A noise, irritating, nasally, almost shriek-like, distresses a man who merely writhes in his bed. He slams his fist hard on the alarm clock, killing off the noise. Then he hears a similar whiney tone across the room, which forces him to scramble and clumsily flail at in a hurried fashion, before the ringer expired. As he finally reaches the phone, he is lambasted by an outraged voice.
“Stone, where the fuck are you?”
“Oh, it’s just the Lawyer. I thought I told you that you should only call this damn phone in a life or death situation. Since you clearly sound nice and safe, I’ll continue to take my extended break,” muttered Stone cantankerously.
“It’s noon Stone. Get your ass out of bed, get dressed and get here quick because we’ve got a case that I’m sure you’ll be really interested in.”
“Five hundred bucks says I’ll be able to solve it in ten minutes.”
A sigh penetrates the silence. “Yeah sure, whatever. If you want to give me free money then that’s your problem. Come by quick, alright?”
“Ah, don’t worry. I’ll be right over.”
A man finely attired in a three piece suit and an aura of fine taste is impertinently tapping and scuffling his once immaculate fine-leather dress shoes, staring at his watch while consoling a crying huddle of grieving family members. A run down, beaten up maroon Prius pulls up, with Mr. Stone wrapped in a ruffled up and stained trench coat, topped off by a 1950s era fedora. The family members flash a bewildered look, while the Lawyer reluctantly acknowledges him as a colleague.
“Hello, the name is Detective Jacoby Stone. So what appears to be the issue here?” in a voice as sincere as he could muster. The mourning family turns from flabbergasted to enraged, with the Lawyer face-palming on the side.
“What is the issue here? My son just fucking died! How the hell is that just an ‘issue’?”
“Okay, I take it you’re the mom then, right? Well, can somebody please explain to me the full situation here, perchance even get a look at the crime scene or the body? Where’s Sterling anyway? I’d at least want some witness testimonial and some decent pictures of the body.”
“Time’s a ticking Stone. You better hurry up, or you’ll be down half a grand,” mocked the Lawyer, transfixed on his watch.
“Why, you wanna double it? I’ve still got like six minutes left.” Before the Lawyer could utter a word, Stone replied,” On second thought, I’ll just do my damn job.” A couple of police officers approach Stone, one scrawny, nervous and twitching, the other portly, callous, and clammy. “So what do we have here?”
“Yeah Stone, we were the two officers that were pursuing the victim at the time. Me and my buddy heard a complaint from the neighbors about suspicious activity around the area, saw this kid and a few buds messing around and ordered them to vacate the premises. They then withdrew weapons on us and we were forced to use lethal force as self-defense.” recounted the portly officer. Stone scans the two, and is impelled by the agitation of the other officer.
“So I’m taking that you were the one to kill the kid then right?” implied Stone, pointing at the intimidated policeman.
“No, I was. I told you, it was for the safety of not only me, but my partner and those around us,” responded the portly officer.
“Okay, so can I at least see the body and the supposed weapon that he had, then?”
“No because the guys from the morgue already bagged and tagged him. But, the medical examiner Ms. Sterling gave us some pictures, and attested that he died the way we are trained to kill, a couple of shots to the head killing him instantly. Textbook. Also, here is the weapon in question found on the person himself.” The officer hands him a bag with a gun, and some grotesque pictures of the young man’s body with only a mangled lump as a "head".
“I’m sorry, but the way you described the medical cause of death you almost seemed to marvel your work, as if you enjoyed killing this kid-”
“Hey, what kind of bullshit are you trying to pull?”
“Let me finish. Also, this weapon that you claim was found on this person. Are you sure that it is one hundred percent, without a doubt anyone else’s?”
“Hell’s yeah I am!”
“Just wondering because this is a police issued Glock 22, in fact I have the very same type. Now it could be possible that he somehow got this needlessly rare piece of weaponry or you shot him in cold blood and you planted this gun to cover your ass!” Stone let out a little arrogant smirk, which almost always signaled the end for even the most worthy of adversaries, let alone the perpetrator of this amateur crime.
“How would you ever prove that obvious lie?” asked the cop in a quivered, nervous, voice, his eyes shifting, his skin drenched. Stone prowled over to him, a shark sensing the blood of his prey, anticipating the kill. The cop shuddered when Stone sniffed out his scheme so quickly, so effortlessly. How could he have known, was it that obvious?
“Well, even if you used gloves and made sure that the kid’s fingerprints were on the gun, I am sure you had a bone to pick with this kid that we will find. Also-“ He turns to the scrawny officer, carefully examines him, and a reassuring smirk draws across his face. The same one that doomed his fellow comrade. “Hey, I know this guy probably threatened you really badly, but trust me when he is found out, I am going to personally gun for you and press charges for conspiring to kill and accessory to murder which will mean spending a good chunk of your life in jail. Or if you ‘fess up, I’ll let you go scot free, hell not even a slap in the wrist.” The cop eagerly obliged with a goofy nod, and soon, carrying his former partner into the back of a cruiser.
“Time’s up and now it’s time to cough up… Oh bloody hell Stone!” remarked the Lawyer, seeing that he was once again defeated.
“Don’t worry, we still have to get proof and evidence that will be accepted to court and all of that other bullshit, which I am going to let you take over. So, I guess then it is a push. Anyway, I have to go to a special meeting, and when I come back Marceau, you better have all that shit together.” Stone runs off, leaving Marceau to fully explain the situation to a still infuriated mother that only slightly calmed down.
“Sorry, I am late. Did not mean it in the slightest. The traffic was busy and I had a hard case and”
“You are not late at all, in fact you actually might be early,” replied Sterling calmly.
“I thought you said 5:30, and it is half past 6?” Stone then rechecked his watch, clearly puzzled.
“I know, I actually lied and actually came here just a few minutes ago.”
“Whoa, wait. Hold on, what if I actually did arrive on time?” Sterling gives him her trademark glare, one that impeccably surmised her emotions every single time. “OK, good point. That’s actually not a bad idea, but still hurts me on the inside that you apparently don’t trust me being reliable.”
“Oh yeah, I’m sure it is just eating you up. Besides Jac, you might have several good qualities, but being punctual is not one of them.”
“Whatever. Did Marceau tell you about the case and how I solved it in like five minutes?” Stone tried to pass it off nonchalantly, but ended up in a bragging tone.
“Yeah, he called me a few minutes ago after digging up all the facts, and as it turns out the victim was the police guy’s daughter’s boyfriend that cheated off her, and he decided to take some drastic justice and fuck up at least three lives not even counting the kid’s family. Oh yeah, he also mentioned that I should drag you to the courthouse to testify with the Jacksons.”
“First off, there is no fucking way that I am going to court, because I am not needed. You guys have all of the evidence, motive, creative and dramatic storytelling, charm and charisma in order to book this guy. I mean it should be a slam dunk, and plus I just really fucking hate courts. Secondly, I just don’t give a fuck. And finally, who the hell are the Jacksons?”
“The Jacksons are our clients, and we kind of need you to represent the Marceau Stone Sterling Law Firm and Detective Agency considering that you are probably the only one of us that’s actually well known.”
“Oh I’m pretty sure that Marceau can distract and entertain his fellow soul suckers enough for you to not even miss me. Besides, I have got a lot of cases and I can’t shut down the company for one measly case.”
“Oh that’s so cute. You think you actually have any say in the matter. Fine, if you’re going to act this way, let the grown-ups talk, but at least attend the damn thing.” A waiter comes by and brings in a couple of gigantic platters topped off with fresh lobster, filet mignon and other delicacies.
“Wow, we’re going all out with lobster too, huh? You are freaking awesome.”
“Oh yeah, and you better make damn sure that you’re not late.”(Chapter 2)