Cinnie Matika, the attendant for the theater, was questioned while Carmichael was being interrogated. A fiery young ginger, she explained that she only took the job to fund her community college degree. “This is only one of my jobs, thank God.” When asked about her responsibilities, she ran through a long list of to-do’s that were only ever handled by her, understaffed as the cinema was. If you could think it, she had to do it. Box office attendant, concessions attendant, janitorial attendant, and worst of all, attendant to Mr. Echo, a full-time job in its own right.
“I don’t care if he DID pay for the theater to stay open, I NEVER signed on to be a personal waitress.” When asked to clarify, she veritably exploded, exclaiming, “He always made me go get drinks and snacks for his ‘guests,’ and it wasn’t beneath him to ask me to cross town on my shift to get lunch from some weird diner or other while he schmoozed these ‘associates.’ I mean, what were they even talking about, anyway? Not one of them helped out. He never learned my name, either, and once, when I didn’t move fast enough for his liking, he yelled at me to get out and do what he said, or else. I told Carmichael about it, but he didn’t want to do anything to ruffle feathers, since Echo was keeping the place afloat. I threatened to leave, but he asked me to stay and he’d give me the raise I’ve been waiting on for a year if I kept my mouth shut. So, like an idiot, I stayed…cuz classes don’t pay for themselves, you know?”
“It wasn’t until about a month ago that things really went south.” Matika grew visibly bothered at this point. “I was mopping up a spill of some soda…at least, I THINK it was soda…anyway, that doesn’t matter….what DOES matter is that he came in with that Charlie fella while I had my back turned to him. I was minding my own business, cleaning up that stupid drink, and then I felt him behind me. His hands were on my hips, he was breathing on my neck, and then he started whispering….things….to me. I pushed him away, turned to face him, and swung the mop handle at him. His goon grabbed it away from me and pushed me, hard, to the ground. While I was trying to catch my breath on the floor, Echo bent down, lifted up my chin to look at him, and said, ‘You’ll learn that I always get what I want, girlie.’ He pushed my head back down and walked away. And just before he disappeared into the theater, he turned back and said, “Oh, and let’s keep this between you and me, shall we? Wouldn’t want anything…untoward…to happen.” Then he smiled and left.
By this point, there were some tears welling up in Cinnie’s eyes, but there was also a fire there. “I’m glad that jerk is dead,” she muttered, and then gave the hint of a smile of her own to the detective on duty.
“I tell ya, I was going to the police the day he died. I’d had enough of that rich pervert getting his way, so after my shift that morning, I left for the precinct, only to be called there before I arrived, and here I am.”
When asked what she’d done that morning prior to leaving, she answered, “The usual…prep the popcorn machine, vacuum the carpet, scrub the toilets…you know.” Then, as if remembering something important, she said, “Oh, yeah…the reason I left in such a hurry was because Echo had barked another order at me…made me run the reel of some old mobster movie in the theater you guys found him in. He was incredibly boisterous this time, though….came in drinking IN THE MORNING…swinging around a bottle of some wine or champagne, singing about celebrating some deal. He was annoying me, and I’d had it, so I turned on that stupid flick and left.”