Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Decker & Hayes, Series Three
Episode 8 - Out Of Mind

By Justin D. Haar

Mayor Glass

Narrator: Macy Hayes sat at her desk in the offices of Decker & Hayes Detective Agency. Her gut still ached from where her partner and lover, Stella Decker, had hit her on her way out. To anyone hurt by the crime that plagued the city of Parlortown, Decker & Hayes were the best hope for justice, but the case of the Widow, and the recent raid and fire at Mama Wang’s, had been driving the pair into the ground. Macy knew, however, that the person who had driven them apart was still in the office. She stood up and walked into the front office.

Macy: (taking a deep breath) Jane, go home.

Jane: (flippantly) I told you before, I don’t work for y-

Macy: (low and sinister) You don’t work for me because I’m a con, right? Well my name is on the lease for this office. You’re trespassing.

Jane: (In the same tone) Miss Hayes, I don’t think Miss Decker would-

Narrator: Macy’s hand flew the instant Jane mentioned Stella’s name. The blow to Jane’s face was hard enough to sweep her from her chair. Jane fell to the floor, blinking back tears, and glared up at Macy.

Macy: I said go home. And don’t let me see you here again.

Narrator: The secretary stood up, her hand pressed to her face, where Macy’s red handprint was already beginning to turn purple. She grabbed her coat and retreated from the office under Macy’s icy glare. Macy moved to Jane’s now-vacant chair and sat down, taking a few deep breaths before picking up the phone and calling the mayor.

Glass: (as cheerful as ever) Miss Hayes! Is there something else?

Macy: Excuse me?

Glass: Miss Decker called my office not five minutes ago for a driver. (Sounding more concerned) Is everything alright?

Macy: (not entirely convinced) Everything’s fine. We’ve made some headway on the case, but we need to meet in person. I’ll come there. See you in a half an hour.

Glass: I’ll make certain I’m free to meet you.

Narrator: Soon, Macy left the office. As she got into the truck and steered out into the mid-morning traffic, she realized just how lonely Parlortown felt. She shook her head as though to clear it and turned her mind back toward the case at hand. Minutes later, she was walking down a hall in one Parlor Plaza adorned with portraits of the past mayors of Parlortown. The last portrait before the door to the West terrace was that of Glass. The frame bore the placard "Fighting corruption."

Macy: (Quietly) Fighting corruption… What other secrets are you keeping, Glass?

Narrator: Mayor Glass met Macy at the door to the terrace, smiling amiably as he opened the oak door for her.

Glass: (ever friendly) So nice to see you again, Miss Hayes. I apologize for the unusual meeting place, but I’m still not sure my office is secure. To what do I owe the pleasure?

Macy: I need to know when you were with Decadence.

Narrator: The mayor’s eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly. Macy’s well-trained eye caught the change, however. She knew she was on thin ice.

Glass: (colder now) I...don’t really know what-

Macy: (interrupts him) We aren’t about to go to the press about this, Mayor. I just need to know: when was the last time you saw Decadence?

Glass: (Sighs, his tone becoming more resigned) Alright. Let me think back. (He murmurs some numbers and dates to himself) January, February… It must have been…March of 1976. Yes, I’m sure it was then. It was just before the vote on the new water supply. Will that help?

Macy: I hope so. Thank you for your time, Mayor.

Glass: Happy to help, any way I can.

Narrator: The Mayor showed Macy out before turning back towards his own office. Macy started Stella’s truck and headed downtown, following a hunch. Her destination was Cherry Street General, the hospital where Stella Decker, Macy’s partner in every sense of the word, was sitting at the bedside of a blonde woman.

Tasha: (Slurred…she’s still drugged, and just waking up) Stel…Stella, you came back? (Happier, but still slurred) You came back, I knew you would come back…

Stella: (Sighs) We’re Blades. We watch out for each other.

Tasha: Does this mean…

Narrator: Stella looked at the broken woman. Tasha was still restrained, still obviously drugged, and for a moment seeing her lying there so vulnerable stirred something Stella had not felt for a long, long time…

Stella: (pause) No. It can’t. I mean, it doesn’t. (Composes herself) I need to know about the cops. You said you were paid up?

Tasha: (still slurred) We were…I swear we were. You can ask Bennie. He should be back. (slurring back into sleep) He’s coming back…

Narrator: Stella watched her blonde ex-lover drift back into sleep before wheeling herself out of the room. As she exited, she nearly collided with Benny, the bouncer at what had been Mama Wang’s.

Bennie: Miss- Stella. I didn’t think Miss Tasha would wake up before I came back. I thought it would be good if I went back to Mama Wa…I mean, your house. I was-

Stella: (interrupts him) Bennie, who paid the cops off?

Bennie: What?

Stella: Who paid the cops not to raid Mama Wang’s?

Bennie: (puffing himself up) I did. Every month, Miss Tasha gave me the money to give to Officer Kellser. Every month.

Stella: (suspicious, now) This month, too? You’re sure you paid? All of it?

Bennie: (defensively) I’d swear it, Miss Stella! I’d never steal from Miss Tasha!

Narrator: There was a long moment while Stella took Bennie apart with her eyes. The large man fidgeted uncomfortably under her scrutiny.

Stella: (sighs) I believe you. So where are you coming back from?

Bennie: Umm, well, I was just at Mama Wa- your house. I thought it would be good to go. You know, see what was going on there and, well…

Stella: Well, what?

Bennie: All the girls are gone. There’s a whole lot of that yellow police tape, and there was a sign on the door.

Narrator: Bennie pulled a folded paper from his back pocket. There was still tape on it from where it had hung on the door of the house of ill repute. He unfolded the paper and held it out for Stella to read. In neat hand lettering, it read "Mama Wang’s is closed permanently." Underneath, it was signed, "The Widow".

Stella: (Under her breath) Dammit. Bennie, what precinct is Officer Kellser from?

Bennie: Uhh…The station on Suyver? (mutters) No, not that one. Maybe the one on-

Stella: (interrupts him) Nevermind. Where can I find him?

Bennie: There I can help ya, Miss Stella. He’s usually walking the beat the block over from Mama Wang’s. That whole strip there.

Stella: Thanks, Bennie.

Narrator: Stella turned to wheel herself back to the elevator, but Bennie called out to her as the doors opened, stopping her in her tracks.

Bennie: Miss Stella? What’s going to happen to Mama Wang’s?

Stella: I don’t know, Bennie. Just look out for yourself.

Bennie: And Miss Tasha. I’m going to look out for Miss Tasha.

Narrator: Stella looked at Bennie for a moment before nodding and turning back towards the elevators. Once on the ground floor, she was about to pass through the lobby to head for the driver Mayor Glass had thoughtfully provided for her. She stopped short. Stella would recognize the heavy-set and heavily bandaged man in the lobby anywhere.

Bopko: (seething) You let me go, you hear?! I’m a police officer!

Narrator: Two orderlies were struggling with the detective, who was obviously making for the door, while a receptionist tried to reason with him. Stella knew, however, that reason was not one of Bopko’s strong suits. Stella wheeled herself around a corner, out of the struggling police officer’s line of sight.

Receptionist: I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t be discharged until a doctor signs off on-

Bopko: I don’t care about any goddamn doctors, you stupid bitch! Let me the hell go! I’ve got my rights!

Receptionist: (losing her cool) Sir, don’t make us have to sedate you.

Bopko: Get the police on the phone! Now! Tell them Detective Sergeant Wallace Clifford Bopko is being held against his will…!

Receptionist: Bradley, hold his arm. Nurse!

Bopko: What are you doing? Hey! HEY!!

Narrator: The sound of the scuffle died down, and for a moment the waiting room was completely silent. Suddenly, a woman scoffed and said something about the state of the police force; there was a murmur of assent from the other waiting patients, and it was as though it had never happened. Stella wheeled herself back into the room and past Bopko, who was now being lifted onto a stretcher.

Bopko: (drugged, groggy) Hey…Hey you, bitch! (to the orderly) No, not you… you! You look at me when I’m…

Narrator: The detective’s angry slurring faded behind her as the detective headed for the Mayor’s loaned town car. The driver helped the detective into the car, and they pulled away, headed towards the area the locals called "The Warren". Minutes later, Miss Macy Hayes pulled the truck into the Cherry Street lot and walked into the waiting room.

Receptionist: Can I help you?

Macy: Yes. My name is Macy Hayes, and I’m investigating a case that involves a former patient here.

Receptionist: Oh I’m sorry, but our records are sealed. If you have a warrant, I might be able to help you, but otherwise…

Narrator: Macy never broke eye contact with the receptionist as she slid a hundred dollar bill and Mayor Glass’s card across the desk. The receptionist’s eyes flickered to the money, the card, and back to Macy.

Receptionist: I’ll have someone take you right down. Bradley?

Narrator: An orderly nodded and led Macy through the double doors, where Detective Bopko was sitting on a bench, looking around the room dejectedly as an orderly stood next to him, his hand firmly on his shoulder.

Bopko: (still drugged) Hey you! What the hell are you doing back here?

Narrator: Macy never broke her stride, ignoring the sedated detective as Bradley led her down a flight of stairs and into the slightly damp storeroom that held the hospital’s records.

Macy: Alright. March of 1976, nine months later, plus or minus. Where would records of births from August through October of 1976 be?

Narrator: Bradley pointed her to a file cabinet, pulled open two of the drawers, and wished her luck before seeing himself out. The smell of dust and mold was thick in the air as Macy began to search the records. She poured over the birth certificates. After a half hour, she had been through all of three certificates, and had come up with only four girls who might have been the mayor’s daughter.

Macy: Alright, Mace. Last three. Rivera, Maria; Nope, black hair, father…Diego Rivera. Baker, Shannon…Let’s see. Red hair, freckles, father Sean. Not likely. (Sighs) Last one. (pause) Jesus…

Narrator: Macy stared at the last birth certificate while she jotted down the name of the girl and her listed parents. She hastily piled the documents back into their folders and slammed the file cabinet, leaving the record room at a run and taking the stairs to the first floor two at a time. She ran through the waiting room without bothering to stop at the desk.

Receptionist: (fading in and out as Macy runs through) We couldn’t hold him if he wanted to leave…We just- Miss! Miss Hayes!

Narrator: Macy burst through the doors but stopped dead when she saw Detective Bopko down the block, leaning on the wall of a dingy delicatessen for support- directly between her and Stella’s truck. She muttered and ducked into the alley next to the hospital. She peered out quickly to see which way Bopko was headed when there was suddenly a blur in her vision; a length of cord had been thrown over head from behind. Her attacker pulled her backwards into the alley.

Voice: You were warned to drop the case, Miss Hayes.

Narrator: Macy dug at the silk cord, but she couldn’t quite get her fingers beneath it. She instead tried to gouge out her attacker’s eyes.

Macy: (choking) You…You son of a…

Narrator: The man behind her ducked her grasping hands and tightened the cord, his gloved hands pressing against the back of her neck as she willed herself to stay calm, to think.

Voice: It won’t do to have you prying into things that are none of your concern. Drop the case. You won’t be warned again.

Narrator: Macy picked up her foot to drive a heel into the man’s toes, but before she could land the blow, she was thrown bodily against the wall of the alley. Her vision exploded into white as her head collided with brick and she went down hard.

Bopko: (still slightly slurred) Hey…it’s the private dyke! What the hell happened to you, bitch? (Scuffle and a grunt)

Narrator: Macy’s vision cleared and she stood up, her head pounding. Bopko was sprawled on the sidewalk, bleeding from his nose. He was slowly trying to draw, having forgotten in the heat of the moment that he had neither his gun nor his gun hand.

Macy: (hoarse) Did you see his face?

Bopko: Christ…my head. Goddamn bastard…

Macy: (hoarse)Listen, you ape, did you see his face?

Bopko: No… I wasn’t looking... I think he went that way.

Narrator: Macy took off in the direction Bopko had indicated with his stump, turning the corner Cherry Street and Hammond. The sidewalk was empty.

Macy: (still hoarse) Damn it. (pause) Damn it.

Narrator: It had taken an hour and two passes up Column Avenue before Stella had spotted the beat cop she hoped was Officer Kellser. She had her driver park the car and help her to her chair, and wheeled herself into the diner. The space was narrow between the counter and the front wall, and it took her a few minutes to maneuver to where the officer was nursing a cup of coffee.

Stella: Mind if I join you, Officer Kellser?

Kellser: What do you need?

Stella: Excuse me?

Kellser: (chuckles) You’re asking to sit down with the only cop for a mile and a half. You’re either trying to report something, which would make you suicidal or stupid, or you’ve got something to ask me. And since you’ve got my name, I’ll assume it’s the latter.

Stella: (Somewhat deflated) You’ve got me. I need to know about the raid at Mama Wang’s. I hear-

Kellser: (interrupts her) Keep your voice down, will ya? (Quieter) The Widow’s got people everywhere.

Stella: (quiet) I hear they were paid up with the department.

Kellser: Yeah…they were. And it wasn’t my precinct that called the raid; wasn’t even our guys on it. I hear Bopko down at the one-six led it.

Stella: It doesn’t add up.

Kellser: (chewing) you’re damn right. If the girls over at Wang’s have enemies, they’re higher up than my precinct. We’ve got nothing to do with the Widow. But you watch yourself. She’s got eyes and ears everywhere.

Narrator: He leaned closer to her, lowering his voice further.

Kellser: (quiet and urgent) If you want to find the truth, you should start at Maison X.

Stella: But…they’ve been out of business for…

Kellser: Years and years now. It’s ancient history. But it’s not buried as deep as some people would hope. (normal speech) But that’s all I can tell you. (louder) And if they keep ticketing you, find me again. It’s clear enough you should be able to park in the blue spots.

Narrator: The Officer’s bluff seemed to assuage the curious stares of the other diners. Kellser wished Stella luck and excused himself, leaving a ten on the counter behind him. Stella wheeled herself out of the diner a few minutes later. She heard brakes squeal, and cursed to herself. Her own pickup truck had just stopped short, and Macy was already getting out. Stella signaled to her driver, but the beautiful blonde woman reached her first.

Macy: (hoarse) Stella. We need to talk. Get in the truck.

Stella: Who the hell do you think- Oh my god, what happened to your throat?

Macy: It’s not important now. Please, Stella. Forget what happened this morning and hear me out.

Narrator: There was a long moment while the women’s eyes locked. The driver stepped forward to help Stella into the town car, but she waved him off.

Stella: Alright. (pause) Help me into the truck.

Narrator: Less than a minute later, they were on their way.

Stella: (sullen) What happened?

Macy: (still hoarse) I went to Cherry Street. I figured Decadence would have had her baby there. My notes are in my bag… and look at the last name.

Stella: (pause) Oh my God. Do you know what this means?

Macy: We don’t know that she’s the one. But…I don’t know how to explain it otherwise. And there’s more. I was attacked.

Stella: (fiercely) Who did it?

Macy: I don’t know. I didn’t see his face, but he’s the Voice of the Widow. He told me to drop the case.

Stella: Wait. That doesn’t make any sense. Unless…

Macy: …Unless he doesn’t work for the Widow at all.

Narrator: Is all forgiven and forgotten between Macy and Stella? Whose name did Macy find in the hospital records? Who does the Voice really work for? Tune in to next week’s episode: Past Forgotten.

Go to Episode 9