CCD Sunday Fiction – Noir Edition by DanO

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by Camel City Dispatch

by DanO

“Promises don’t keep people,” she said. Blond hair never staying behind her ear waved before her eyes like upside down wipers. She wrinkled the skin between her eyes as if she didn’t understand her own words.

I watched her for deception as she searched the ceiling for a response. It had no more to say than I did. Sitting in a chair with blue eyes scanning walls she couldn’t know, she turned to look my way. I focused on her to let her know I was interested only in answers for me, not for her.


They picked her up where her life ended. At least she maintained as much in her initial statement. She sat on the bottom step in front of a brownstone when the uniforms arrested her. She could have made a stand on the porch behind her, up toward the heavy wood entrance. Surrounded on each side by concrete rails and backed by the front door she could have held off several officers for some time.

The thirty-eight would have slowed the approach of any number of cops not wanting to test their vests. Especially when the victim lay two feet away, splayed in front of her with a single hole in his head. The revolver lay beside his feet. A head shot would make a vest meaningless. Aside from that, what cop wants to shoot a twenty-year-old woman who may be a victim as much as a perp?

Her victim lay on his knapsack with his eyes open looking at parked cars he couldn’t see. She and the young man stayed together off and on in the center flat of three according to the downstairs neighbor. A backpack strapped to his shoulders, he wore a jacket, jeans and a baseball cap. The sneakers said the twenty-something dead man was on his way. His eyes got further than he did. She wore sweats and slippers.

She sat in interview one, a cup of water left untouched in front of her. “Shadows change with the light.” She said.

My initial response of “cornflake” never made it out of my mouth. “Okay, Sally,” I said. “Let’s cut the crap.”

Her eyes locked on mine, a slightly superior look crossed the distance between us. Baffling at first, I lost ground to the knowing eyes and continued to meet her gaze out of curiosity.

“What are you?” She said.

“I’m the interviewer, you’re the interviewee.”

“What are you?”

Somewhat exasperated, I decided to simplify things for her. “I’m the only guy standing between you and a lethal injection for the cold-blooded murder of your boyfriend.”

“You’re Jewish,” she smiled with a little satisfaction, “aren’t you?”

“I’m Irish Catholic if you must know,” I said. “But, I’m also a Detective and as I’ve said, you’re a murderer. I’d be very interested to know why you killed . . ., what’s his name?”

“Kilbrand,” my partner said. Impatience also seemed to weigh on his words. “Jason Kilbrand.”

She looked disappointed. “I usually can tell.” Looking hard at my face, she sighed. “You must have some Jew in your history.”
“Why’d you kill Jason, Sally?”

She simply stared at me.

“Was he leaving you?” I needed to connect with her, get her to open her airhead and let out some facts. I controlled my tone, softened it just a bit, like I’d talk to my kid sister if I had one.

“He loved me.”

“Then why was he packed and leaving?”

“He didn’t know what I am.”

“What are you?”

She smiled wide showing perfect teeth. “No one knows, no one can see.”

“Look Sally.” I clenched my teeth. “What matters is that Jason’s dead and you’ve got to answer for his murder.”
“I really liked him.” She looked wistfully at her hands on the steel table, then up at me. “He just wouldn’t listen.”
“You killed him because he was leaving and wouldn’t listen to you?”

“Men rarely listen to women,” she said, a small smile forming. “The world would be a lot better off if they did.”
“You can’t change people from what they are to what you want them to be.” I felt the connection and I needed to expand on it. Lock this case up tight. “You were angry because of his cold nature.” I needed her to cop to it. “You couldn’t just let him leave after all you’ve had together . . .”

“No,” she said, shaking her head. “I couldn’t let him leave.”

“He wouldn’t listen and you just wanted to slow him down.”

She studied my face, hard.

“You didn’t mean to kill him; you just wanted him to stop, to stay . . .”

Somebody knocked on the observation window breaking my concentration. Still keeping her eyes on me she smiled then looked back at the table. More than a little pissed, I went to the door and exited with my frustration ready to vent.

Three suits stood outside interview one. One was Lieutenant Cooper and the other two were unknowns. Judging from the suits though, I made them as Feds. A cold dead feeling sunk to my stomach.

“Jake,” Cooper said in his usual “stop what you’re doing” voice. “These guys are from Homeland Security. It seems you’ve got an Israeli Diplomat in custody and you’re to release her immediately.”

My mouth hanging open must have been an eloquent enough answer. The two suits moved to the door without another word. One of them put a coat around Sally’s shoulders. She stood with all the authority extensive training imparted.

I turned to Cooper. “What was in the knapsack?”

“Death, Detective,” Sally said coming through the door flanked by the two suits.

I watched the trio move as one down the hall to the exit. “My maternal grandmother was Jewish,” I said to the back of her head.  She stopped and turned to look back with a sparkle in her eye. “We’re all a bit of everything, Detective.”

Then she was gone.



Dan O’Sullivan is a founding board member for a non-profit group known as Winston Salem Writers and he hosts their open mic. He also has several readings on You Tube. He’s had had poetry published on a website, in a coffee table anthology as well as with Poetry in Plain Sight. O’Sullivan has a writer’s credit on a documentary regarding Equality in Healthcare for a filmmaker known as FAME Productions. Currently, he’s editing a novel manuscript and shopping another to publishers.






wswriters_0DanO comes to CCD from Winston-Salem Writers. Find out about this vital local organization HERE.


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