Welcome to Renaissance, where everyone has a secret.
Today we have Molly Parker, the girl who witnessed Ray Drummond’s murder.
The impending misfortune foreshadowed in Part 1 comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
Betrayal is in the air.
Word count: 571
If you missed the previous installments:
Laine Masterson is a local legend. She might even be able to bring the jocks down.
She analyzes me from my black hair to the edge of the table between us. “Thank you for coming in, Molly.”
Her office is weird. Neat. No pictures. No belongings except for the bubbling percolator filling the air with a promise of coffee. “Please call me M. I’m not a Molly.”
“M, then.” She reaches for her legal pad, clicks her pen and pins the Masterson stare on me.
I will not flinch.
“You said that the jocks killed Ray. Did you see them?”
Here we go. Excuse fishing. “They wore masks.”
“Yeah, but their voices were muffled.” I lie back into my chair to get comfortable for the legal runaround. “But I know it was them.”
Laine’s brows deepen the one prominent line on her face. “How?”
“Since the Movement started, the jocks tried to get us in line.”
She doodles something. “Movement?”
“It’s what we call ourselves. Anyone else would call us punks.”
Her eyes turn back to me. “What do you mean ‘get us in line’?”
“They’d jump us. Harass us. Spread rumors.”
“Did you report it?”
How I hate those four words. “In the beginning.”
“Why not after?”
“The first few times I tried, I was told we provoke people. So it’s always our fault.”
The scratching of pen to paper puts me on edge. Come on insulation.
“Some of my deputies say you guys are troublemakers.”
Why the fuck am I even talking to her?
“No shit. We’re trying to land their football team in jail.”
“My son is the football captain.”
Ah. There it is. I pull the numbness on like a jacket. Now it doesn’t hurt as much to speak. “Well then. I see I’ve wasted your time.”
Laine shakes her head and pours me a cup of coffee. She pushes the mug across the table with a sugar pot. No milk. “So this attack on Ray was unprovoked?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“The time before this, we fought back. We got them good.” I add an extra spoon of sugar to compensate for the lack of milk. “They got us better. Ray was our source of strength.”
“He told you to fight back?”
“The night he was killed, why didn’t he run?”
“He tried to reason with them. To get this madness to stop.”
If I was alone I’d cry. Because of loss. Because of anger. Because this is a game I’m going to lose.
I sip my coffee instead. It goes rancid in my mouth as memories of that night taunt me. The crack of Ray’s bones against wood. Ray’s blood speckling the killers with every hit he takes. Their howling shouts as they hit him some more. His pleads for mercy provoking them to lynch him.
Laine’s cell phone goes off yanking me back to now. She takes the call. “Describe it.”
Her rage rolls over me as she disconnects. She shoots out of her chair and hurls the phone across the room. The shattered pieces tinkle to the floor as she draws her anger into herself.
It’s like watching the creation of a black hole.
“We identified one of the killers.”
So they’d done their job for once. So will the defence attorneys. Justice will miss the court date.
I will not cry.
So I laugh.