Mystery and Crime Fiction posted February 11, 2019 Chapters:  ...11 12 -13- 14... 


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Tommy is overwhelmed by his situation.

A chapter in the book Eyes on You

Meltdown

by Mistydawn


Summary
Finding out his pregnant wife Jen needs a costly operation, Tommy turns to a life of crime
. They're in the middle of one of their jobs when the owners come home. Kirk is trying to see if the pawn shop owner has some stolen merchandise when armed thugs come in.

Tommy is driving through town thinking about all the events that's taken place the past few days. All I've ever wanted is to have a quiet, easy life taking care of my wife and kids. That's not too much to ask, is it? Well is it? He slams his hand on his steering wheel. I guess I should realize by now my life will never be simple. That I'm destined for a hard life no matter what path I choose. Tommy wipes the moisture from his cheek. He was born premature, addicted to drugs. His mom was able to kick her habit just long enough to regain custody of him. He glances towards the sky. Why can't you give me a break, God, why? What do you have against me? What? He dries his teary face again.

Tommy suddenly recalls the turmoil he went through as a child. A drunk, abusive dad, and a drug-addicted mom who would sleep with anything to get her next fix. How he had to steal basic necessities just to survive. I didn't want to turn to a life of crime, I really didn't, but what other choice did I have?

He thinks back to his recent encounters. Nearly getting caught by the homeowner, being questioned by the law, and his run-in with the vicious beasts. I have enough money for Jen's operation, but now I have to steal to pay our bills. Why can't something go right for a change, why? He hears sirens blaring behind him. Glancing back Tommy sees a cop on his tail. "What did I do wrong?" He quickly wipes his face as he pulls to the side of the road. The cop parks his cruiser behind him. "I didn't run a stop sign or anything, did I?" he questions, reaching for his glove box. He starts to pull out a stack of papers when he notices an officer by his door.

"Hands above your head, nice and slow." The officer instructs. Tommy stares at him curiously, uncertain of what's going on. "Do it now." He slowly lifts his shaky hands towards the ceiling. Tommy notices his backpack on the seat as he straightens back up. I thought Hernandez grabbed it. His door flies open. A second officer reaches in and pulls Tommy to his feet.

"What... What did I do, officer?"

The officer spins him around to where he's facing the car. Shoving him closer to its frame, the cop throws handcuffs on one hand and then the other. "You have the right to remain silent...." The officer begins.

***

Hanging up the phone, Jerry turns towards Rachel. "Sergeant, the lady said the dog bite did take place at her house and Tommy's snooping around was the reason he was bitten. She says she wants to file a complaint against him and the company and she plans on suing for property damages."

"Property damage?"

"Evidently, he fell into a bookcase, breaking a lot of expensive keepsakes."

"Looks like we're back to square one on our robbery case."

"Not necessarily." Smiling, Jerry continues. "His in-laws said they let Tommy and Jen borrow the Honda when their car broke down."

"Really, well, bring him in for questioning then."

"I'm already on it, sergeant."

"Of course you are." She laughs.

Hearing a commotion in the hallway, Rachel glances towards the door. She sees a handcuffed suspect being escorted across the room.

"Where do you want him, Sergeant?" an officer asks.

"Take him to room one, I'll be right there." She turns towards her detective. "Jerry, I want you to watch Tommy's reactions, let me know what you think."

"Sure thing, sergeant." Stepping into the room, Rachel walks over to her suspect.

"You know why you're here, right?"

"Yeah, the customer claims I purposely broke her stuff." Tommy nervously shifts in his chair.

Rachel starts to correct him, but decides he'll be less guarded about what she really wants to know if he thinks the interrogation is about something different. Reaching over, she clicks on the camera. "You were read your Miranda rights, correct?"

"Yeah."

"Do you understand them?"

"Yes."

"Good, start at the beginning and tell me what happened today?"

Taking a deep breath, Tommy anxiously begins. "I went into the lady's house to finish installing her satellite. When I was done in the front room, I headed to her den. Most rich folks have a TV in every room you know." He nervously adds.

"What happened then?"

"This mutt comes out of nowhere and grabs a hold of my leg. I try to shake the dog off, I lose my balance and fall into the shelf. The lady storms in and orders me out of her house."

"Where was Mrs. Pearson when the dog attacked you?"

"The kitchen, I think."

"So, what happened next?"

"I told her she's paying for my hospital bill and left."

"Where did you go next?"

"I went to the hospital, my boss called to say he'd meet me there. He told me she's wanting to file a lawsuit against me for all the broken items. He also said she threatened to report us to the FCC, PUC and the Better Business Bureau if I press charges. My boss advised me not to pursue the matter, said the company's insurance will cover my medical bills and reimburse her for everything I broke."

"Your boss advised you not to file a formal complaint?"

"He said it'd be in everyone's best interest if I let it go. This whole mess wouldn't have happened if she'd put her dog up like she's supposed to."

"So, it's her fault you were bitten?"

"I didn't ask that mutt to bite me."

"You didn't do anything to antagonize her dog?"

"No, I was looking for a TV when her beast came up from behind and attacked me."

Now for the important questions. She leans in closer. "What time did you arrive at the house?"

"It was a little before eight."

"Where were you earlier this morning, say between four and seven?"

He gives her an inquisitive look. "I was at home in bed, of course."

"Can anyone verify your whereabouts?"

"My children can. My neighbor, Linda will tell you I was still asleep when she came in to watch my boys this morning."

Rachel hands him her notebook. "Write her number down for me, please." Tommy does as he's told. Rachel grabs the paper off the table. "I'll be back in a minute. Would you like something to drink?"

"A soda would be nice."

"I'll see what I can do." Rachel steps into the hall. "What do you think, Jerry?"

"I think he's telling the truth about the whole thing."

"I do too, but I want to call his boss and Linda to confirm what he said."

"I'll get him a pop, sergeant."

Tommy is sipping his soda when Rachel returns."I see you have your drink."

"Yeah, thank you." He takes another sip.

"I talked to your boss and he confirmed what you told me about the threats. Linda said you were asleep when she arrived. So, I called Mrs. Pearson and explained the consequences of not keeping her dogs secure, and she decided not to pursue the matter any further."

"I'm free to go?"

"Yes."

"Thank you, Sergeant," he says, darting out of the room.

Kirk pops his head through the door. "We have James Cornell in interrogation room two."

"James Cornell?"

"He's 32 and owns a Honda."

"Did you ask if he has an alibi?"

"He said he was at home alone."

"Can any of the neighbors collaborate his story?"

"We're still looking into it."

"Ok, make him comfortable I'll be right there." Walking over to the captain's office, she knocks on the door. "Captain, I wanted to let you know that Tommy isn't good for this and Mrs. Pearson decided she didn't want to press charges against him."

"What changed her mind?"

"I advised her about a possible countersuit because she didn't keep her dog caged."

"I'm glad you straightened all of it out."

"We have another suspect in room two."

"I'll be right there." Hearing a knock on the door, they both turn around.

"Captain, Sergeant, I talked to one of Tommy's neighbors, he claims he saw Tommy leave around four this morning. Said he didn't return home until almost seven."

"That puts a twist on things. Do we still have the fingerprint from the window?"

"I believe so."

"Take prints from Tommy's pop can and compare it to the one from the house."

"Yes, sergeant."

Characters
Tommy, main conspirator in the crime
Vinnie, Larry Tommy's friends
Jen, Tommy's wife

Salois Brothers, Andy, Jeremy, Jack career criminals.
Berryville PD

Kirk, detective.
Rachel, sergeant
Joe, captain
Jerry, detective


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© Copyright 2019. Mistydawn All rights reserved.
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