"It's the police. Andrew Edwards, open the door."
I'm sitting in my favorite chair, playing one of my favorite video games. I've been here for hours, except for short breaks for food, drink, and bathroom.
"Andrew Edwards. Open the door."
They pound again. I'm coming, I'm coming. Hold your horses.
"This is the police."
I heard you the first time. I'm standing, stretching my knees, elbows, arms, back, before looking through the peephole. One is leaning back to kick the door. Hold on, I shout again, I'm opening the door. He puts his foot down.
"You're coming with us. You're under arrest for the murder of Charlene Provitt. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."
They continue, but I'm not listening anymore. My body is limp, limbs as loose as they could be after hours of sitting in place. My ankles are cold, I'm sockless in my slippers, and it's mid-January. There's an inch of light snow on the ground, and the moon is up.
"Watch your head."
I duck and slide into the backseat. The police department is less than a mile away, so I'm not worried. My wrists are aching, under-stretched and cuffed behind me. The two officers in the front seats were silent, radio turned down low. I close my eyes and count the turns and the seconds.
"Come on, out you go."
I haven't said a word since opening the door, and they haul me down brightly lit hallways into a medium brightness room. A mirror dominates one wall. I sit in the chair facing it, let my head rest on my chest and close my eyes.
"You are Andrew Edwards, also known as divby1 and butterflyhuff. Is this correct?"
I open my eyes and lift my head. It's been six hundred seconds and change. Ten minutes. He's sitting opposite me, hands on the table between us.
"We have your poem written on Ms. Provitt's wall, in her blood. We have your short story sitting in her printer, detailing her death. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"I'm sorry? Would you speak up, please?"
I turn my head and coughed hard, clearing my throat. Kris Trum, I repeat.
"Kris Trum? Who is that?"
Officer Trum, Sergeant Trum, Mr. Trum, Kris Trum, I want to talk to him.
"Andrew, we've got enough to put you away for a long time. You're not in a bargaining position. We don't even need your confession. This is just a formality."
Kris Trum. Kris Trum. Kris Trum.
"If you're not going to cooperate, we're done here."
He stands, and I drop my head and close my eyes again. The door opens, closes, and fifteen count later I hear hands pressed against the mirror, or the wall, or the door, muffled. Pressed against the other side. The door eases open again, just a crack.
"Fine then. Call him, but it's on your head. We don't need anything more here." "At least get his statement. Go through the rigmarole." "Alright."
The door opened the rest of the way, and then closed again. The chair screeched backwards again, and squeaked to added weight.
"Andrew, we're calling him. Kris Trum. If he comes down, you can talk to him, but it's on your head if you're wasting our time and his. While we wait, I need to know where you were last night, around nine."
I lifted my head and opened my eyes. Kris Trum.
"If we reach him, we'll ask him to come down, but it's up to him whether or not he talks to you. Until then, we need you to cooperate. Where were you last night?"
I haven't spoken in several days, almost a week; I can wait a few minutes and so can you.
"Dammit, Andrew! You can't afford to play games here."
I lowered my head again, closed my eyes again, and stopped listening again. I started counting seconds again. Nine hundred. Eighteen hundred. Thirty-six hundred. The door opened.
"Ace? Ace, what are you doing in here? Can somebody get these cuffs off him, he's no danger to himself or others."
Rough hands grabbed my wrists and keyed them free. I opened my eyes and lifted my head. Mr. Trum.
"I'm here, Ace. What happened?"
I turned my head, coughing, clearing my throat. He turned to the mirror.
"Can we get some water in here, please?"
Not even sixty more counts and there was a bottle setting in front of me. I twisted open the cap, poured a healthy dose down my throat. Thank you.
I live alone these days. I haven't been out of my apartment in several days, haven't spoken a word for most of the week... They said they found a poem and a short story of mine at the scene...
"Yes, Ace, they showed them to me. Can you tell me how they got there?"
I write. I express myself better through written word than spoken. I post many of my words online. Sometimes the words are anonymous, sometimes they're under a pseudonym, sometimes I use my publishing name, Ace Edwards. I never use Andrew. Never.
"I don't need to tell you that's enough to find you. I know you know computers."
"Is there any way you can prove you were in your apartment last night? Any television show you were watching?"
I play video games most of the time, when I'm not on my computer, and I don't have internet access. I was using my phone, though. Someone should be able to check that.
"Can do, can do. Is there anything else I should know, anything they might find in your apartment that might get you in trouble?"
My eyes meet his, but I neither nod nor shake my head. He turns to the mirror again, and draws a hand across his throat. The red light on the camera in the corner turns off. He stands, sits on the table, and leans over close.
"I'm not your lawyer, but you know I'll help you however I can. I don't believe you did this, and if you tell me you didn't do this, I'll believe you."
I didn't do it.
"I believe you. Is there anything in your apartment you don't want found?"
He leans in close and I whisper in his ear: my multimedia collection. Everything is on my phone and my external hard drive.
Yes. Yes. And my porn collection.
He nods, claps my shoulder, stands, and leaves. Before the door closes shut behind him, he turns to me once more.
"I will be back. I promise."
The red light clicks on as the door clicks shut. I lower my head and close my eyes.
An experiment in dialog, blurring the lines between internal narration and spoken word.