|Wednesday, February 21st, 2001|
9:07p - First Attack (3/16/10; WC 2512) Q
Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence.
-- Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Joy Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado
When the fiasco at Ye Olde Watering Hole is over, Despina heads to the Fitful Rest. Taking her laundry from the jeep, she carries it through the streets, uneasy with all eyes on her. When everything is clean and dry, she returns, again pestering the owner's wife for a pitcher of ice water prior to her pilgrimage to the sheriff's facilities.
When the sheriff shows up in the wee hours of the morning with the super-soused Paul Peter, they have their teamwork down as they minister to him.
"Sleeping at the Attempted Rest would be a bearable routine if I could just get a shower, do the laundry, and wash my hair in hot water. Is there a boarding house where I can rent a room one night a week?"
"Well, it wouldn't be as cheap as this, nor as convenient."
"I don't have to be close to the tavern. I don't frequent it. Alice and I got on so well last weekend, we're trying it again."
"Come to think of it, I may be able to arrange a room for you starting next Friday or Saturday night. Let me work on it a bit." He hesitates, then continues, "Am I forgiven enough after standing you up without even a word for you to allow me to try again?"
Despina looks at him, bemused. "Oh, I knew before your tire tracks were filled in just which turn-off you were taking."
"I'm still using the facilities in your office, not having come up with any better place open as early as my schedule seems to require."
"I've heard tell you pop up, wide-eyed and bushy tailed, at 5 a.m."
"I walk on the desert at dawn. It's lovely." Responding to the warning look on his face, she hastily adds, "It's okay, though... Alberto generally goes with me, and Sarita, too, at times. We don't stray far from the road."
Shortly after the sheriff leaves, the door again opens. Despina, who has been lying sleepless since he left, thinks, You dumb idiot! You know to set the chain. If Paul Peter needs to use the non-facilities and can't get it unhooked, the noise'll surely wake you and you'd let him out. His dignity might be insulted, but not enough to cause him to drink less. Now you have an intruder, probably drunk, and him too out of it to be any more help than he was the last time you ran to him for assistance. She shudders, clutching the blanket more tightly.
Startled, she recognizes the voice. Not a drunk at all. A visitor.
"Cu? What are you doing here at the You’ll Never Rest Motel?"
How'd he recognize this as my room? Despina thinks, then sighs as she sees Paul Peter's bright yellow jeep with the tell-tale upside down legend at the very top of the windshield, "If you can read this, roll me over," sitting right in front of their room's door.
Am I in trouble? I always seem to be in trouble with someone for something.
"Sí, bastante bien. I can't sleep. People keep coming in. No puedo dormir. Hay gente que viene todo el tiempo."
He has followed the sound of her voice to her bed. The light coming in the open door shows Paul Peter, fully clothed except for his shoes, haphazardly draped across the other bed.
Despina gets up to shut the door, sliding the chain across. As she closes it, she notices the patrol car sitting, lights off, but engine running, at one end of the parking lot, facing the tavern, blocked from the sight of its patrons by the shadow of the building. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees dark forms flitting about the light stone of the far end of the motel parking lot, out of view of the patrol car. She shivers. Looks like it's shaping up to be a typical night at the Almost Restful Motel. Mickey's going to have his hands full tonight.
When she turns back to her bed, Cu is no longer in sight. Now, that's strange. Where'd he go?
Something thumps against the back of the motel. Moving around against the far wall, she peers carefully out the back window, seeing a black form with a machine gun slipping into the woods bordering the parking lot. As she passes the bed heading to the front door to check it out with the sheriff, she feels a hand clamp around her ankle. Off balance, she falls into the bed. Her ankle is released. She can hear scrapings around the front door, too, now. The hair on the back of her neck lifts.
"Paul Peter, wake up," she whispers. Crawling across the bed, she leans onto his bed, roughly shaking his shoulders, but it is useless.
Wish I still had some of that ice. I bet I could rouse him with ice.
"Open up in there. It's the law." The door shakes under the pounding.
"The, the LAW? What LAW? You don't sound like the LAW to me!"
"Open up, lady. You're harboring a dangerous criminal."
"Criminal? Dangerous? Maybe to himself. I didn't think getting plastered was a CRIMINAL OFFENSE if all you do is rent a room and sleep it off. What's he done?"
The knob twists, "Open up before I break it down."
"If you do that, you'd better have a search warrant. What're the charges?"
The pounding is heavy and furious. Frantically, Despina tries to arouse Paul Peter.
"If you don't quit that racket, I'm going to call the police."
Harsh laughter comes through the door. "On the motel phone, I suppose?"
Angrily, Despina feels around in her purse for the cell phone. Dialing 911, she gets Tony. "Tony, can you reach the sheriff? Some drunk is trying to break into my motel room, pretending to be him."
Before she gets a response, the battery dies.
Footsteps recede, then two sets return. A key jingles in the lock, but the chain stops the door from opening. "Open up in the name of the law."
"Not until I know the charges. Get the sheriff over here. I want to talk to someone I recognize as a lawman."
"Por favor, señora. He says he weel break the door eef you don open eet."
"Did he show you a search warrant? Did Mickey authorize his entry?"
"Then it's not legal. You don't even know if he really IS a lawman. Is he wearing a uniform? Did he show you a badge? Did you write down its number?"
"Call Sheriff Mickey."
"He has no jurisdiction. This is federal."
"Then tell J. Edgar's replacement to contact the local sheriff and have him bring me a message telling me what the charges are."
She slams the door and braces it with the back of the chair, which looks none too sturdy.
Two sets of strange footsteps goes away, then two sets return, one familiar.
Despina recognizes one of the voices, as well, this time.
"Okay, Roger, what're the charges? It seems to me that she's acting very reasonably for someone rousted out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night."
The gravelly voice replies, "Harboring a criminal."
"A criminal, is it, now? And what has Paul Peter done, pray tell, since I brought him over here too drunk to stand? True, they aren't married, but both are of legal age, and neither one objects. They've done it before at least twice that I know of."
"A federal suspect was seen entering this room."
"A FEDERAL suspect? Paul Peter is wanted by the Feds?"
"No, not that lush."
"I'm not at liberty to say."
"You want to arrest someone in my town, with no warrant, no contact with my office, and no name for the suspect, but you say he's in a room I just left? You're going to have to do better than that, Roger."
The voices drop too low for her to hear, then Mickey's speaks up.
"Well, I could do that, Roger. But, how'll I know if I've found your suspect if I don't know who I'm looking for?"
Roger’s words come through the door as an unintelligible whisper…
"Now, THAT is a problem. He's not a US citizen. I can't arrest him without just cause, nor can you."
More whisperings she cannot catch.
"If this is an authorized mission, I should've gotten advance notice that it was going to happen."
"Now that you mention it, I haven't seen any paperwork, either. No mission operation notification, no search warrant, no notice that I'll have armed men running around in my woods. Pretty dangerous set-up. Maybe even life threatening to my people. They expect me to keep things around here on an even keel."
"Mickey, that guy with the Uzi is coming out of the woods. How many men are running around as if this were a hunt for Ben Ladin through an Afghani cave?"
"An Uzi, Despina?"
"Well, it IS pretty dark out there. Maybe it's an M-16. Some type of machine gun... Big and scary. The guy's not in uniform, either. All dressed in black with that grease smeared on his face. Is it LEGAL to run around armed as if you're invading a foreign country?"
"Well, now I've had a complaint. I'll have to see your permit."
"This is RIDICULOUS, you pompous little ASS. I'll have your JOB for this!"
"I take it that's a 'no'. Just how many men have you got out here tonight?"
"I saw at least five earlier, all in black, all armed."
Mickey pulls his gun out, leveling it at the gruff voiced man. "Maybe you'd better give me your weapons and mosey on over to my car with me. Carrying without a permit is illegal in this state."
"Despina, would you mind calling for back up?"
"Right away." This is NOT the time to tell him about the dead battery. He said he was going to bring out a fresh one, but he hasn't done it yet.
"Back up for WHAT, Despina?"
"It's about time you woke up. There're at least five guys with Uzi's or M-16's running around out there, one of whom wanted to arrest YOU, and you SLEPT through the whole thing. Mickey just arrested the ringleader. He asked me to call for back up, but the cell phone's battery gave out. If you can make it over to the door, I'll go down and call from the motel office. Throw the chain and replace the chair, just to be safe."
She undoes the door and slips out, pulling it shut behind her. Once she reaches the office, she finds it locked.
Continuing across the rocky parking lot, she regrets not putting on her shoes first.
Slipping into the passenger side of the patrol car, she uses the radio to talk to Tony, who's dying for more information. When she tells him the sheriff is up against five hoodlums armed with Uzi's in the parking lot of what she’s sure is about to become the Eternal Rest Motel, he freaks out. He leaves the mike on while he calls up every available officer.
Suddenly she sees Mickey and several other men coming toward the squad car. Rolling down the window, she hollers, "Tony has some men coming right away," so he'll know where she is.
"Despina, get back to your room and stay there until everything's all settled. This's no place for you to be wandering around tonight."
Opening the passenger door, she sprints for the room. Paul Peter opens the door and yanks her inside, then sets the chain and replaces the chair.
"You little fool! Those are REAL GUNS."
"I know, PP; believe me, I know."
Cu surfaces. "El techo."
Opening the door again, Despina hollers, "The ROOF, Mickey. Someone's ON THE ROOF."
Dropping flat behind the car, he trains his gun there, then orders two more men to throw down their weapons and come down. Simultaneously, two squad cars squeal into the parking lot.
"Where the hell did he come from?" slurs Paul Peter.
"I don't know,” Despina lies, hoping the darkness will hide her face. “Someone followed you in. I couldn't see who it was."
Despina again unchains the door and shouts out, "There's one more blond guy out back I haven't seen come out, yet."
Leaving the reading of rights and the handcuffing to the countywide force now pulling in, Mickey takes his own gun and one of the confiscated ones and heads toward the woods.
Using his knife, Paul Peter chips the paint out of the crack so the window can be raised. Finally, he gives up. He can't budge it. Cu removes a wicked-looking hunting knife Despina has never seen before, then pries the frame off, removes the window, and steps through, holding it in position while Paul Peter replaces the strip securing it.
"Mickey's got the blond," Paul Peter reports.
Putting on her shoes, Despina exits again. Once the blond is safely cuffed, she calls the sheriff over loudly.
"Mickey, just for the record, I'd like you and a deputy to SEARCH MY ROOM just so everyone knows that Paul Peter and I are the only ones here."
Roger glares at her.
Mickey and another fellow, who turns out to be the chief from the next county, come over. She turns on the lights, and they sweep the room thoroughly and professionally.
Despina frowns. Had Cu still been here, he'd have been dead meat.
The other sheriff asks Paul Peter, "What's your name, and why're you here?"
"I always rent a room here at the Dying To Rest Motel when I come to town on weekends. I get too plastered to drive home safely, and I can't count on her to stay on the road with my jeep. She gets wanderlust when you let her behind the wheel."
Mickey moves over to the windows and draws the drapes, dislodging a cobweb still attached to the ceiling.
Looking up, Despina shudders.
Eying her pensively, he queries, "Anything else you'd like me to know about the events here tonight?"
"My cell phone's battery gave out in the middle of my 911 call."
"I wouldn't worry about it tonight. You got the message through. That's all that's important."
"I always SLEEP with the thing now."
Suppressing a smile, Mick says, "Seen enough?"
"Yeah. I think you've got those Fed's dead to rights tonight. Clear breach of procedure, and no evidence of 'hot pursuit.' I think this couple could even file harassment charges if they wanted to."
"Oh, I doubt they'd want to carry it that far."
Last updated 3/16/10 Corrected bastante, cannot, life threatening, ringleader, back up (three times), and countywide; changed this’s to everything’s. 2/17/10 added bright yellow to the description of Paul Peter’s jeep. 2/16/10 Clarified the footfall/voice through the door material further. (Where’sMeKilt) 2/14/10 Added Roger’s words come through the door as an unintelligible whisper… (Where’sMeKilt) Added Paul Peter’s jeep material. (Where’sMeKilt) Added rocky parking lot. Fixed tense in last speech. 2/3/10 Added "tells". 1/9/10 Added first paragraph that bridges from Entrapment into Cu’s attempted arrest. 7/25/08 changed Interrupted Rest, a repeat from Room To Let, to Attempted Rest; added “in the parking lot of what she’s sure is about to become the Eternal Rest Motel” (9/14/04.)
Word Count: 2512
current mood: artistic
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