From Rescued By That New Guy in Town
by J. L. Salter
Kristen Prima (still in her 'Sexy Witch' Halloween costume) and her handsome, presumed accomplice (dressed as a pirate) have convinced Cpl. James to stop at the Dairy Barne so they can talk him out of booking then at the jail. This scene occurs right after the harrowing experience in the men’s restroom, and the waitress has already served their coffee. Finally, Kristen will learn the pirate’s name.]
Touching the warm cup reminded me of the splinter in my finger so I worked on it inelegantly with my teeth.
The pirate observed for several moments before he pulled out one of those little red knives with attachments. This had only four or five gizmos, including a tiny pair of tweezers in the handle. He extracted those and handed them over without comment.
How long was he going to watch me gnaw on my finger before he remembered his tweezers?
Corporal James monitored the knife activity as he dumped several packets of sugar into his coffee and then slurped noisily. Then he re-stated his position: “I’ve already called-in the enter and remain, and they’re expecting two perps in cuffs.”
“But we’re not really perpetrators, just two unfortunate citizens locked in by mistake. Purely an oversight by the festival’s harried organizers.” The pirate’s attempt was
James mulled it over.
When I leaned forward slightly to sip my coffee, the table top pushed up my girls
over the cups of the Sexy Witch costume’s very uncomfortable bustier. It certainly caught the corporal’s attention.
“Okay, let’s have some names.” James retrieved a pen, clicked it a few times for practice, and struggled to pull a ticket pad from a rear trouser pocket. “Pirate first.”
He cleared his throat. “Ryan Hazzard.”
It sounded made-up.
Hazzard gave his address, then pulled the driver’s license from his wallet and slid it across the stained table top.
The officer keyed his mic and transmitted the pertinent info. “This license is from a different county.”
“Oh, right, haven’t changed it yet.” Pirate Hazzard shrugged. “Only been here a couple of months. New in town…”
I finally extracted my splinter and handed back the tweezers. Hazzard plucked his own splinters (from the charity jail’s wooden bars) adroitly on the first try and then re-inserted the handy tool into his knife.
Corporal James held out his hand.“Concealed weapon. You can get it back from the desk sergeant.”
The dispatcher evidently buzzed the corporal. James nodded as he listened, and then replied. “No, I didn’t see any actual vandalism, just some lights left on.” He squinted at Hazzard’s license and repeated the number. “No, they weren’t actually doing anything. Just standing outside the back door. I didn’t say he was a pirate. Just wearing a get-up. You know, costume party. Captain somebody.” James rolled his eyes for our benefit. “She’s a witch. No. Witch with a ‘W’.”
“It’s just a costume, you know.” I wanted that clear for the benefit of those young children in the nearby booth.
“Yeah, dressed like a Halloween witch. That big party out at the old armory. No, I had to work. Yeah, locked in, supposedly. I know, I don’t buy it either. Claim they fell asleep. No, not together. She was in a cage of some kind. Each one fell asleep they say, and
when the other folks took off, they were left behind. I don’t know either. Sounds fishy, but what would they steal from a Halloween party? No, nothing on them. Well, the guy had a pocket knife. No, she hardly has any clothes at all. I mean, this costume’s pretty
skimpy.” Then he chuckled. “I’ll tell you later.”
Every ear in the Dairy Barne was no doubt tuned to the corporal’s conversation. One could only imagine how many at the station listened at the other end. James turned his attention back to me. “Okay, let’s have your name.”
“Kristen Prima. 506 Fleming Lane.”
He scribbled it down. “Can you prove that?” He obviously meant I.D.
I shook my head. “My purse got locked in the armory. When I finally got out of that jail, I was in a hurry and forgot about my stuff ‘til the outside door slammed behind me.” It sounded a bit too breathless. How do I prove I’m bona fide? “Look, I work at the mall branch of Verdeville Bank. I’ve probably cashed a check for you at some point.”
His head shook sideways as his chin pulled up reflectively.
“Okay. Go over why you fell asleep in there.”
“I was exhausted. I’ve been working my buns off with this stupid festival and all I got out of it is sore feet, bruises from this lousy outfit, and the whole nightmare with you and this pirate. All because nobody could be bothered to check on me before they shut
down the armory.” Tears rolled down my cheeks and landed in my coffee. A little salt flavoring won’t hurt.
“All right. Hold on a minute.” James called in my name and address. It took a moment for them to get back. “No match in the database.”
“Which database? If it’s the one for criminals, there’s no match because I’ve never done anything.” Well nothing I was caught for.
“I don’t know. Maybe I can let the pirate go, but you don’t have anything to prove who you are.”
“Well, drive me back to the armory and get somebody to let me in.”
The corporal’s brain must have made several rough calculations. “That’d chew up a couple of hours, at least. Wait on somebody at the alarm company to reach somebody with a key, and wait for them to get out there, and have to explain everything. Then they’d have to check whether you stole or damaged anything. We’d be out there all
“Then I’ll just bring you my I.D. on Monday morning.” Seemed logical to me.
“How do I know you’ll show up?” The skeptical mind of a small city cop. He tapped his small tablet with the clicker end of his pen.
“I might have a solution.” Buccaneer Ryan. “Write her a ticket and she’ll have to show up.”
“Ticket for what?” I could have clawed his eyeballs. “I didn’t do anything but work about thirty hours for this community’s festival and that’s how you repay me?” I fumed. “What charge do you propose for this bogus ticket, Captain Blood?”
“Impersonating a witch during Halloween.” Hazzard smiled.
“If you write me a ticket, he gets one too!” I poked Hazzard’s arm.
“I can’t write you up for putting on costumes.” James apparently had an idea, however. “But I sure can ticket you for that enter and remain I already called in.” His lips curled in a self-congratulating fashion. “Yeah, that’ll work.” He pointed to Hazzard. “I’ll let y’all go with a ticket.” He hesitated with pen poised. “You can work out the rest of this tale with the judge next week.”
“What’s the fine for entering and remaining? Just in case we can’t convince the judge.” Hazzard beat me to the same question.
“Depends on the judge.” James wrote something hurriedly on two stiff pages, tore them out, and put away his pen and pad. “But my guess — could be a suspended sentence, unless the witch has any priors. At worst, it might be a small fine or maybe even community service.”
“You mean like spending two weeks working on a Halloween festival?” My icy irony soared over their heads.
I hope you like this sixth sequential sample. The fifth and fourth were in my Mar.
23rd and Mar. 16th blogs (respectively) ... the first three were in November last year [scroll back or click on the archives].