DISCLAIMER: Karen Sisco and its all characters are property of Jersey Television. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Marshal Karen Sisco rushed toward the closing doors of the elevator and shouted, "US Marshal, please hold the door." A hand immediately shot out, and the doors stopped their forward motion as they began to reverse direction. Karen quickly stepped into the elevator and turned to thank the helpful citizen; but, instead, she stood speechless as she stared into the smiling face of Marley Novak.
"Hey, Karen. What brings you to the Atlantis Condominium? You looking for a place to stay?" Marley asked the marshal as she pushed the button that would take them to the 20th floor where they could access the stairs to the roof.
Coming out of her stupor, Karen replied, "No, Amos sent me. It seems some idiot is threatening to jump off the building, and it turns out there's a warrant for his arrest in seven different states. It sure would save the taxpayers some money if he'd just go ahead and take the leap."
"Well, I guess you've got jurisdiction so I'll just ride up and watch if you don't mind," Marley offered, leaning against the back wall of the elevator.
Pleased that the detective had chosen to join her, Karen smiled and replied, "No, I don't mind as long as you can fill me in on what you know about the jumper."
Marley crossed her arms and smirked. "Well, all I can offer is the preliminary report given by the officers on the scene. He's a big guy, he's standing by the edge of the building, and he's threatening to jump if anyone comes near him."
"Thanks so much; that was so enlightening," Karen stated as visions of their last case suddenly flashed through her head, and she quickly added, "Please tell me he's wearing clothes. I really don't want to have to file another report explaining why my suspect was naked."
The doors to the elevator slid open, and Marley stepped out, putting her hand on the edge to keep the doors from closing before the marshal could exit. Grinning, she responded, "Oh, he's definitely got clothes on, but I have a feeling your report will be just as difficult to file."
Karen exited the elevator and asked, "What do you mean by that?"
Motioning the marshal to the right side of the roof, she answered, "C'mon, you'll see." Together, the two women headed toward a waiting officer at the far end of the building.
When they reached the patrolman, Karen finally caught sight of the jumper and muttered, "Oh shit, this is not going to look good."
Marley chuckled and replied, "I told you so. No matter the result, the US Marshal's Office is certainly not going to be very popular. I'm so glad you showed up when you did. Miami PD doesn't need this kind of negative publicity."
Karen didn't reply as her full attention was focused on her suspect who was standing precariously close to the edge. Blinking rapidly to dispel the image, the marshal finally came to accept what she was seeing. There, on the rooftop, was none other than Santa Claus, and the only thing missing was his sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
"Yep, he jumps, and you've sent the jolly, old, popular man to his death, or you arrest him, and become the ever unpopular scrooge. It's certainly a no-win situation," the detective astutely explained.
The nearby officer quickly wiped the grin off his face and related, "Um, ma'ams? The suspect offered a list of demands a few minutes ago, and I took the liberty of writing them all down."
Turning toward the young policeman, Marley replied, "First, before I forget, don't ever call me ma'am again. Now, let's see that list." Nervously, the officer handed over his small notebook, and Marley gave it a quick glance.
"Here you go, Karen. This guy is definitely a shrewd negotiator; I'll give you that," Marley stated with a ghost of a grin.
Karen reached for the notebook and scanned the list of demands. Looking up at the heavens, she closed her eyes and asked, "Why couldn't he have just been naked?"
Marley laughed aloud while the officer looked at the two women in confusion. When Karen opened her eyes and glanced at the amused detective, she could no longer hold in her mirth as she joined the redhead in laughter, leaving the patrolman to wonder if the two women had lost their minds along with the crazy Santa.
Finally, the laughter died down, and Karen was able to refocus on the list. Checking it twice, she said, "This guy is reportedly a genius, so I tend to believe he wants us to figure out what he means by each item listed."
Reading the first line, Karen stated, "Well, I believe we can find Mrs. Claus for him."
Confused, the officer asked, "Santa's wife?"
Karen shook her head and replied, "No, Mr. Anderson's wife; he's asked to speak with her. Maybe we can get her on the cell. Now, as for number two on the list, there's no damn way."
Leaning closer to the marshal, Marley read the second line. "A sleigh; he's got to be kidding."
Karen pointed to the word Marley had skipped over and clarified, "A flying sleigh. The asshole wants a helicopter. How clichéd can you get?"
The officer suddenly became interested in the list and stepped closer to the women asking, "What's next?"
"A bag full of toys," Karen replied. Shaking her head, she added, "I can't believe he's actually asking for money, especially considering the amount of money he's embezzled through the years."
"What a selfish prick. Okay, what's next?" Marley questioned as she and the officer flanked the marshal on the left and right giving the appearance of a couple of bookends.
"Milk and cookies? What the hell does that mean?" Karen asked, glancing over at the fat man who was now sitting quietly on the edge of the building.
"Maybe he wants a meal. Don't some of your bank robbers ask for something to eat?" The officer surmised, and the two women nodded their head in agreement, pleased that they'd figured out item number four.
"Okay, one more, and then we can deal," Karen said, turning her attention to the last request. Frowning, she read, "Peace on Earth."
Silently, the three law enforcement officers contemplated the last item. Marley assumed it was Mr. Anderson's way of letting them know that he didn't plan to resurface again once his demands were met, and the patrolmen wholeheartedly agreed with her assessment; however, Karen wasn't totally convinced.
Having difficulty coming up with an alternate meaning, the marshal looked over at Mr. Anderson for inspiration. "Oh, crap. He really is crazy," the brunette muttered when she saw the man standing near the very edge of the building.
"Yeah, crazy like a fox," Marley replied, still looking at the list and wondering if perhaps there was some other hidden meaning behind his words.
"I think I've figured out the last item," Karen stated as she very slowly moved toward the suspect who had stepped up on the side barrier, placing himself in a perfect position to take a nose dive.
"What?" Marley asked as she finally looked up from the notebook.
"P-I-E-C-E on Earth; I believe Mr. Anderson is referring to his body parts and has intended to jump the entire time," Karen softly explained, taking baby steps now that the suspect had spotted her approach.
Marley focused past Karen and cursed when she saw the man inching closer and closer to the edge, "Damn it. Christmas is going to suck this year."
The two women raced forward when Santa turned toward them and smiled. Laying a finger aside his nose, he nodded and stepped backward as both women lunged forward; however, the marshal and detective were too late; he had already fallen out of sight.
"Shit, shit, shit," Karen exclaimed, leaning against the short barrier and closing her eyes.
"Look on the bright side, Karen. At least, you don't have to write the word naked in your report," Marley offered in consolation.
"No, I get to make it official that Santa Claus committed suicide," Karen moaned as she stood to look over the edge. Marley joined her, and each took a cleansing breath before glancing over to the ground below.
"I don't fucking believe it," Marley chuckled when she noted the red suited man flapping his arms, trying to dislodge himself from the end of the flagpole.
"What's holding him up?" Karen asked, squinting to try to figure out what was keeping the man suspended in air.
Pointing toward the black object around Santa's middle, Marley replied, "His belt. It looks like he got a size too large, and it hooked on the end. I think he's trying to get it loose, but with the laws of gravity and the downward pressure of his body pulling the belt tighter, I don't think he'll be successful."
Quickly turning to the patrolman, Karen said, "Officer Stevens, would you call someone to send out a crane? We need to get Mr. Anderson off the flagpole ASAP."
The young man grinned and spoke into his shoulder mic before turning and heading for the stairs. He couldn't wait to get a look at Santa from the ground level.
"Well, it looks like everything turned out okay. No naked men and no dead Santa, at least for today anyway, but just in case, I recommend that you try to avoid contact with men for the rest of the day," Marley offered with a smile as the two women turned to walk back toward the exit.
Stopping, Karen turned toward the redhead and asked, "And, exactly how do you propose that I manage to do that, detective?"
Marley faced the marshal and replied, "When this is all over, you could go with me to get a drink."
"The bars are always full of men so I don't think a drink will solve my problem," Karen explained as Marley grinned and turned toward the exit.
"I can promise you there won't be any men where we're going," the detective responded, walking away and leaving Karen standing in the middle of the roof to contemplate her words.
Seconds later, Karen smiled and moved to join the redhead, looking forward to both the drink and the detective's company. She'd just been wondering this past week how she was going to let Marley know that she'd changed her mind about dating her, and now, it seemed the opportunity had dropped right into her lap.
As she finally caught up with the long legged detective, she could have sworn she heard the jingling of bells coupled with a faint, "Ho, Ho, Ho." Assuming it had to be Mr. Anderson, but, instead, choosing to believe it was confirmation that her Christmas wish had come true, she smiled and accepted Marley's invitation as they reached the door to exit the roof.
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