Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Short Con Week 22 - Take the Man's Pay

Take the Man's Pay
by Robert Knightly
originally appeared in Manhattan Noir

In Japan, in Kyoto, he would already have done what is expected of anyone arrested for a crime.  He would have confessed, then formally apologized for upsetting the harmony of Japanese society.   That is what you did when you were taken into custody: you accepted your unworthiness, took it upon yourself, the consequences falling across your shoulders like a yoke.

But he is not at home, he reminds himself for the second time, and there are decisions to make, and make soon.

A prostitute is found dead, having plummeted from a hotel room many floors up.  The rooms only occupant is Taiku, a japanese businessman, who admits to having sex with the woman, but had no part in her death.

What follows his arrest can only be described as fun.  He's taken in to the station house, and from there, he's just a pawn in the NYPD's confession game.  They throw all kinds of tricks at him, some of which I'd never heard of, hoping to get his confession by 1pm.  At only eleven pages, it offers an intriguing culture comparison, especially when it comes to crime, guilt, and punishment.

Search this story out, in either Manhatten Noir or The Best American Mystery Stories 2007 Edition.

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