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Chapter 23-

The profile,

sticky buns and Coke.

Why do you ask me? -

     A mop of short, black hair lay on top of the table. Arms with elbows pointed and marred with colorful tattoos shot from both sides of her head. There was very little movement from their suspect as Zones and Marmaduke watched her from monitors in another room. The raid on their Little Five Points home earlier this morning had jolted her and the others from their sleep.

     “You two better get in there,” Captain Franklin said. “Let’s see what Sleeping Beauty has to say.”

     Zones and Marmaduke left the observation room and entered the interrogation room. There was still no movement, no acknowledgement from the young woman that they were even there. Marmaduke slammed the door. The loud sound shook the small space and rattled the walls. She raised her head from the table, enough to expose the handcuffs shackled around her wrists. She dropped her head back to the table.

     “Get up, Ms. Pirote,” Marmaduke said. She didn’t move. He and Zones took a seat. Marmaduke opened a folder. “Charlotte Pirote.” She still did not respond. He got up, walked to her side of the table and pulled the chair out from underneath her. She smacked the floor hard.

     “Hey, man, that’s police brutality.”

     “Now that I have your attention, Dr. Zones would like to ask you a few questions. The only issue is, will you answer them from the floor or from this chair?” Marmaduke stood over her, the chair swinging in his hand.

     Charlotte looked up at him and growled, “The chair.” Marmaduke swung it back close to the table. He grabbed Charlotte by the collar and lifted her from the floor.

     “Go on, Doc.”

     “Ms. Pirote—”

     “Charlotte,” she snapped.

     “Okay then…Charlotte. Can you tell us how long you’ve lived at your present location?”

    “Cut the crap, bluppy, and ask me what you really want to know, so I can get the fuck up out of here. And the drugs ain’t mine, no matter what anybody says.” She jumped forward in her chair and thrust her finger at Zones.

     “Whose are they, then?” Marmaduke asked.

     “I thought he was asking the questions.”

     “Just answer the question.”

     Charlotte fell back in her chair. Her eyes shifted between the two of them. “What kind of joint is this? Y’all don’t feed anybody around here?”

     “You’re hungry?”

     “Hell yeah, I’m hungry. It’s y’all fault that I missed breakfast anyway, busting into my home all early and shit.”

    “We’ll get you something to eat.” Marmaduke looked to the camera mounted in the corner of the ceiling. “Now, about those drugs, who owns them?”

     “Who owns them—what’s in it for me?”

    “Me not hauling your boney ass out of here and down to a jail cell, for one. Now tell me about the drugs.” Marmaduke pounded the table. Charlotte looked wide-eyed and startled.


     A knock came at the door. It cracked open. A head poked inside. “I got breakfast,” a detective said.

Marmaduke waved him in. “I’ll take that.” He grabbed the bag and can of Coke from him. “You were saying.”

     Charlotte beamed at the bag and the drink. She smacked her lips. “Um…the drugs… yes, they belong to Wheeter.”

     Marmaduke shoved the bag and can at her across the table. She ripped into it, pulled out a sticky bun, popped the can’s top and chugged it.

     “Who’s Wheeter?” Charlotte continued to gulp down the drink. Marmaduke reached over the table and snatched the can away. “Which one of your friends is Wheeter?”

     “…The one with the buzz cut and bucranium.”

     “The bu-what?”

     “The bucranium, the ox scull tattoo,” Zones answered.

     “Oh. Who’s his supplier?”

     “I don’t know.” Marmaduke reached to snatch the sticky bun away. Charlotte pulled back and took a huge bite from it.

     “I’ll ask you one more time before I haul you to a cell. Who’s his supplier?”

     “You’re trying to get me killed? Those guys don’t fuck around, man.”

     “Okay, let’s go.”

     “Alright, he buys his shit from some Jamaican dude.”


     “Damn, man.”


     She huffed and squirmed in her seat. “His name is Jay-Man or some shit like that.”

     “You mean Jah-Boy?”

     “Yeah, that’ it. Now can I go?”

    “Not yet, Dr. Zones has some questions for you.” Marmaduke shoved the Coke can across the table. He got up, walked out and left Zones and Charlotte in the room alone.

     “Okay, Charlotte, tell me why your fingerprints were found at a bombing in South DeKalb County this morning.”

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