Chapter One: Son of Sam
I sat there in the class looking at first-class Detective Chris Adenuga. Most people say he’s a son of a bitch. But I get the feeling it’s just an act he put on for the world.
“I have as much hope of turning you rejects into detectives as the devil has of turning stone to bread” said Detective Chris Adenuga.
The room was completely silent. All eyes were on him.
“There are too many warm bodies in this room by far.” he continued. “On a good day when I am feeling the spirit move me,
this room will lose a third of its content by the end of this course. On a bad day, that would be half. By God, I have never seen such a bunch of wannabes playing at cops and robbers!”
There were thirty of us in the room. I wondered if I would be part of the 20 still present at the end of the day.
He was walking around at this point. He came to a stop in front of Officer Makinwa who was one of the most quiet cops I have ever met.
He took a look at his name plate: “Makinwa is it? I wonder why you look as if you have got my boots shoved up your ass? I have looked down to be certain and they are still firmly on my feet.”
Makinwa kept looking straight ahead. He didn’t say a word.
“If my utterances have offended your religious sensibilities and is causing you to frown in righteous indignation, you have my permission to walk out of this room right now. But if you do choose to stay, I promise you that at some point in the future, you will indeed have my boot stuck up your ass and the look on your face will be one of pain!”
No response. He continued moving around the room.
“Now, take a look at the murder scenario in your exercise booklet. The story is that someone or some persons killed someone. You should tell me who killed the victim out of the host of characters in the story.”
“Now don’t expect a pat on the back for solving it. In fact my 5 year old son took 10 minutes to figure it out. Did I give him a part on the back? No, I told him pats on the back are reserved for 5-minuters. And don’t go expecting a pat on the head either. We are not raising puppies here. If you want a pat, go for a massage. Hell! Go to one that offers a happy ending. Maybe when next you show up in this room, your synapses will be firing properly. Get to it!”
The story was just 2 pages long. There were 5 characters excluding the victim. I read it quickly. For such a short story, there had to be something obvious that would give the criminal away. How much plot can you fit into 2 pages if the murderer is one of 5 people in the story. On the second read I nailed it. One of the characters was lying about his whereabouts during the murder. It had to be him. The simple reason being that it’s almost impossible to hide another one in such a short story.
I didn’t realise I was smiling to myself until he came and stood in front of me.
“Officer Michael Adewole”
“Have you served in the military before Officer?”
“No sir” the question was confusing.
“So why all the sirs?”
I had no response.
“So. I see that you were smiling like the Cheshire cat. By my time, you started smiling around the 4-minute mark. So I will give it to you that you decided on the answer you think is correct about then right?”
“Yes … sir.”
“Don’t be a blushing bride. Give it to me.”
“It’s the doctor.”
“What do we have here. Someone with functional brain cells? I wouldn’t have thought it to look at you.”
“But yes, you are absolutely 100% f**king correct. It is the doctor.”
“How did you happen on him if you would be so kind to educate us.”
I gave him the reason.
“Not bad for a fresh-faced cop like you. But we shall see how you handle more complicated scenarios as the class progresses, shan’t we?”
I nodded slightly.
He started to walk away, pursed, then turned around.
“What book do you have there, Officer?”
I had the book under the class booklet, so I handed it over to him.
“I thought as much.”
“Do you think we should make the class read it?” he asked me.
That was trouble I didn’t want. Being responsible for additional workload on my classmates.
“Why are you making a sound as if you are the Son of Sam’s latest victim? eerrrrawh? What’s that?
“You know he was a throat slasher among other things?” You sounded as if your throat was been slashed just now.
I know I needed to say something otherwise he might not stop: “I think may be we can let the class decide?” I ventured.
“Do you think this is a democracy Mr Adewole? Because you call me Mr and I call you Mr? Everything is dandy and we are all colleagues?”
“No. By Jove no way! This is an animal farm and I tell you this pig is more equal than all you sorry mutherf**kers! Why do you think it is that I am the only one in this room with the liberty – yes – the liberty – to saunter around?”
He turned to the class and said: “We shall all be joining Mr Adewole on his quest to know all there is to know about the killer known as the Son of Sam.”
“Class. Kindly acquaint yourselves with a copy each of the book before the end of the week.”
I could feel the hostility in the room. But as I did not intentionally add to their workload, I was just going to let it wash over me and ignore them.
As the class emptied and everyone headed out the door, he suddenly said: “Son of Sam, see me after lunch.”
A great way to start the next phase of my career I thought not. Why not a nickname such as “Dirty Harry” for example. It had to be something as notorious as “Son of Sam.”
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* Harry Callahan – known as “Dirty Harry” is a cop character portrayed by famous actor Clint Eastwood in a thriller movie series.