The book is coming out soon, so I figured I’d put another excerpt on my site.
This is the first real interaction between the two main characters, and it happens to be during a police interview. I suppose that’s the only explanation you’ll need for the purposes of knowing the context of the scene.
Jay took the key to Garrett’s handcuffs out of his front left pocket. “Mr. Moore, let me take care of those.”
Garrett rubbed the indention on his left wrist. “Thank you.”
“Can I get you some coffee or a cigarette?”
Jay noticed sweat building on Garrett’s forehead and a subtle shaking in his right hand.
“Yeah, I’ll take some coffee.”
Jay got up and poured Garrett a cup of the dirt flavored coffee. They didn’t brew fresh pots in the interview room, so Jay tended to steer clear from it unless he was in dire need. He gestured to the cream and sugar, and Garrett nodded.
After Jay set the coffee down in front of Garrett, he took a seat at the table, switching on the voice recorder as he did so.
“So Mr. Moore, do you remember me?”
“Yeah, you’re the guy who chased me.”
“Can you walk me through what happened that day?”
“Nothing much to it—the guy pulled a gun on me, and I shot him. End of story.”
“Hold tight…let’s back up, what happened before that? Before you guys ended up in the alley.”
“I don’t remember. I was just walking through the alley on my way to the store, and the dude pulled a gun on me.”
“Okay, so who were you with? Two different guns caused the man’s wounds. We know there was another shooter.”
“I don’t know, just some guy who was there. He saw the dude pull a gun on me, and he tried to help me out,” Garrett lied. “If you do find him, let me thank him.”
The murderer that ran away in the ally now made his appearance; the man sitting in front of Jay was arrogant, tough, smart, and had nothing to lose.
I’m already losing my patience with this piece of shit, Jay thought.
Jay glanced over at the two way mirror and saw the frustrated, defeated man posing as him. He shook his head and turned off the voice recorder.
“Look. We have several witnesses that told us you and another man were chasing the victim minutes prior to the shooting. That self-defense bullshit isn’t gonna hold up in court if you were the instigator. Do you understand?”
Yes Garrett, I can lie too.
Garrett looked unfazed. He continued to stare at the wall behind Jay.
“So if you don’t wanna spend the rest of your life in a cage, you better start talking. As it stands now, we’re gonna roast your ass in court.”
Garrett rubbed his bearded chin and continued looking straight forward.
“Oh I get it,” Jay persisted. “You’re waiting on your court appointed attorney to come save your ass. Is that it?
“Let me tell you something. Those guys don’t care about you. You have a man who ranked last in is class, at Slacker School of Law defending your freedom. And here you are, stonewalling me. I’d rethink that if I were you.”
“Who are you, Uncle Tom? I ain’t telling you shit,” Garrett snapped. “You wasting your time, homie.”
Relief is a good word to describe how Jay felt. He was happy to get him talking again, despite what came out. However, Jay knew he had to change gears. He flipped the voice recorder back on.
“Okay, fair enough. Well tell me something. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Manuel Philips? He’s a potential suspect in our case.”
Garrett’s eyes twitched toward the door. Jay recognized his look in the direction of an exit as the tell-tale sign of an imminent lie.
“I don’t know any nigga named Manuel.”
“That’s funny. We got your phone records from TechNet Wireless. It shows you called Mr. Philips more than your wife in the time leading up to you getting arrested,” Jay said. He dropped the sheet of paper on the table in front of him. “How do you explain that?”
Garret sat there looking at the phone records. The two made brief eye contact that Garrett broke almost instantly.
I got him now, Jay thought.
“So Mr. Moore, how about you save us both the trouble. Tell me he was involved, and where I can find him.”
“I don’t know where he at! I don’t know him.”
“Okay Mr. Moore. Let me just remind you what you’re facing.”
Jay looked down to read off the sheet. “Murder, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, and concealing a firearm without a permit.
“Now Mr. Moore, if you don’t cooperate, do you know how much time you’ll spend in jail? Actually, I have a better question—do you know how much time you’ll spend outside of prison during the remainder of your life?”
Garrett took a sip of his coffee which must have been lukewarm by then. He inhaled deeply and shot a quick look toward the observation window. Then, their eyes met again.
“Okay, do you want to know where he’s at?” Garrett said, sounding a little bit fatigued.
“Yes, that’d be a pretty good start.”
“Okay. Get in your car. Drive down Harwood. Take a right. Then fall off the face of the fucking earth.”
Jay stood up and threw the handcuffs onto the table. “Thanks Mr. Moore.”