Calling It In

The camera lands with a resounding slap on a plastic garbage bag far below. The cops spin and draw their weapons as I swear under my breath.

“Come out with your hands where we can see them!”

I swear again and silently begin to climb up the blessedly mute fire escape stairs - at this point I’m surprised that they don’t creak loudly, or give way altogether to send me tumbling after my acrobatic camera. When I reach the roof I glance back down to see the officers slowly approaching the suddenly silent pile of garbage.

I turn and stride across the flat roof, leaving them to arrest my traitorous former companion. They can have it, there’s nothing on there to incriminate me… is there? No, I deleted everything yesterday… didn’t I?

Shaking the futile questions from my mind I pull out my cell phone from the front pocket of my jeans and flip it open. I punch the number two, hit send and raise it to my ear. I hate it when I have to dial this number - I only use it when the cops interrupt my work and I need someone else to document my piece. It also means I will have to ditch this phone and purchase yet another one.

“Hello and thank you for calling The Rebel Voice,” the recorded male voice greets me. “Our hours of operation are…”

They really need to shorten this message. I reach the far edge of the building, look down three stories, then across to the building about four feet away and shrug. I’ve never had a problem with heights, which has come in handy many times in this line of work.

I retrace my steps back about twenty feet, still listening to the recorded message. I secure my backpack on my shoulders and sprint towards the ledge. As I leap through the air I have to extend both arms down and to the side to maintain my balance but I know the message will still be droning on when I land.

My arrival on the neighbouring building is not as graceful as it could have been but like my dad used to say: any landing you can walk away from is a good one. I bring the phone back to my ear just in time to hear, “… and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Have a rebellious day.”

“This is Red Five,” I say as I begin walking again. “If anyone is there pick up the phone.” I count to five, roll my eyes and add, “Please.”

“Hey Red, what’s going on?” Ah, the sweet voice of Emma B.

“I’ve got a piece you need to see but my location has been compromised,” I tell her quickly; she doesn’t need to hear about the camera and I don’t have time to go into unnecessary details. “It’s at the back of the First State Bank on East 8th Avenue but if you can’t get someone there in ten minutes it will be too late.”

“I’ll be there in five,” she says and hangs up, leaving me to stare at my phone in shock. She’s going herself?

The enigmatic Emma B, the voice without a face for the last three years. Dare I go back for the chance to finally see what she looks like?

I look at my watch: 5:28 am. I really shouldn’t push my luck.

The End

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