Margins: Misdemeanor

There was one drawback to Eric’s job. 

He took a deep breath, steeled himself against the kid’s tears. This was illegal. The kid was doing something illegal. 

“Please, mister, I just like the sounds. I swear — I swear no one else even knows!”

Eric fastened the jacket securely. “It’s against the law, kid. Plain and simple.”

His cries and pleas dissolved into gibberish as Eric escorted him out of the abandoned warehouse. The light was blinding compared to the artificial ones in the building. Eric was going to have to tell Mr. Trellis that they need to speed up the renovations. There were undoubtedly more buildings like the one the kid stumbled across. Relics from the old times that tempt citizens to disobey. 

He stuffed the kid into the waiting Misdemeanor Pod. It had been a while since anyone had needed to use one of them. Its door creaked open and the seats groaned in protest of being used again. As soon as the kid was secure, the facial recognition software ran its scan. Eric looked at the information that popped up on the outside of the pod.

Stuart Novach, age 11. Legal guardians were a 52-year-old uncle and 51-year-old aunt. He was currently marked present at an enrichment course on the other side of town. Eric shook his head. There was no integrity in the schooling system anymore. All anyone cared about was receiving more subsidies that the infrastructure didn’t have to give.

Still. This Stuart Novach was more or less a good kid. Fair grades and high potential for future contributions to society.

“Alright, kid. You’ll just get a warning and mandated observation for the next six weeks. You make sure to not catch yourself around these parts again, you hear?” He nodded sullenly and shrunk into the seat. 

Eric closed the door and set the address to Stuart’s home, then the pod was off. 

If only they were all this easy. He remembered his first case, a felony. A mother who let her daughter get touched by the rain. He shuddered the memory away. Shuddered away the sight of the arm and how the burns spread.