Macklin Chambers

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I sat up in bed, pushing the comforter down, and sighed. The alarm clock’s annoying ring was still echoing in my head several moments after I had silenced it. I shifted my gaze from the blank wall in front of me to the left, meeting the small bit of light peeking through the shades as my eyes began to squint in protest. All of the voices in my mind were screaming for me to go back to sleep. Five in the morning was way too early for any normal sixteen year old to be crawling out of bed during the Summer. Oh, yeah. There’s the problem. I’m not normal. I slung my legs over the edge of the bed, my feet meeting the floor. I stood up and walked through the massive pile of clothes collecting in the middle of my room, and headed straight towards my bathroom.
There she was, staring back at me with her messed up hair and sleep deprived eyes: Macklin Chambers. I rubbed my eyes and yawned, staring at my reflection in the mirror. I looked almost ghost-like. My skin was pale, my eyes had bags under them that you shouldn’t have until you are much, much older, and to sum it up it looked as if I could fall over and faint at any moment. My hair was knotted, tangled into masses I had no idea how to tame. Working so much was causing me to become so exhausted all the time. A few hours a day and full time weekends had been manageable during the school year, but now that it was summer and I was being expected to work with every case I could be used in, I had no idea how much more I could take before losing it. My mind flashed back to the latest case; the case over Mrs. Jenson, an elderly lady that lived across the city from me.
Ms. Jenson had fallen down her basement stairs two weeks ago and instantly broken her neck. It wasn’t long until the sixty-three year old lost her life. But suspicions had risen once her son Derek claimed his mother never went down into the basement because she was scared that the stairs would collapse as a result of her home’s poor condition. That’s when Mrs. Jenson became a possible murder victim, and that’s when I was called in. My phone had vibrated while I was sitting down at the Starbucks down the street, drinking my iced coffee and attempting to clear my mind from all of the stress fighting to bring me down. I peeked down at it and immediately felt my stomach sink as I saw the name ‘Carter’ flashing on the screen, but I picked it up quickly anyways.
“Hello?” I said quickly. The tone of my voice was an obvious indication that I was annoyed, so I quickly cleared my throat and spoke once again in a more up-beat ‘I’m ready to get to work!’ kind of way. “Hello?”
“Macklin, hi. They want us at the station as soon as you can get there. We’ve got leads on the Jenson case. Are you busy?”
I looked down at my coffee and the magazine I had absorbed myself in. So much for feeling like a normal teenager this morning, I thought.
“No, not at all. I’m on my way.”
“Great. I always can count on my Mack.” He said, appreciatively.
I smiled a half smile and hung up the phone, gathered all that I had with me, and walked out the door to the oh-so-amazing black SUV car that Detective Carter had given me.
I got in, threw the magazine in the backseat, shoved my coffee into the cup holder, and cranked the car. I was off to save the world once again. Well… at least some of Illinois, that is.
When I got to the station, Detective Carter met me at the door of the conference room. I smiled at him. He returned the gesture, and then opened the door slowly for me to walk inside.
There were three guys sitting behind a table. All of them looked up at me and I scanned them each quickly, reading the papers in front of them with their names. I knew of all of them, but this was the first time I’d met with them face to face.
Suspect number one: Aaron Chambers. He was Ms. Jenson’s neighbor, and he had two things against him. One was that he had a history of being violent when enraged, and the other being that he was often reported for suspicious activity in the neighborhood, a couple of those reports coming from Ms. Jenson herself. He had found out that Ms. Jenson was the one reporting his activity and he had quickly developed a slight hate towards her. I stared at his rough appearance, his tangled hair, messed up beard, and I felt a small chill go down my spine. His eyes were cold. Distant. I didn’t like him. I didn’t like him at all.
Suspect number two: Derek Jenson, the son of the victim. He’d become an immediate suspect because he was the one to suggest that she’d been murdered and not just fallen. He also spent quite a lot of his time at his mom’s house and it was said by many who knew his mother that they didn’t always get along too well. His mother had denied his request for money after Derek had fallen behind on rent. We also found out from others that Derek often blamed his mother for his father’s suicide. He looked uncomfortable, like he didn’t belong here. He was dressed in a suit, probably coming from his work, and he was messing with his fingers nervously. I sensed fear. Possibly fear because of guilt.
Suspect number three: Jacob Atkinson, one of Ms. Jenson’s many ex boyfriends. Ms. Jenson had evidently hurt him some way. We hadn’t found out how but from the couple of friends we’d interviewed, we gathered that Jacob had been feeling down for the past several months and whatever Ms. Jenson had said or done to him had scarred him. He had been in love… that much was certain. He looked up at me and then down at his hands on the table, either sad or ashamed, and he didn’t look back up. For a moment I felt sympathy, but quickly snapped back to seriousness as the fact that he was a suspect for murder weaved back into my mind.
I cleared my throat and got the attention from all three of the men. “You’re all looking at me thinking I’m too young to be here. You don’t think I have much importance in this case, do you?” I paused, scanning their faces. Their expressions weren’t any that I could read.
“Wrong. I’m quite important, and you three are about to find out why.”
I paused again, watching Jacob and Derek both adjust themselves in their seats awkwardly so that they were sitting up more. Yeah, now you show respect and stop lacking self dignity, I thought.
I chuckled from annoyance a little under my breath. No one ever took me seriously until I told them I was important. Sighing, I walked over towards Detective Carter and continued. “We’re going to play a little game. Do you remember the whole whoever-draws-the-shortest-stick-wins deal?”
No response.
“Sure you do,” I said quickly, aggravated by the lack of participation. I’m not rude, but people’s attitudes should really change. You would think they’d be kissing my feet, seeing as their fate laid in my hands. But of course, they didn’t know that yet. They assumed, probably, that I was simply there to question them. Wrong again, guys, wrong again.
I kept going. “I’ve got three straws,” I stated as Detective Carter handed me the straws from the shelves beside him, “and you’re going to draw one. Does that seem simple enough?”
Still no response, but a small sigh escaped from Derek’s mouth. I rolled my eyes and held the straws out in front of me; where all three were within reach of each of the men. Sure, this isn’t the usual method used when investigating a murder, but come on. I’m seventeen. I’ve got to have a little bit of my fun.





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