“Hello, young man. Are you here with your parents?”
“I’m waiting for my mom to pick me up.”
“Oh good. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”
“Uhhhh, sure. I guess.”
“I’m trying to locate someone who has been vandalizing private property recently. Have you heard of any such activities in your neighborhood?”
The boy looked a bit nervous, but he kept his cool. “N-no. Not recently.”
“Interesting. Ok. I have a description here…maybe you can tell me if you’ve seen someone who looks like this.” She began thumbing through her notebook to sell this act. “Oh! Here we are. A blonde male wearing jeans and a hoodie.”
“Oh yeah. I saw a guy like that a few minutes ago. He was walking down the street! Is he dangerous?”
“That depends on your definition of dangerous,” Eliza said. She finished writing scribbles in her notebook and then she stood there staring at the boy with a mischievous grin on her face.
Finally, she said, “You know I’m here for you, right?”
His eyes lit up, and he turned around to run, but she caught him by the collar.
“Help! Police brutality,” the boy yelled.
“Come back here, scumbag!”
“I didn’t do anything! My mom will be here any minute! Can we just talk about this?”
“Silence! You’re under arrest!
“Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law!”
“Oh look! There’s my mom! She’s taking me home.”
“You’re going nowhere but jail, kid!”
Eliza cuffed the boy and hauled him away to the interrogation room at the station. She sat him down and turned the light on for him and shined it right in his eyes.
“You like lighting fires? You’re gonna feel the heat, bubb!”
“I didn’t do nothin!”
“I’ve had a long day, and I want to get home! I’ve got your finger prints… I’ve got people saying it was you… I’ve even got one tiny picture of you!”
“That’s not me! I have a twin brother…yeah! A twin brother!”
“Don’t insult me! Even if you had a twin you would still have different finger prints. Do you want to try any other excuses before you tell me the truth?”
“It’s hot! Can I get some water?”
“I don’t give water to liars. Who put you up to this?”
“Ok…if I give you one name, will you let me go?”
“You give me one name and a signed confession, and I’ll let you go get some water before I throw you in a cell for the night.”
The boy confessed to being involved in the crimes and said that one of his friends helped him: Hugo Villareal.
As Eliza was on her way home, she remembered she was supposed to meet with the Upper Crusts that night. She would have much rather gone home, but she so loved being in the company of the culinary community’s upper echelon. They came together to cook food, but Eliza never did. She had not one culinary bone in her body, and the other members were growing weary of her leeching. However, they were civil people and put on fake smiles as she went on and on and on about her cases and her possessions.
Sometimes, though, they dropped not so subtle hints.
After the gathering, the sat around the living room…mostly waiting on Eliza to leave. Another reason why Eliza came instead of going home was to talk to Hugo, but she was tired.
“Hugo…will you be home after school tomorrow? I’d like to talk to you.”