discussion. Detective James opens the door and Julie is standing there. She whispers something and the detective nods. I wish I could hear them but I stay quiet. He closes the door again.
"What is it, Michael?" Detective Stones asks Detective James. "Did we get some new information?"
“Do you know of a Mark Stevens?” Detective James asks. I sit in silence. Memories flood my head and I start shaking. I’m in a dark alley. I just left the bar where I met my brother. Mark’s walking me to my car. It’s just beyond this alley. We’re not drunk but we haven’t seen each other in three years. We’re laughing and talking. I see a man coming towards me. We scoot towards the side of the alley to let him pass but he stops in front of us. I smell beer on him, and he looks drunk. Mark asks him to move; the man says no. I turn around and there are two men behind us. I bump my elbow into Mark’s arm; he notices the two men and tells one to back away. I say we don’t want any trouble. They laugh. One pulls a gun. They laugh again. Suddenly, one hits Mark and a fight’s going on. A gunshot. Mark’s on the ground, dead. I stare in shock then I’m grabbed. They pull at my clothes and start laughing-
Someone’s shaking my arm. “Miss Stevens!”
I open my eyes. A man is above me shaking my arm. I’m on the ground. “Leave me alone!” I scream and scoot away.
“It’s okay. I’m a detective. Do you remember me?” the man says. I shake my head. I see the gun in his holster and start backing away again. The man follows my gaze and pulls out his gun. He sets it on the table and puts up his hands. He gets on his knees. “My name is Detective James. Your name is Macie Stevens, right?”
I say softly, “Yes. How do you know my name?”
“You know me. We’ve been in this interrogation room for two hours. You fell unconscious to the ground. I believe you have something called PTSD. It can lead to short-term memory loss. Mr. Dicing has knowledge about different disorders. He believes that your short-term memory loss is linked to your stress levels.”
“I’m not insane. Please, don’t put me in a hospital.”
Another man whispers, "I wish we could." I look over at him and stare in shock. Detective James shakes his head then looks at me.
He says, “I don’t think you are insane, Miss Stevens. We are going to send you home. Do you remember your boyfriend? Kyle Wilson?”
“Yes,” I say.
“He’s here to pick you up. He’s going to bring you home.”
“Does he know about me?” I ask. What will he do if he finds out? I shudder.
“No, he doesn’t know.”
“Thank you, Detective James,” I say. He gets up and helps me to my feet. He picks up my purse and gives it to me. I take it and put it on my shoulder. I look in the mirror, and notice my hair’s out of order. I try to fix the ponytail then follow the detective out of the room. Detective Stones closes the door behind me and follows us out into the main room of the station. Kyle is waiting there impatiently. He sees me and walks over.
“Thank you, Detective. Come on, Macie. Let’s go.” He grabs my hand.
“Thank you, again, Detective,” I say.
“Macie, here’s a card just in case.” I take it and look down at it. The front is a business card, but at the bottom is an arrow. I turn it over and it has a hand-written sentence on it. I leave with Kyle and enter the parking lot. Knowing about the PTSD makes me cautious about what I say, so I don’t comment about my car until I see it.
“I’ll take my car and I’ll meet you at the house.”
“No. Get in my car. I’ll get your car later.” I don’t dare argue with him. I get in the passenger seat and close the door. He gets in and starts the car. He doesn’t back up though, and I wait for him to say something. He reaches over and slaps me. I hold my hand to my cheek and take a breath. “What did you talk to the police about?”
“I was a witness to a jewelry robbery,” I say, glad the detective had written on the business card.
“Good. Maybe you aren’t useless. They don’t know about me?”
I don’t know what he means, but I say, “No.”
“They didn’t ask anything about the murder?” he asks. All of a sudden, a different memory floods my mind. I’m sitting in Mr. Miller’s house and I am talking business with him. Kyle opens the door, sees us together, and gets mad. I try to reason with him, but he pushes me away. He’s holding a bat and starts arguing with Mr. Miller. He takes a swing with the bat and Mr. Miller goes down.
I blink, and I see Kyle. “No,” I say as I get out of the car. “But they will.”
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