Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.
The Story So Far
Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. After a ceremony to honor their late son, Janice and her ex-husband Bill prepare to live together again. Janice's assistant, a young woman named Jennifer Gordon, known as JG while happy to see them together now must find a way to work around the new awkwardness.
Janice was hired to help a man named Stanley Franco find out why his wife Ava is fighting a divorce. During the investigation, she stumbled onto a unique counterfeiting scheme designed to infect scanning machines allowing the user access to a company's funds. When her client was murdered, Janice turned her case over to the local police. She contacted someone from the secret service with help from her mentor, a former police officer named Sean. In the process, she found herself being watched by the FBI and Ava, a woman that isn't who she appears to be.
Samuel Saunders, an old friend of Bill, hired Janice to help his wife, Margaret. He thought she might be the victim of a blackmail scheme involving her past. Janice followed Margaret to Steve's Hotel in Green, Ohio, where she met with her boss Gregg Allen and a teenage boy where they engaged in some sort of sex act.
Ava, the wife, and murderer of her husband, Stanley Franco, while in hiding at Steve's Motel. Watched Janice watch the strange events wondering if she was seen and what was going on.
- Private Voices: Part 07
Janice takes on a new client and a case involving blackmail. The case takes her into the path of danger.
A car pulled into the parking lot of the motel and strayed just enough off to crush a gnome. Ava got out with a six-pack of Miller Light beer and a bottle of the cheapest vodka she could find. She was dressed in just a slip that did absolutely nothing to hide her figure. She walked up to the door of the teen’s room and knocked. He opened the door and saw her then the booze. Without a word, he let her in and closed the door.
The boy said, “I usually don’t do freebies, but you brought my favorite drank.”
The boy chugged a can of the beer. Ava came over to him and pulled his boxers down. She pushed him back to the bed and got on top, forcing his hands back and into a pair of cuffs on the headboard.
He smiled saying, “hell yes.”
Ava pulled a knife and put it to his throat.
She asked with a malicious smile, “I think you need to tell me what is with the woman and Santa.”
Whether it was the stress of the situation or the hot woman straddling him, Jimmy didn’t know or care. Ava looked back and saw he was hard. She slid down onto him as she put the knife to his throat.
She said, “tell me before you come, or I’ll cut it off and leave you to bleed out.”
Jimmy replied, “some guy paid me to have sex with the two of them as well as the Elvis looking guy…. that is all I know.”
Ava opened the bottle of vodka then took a drink. She dumped the bottle over the boy and herself as she ground on him. After the bottle was empty, she drove the knife into Jimmy’s chest. She kept grinding on him until he grew still and flaccid. On the way out, she set the vodka-soaked body on fire and left the motel for good.
The next day Janice sat in her office while JG half-watched from between her fingers. Next to her was the newspaper talking about the fire at Steve’s motel and the dead runaway. James “Jimmy” Williams was a sixteen-year-old runaway from Canton, Ohio. The paper quoted the parents who were talking about his drinking and how they tried to put him in a place that could help. Janice checked what she came to know as gnome vision and saw the tire strike the gnome then pull away. The car did some damage, but it didn’t break the camera. She got a clear image of Ava going in then coming out as the fire was starting.
Janice asked, “what connection could Ava have to all this?”
JG turned her back to the video and said, “what does any of that matter. This proves she is still here, and that should be enough.”
Wednesday’s paper had the suicide of the principal of a charter school as the headline. From what Janice could piece together, Gregg Allen saw the story about the fire. He killed himself rather than being around when DNA evidence linked him with the boy. It was an open secret that the state had DNA profiles of all their workers, and they would have him as soon as it matched.
In a conversation with Sean, he had said the DNA thing was, “a lot of crap. No police department would ever collect such information without a warrant or probable cause.”
The paper mentioned he left behind a wife, seven grown children, and twelve grandchildren.
Sean asked, “is it possible he was just a closeted homosexual or some sort of pedophile?”
Janice understood Sean and is ancient thinking, but she also knew that the two were not the same thing.
She said, “there was something off with the video. It was like he was trying to make small talk with her. He also got angry when she stopped him.”
Sean replied, “what about the other person in the room…the one giving directions?”
Janice went back and played the video again, and the one male voice was really two voices. The one that said on your knees was slightly different from the attempted small talk.
Janice knew she couldn’t go to a crime scene, so she did the next best thing. The officers that worked the scene were in the bar.
Officer Reed, “Yeah, the fire crew said there was a lot of tech for such a crappy room. A sixty-inch plasma on the wall was tied into the internet with a camera. A detective thinks that someone was watching whatever was happening in that room and may have even caught a view of the fire… Poor little bastard.”
Janice left the two officers with a free pitcher of beer and went back to her office. At her desk, she wrote, “if the perp had better gear in the room, then why have Allen record the sex?”
Brandon looked over her shoulder and said, “you wrote a bad word.”
Without thinking, Janice said, “sex isn’t a bad word.”
She looked over at the twelve-year-old Brandon sitting in a chair with his leg up in the last outfit he ever wore to her office. She had told him he needed to wear a tucked-in button-down shirt with slacks and a tie to her place of work. In what would have been a starter in his teenage rebellion years, Brandon wore a pair of tan pants, multi pastel plaid shirt with a bowtie. He was playing the old Gameboy he bought at a game store a few months before he died.
Brandon looked over at her and said, “maybe you should go and talk to her. It would seem she could use some help.”
Janice checked the GPS tag she put on Margaret’s car and saw she was in downtown Akron near the All-American Bridge. The bridge was known as the Y-Bridge, because of the lane split that forms the shape of a Y. The bridge was also known as the Why Not Bridge because of its notorious reputation for suicides.
Margaret said, “I don’t know how it really started. I was in love, and he was everything to me. He also owed a lot of money to some guys that would have killed him for not paying.”
Margaret looked over the side of the bridge. “The first time he told me I didn’t have to do it, he would find a way, but I thought that it would show him I loved him, so I did it. The guy was harsh and nasty smelling. I could feel his hands on me for days after it was over.”
Margaret looked to Janice, “I soon found out that I was sold to these guys, and I had no choice... Well, that wasn’t true for long. I eventually turned myself in to the police who arrested me for prostitution; they found me some help.”
Janice asked, “what about Allen?”
Margaret turned to Janice, surprised to hear the name.
Margaret said, “about a month ago someone sent a file with what was supposed to be my sealed juvenile records. The man said he would ruin our lives if I didn’t do what he said.”
Margaret put one foot over the side, aiming for the street below.
Janice said, “think about Samuel, he knows there is something wrong, and he wants to help you.”
Margaret said, “he will never forgive me.”
Janice replied, “not if you don’t give him a chance. Also, if you do this, then that monster will win, and the video recordings will be all that is left of you and Allen.”
Margaret pulled in close and asked, “what recordings?”
Janice was able to pull Margaret in before anyone saw her on the side of the bridge. She helped her to her car where she showed her first the video then a police report about all the camera’s in the motel room.
“Something felt odd about that boy being kept in that teenager’s wet dream of a room. There was no way Allen could have done all of that,” Margaret said as she fought back her tears for the lost boy and a man she thought was to blame.
Janice said, “given time the police or the paper will find out what they had on Allen, but for now no one knows about you.”
Margaret turned to Janice and said, “well, just maybe that should change.”
Margaret stood behind a series of microphones with every network logo. She was with a lawyer, her pastor, and a man that dwarfed her six-foot even height.
She spoke, “When I was sixteen, I was sold into sex slavery by a man that I thought was my boyfriend and there I stayed until I was nearly eighteen and I found help from the police. It was the worst time of my life until the last month when I let a man use me and my fear about my past to abuse a young boy and use a friend.”
Janice watched as Margaret talked about how she was contacted then told she had to do what he said, or he would ruin her life. She also outed Gregg Allen as a secret pedophile who was also being blackmailed by the person. Gregg had lied about his record to get the job where he never touched any of the students, but he did find what he wanted on the internet and back alleys. As she spoke, she was joined by an FBI agent named David Sampson, the Chief of Police, and the Mayor of Akron as they took questions about the search for this man and what was next for Margaret.
The next day Janice met with Margaret in lockup. She was in an orange jumpsuit behind a pane of glass.
She said, “I can’t help but think that this is the freest I have felt in the last month.”
Janice asked, “what are they going to do now?”
Margaret said, “well, first, I am going to be released today. The district attorney cut me a deal, and with my cooperation, I will be free and have no charges at all. They said they would go after the person or persons that did this as well as the woman from your video that killed that poor boy.”
Janice was surprised to see such compassion from a person that was used in such a horrible way.
Margaret said, “when I was on that bridge, I said to myself this was my lowest point, and if I can find my way out, then everything else would be better. Living with hate and fear will just ruin what little time you have on this earth.”
Ava watched as a reporter on CNN talked about her while the Spanish subtitles ran below the screen. She was in a small village in Mexico waiting for her boat that would take her home and away from the long arm of the American Law.
Scott Scalene sat in his dark, dank apartment using a pricy setup to operate the multiangle camera system. He used the footage to run an illegal porn site he could sell for top dollar. This one would be his masterpiece with the man that ruined his life as the star as well as the teacher that flunked him then had him expelled when she found him in a back room with a younger student. He was discharged later arrested eventually being labeled a sex offender. Jimmy was someone he found on the street. A nameless, homeless thing he would subsequently bury with the others he had in his favorite place. Scott laughed, knowing they would never find him even as the fiber optic camera the police were using followed his every move. When they moved in, he went to lockup crying and screaming, disclosing information on everything he ever did as well as all his clients. In total, sixty-five people were arrested and charged. Sean said how Scott even confessed to the Kennedy assassination and the Lindbergh baby.
The Next Part
- Private Voices: Part 09
Three men are hired to stop Janice.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron