The Commonwealth Heartland Map
I hate when people tell me history doesn’t matter. These are the people who can’t see anything but numbers and their ego.
I love learning about my history, the good the bad the ugly. I particularly enjoy learning about the time of colonization because it’s our origin story. It is the first time since the very beginning of humanity that we were all connected. It’s also the origin of humanity’s worse sins. That’s why we never really talk about it.
I hate history textbooks that leave out genocide and glorify those who were genocidal. Do you remember learning about Christopher Columbus in Elementary school? You know the story saying he was the only one who knew that the earth was round and ventured into the unknown to discover America. He thought he landed in India, so that’s why we called the indigenous peoples Indians. Only to find out later, that is all bull shit. Except for the part about him thinking it was India. Christopher Columbus really was an idiot.
I love reading unsolicited history. I remember the first time I realized that the history books lied to me. I was in the third grade, and I was reading a children’s picture book about Pocahontas. They were explaining how miserable she was in England and how much she hated shoes. I remember sitting in the library crying because they wouldn’t let her leave, and I knew the home she loved so much no longer existed. At the end of the story the author said that even though she was dead she could still be looked at as an American Icon. The Illustration blow depicted a picture of Pocahontas looking miserable in an English colonial gown covering everything but her face which was pale and sickly looking. The painting was in a museum where white onlookers looked on with a smile. I remember feeling sick because, in those moments I figured out that colonists didn’t just take the natives’ land.
I hate our revolution. “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions,” (Declaration of Independence par. 28). Translation: the king isn’t allowing us to expand west and murder more Indians. When I read this out loud in class junior year of high school, I was struck horrified. I knew our country was built on stolen land. I just never knew we rebelled against England because they prevented us from taking more. We didn’t discuss the topic in class any farther. Did my classmates already know this? Did they understood what this meant? Were they horrified like I was? Or were they just too blinded to care?
I love to learn about society’s failures. You know all the bad society as a whole did like, slavery, genocide, concentration camps, environmental destruction, colonialism, Imperialism, capitalism…Oops was I not allowed to say that one.
I hate that people don’t know our sins. Maybe if they did, they would actually try to fix them instead of being fixated on this false sense of manifest destiny.
so i read Medea, The Tale of Bluebeard, The Vegetarian, and Wide Sargasso Sea in quick succession, and came up with the idea for this short story almost immediately afterwards!! it will (i hope) explore themes of colonial violence, the intersection between racism and sexism, body politics and estrangement from the self. this excerpt is the opening of the short story as of now, and i’ll probably be posting the whole thing on tumblr when i’m done!
(general taglist under cut, please ask to be added or removed!)
À noite, um estranho pesadelo, no qual eu mesma me esforçava para chegar no lugar em que iriam me prender. Acordei estranhamente ansiosa, deixara as cortinas abertas e amanheci quente pela luz que atravessava o vidro da pequena e única janela do quarto. Não sabia que horas eram, nem recordava de escutar o toque insuportável do despertador, mas o gato arranhava a porta com a energia de um guerrilheiro, portanto ainda estava cedo.
Desconfortável e ainda cansada, tateei os lençóis cor de urucum da cama de solteiro em busca do celular: ainda eram sete horas. Levantei-me preguiçosamente e enchi os pulmões com o ar quente do fim do verão, o aglomerado de casas e prédios se estendia até onde minha visão alcançava. As ruas seguiam como labirintos, algumas poucas almas caminhando sabe-se lá para onde.
Abri a porta e Plutão veio logo esfregar-se em minhas pernas, um grande gato de lustrosos pelos negros e olhos cor de ouro. Eu o achava o animal mais lindo do mundo, mas qual dono não acha? Impaciente, o bichano começou a miar alto. O segurei em meus braços e dirigi-me à cozinha onde enchi sua tigela. Acariciei sua nuca enquanto sentia seu ronronar, os olhos brilhando enquanto mastigava a comida com vontade.
Aos poucos, o sonho passou de uma imagem vívida a uma sensação distante e incômoda. Por mais que eu tentasse não conseguia lembrar-me de mais nada além de uma árdua caminhada para o local de minha prisão. O que eu havia feito? Eu realmente havia feito algo? Por que tanto esforço em isolar-me propositalmente?
As palavras perderam o sentido.
Pus-me a aguar as inúmeras plantas da cozinha, quase secas, enquanto saboreava os restos de uma romã que guardara na geladeira. Achei os móveis insatisfatoriamente tediosos, marrons demais, inertes demais. O apartamento inteiro pareceu esfarelar-se por um segundo, talvez a “eu” do sonho estivesse certa.
Prensei um pão na frigideira e passei o café, um cheiro familiar que me regressava a infância na casa da família. Aquilo sim era casa. Pequena, mas de terreno grande. Muitos cachorros, pássaros também. Faziam ninhos nos pés de acerola e voltavam meses depois. Quando cortaram as árvores passaram a procurar espaços nas vigas da varanda. Plantávamos de tudo, mandioca, milho, cana de açúcar, alface, tomates cereja…
Uma sensação desagradável invadiu meu estômago enquanto sentava-me no sofá púrpura para atualizar-me nas notícias. Os vizinhos começaram com sua gritaria habitual, cada dia mais cedo, cada noite mais tarde. A mulher esgoelava-se com o filho mais velho, o marido, os cachorros. Reclamava das demoras do esposo após o trabalho, do desleixo do adolescente com o quarto, do bebê chorando. Até de Plutão ela regozijava-se em reclamar, um gato tão amoroso que desfilava pelas muretas da sacada em silêncio. Ela o chamava de praga, demônio e outros nomes.
“Gato preto dá azar, é coisa de bruxa!”.
Plutão não se importava, encarava-a toda vez com deboche, as vezes soltava um miado em resposta. Talvez gostasse de ser chamado de gato de bruxa. Mas que tipo de feiticeira mora num apartamento? O bichano pulou de repente no sofá e aninhou-se numa das almofadas, feliz e de barriga cheia. Eu sorri satisfeita ainda que incomodada com a sensação que se espalhava pelo meu corpo.
O calor começou a se alastrar pela casa, invadindo a sala com violência, aquecendo meu corpo deixando-me ansiosa novamente. Abri todas as janelas, mas ainda sentia-me sufocada. Eu já não cabia mais naquele apartamento.
Encarei as plantas que secavam nos vasos, Plutão ainda adormecido no sofá, um tímido casulo escondia-se entre as folhagens. Corri para o computador deixando a louça na pia. O outono próximo sempre me deixava pensativa. É preciso ter um lugar, nem que seja pelo gosto de ir embora.
Esse foi um exercício que produzi para uma oficina de escrita criativa que consistia na escrita de um texto cujo a primeira frase seria “À noite, um estranho pesadelo, em que eu mesmo me esforçava para chegar no lugar em que iriam me prender”. de Ricardo Piglia, “Os Diários de Emilio Renzi”, primeiro volume, e a última seria “É preciso ter um lugar, nem que seja pelo gosto de ir embora”. de Cesare Pavese, "A Lua e as Fogueiras”.
Thanks @flashfictionfridayofficial for running the suggest a prompt event! I’m honored that enough people liked my suggestion to vote it through.
Wrote my first draft of this and then got the news that a family dog from back home would have to be put to sleep. Needless to say, I didn’t do much beyond a quick edit, so this might not be quite my usual fare.
Can’t wait to read what everyone else writes later this week when I’m feeling up for it. And if you have a pet, please give them some lovin’ on my behalf. ❤️
He was a wish-granting spirit living in an antique clock that would invariably change hands on the tenth of every month. Like his fellow spirits, he had his own thoughts on how wishes should be granted. Some felt it was their duty to fulfill the dreams and whims of the one that fate had assigned to them. Others thought that the humans were wretched, selfish beings and sought to poison their desires until either their selfishness or its vessel failed to exist. Jakat liked to think of himself as the former type, but he had his doubts.
We don’t say:
“I love you”
As we hold on to the phones,
Not to loose this fragile bond between,
And try to keep our voices,
Free from tears.
Let’s pretend we don’t
Hear each other’s trembling.
As we keep within,
What our hearts are desperate to speak,
Feel the pain of the words,
that cut so deep.
We don’t say:
“I love you”
As we hold on to our phones,
Even as we ache to speak the words
We do not say:
“I love you”
As it sounds too much like
- I love you
Things were coming out alive tonight
My friend called me up late
She dyed her hair pink
She has no idea how she got there
We spoke about things we wanted to scream about
It was like we were in the year 3000
Her pink hair would remain ‘cause she changed that night
I complained something about the fourth or fifth Italian I meet
She laughed, added some mean true
Things were better then
'Cause we are ridiculous of our kind
I love that
Being aware things aren’t ending
No need to fear what can’t avoid
I will just laugh it away and love again
I can’t help to stay still and look over people
Those who pass by don’t know what they are missing when they don’t look back
It’s 2 a.m
I miss you, still
'Cause we could be together
I am losing, losing, losing
The weather is changing
I don’t fear what I can’t avoid
I look at my friend’s pink hair
Listen to her mean joke about men in disguise
Don’t think about you when she makes me happy about who we are
It’s just the rain going by
Listen go slowly away
It will pass
It’s just not worthy anymore stay up late
Wondering how we got there.
I worry that I let my heart swell a little too readily.
But it’s hard not to…
I do not experience life in shades of grey.
I am present or not. I am fulfilled or not. I am connected or not.
And then here’s this person who ignites such a feeling of warmth within me, a person I can’t gaze upon without love coursing through my being, who incites such hope and possibility, excites, stimulates and teases with imagery of what could be, reminds me that I can love happily.
I think my heart swells a little too eagerly.
And deep down I want it too…
I love with great discrimination.
I do not share it widely. I do not claim it easily. I do not seek nor force.
Yet here is this person whom I want so sincerely to lay my heart before willingly, a person who handles so tentatively the intricacies of my being, who provides care and compatibility, engages, supports and suggests prospects of what may be, assures me that I could live happily.
The Triskelion emblem is the most important symbol of the Sanctuary Inbetween Crossroads representing both its history and core philosophy. The symbol consists of three separate spirals rotating in the same direction around a central, circular point, and form a circle. The three spirals consist of a single, continuous line. For thousands of years, it has represented the continuum of life and various three-fold elements: life, death, rebirth; past, present, future; light, twilight, darkness.
The quartefoils stand for being and order: mind, body, spirit, physical world of structure; dawn, midday, dusk, midnight.
When the Keyblade War severed all wordly connections, many wayward souls fell into darkness and then washed upon a newer, more primeval world. Waters ran through that world like life veins. The keyblade wielders from their former unions began to think hard where their superiors went wrong. Seeing the world as its whole, they began to realise forces of light and darkness were one and the same; one could not exist without the other; they were one.
And they also learned the heart had many affinities, not just to the light. Different shades of grey existed. Thus, learning from the errors of their union leaders, the wielders founded the Court of Concomitance where they’d teach the future generations of both the light, the dark and inbetween; teaching them on the inner and outer balance. They also erected a council of guardians (masters) where each affinity would work together and ensure the safeguarding of both the Sanctuary Inbetween Crossroads and the other cleaved realms. These guardians would be given five titles depending on their affinity: Master of Midnight (darkness), Master of Midday (light), Master of Twilight (even), Master of Dawn (light grey), and Master of Dusk (darker grey). As symbol of this unity and inter-connectedness, they made the Triskelion.
@flashfictionfridayofficial - I have nothing creative to say. I love staring at the clouds at sunset.
The hole kept getting deeper and deeper. I couldn’t tell what it’s for. It stood there, in the empty field, swallowing me in, dragging me towards it. Something wasn’t right. Doctor Kultz was my only hope.
“Can you describe those strange dreams you’ve been having? How do they feel like?” the doctor asked.
“Well, ugh… every night I dream the same stuff - it’s like a carousel ride. I see myself going from place to place, talking with different people. It’s all in third person. I can see myself behaving, and…well, living. But it’s someplace else. It looks like real life, like the real world, but there’s something odd. It’s stale, monotonous, kind of alien. And every dream ends the same way. My foreign self grabs a shovel and goes somewhere. I don’t know where. And in an instant I see this giant hole in the ground, which gets bigger every night. I’m not sure anymore, doc. I’m afraid. The blackness of that hole is making me go crazy. I’m starting to lose it. I…I don’t know what to do.”
New to Last Light? Start here
“You look like shit,” P.K. announced as Lance dragged himself in and collapsed on the couch. Lance weakly flipped him off.
“Get me a beer,” he demanded.
“Get your own beer,” P.K. snapped back. Lance didn’t argue, he simply deflated. P.K. watched him for a while, waiting for him to move or fall asleep. Something, anything other than blindly staring at the ceiling like a dead man.
“Are you hurt?” he asked quietly, hating how childish his voice still was. But seeing Lance like this always took him back. Maybe it was part of his abilities, but he had crystal clear memory. He could see every fight, every wound like it was happening in real-time. As long as he’d known him, Lance had been all edge. Broken like shattered glass and ready to cut just as deep. Now he felt like he was watching him break. Seeing the man who’d worked so hard to piece himself together, crumble.
“I’m fine,” Lance said after a long pause. “It’s just been a while. Like trying to run when you’ve been on the couch for years. Takes your breath is all.”
P.K. glanced at his phone and prayed Lance wouldn’t be furious at what he’d done. It was the only way he could think to protect him, as Lance had always protected him. He moved to sit beside his brother.
“Will you teach me?”
“Sure, your writing is so abysmal it can use all the help it can get.”
“Not that,” P.K. huffed. “Our gift. You expanded yours, made it stronger. Mom says you can see more than just the future if you really want to. I want to do that.”
Lance shot him a glare. “No, you don’t.”
“You don’t get to decide that for me! You might hate our gift but I don’t. I just don’t know how to manage it as you do. All I can see is numbers flashing.” He grabbed Lance’s hand and tried to focus. Numbers flashed in his mind, but only some had meaning. “You’re… you’re…”
“No! I can do this! You’re going to…” His stomach hurt. He was going to lose what little lunch he’d had.
“You’re sweating. Stop it before you seriously hurt yourself.” Lance tugged his hand away.
“You’re getting married in a month!” P.K. announced triumphantly, collapsing on the couch as he caught his breath. Lance gave him a skeptical look and patted his knee.
“Sure kid. Your visions are as foggy as ever. I’m not even seeing anyone.”
“I know what I saw.” P.K. pouted at his brother.
“You saw me getting married? Or you saw a bunch of numbers associated with me and the word married?” Lance laughed when P.K. huffed and turned away. “I’m probably getting a new book next month with ‘Married’ in the title.”
“Well excuse me for not being as strong as you.”
“It’s a blessing, kid. Just trust me. Magic is a horrible burden.”
“All witches burn?” P.K. asked quietly and Lance nodded.
“All witches burn.”
When I went out into the night and tried to touch the stars, she was the wind lifting me up. She was the white on every wave, the light breaking through the clouds, the wildflower in cracked pavement. Every little moment, every jump in my heart, was beautiful because of her touch.
But she was a ghost. She made things beautiful and she made things terrible. She magnified the world inside me. In my innocence, she touched my hopes and made them dreams. Then, as the world spun a little faster, and my life spilled into abstract, she became chaos on canvas. Still trapped in my gaze, she took a world of colors and danced in the disarray. Too many colors made too many mistakes…
Yeah, it is time for Ember again @jaimistoryteller @inexorableblob @goblin-writer @cawolters
Including new banner and starting a storyline that marinated in my head since I started this short story series. The prompt was perfect for it.
Ember already knew that there was something wrong when the Great King
asked for help from all the magic circles after he had called all the
kings, dukes and other nobles under his jurisdiction to him. How bad
it really was she could not even guess in her craziest dreams.
King Friedguard the Third, scion of the noble line of the Friedguards of Trurorian, protector of the continent of Hograndin, stood before his throne. He had just ascended the throne after his father died in battle. But there was no time for the coronation ceremonies, Ember knew that when she saw the unknown armor lying at his feet just after she had entered the hall.
Friedguard’s face brightened when he saw her come in with Larkin, T'Mat and Shirani. Larkin looked over at Ember with a questioning face, who only slightly opened her eyes to tell him that she would explain that later. Actually, she didn’t feel like telling Larkin that it looked like she and Friedguard were going to become a couple a while ago. Larkin’s been overreacting to that ever since the Leonhardt affair ten years ago. Part of her wanted to break Maribell’s neck for sending her here only two years after she found her way back to the circle.
“Ember! It’s good to see you. Come here, noble magicians, perhaps you can solve this mystery.”
Thoughtfully, Friedguard beckoned her closer, pointing to the armor. The surrounding nobles made way for the four mages.
“What is the problem? It’s just armor, isn’t it?”, Larkin inquired in surprise.
“That’s what we want you to tell us. These enemies appeared on the northern shores. If one of our men fatally wounded them, they would collapse and this would remain. As if they were ghosts.”
T'Mat had stepped up to the armor and knelt before it. Ember knew that the female Orc had more experience with ghosts and similar beings. Tense moments passed in which T'Mat’s face became darker and darker.
The elf jumped to help and lent her power to her colleague. The knights and nobles around her became more and more nervous. Ember could understand it, she too became more and more tense the longer her friend took.
With a gasp T'Mat stood up again and indicated Ember to look at all this. At first, she didn’t know what it was, but she sensed immediately that something was wrong. The closer she examined the armor with her magic the bigger the knot in her stomach got. Suddenly she felt something in the armor that shouldn’t be there but when she tried to grab it with her magic it threw Ember back.
Only when she saw Larkin and Friedguard’s worried faces did she realize that she had been thrown across the hall against a column.
“What by the fires was that?” she cursed.
T'Mat reached out with her hand to help her get up.
“I have heard rumors of this from the ancients of my tribe. Ancient magic that was forbidden and then forgotten.”
“Enlighten us, Master Mage,” urged a duke.
“First bring this thing out. Best you bury it outside the city walls. Very deep if you can.”
With a quick gesture, Friedguard instructed two guards to follow the instructions.
Gloomy silence lay over the throne room as the armor was brought out. Ember followed with her eyes and still wondered what exactly had thrown her across the hall. It must be very strong magic. Or something worse.
“Good, now we can talk,” T'Mat breathed a sigh of relief, “Shadow magic is not something to be messed with, and unfortunately it also opens up opportunities for espionage.”
“Shadow magic?”, Friedguard repeated slowly, “I have heard stories about it, too. Magic so evil and dark that no one can imagine it.”
“Oh, now it all makes sense!”
Ember slapped her flat hand against her forehead. T'Mat and Shirani just smiled.
Larkin seemed to understand least of all at that moment.
“The whispering fire changed me back then during the test. I have knowledge I shouldn’t have. I can break magic alone that would normally take two mages.”
Slowly, she watched as it began to dawn on Larkin what was happening. Earl Ivan stepped beside her. Even today she thought a lot of him, even though his son was an idiot.
“You are the natural counterpart of that damned magic. From whatever twisted dream this shadow magic sprang.”
“Ember was made a weapon against this threat by the whispering fire before we knew about it,” T'Mat nodded, “And yes, Earl, this magic does come from twisted dreams of power and violence. It can control the dead and send them against their living comrades. It can control armor only with magic. This armor still had enough magic in it to hurl Ember around and certainly enough to tell his master what is happening. We face an enemy such as we have never seen before.”
Ember only listened with half an ear. It had been twenty years since she had taken the exam. But the voice of the whispering fire roared in her head again: “Ember. Golden sword. Daughter of none. Sister of many. Wife of no one. Mother of many. Queen of history.”
The time of the golden sword seemed to have come.
But why did the entire continent have to be at stake?
I’m bad with thinking up drabble ideas. The few i’ve got scheduled were like pulling teeth, and anyways, I don’t know what kind of stuff you guys want to read! Fluff? Angst? Hurt/Comfort? Other?? Who knows!! So, today
Pick a sentence from any of these lists, and I’ll write you up something! Pick your mood of the day, as many as you want, and have fun! I know i will ;)
… Or just shoot me a sentence that’s not included!! Let’s get this drabble day on the road!!
Oh god, it’s back again
It never really went away
This itch on my brain like evil sits
At the back waiting for me to play
Why has it chosen to make me its home
When will you finally leave me alone
Though you have, technically,
Still your ghost is more vivid than ever
It’s red, it’s hot, it’s freezing cold
Goosebumps on my skin, you never get old
It’s a scowl, it’s a grimace, it’s such deep pain
Crying out because I know I’ll never see you again
Why would I, or you, after all we’ve done
So why is a piece of red string still about me strung?
Is terminal love your carte de visite
I’d beg to be put out of this misery, though so sweet
But that’s okay, my dearest love
I don’t feel much anymore, absolutely not what I should,
Now the only way I can ever feel again
Is to play my own sweet version of your game
Writing Prompt 242
Person A: Man, she’s a freak.
Person B: A freak in the sheets!!!
Chapter 12, Part 6: Joe
Word Count: 1600 words
After a half hour drive from Rosewood Lane, Joe arrived at Carson’s workplace: Duval Industries. The entire complex stood even further away from Athea than Rosewood Lane. It’s corporate buildings stood tall and had a separate entrance than the rest of the actual factory. Duval had bought up a lot of the land in the area a while back, giving them free reign to expand as much as they wished and their recent merger with Quell Incorporated, a competitor who’d almost gone bankrupt, had certainly incentivized expansion.
Joe got past the security checkpoint after flashing his badge. Parking his car in the lot, he made his way to the main corporate offices. The building stood out like a sore thumb — all glass and class and urban compared to the factory’s steel and iron and ‘crass-ness’, as some people would say. The factory was all huddled in mostly two floors while the offices stood at least fifteen floors up.
He walked up to the reception and flashed his badge. The young girl behind the counter put her phone down and stood up. “Can I help you, detective?”
Her cheery tone was like sandpaper to his ears.
“Yes, do you know where Mr. Caron Justice worked?” He asked.
“I’m afraid he isn’t in today.” She gave him a smile. “Wait, back up. Worked?” Her tone became serious. “As in past tense? Is everything okay?”
“I need to talk to his colleagues and any people he had immediate, personal contact with when he was here.”
“Of course, just a minute. I’ll just ask the boss.” She sat back down, slightly shaking and picked up the phone with a trembling hand. “Mr. Rayleigh? … I’m sorry for disturb— No, I understand but there’s a detective here to see you… It’s about Mr. Justice… Of course… Yep… I’ll send him up.” She put the phone down and turned to Joe. “He’s in his office. Tenth floor.”
“Where on the tenth floor?”
“Oh the— um…” She cleared her throat. “The entire floor is his.” Of course he has an entire floor for his office.
“His office is being renovated and the floor was empty so he’s moved in.” She clarified. “Just head up. Elevator’s over there.” She pointed to the set of elevators behind Joe.
“Alright, thanks.” He walked away.
As he stood, waiting for the elevator to arrive, staring at the brushed steel of the door, he wondered about what he would ask all the people when he got up there and met them. It was already pretty late into monday and he wasn’t sure he would meet everyone so he would at least have to come back once more.
The elevator doors opened and two intimidatingly buff men in suits walked out.
“You’re the detective?” The tall one asked.
“Mr. Rayleigh sent us to get you. Please, come on.” The shorter man said, stepping aside and placing a hand on the door to keep it open.
“Fine.” Joe said. He didn’t have the energy to be working today anyway. He certainly didn’t want to start anything.
He stepped into the elevator and the two men got in beside him. The tall one pressed the button and the elevator started to move up. Joe focused his attention on the low whir of the motor as it dragged the three of them up. How much work it would have to put in, how the motor would spin.
A minute of silence passed before Joe couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Soooo, either of you know Mr. Justice?” Joe asked.
“I met him a few times. He was a nice man.” The short one said.
“Anyone you know around that had it out for him?”
“Couldn’t tell you. Didn’t see him nearly often enough for that.”
The elevator dinged. “We’re here.” The tall one said.
The doors opened and Joe stepped into the large offices of Jackson Rayleigh, current CEO and the face of Duval Industries. And just a few feet away from the elevator stood Jackson Rayleigh himself. As you’d expect, the man was built like an investor magnet. Dressed in a professionally made, hand-tailored suit with a huge office and security guards that implied importance, his over-dyed brown hair slicked back but not so far that he looked like he never had any fun and a charming smile to boot. Being too busy to pick up a call but actually doing barely anything described his job to a T. Of course, he did oversee the final decisions of practically everything given his last job had him sell the company’s IPO at 10 million and he had every plan to get Duval as commercially viable as possible, no matter the corner cut. But regardless, he was a lot more so the face of the company than anything. Most shareholders actually passed the bigger decisions through themselves before he gave the final stamp of approval to go ahead with it. Truth be told, Duval Industries bigger decision making steps were more democratic than some elections. But I’m getting sidetracked here.
The point is: Jackson Rayleigh was the “manʼs man”, the man you see in advertising about clothes, the man you see in videos about who you should trust, ‘the man you can trust’, as one of the Duval ad slogans put it. And he made his best to revolve his entire persona around it.
“Welcome, Detective…” Jackson extended a hand.
Joe walked forward, his footsteps muffled by the carpet. “Vega. Joe Vega.” Joe shook his hand.
“Please, follow me.” Jackson said and began to walk away from the elevator. Joe took out his recorder and started to follow him.
The faded red walls of the
“So,” Jackson asked. “What is this all about?”
“Well, your CFO, Carson Justice, any idea when he last came into the office?”
“Is everything okay?” Jackson asked without pausing.
“Unfortunately not.” Joe stopped. Jackson turned around to face him.
“What’s the problem?” Jackson asked.
“Mr. Justice was found dead a few days ago.”
Jackson gasped, almost breaking away from his composed personality. “What?”
“Yeah.” Joe said calmly.
“And you suspect foul play?”
“I can’t tell you that but what I can tell you is that I’m actively looking into leads.”
Jackson turned around again and started to walk. He cleared his throat. “What can I do to help, detective?”
“Where did Mr. Justice work?”
“He worked on the fourth floor with the rest of the financial division.” Jackson said.
“I’m gonna need a list of all his coworkers and talk to everyone that worked with him.”
“Of course, anything we can do to help. You have our full cooperation.” Jackson said.
They arrived at Jackson’s desk and Jackson sat down.
“Alright, then, Mr. Rayleigh—”
“Please, Jackson is fine.”
“Right, Jackson. Just have a few routine questions for you, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course not.”
“When was the last time you saw Mr. Justice?”
“I believe it was a few days ago, just as he was leaving for lunch though I do lose track of time sometimes. We can check his last login at the reception on the first floor. Everyone’s supposed to sign out before they leave.”
“Any way you could check right now?”
“Of course. Just a sec.” Jackson said, picking up the phone on his desk and dialing a number. “Yeah, Maya?… Yeah, could you do me a favor and check when Mr. Justice last checked in and out? Yeah, I’ll hold.” Jackson gave Joe an awkward smile as he waited for Maya to check. A few seconds later, he spoke again. “Okay so he checked in on the third at 8am and checked out at 3? You’re sure? Okay, thanks.” He put the phone down.
“And you said he worked on the fourth floor?”
“Yep. With all the rest of the accounting department.”
“Right. How many people work in the department?”
“Well given our recent merger it’s gone up a little bit to 64 now.”
“That’s a specific number.”
“I pride myself on knowing who’s working under me, detective. Also I was looking over the division’s budgeting today so…”
“And how many was it before?”
“Somewhere close to 40 I believe,” Jackson leaned back in his chair. “You can get all the specific names from Maya downstairs.”
“Anyone specific come to mind that interacted with him a lot, maybe even hated him?”
“Couldn’t tell you honestly. We barely saw each other.”
“Okay then. Final question, when did you leave the office on the third?”
“I’m pretty sure I left late because I had some work left to do. Sometime around 8 maybe? You can always double check downstairs.”
Joe stood up. “Thank you for your help, Mr. Rayleigh.”
“Don’t mention it. If you have any more questions, you know where to find me.”
“That I do.”
“Well, you know your way back down, I won’t keep you. I’m sure you have important work to do.”
Joe gave him a weak smile and turned around, walking back to the elevator.
The elevator doors opened and he was back on the first floor. He walked up to the reception. “Maya?” He asked the girl he’d met earlier.
“That’s me.” She replied.
“Good. I’m going to need the names of everyone that works in the accounting department. And their check in and check out time for the last week. Ooh and especially everyone who was here before the merger.”
“Of course.” She cleared her throat. “Just have a seat and I’ll get it all printed for you.” She pointed to the seats. Joe turned around and walked over, sitting patiently as he waited to get started on the worst part of the day: questioning 40 people, maybe even more, in a row.