Mr. Andrew Richardson

“I murdered her. I really did it.”

You turn off the tape recorder. The man before you does appear the white collar type. His jet black hair looks freshly trimmed, short on the sides, long on top. His hands are crossed on the table in front of you, soft hands that are more accustomed to typing rather than digging holes. You recognize them. Sure as shit, yours are the same.

“I know the story, Mr. Richardson. I read the papers and heard the verdict,” you say. “I'm more interested in the why."

You flip the switch. A red light blinks from the small device. It’s a dramatic gesture, sure, and you’re not above a little smoke n mirrors to get what you need. If it works on TV, surely it works in real life.

He flashes you a smile, seeing through the theatrics. “There is more beneath the surface that you haven’t gotten the slightest clue towards. I smile. I’m generous with my money and things. I’m that guy at work. You know, the one that all looked towards, the higher-ups happy with my performance, the new-hires wanting to ride my coattails like Splash fuckin Mountain. I'm good at what I do, too good, as Beth found out at the end. Do you mind if I smoke in here?”

Your eyes turn to your overseer. In this case, it’s not your cunt of an editor, Mr. Washborn. That’s mister, and don’t you forget it. It’s never Hiya Jerry, howya doin? Good weekend with the kids? Fuck no. It’s Good morning, Mr. Washborn. Yes sir, Mr. Washborn. Ha ha, very good, Mr. Washborn. You gotta play ball, and at the Sterling Press there are plenty of up-and-comers, minor league players, who want a shot at the majors. Nothing more American than analogies regarding the ol pastime. It’s right up there with apple pie and a bottle of Bud.

Your overseer, a one Sheriff Johnson, nods. “Light it for him, son,” he says, and you do. Can’t let prisoners touch flame machines, even ones that say Bic, held through soft hands. If there's any proof to what soft hands can do, he's sitting right before you, his wife's blood freshly cleaned, no doubt ending the lives of a few fresh towels in the process. Civilian casualties. Oh well.

“Ahh,” Andrew utters. “That’s the stuff.”

You twirl your fingers like you were holding a miniature fishing rod. Get a move on, bucko.

“Where was I again?”