Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, August 14, 2015

More from OT's opening chapter

Long drive back from DC, so here's the continuation of ...Owen Taylor, Chapter One. It begins at the end of what I posted a few days ago --


I'd called him but learned nothing more about the situation till he e-mailed me a week later --

Preston and I met with a district attorney about my case, today. His name is Warren Philby, and he is the epitome of an aging metrosexual. Or is he a deputy DA and Ms. Ginty his assistant? Not that it matters. He obviously hates working in Indio. He and that little bitch tried to make me take a deal.

“It’s an excellent one,” he said with all the sincerity of a used car salesman. “Disturbing the peace. Six months probation, and if you meet all conditions, the conviction will be expunged. This is the best I can offer.”

I told him, “I’ve done nothing wrong or illegal, so I see no reason to say I did just to make your job easier.”

“Oh, stop it,” said Ms. Ginty in this really snotty voice. “We have a witness who backs up the officer’s version of the arrest.”

Which was nonsense. There was no one around but me and that officer. I told them this, and Philby shrugged. “That’s not a workable defense, telling the judge everyone’s lying about you. He won’t believe a word of it.”

"Aw, cool," Preston responded. “We'll have a trial by jury.”

“The jury won’t believe you,” Philby said, giving off this heavy-hearted vibe. “I’ve had convictions with less evidence.”

“Then you should be ashamed,” I snapped.

“Who’s this other witness?” Preston asked them.

“Officer Roy Harper,” said Ms. Ginty.

Preston laughed. “Another cop? Aw, this is easy-peasy. C'mon, Owen.” We rose and started for the door.

“Wait, we’re not done, yet,” she snapped.

In answer, Preston just chuckled and headed out, and I slammed the door, behind us. Well, tried to; it’s on one of those auto-close pump-action set-ups, whatever they’re called, so it only bounced back and then slowly settled shut on its own steam. So much for my Bette Davis exit.

Of course Preston already had a copy of the arrest report. Not a word of there being a witness on it. Hardly a surprise. So I immediately went back to Page’s and got a copy of the security surveillance video. It’s all indoors so doesn’t show any of our interaction, but it backs me up in so many other ways, this trial will be quite the experience.

I’ve also learned a friend is facing the same charges and Preston's his attorney, as well. Makes this doubly interesting.

The only problem now is that priest. He's a fairly recent addition to Palm Springs, but has already set up this homophobic group called PSALMS Forever. The conniving little bitch actually showed up on my doorstep demanding I stop living my life of evil and come back to the lord. Little shit must have followed me home. I slammed the door in his face, so the asshole began warning one and all telling them I was a danger and would rape their sons. I called my security service and they sent someone over, but by the time they arrived, he’d left. No one in the fortress was paying him any attention -- the only two neighbors who would were at work, thank heaven -- so he went in search of a better audience. Typical.

I called him and we talked for a while, but after that, nothing till that weird text.

“Why do you think any of this concerns me?” I asked, still trying to sort out my thoughts.

“Why would you think it does not? As your father tells the story, he and your mother despise each other. Is there any other reason she would telephone him if you are not involved?”

Phone call, huh? My mother only barely called people she liked; she preferred the distance of an e-mail or text, so for her to make an overseas call to a man she hated almost as much as I did...well, that was a big deal.

“Neither one’s even tried to get hold of me, and they both know how.” I smirked. “Maybe mom’s asking dad if it's okay for Uncle Owen to broker a peace deal between us. That or she's asking for money.”

Mira rolled her eyes at that. I had to shrug in agreement. Mom was what her mother had referred to as, Independent to a fault. Meaning take care of yourself, and neither ask for nor give favors. So why would she have called him? They’d been divorced for fifteen years, and thanks to Texas' laws Dad had cut her completely out of his fortune -- something she’d never forgiven him for. Oh, she’d wound up with her condo, a cash settlement, and child support, but that ended the moment I was kicked into the street by them. Nearly ten years ago. So far as I knew they hadn’t spoken since.

"How'd you find out she called?" I asked.

"I know your father's assistant's wife, and he has no secrets from her."

I had to chuckle at that. "Don't make sense to me," I said, finishing off my meal. "So far as my mother's concerned, I am not her son. And so far as my father's concerned, I was never born. Catholic and Islamic intolerance, together. That's what I get for bein' queer."

"Faraz does not truly feel such hatred for you. If he did, you would not have been allowed back into the family."

"I think that's more your doing than his."

Mira just smiled, in response.

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