Private Voices: Part 17

Updated on February 6, 2020
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Mike is an amateur writer working on building a hopefully compelling story. He lives in The Village of Lakemore, Summit Country, Ohio.

The Story So Far

Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by her troubled past and the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. With the help of her late son and her mentor, a former police officer named Sean, she runs her service, helping people in trouble.

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's brother-in-law Mike and his son Scott come for a quick visit before taking a long trip.

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. Ava wants Janice dead for her part in chasing her out of the States, to her Island near Cuba. Ava sent several people to try and kill Janice from her assassin lover to a band of bumbling thugs. The last attempt happened by a con artist running a scheme with an end of the world cult. Terrence Stamps' effort to have Janice killed was forted by an unknown strange.

Part Seventeen Chapter Five


Bill forced his way into traffic as horns blared and tires squealed. At the first three lights, he made it at the yellow, but the fourth light was red, and he went through.

From the back of the car Janice said, “Bill, are you trying to kill us before we get to the hospital.”

Bill looked back at a pregnant Janice with a dark red stain spreading down her jeans. Instead of slowing down, he sped up, finding the timing and reaching every light at the green. He jumped the curb and landed at the door to the emergency room only to see a sign saying the entrance was closed and they had to go down further. Bill pulled the car up to the right door, and an attendant met them as the first of the red and blue lights came into view. The attendant told him he had to move the car. The car was sputtering and throwing off smoke and oil.

The man turned to Bill and asked, “So, first-time father?”

Janice was in labor for another twelve hours as the police arrested Bill. He posted bail and made it back but not before the birth. They had already decided on the name Brandon. Janice’s grandmother was named Brandy, and Bill’s father was named Brian. The doctor told him that there was a complication with the birth, and they had to do a partial oophorectomy removing an ovary.

The doctor said, “It’s not impossible, but the likeliness of Janice getting pregnant again is unlikely.”

Bill closed his eyes, and when he opened them, he was in front of a coffin. His son was inside after an undiagnosed heart defect ended his short life. The box was open, and Brandon was inside, but it wasn’t the twelve-year-old that died on the soccer field. It was the two-year-old that would run around the house and follow him from room to room. Bill turned around to see the funeral home where the service was held. Standing there was Janice’s father with a shovel.

He said, “Maybe it’s for the best. Nothing good ever happens around my daughter.”

Bill woke up next to Janice in bed. He got up and went into the living room to find his brother Mike reading a worn letter.

Bill said, “You shouldn’t read other people’s letters, Micky.”

Mike put the letter down and asked, “Did you read this thing?”

Bill took it from him and folded it back up. He said, “I want nothing to do with that, man.”

Mike said, “I am surprised to hear you say that. I know part of the story, but this letter speaks of things I didn’t know and.”

Bill stopped him saying, “I don’t want to know. That man-made her life a living hell then tried to spread his hate into my family.”

Mike said, “Yes, he talks about what he said and how he wished he could take it back. He also talks about Janice’s mother being bipolar and how he left Janice to care for her while he fooled around with his current wife.”

Bill asked, “Did he say who that wife was or how old she was?”

Mike replied, “Yes. He talked about how he was in a park drinking, trying to find the courage to go home to his wife when Jennifer started to talk to him. It started there and eventually became more adult about the time Diana decided to stop taking her medication.”

Bill opened the letter. Her father wasn’t looking for any redemption if the letter was to be believed. His children were at the age where they were asking questions about their older half-sister. Both he and Jennifer wanted their children to meet her and let things go from there.

Janice woke to see Bill was gone. In the corner of the room was the five-year-old Brandon. He was in his Sponge-Bob pajamas with the unknown stain in the front that just wouldn’t come out. He had his old stuffed panda with the top hat. Bill had shamed him into letting it go when he turned nine, but Bill then put the bear into a closet. When they moved into the new apartment, she found the bear.

Bill said, “this was the moment I had decided to not be that guy anymore and let my son become whoever he was going to become.”

He said how the bear was a reminder of his failures as a parent. Brandon put Top-Hat Panda down where the bear stood on his own, looking at Janice. The bear tipped its hat and walked out of the room.

Brandon said, “He likes to make an exit.”

Brandon followed the bear out as Janice got up and went after them.

Janice came out and poured a cup of coffee and started to sit down, only then realizing she was topless. Mike turned to Bill as Janice calmly got up and went into the bathroom.

Bill smiled and said, “And yes, Scott is in the bathroom.”

Janice came back out, saying sorry and turning to the bedroom.

Mike said, “When I said I wanted to see more of the two of you, I didn’t mean this.”

The door to the bathroom opened, and Scott came out with a towel wrapped around himself.

Mike said, “Son, do you see why you lock the door.”

Bill countered, “No, the lock doesn’t work.”

Mike tapped the letter and said, “Tell her or not. I just think that she should know and soon.”

Bill asked, “Why soon?”

Mike tapped the letter from Jennifer saying, “Her father is dying, and he doesn’t have long.”

Bill said, “Men like this don’t deserve to put their past behind them.”

Mike shook his head saying, “This has nothing to do with him or what he did. This is about her and her ability to let her past go. If she doesn’t confront it, then she will live with her hatred of him for as long as she lives.”

© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron


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