Turns out that you can have visitors in rehab on occasion. Even if I had been “home” at the time though, I doubt I could have come up with a reason to tag along. I’m not a very good liar. I casually asked Evan if his friend had said anything “weird” when he told me he had visited his pal but he wasn’t interested in talking. He just mumbled something about “junkie hallucinations” and changed the subject.
I really wanted to know what was going on, so I decided to lean on my good friend the Atlanta detective. Since she usually doesn’t answer my calls and she never returns my messages and since I was going to be in the Atlanta area for a show, my plan was to ambush her IRL.
She wouldn’t like that but I felt like I needed to regain some power in this “relationship”. If she wants to continue getting my help she needs to lighten the fuck up. The problem is after spending several hours on the phone with various general information and public information lines, I was told that there was no such detective in the Atlanta PD.
I was at iHOP contemplating what this might mean after the show when she wandered in. She was wearing a red leather jacket with a mesh shirt and a Johnny Depp-load of chintzy necklaces and bracelets. She was slick with sweat and seemed slightly out of breath. No, not out of breath, more like breathy?
She flopped down in the chair across from me. She seemed slightly amused instead of her standard scowl of thinly suppressed murderous anger. I asked her if this is how she always dresses when she’s off duty and she loudly and theatrically shushed me and then said he was undercover with a giggle.
This is the nastiest most unpleasant woman I’ve ever met and there she was giggling? I found that very unsettling.
I asked to see her badge and after she showed it to me, I told her I had contacted the department and they said they never heard of her. She banged the table loudly and said that of course they said that. In these times they can’t be giving out information about their soldiers on the front lines. Need to know only. She leaned forward slightly and said “it’s a war out there you know, and it’s not going good”. But she said it with a dreamy smile.
I asked her if she was on Ecstasy and she said that I was looking for her and there she was so what did I want? She said it while she frowned down at one of her many chains and then struggled to get it over her head.
I told her about the incident in Havana and asked if she could get access to the report or some records that might clue me into what was going on there. She leaned back and propped her arms on the chair in an awkward way that really popped her tits at me and said that it would be no problem. She grinned and said “The door swings both ways”.
I had no expectation that she would remember this conversation or that she would help me if she did, but a few days later when I was driving into Chattanooga she called and told me to meet her. What’s a four-hour drive between old pals like us?
The meeting took place at a rest stop, but she had a bag of Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and some MGD tallboys, so it wasn’t all bad. She was back to looking at me like a half-squashed cockroach that was twitching on the floor. When I mentioned that she’s much nicer when she’s stoned, she came at me hard.
I’m starting to figure her out. She explodes and yells but it doesn’t mean anything. She’s like one of those yappy little dogs. When she does actually shoot me in the kneecap, there won’t be any carrying on and shouting. When she stopped screaming, she told me not to tell anyone about what I think I saw. Who the hell would I tell anyway? People are weird.
Once all the angry posturing was complete, she told me she had pulled some information on my Havana beat-down and that as soon as she saw the details she knew what was up. She said that magic people LIKE ME snatch junkies so they can siphon the stress they’re going through in withdrawal to power their spells. They lock them up and give them just enough meth or Special K or whatever to keep them tweaking.
I told her I didn’t do magic like that. I told her I wouldn’t even know how to do magic like that. She sneered and asked how I did do magic. I told her to give me her hand. Surprisingly she did. Hesitantly, like she was going to grab an angry rattler, but she reached out.
You may remember from one of my magic posts that everyone has a little magic in them. Some people more than others. Being a mage as I was taught is about learning to store more energy inside yourself like a battery. Not taking it from pain or fear or suffering.
The detective had more magic in her than most people. Surprising. I drew some of that energy out of her and did a simple little trick to make colors dance across my fingers. She gasped, not in surprise, but something else. I don’t know what. I guess it was a weirdly intimate moment.
She jerked her hand away and was ready to lay into me, but the words died on her lips and she just held her hand to her chest. “That’s how I do magic” I said as I reached for another piece of chicken.
She told me never to do that again. I said I wouldn’t dream of it. I asked her if she would tell me what happened with the diary girl. She reacted with true hostility, not bluster, and told me she was “somewhere you’ll never find her”.
I asked her what she was so afraid would happen if we met. You know in movies when someone who’s clearly scared shitless proclaims “I’m not afraid of anything” and it seems cheesy and fake?
That happens in real life.