THE MURDER OF DOROTHY GALE - ALUN WILLIAMS
Interview Room 3 - 14th Precinct - 03:05 AM 16/03/08
Statement: Joe Campasino
“I never knew her name was Martha. She never looked like a Martha. She called herself Brandii, with two I’s. I remember she was insistent on that. The first time I saw her was about six weeks ago but I can’t be precise about it.
“One of my girls picked her up at a bar on East and Washington, called Lou-Lou’s. You know it? It’s by the bus station. A lot of young girls hang around out there. They come in on a Greyhound full of fancy ideas and when they finally reach LA they don’t know where to go. So they sit at Lou-Lou’s or some other bar and wait. Sooner or later, someone’ll pick them up.
“I never knew she was sixteen. She told me she was nineteen and looked it. Listen, Officer, I don’t have the time to check paperwork. She was from Kansas. I never knew they had such lookers there. She seemed a little lost at first, kinda like Dorothy in Oz, but she suckered me, too.
“I put her up in a small apartment with Linda Vines out on Cable Street. I buy her new clothes, give her money and what does she do? She screws me over, that’s what!
“Look, Officer, I run a business, ok maybe it’s not strictly legal but you ain’t never gonna stop it. I treat my girls well and I expect them to toe the line. This girl, Brandii, Martha, whatever, she ain’t too smart. She thinks I’m green, but I’ve seen sweet-talking girls like her before, the kind that’s always looking for a meal ticket. They get greedy. If she’d have had half a brain, maybe she’d have gotten away with it.
“I put her in a few skin flicks. I’m all heart but, hey, she wanted to be in movies! Who doesn’t? Monroe did porn and it never did her any harm. She gets clever and starts screwing the producer and makes her own deals.
“I’m sorry she's dead but I didn’t kill her. I’ve got a cast-iron alibi. I guess that’s down to one of her tricks.
“She was sexy for a country girl, but she was plain stupid. Talk to Linda Vines, maybe she can tell you more.”
Interview Room - 14th Precinct - 4:37 AM 16/03/08
Statement: Linda Vines - Prostitute
“He said she was stupid, uh? He knows nothing. She was young but she wasn’t stupid. I didn’t know her well, even though we roomed together. Mr Campasino figures I have a mothering instinct. She was a little young and inexperienced. She wasn’t a virgin, though, but she said it had only happened once. Said her name was Brandii. I’m not one to question her, but I knew her name was Martha. I looked in her wallet one time. It pays to know these things but she told me what she wanted me to know. Yeah, she was a little shy at first and I thought she wasn’t going to make the grade but she did. She learned fast.
“She told me she was looking to make it in the movies. I think I wanted to do that, a long time ago. Do you mind if I smoke? Thanks. I think there’s a lot of actresses working the streets but, you know, given the chance, I think she could have made it. She was a cold bitch, though, no heart. Street girls tend to stick together, but her? She may've been young but she was ice. There was no warmth to her. I know most of what we do is an act but there’s acting and there’s well...
“She could play any role she wanted and that takes some doing. I saw her work tricks and it was like she was another person, you know? She could play like Dietrich and she could play like Mae West. She could play any woman under the sun but the one she liked to play best, the one she was really good at playing was the little girl lost, like Dorothy Gale in Oz. She liked to play innocent. I think that was her best role. I think, deep down that was the real Martha. She was no dumb cluck, but she was heartless.
“I asked why she came here, half expecting the usual runaway story but she said she had a good life at home, kinda cosy, but a girl with no feeling doesn't do cosy and she ran away. Maybe she thought she’d find the Emerald City.
“I’m sorry she’s dead, though. She didn’t deserve that.”
Interview - City Morgue - 10:13 AM 17/03/08
Statement: Mrs Dorothy Hayes - Mother
“Stupid? Heartless? That wasn’t my daughter, Officer. Martha wasn’t like that. I mean, she was a good girl and I gave her all I could. We still have a stable life at home, despite the fact her Daddy left and it’s not as easy as it was. I don’t blame him. It’s been as amicable as any divorce can be. He had access every weekend. Martha was a shy God-fearing girl. She never did anything wrong and her grades were fine and she had friends, lots of friends. I guess her one failing was that she liked everything to be as it was. Her father and I... I suppose it wasn’t easy for her. She didn’t want to face the fact that we weren’t the perfect family anymore. She didn’t like to face up to things like that. Yes, I guess she was a little timid. Perhaps you could say she was a little cowardly for not facing up to life. I think that’s the wrong word but the divorce affected her more than the rest of us. I have two other children but she changed most when my husband left. I hoped that they’d work it out by themselves but when she ran, I knew it was too late. Children do that, don’t they? They run away when they’re scared and maybe Martha just couldn’t find it in her heart to come back. I guess she didn’t have enough courage to do that.
“Can I take her home, Officer, back to Kansas?”
BIO: Alun Williams, 55. Born and still residing in Wales. Member of Crittersbar (writing under maxieslim), Zoetrope and Scrawl (writing as maxwell allen) and has had several shorts published in Write Side Up, bonfire, Twisted tongue, Skive, The Legendary and various others. Loves noir and Charles Bukowski.
Review: SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane
2 hours ago