Extracting It From Stacy

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The following is a work of fiction. All depicted characters are 18 or older.

SYNOPSIS: After finding herself in the thick of a shoplifting stunt by her stealthy best friend, Stacy is brought to the police station for questioning.

Originally posted November 2008


Stacy held the phone receiver in her hand, having finished entering the number for the police station. The green “send” key seemed to stare her down, daring her to make this decision. She had just finished writing in her diary about the events of day that had lead to this point.

Stacy had been shopping with her best friend, Ginney, who with a single word had made her acutely aware of the other shoppers swarming the aisles of the Blu-Mart, in a way that she had never imagined before. They all seemed to leer at her as they passed, watching her carefully, tracking her movements. Her body seemed to sink into the floor, as she realized her best friend might be serious in her proposition.

“You’re not serious,” Stacy said to Ginney under her breath, trying to shush her. “We can’t do that.”

“Relax,” Ginney responded coolly, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. “You’re eighteen now. You want the Flint, don’t you?”

“No!” Stacy sputtered. “Well, yes. But I’m not going to steal it!” She looked around frantically, and then repeated herself more softly.

“I’m not going to steal it!”

Ginney snickered under her breath.

“Aw, come on, Stacy! It’s not like it’s even that illegal. You can already play all your music whenever you want. Isn’t that the point of that thing?”

Ginney’s lax policy on logic didn’t impress Stacy any more than her appreciation for technology, but she was certainly interested in the oval-shaped product sitting on the shelf behind the glass cabinet. As a music enthusiast and a self-proclaimed computer nerd, she had become even more interested in the Flint than the iPhone — a device that she thought deserved every bit of the hype-energy she bestowed it — even though she had never owned one. In fact, the most portable music player she had ever possessed was an ancient blue Discman from Christmas of 2008, when she was in the seventh grade. Despite many hints to her parents since that time and a genuine interest in cutting-edge devices, she told by her parents that her Discman was still perfectly good, and even forbidden to spend her own money on a new player once she had earned it. It was a shame she respected her parents so much, or she would have.

Now that she was graduated from high school and had her own apartment and a job at a restaurant, she could finally spend her money in the way that she chose. At least, that’s what she thought. Her bills quickly consumed the money she’d saved during high school, and the difference between her first few paychecks and her rent and utility costs was low enough to profoundly disappoint her all over again. Even if she saved almost all of her extra money from each pay period, a luxury item like the Flint would still be almost a year away.

“Of course that’s the point of it,” Stacy whispered back. “But that doesn’t mean I’m–“

“Well, then…” Ginney interrupted, “take it.”

Stacy suddenly jumped. The glass door had slid ajar. She looked down and saw that Ginney’s hand had pushed it to that position, and now it rested along the open panel’s edge. A little silver key dangled from it.

“What?!” Stacy yelped. “How did you get that key? Are you insane? D-do you want to be detained?”

“Oh, come on, Stacy! The less of a deal you make about it, the less likely they’ll find you.”

It was embarrassing to Stacy that Ginney had brought that concern out of her. A couple of years ago, her state legislature had authorized police officers to interrogate witnesses for misdemeanors if the information was needed in order to carry out punishment, and the methods were humane and harmless. The law was given a trial period to gauge its remedial effect on juvenile crimes related to gang activity, and it was retained as standard after that.

While Stacy tried never to break rules, her true fear was planted in her mind during high school, when she had learned about the new legal policies while exploring YouTube.

The title, which showed up for goodness knows what reason in a “related videos” list, was “police tickle interrogation”.

Stacy had clicked on the video and seen a lecture hall full of students — probably college freshmen — with a police officer presiding, appearing to be a guest speaker. She had discovered, to her awkwardness, that “tickling” implied “pornography” for some people, but this didn’t look like a sexy video.

“If you’re detained, and you committed the crime with any accomplices,” the man in the blue uniform said with a slight southern lilt, “you are legally required to provide their names to the officer on duty. Think you’d want to protect your friend?” he asked, raising his eyebrows a little. The class was silent. It didn’t seem like they were intimidated, casino oyna but he had their attention.

“Gwen has volunteered to help me out. Do you understand the briefing we gave you earlier?”

Gwen looked like a goth, with a round black bob-cut and her hands in the pockets of her black jeans. She nodded promptly, and said “yep,” appearing to build up her courage.

“So,” said the officer paternally to the students, “let’s say Gwen and her friend had just been caught driving while intoxicated, and the friend got away. Gwen’s in the station, and if she refused to give the name of her friend after repeated questioning, she’d probably have one of these used on her. This is a remote neuro-stimulator.”

The device looked like a tricorder from Star Trek.

“Now, Gwen, I know no one in this room would ever drink and drive…”

Mild giggles at this point, which settled a little more quickly than was natural.

“… so instead of using the name of a friend, we’re just going to use the word ‘banana.’ Do you understand?” Gwen was now looking in the direction of the officer and stood perfectly still, except to nod her head in understanding.

“Say the word.”


“So, Gwen, if you say ‘banana,’ then I’ll stop using the neuro-stimulator right away. But, for the sake of this demonstration, resist for as long as you can, because you’ll be turning in your friend. Are you ready?”

She nodded.

The officer pointed the handheld device at Gwen’s upper torso. It emitted no flashing light, no sound, but the black-haired girl suddenly twisted like a marionette and squealed in a way that did not resemble her speaking voice. She immediately threw her body onto the ground and began laughing and squealing, as the officer carefully followed her body with the trajectory of his arm. Gwen’s eyes were wide with complete surprise, and her mouth was even wider as she emitted a rapid alternation of the words “stop” and “banana” amid her involuntary wailing.

Just as immediately and without warning, her spasming arms and legs flopped onto the floor, and the officer holstered his device and helped her up as she gasped and laughed exhaustedly.

“Let’s have a hand for Gwen.”

The class applauded, Stacy recalled, and that was the last part of the video she remembered. During that moment, Gwen looked so helpless. If the officer hadn’t switched the device off that promptly, he could have made her say anything. How could anyone have the power to do that to someone else? It was so… unfair…

She had thought about the video hundreds of times, and each time it made her skin shiver. The devices were supposedly only a couple of years old, and she’d never seen one of them used anywhere but that video. However, she had seen the occasional policeman with a holster in that rectangular shape, and when she did, paranoia gripped her.

Now it struck her more intensely than ever as Ginney took the Flint out of the case and locked the glass door.

“Now, come on,” said Ginney, her tone more direct. “Let’s get out of here. You don’t want to make this harder on us; the door’s already locked. Now all we need to do is get it demagnetized.” The jaunty girl began strolling up the aisle.

“Ginney!” hissed Stacy desperately as her friend parted company with her. She herself didn’t budge, but the demagnetization comment lead her to believe that her friend must be competent at this kind of theft. Ginney must have had some plan to draw the item past a desensitizer without rousing the suspicion of a cashier. Maybe she had her own desensitizer on her person, for all Stacy knew.

Thinking of which, where were those beige detector barriers that normally stood at the entrance to the electronic department? Stacy noticed, for the first time that they weren’t even there.

But the glass cabinet itself was lined with… some sort of a plastic border. Thin and grey, with a red stripe slicing it down the middle. A new security system. It had to be. And Ginney had completely missed it.

Stacy glanced at the cashier’s desk and saw that the cashier herself was making eye contact with her. She ducked in sudden fear and tried to hiss desperately at Ginney again, but she was too far away now. Ginney continued to walk confidently past the cashier, still apparently believing she was under no suspicion.

Stacy couldn’t bring herself to move. She stared at Ginney, who had trotted past the cashier’s stand, spun around to face back at her, and subtly beckoned her to follow. Stacy tried to manifest a silent warning scream in her most desperate wincing face. It didn’t seem to work. Ginney reiterated her beckon with greater urgency, and then she disappeared toward the store’s entrance.

Stacy stayed crouched and frozen in the aisle until she saw a police officer approach the cashier’s stand. Male, shaven, and with sunglasses. They appeared to converse briefly, and then the cashier herself pointed directly at Stacy, and the officer’s head turned and looked at her. Her canlı casino blood ran cold.

Everything felt like slow motion. It may have been a full minute before the officer began to pace toward her. He actually looked concerned for her, like a man trying to help a hurt animal without scaring it. Stacy was in no state of mind to appreciate that, though. She felt every bit as nervous as a hurt animal, and this was the first time in her life that she had been approached by the police.

It was now or never. She considered holding her ground and explaining the situation to the officer, but as the man stepped within her bubble, fear and adrenaline seized her and she bolted. Her feet took her around back of the aisle as quickly as they could, and she zipped around the cashier’s stand toward the main entrance before the officer could catch up.

Now she was halfway to the main entrance of the store, summoning speed from desperation. The double-doors loomed ahead of her, and she had become slightly optimistic when a feeling that she had never felt before hit her body like an electric shock.

The air around her felt gently but intensely prickly. Her legs were suddenly weak and stopped running beneath her, and she shielded her body from the ground with her hands which began to clasp her body on their own, trying to rub off the feeling.

Her mouth bloomed into an enormous smile as she rolled onto her back and heard herself wailing with laughter. Her eyes were almost squeezed shut just because of the joyful flexion of her cheek bones, but they remained open wide enough to see two of her male classmates standing nearby, staring at her as if mesmerized.

An explanation, while it might help restore her dignity in front of them, was impossible. The buzzing sound in her ears was gentle and soft, but the feeling was relentless and unbearable. Stacy lacked the energy to roll around now; all she could do was laugh and clench her body in a desperate effort to stop the light, prickly feeling all over her body.

“Please stop…!! Turn it off! Turn it off! Turn it off!” she tried to shout, and she really meant it. Amid her laughter, though, it sounded almost indistinguishable, even to her.

Finally it did stop, and Stacy felt her body collapse as though tranquilized. Her blood rushed through her veins freely again, refreshing her like a waterfall.

She felt her arms being grasped firmly from underneath, lifting her. Her body felt weak, and the ease with which the officer was now able to scoop her from the ground, in front of her attentive classmates, was humiliating. As she was lead outside by the officer, she felt her strength beginning to return and considered struggling and attempting escape, but she was paralyzed by the idea that the unbearable device might be used on her again, and quickly banished that option. She knew she wasn’t in control of this situation, and it scared her.

The journey in the police car provided her with what felt like seconds to process. On the outside, Stacy sat straight up in the back seat, lips together, eyes focused forward. Not at anything in particular; just forward, breathing calmly and shaking almost undetectably. She was being detained. She, Stacy, who had never been so much as sent to the office during school before.

The officer escorted her into the building, wherein a room with a table and chairs awaited her, and she was left alone for the first time. She immediately began practising her polite voice, imagining herself sitting opposite a man who would ask her to explain her situation, and saying, “officer, please listen…”

In her mind, she would be calm and poised.

But after that, her brain refused to be constructive. Instead, it snapped back to the moment during which she was suddenly unable to run, fell to the floor, and began to writhe and laugh helplessly. The relentlessness of the soft tingling all over her skin, changing her life.

“It’s finally happening,” she had thought as she had fallen onto the floor. “I’m finally having a neuro-stimulator used on me by the police.”

Writhing, laughing, begging…


… The door clicked, and Stacy shot upward in her seat like a startled cat. Someone was coming in right now.

He was in uniform, and the brim of his hat revealed his eyes as he sat in the empty chair. His face was calm, angular, and shaven.

Oddly, he didn’t say anything. It was as though he was surprised after finally looking at her. After a moment of silence, he uttered…

“… Stacy?”

Stacy blinked in her own state of surprise. Did she know him? A little too scared to say anything, she raised her eyebrows slightly.

“Stacy Milton…?” he uttered again, in a strange tone expressing an awestruck incredulity.

Stacy didn’t know what to do. Her eyebrows remained raised as she nodded in slight confusion. He paused for a moment.

“I’m… Cody,” he said softly. Stacy still didn’t know what to say. She certainly hadn’t expected to be treated to kaçak casino sensitively by a police officer during questioning.

“We knew each other in high school,” he continued, pausing to think for a moment. “Or… I knew you, at least.”

“… Oh!” Stacy said. “Uhm… nice to… meet you.” This was an awkward turn, but the unexpectedness came as a welcome relief.

“Yeah,” he continued, “we had English 5 together. I sat at the back, and you were up toward the front, second seat from the left. You remember. I mean… I’m sure you remember your own seat.”

Stacy nodded along, although she didn’t remember him at all. But he seemed kind. Perhaps this would be easier than she thought.

“So,” she attempted, “do you need to… hear about why I’m here?”

“Yes, I do,” he said after a pause, seeming suddenly to have reassumed the poise of an enforcer of the law.

Stacy lowered her eyes a bit, and swallowed.

“Well, I… was standing in the aisle w–“

She was about to say “with my friend, Ginney,” but she froze and realized that she was suddenly faced with a monumental decision.

She had all the clues. The YouTube video that she’d played over and over had made it clear that interrogation for information had been legalized. The video had even used the same hypothetical circumstance that she was now faced with: the question of whether to expose the name of her friend.

“You were standing in the aisle…” he prompted her.

“Oh. Yes.”


“And, um… that’s all.”

Cody didn’t seem impressed by this, and she didn’t blame him. It could have been the least witty thing she’d ever said.

“That’s all? Wasn’t there a product stolen?”

Stacy had only just been brought to the station, and she didn’t know how much Cody had had the time to learn. Apparently, it was enough to ruin her already poor progress with him so far.

“Yes, there was.”

Stacy cursed herself. Her rehearsal had not helped her at all. She told herself silently how stupid she sounded, and that she must get a grip on herself immediately and start talking in a way that would convince this man that she was reasonable.

“Was there someone else with you?” he said.

She bit her lip. Cody’s eyebrows seemed to communicate that he had interpreted that reaction as a “yes,” and she immediately regretted doing it. Something in his eyes had been affecting her this entire time, ever since he realized that he knew her. Something sort of loving, although that was…

… ridiculous. He was interrogating her. This was his job.


“What?” she suddenly snapped.

“There was someone else with you, wasn’t there?”

She felt suddenly like she was about to cry. He had trapped her. Ginney was her best friend, for goodness’ sake. She couldn’t possibly turn her in… but she still felt herself nodding slightly.

“What was her name?”

And then, she was silent. Her eyes rested loosely on a crack in the table, for lack of anything else to look at. Her face showed nothing, but she felt like a cornered rabbit, trembling inside.

“… You know that I could make you.”

Stacy reacted immediately out of fear; her eyes widened and looked at him warily. His eyes were suddenly a little fiery, and his tone was a little mysterious. It was hard to imagine that these were the usual nuances of a police officer, but she was in too much danger to think about that right now. All she cared about was avoiding any further victimization by one of those devices.

Ginney is my best friend, she repeated to herself, almost shedding a tear. She had waited to speak for so long, now, that she was worried she was trying Cody’s patience. The silence in the room seemed palpable.

“Ginney Weaver,” she said meekly.

She lowered her head again, and looked at the crack in the table as she heard Cody scratching the name onto his pad.

“Are you all right, Stacy?” she heard him ask gently. She looked up sadly, her lips pursed.

“You did the right thing, you know,” Cody said. “She was trying to shoplift, after all. She should have known better. I’m sorry you got involved, Stacy. I’m really sorry.”

Stacy couldn’t help but soften at this. He did indeed seem kind.

“Thank you,” she said. “She’s my friend,” she choked, “and… I’m worried about her. I mean… what will happen to her?”

“Sometimes people don’t know any better. If they catch her and she still has the thing, and returns it, she may be off with a warning, or maybe a fine. It’ll be on her record, but if she’s learned her lesson, she’ll be okay.” He seemed like he was trying to be reassuring, and Stacy felt like it was working. She smiled at him a little, and his eyes seemed to glaze a little in response. That same look, again.

“Stacy, you really are… very beautiful.”

She tried to laugh this off inside, and stood up politely.

“Um… thanks,” she responded. Cody stood up too.

“You know,” he said, moving one hand to his hip, “I think you need to… stay. For just a minute.” His hand encircled his holstered neuro-stimulator.

“… What? Aren’t we done?” Stacy questioned, again noticing the odd lilt in his tone.

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