Private Voices: Part 38

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. Three years after the death of their son, Janice and her estranged husband Bill are moving into their new home behind a wall.

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 Jenny, while happy to see them together now must find a way to work around the new awkwardness. After a trip home to see her family, Jenny comes to terms with her new life in Ohio and a disconnect from her family.

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's assistant Yara with the help of her sister Maria plans on escaping the island and Ava's control.


Ava starts her plan going between Miami and Fort Myers. She fould a hitchhiker on the way she would either keep or feed to the alligators.

Part Thirty-Eight

Jenny ended the call and looked back at her apartment. It was decorated as if taken straight from an Ikea catalog. It had no personality, and it didn’t reflect her tastes at all. Bill and Janice were continually reinventing themselves, but she was the same person on the same couch as she was nearly five years ago. She had drastically changed her love life, but her day-to-day was just as ordinary or unoriginal as it was when she was a child and had no say in any kind of decorations. What she did have was blank walls and a large group of artist friends. Her lease wouldn’t allow her to paint the walls, but there were many ways to add color. She sent out a mass invitation to an apartment warming party asking people to bring their paints and whatever they used to make art. She then measured the walls and ordered frame wrapped canvas big enough to cover the bare walls. She also ordered enough drop cloths to cover the floors and plenty of alcohol. She planned on having a party starting on Friday night and ending on Sunday with a decorated apartment and the end of the old Jenny.

Ava left the check-in after changing her reservations from one to two. Lance turned from a quickie to someone she would use for the week. She had planned on feeding him to the alligators, but he earned his life for now. She looked him over and realized he didn’t fit into this hotel.


Ava told him, “I think we need to make a slight change.”


The first change was a shower, and as he showered, Ava had the concierge sent out for a tailor as well as some essential clothing items such as socks and boxers. With all her calls made, she joined him in the shower. When they were done, Ava sat him down and sat on his lap with a mug of lather and a straight razor.


She said, “Hold still, I don’t want to ruin your pretty face.”


She slid down onto him and started to shave his face as they had sex. She finished with his face and what they were doing just as the stylist arrived. Ava put on a robe and met with the man at the door. As he set up, Ava opened the door to the bathroom and showed Lance as he re-showered to the stylist who just whistled and waved his hand in a fanning motion in front of his face.

Janice cut into her steak and was happy to see the deep red of a rare steak. Bill was amazed to see Janice dive into her second twelve-ounce New York Strip steak. She told them to leave off the sides, but with the first steak, they brought mashed potatoes that were untouched on the first plate. Bill knew to eat slow or be stuck watching as Janice tried to eat an entire cow. About the time she started to lick the plate, he knew this was going to be a long night, but luckily for him, she was finished. On the way out, Bill bought an entire cheesecake for later. They stopped at a grocery store and bought steaks and charcoal for the grill.


In the car, Janice said, “In all the emotion of the day, I didn’t ask if you wanted another child.”


She leaned toward him and asked, “Do you?”


Bill said, “I don’t want to replace Brandon, but I always wanted him to have a brother or sister, so yes, I want our child.”


Bill looked out the window as they passed from a commercial area to a residential.


He said, “There are times I see him.”


Janice went numb then cold.


She asked, “Who?”


Bill replied, “Brandon. I’ll see a park and just for a second I could see him playing there or in a gang of kids playing a game or swimming. I often wonder what he would have been like as a teen, and I miss him even more.”

Jenny’s friend Tasha came over, and they sat in her living room watching Orange Is the New Black, smoking weed and making out. Their clothes were everywhere, along with bottles of wine. Jenny met Tasha at a protest for an amendment for gay rights in the Ohio constitution. Tasha was a lot like Jenny, as well as nothing like her.


They were both bisexual or what Tasha called pansexual because, as she said, “I don’t care what you are as long as you want me.”


Tasha was from a wealthy family in the upper west side of Manhattan. She decided to go to Kent State so she could get away from her mother and her wanting to find her a man. Like Jenny, she spent her time trying to find herself as an adult away from her parents. They lay there entwined with each other watching the tamest prison show, wondering what a show like this would look like if they made the show. Tasha wrote a short pilot for a show that was about a group of women after they got out of prison. They went to sleep reciting lines from her script and saying how someone should make her show.

Ava and Lance went dancing at more than a few of Miami’s nightclubs. Lance didn’t have any identification, but Ava knew that money would open any door. All cleaned up, and well-dressed Lance was not only cute but handsome in a gaunt sort of way. The stylist said he was Brad Pitt if the actor decided to fast for a month or three. Ava was still on the fence on whether to let him live or kill him on her last night in Miami. She didn’t think that she wanted to spend any more time with him past that week, but he had an endearing naivete that made her rethink just chucking his body to the alligators. Before that night, he had never had a drink or smoked a joint. His reaction to her was almost comical with the gaping jaw and prominent erection. She could see her and Yara or Hector sharing this man for a while, then dispatching him in style. They went back to the hotel, and Ava cut the clothing off Lance and herself. Using a variety of drugs and toys, she and Lance spent the evening having Ava’s kind of fun.

Yara closed her bedroom door and opened the doors to the outside. She stripped down to a simple pair of shorts and top. She went to bed alone for the first time since she was sold to Ava. After the years of noise, the silence was deafening. On the other side of the island, Hector was filling in a hole. He had just buried the body of one of the upstairs maids. After Yara said he couldn’t touch the new girl, Hector took his frustrations out on her. He thought of her as her and not Alicia. He wasn’t sure when things went wrong. One minute he was on top of her the next he was burying a knife in her chest. He lost count on how many of these people that Miss Ava called, “throwaway people” they had killed. She either paid them well or, in many cases, paid their families well. He was one of the people she bought. His life was worth about seven-hundred dollars. He stared down at the breaking waves on the rocks below and wondered if he should jump and go to whatever hell was waiting for him.


Maria called Lucas into the small bedroom she was assigned.


She said, “I am so sorry about how she treated you.”


Lucas was still naked as per Yara’s orders. He eventually learned not to cover himself after more than a few of the staff either told him to stop or slapped his face, yelling stop. She knew that many of the staff wanted to be here and saw Ava and her sister as some sort of royalty. Maria was wearing a special nightgown she took from her sister that was a little more than a see-through robe. She opened the robe and let him see her body. He was the first boy to do so since she was five and went skinny dipping back home. This was very different from those times. She moved closer to him, and they kissed. She could feel him grow aroused. She looked down at the instrument that will take her virginity.


Lucas whispered, “What do we do now?”


She slipped off the robe and tossed it on a chair. Then she took his hand, and they went to bed.


She said, “I think we can figure it out.”

Janice and Bill lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. He was wondering what the next school year will look like, as well as the chance of a new son or daughter. He would never say it out loud, but he wanted a daughter. A daddy’s little girl, he could spoil as a child and defend from boys as a teen. He could see her as a valedictorian from both Harvard and Yale. He could also see her children and their grandchildren. Janice was staring at the five-year-old Brandon as he sat in the corner with his stuffed panda talking to the bear as if it was alive with the bear talking back. With a new child coming, she knew she had to do something about Brandon. Either he was driving her insane, or her insanity was creating him, she didn’t know. What she did know was that just the thought of losing him again was heartbreaking.


Bill whispered, “you’re thinking about him again. I know because I think about him every day. I wonder what he would think about where we are and about becoming a big brother? I wonder what kind of man my son would have been. I wonder if he ever forgave me for taking that bear away?”


Top Hat Panda stood up and shook his head “no.”

Janice leaned over and kissed Bill on the cheek,

She said, "this has been a long day... I want a steak for breakfast."

© 2020 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron

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