I do like to embed a fictional character firmly in an occupation.
– – –Penelope Margaret Lively
Dana Bowman is determined to find her missing brother Bast Overture. If that means interviewing all the characters from Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012) so be it… at least the characters Bast interviewed.
Dana drums her fingers on the table of the Thurston Public Library Boardroom. On the table in front of her rests her sketchpad and charcoal. As she waits for Detective Donald Fielding to arrive, she is still trying to decide whether to work with him to find her brother Bast or just pump him for info and do a separate investigation.
There is a knock at the door and Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding enters.
Fielding: D…Dana. I’m sorry about your brother.
Dana (muttering under her breath): Yeah right. (And in a normal voice): Thank you. Fielding, please sit down.
Fielding: D…Don, it’s Don.
Dana: I prefer to keep this professional. We have to find Bast.
Fielding: Very well. But let me remind you that I’m in charge of this investigation.
Dana: And let me remind you that as Bast’s twin sister I probably have information you don’t have.
Fielding nods: Very well. Now, when was the last time you saw your brother?
Dana: Fielding, I didn’t ask you here to play 20 questions.
Fielding: I’m conducting this investigation.
Dana: I’m here to ask you questions about that investigation.
Silence. The two stare at each other. Fielding’s face goes slightly red and he looks away first.
Dana: What have you found out about my brother, Detective?
Fielding: That’s police business.
Dana: Oh, so you’re going to copout with that excuse?
Fielding: It’s not an excuse; it’s a fact.
Dana: Seems you were more helpful when David was kidnapped.
Fielding: That was different. David is a minor and from what the witness said, he was kidnapped and…
Dana: And my brother wasn’t?
Fielding scowls at her: Let me finish. Bast is an adult, so police technically can’t do anything until an adult has been missing 48 hours.
Dana: Well it’s over that or are you and Cooks Regional on some alien time system?
Fielding glares at her: Ms Bowman, might I remind you that…
Dana and Fielding: …this is police business.
Dana leans forward and puts on a fake smile: I know. Fielding, I mean Don, wouldn’t you like to know if I know anything that could help you in your investigation? (Dana is now smirking). It might help you, YOU KNOW.
Fielding: I…I…th…thought we were keeping this professional.
Dana: Suits me. Look, if you answer my few questions, I might consider answering yours.
Dana: Okay, will…as long as I have answers to them. (She crosses her fingers under the table.)
Fielding: Very well. You have 10 minutes.
Dana: What have the police found out so far about Bast’s disappearance?
Fielding: Police Business.
Dana (smirking): Don, oops, I mean Detective Sergeant Fielding. We have an agreement.
Fielding: Very well. We know your brother was in this room interviewing Detective Larry Hutchinson. Hutchinson left your brother sitting right where you are, and fiddling with his tape recorder, which by the way wasn’t here when we arrived. Do you know anything about that?
Fielding: Anyway, there was no one else in the room. Ten minutes later Bast received a call from you on his cell phone…
Dana: And you know this how?
Fielding: From his cell phone.
Dana: You have his cell phone? I’ve been looking all over for it.It wasn’t here when I came here after calling Bast. It’s Bast’s property.
Fielding: It’s evidence in a police investigation.
Silence. More stares and glares at each other. This time Dana breaks eye contact first.
Dana: Okay, for now. But I want his cell phone.
Fielding: When we’re through with it. Now, to continue Ms Bowman. The librarian on the Book Check in desk says you came charging in here about 30 minutes after Detective Hutchinson left and by the way, she confirmed when Hutchinson left. You asked her about your brother and then went immediately up to the boardroom, charging back downstairs a few minutes later. Now, Ms Bowman, I need to know what you saw in there during that brief time.
Dana: Fielding, we agreed, you would tell me what you know first.
Fielding: And I have. This is a police investigation and I’m…
Dana: Police investigation, my ass. Damn you, Fielding, you are dishing out only the info you see fit to…
Fielding: And you don’t do the same?
Dana: I’ll be completely forthcoming if you will. (She again crosses her fingers under the table.)
Silence. More stares. Fielding’s cell phone rings.
Fielding: Fielding here. Uh huh. Okay. Be right there. (He looks over at Dana). Something’s come up; have to go.
Dana: Does it have anything to do with Bast?
Fielding stands up: Can’t say. Police business.
Fielding dashes out the door. Dana pounds her fist on the table.
Dana: Damn the man. But he did give me one valuable piece of information – the librarian.
Dana stands up and glances around the room. She stares at the abstract painting on the far wall. Definitely not her taste in art viewing or painting. It is then that she realizes she hasn’t touched her sketch pad. She goes to pick it up and notices a headshot has appeared on it. It shows her brother.
But he still has his beard, she thinks.
You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html The next one is this evening, teaching a Crafting the Short Story Workshop from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.