THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER,
BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
Glen placed his cell phone down on the desk in the living room and picked up his detective's badge, number 3511. He held it in his hand, staring, somewhat in disbelief, his thumb massaging the gleaming emblem. Recently promoted after scoring one of the highest marks on the detective's test, tonight, like so many nights, he sat alone in his house celebrating with his favorite French beer.
His eyes slow danced around the room stopping at each indentation and scratch on the walls. There it was the four inch gouge. Of all the marks this one was special. He remembered it as if it happened an hour ago. The gash caused by Glen and the boy's rough housing while Sandra was out shopping.
“What do we do dad?” asked Jimmy, “mom's going to be home soon.”
“I know, let me think. I got it.” Glen moved a potted plant away from the window.
“There, that'll cover it. Mom will object―”
“What's object mean?” asked Matty their younger boy.
“Hmmm, complain,” said Glen.
“Mom's in the driveway,” said Jimmy looking out the window.
Glen sat the boys on the sofa and squeezed in between them. “Okay guys, just act cool like nothing happened and let me do the talking.”
Sandra opened the front door and before both feet were inside the house she noticed the plant.
“Why did you move the plant it needs to be by the window? It doesn't look good there, let's move it back.”
“Honey, we wanted to surprise you and change things around. We like it, don't we boys?”
“Daddy said you'd complain,” said Matty.
“Oh he did did he, what else did daddy say?”
“That he would do all the talking and we should act cool.”
“And I was going to make our favorite cookies, but I guess I won't.”
“Dad scratched the wall, and he didn't want you to find out,” said Jimmy.
“I could arrest you for blackmailing your children.”
Sandra moved the plant and examined the damaged wall. She glared at her husband. “Could I get away with murder?”
“I'll take the fall, the boys actually did it but I didn't want you to yell at them. We don't want mommy to yell do we boys?” The expression of innocence on her two small boy's faces made her laugh.
The corners of Glen's mouth crept upwards as he reminisced about the indentation. Next month would be three years since it happened. For Glen it remained a memento of a family that once was. He glanced at the only picture, in its rosewood frame, sitting on his desk of Sandra and the two boys at Big Bear Lake. He wished they were here to celebrate this achievement, but they weren't.
One morning before Glen went to work Sandra announced she no longer chose to compete with his job and took the boys and left. He wondered, even to this day, if that was Sandra's real reason. He loved her and the boys, but he was afraid Sandra was right. She couldn't compete, he loved his work.
The only consolation prize they remained good friends. Sandra's new husband was a decent person and a great surrogate father to his sons.
Behind Glen, on the muted TV screen, a reporter from a local station interviewed Sergeant Kipner, Glen's field sergeant. They were discussing the cold case murder of Susie Watson, a young girl who went missing five years earlier.
One night, while off duty, Glen was sitting at Toni's Lounge, his favorite bar watching a football game on the overhead television. He overheard two men discussing the crime two bar stools over.
“Charlie, the guy's a mechanic with a shop over in the Valley. We shake him down for a grand and promise to keep our mouths shut.”
“We go back next month and grab another grand, that's what.”
“Hey, I'm sorry, but could you two take whatever you're talking about somewhere else, I'm trying to watch the game.”
“We'll sit where we want.”
“Yeah, but see I got money riding on this game and I need to concentrate. I can't afford to drop another $500, wife will kill me.”
“That's your problem not ours,” said the skinny man with a crooked mustache.
“I know, I'm sorry, but I'll make you a deal. Let me buy you two guys a drink and you let me finish the game in peace. If I lose, drinks on me until closing time. What do you say?” said Glen.
“And if you win?”
“I can afford to buy you two more rounds, so you come out winners either way, deal?”
After half an hour and only thirty seconds left in the game, Glen and his two new friends, Charlie and Mike, were sitting together cheering for different reasons.
“Damn it, I thought tonight would be different. I don't know why I thought that team was any good.”
Charlie looked over at the bartender. “Hey Danny, set us up and keep them coming. Let's see, oh look it's only 10:30 and Danny doesn't close until one. Sure hope you've got enough money Glen.”
“I'll put it on the card, they won't grab that for another couple of weeks. Either one of you knows how to make quick money. I could sure use some.”
“Go ahead Charlie tell Glen what you were telling me.”
Disgusted with his friend's remark Charlie said, “Shut up, Mike.”
“Tell me what?”
“Nothing, Mike's just got a big mouth.”
“Hey Danny, give Charlie and Mike another, in fact, make Charlie's a double. I know how you feel Charlie, sometimes we talk about things we don't know anything about and get embarrassed.”
“What are you saying?”
“Nothing, drink up,” said Glen. Still holding a glass full of whiskey he said, “I knew a guy once who talked shit, and that's just what it was, shit.”
“Mine ain't shit, it's real.”
“Okay, if you say so,” said Glen polishing off his drink winced as the brown liquid burned his throat.
“Tell him Charlie, what's he going to do, nothing. Charlie knows a guy who killed a girl and got away with it.”
Charlie slapped his friend's shoulder.”Shut the fuck up Mike.”
“Sure you know someone, bullshit, and my father knows who shot Kennedy.”
“Hey man, it's not bullshit.”
“Charlie if you knew someone he wouldn't talk about it unless you helped him. I'll tell you if it's bullshit. Hey Danny another round.”
“I didn't do it, this guy I know did it and I, I mean, we're going to shake him down.”
“For how much?”
“Charlie says we can get a grand from the guy.”
“Shut up Mike.”
“You shut up, I'm going to the bathroom.”
“I hope you die in there with your big mouth.” Charlie turned to Glen. “Fuck he's got a big mouth.”
“If this story were true, you'd be shaking him down for more than a grand.”
“You cut me in and we'll split a minimum of ten grand. That's thirty-three hundred for each of us and trust me, I'll get it cause I can use the money.
The TV flashed a picture of Fred Jackson, an auto mechanic with a shop in Woodland Hills, being taken away in handcuffs and placed in a black and white. Jackson abducted Susie Watson late one night five years earlier when she was coming home from a friend's house. The first time he met her was when her father dropped off the family car for repairs. Several nights later, he drove out to the desert, raped and killed her, and buried the young girl's body.
If not for Glen, the case would have remained unsolved. For his testimony against Jackson, Charlie was found guilty of extortion and received one year suspended sentence with two years probation.
With the badge in one hand and a beer in the other Glen contemplated tomorrow. A kid starting a new school. Tomorrow he'd report to the Hollywood Division as Detective Glen Barton.