A Crime Story, Revisited

Prefatory note: Begin with “A Crime Story.” The following is a complete work of fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead are purely coincidental.


Eight Hours Earlier…

Jonathan Starks paced frantically back and forth in front of the living room couch. The look on his face resembled that of someone told a loved one had just died.

Eventually Emily, his wife, broke the silent back-and-forth.

“Will you fucking stop it, Jon? Your pacing isn’t helping anything.”

“What do you expect me to do, Emily? You know what the teacher said as much as I do. How are we going to cut this off? What do we do for Caleb?”

“You heard what Janet said. He’s going to get arrested for some very horrible things the moment he walks out of school. There’s not much of an option left. We have to get a lawyer.”

Janet was Caleb’s English teacher, and a lifelong friend of Emily Starks. She’d called Emily the moment Central High’s principal sent down word Caleb was to be directed to a specific entrance at the end of the school day to be arrested.

“Why would they arrest him at school? Why not contact us?”, Jon asked.

“Janet says this is what they want. To make an example of him, and show the other kids that being a star football player doesn’t exempt you from making bad decisions.”

“When I was in school, kids didn’t get trotted out in handcuffs in front of their friends to serve as an “example.”

“Times are different,” Emily said calmly. “Now they arrest parents for leaving kids unattended in cars while they jump inside a store in full view, car running. The important thing is we stop navel-gazing and get someone who can help us, and help Caleb, right now.”

Jon turned to Emily with an aura of steely resolve. “And would you happen to have any suggestions, Ms. Know It All? Just who can fix this?”

Emily strode to her purse and pulled out a business card. “I met this guy at a networking event. Something about him seemed different. You could tell he really cared about helping people, and instead of just exchanging business cards he did this thing where I left with two of his, with my name written on the backs.”

Jon picked up the card, and turned it over. “Emily” was written clear as day in Sharpie pen on the back of the card.

“I hear he’s really good in crisis situations,” Emily continued. “People I’ve talked to say when there’s a bad situation he’s the guy you call. I say we get him on the line and get him started defusing this problem.”

“Fine,” said Jon, as he reached for his mobile and dialed the number.

As the phone rang, Jon studied the business card a little closer.

“Why is there a Jack of Spades on the back of a lawyer’s business card?”

Jon barely finished the sentence before the phone picked up.

“Callaghan Criminal Defense…”