Skitters, D.A. – The Phone Call
Skitters woke from a long nap on top of the DVD player. He was still a little groggy. He ambled through his apartment sniffing at the corners as if they could shed some new light on the roadblocks in his mind, his ongoing struggle with the Mooney case.
Doubt began to creep into his mind again, doubts about whether he still had it, the quick access to logic and emotion needed to grill a witness, to catch them in perjury and dismiss them at will. He’d need everything he had and a little more to tear down the “experts” that weasel Cliff Hingle would throw at them.
Skitters poured himself a finger of whiskey in his bowl and lapped at it before returning to his notes. Jury selection was in three days. Hopefully they’d be able to keep it from getting too stacked up on the longhair side. He hated to think it, but they always sympathized with their own.
Just then the phone rang.
“Hello?” he mewed inquisitively.
“Skitters, it’s Rachel.”
Skitters groaned inwardly and refilled his bowl. Late night calls from his ex-wife never went well. She was probably well into her second bottle of Riesling by now.
“Rachel, it’s late.”
“Skitters, I—I…” she broke down sobbing. Skitters grew concerned. His hackles began to rise and the fur on his tail started to puff.
“Rachel, talk to me.”
“Skitters…they took Robbie! They took him!”
“Robbie?! What are you talking about? Who took him!?!”
“I don’t know…I don’t know! But someone called and asked for your phone number and…and…they had one of those voice things!”
“A voice modulator?”
“Yes! Yes! They wouldn’t answer my questions! They just hung up!”
“How long has Robbie been missing?”
“I don’t know…two, three hours?”
Skitters seethed. “And I suppose that glorified security guard boyfriend of yours—”
“You leave Scott out of this!”
“Where was he when all this happened?”
“At least Scott comes home once in a while! At least Scott knows a family needs more than a wave hello and goodbye and a check in the mail!”
“Rachel, you’re getting hysterical!”
Rachel wailed and hung up.
Skitters stared into the darkness for a moment, his tail wrapped around him, thinking. The phone rang again loudly. He bolted from the room in fear then returned a moment later to answer it.
“District Attorney Skitters?”
His voice was dry, his tongue scratchy and parched. “Yes?”
“We have your son.”
“You sick son of a bitch. If you so much as—”
“Your son will be fine so long as you do what we say.”
“What kind of twisted moral quandary are you about to lay on me?”
“All in good time, Skitters. All in good time. We just need you to use your influence to turn the tide in one little case. One tiny, inconsequential case.”
Skitters held his breath. “Which?”
The voice on the other end held a wicked laughter behind its words. “You only have one decision to make, Skitters. What is more important? Your son’s life or the Mooney case?”
The clock in the hall struck twelve midnight.
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