The digital clock on the dash board of the Civic Cruiser flickered to 12:00AM. It was now official, today...well, yesterday, was one of the worst days of my life. And today didn't seem like it would be any better. I sighed a looked out the tinted windows. The city was still glowing faintly through all this chaos. Somehow it seemed so calm. Although lights were still shining bright, it was peaceful. Only the sounds of cars whooshing by kept the silence at bay. That, and the police officer.
"So kid, before we get to the station, I just want to know your outlook. What the hell happened back there?" He asked me from the front seat of the car.
"My car got stolen, I went to go get it. Some guys knocked me out and tied me and Stephan up. We ended up breaking free. They...um...accidentally set off the bombs or something, but we escaped before they went off" I said tiredly.
"Or something? So you really don't know what happened?" The chubby cop asked me.
"...No, not really. All I know is that Stephan told me that the place was gonna blow up and that we had to get out of there fast. One of the guys was, um, like, right next to the bombs, and was trying to escape too, but he, uh, didn't make it out I guess. I don't know." I said, trying to come up with some plausible story...and failing. Hopefully Stephan had a better story in mind.
"So your only assuming that the victims set off the bomb by accident, and not this lizard or dragon or whatever?" The cop prodded at me.
"Victims? Are you serious!?" I yelled at him. But I realized that was probably a bad idea. I cooled down a bit. "Look, all I'm saying is that neither of us did anything wrong. We got kidnapped. We were chained. Do you think we just decided to go to some random warehouse with a bunch of bombs that we decided to set off just for the hell of it? I mean, really?" I asked him.
"Look, kid, I've been on the force for 10 years now. You see and hear about a lot of really strange things happening. We can't rule out anything." He said to me.
"Whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty', huh? It's not fair that we we're now considered criminals. It's not fair that Stephan was publicly announced as a criminal and that he's charged with first degree murder. We're two teenage kids, and you treat us like we're some criminal masterminds!" I said to him.
"Then you should be flattered. Kid, life's not fair, and neither is the law. That's the first thing you learn. It tries to be fair, but it's not. So just cool your jets and realize that if we don't find anything, then you're free to go. But if we find something, charges could be pressed. Right now, it's really up in the air. So just relax. If you didn't do anything, you didn't do anything." He said to me, as we pulled up to the station. Both of us got out of the car. I followed him on my crutches to the door of the station and inside to a small little room, no windows or anything. Just a big two-way mirror, a table, some chairs, and a very pissed dragon. Two more cops entered the room.
"Take a seat" One of them said to me. I sat next to Stephan, as the three cops sat on the other side of the table. "Ok, now tell us why you murdered those two men" He said to us.
"Like I said, so much for 'innocent until proven guilty'" I said while I glared at the cop that brought me down in his car.
"What he means is, tell us what happened." The cop asked me, for the second time.
"I already told you what happened. But either way, now I'll go into detail. I needed saxophone reeds for the parade in High Ridge tomorrow...well, technically, today. But anyway, I drove out to DeMero's in my dad's Ferrari, because my parents took the other car to a business meeting. Then my car got stolen, so I had to call my friend Stephan here to pick me up an-" I started to say.
"Why didn't you call 911 after your car got stolen?" One of the cops asked me. This one was short and skinny, with long blond hair. He looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place where I had saw him before.
"It's my dad's Ferrari. I wasn't supposed to touch it, ever. If I would have filed the report and everything, he would've found out I took it." I said. But it sounded so stupid, even I couldn't believe what an idiot I was. "And yeah, I know, I'm an idiot, he would've found out either way, I know. But that's what happened." I said.
"Ok, then. Go on" The chubby cop that brought me in here told me.
"Well, then I was talking to Stephan when I was in the car, and he said he actually spotted a Ferrari going down a side street. So we went down that street and found my car. We figured that we had to be quick in getting it. We tried that, didn't work. They knocked us out with laughing gas or something. The next thing I remember was waking up to the sound of them plotting about taking over the city and disposing of us." I continued to say.
"Laughing gas? Really?" The cop on the left said skeptically. He was tall and bald, he didn't seem very friendly.
"Yes, really. Hey, these guys also had a shit load of bombs too, they obviously weren't playing around. Either way, we eventually escaped the chains they tied us up in by him heating them up and breaking them. We were able to get away for a bit of time, but eventually we needed to split up. Then, the next thing that I know was that I eventually met up with Stephan again. He told me that the place was gonna blow up, and that we had to go. So we did. We got to the car, the place blew up, I went to the hospital, now we're here." I said, finishing my story.
"Ok, now you" The bald cop said to Stephan. "What happened in there? I want the truth."
"The guy came after me, so I ran. I eventually got into the room with all the bombs. I looked around, and this guy just smirked and told me that he could easily destroy a lot of places with the bombs. He came over and grabbed me by the neck. I couldn't get free, so I bit him. Hard. He stumbled back and ran into the control panel for the bombs. I just heard it beep and the little light go on. Then Kevin came in, and I told him that we had to go. So we did." Stephan said, unfaltering. If I didn't know better, I would've thought he was telling the complete honest truth. He was a good liar. I wonder what else he has lied about?
"Bombs don't go off by just bumping into them. They need to be set off. I was in the bomb squad for a year, I would know. Stop lying." The bald cop said to him.
"It's not a lie! You think I have the smarts to set off a bomb!? Why would I even set off a bomb, that would be one of the dumbest things I could do!" He said. He was really, really good at this. He made everything seem believable. It both astounded me and scared me. Maybe I was just gullible, but I felt as if I would be able to believe any lie told to me by him.
"It doesn't take much smarts to set off a bomb, kid. Any idiot or lizard could do it." The cop said. Low blow.
"If any 'idiot or lizard' could do it, then why is it so unbelievable that this guy set it off accidentally? Maybe he had it preset, maybe these bombs were different than the ones that you are used to. Ever consider any of that?" He asked the cop, who glared back at him.
"It makes no sense for someone to accidentally set off a bomb." The cop replied.
"I never said that this had to make sense, did I? I never said any of this makes sense. I only tell you the truth. That's it. Even if you don't believe me, you can't exactly do anything. I sure as hell aren't gonna confess, and you have no evidence present to send me to court. The only witness is on my side of this whole thing. And even if you do send me to court, I'll counter sue for unlawful arrest. You had no right to take me into custody. You had no right to tell the media that I was arrested, and you had no right to use my name. But hell, I really don't care about that stuff unless you do something else to me. Right now, I just want this to all go away. You don't have the evidence to convict me, so how about we just call this a day?" He said clearly and confidently. I was pretty speechless, along with the cops. Now Stephan seemed to be in control. He rocked back on his chair and put his feet up on the table. "Or hell, you can try to force a confession out of me, by means of entrapment, or extortion, or just harrassment or something of the like. But hey, there's another countersuit and your badges on the line, for just one little measly "crime" that I didn't commit. And hell, if theres a bunch of guys with bombs in your town that "I" just killed, shouldn't you be thanking me? The way I see it, if I actually did kill them, which I didn't, I just did you and all the citizens of this town a favor. So, how about we just call this a night, eh?" He said. He almost seemed like a professional at this. All these technical terms and everything, talks of countersuits, he almost seemed like a mini-lawyer. It was crazy.
The bald cop seemed really pissed. The blond one seem to just be surprised, and the fat cop seemed to be impressed. They stood in silence for a few moments. "I guess we'll take our leave, then" I said to them, starting to get up. I grabbed my crutches from the floor. The bald cop saw me do that, though.
"Just wait a second. You never explained how you got those burns!" The cop said to me.
"When they chained me up, Stephan blew fire on the chains, and my hands. It had to be done, else I wouldn't have been able to get free." I said. The cop smirked.
"So this lizard inflicted 3rd-degree burns on your body. Don't worry kid, I'll be sure that he pays your medical bills and that you get some pain-and-suffering money" The bald cop said.
"Hey, wait a sec, I'm not pressing any charges or anything, he doesn't owe me anything!" I said.
"That's not up for you to decide. I'll be sure to call your parents for you and explain how this kid purposely burned you on the wrists and ankles. They'll understand, I'm sure." The cop said to me. The other cops seemed uneasy at this, but didn't say anything.
"You bastard..." Stephan mumbled under his breath.
"What was that?" The bald cop asked, both annoyed and cynically.
"Nothing, sir. Are we free to go, or what?" Stephan asked bitterly.
"Sure, your free to go. Have fun." The bald cop grinned.
"I'll take you two to your cars. Are you both okay to drive?" The chubby cop asked. We both nodded, and followed him out to his cruiser. Stephan and I took a seat in the back. Stephan seemed really pissed off, and I just felt guilty for getting him in trouble. Even if it was an accident. It was a quite drive for the most part.
"Hey, kids, I'm sorry about all of this." I heard the cop say. We both looked up. "He has a recorded of booking everyone that comes into that station. Everyone. Don't take it personally or anything. He's not discriminating." The cop said. He must've seen Stephan glaring in the mirror. "Well...ok, maybe he is..." He said under his breath. The rest of the ride was pretty quiet. We eventually got to the sideroad where Stephan's car was parked.
"I'll drive Kevin back to the hospital where his car is, thanks." Stephan said grumpily, as we both got out of the car. I climbed into his Subaru, as he started the engine and headed towards the hospital. "What a day, huh?" He said to me, as he drove.
"Yeah, really. I never expected any of this to happen. I'm still wondering how you kept your cool." I said to him.
"Practice. I'm used to having shit happen to me out of nowhere, as you can probably tell. Eventually you just stop trying to go over the details in your mind, and just focus on what you can do to make it better." He said to me. That made a lot of sense. He's probably used to living each day knowing that literally anything could happen. "So what do you think your parents will do?" He asked me.
"I'm not sure. The bald guy will probably tell my parents this out of proportion story, but I can hopefully try to get them to believe what really happened. I hope that you can get off." I told him.
"Lets hope." He said to me. We both sighed. "I'm just glad this day is over..." He said solemnly.
"Yeah..." I replied. This whole day was terrible, for both of us. Starting with that fight, and now this shit. I felt so drained. Should've just stayed in bed, or rather, on the roof. The worst of it was, it was all my fault. I made Stephan go into town, I made him come pick me up, I made him scortch my hands and feet. I felt such a terrible person. "...I'm sorry..." I said to him, as I looked away.
"For what?" He asked me.
"For all of this. I got you into that fight at RJ's. I made you come pick me up after my car got stolen. I made you burn me. All of yesterday was terrible, thanks to me. I'm sorry, dude. I'm sorry..." I said to him sadly.
"It's ok, I'm used to it." He said.
"There you go with that damn saying of your again. I don't care if your used to it, it's people like me that make you used to this kind of stuff. I'm sorry, man." I said, genuinely upset now. I really didn't know what to do anymore.
"Listen dude, you're not the kind of people that make me 'used to it'. You had your mistake and stuff, and you might have got me involved, but that just shows that you actually trust me that much. You asked me for help, and got me to make some friends, and some enemies. It's people like that cop back there and Butch and his clones that make me 'used to it'. I'm a person to you, not just a pet you can blame everything on. I'd rather be treated like a person that has problems than a pet any day. I can confidently say that you're my best friend at this point. I should be thanking you, not accepting apologies" He said to me.
"Steph..." I said to him, although I really didn't know what to say.
"Hey! What did I tell you about calling me that?" He chuckled.
"Sorry, King Stephan." I chuckled back. "I just wanted to say that, well, You're one of my best friends too, I guess."
"...We need to stop. I feel like if I was reading this on paper, I would be throwing up right now. Thank god we're here." Stephan said, as we approached the hospital. He stopped in the middle of the parking lot, next to my dad's Ferrari. I got out and hobbled over to it. I climbed into the drivers side, and started my journey home. I followed Stephan out of the parking lot and out towards High Ridge. What a day. Probably the worst of my life. But it's over now, I'll be home in my bed sleeping soon. Guess I'm not going to that parade, with crutches and all. And even so...I still didn't have any reeds. All of that work for nothing. But there was nothing I could do. Maybe someday soon I would be 'used to it'. But hopefully, nothing like this would ever happen again. That's all I could hope. I turned on the radio now, I needed something to help ease the mind. I'm not sure what song was playing now, but it was soft and slow. A faint piano song, it seemed. It almost seemed like it went on forever, it was still playing even when I got to my house. I wanted to hear the end, but that would have to wait for another day. I climbed out of the car and walked into my house from the garage. I sat down in my bed, and pushed the broken reeds I had left there off. The last thought in my head was just one thing. I was gonna kill my brother.