Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Flatterer

Derived, in part, from John Reid’s nine steps of interrogation techniques with a fair amount of improvisation thrown in the mix.

“Look, Maraga, we’ve got you cold. We’ve recovered the piece and it’s a match for the bullet that killed Zaringo. Got your latent off of it too. One time offer to tell your side of the story and I barter a deal with the D.A. What do you say?

“How about some coffee? On me.”

“Hey, everybody knew Zaringo was a prick. He sold out your little brother on the Maharis thing a few years ago. He had it coming, nobody would begrudge the dude that put him under. Fact he’d be a hero on the streets. Something to own up to, isn’t it?

“I wouldn’t know, detective.”

“Sure you would. You’re not stupid, Maraga. You know the score. Word is you’re going to move up now that Zaringo is out of the way. Of course there’s the little matter of having you dead bang on his demise.”

“Then you better charge me.”

“Why’d you do it, Maraga? Why ice Zaringo when he was already expiring from the Big C which had spread through his body. All you had to do was sit back and wait for him to croak and the kingdom was yours. I’ll tell you why you couldn’t wait. You had to show the soldiers and enforcers you had the stones. If you just waited for fate to deal its hand, then you’d be seen as weak. And no one better think you’re weak, right, Maraga?”

“So you say.”

“I say if you don’t claim the throne then pretenders are going to come along looking to be the one. You’ve been in lock up, what, about twenty-four hours cooling your heels. You’ve been cut off from the outside, but not me, Maraga. I know what’s up and let me tell you, Big Lemon is not shy about letting it be known on the sly he chilled Zaringo.

“Big Lemon couldn’t find Lady Gaga bare ass naked laying on a red blanket.”

“He’s finding his way to Zaringo’s seat.”

“You got nothing on me.”

“”I got you receiving.”

“Shhhh. That’s not even a year in County.”

“Long enough for Big Lemon to be running the show. Unless of course those that should know would know you were the man, and be your captains taking care of your business while you were down.”

“It’s a heavy rap.”

“I imagine a smart lawyer might be able to spin it a certain way in front of a jury. What with the deed taking place in Zaringo’s study, guns all around and what not.”

“Big Lemon?”

“Big Lemon.”

“Okay, cop, I’ll tell you what you want to hear.”

“Now we’re talking.”


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Very fine indeed, Gary! Love the way the questioner gets into the guy's head and figures out what will really motivate him to talk. He starts off on a bit of a wrong note and then works his way into it. Great reveal of both characters in a short space too.

Gary Phillips said...

Thank you, Rebecca, very kind of you. Say, wait a're not just flattering me for the set-up are you?

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I guess you'll have to wait and see...