|Oct/Nov 2005 Fiction|
A gray cube of an interrogation room—one overhead bulb, three chairs, and a table. THE BLUE FAIRY sits at the table, facing the door, smoking a cigarette. She's an attractive middle-aged blond turned out in a chic blue business suit.
ENTER DETECTIVE ADAMS and DETECTIVE EVANS, both grizzled types. Det. Adams, older, weary, and restrained, remains standing, watching the Blue Fairy from a bit of a distance. Det. Evans, the younger and more boyish of the two, drinks coffee and takes the seat farthest from the Blue Fairy.
BLUE FAIRY: Hey, lover, got an ashtray?
DET. ADAMS: Conjure one, sprite.
She smiles. Det. Evans slides his coffee mug across the table toward her. She ashes into the mug.
BLUE FAIRY: Thanks, kiddo.
DET. ADAMS: I don't want any games, Blue. No trouble, you hear me?
BLUE FAIRY: Loud and clear, Detective Adams.
DET. ADAMS: You know what this is about.
BLUE FAIRY: Yes, I suppose I do.
DET. EVANS (studying his notes): A Mister... Jap-a-toe—
BLUE FAIRY: That's Geppetto, kiddo.
DET ADAMS, admonishing: Geppetto.
DET. EVANS: Right. Joe Geppetto.
BLUE FAIRY: I think it's Italian.
DET. EVANS: Found outside his wood shop, approximately one-thirty in the a.m., completely immolated by the time units responded.
That's lit on fire, burned almost to the bone.
DET. ADAMS: I'm guessing Miss Fairy already knew that. Right?
The Blue Fairy exhales.
BLUE FAIRY: I'm guessing you must be right, Detective Adams.
Lucky the wood shop didn't catch fire. This whole town could have gone up. There's enough kindling in there to stoke the end of the world, wouldn't you say?
DET. ADAMS: So you've been to Geppetto's wood shop, then?
BLUE FAIRY: Yeah, I guess you could say that.
DET. EVANS: The reason we brought you down here is that you're reportedly the last to see him alive.
BLUE FAIRY: Reportedly. Reported by whom? That damned grasshopper? Don't bother with the confidential, Detective Adams, I saw My Old Pal Jim on the way in. You're treating him real nice, I'll bet, doughnuts and French roast. Probably even a real ashtray.
DET. ADAMS: Crystal.
DET. EVANS: Miss Fairy—
BLUE FAIRY: That's Ms. Fairy, handsome. I'm a modern girl, don't you know.
DET. ADAMS: That's enough.
DET. EVANS: The reason we brought you all the way down here—
DET. ADAMS: Evans, why don't you give me a minute alone with Ms. Fairy.
EXIT DET. EVANS. Det. Adams moves toward the table. The Blue Fairy lights a cigarette.
DET. ADAMS: Those things are bad for your health, you know.
BLUE FAIRY: The only thing that's bad for my health around here is you. Pulling me off the job so you can show off for sonny boy there.
Were you jealous? Before? When I talked to him, called him handsome, lover?
DET. ADAMS: You didn't call him lover.
BLUE FAIRY: Oh? My mistake.
She stands, moving behind Det. Adams. She rubs his shoulders. He does not resist.
DET. ADAMS: What are you doing to me?
BLUE FAIRY: You look tense.
DET. ADAMS: You telling me you're not working some of that nightingale mojo on me?
BLUE FAIRY: Nightingale?
Was I a nightingale that time in your squad car? Or the next, in your dingy tract house, in your wife's bed?
DET. ADAMS (turning away): Shut up.
BLUE FAIRY: Watch who you mistake for a whore, Detective Adams.
The Blue Fairy waves her burning cigarette, and the table leaps violently to life, hurtling itself around Det. Adams to block the door, and his path. Det. Evans' mug now lies, shattered, on the floor.
DET. ADAMS: Devil. Witch.
BLUE FAIRY: I'm a capitalist. If you don't like it then go down to the docks and hop a ship to Red China.
DET. ADAMS: Did you kill him, Blue?
BLUE FAIRY: You know I didn't.
DET. ADAMS: Then who?
BLUE FAIRY: Client privilege.
DET. ADAMS: So you did help.
BLUE FAIRY: That's not what I'm saying.
DET. ADAMS: Then what? You have to give me something, here, because things aren't looking too good for you right now, and I can't throw it all out on the basis of your... character and community standing.
BLUE FAIRY: Nice.
He doesn't know, Adams. Trust me.
DET. ADAMS: So what if he did.
BLUE FAIRY: I see the way you look at him. Like the son you never had... that is, if your wife hadn't left you.
Det. Adams slaps her. The Blue Fairy raises her cigarette with a flourish, and he grabs her and kisses her. She gives in, her cigarette falling to the ground. The kiss ends, and Det. Adams stubs the cigarette out.
BLUE FAIRY: Oh, am I supposed to put on kitten heels and have a casserole in the oven now?
DET. ADAMS: They're bad for your health.
BLUE FAIRY: Immortal, darling.
DET. ADAMS: They're bad for my health.
BLUE FAIRY: I can change that.
DET. ADAMS: You'll never quit, will you?
BLUE FAIRY: The biz? No, probably not.
Det. Adams sighs.
DET. ADAMS: I worry I'll have to take you out one of these days.
BLUE FAIRY: That's assuming you could.
DET. ADAMS: The will might be lacking, but the means are there. You're not the first pixie to stir up trouble in this town, you know.
The Blue Fairy appraises him. She lights a cigarette, exhales into her hand. In her hand is something small, hard and brown—a pine nut. She hands it to Det. Adams.
DET. ADAMS: What is this?
BLUE FAIRY: I believe you boys-in-blue call them "clues." Confidentiality agreement, but that doesn't preclude hints.
Det. Adams stares at her for a moment, then goes to the door. He pulls the table away from the door with some effort.
BLUE FAIRY: Oh, Detective—one other thing. You should know, the guy you're looking for? He's made of wood.
He processes this, then opens the door.
EXIT DET. ADAMS. The Blue Fairy sits in her chair, crosses her legs, and smokes her cigarette.
The table and chairs are back where they were originally. Det. Evans' mug, repaired, sits on the table in front of the Blue Fairy, who smokes.
ENTER DET. EVANS with an ashtray. He sets it down, examines his own mug.
BLUE FAIRY: There was an accident.
DET. EVANS: I can see that.
BLUE FAIRY: I'm sorry.
DET. EVANS: It's just a mug.
BLUE FAIRY: Did your kid make that for you?
DET. EVANS: No, I'm not married.
BLUE FAIRY: Well, that's not exactly what I asked, Detective Evans.
DET. EVANS: I don't have any kids. My girlfriend gave it to me.
BLUE FAIRY: Oh, how sweet.
DET. EVANS: Ex-girlfriend.
BLUE FAIRY: Oh, how tragic.
DET. EVANS: I work nights and weekends, and a girl like her deserves a man who can give her the time and attention... she deserves, I guess.
BLUE FAIRY: It's hard being a cop's girl, I know.
DET. EVANS: Do you?
BLUE FAIRY: Well, I'm a woman of the world. I see a lot.
DET. EVANS: A lot of girlfriends call you? Ask you to curse their wayward man's... privates, stuff like that?
BLUE FAIRY: Parlor tricks. I'm no honeychile down in the streets. I'm a professional.
DET. EVANS: I can see that.
BLUE FAIRY: I don't make rent payments, being an Enchanted Creature and all, so I am thankful for that luxury. Otherwise I'd be wearing Payless and sweatsuits.
DET. EVANS: You're something else.
BLUE FAIRY: And you're a smart man, so you should think before you screw him over.
DET. EVANS: Pardon?
BLUE FAIRY: Yeah, you know. Call it fairy's intuition, but I can tell you're wise to what's going on between him and me. You're like a son to him, you know that? You want to leave him with that shack outside the city, full of memories but no one to share them with anymore?
DET. EVANS: He'd have you.
BLUE FAIRY: No, he wouldn't. He never will. Not really.
DET. EVANS: I won't go to Internal Affairs.
BLUE FAIRY: You're a loyal man.
DET. EVANS: I don't know about that.
BLUE FAIRY: Detective Evans, you think I killed Old Joe?
DET. EVANS: Come on, Miss—Ms.—Fairy. The thought has crossed our minds. You were the last to see him alive. He went up like a torch—but forensic investigators found no accelerant. Not even a goddamn match at the scene. Now you tell me, who else in this town has that kind of power to just make carpenters burst into flames at will?
BLUE FAIRY: An old man like that—you don't think he was asleep in bed when this happened? I bet he'd smell it before he felt it, and even then, who knows how long it would take him to wake up.
DET. EVANS: You're a cool customer, Blue Fairy.
BLUE FAIRY: Your boss is out tracking down a little puppet with a grudge right now. Maybe you should wait for him to get back before you go accusing innocent people of arson.
DET. EVANS: Murder. And he's my partner, not my boss.
Det. Evans flips through his notes.
DET. EVANS: The puppet with a grudge—candy freak, hangs out down at the big top, calls himself "Lil' Pine Nut?" Yeah, Jim told us all about him.
BLUE FAIRY: Oh, you can't listen to a word that little beetle says.
DET. EVANS: Bewitching a pile of sticks so it can move and think like a person, minus the soul and moral compass? You could get your license revoked.
BLUE FAIRY: I hooked him up with the bug! Little Mr. Cricket-Who-Cried-Wolf. Holier-than-thou, he should have made the perfect conscience! It's not my fault he was asleep on the job. Last time I throw a gig his way.
DET. EVANS: How much did Geppetto pay you, Blue Fairy? How much did he pay you to bring that doll to life, when you knew full well it was like raising a demon from Hell?
BLUE FAIRY: He didn't pay me anything.
DET. EVANS: Oh, personal favor?
BLUE FAIRY: No. He didn't pay me anything. He stiffed me. Of course I did it for the money. The money he promised me, I would have turned myself into a little wooden boy. I should have known—some carpenter, rolling in that kind of dough? Blinded by dollar signs, baby. I was laid up for a week recovering from that little bit of magic, thought it was all worth it.
DET. EVANS: You killed Geppetto.
BLUE FAIRY: I believe you boys call it "accessory." Can't get these manicured hands dirty.
DET. EVANS: There are laws, you know, even for your kind. You won't get away with this. They'll take you out.
BLUE FAIRY: They'll have to shoot me out of the sky like a Soviet plane. Bibbity-bobbity-boo.
She exhales a puff of smoke, and suddenly, Det. Evans is surrounded by smoke that coalesces around him. The smoke clears and he is handcuffed to the chair.
EXIT BLUE FAIRY. She strides out of the interrogation room as Det. Evans struggles.
Det. Evans remains where he was, cuffed to the chair.
ENTER DET. ADAMS and PINE NUT (in cuffs), a strung out wooden puppet with a long nose and floppy donkey ears.
DET. ADAMS: Evans, what's this?
DET. EVANS: Your Blue Fairy, Detective Adams. She jinxed me.
Det. Adams gets a key and uncuffs Det. Evans. The younger cop rubs his wrists.
DET. EVANS: Let me guess: Lil' Pine Nut.
DET. ADAMS: I found him down at the circus, bingeing on candy and lying up a storm. "I was in the belly of a whale for this long", blah blah blah. His nose couldn't keep up with his tail.
PINE NUT: Fuck you, pig.
DET. ADAMS: Ass.
He's an addict, Evans, and he's jonesing real bad for some sweet stuff, aren't you, firewood?
ENTER LILY, an assistant D.A., younger and serious, conservatively dressed in a sharp, neutral suit. (She is played by the same actress as the Blue Fairy, now with dark hair.)
LILY: I'm assuming Mr. Pine Nut has been read his rights, Detective?
DET. ADAMS: Of course.
Det. Adams applies pressure to Pine Nut's bound wrists and the junkie shrieks.
LILY: Right. I must have missed the memo that Detective Adams actually plays by the rules now.
DET. EVANS: Ma'am.
Lily circles the room.
LILY: I thought you had the Blue Fairy in custody, too.
DET. ADAMS: We did.
DET. EVANS: There was a situation.
LILY: Why does the city even foot the bill for an Enchanted Creatures Division if we can't keep a two-dollar Tink from poofing herself out of a secure interrogation room?
DET. ADAMS: Evans, haul the perp down to booking, why don't you?
DET. EVANS: Right. Come on, you.
EXIT DET. EVANS and PINE NUT, Det. Evans dragging Pine Nut by the wrists.
DET. ADAMS: You gotta bust my chops in front of the new kid, huh? What, you can't help yourself? Old habits die hard, that it?
LILY: If you didn't make it quite so easy for me to "bust your chops," Adams...
DET. ADAMS: Touche... Mrs. Adams.
DET. ADAMS: Right, how is—?
LILY: He's fine. We're both fine. I'm not talking to you about this now. Ever.
DET. ADAMS: Right. No memo that the assistant D.A. thawed a little in, oh, the last five years.
Lily looks at him as though slapped.
LILY: Detective Adams. Did you have anything to do with the Blue Fairy just disappearing out of custody?
DET. ADAMS: Oh, right. Nice, Lily. You think I'd put my career on the line for some fairy just because I... No. She managed it all on her own. I was out arresting the puppet.
LILY: Well, in any case, I suggest you get out there and start searching.
DET. ADAMS: Am I taking orders from you now?
LILY: No, you're taking orders from my boss, and I didn't get a call from him at three a.m. because this is just some everyday case. You know how important this case is going to be? Human killed by an Enchanted Creature, lit on fire and burned to death? The public will demand justice.
DET. ADAMS: I didn't realize that the district attorney's office was clearing its caseload with the local Elk's Lodge chapter.
Lily heads for the door.
LILY: Call me when you have something, Detective. And get the Blue Fairy back into custody.
Maybe you should think about taking yourself off this case, Adams.
DET. ADAMS: Thank you for your concern. It's fine. I'm a professional.
LILY: Good. I don't want to have to intervene.
The room is now empty.
The door opens.
ENTER DISTRICT ATTORNEY LORD. (He is played by the same actor who plays Pine Nut.) An older, male version of Lily in terms of dress and demeanor, severe and intimidating. Det. Evans follows behind him.
D.A. LORD: All right, rookie, where's Adams?
DET. EVANS: Like they told you out front, sir, he's not here: he's out beating the streets, looking for the Blue Fairy.
D.A. LORD: Well, I should hope so. I've been trying to nail that bitch for years. She makes a mockery of our office, of this city—of justice.
DET. EVANS: We have Pine Nut, though, sir. The one who actually committed the murder.
D.A. LORD: The demon doll hopped up on candy? Dime a dozen. Look here, rook: we don't put a stop to her tricks and this is just going to keep happening. What's going to keep her from unleashing a hundred more hellspawn with torches in their hands on this city? Unless we stop her.
DET. EVANS: You're not prosecuting Pine Nut?
D.A. LORD: I have the assistant district attorney back there right now cutting a deal with him. He gives us the Blue Fairy, all the information he has on her, and he goes free.
D.A. Lord chuckles.
D.A. LORD: Actually, we're going to chop him up and stoke our furnace with the remains. It gets chilly over at our office. No laws protecting puppets, right kid?
ENTER DET. ADAMS.
DET. ADAMS: Mr. Lord. What a surprise. An honor.
D.A. LORD: Detective Adams. What is your progress on bringing the Blue Fairy into custody?
DET. ADAMS: I searched every dark forest and wishing well in town. The girl's gone. Must have caught a broom to Chicago or something, who knows.
D.A. LORD: Well, we'll just keep looking.
DET. ADAMS: With all due respect, Mr. District Attorney—word on the street is that she flew the coop for good. Heat got to be a little too much for her, I guess.
D.A. LORD: Dammit.
DET. EVANS: At least she's out of your town, Mr. Lord. Not stirring up any more trouble. That's the important thing, right?
D.A. LORD: I better tell Lily. Maybe she hasn't dangled the deal for the puppet yet. Someone has to fry for this.
DET. ADAMS: Someone besides Joe Geppetto, you mean.
EXIT D.A. LORD, slamming the door behind him. Det. Evans turns to Det. Adams.
DET. EVANS: No hide or hair?
DET. ADAMS: Not a blond one.
Hey, Evans, I would tell you. You're my partner.
I know where she stays. Little place down by the docks, out of phase with this mortal plane, but I've been there before, knew all the bells and whistles and Open Sesames. She cleaned it out. Her smokes, her Clairol, her Little Women commemorative plates—all gone.
DET. EVANS: Wow. So much for all her big talk.
DET. ADAMS: So much.
ENTER LILY, after a knock at the door.
LILY: Looks like we're charging Pine Nut. Word from on high. One of you detectives might want to get down there.
DET. EVANS: Right.
EXIT DET. EVANS, closing the door.
DET. ADAMS: Before you say anything, I'm not hiding her anywhere. You can check my place... your keys still work.
LILY: I wasn't going to say that. I was going to say... she must care about you a lot. To pack up her livelihood and disappear like that.
DET. ADAMS: She's saving her own ass. Otherwise, we bring her in, that Nazi in the D.A.'s office sees her strung up on a rack or dunks her in water or something.
LILY: Oh, I don't know. Girl like that, cuffs an officer of the law and floats out of the station? I'm sure she could evade the law's grip for a bit longer if she wanted to.
DET. ADAMS: I don't know why you're saying this to me.
LILY: I don't know why, either.
Pleasure working with you as always, Detective.
EXIT LILY, shutting the door behind her. Det. Adams takes a seat at the table. He absently picks a cigarette butt out of the coffee mug, twirls it in his fingers.