Excerpt – White Lies

Chapter 1

                                                                   The Crisis

                April 29, 2012. Sunday . 2AM

              192 days to Election Day

 

Its blue, white, and red lights suddenly flashing in the night, the police cruiser made a sharp U-turn at the crossing with Third Street, and came smoothly to a rest behind the metallic gray sedan parked on Independence Avenue, next to the Adams building.[1]

“Another German car stolen for a joyride,” sighed the policeman in the passenger’s seat, taking the mike. “Car 27. Hi, sweetie; I need a check on a Mercedes, D.C. license plate, number AK 762 Y,” he asked the woman answering his call.

A short instant later, the dispatcher’s voice was back on the air.

“Looks like you guys have stepped on some’,” she softly whistled. “That car is registered under the name of Lucille Mathews.”

“You mean…the Lucille Mathews?” repeated the patrolman, dismayed.

“Yessir, the one and only,” gaily confirmed the dispatcher. “The President’s War Room ex-strategist. Enjoy it!”

“Shit,” grumbled the driver, a square and graying black man, disgusted, grabbing his truncheon and stepping out of the car. “Let’s go.”

Vigilant, prudently coming on each side of the vehicle, one hand on the butt of their pistol, they directed the beams of their powerful flashlights inside the car. The front seats were unoccupied, but when they turned their lights to search the back, they saw a human form cowered on the padded banquette; it was a woman, perhaps in her early or mid-forties, as far as they could estimate through the dark windows. She seemed to be asleep.

The older policeman knocked insistently at the back window with his stick, but obtained no reaction from the woman.

“I don’t like it,” he commented. “Cover me,” he ordered, probing the front door. It was not locked, and the policeman bent over the seat to put his hand on the woman’s shoulder. “Ma’am,” he softly called, giving her a little push. “Damn!” he cursed, noticing the bizarre angle formed by the head and the neck, and the disorder of her attire, obvious signs of a desperate fight. On the seat, beside her, an empty bottle of Champagne, and two glasses. Drunk? He wondered, putting two fingers to her throat. He immediately stood up. “Call the precinct,” he ordered, “And tell them to join the Captain…and to keep the media away…if they can. That’s dynamite.”

“The Captain? Don’t we need the medics?” asked nervously his young colleague, walking back to the cruiser.

“Yes, yes. But we mostly need the coroner,” snapped the sergeant. “She is dead, and that’s no traffic accident. It’s homicide!”

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