Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!
So, here’s some context to this post: I’m currently coming down with a cold, and I really didn’t have the energy, nor the time to put something together for day eight of TNTHmas. I wanted to write something creative like a scene or a Stories I’ve Been Working On post, so I decided to share something that I actually wrote for a fiction class during my last semester as an undergrad two years ago.
The inspiration of this story leads from an unfinished full-feature film I worked on called The Fire Remains©, which was about a detective whose daughter went missing when she was eight years old, and nine years later, gets a lead that she may actually be alive and well. This story begins where the script left off; the main character, Hudson, gets a phone call from a distraught girl after making an emergency broadcast in hopes to reach out to his daughter. Thinking he finally found his daughter, he goes to the scene to then find a runaway kid named Rosie. This is where the story picks up. There’s actually more to this short story, so if you’re interested to read the other parts, lemme know!
Without further ado, here’s The Interrogation Room©.
A singular fluorescent light shined down on the beige table centered in the room. The discolored white walls were thicker than sheetrock, made to hold even the strongest, most violent people. Rosie appeared to be the total opposite. She carefully touched the open cut on her forehead and quickly regretted it when she hissed in pain. Opening her eyes, she looked to her left at the double glass window and saw her reflection. On the other side of the glass stood Detective Sam Hudson.
He had just came back from tearing up a place that he personally ruled as a false alarm. He took in the teenagers and arrested most of them for possession of drugs, but in all honesty he didn’t care if they had them or not. He went there on a mission after getting a call from a girl who he had thought reached out to him after broadcasting an emergency press conference about his current and very personal case. Hudson noticed Rosie’s curly hair, slightly resembling his daughter’s, Kalilah. He remembered the many hair brushes that broke whenever he tried combing through Kalilah’s hair and the plenty of things he found in her hair after a very long day, the paint splatters especially. Rosie resembles those paint splatters in her hair with the random strips of different colored highlights scattered all throughout. He wondered if she was an artist like his daughter once was. In the middle of his thought, the door opened and Hudson’s partner, Detective Shawn Kelly, walked in.
“Hey man.” Kelly greeted his partner and walked over to stand next to Hudson and looked at Rosie through the glass. “DMV records say her name is Rosie Delgado, 17 years old, never been arrested but her friends definitely have been.” Kelly read the folder in his hands. “Her little buddies seem to be all doped up on something, so what makes her different?”
“She’s clean,” Hudson answered. “Junkies shake, they twitch and scratch and they aren’t calm. Anonymous caller called from an unknown number. Female. Wanna guess who called?” They both looked back at the girl in the room.
The door to the interrogation room opened, which caused Rosie to jump up from her seat. Hudson walked in with a case file in his hand and sat across from Rosie. He simply stared at her. She started to play with her rings, more nervous than before.
“You’re the one who called,” Hudson blankly stated. Rosie looked around the room as if there were other people listening in on the conversation. “It’s just me. No one else is here.” Hudson smiled to cut the tension that was already surrounding the room. When he noticed Rosie’s body loosen up in the chair, he began to talk to her in a more serious matter.
“Why’d you rat your friends out? Aren’t they going to be mad?”
“They aren’t my friends,” Rosie harshly interrupted. “They’re just, people I hang out with. I wouldn’t call them my friends. Most of the time they’re assholes anyway.”
“So you called us to get back at them?”
“No, I–” Rosie sighed. She went into the pocket of her torn, distressed jeans. She took out a crumpled piece of paper and when she unraveled it; it revealed Hudson’s cellphone number. “I wrote it down after I saw it on the news earlier today. I figured it would be easier to dial an actual number rather than the three digit one every street kid is so scared to hear be dialed.”
Hudson is still baffled, and still wondering why she called his cell phone specifically.
“My lowlife boyfriend robbed me after an argument. He figured what was mine was his also. I told him to go fuck himself and go make his own money; he supposedly got the bitches to get it from.” Rosie rolled her eyes at the thought, and then quickly looked down at her fingers, now nervously picking at her nail polish. “He told me he’d beat me up if I didn’t cough up the money. You can figure out the rest.” Rosie then gestured to the cut on her head.
Hudson remained across from her, analyzing as she spoke. He wondered if Kalilah was wandering the streets, finding different homes on park benches and in the backseat of a stranger’s car. The thought of her out there possibly being in the same situation made him cringe.
“We’re going to keep you a bit to process you out of here, and then send you to the hospital to get you checked out. Most likely you’d either be sent home to your parents, and if not,” Hudson stopped. He knew Rosie already had an idea on how the system worked.
While Rosie looked down on the table, she noticed the folder that had been on the table ever since Hudson walked in the room. She focused on one of the photos sticking out of the folder; one of a girl with the name ‘Kalilah’ under it. Rosie raised her head and quickly looked up at Hudson.
“That girl, she was the girl you were talking about on the news,” Rosie said.
Hudson, now completely off-guard, focused his attention on Rosie. Without permission, Rosie took the case file from the table and took out the photo. She looked down and noticed the missing girl’s last name: Hudson.
“This girl is your daughter. You’re looking for her.” Before Rosie could continue, Hudson took the photo and case file from her, and began to get up to walk out of the room.
“I can help you find her,” Rosie blurted. Hudson turned around and looked at Rosie. Kalilah wasn’t a street kid in his mind, but he also only knows the girl Kalilah once was 8 years ago, before she went missing. Even after the thought, he still wasn’t convinced.
“How can you possibly help me find her? You don’t know her.”
“But no street kid wants to talk to a cop,” Rosie responded back. “We try to live our lives without being noticed, without being forced to live in foster homes until we’re booted in crappy shelters for the rest of our lives. You try finding her on your own out there, and you’ll never find her.” Hudson considers the thought carefully. He knows she’s right; she probably knows how to work the streets better than any detective in this station. He sat back down and looked at the double glass window.
“I’m sorry,” Hudson took out his notepad and pen from his pocket. He began to write something down. “I’m going to need to call your parents and let them know you’re in here,” Hudson continued. He hands the piece of paper to Rosie. Rosie looks down and reads the paper: ‘Deal.’