A strong urge compels Cyn to dance a waltz in the precinct parking garage. The same compulsion at the same time forces Ali to waltz in her apartment. The impulses tailor themselves to the women. Cyn faces the overwhelming desire to torture a homicide suspect and shoot a homeless man, while Ali grapples with a yearning to shoplift and steal from a cash register. The women morph into passengers in their own bodies, aware of everything around them but incapable of manipulating events, like passengers on a bus watching the world pass by beyond the windows, while the influence nobbles them toward maiming, mayhem, and murder.
The duo subsist like most people, never questioning why they act as they do, never scrutinizing who or what sways them until an unknown influence threatens to swallow their lives. What about you? Who or what shapes your dealings? Do you even know? Does your will control you, or have you acquiesced to some other force without even realizing it?
Targeted Age Group:: Teen and Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Seeing how people are influenced by things that they may not even realize are impacting their behavior, I crafted a story to take that situation to extremes. From the point of view of the two women subjected to mind control, I show how it disrupts their lives and the lives of others in their orbit. They aren't content to become compliant victims, so they fight back.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I've known people who got sucked into believing in issues without knowing they were snookered. As they awoke to the influences playing on them, breaking free of that control wasn't as simple as disavowing those seeking to control them. The forces permeated their lives, so some fought back while others sought escape.
Detective Kaipahua paced in front of Mr. Polk. “So what do you say? If you’re willing to work with me, I’ll work with you. What’s it going to be?”
“You’re trying to trick me into confessing to a crime I didn’t commit.”
“I would never want to force someone to confess to something he didn’t do. Far be it for me to pressure you into doing anything wrong or unjust. But likewise, I wouldn’t want some creep to walk away from a murder when I know damn well he did it.” She halted and placed her hands on her hips.
“No. Where’s my wife? I want her here with me.”
“She’s busy talking to another detective.”
“You can’t do that. If you had any real evidence against me, you’d arrest me and bring me to the police station. You’ve got nothing.”
“This isn’t going to go the way murder mysteries or police shows go. Trust me. I told you I’m in no mood. You expect me to detail all the evidence we have against you so you’ll crack? Okay, here goes. The forensic report for the murder weapon, which wasn’t recovered at the scene, shows it to have a unique shape. You know what that means?”
Mr. Polk shook his head.
“It means it’s not some run of the mill item.” She glared at him.
“So run of the mill items killers throw away in desolate spots so they’ll likely never be found. Not so with unique things. They tend to mean something, so the dumbasses who use those as murder weapons tend to keep them.”
Mr. Polk’s eyes darted to the nightstand beside the bed.
“Oh, thanks. I was fishing with that one. Now that you just told me that you really did keep the murder weapon, I’ll have a team come search your home and place of work, especially that nightstand. There aren’t that many places you can hide it.”
He scratched at his knee. “No, I didn’t say anything.”
“Oh, yeah, you did, just not with your mouth.”
Force confession. Kick him. Kick knee. Force confession.
Detective Kaipahua turned her back on Mr. Polk. She drew a deep breath and strolled around the room, checking the body cam on her lapel. “Finding the murder weapon in your possession, well, that’s a slam dunk. It’s for the district attorney to decide on the charges. If they go for first degree murder, who knows? You might be looking at life in prison.” She shook her head. “Yeah, I won’t be able to work any deals for you at that point.”
Force confession. Kick him. Kick knee. Force confession. Kick. Kick. Kick.
“And then… there’s your wife.”
“What about my wife?”
“Well, you hurt your knee… jumping out that window at the crime scene, right? That had to hurt like hell. You and your wife… are a lot closer than most couples. You don’t… make a move without her, so it’s a pretty safe bet… that she was with you during the murder. At least… she was your getaway driver. She’s the one… who helped you… after you hurt your knee.”
His eyes grew wide and his mouth opened.
“You’re not very good… at poker, are you?”
Hit. Punch. Kick. Beat. Hurt. Punish. Hit. Kick. Hurt. Kick.
“Yeah, see, that changes her situation. She’d go from being… a possible accessory after the fact… to an accomplice. You’ve seen enough police shows, right?” Detective Kaipahua struggled to resist the urges.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I just mean… that you’re familiar with… the concept of accomplices being just as guilty… as the one who does the killing. Even if only… one person does the killing, everyone in the group… is just as guilty. That means… your wife is looking at life in prison, too.”
Hurt. Punch. Punish. Kick knee. Kick. Kick. Kick. Kick. Hurt.
“She had nothing to do with Mr. Deebi.”
“Maybe not… at first, but you sucked her into your mess. How many times… have people told you… you suck? You didn’t just… ruin your own life, not to mention the life of Mr. Deebi, but now… you ruined your wife’s life. Have you… no shame? Have you… no decency?”
“No, no. Leave her out of this.”
“You should’ve… left her out of it.” Detective Kaipahua leaned over the sitting Mr. Polk so her body cam captured nothing but his clothing right in front of it.
Hurt. Kick. Kick knee. Punch. Kick. Kick. Kick. Punch. Hurt. Strike. Break. Smash. Out window. Out window. Out window. Kill. Throw. Out window. Kill. Hurt. Kill. Kill.
The detective grasped Mr. Polk’s shirt with one hand while pulling him and squatting so that she pulled him from the bed onto her as she lay back on the floor. With her other hand she punched his injured knee. “Mr. Polk, what are you doing? Get off me.” She squeezed his swollen knee.
“Ahh, okay, okay. I did it. I killed Mr. Deebi. I can’t stand it.”
Detective Kaipahua shoved him off her and scrambled to her feet, adjusting her bodycam. The other detective ran into the room to lift Mr. Polk off the floor. He moaned even after they ushered him to the bed.
“Before you say anything, Mr. Polk, you’re under arrest.” Detective Kaipahua read him his rights. “Now, is there anything you want to confess to?” She squeezed her own knee and wiggled her eyebrows. The detective looked on, her bodycam capturing everything once more.
“Yeah, I’m waving my rights. I killed Mr. Deebi. You were right. I didn’t go there planning to kill him, but once we started arguing, he was just so full of himself. He treated me like shit. He deserved to die. The world is so much better off with him gone.”
Mrs. Polk stepped into the doorway. “Shut the hell up. How stupid can you be? He doesn’t know what he’s saying. He’s not confessing to anything.”
“Oh, shut up, Hel.” He gave his wife the finger. “I killed him, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. My wife did help me after I hurt my knee. She knew what I did. We did it together.”
“What’s wrong with you?” She snatched a wind up alarm clock from the dresser and whipped it at his head. “Why throw me under the bus, too? Why take me down with you?”
The clock bounced off Mr. Polk’s head, leaving a welt and a trickle of blood. “Oh, will you shut up? I’m so sick of you controlling me every waking minute. You’re not in control now, are you? The days of me being under your influence are over. I’m out from under your thumb. It was her idea to kill Mr. Deebi in the first place, you know. I didn’t go there planning to do it, but she did.” He pointed at her while laughing. “It all started when Mr. Deebi groped her. Oh, that steamed her like you wouldn’t believe, and ever since then she’s been fuming about it. She refused to accept his apology that it was a case of mistaken identity. Nope, she just couldn’t let it go. She’d dwell on it to the exclusion of everything else. Day after day, she’d get more riled up, and so would I from hearing nothing but that.”
The other detective placed Mrs. Polk under arrest, too, cuffing her and reading her her rights while Detective Kaipahua cuffed Mr. Polk.
While they awaited two patrol cars with cages to take the husband and wife into custody separately, they plunked the handcuffed couple on the sidewalk out front far enough apart so they couldn’t talk to one another. When Ms. Polk repeatedly cussed out her husband, a threat to gag her in front of the whole neighborhood shut her up. With each suspect in clear view of one of their dash cams, the other detective switched off his body cam and signaled for Detective Kaipahua to do the same.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?” He leaned against his cruiser.
“What do you mean?” She folded her arms and faced him from the sidewalk.
“I watched you. I finished with the wife and left her in the kitchen. I watched you from the doorway.”
She glanced at his body cam on his lapel.
“Yeah, don’t worry about that. As soon as I guessed what your move was, I turned sideways, so the camera only caught the doorframe. If it caught you squeezing his injured knee the way you did, that’d be considered torture. We could both be facing criminal charges.”
“I don’t know what came over me. It’s these headaches.”
“Don’t talk to me like I’m some perp. We may not be partners, but we teamed up on this case, so we’re supposed to have each other’s back. What you did in there could cost us both our badges.”
“What did the wife see?”
“Oh, that’s what you’re worried about?” He spit on the sidewalk beside her. “She didn’t come running until he started screaming when you hurt his knee. What if those two talk about what you did? Even if they do it through a lawyer because they won’t ever be together while in custody, torture makes any confession invalid. Make no mistake about it. What you did in there, punching and squeezing his knee, that was torture. Why’d you do that?” The intensity of his tone shone through although he whispered.
“It’s these urges I get lately. I don’t know. They come out of nowhere, and once they start, I just can’t resist them. I tried. Believe me. They’re like a flashing neon sign and a megaphone all at once. I can’t focus on anything else. I don’t know what to do.”
He shook his head. “You outrank me, so I was happy to let you take the lead. I learned some important things from you before today working this case together. But something’s changed. You’ve changed. You’re turning into the kind of sick fuck we normally chase down and bust. Get your shit together. You had no right to put me in the middle of your bullshit like this. I don’t think you realize how serious this is.”
“I do.” She unfolded her arms. “I’ll get these urges under control. I promise. It won’t happen again.”
He laughed, drawing the attention of the two in custody sitting apart on the sidewalk. “You’re damn right it won’t happen again. You won’t force me to cover for you ever again. You have no more clout over my actions. I’ll make damn sure I never work another case with you. I don’t mind looking out for my brother or sister in blue when we’re in a tight situation. I’ve got no problem having someone’s back. And sure, sometimes things go sideways, so you make the best of a bad situation. But this? What you did in there? That’s going too far. I’ve got a wife and kids to support. If I lose my job because of your stupidity, what are they supposed to do? Are you going to pay the rent? Are you going to buy the food? Are you going to take care of them? Because I know the first thing my kids are going to ask me is Dad, why’d you throw away your career? Why’d you ruin all our lives for some asshole who doesn’t give two shits about any of us? How do I answer my kids?”
“Calm down. It isn’t as bad as all that. If anyone catches wind of this, I’ll say it was my doing; you played no part in it.”
“See that’s where your shit doesn’t fly. I already covered for you. I’m already deep in it. That’s why I’m so pissed off. You may have ruined my career without even asking me if I’d cover for you. And what makes me even more pissed off is that it was all probably for nothing. I saw you needling him before you pulled that stunt. You did a good job of getting under his skin. I’m pretty sure he would’ve cracked given a little more time. And even if he didn’t break, you tricked him into revealing about his knee print outside the window and the murder weapon. If we had no evidence when we showed up here, we most likely will by the end of the day. You didn’t even need to hurt him like that. You might have pissed away their conviction and our careers for absolutely no reason. That’s what pisses me off the most.”
“What can I say? I— Ahh.” Detective Kaipahua bent over at the waist there on the sidewalk. She cradled her head in her arms as she supported herself against the other detective’s police cruiser.
“What the hell are you doing?” The other detective pinched her sleeve and jiggled her while she still bent over.
Mr. Polk shouted as he attempted to point at Detective Kaipahua, but the handcuffs stymied him. “See? Brain tumor. I told you.”
The other detective threw up his hands. “I don’t give a shit if you really do have a brain tumor. You’re not playing the sympathy card to force me to forgive you. Never again will you manipulate me. Don’t expect it to count for much with others if the shit hits the fan, either.”
Detective Kaipahua braced her hands on her thighs just above her knees until the pain subsided a moment. The sensation of feeling crowded also dissipated. She felt like her old self again.
The other detective wiped the sweat from his forehead. “If this gets as messy as I think it might, I’m coming clean. I’m giving you fair warning, which is more than you did for me. They’ll understand that I had no idea what you planned to do, and I tried to protect a fellow officer. They’ll get that. As for you, I don’t care—”
“Oh, shut the hell up. Stop your whining. Grow a pair, why don’t you. I don’t give a damn what you do or say. Do whatever the hell you want. It just felt like my head was going to explode, so I don’t give a shit about you or our careers.”
“Yeah, that much is obvious.”
“Up yours. You can wait here to see that our two guests get rides and are processed. You can take care of the paperwork to book both of them. You and I are done. I’ve got other things to do.” She hopped into her SUV and peeled away.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Dwell Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy Dwell On Amazon
Buy Dwell on Barnes and Noble/Nook
Buy Dwell on Smashwords
Buy Dwell on iBooks
Buy Dwell on Google Play
Buy Dwell on Kobo
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.