Like many great epics, our story begins in the middle, or more to be exact, towards the end. Just as the Illiad begins with Achilles at a turning point in the war, our young king and his three aide de camp are captured by the authorities and being interrogated. The astute observer will notice that these young knights are juveniles, only freshmen in high school, yet they are being housed in an adult detention center with hardened criminals. Even though this is not standard operating procedure, Detective Rogers felt that he could guarantee the boys’ safety because of the state of the art surveillance and automated pneumatic door. Secondly, other criminals would strike such fear into the boys that they would cooperate and abandon all ideas of chivalrous, G-code, obstinate behavior. He did not take into account that true heroes are born, not aged. Were he a poet historian, like myself, he might have known that Theseus was the same age as the Ice Cream Gangsters when, with the help of Daedalus and Ariadne, he slew the Minotaur and caused the anger of the gods that destroyed a civilization.
Sergeant Park’s huge biceps stretched the police uniform to the consistency of Aerosmith spandex. His irate face was as red as dragon scales and his rope-like veins thumped a metronome of his anger.
“If I don’t get some answers soon, I’m going to start wringing some necks!”
The tallest of the boys, George, a shaggy blonde, olive-skinned dreamer who would have looked more at home on a surfboard or a half pipe than a police interrogation room replied, “Of all the necks in this room you should be concerned with, you should be worried about your own.”
The massive sergeant looked down at his body builder frame and had to fight back a smile at the threat from a 160 lb boy.
The smallest of the prisoners, Spider Hernandez, retorted, “You don’t have to be big to be bad, Sergeant Steroid. We just saw a fifteen year old girl snap Julian Polk’s neck like a peppermint stick and Julian is half as big as you without the juice.”
Detective Rogers placed a hand on the big Sergeant’s shoulder in a gesture that meant the bad cop routine had worked, but now it was time for the good cop to take over. “So you do know who killed Julian Polk?”
George responded, “We never said we didn’t.”
“Would you care to enlighten us on the identity of this high school super villain?”
“Would you care to let us walk out that door?”
The good cop looked at the bad cop for consent and, at a nod, continued, “Before we agree to anything, all four of you boys witnessed a murder?”
They all nodded.
“OK, it’s a deal. For the record, who killed Julian Polk?”
“Isabella LeBoux,” they all said in unison.
The two detectives looked at each other, puzzled, obviously having never heard the girl’s name before. There was a knock at the door and a uniformed officer apologized for the interruption and handed a file to Parks.
Parks held out an eight by ten glossy and asked, “Is this Julian Polk, A.K.A Simone Deveraux?”
Tex, who probably fit the mold of the criminal more so than the others because of his hundreds of tattoos and D-Boy dreads and was actually considered somewhat of a genius who had already been heavily recruited by colleges for his academic excellence due to his photographic memory, snapped the picture from Parks and said to the little Buddha, the fourth boy, “Didn’t you take this picture?” He turned on Parks, “How did you get this?”
Rogers snapped back, “Don’t worry how we got it. Is this the victim?”
They all nodded.
The interrogator pulled a small tape recorder from his pocket and set it on the table, pressing record. “So, all four of you boys witnessed a murder, correct?”
“Can’t record nods, boys, speak up! Can you tell us about Ms. LeBoux?”
Three boys turned to George as his worried expression warmed to a peaceful flush. His eyes glazed over like a sixties cult member talking about commune life as he replied, “Her whole body is covered in a dewy white porcelain angel skin that never fears a tan because the sun wouldn’t dare color it. Her eyes are pure gems of jade that would make envy pick another color because green’s too noble.”
He looked up from his thousand-yard stare with watery eyes. “She didn’t want to hurt me. Simone didn’t know that Isabella didn’t want to hurt me. She just wanted to keep me… And for a minute, I wanted to be kept… Those perfect bow-tie lips.”
Both detectives seemed captivated by George’s description of the girl’s surpassing beauty until Spider interrupted, “Yeah, especially since she’s been dead a hundred years.”
The boys laughed as George snapped out of his haze and punched Spider in the shoulder causing more laughter. George shook his shaggy hair like he was clearing the cobwebs out of his head and stood up. “Come on rounds, let’s blow this joint.”
Detective Parks stood up in front of George like an opposing prize fighter at weigh in. “You boys aren’t going anywhere.”
Little Buddha snapped back, “But we told you what you wanted to hear!”
“I didn’t say I wanted to hear some fairy tale.”
Two uniformed cops entered the room as Rogers said, “Throw ‘em in a cell.”
“No! General population. A-side. They wanna act tough, we’ll see how tough they are when they beg us to let them out.”
Now don’t be scared. Our heroes are a long way from finished. If there is one thing they learned on their Odyssey, it’s that everything is relevant and everyone has a part to play. As the guards put the cuffs on George, notice that he wore that same mischievous crooked smile that caused them to befriend him so many years ago.