Short Story: The Lie Detector (I) – By Michael Stevens
From the sound of her voice, I could tell she was lying.
I watched her intently from behind my dark shades trying my best to spook her.
She kept on explaining as I focused on the emotions spewing from every sound she made.
Desperation, Anger, Fear, Confusion.
No. Scratch that. It was something else. Something I couldn’t place my hands on but I could bet my last dime she was hiding something.
The way she shifted her weight unconsciously where she sat, the way she struggled with her words catching her breath every now and then as if heaving a sigh of relief.
She was actually doing a pretty good job with all the theatrics. If only she knew I couldn’t actually see her.
The door opened and detective O’Connor entered the room.
“How’s it going John?” he clipped.
I smiled and said as calmly as I could, ”She’s lying.”
The lady sprung up knocking back her chair.
I could tell she was angry. O’Connor reached for his gun almost immediately.
“Get on the ground now”, I heard O’Connor speak with authority.
I remained seated trying my best not to look alarmed.
“Ma’am, don’t force me to use this.”
“Get on your knees”, he repeated.
The lady paused weighing her options; I could feel her staring me in the face.
“Ma’am, am warning you”, O’Connor repeated.
She stood there and all of a sudden let out a scream and lunged forward.
The gun went off as I heard a shrieked sound.
My senses began tingling as they went into overdrive.
I searched for my stick as I turned on my hearing aid
In the tussle, someone might have knocked it to the ground. Instinct prompted me to get on my knees and start searching but the soldier in me warned me to stay put.
‘Click’, I heard the sound of the gun as its heated nozzle was pressed against the back of my head filling me with pain.
I didn’t have to second guess as I figured O’Connor was on the receiving end of the gunfire.
I spun around swiftly knocking the gun from her and knocking her out in one move.
I reached for my special handcuffs as I chained her to the edge of the table. “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law ‘, I said.
Outside the door, I could hear the bomb squad struggling to get in.
“I need a medic!”
“I need a medic!” I screamed as I checked O’Connor for his pulse .
Meanwhile somewhere across the world….
He always brought her flowers, John was such a charmer, Annabel mused still in bed. That last shot of brandy really took its toll on her. She was going to be late for work but she smiled, stretched and allowed herself to indulge.
Besides her, someone stirred,’ she turned towards the body with a smile that quickly turned into bewilderment.
She jumped out of bed clutching the bed covers and screaming.
“Who the hell are you”, she quizzed him as he got up in shock. It was hard to believe he had been asleep a few seconds ago.
“Lady, chill out! Don’t you remember”?
“Remember what “, She retorted.
“We came back last night, you were too drunk to drive and I brought you home”.
Her eyes opened in shock because she wasn’t much of a drinker. So she tried to recall the events of the previous night. But her head hurt like crazy. She shook her head trying to clear her thoughts.
“And then what happened?”, she asked him.
He was still lying down naked with this annoying grin on his face.
‘Gosh, he looked good!’ she thought as she allowed her gaze to linger for a few seconds before reluctantly dragging it back to his face.
“Well, you asked me to spend the night and ermmm … You kept calling me John”, he said laughing.
“You were pretty wild yesterday” …”Whew”, he exclaimed. “Best night of my life” he said with a wink.
“Talk about a woman on a mission”, he added.
Oh God! She thought, “I am a Slut”.
“Okay, ermmmm mister”.
“Ralph”, he supplied.
“Yeah Ralph, please get your things and leave. I have to get to work and I am not in the mood to handle all of this”, she said gesturing to the bed and waving her hands in exasperation.
He looked like he was going to argue but something in her eyes apparently warned him against it.
He dragged his body out of the bed and started dressing up slowly.
“Hurry up”, she said without thinking. Something she regretted immediately. “I mean I have to get going “, she added hoping it would offer her some form of respite.
He finished dressing and she started walking him to the front door.
All around her little apartment, her clothes were scattered everywhere. Her apartment had been turned upside down. Her panties were on the refrigerator.
“Jesus”, she muttered under her breath.
They got to the door, he turned around and said, “call me” with a smile she was sure would have done bicycle kicks with her heart under a different circumstance.
She replied calmly and said “sure, why not?”. She then slammed the door before he could say another word.
She turned and sped into her bathroom, scrubbing and cleaning herself furiously trying to wash away all evidences of last night’s encounter. She broke down in tears in the shower curling herself into a ball and holding herself closely as the water streamed over her body.
“John”, she whispered.
Somewhere on the shores of an unnamed beach, the waves had washed a little red box ashore with the words inscribed boldly on the surface of the golden circle inside it. “To Annabel, ‘Love you forever ‘, John”
3 MONTHS LATER…
The deafening silence of the courtroom was broken as the Judge brought down his gavel hard. He was ready to give his judgement.
John had been the prosecution’s leading witness for the murder of detective O’connor. After the grueling arguments, motions and counter motion, the defense and prosecution counsels had just finished their closing remarks.
The thoughts of jail time ran through her head like a high-speed train.
“What if I am given the death penalty”, Varela thought aloud. Her palms were wet, her forehead damp, her skin cold because the judge was to her as Zeus on Olympus; ready to decide the fate of mere mortals.
ORDER! The gavel hit down hard again on the great oak wood table. The judge shifted forward on his chair, he adjusted his gold framed antique spectacles….
“Having gone through the testimony of the witnesses, the evidences brought forward and the proving of this county’s plaintiff without reasonable doubt”, he shifted again in his seat.
“I hereby find the defendant Varela Kravecki guilty for the second degree murder of Detective Shawn O’connor”
John had an Epiphany.
He saw a woman walking in the courtroom – the same woman that has been haunting his dreams. Who was she?
Flashes from his past. No doubt.
A past he can hardly place it.
The doctor had promised him he would be able to connect the dots soon. But he has been like this for months.
And here she was again in the courtroom like a wisp of smoke disappearing.
“And sentence her to”, the Judge’s voice boomed dragging him back to full consciousness.
“75 years in a federal penitentiary with possibility of parole after 25 years”.
John felt relieved. O’connor had been his partner for a year. They shared a mutual respect for each other but that was all. They did not get personal. But he really liked the guy and he enjoyed working with the man.
The Court rose.
His past was still a mystery to him as he could not remember events beyond the last year after he woke up in the private ward of the Los – Angeles medical center. It was like some part of his brain’s jigsaw puzzle had been pulled off and scattered completely. He couldn’t piece up the pieces to gain his memory.
And, who the hell was the goddess that kept appearing in his mind’s eye?
Meanwhile, 33,000ft over the pacific…
Annabel had had enough. She was going to make the most of her life and stop crying her eyes out for a man that wasn’t coming back.
So here she was on Delta Airlines flight 682B which had flown non-stop from St. Lucia to Los-Angeles seated next to a man that looked like he swallowed a whole pie and it got stuck in his throat. His ID-card read H. Kravecki and it looked like he was on a very important business trip.
Dr Goldmeir had called her the other day.
“Hello Annabel my anniberry”, he still had the thick Jewish accent.
“Come over to the studio next week and I might have a starring role for you in my upcoming movie “.
She had said an emphatic NO that day.
But here she was on a plane heading to the City of Angels determined to move on with her life and forget about John Hardison…..
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