• “It appears as though nothing else is here, sir,” sighs Bonjovie unhappily as Monroe scans the couples’ large living room with his eye. “I beg to differ,” announces Monroe turning to Bonjovie with a smirk, “After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words.” He points a single finger towards a broken camera atop the wooden television stand.

    A man, perhaps in his early twenties, continues reading the book cradled delicately in his hands as he sits on a brown lounge chair in a large waiting room. “Robert Stanton…” The man jumps to his feet and drops the book. He stands very still and listens contently to the names being called. “Again, the names are: Augustus Taylor, Ravonni Ykes, Jacob Keebler, Alori Johnson, Bate Numero, Robert Stanton, and Nmen Hill,” calls out the small woman behind the receptionist desk in the center of the room. A few people sulk while others cheer and be merry. The man simply stands and gazes across the room at the receptionist.

    “After all this time,” starts the man as he motions toward the woman, “after all I’ve done to get here…” The woman slowly slides her right hand off the top of the desk and slowly makes her way to a button under the table. “After all of that… I made it! I made it!” He dances a little as the woman places both her hands back on the table. He laughs and dances a little more before snatching up the woman’s hands in his. “I’m Robert Stanton but you can call me Rob; you called my name.” He smiles and releases her hands as she smiles back half amused and half frightened. He runs back to his seat and scoops up the book. He then reaches his free left hand on the right side of the chair to lift up a suit case. Just before he leaves out of the door nearest his chair he tucks the book under his left armpit and tips his hat to the receptionist with his newly freed hand.

    Rob walks down the street with a huge grin on his face. He looks around at his surroundings with glee. The sun is high in the sky and the blue sky above is radiant and clear. On his left is the building he’d emerged from just a few moments ago. The building name is Iron Heights Police Facility and is the police hot spot in Iron Heights and the majority of the Central Oipo. Iron Heights is the city in which there was the least amount of crime. Ever since the death of Iron Heights’ best detective, the crime rate has risen far above the usual numbers. There are more unsolved cases now than there were before the best was born. Come to think of it, the best was working on one of the world’s oldest and most dangerous cases when illness struck. The funny part was the best died of a sickness rather than the allies of those they’d locked away. Rob crosses the street from the police building over to the Blent Park. He walks a while before reaching a park bench and sits. He stares at the statue in the center of the small park. “One day I’m going to be a great detective like Brenda Waske. All I have to do is work hard and continue reading these books.” He looks down at the book resting atop his black suitcase on his lap. “’If They Can Do It’ books are the best.” He lays his head back against the bench and shuts his eyes, “A great detective.”


    Slam goes a huge pile of folders atop a messy wooden desk with a chair facing the wall behind it. “You’re in charge of the rookies.” The chair creeks and whirls around to show a man with a sucker sticking out the side of his mouth and an expression of disgust and surprise. “Me? Lieutenant, Hunt is in charge of that.”

    “Yeah well I decided to put you in charge instead. You might find yourself a good partner out of these rookies.” The man in the chair stares up at a big man with a huge black goatee and tiny black eyes. “John, get it done,” sighs the Lieutenant staring at the man in the chair who twirls his sucker in his mouth.

    “Fine,” replies John taking the sucker from his mouth to show a sucker stick, “s’long as I get a raise.” The Lieutenant lets out a booming laugh and forms his hands into fists then places them into his sides.

    “The hell if I’m doin’ that. I’ll cut you a deal, all right. You do this and you keep your job. You don’t and there goes your only way of income.” As the Lieutenant laughs again John opens the top drawer of the desk on his right. The Lieutenant turns to leave as John takes out a sucker with a red wrapper that says “cherry” in big white letters. He leans back in his chair and puts both hands behind his head. He wiggles the sucker in his left hand a while before he sits upward. He flips the sucker stick into the trash then his right hand joins his left in unwrapping the cherry sucker. A knock comes upon the door across from John as he sighs.

    “Might as well just come on in,” he calls as he stares at the lanky woman in the doorway.

    “I don’t mean to bother you but,” the woman walks into the room with her arms wrapped around a bundle of folders as John examines her.

    “What’s a pretty thing like you doin’ dressin’ like some kind of, of--”

    “Assistant?” She suggests as John smirks.

    “I guess you do look the part. So Miss Assistant, what do you have for me?” She reaches John’s desk and looks it over a bit as she holds onto the folders. “Put it anywhere.” She nods and plops the folders atop the folders the Lieutenant had just placed on his desk.

    “Well John, I was sent to inform you on what I know.”

    “They after my badge again? Tell me something I don’t know.” The woman stares at John as he shuts his eyes and shoves the sucker into his mouth. He slides it around in his mouth a while before leaning forward and crossing his arms upon his table. He opens his eyes and stares up from under his eyelids at her.

    “Mitch says that the department might let you go if you don’t start pulling your weight around here. They say if you don’t start taking big cases or at least start solving some cases they’re going to take your badge away.” John muses a while and looks from her to his hands.

    “Tell Mitch thanks and that if I don’t find myself a partner that I won’t be doing anything,”

    “But--” John raises a hand and stops her.

    “I decided this years ago. I don’t want to be a detective with all of these perks if I have to do things on my own. I’m one of those guys who needs someone by their side or else they can’t work right; they get lazy, you see? If I don’t find myself a partner in this bunch of rookies then I’m calling it quits. I’m going to turn in my badge and everything.” He leans back in his chair and turns his head to his right and stares at a framed picture on the wall.

    “A partner won’t replace her, you know.”

    “Maybe not Annie but it’ll make the pain fade some.” John turns his chair with its back to the woman he called Annie. She sighs and then turns for the door. She begins to speak then shakes her head and exits.


    When Rob awakens from his sleep it’s dark out. He shoots up and looks around him to see the park is completely deserted. He gathers up his suitcase and book and gets to his feet. He quickly makes his way from the park to the street just outside the park which is a straight walk from the police building. He then turns to his right and begins walking down the street. After walking for nearly twenty minutes -turning, and walking, and stopping- Rob makes it to a large condo building. He walks up the stairs and up to the front door. He drops his suitcase and book and begins rambling through his pockets. After a minute he pulls a small golden key from his pocket and shoves it into the key hole in the door. He bends over and picks up his book and suitcase then wrestles through the door. He gets up to the top floor when he realizes he’d left his key in the door. He places his suitcase and book by a door with peeling green paint and darts downstairs. He takes his key from the door and locks it from the inside before running upstairs and unlocking the green door. Before long he gets inside and settles down. He stands in the living room a moment before walking from his couch over to a small room to the right of the door--when entering--across from the kitchen on the other side of the room. He removes his navy blue suit jacket and tosses it on the bed. He tugs at his sky blue button up shirt before he gets it off and tosses that on the bed as well. He quickly shrugs out of his navy blue dress pants and they join the rest of his clothes on the bed. He bends over and examines the many pieces of clothing on the floor a while before he picks up a white tank top with a ketchup stain on it. He tosses on the shirt, exits the room and darts across the living room to the kitchen. Once inside he grabs a t.v. dinner from the freezer box beside the door and places it in the microwave beside it. Once his food is done he eats it in front of the t.v. where he stays and soon falls asleep.

    “Robert Stanton,” Rob smiles as he stands in front of the receptionist from yesterday. As she looks for his name on the computer to her left Rob can’t help but look her over. She has red crinkled hair that stretches to her shoulders. He compares his messy black hair that goes a few inches past his ears to hers to see that hers was far more healthy; not a gray, split end, or flake in sight. He smiles seeing that the two of them are both wearing brown suits today. Hers is a brown suit with a cream shirt and no doubt a brown skirt with heels beneath that table of hers. While he wears a brown suit with a white shirt and black dress shoes--he only has one pair of shoes and since they’re black it’s good. Black goes with nearly everything in his closet anyway. She has long nails that seem to be freshly done and tap against the keys as she types. “Go on to the back and look for a room labeled zero.”

    “Thank you,” he stares at the name plate on her desk, “Annie?”

    “You may call me receptionist.”

    “Aw, I thought we could be on a first name and nickname basis after the connection we made yesterday.”

    “There was no connection.”


    “I think you’d better head over to room zero, rookie.” Rob turns his attention from Annie over to the man standing beside him. Seeing the man glowering at him makes Rob take a step back.

    “Easy John, he’s just a rookie.”

    “Well this rookie better learn rejection from you because it’d be easier hearing it from you than me.”

    “I’m sorry. I just thought An- the receptionist and I were on friend-like terms. I didn’t mean to pester her.” Rob looks from John to Annie for support but all she does is stare back. He sighs and walks past John to the left of the desk toward a long hall leading to the room he’s said to go to.

    “You didn’t have to do that. I can take care of myself.”

    “He’s trouble, Annie. I saw him yesterday, he might try something.”

    “You let him alone. He’s not doing any harm by being hospitable. In fact, I find him to be delightful. You could learn a thing or two from him.” John turns the sucker in his mouth before murmuring something under his breath and going in the same direction Rob had just gone.

    Once Rob enters the room the other rookies look at him for a moment before turning their attention to the booklets in their hands. Rob could feel it already. He wasn't about to make it. And that realization only grows once John walks into the room soon after him.