What God, Chapter 2Posted: September 2, 2014
The following is the second chapter of a work-in-progress novel. Please let me know what you think! First Chapter Here
“You’ve been going to meetings, right?” Misha Mala, chief of police. A beautiful woman, if that was your sort of thing.
“Went to my first last night” I was sitting down in the single chair that sat on the other side of her desk. She was standing. I wasn’t in a place of power.
“Is that why you were out in the middle of the sprawl at 7 in the morning?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about” The rest of the office seemed to buzz a little bit more than usual, the copiers overactive, the typing more frantic, the coffee more pungent.
“I have a problem, Detective Grant,” Usually she called me Michael but today she said the words like my mother using my middle name. A warning; beware who enter here. “30 seconds and you’ve lied to me twice. First off, you said that you’ve been going to meetings for the last 3 weeks. Second, I have dispatch telling me you called in a fire far from the edge of our jurisdiction. So what do I believe, Michael? I gave you a-” I had shaken my mug to see if the coffee was working and after staring at it for a while I realized it hasn’t kicked in yet. She noticed.
“You were saying, Chief Mala?” I usually called her Misha.
“Are you drunk?” One could dream.
“I just spent the last 10 hours driving. I’m just tired”
“You lie to me about the meetings, about where you were last night, what in the hell should I believe, Michael?” My gamble seemed to have worked, she used my name. This is an improvement.
“I’m not an alcoholic, Misha you know that. Now, I’ll go to your meetings, but I don’t want to be accused of- Look, I don’t get drunk, its not economical. It takes 3 Manhattans to get me buzzed, Misha, I can’t keep that up on my salary. If you want to give me a raise to help me become an-“
“Just shut up.” There was a smile. She’d never admit it, but there was. “You’ve got to do this. After midtown, you have to play the game. You shot an innocent woman” It was a bit unfair putting it like that. She lived and barely has a scar. Just the wrong place and wrong time. It wasn’t exactly fair for Internal Affairs to call it assault, though, the lady just got into my line of fire. “Its bad enough you don’t seem to care at all, I don’t need-“
“I thought the bad part was the fact that I was under stress and… seeing things? As you put it?” I was firing at a figure running from a murder scene. The body at the scene was barely recognizable. No ID was ever made because no body was ever found.
“Why did you lie to me about the meetings?”
“Changing the subject I see.” I continued before she figured out that I was the one who changed it first, “I don’t want to go to a grown man’s pity fest.” A moment later and the regret hit me hard.
“I can kick you out of this department so quickly the door tears your ass off” Her father was an alcoholic. Years of going to meetings had saved his life. What she had only admitted to me once was that it had saved hers as well.
“I’m sorry.” I was. “Misha, I don’t have anything in common with those people. I know I have to play out this political crap, I just didn’t feel like wasting my time in a place I don’t need to be”
“So why drive all night?” Why indeed.
I didn’t know the answer to that question and I should have. I got out of the meeting chock full of caffeine and nicotine, a chemical intake that passes for sobriety in those circles. “I started driving. Couldn’t sleep”. It was true enough, or at least the best answer I had.
“Christ, Michael.” She stopped, considering something for a second, “Look, we’ve had a big case come in. Can you handle it? Do you want it?”
Want is such a weak word. “Please God, give me something to do.”
“I could get used to being called God. Can you drive?”
I started to answer, and almost got half a breath out before-
“Don’t answer that-” She called out into the pit, “Hey Sergeant! Give Grant a ride to the Kraden site, let him sleep some in the back.”
God is such a weak word for what she is.