"So, Doctor Sigerson, you're a criminal psychologist?"
Audrey Campbell looked at us so intently, her very gaze seemed to drip with curiosity. I waited with veritable interest to see what Siggy would answer. To be honest, I had grown an amount of wonder, and perhaps even anxiety, at the ease with which Siggy concocts his lies. He was always very quick to detect signs of deception, true, but he was just as casual and frighteningly consistent with his own lies.
Presently, Siggy offered a disarming smile. "More or less, yes."
"Do you make guesses about the criminals, then? I mean," Audrey seemed a bit ponderous, "can you know things about the people who did crimes by examining the crime scenes and the like?"
Siggy shook his head, still smiling. It was still a surprise to me how he switched from his usual self and into this 'Doctor Sigerson' persona with such effortlessness. "No, I'm afraid I'm more Lie to Me than CSI." A blink. Audrey lost the reference, again. I wondered if Siggy was intentionally trying to shake her off. "That is to say, I'm more on the 'psychologist' side than the 'criminal' side - I don't really examine 'crime scenes and the like'."
Audrey looked away for a moment, seemingly thinking. Then: "If you don't mind my asking, Doctor - what is your first name?"
There was a healthy tinge of scepticism in her eye; she seemed to have been somewhat wary of Siggy's flagrant lies, and rightfully so. I waited to see what he would answer, and the fact was not missed by him.
"That's the funny thing," Siggy muttered. "I'm not telling you."
"Oh, but surely it's not - " Audrey stopped abruptly, then a winning smile grew on her face. " - not confidential?"
"No, of course not," Siggy waved his hand. It was a few seconds before he sighed, relenting. "It's Horace. Horace Sigerson. There, now, curiosity satisfied, don't tell a soul, will you?"
I could barely stifle a laugh at seeing Audrey's eyebrows raise so high, they seemed to vanish into her fringe. It took a moment for me to register what a brilliant idea my friend had had in giving himself such a name. Besides having an unusual and dated first name for which he could feign embarrassment, he also managed to find a full name which would cover up sufficiently, no matter what we decide to call him. If we called him Siggy, he would claim it to derive from Sigerson, while if we were to call him Hollis, he would say it was a variation of Horace.
The sneaky blighter.
The burgundy door swung open to reveal a sparsely-furnished room. Sitting on the table was a stocky man, the edges of a tribal tattoo peering from the end of his sleeve. He did not stand up when we entered, and instead remained right where he slouched. A cocky grin was plastered across his face, which only increased when he saw Siggy leading Audrey in by the arm.
"You," Calvin Lowe turned to me, "you brought her here? That's kinda cheap, isn't it?"
I ignored his comments and shut the door behind us. Audrey immediately stood at the far corner of the room, her eyes transfixed on Lowe like a sniper's on his target: focused, unfeeling, alert. Siggy walked ahead and sat, wrong-side-front, on the chair opposite the criminal; his favourite place was always one where he could stare at everyone else in minute detail. I paced in front of Lowe and began:
"Now, you can choose to drag her into this deeper, or you can come clean right now and leave her unscathed. What's your choice?"
A sardonic grin emerged on Lowe's square face. "Ya think?"
I'll have to pass on the bonus points; Siggy hates to be out-eccentric'd.
Glossary of La Reinaisms
Aheheh: onomatopoeia for a chuckle, esp. a mischievous one
Hurm: onomatopoeia for thinking; a standard reply when all else fails
Spam: an all-purpose word