Apeirophobia (A Short Story)

When he came home from school one day and visited a convenience store, Jirou had no idea he would be caught up in a robbery and arrested for the crime! (This is a stand-alone story that is related to an even bigger project I'm working on)

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5. Verdict

Jirou started. "What? You want me to recreate the crime?" He leaned back and grumbled "Because I really don't think now's the time." 

Kevin chuckled. "No, genius, she's trying to tell you something. You said the robber had gloves, right?" 

Jirou nodded. 

"Were they wool gloves?" 

"They felt like wool." 

"Well, wool gloves would be very easy to get caught in a trigger if it were jammed around by say, someone grabbing the gun, right?" 

"Sounds about right." 

Kevin motioned towards the gun. As Jirou leaned in to look, he noticed some strands of what looked like curly black hair. Or maybe it was... 

"-Black wool." Momo finished his thought. "The same wool that could have been ripped off someone's glove. Now, the police didn't find any gloves on you or near you, and I got them to admit they didn't think you had time to dispose of them in a far-away place." 

Kevin grinned and pulled Momo into a one-armed hug, kissing the top of her head. He smiled and looked at Jirou. 

"Quite the crime investigator, right? And here I thought you were the only moonlighter here." 

Not realizing what that meant, Jirou stuttered until his mouth found the words. 

"What does that mean?" 

Momo snatched his hands and flipped them over. Cold and clammy, and kind of smeared with dried blood, but completely devoid of any wool glove residue that Jirou often experienced in the winter with his gloves. At that point, the realization smacked him in the face just like Kevin had. 

"I'm...not guilty?" 

Momo gripped his hands tighter and squeaked. "Not a bit, Ji." 

Jirou collapsed in his chair, held up only by the handcuffs tethering him to the table. Momo noticed this and let go immediately. She pivoted to her left, marched over to the one-way mirror and shouted at it. 

"There! I managed to prove his innocence for you. Now...give me my brother back!" 

Kevin and Jirou both laughed, although the laughs were a bit hollow and strained from the grim atmosphere. As one of the policemen walked back in to thank Momo, he handed Kevin the key to the handcuffs and suggested Momo follow a path of criminal investigation. 

"No thanks, officer. I prefer to help people with their lives." The amount of salt in her words, not to mention her current distaste for the police force, perfectly encapsulated how much Momo wanted very badly to go home and take her brother with her. As Kevin unlocked the cuffs, and Jirou rubbed his sore wrists, they both watched Momo send the officer out almost forcibly. 

But, as she turned around to talk to them, she slowly crumbled and leaned against Jirou in a hug, prompting Kevin to hug him as well. 

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