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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Welcome Back to one Week Window

Chapter 12
      “Welcome back to One Week Window, the show where the fans are just as important as the cops.” Eddie glanced over to Al Reindt behind camera one with a large grin, expecting to get a thumbs-up for his ad-libbing.
Instead, he just got a vague, slightly horrified stare from the director, “I’m Edwin Glaise, and I’m here with the mother and father of our victim of the week, Ms. Darcy Tucker.” he beamed up at the studio audience with teeth so bright that they sometimes had to use a filter on the cameras to avoid a glare, “Lets give them a warm round of applause!”

            As the audience obliged, James and Holly Tucker blinked owlishly into the bright lights, the trauma of the last few days leaving them disoriented and haggard. As per Reindt’s orders, the makeup artists hadn’t touched the couple’s faces, leaving them looking almost corpse-like and delicate to the camera’s tactless eyes.

            Eddie grinned at them, and James blinked through the glare coming from the anchor’s teeth, “Welcome to the show! As you know, today we will be asking you some more in-depth questions about your daughter’s background and habits to give both our detectives and audience a better picture of who Darcy Tucker really was.”

            James and Holly both just stared back, unsure whether they had actually been asked a question. The executives had started bringing in the families of the dead for on-air interrogations just after the first three episodes, and the number of viewers had skyrocketed. While many people condemned the practice as unnecessarily cruel, the network executives had consistently sited the three or four cases where the interrogations of the bereaved had actually yielded facts that had proved invaluable to the case. Nevertheless, the interrogations were a recurring hot topic for late night talk shows and showed no sign of disappearing in the near future.

            “I think I speak for everyone here when I say that you have our deepest sympathies in this very hard time,” Eddie switched from his grin to his sensual, yet compassionate half-pout of grief so rapidly that it almost looked like a facial spasm, and Reindt winced behind the camera.

            James nodded stiffly, “Um, thanks.”

            Eddie waited to see if he had more to say, but when two or three seconds of dead-air passed he adjusted himself on the broad, talk-show couches that were used specifically for this section of the show, and began asking his questions. The set consisted of two long, low couches in a soothing taupe with plush pillows that were foundation-stained if one looked too closely. The idea was to invoke the feeling of living room styled comfort, and even though they looked clean and comforting, the couches were really just stock-room fabric stretched over stiff wooden skeletons. If Eddie had to count how many times he had seduced and bedded an intern on the cushions that Holly and James were currently resting on, it would have been a number bordering on obscene. He didn’t even want to consider how often he had lost a load into the pillows.

            “How long have you been married?”

            “Twenty years.” Holly answered, “Well, twenty next month.”

            “Awwww,” Eddie beamed out into the audience who echoed him, ignoring the fact that Holly had begun to silently cry, “And its been a happy marriage?”

            “Yes.” James said starkly.

            “So, you two have how many children?”

            “Two.” Holly said, and immediately flushed, “One now.”

            “And your other daughter’s name is?”

            “Jana Newport.” James cleared his throat, “Her husband’s name is Dylan Newport, they’ve been married for two years and have no children.”

            “Hey!” Eddie beamed, “Someone has seen the show before!”

            “No.” James looked down at his shoes, “But I figured that you’d want to know.”

            Reindt checked his clock and glanced at his assistant, “God this is boring. Go find Kringle and see if he’s finished with his sketches.”

            “Um…you mean Dr. Kreigel?”

            “Yes, yes.” Reindt pressed the button on his radio that allowed him to speak directly into Eddie’s earpiece and grumbled, “You are dying out there. We’re bringing on the German in about five seconds.”

            Eddie switched gears, “Do you have any idea who may have done this to your lovely daughter?”

            “If I did I wouldn’t be sitting here.” James growled, and almost immediately after, dozens of hits exploded around the Internet, most of which speculated if James was a violent or rage-driven husband.

            “Well, our specialized resident sketch artist has worked out some scenarios that may have occurred before your daughter’s murder. Since our forensic analysts have pretty much determined that Darcy knew her attacker, as the intercourse was consensual, do you think you might want to venture a guess as to who it might have been?”

            Holly’s nails cut half-moons into her palm and snarled, “She was a beautiful girl and so many people were attracted to her. I don’t know if she was dating anyone or…or what…”

            The audience clapped as Dr. Kreigel wandered onstage, a folder under his arm. He waved and sat down on the couch next to Eddie and set the folder across his lap like a tray.

            Eddie gestured to him and chortled to the audience, “Dr. ______ Kreiger, ladies and gentlemen!” Dr. Kreigel awkwardly waved once again and cleared his throat two or three times before Eddie prompted him, “So, what have you got for us, Dr. Kreigel?”

            “Well, I have drawn some scenarios that I feel are viable given the evidence available to us, the position of the corpse and the spray of coital fluids.” he opened the folder and set the first drawing on top of it, his mouth creasing into a terribly unpleasant grin, “This is Scenario A.”

            Holly looked like she was about to vomit and James gasped loudly. It was a sketch of Darcy straddling a faceless man, her shirt half torn off and her hair loose around her shoulders, a look of obscene bliss on her face. The faceless male was pulling a knife even as she was balancing on top of his genitals, even though she hadn’t been stabbed.

            “In Scenario A, we see Darcy in consensual, fairly…er…conventional intercourse. Does this seem like something she would do?”

            “How the fuck should I know?” James snarled, and Holly nodded rigorously, “I never watched her! That is disgusting!”

            “Well, then you really won’t like Scenario B.” Dr. Kreigel pulled out the second sketch, and this time Holy actually did vomit across the couches and onto the floor.

            The camera cut to a tight shot of Eddie’s face as he grinned, “And remember Folks, Dr. Kreigel’s sketches are available for purchase on our online store!”
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