- Jake Corbin
Last Week’s Memoir #17
Art by Paul Rios
Editor’s Note: The Last Week’s Memoir series is a collaborative story written by Jake Corbin, Bryce McEfee and Paul Rios. View previous LWM Serial No.1 entries to read the story from the beginning.
“Hello? Listen, son, if you don’t tell me what happened, then I can’t help you.”
Andy realized it had been a few seconds since he had said anything; he was just staring blankly at the captain of the Sector 7 Police Station. He probably thinks I’m on drugs, Andy thought, while pondering his next move. With the way his day was turning out, being smashed out of his gourd on LSD sounded lovely—at least then he could write off this living nightmare to a psychedelic-induced haze. Unfortunately, he was quite sober.
“I, um… yeah, they just… they just started shooting at me,” was the best Andy could muster.
It was hard for Andy to be coherent at the moment. The last 24 hours were flashing through his mind like a TV set permanently on fast-forward—the DVR’d events of the day blasting by from start to finish in a semi-comprehensible set of blips and blurbs. Am I going crazy? Did I lose a day of my life? Why did I black out in a pool of blood, and why does this cop know my name?
Andy was not having a good start to the week.
“Why don’t you run through what happened one more time,” the captain said, semi-sympathetically.
Andy was raised to obey and trust police, but those sentiments were quickly disappearing. A bead of sweat trickled down Andy’s temple as he started to recount his story.
“Like I said, I was in the alley about five blocks over…”
“What were you doing in the alley,” the captain interrupted.
“I was driving home on the freeway. I didn’t feel well, so I pulled off and found a spot to relax for a minute,” Andy lied. “I must have fallen asleep, but when I woke up there was this man with one of those old TVs; he told me I should leave…”
“So, you did talk to someone?” The captain seemed intrigued by this information. “Earlier, you said you left the alley and were suddenly being shot at; I’m confused.”
“That is what happened, but… but, I talked to this man first…”
“Well, what was this man’s name? What did he say to you?”
“He didn’t say his name. He just said I shouldn’t be there; that I should leave.”
Andy didn’t bother to mention that the mystery man knew his name as well.
“What did this man look like?”
“He, was, like… well, I don’t really remember.”
“You don’t remember what this guy even looked like?” The captain upped his sarcastic meter by at least 60 percent. “Nothing? Not his hair color? Did he have facial hair? A tattoo perhaps? Maybe clothes? Was he wearing clothes? What aren’t you telling me, Andy?”
Any inclination Andy had that maybe the officer hadn’t actually said his name earlier vanished.
“Huh? I’m not telling you anything,” Andy fumbled. “I mean, I’m telling you everything.”
“Maybe I should take you in, lock you up for a bit; maybe then you’ll start to remember something.”
“I’m telling you everything—I swear,” Andy said. His voice cracked at the end of the sentence—the sudden rush of fear was giving him a wicked case of cottonmouth.
“Look at me, Andy,” the captain said in a low voice. It was hard to talk loudly through gritted teeth. “Look at me in the eyes.”
Andy couldn’t have been concentrating on the captain any harder.
“I want to make sure this is very clear: TELL ME WHO YOU TALKED TO, OR I’M GOING TO HAVE TO CUFF YOU AND TAKE YOU IN!”
Andy wasn’t expecting an outburst, especially one as ear-piercing as that. Andy stumbled backwards as the words echoed and bounced around the small room. The captain wasn’t a fan of Andy’s sudden movement and reacted by lunging forward and pinning him to the ground.
“TELL ME WHO WAS IN THE ALLEY, ANDY!”
“I don’t know who he was,” Andy half-mumbled through the pain of the captain’s forearm smashing down on his neck. “He… had dark… hair. That’s all… I remember.”
The captain eased up on his WWE-worthy attack on Andy’s neck. Andy wasn’t sure if his tidbit of coerced information was the reason for his change in behavior, or if it was the sound of the door opening.
“What the hell is it, Rodriguez?” the captain screamed towards the office intruder.
Andy was still facing the ground, unsure if his neck was ready to move again.
“I heard a lot of noise, sir, and wasn’t sure if you needed assistance,” Rodriguez replied.
“I have everything under control; everything’s OK in here,” the captain retorted while dusting himself off.
Andy was out of it, but he was aware enough to know everything was not “OK in here.” He rolled to his right to make eye contact with Officer Rodriguez, hoping the desperation of his situation would translate silently. Andy’s subliminal cry for help, however, quickly turned to overt perplexity as soon as he laid eyes on the man at the door.
“Let me know if you want me to take this kook off your hands, Captain.”
Officer Rodriguez was the man from the alley.