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Whores .06: Deborah

05/06/12

  09:40:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 1074 words  
Categories: Whores

Whores .06: Deborah

?Go home,? Detective Campbell said, setting her briefcase down on the desk all of us in gender crimes shared.  

?I?m only through eight of my twelve,? I told her.

?I thought you started midway through Gottfried?s shift so you could shadow him.?

?Yeah, but I needed to know about the job- not about the best chocolate-frosted chocolate-sprinkled chocolate donut in the metro area. So I asked the chief of detectives if I could work my twelve with four hours? overlap onto your shift. I made a reasonable excuse for it; shouldn?t get Bob in any trouble. But I get the impression, maybe wrongly, that you?re the engine that powers this department, or this desk, anyway. That?s why I sent over my latest file for you to go over. I wanted your thoughts on it.?

She sighed, and pulled over a chair from an empty neighboring desk. ?I?ve been telling the brass that what we need in this department is more women- no offense.?

?None taken.?

?Getting into the female psyche- it?s difficult. They?re tricky, in a way that male criminals aren?t. I mean, there are, technically speaking, male gender criminals. But they?re few and far between. This is mostly an all girl school of crime.?

?I get that- in the same way that there are more men involved with vice- since there?s a much better than one to one ratio of johns to prostitutes, without even factoring in the pimps.? My hand brushed hers on the desk. ?Sorry, not used to sharing the space,? and I realized at that moment I?d never heard her first name, ?Detective Campbell.? 

?That was awkward,? she smiled. ?But it?s Candi, with an ?I.? Apparently my parents wanted me to become a stripper. But wouldn?t you know it, most clubs won?t let you carry a gun- and that was a real deal breaker for me.? For the first time, I paid attention to the fact that she was pretty, in the mode of a starlet from the forties, maybe Veronica Lake. She had blonde hair put up in a bun, and wore a pair of thick-framed glasses.

?If I had a dime for every man who came onto me with some variation on wanting to suck on me or eat me- well, I wouldn?t have enough to retire, but I?d finally at least be able to put in for matching funds on my 401k.? She smiled, touched my arm and squeezed it, and my heart beat a little faster. 

I picked up my tablet, and opened up the file to try and give myself a second to calm down. ?Deborah Gladstone seems like a nice American girl,? I said. ?Good Christian upbringing, graduated college and is already most of the way through paying off her student debt. Excellent worker, clean habits.?

?So what makes a good girl go bad?? Candi asked, dragging her teeth over her bottom lip. But then she dropped the coy act. ?Selfishness. She went to school to benefit herself. She?s paying back her loans quickly because it saves her money. Better work gets her better pay along the way, along with other perks. You remove the trimmings, and she?s just a girl asking how to make her own life better, easier.?

?That seems like a simplistic reading of the file,? I said, and winced because my critique was likewise harsh, since I was asking for her help.

?It is simple. A pregnant woman meeting with an abortionist is conspiracy to commit gender crime; her fiancé already suspects her of that. And she knew better. First offender, maybe she gets a fine and probation. But she?ll probably do time. When you?re at home, cracking a beer, it?s okay to sympathize, and remember that these are people, and they probably want mostly the same things you or I do. But when you get here, and step behind that shield, you?ve got a job to do. This is friendly advice, and I?d give it on any other desk: don?t question the job. Narcotics is going to keep putting away more brown people than white, and our desk is going to keep locking up schoolgirls. The system doesn?t change- it changes you. The sooner you wrap your head around that, the happier you?ll be, both here and in life.? 

?I understand what you?re saying, completely,? I said, ?and if you want we can drop it. But just once, before I stop caring, you?re a woman, and this is a mostly female crime, if only because they have motive, means and opportunity that men don?t- can?t, really. So I want to know how you feel about it.? 

?Because you?re just a glutton for punishment??

?Something like that.?

?I think they?re murderous whores. Deborah Gladstone might look like a good girl on paper, but her predicament is of her own making; if she hadn?t been slutting it up, she wouldn?t be pregnant. And now she?s thinking about killing an innocent child to get away from the consequences of it. Whatever kind of good person she might have started as- she isn?t that, anymore.? She was still pretty, but her red lips put me in mind of the apple from Snow White, beautiful, moist, succulent, but not just poisoned- damning- in the same way the apple had been for Adam and Eve. But when she smiled I forgot all about self-preservation, all about that pit of fear she put in my stomach.  ?I showed you mine??

?I suppose turn-about?s fair play, but you?ll probably feel cheated. Because it?s not something I?ve really thought about. I guess I always figured? that it wasn?t my choice, or my place. I?m never going to be pregnant, so it?d be hard for me, in good conscience, to claim to know how or why or what should be done.? She raised an eyebrow. ?Or maybe I?m just reluctant, as a white male, to start telling women what to do.?

?But I?m not asking you to play dictator and pass laws; I'm not even asking how you feel about the current laws, because they weren't always the way they are now. I?m asking what you think is right.?

?I don?t know.?

?That?s not a good answer. And living with it?s not going to get any easier on this job. You need to make up your mind.? She picked up her tablet and went to the coffee pot. I didn?t like being left with that much to think about.

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