“His name is Ricardo Telly, age 38. Previous charges included breaking and entering on two accounts, both unrelated to the current case.” Officer Rhoades reported. “He has a son, Thomas Telly, and is a single parent.” They stared at the suspect behind the one-way wall again.
It has been four hours of interrogation and the only response he evoked from Mr. Telly was the blatant response he would not help them. He shuttered. How large of a team and what kind of man would he have to work for to silence such a severe man?
Detecting Carper nodded at Officer Rhoades and she nodded back, stepping from the room. Officer Rhoades may not want to be a researcher or try to dig up information, but she was the best at it. It was too bad she preferred being out on the streets.
It had been hours, and though Detective Carper was not usually tired from interviews, he should be home right now and it was irritating him he wasn’t getting anything from his suspect.
Detective Carper opened his door, walked around to the interrogation room, and flung the door back open. Mr. Telly was resting his cuffed wrists on the small table between them again, staring at the far wall in silence. His position hasn’t changed much since their last encounter. Heck, it hadn’t changed since he arrived here.
Detective Carper walked to the small camera in the corner and finally snagged Mr. Telly’s attention. He followed his moves, studying his motions as Detective Leo Carper reached for the camera. He moved his fingers along the switch and watched the red light die. For good measure, he clipped the screen into the camera and moved the stand so that the eye faced the wall.
“I need my suspect, Ricardo. And you need a clean record.” Detective Carper turned around, locking his eyes on his suspect. Mr. Telly’s eyes were lazy as he followed Detective Carper’s movements to the empty chair. “The issue is, to solve one problem, we need to take care of the other one. It just so happens I’m good friends with the DA. I can get you a new name, an honest job, and a new life faster than you could tell me a name.”
Detective Carper watched Mr. Telly intently, trying to gauge his emotions. When he saw nothing, he kept going. “This is not the life you are led to live. This is not the life your son needs. You can still be a great dad and you can still change. Right here and now is going to be the only opportunity. I know about all the accounts you have on your record and I can give you a clean slate. All I need is a name. I just need a statement.”
Detective almost clapped himself of the back as he saw Ricardo roll his options in his head. He finally locked his eyes on the detective and leaned forward. “Off the record?”
Detective Carper motioned for the dormant camera on the side of the room. “We would have no evidence other than my statement.”
Ricardo’s eyes flicked back to his hands, still cuffed and resting on the counter. “Get me somewhere in the West. I’d have to be somewhere nobody knows about me. My son and I? We would have to leave tonight. Oh, and Detective?” Ricardo waited until he held Detective Carper’s undivided attention. “It has to be anonymous. You didn’t hear it from me and if they figure out I was the rat, I’m coming after you.”
Detective Carper nodded slowly, trying to hold in his reactions. It was about time he got something out of him and he couldn’t be happier with the verdict. He would sell his left arm if it gets him a lead in this darn case.
“Good.” Ricardo sat back, retracting his hands from the table. “Get it in writing and I’ll talk.”
“What’s wrong with it?” Terra asked, clearly confused about what this man was trying to tell her.
The mechanic looked at her like she had six heads, probably trying to figure out why she didn’t understand him. “The head gasket has a leak. Most of these problems are caused by high engine temperatures. And, looking at the extent of the damage, it will probably take two weeks.”
Terra’s heart plummeted. “Two weeks? Why so long?”
“I don’t have the parts here. I have to ship them in, before the impossible task of installing them. Which usually takes a couple of weeks.”
The frown on her face deepened. “How about we forget we ever found this problem and we both go on our way? If you could just fix the ignition and get me a new key, I would be more than happy.”
“Whoa, no can do. The head gasket is crucial to driving. It seals off the engine block from the cylinder head, and without it, this baby can’t run. Without replacing it, your car is pretty much a time bomb. The longer you wait, the more damage it’s going to cause to the engine. You’ll lose pressure in the engine, you are going to start overheating, the oil will start leaking. There is no way you are going to be able to drive this vehicle around.”
Terra inwardly groaned as she thought about staying so close to where she was trying to run away from. But it seems she had no choice. This guy isn’t about to let her leave.
The mechanic continued to ramble off numbers, going into detail to make sure Terra understood the price. She numbly nodded along, only really paying attention to her misfortune.
“Now we can just add your vehicle to the system and order the parts.” The blood froze in her veins as her heart stopped beating. The system. He’s going to put it in the system. And then they will know exactly what car she was driving. She knew about the resources they have access to, and they could easily pluck up the record.
Terra said she needed to go to the bathroom and sprinted around the corner, eager to get away.
She had to get out of here.
And she needed to go, now.
Terra rushed back out of the garage and back onto the street. She crossed the old, deserted road, heading right for the motel she stayed in last night. The mechanic happened to be on the other side of the small town. Terra didn’t mind walking, she was a New Yorker after all, but she did mind walking in the rain.
From the small time frame of when Terra checked in to when the mechanic picked up her car, it started pouring. When she got to the mechanic’s shop, she was drenched. Luckily the owner already had the heater on and she had dried from the time she was in there. But now, she was drenched once again.
The road was so dirty and dark next to her, she couldn’t tell if she was stepping in oil or water. Whichever it was, Terra didn’t care. The buildings that were to her sides were too close and she was happy to finally escape the confining quarters, regardless of the awful shape the road was in.
The wind picked up and Terra hugged her bare arms, trying to give them the illusion of heat. She knew it wouldn’t make a difference, but she still did it. Her shoes were soaked from the rain and her shirt had only dried mildly. Her jeans started falling again and she yanked them up, hating the cold, soaked fabric clinging to her freezing body.
The sky cracked with lightning and she jumped from the closeness. A bright light illuminated her surroundings to the point of blindness and she shielded her eyes with her chilled arm. A boisterous sound followed immediately and shook the ground she was standing on, almost destroying her eardrums.
Terra swallowed, the lights dimming and thunder receding from around her. The storm was a little too close for her liking, but she had no choice. Hugging herself again, she walked on.
“What are you doing?” Terra heard a voice yell. A car was driving beside her, headlights not on and the engine almost silent.
Terra couldn’t make out the man’s face because of the lack of light now. Thick clouds had covered the blue skies, making it impossible to tell what time of day it was. She didn’t give him an answer and kept walking, hoping he’d just leave her alone if she ignored him.
“Hey, miss! Stop! What are you doing out here? Don’t you know how dangerous it is?”
Terra still ignored him, not wanting his attention. Yeah, she’s heard the endless warnings of walking the streets alone. But she dared anyone to come and touch her after the day she’s had. Heck, after the life she’s had.
Terra heard a door open and knew the man got out of his car. She groaned internally. Why can’t he just mind his own business?
“Stop! You need to get out of here!” He shouts, coming closer to her.
Terra walks faster, but he catches up, wrapping his fingers around her arm. She spun around and yanked her arm from his hold. “Leave me alone!” She yelled in his face, which she still can’t make out through the darkness. She did, however, eye the glistening badge hooked proudly to the tan uniform he was wearing.
A shadow bounced around her feet and she jumped back before distinguishing it as the shape of a dog. She tightened her arms around her body and openly glared, hoping this guy would see it.
“Where are you going?” He says back to her. She hoped again he can see her glaring at him, despite the rush of fear that shot through her at the sight of this officer. She turned back around to walk away again, his canine right at her heels.
“Don’t you know you’re not supposed to be out during a storm?” he asked, still pestering her. But this time he sounds nervous. “Can I take you somewhere?”
Terra turned around. “No, you can’t. If I die out here, it’s my own fault. Now leave me alone!”
She turned back around and held back a scream. Something was in front of her. Terra still can’t exactly see it, but she can feel it. Breathing. Its breaths come out in short puffs and splay on the top of her hair, chilling her even more.
“Listen to me,” the man says again, slowly and quietly this time. “Don’t turn around. Just back up slowly.”
She listened to his words, mostly out of habit, but they seemed to go in one ear and out the other as she’s paralyzed with fear. Terra opened her mouth to tell him she couldn’t but nothing comes out and she just gaped like a fish. Her arms go numb and her legs stiffen as she stared precariously at the silhouette standing in front of her.
A flash of light illuminated the surroundings again and she could finally get a good look at the figure in front of her. Mud brown hair sits on top of his head and he looks ghostly pale. He has sharp features and his jaw is set with his mouth in a straight line. His pale, pale blue eyes seem almost translucent, even in the dark atmosphere. Dark blue flecks were randomly sprayed throughout his iris, but other than that his eyes seemed nearly translucent. She wondered for a second if they were contacts before Terra noticed something else strange about him.
Dark, thin lines of a tattoo marked this inside of his wrist.