Angel (change and charges)
Angel’s time had been taken up with crying and trying not to, when she had riches bestowed on her, a puff of a smoke—she had to bang on the door for a light, like the other inmates—and an orange to eat. The Turnkey, a magician of misdirection and ricocheting noises, wouldn’t say who left it. The hatch blinked open and it was there, food and drink. She’d eaten the orange skin as well, chewing it slowly, it seemed so clean and it reminded her of being outside even when she crouched and peed.
She’d grown conversant in the stench of her cell and choked calls of the other inmates, the concrete feet of the Turnkeys and overly cheery voices as doors were opened and clanked shut. A frozen bloodshot eye looked through the hatch at her and she jerked awake as the cell door opened.
The Turnkey with the sideburn’s cheap aftershave wafted into the cell making Angel feel blowsy and conscious of how smelly she must be. She hadn’t washed for a day and a bit. He looked away and scratched at his ear.
‘You coming then, sunshine, you’ve got someone to see you.’
Angel grunted with satisfaction as she stood up and stretched. ‘Who is it?’
‘Couple of detectives, in the interview room.’
She felt deflated. Somehow she’d hoped it would have been Pizza Face come to take her home. The muffled drum of a cell door banging and the shout of ‘Turnkey, Turnkey,’ a few cells down and he stepped back a step, cocked his head and muttered under his breath, a weary, ‘Fuck off,’ as the cries fizzled out.
He raised an eyebrow and leered at her. ‘Coming?’
Her cheeks pinked, fingers still sticky from masturbating to pass the time, she stared at the ground. He patted her lightly on the bum as she came out of the cell, pallid face and his eye twinkling. His arm wind milling away as he gave directions in a blokey tone. ‘Just along this way.’
Two detectives were sitting waiting in the interview room, which was just a bigger version of her cell, but with better lighting, a subterranean window and a battle-scarred wooden desk with an ashtray on it and a scattering of office chairs.
The officer with a mop of silver grey hair in a side-shed and black glasses sliding down his nose, waved her over and gestured to a chair.
‘I’m Detective Inspector Murray and this is my colleague, Detective Winton who’ll be sitting in on this interview.’
The younger detective looked up. Angel could see he was doodling on his notebook, which made her smile. His coal-black hair was shaved into his head and he was all muscles and gym-hard angles.
Murray grinned and reached for his cigarette packet on the table, a flicker on annoyance passed over Winton’s face. The Detective Inspector rubbed at his eyes, lit his Kensitas Club and inhaled slowly as if lost in thought.
‘You want one?’ he nudged the cigarette packet and disposable lighter towards Angel.
She shifted in her seat, uncomfortably, her gaze shifting to his young colleague, his thick eyelashes and his thin lips pressed together before she reached for the packet.
‘That-a-girl,’ Murray put his cigarette in the ashtray and let it smoulder. He leaned forward, elbows on the desk, fist under his chin. ‘Some people, all they think about is results. Getting convictions and locking bad folk away.’ He shrugged and turned his head to look at the face of his colleague and smiled, before turning his attention back to Angel. ‘I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But, you know, I like tae dae a bit of fishing. See how folk got here. I mean, I advise folk to be honest, of course. I mean, you look like a nice girl. Not the usual type we get in here. You can tell me, in your own words, how you got here? How does that sound?’
‘Fine,’ Angel took a drag of her cigarette and smiled back at him. ‘I mean I didn’t do anything.’
‘That’s whit I thought.’ Murray coughed, slapping his chest and spluttering, ‘Detective Winton will read you your rights. But just for the noo, we’ll have a chat and get a few things cleared up first.’
Angel sucked on her cigarette as she explained. ‘Well, me and Kimmie were going for a night out.’
‘You mean Kimberly Walsh?’ Winton had a posh voice. He was no longer doodling, but writing down what she was saying in his notebook.
Murray encouraged her to continue. ‘You were going for a night out…’
‘Yeh, but we kept getting knocked-back from pubs.’
‘Where you too drunk?’ asked Murray.
‘No, not at all.’ She let ash from her cigarette fall as she considered, sweeping it towards the ashtray with her hand and apologising. ‘They wouldn’t serve me because they thought I was too young.’
‘And what age are you?’ asked Winton.
‘And what age is Kimberlay?’
‘Right,’ he seemed satisfied with that. Noting it down in his book.
‘So what were you fighting about?’
‘Em,’ Angel bit on her lip and stabbed out her cigarette, giving her time to think. ‘She said she got off with my boyfriend, Pizza Face.’
‘That would be Graham Grimley?’ Winton made his name sound like a sneer. ‘Who you currently live with?’
‘Yeh,’ Angel sat up a little straighter in her chair, staring back at him.
‘Kimberly said you attacked her for no reason,’ Murry guffawed.
‘Well, she would say that, wouldn’t she!’
‘You realise, of course, leaving the scene of a crime can get you serious prison time. Up to about six months.’
‘But I didn’t.’ She shook her head. ‘We didn’t. I mean, the police, you, came straight away.’
Murray held a hand over his mouth as he yawned. ‘We got the results back from fingerprints. That was a nice surprise. We got a match from a dolphin lighter, which was used on a case we’re treating as attempted murder. The Crown treats attempted murder in the same way that it treats murder. The only difference is the victim in this case has been brain damaged. Some folk think in cases like that it would be better if he did die. Some folk, like your friend Kimmie, thinks it’s better if you make a clean breast of it.’
‘He tried to rape me,’ stuttered Angel.’
Murray’s eyes were no longer twinkling, his face no longer affable, but hard. ‘So, you tried to kill him? Left him for dead, bleeding on the floor.’
‘It wasn’t like that.’
Winton glanced at her, scribbling away in his notebook, trying to catch up with what had been said.
‘That’s no what you’re friend Kimmie says. She says you were having a nice time and she went into the room with one of his friends and she came into the living room after hearing you screaming and you were naked and the victim was fully clothed. That you were hysterical and urged her to flee the scene, which she admits to doing, against her better judgement.’
‘She’s a fucking lying cow.’
‘Ah, now we’re getting someplace.’ Murray turned to Winton, and spoke in a jocular tone. ‘Did you get that? “She’s a lying cow?”’
Winton nodded, his hand racing to get it down.
‘And I suppose she’s lying as well, when she said she’d absolutely no idea you were carrying almost a gram of heroin in your jacket pocket?’
‘No, she’s not lying about that.’
‘Well, you do admit, to having heroin, a Class A drug in your possession?’
‘Now we’re getting somewhere.’
‘And you do admit to the attempted murder of Peter Warren at his house on Mossgeil Drive on the 20th August this year? And hitting him with a blunt object to his severe disfigurement and injury?’
‘No,’ she shrunk back into the chair, clutching her arms. ‘He tried to rape me.’
‘Well, Angel,’ he scratched at his leg. ‘You’re a good looking girl.’ He turned to Winton. ‘Isn’t she a good looking girl?’
Winton looked up from his notebook, nodded and began scribbling again.
‘We’ve already established, you get drunk, fight in the streets with your pals, take or supply heroin and you were naked with Peter Warren and you’re bloody fingerprints were all over the lighter you used to assault him. Which you have admitted to doing. And your pal Kimmie.’ He turned to Winton and rephrased it, as if for his benefit. ‘Your pal Kim-berlay attested that you’d gone voluntarily back to Warren’s house and even though she wanted to leave, you wanted to stay. And it was you that urged her to go into the room with his friend so that you could spend more time with Warren.’
‘No, that’s not the way it was,’ whispered Angel.
A smirk appeared on Murray’s face and he held his hand up to stop her saying more. He inched forward in his chair. ‘And then. And here’s the good part. You meet up with Kim-berlay’s ex-boyfriend to gie him free blowjobs and let him ride you. So what am I missing here?’
Angel had tears in her eyes and she looked straight through him.
‘I’m sure your current boyfriend, Graham Grimley, and I’m sure there’s more than one, will be delighted to hear that.’
‘Don’t tell him,’ cried Angel.
‘Alright then. I want you to sign this document, saying we’ve read you your rights and and freely admit to the charges we’ve put before you.’
Winton slid the notebook across and tapped at the bottom of the page he wanted her to sign.