Detective Kent Barbado watched the interrogation.
It was hilarious to him that Albert - normally so reserved - was getting as frustrated as he was with someone who wouldn't talk back
Kent watched Albert rise up, and lean over the table
A feat by the measure of his belly pressed against the table.
If Kent's crux was coffee, Albert's was sugar - and carbohydrates in the form of croissants
He sipped his coffee
It was after 4am and he was on overtime
He thought as he looked at the clock seeing it half past the hour
He scratched the matted back part of his hair, a nervous habit as he ran through the events as he sipped
A phone call alerted them to the dead bod.
Kent had been there at the scene.
Dead body by the center of the couch, no obvious markings, and sobbing relative, recently returning from a bar.
And a catatonic neighbor with a bloody shirt on
'Double time actually...'
A quick blood type analysis showed that.
Type o negative, not b+.
They'd have a few hours, Maybe even a day or more for the toxicology report to run.
He wasn't sure how long the backlog was
Albert was shouting now, trying to provoke any response
Kent sighed and made his way in the room - ushering Albert out.
He sat in the chair across from her: so far she hasn't responded
'But not his blood...'
He reached to his side and pulled out a small flashlight and waved it across her face
Pupils pulled in, as he scanned it across her face
"Sorry about that, he usually has such a good temper."
He put it away
"Good pupil response..."
She did not respond
Kent sighed and considered: he pulled out his notebook from his overcoat's breast pocket and a pencil from the other
A thought crossed his mind
Tapping his pencil across the book he considered.
He took the pencil and pointed it directly at Martha's eye and pushed it forward
Like a slow homing dart
"Are you in there?"
He inched it closer
Letting the shape of things to come sink into her head.
He would stop it right before her eye, but would keep it moving at an even pace.
He was sure she was faking.
Or at least: she was in that blank stare somewhere
He got less than an inch before her eye closed
Just the one.
Her other eye continued to stare forward.
Not the dramatic reaction he was hoping for but something nonetheless
He pulled the pencil back and her closed eye opened.
Then closed - with the other one.
She blinked in rapid succession and wobbled her head, slowly coming to focus on the desk, then around her - then at him.
She tried to back away but was stopped by the handcuffs through the loop at the center of her edge of the table
'God let me be right about this...'
He started writing down in his notebook
Well: Doodling actually
Martha looked around the room
She wasn't focused on him
"Awake now are we?"
Kent leaned in, drawing her to look at him
"Well I've been...
I don't know where I was."
She turned to him, Then looked at the mirror behind him
"Do you know where you are now?"
^She had turned her face away from him
"Police station ^and I don't know how to do that...
Well deal with it..."
He wondered what the tox report would come back as
'Okay, so if the catatonic state was just any indicator, she may not be all there.'
Martha paused, then shifted her weight
"Martha, I'm detective Kent, do you know why you're here?"
Well, I wasn't moving, and you found my neighbor."
Martha barked a stifled laugh
"Can you tell me anything about what happened?"
Kent took a sip from his coffee
"You wouldn't believe me..."
Her eyes darted to the side
"I see a lot of weird shit, it's 4am, how about you just tell me...
In your own words."
Kent shifted forward
"No I won't do that."
"Well if you aren't..."
Kent waited - Martha sighed
"I mean, I'll tell you, just give me a minute..."
A tapping came at the door, Kent looked up.
Another set of tapping
A rhythmic knock he knew too well
"Okay. I have had a long night, a long weekend actually.
I'm not sure exactly where to start...
Look - this is not..."
Kent walked out of the room and closed the door, Tom was standing there
"I'll be back, apparently there's something important."
"I have the reports back."
"I told you, I don't need special -"
Kent scratched at the back of his head, absently trying to straighten his hair
"There was nothing else in the queue - don't get you panties in a bunch."
Tom handed over the folder
"Fine - what's it say?"
"Both of them - at least in no usual suspects - right now biggest suspect is heart attack."
Tom nodded and walked away, turning his head over his shoulder
"Right, is that it?"
Kent stood there, holding the folder.
Giving a small grunt as acknowledgement: he opened and read it while he walked back in the room
Kent noticed Martha darted her head toward him
Her eyes showing a flash of panic which subsided, her mouth was half open
Kent sat down, the folder open on the desk.
He leaned forward
"I'm not doing special favors for you..."
Kent looked up at Martha, who turned her head toward him
"Tox report says clean..."
'She kept looking to my side...'
"Good to know."
"So, want to tell me why you were comatose next to your neighbor's dead body."
'Glancing to her right again.'
"I... well, I was in shock."
"Normally shock doesn't make you go catatonic."
"Normally you don't see a dead body."
"Well, normally I do on this job."
"Mister tough guy, seen all dead bodies all the time, what a flex - I haven't seen one before."
"So what happened."
Martha stopped talking and looked back to Kent
Will you just?"
"I went over there to talk, they invited me in.
"Talk about what?"
"Talk about their dog, it was barking in the night."
Silence hung in the air
"And he just...
Martha's eyes darted to the right again.
And she sighed
Kent waited and eventually Martha started talking - he couldn't quite hear the words - they weren't loud enough, but he couldn't make them out
"What's so weird about that?"
Martha's eyes went wide.
She spoke louder
I don't -"
Sound was coming out - but it wasn't a language as far as he could tell: just random sounds
Was it speaking?'
She tapped her finger against her desk rapidly.
And she shuddered suddenly and the finger tapping stopped
She paused her head tilted to the right
"Martha, what are you doing?"
Kent tilted his head
"You don't watch a lot of TV, do you?"
"No: can't say that I do."
Kent shifted back
"Or books, or movies, or music, or the internet...
Or get out much?"
I haven't been really big into media...
Or the social media..."
Rossin in Martha Crisp
"I guess that's a good thing.
No hooks in you..."
Kent notice a lull, he thought she was going catatonic again for a moment.
But only for just a moment
I'm not addicted to anything..."
"That's not what he means."
Martha breathed out
Martha paused again and looked to her right
"I mean: literal...
Not literal - figurative...
No they really exist, just not a literal hook - you don't have any apparently."
"Okay you keep doing that?"
He looked over his shoulder
"Looking off to your side."
"There's nothing there."
Kent tilted his head.
"Not for you."
"I'm sorry, I don't find this situation funny...
Not ha ha funny...
Just type 2 funny."
Kent raised an eyebrow
"Type 2 funny?"
"Types of fun...
Something my mother...
See there's 3 types of fun.
Type one fun is fun in the moment, you're having a good time.
It's what you think of as fun...
Type 2 fun is fun after the fact, when you're safe.
Like after running from a bear or surviving the the siberian wilderness naked for six weeks."
"You aren't saying you were in Siberia?"
"No, it's just an example..."
"And what's the third type of fun?"
A silence fell over them, broken by Kent's cough
"Fun other's have after you've died from type 2 fun."
Martha nodded, lost in thought
"That's a little morbid, don't you think?"
She breathed again
"Type 2 and 3 look the same in the moment...
That's why type 2 is fun at all."
"That's what my mother said, at least..."
Martha shifted in her seat
"Okay, I'm going to ask you point blank, did you kill her?"
I don't quite know how to answer that..."
"A simple yes or no would -"
Kent waited, but Martha said nothing further
Her head tilted slightly to the side
He watched her, her eyes were following something.
Back and forth
"I broke the connection, I'm responsible...
But I don't think I killed her, not exactly..."
Kent raised his hand to support his head, his fingers reaching back to scratch the back
The coffee was weak, and it was late, he felt his patience running thin
"You don't have any hooks, he did."
"You want to make that make a little more sense to me?"
"I'm not sure I can."
"When you say connection...?"
Kent turned the words said back in his mind
"I can't really explain it...
I don't really know myself."
"When you said you had a rough weekend, what did you mean?"
I think I want to talk to a lawyer."
Martha nodded and he stood up
We'll put you in the holding cell...
We'll be able to get someone in the morning - two hours from now...
That alright with you?"
Martha understood that ironic tone:
She sardonically jazz hands'ed causing the metal chains to jiggle
"I'll get someone for those cuffs, just stay there."