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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chapter Twenty Two

   “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new breakthrough in our case!” Eddie beamed, his eyes wide with excitement.
The camera panned in close enough to see his pores and he continued, “We believe that we have a suspect emerging from our evidence, and police are on their way to apprehend the suspect for questioning.”           

            It was six o’clock in the morning, a good six and a half hours before ‘One Week Window’ was slotted to be shown, but Reindt had greased some network palms and he had created a breaking-news styled segment to promote the show. David waited in the wings, his hands balled into fists to help slow his tremors, his teeth gritted tight in frustration.

            The investigators had nothing: none of the evidence had been conclusive, and no suspect was even close to being apprehended. Instead, Reindt had hired a kid from a local college to play the role of the shady ex-boyfriend so that they could accuse him and then absolve him a few days later in order to keep the ratings up. Reindt had employed this tactic before, of course, but he only resorted to it when the investigation had hit a dead end and the audience had failed to notice the trend.

            George Fletcher, the student actor, was waiting beside David in his street clothes, his hands cuffed behind his back and two burly cops, who were also actors, stood beside him. They joked amongst themselves and watched as George tried to eat a donut while hand cuffed, and one of them glanced over at David, his smirk evaporating when he saw the expression on the real cop’s face.

            “Really?” David asked.

            “This is my big break. My career is stuck in neutral.”

            “Singer, dancer, or actor?”


            “Please tell me you’re joking.”

            The young man shrugged his shoulders. “I have a talent.”

            “You do realize your face will be associated with the cold-blooded murder of an innocent woman?”

            The young man smiled and shook his head in a way that only a teenager could. “My agent has five six-figure offers on his desk. The moment I step in front of that camera my life changes. For the better.”

            David turned away. As a man, he knew when he had been defeated.

            The actors got their cues, and they took a moment to get into character before they grabbed George roughly by the shoulders and hauled him onto the set. David rubbed his brow and looked down onto his own script, his hands shaking more when he thought about all of the work he could be doing instead of playing along with the farce unfolding on national television.

            He was just about to turn to Reindt and complain when his phone buzzed loudly in his pocket. He frowned as Reindt shot him a look that could have killed and flipped the screen of his ancient cell phone open.

            “David,” a woman’s voice echoed slightly over the line, and before David could respond she continued, “I need to talk to you. Meet me at the South Street Methadone Clinic.”

            “Rosie?” David stammered into the line, “I’m at work.”

            Rosie snorted, “Meet me there in an hour then. It’s important.” the line went dead and David closed his phone as if in a dream, his eyes focused on something only he could see.  

            Reindt hurried over to him and hissed, “No cell phones! Jesus, David, these stupid kids from acting camp know better than that!”

            “I have to go.” David blinked at the director and handed over his script.

            “What?” Reindt demanded, the veins in his face red and suddenly very three-dimensional.

            David shook his head, “It’s important. I have to go to a Methadone Clinic.”

            “Whoa….I didn’t realize that you needed that sort of help.”

            “I don’t…I mean…” he shook his head, “I’ll be back.”
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