Probation Violation
The front entrance is as sterile and depressing as the front entrance of any other social service agency. Frosted glass, a small call box. The buzzer to admit them. Detective Leanders notes, immediately, the gleaming eye of the surveillance camera protected by the overhang of a bent aluminum awning and looks directly up, and directly into the camera with a steadiness that unbends most humans faced with surveillance technology. They look away, whether guilty or not. They do not want to be caught, and framed in someone else's half-hidden view.

She is:

buzzed up.

climbs the stairs, sometimes two at a time.

and circles the sad and rather empty waiting room, fingers trailing through dust that has accumulated on the old issues of Highlights and National Geographic and US Weekly circa 2007 that accumulate in such places.

The first exchange is not helpful.

Her request to 'have a look around' is politely refused by a rather stone-faced young woman in a men's white button-down and an ill-fitting blazer, whose gang and prison tattoos are impossible to miss. Refused with a very very direct and very very steady, "Do you have a warrant?" Which is virtually an admission of some sort of guilt in Detective Leanders' mind.


Her schedule's busy. It is a week and a half before she goes back.

But: go back she does, this time with a uniformed officer and a list of parolees expected to be on premises, working. This time with Maria Gilchrist's PO on speed dial. This time with her work records, and those of several co-workers still on parole. This time with a copy of the daily employment logs Ms. Gilchrist signed for one -

"Mr. Grover Youngblood, I'd like to speak with him as well."


Later, beneath the wintry shadow of a malfunctioning flourescent fixture in a sparse office without a computer, just a second-hand set of dirty cubicle furniture and a biblical guide to the End Times, Detective Leaders checks each of the parolees and probationers off her list.

All present and accounted for.
No contraband found as yet.
No one inside admits to being held here against their will.

All sing the program's dubious praises. Except:

"And Mr. Youngblood?"


Twenty-two minutes later, Detective Leanders and the uniformed officer she had accompanying leave rEEntry with Maria Gilchrist in handcuffs.

"The daily schedule, which you signed places him here. There was no emergency amendmant to the schedule filed today, and I'm told by his parole officer that you did not notify them of his failure to report this morning. Which in turn consitutes a violation of the terms of your own parole.
But my heart is wild and my bones are steel
And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free.

- Phosphorescent, Song for Zula

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