Belinda tended to take things to extremes. She recognized that about herself. Take Floyd, for example. She had been so caught up in the idea that he was the murderer that she ignored four strong suspects that were staring her in the face. She was starting to think she had done the same thing with Darren. Because she was a Seer, Belinda could See all the little annoying and infuriating things that Darren would ever do, and she Saw them all at once. It wasn’t fair for her to be angry at a lifetime worth of mistakes. So, she decided to give Darren a chance.
Now Belinda and Darren were sitting in their makeshift interrogation room at the back of the Salisbury Community Center. Board games were stacked on a shelves against the walls and a small table sat in the middle. They had everything they needed except a suspect to interrogate, which is what they were discussing now.
“Why isn’t Justin Bailey on your list?” Darren asked between bites of his orange. “He’s my number two suspect after Floyd.”
“He makes a lot of sense as the killer, but I Saw his future. He gets murdered the same way Pandora did – movie prop cutlass and everything,” Belinda explained.
“Right on. That’s good reasoning. I just have one problem with that. When did you See this? Was it before or after Hightower was arrested, because he would have killed Justin in retribution if he thought Justin was the killer.”
Oops. She had forgotten that angle. No problem though. She quickly turned her Sight towards Justin’s future.
“I’ve checked since then,” she said truthfully enough. “He still dies with a cutlass to the back.”
Darren nodded. “I just had to check,” he said. “I guess we want someone with a motive to kill both Pandora and Justin. That’s good. It narrows it down nicely. So, who first? Corrine McAdams or William Bosco?”
A few minutes later, William Bosco sat at the table, fiddling with some dice he found. He was looking far more disheveled than the last time Belinda interviewed him. Was he losing sleep? A guilty conscience could do that… or maybe a secret relationship with Corrine McAdams.
Darren sat in his seat backwards, as usual, so he could rest his arms on the backrest. “Mr. Bosco. Thank you for coming. My name is Darren Alvarado. I’m a private investigator and I’ve been hired to look into the death of Pandora Ross. You already know my colleague, Belinda Carter.”
“Let me start,” Belinda said. “Bosco, are you aware that your fingerprints were found in Pandora’s living room?”
“Of course, they were,” Bosco said. “I was her best friend.”
“But you weren’t friends anymore when she died,” Belinda reminded him. “She caught you stealing from her.”
“That was a misunderstanding! We borrowed from each other all the time. I just forgot to tell her that I used the credit cards and she found out in the worst way possible. We would have worked it out if there was time.”
“Can I interrupt?” Darren asked.
Belinda shrugged. It made more sense for him to do the interrogation anyway. It was his specialty. It was just hard for her not to jump in and have her say.
“I think I have an idea of what happened. You can tell me if I’m wrong,” Darren said. “Pandora was your friend. She had more money than she needed an you had more needs than money, but you didn’t let that get in your way. Nothing could ever get between you, at least not until Floyd came around. Floyd was always trying to turn Pandora against you. Trying to convince her that you were a bad friend.”
Bosco nodded vigorously.
“If it wasn’t for Floyd, you could have easily explained the charges on her cards. But Floyd made it sound like you were a criminal mastermind, not a friend borrowing money, like friends often do. She started talking about pressing charges and you got scared. Going to jail would destroy your life. You had to do something. You were desperate. Just tell me one thing – did you act alone, or was someone else involved?”
Bosco was no longer nodding. He looked concerned. “I had nothing to do with Pandora’s murder,” he said sternly.
Oh well, it was a good try. Belinda had Seen that approach work a few times in the other future. Darren would start telling the suspect their life story and they’d feel compelled to confess. It was never a sure thing though.
“Where were you when it happened?” Belinda asked, trying to get the interrogation back on track.
“I don’t remember,” Bosco said.
“Were you with anyone who might remember?”
“No. I was definitely alone,” Bosco answered quickly.
Belinda Saw that this interrogation wasn’t go anywhere. She made eye contact with Darren and made a ‘that’s enough’ gesture.
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Bosco,” Darren said. “We don’t have anymore questions for you at this time.”
After Bosco left, Darren peeled another orange. “You know, I think we could have done that better,” he said. “Why don’t we use your Seer ability to See what the best tactics will be?”
“That’s trickier than it sounds,” Belinda said. “Conversations are usually better had in real time. They’re too nuanced and once you’ve Seen something, it changes just a little. With conversations, a little change can send it spiraling in unpredictable directions.” She shrugged. “We can try though. I might get us close to something useful.”
They coordinated briefly and decided on a simple bluff, then called in Corrine McAdams. She was dressed in expensive clothes, as usual. Belinda wondered how she afforded her wardrobe. She couldn’t have time for a job with all the time she spent doing her club president duties, watching movies for the club, and being in a secret relationship.
“Mr. Bosco has told us some interesting things,” Darren bluffed.
Corrine sighed dramatically but maintained her smile. “I really thought I could trust him to keep a secret,” she bemoaned cheerfully. “OK, it’s true. William and I are dating. We haven’t told anyone in the club because we don’t want to put up with their gossip and infantile humor.”
Belinda heard a whisper from her future self – at least that’s how she usually described it. It was more like the hint of an idea or a partially formed thought. It was enough to make her interrupt Darren.
“That’s not what he meant,” Belinda said. “Bosco told us about Justin.”
The disgusted look on Corrine’s face told Belinda that her future self was right again.
“Why would he even bring that up?” Corrine asked. “Justin is a menace. He knows about me and William somehow. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was spying on me. He’s always coming on to me even though he knows I’m not interested and I’m in a relationship anyway. And the other day, he made William so mad, I thought he might kill Justin…” She stopped talking and put a hand on her forehead. “I didn’t mean it like that. You know I didn’t. William would never hurt anyone.”
Belinda and Darren locked eyes. They had what they were looking for – motives for killing Justin!