This is my fourth installment of another Sophie Marceau mystery, but this time it is with Ronovan Writes and the Friday Fiction prompt. Basically Ronovan gives us a prescribed guideline to utilize in building a story. I enjoy this kind of storytelling and this time Ronovan gives us the freedom of including three of five objects within this weekly challenge. The objects are: Cheese, Ladder, Wart, Bottle, and Flower. I invite you to check for previous chapters in the links that follow this week’s story.
Sophie Checked her watch. Only forty-eight minutes had passed from the moment Casey Ritter layed a linebacker-style air-removing full body tackle onto the suspect in her back seat and the time it took them to travel to the precinct, but what she saw in front of her boggled her mind. She was sure every member of the press for fifty miles had broken every traffic statute ever created to beat a path here for this moment.
On any given day no more than a dozen uniformed officers would be on foot at the precinct and at least twice that number had been surged here in an effort to handle this throng. Tom laid on the horn, willing the crowd to part so they could get closer to the building, but energetic and story thirsty reporters only pushed forward harder in response to his effort.
Sophie saw a couple of cameramen with their arms wrapped around the rungs of utility crew ladders against a nearby pole, trying to get a better angle to document this event. The whole region had been engulfed in the Crimson Nights story for much too long and Sophie chided herself for not realizing this was going to be a huge, huge deal.
“Seriously?” Tom said as a reporter shoved his microphone up against his driver door glass as if he was going to be able to record a response to his shouted question.
“They are wild,” Sophie said, looking at the man huddled in the back seat. His eyes were wild as he looked at the circus outside. He rubbed his thumb across the inside of his middle finger repeatedly, like someone with a habit they could not break. She could tell there was something there he was attending to, but was sure there was nothing they had missed when they patted him down. He continued to make the action, however, giving her ample concern.
She tried to alter her position in the seat to get a better view, hoping to eliminate her concern before Tom finally put the car in park. The man increased his action, making it harder for her to see exactly what he was doing. The man suddenly stopped as a flurry of activity near the entrance drew everyone’s attention that way. Sophie was the only one not distracted and she got what she wanted when she kept her attention focused and realized the suspect was rubbing a large wart on the inside of his finger. With her deep psychological training she noted this reaction and reminded herself to keep it fresh for later.
By the time Sophie joined the rest of the crowd to look at what caused the distraction Captain Redmond and Mayor Benjamin Crawley were positioned on the first landing of the steps leading from the parking area to the front door. Tom had managed to inch his way to the parking spots facing the area and the uniformed officers were struggling to make a pocket for them. When the two detectives emerged from the car they received a hero’s welcome from the crowd of officers and citizens. At the same time they received a barrage of questions from everyone with a microphone or recorder.
Tom pulled the suspect from the car and handed him off to Sophie as he struggled to make a path through the crowd toward the steps. They were just beginning to climb up to where the Captain and mayor stood when a glass bottle from their right crashed into the suspect’s head, causing blood to spurt onto Sophie’s pants. Suddenly half a dozen officers had firearms in hand, with their posture changing dramatically.
“This is getting too far out of hand,” Sophie shouted to Tom.
“They are not helping,” Tom announced, nodding at his captain and mayor, standing expectantly while eyeing all the media.