Untitled – 08/01

Another body has be found by the Metropolitan police, a young woman who has not yet been named was found dead in her flat this morning. This is the second person this week found dead in London. With no comments from the police, we are yet to understand how far they are in their investigation and what the cause of both deaths are.

I can’t believe she sucked off Ron for that position!”
“Well, we don’t know how true that is Karen.”
“Of course we do! I mean,” Karen adjusts her focus to myself as she takes a swig of her cider. “She was nothing, nobody even noticed her during her internship. All of a sudden, there’s the Christmas party, her and Ron go missing and before you know it, she’s not only being hired, she’s in-line for the big job role?”
I look back at the screen where Celia had now began reporting another issue and looked back at Karen.
“I just don’t want to think of the worst.”
“Think what you want then, but after the Christmas party and Celia got all those fast tracked promotions, Ron and his wife got,” She placed her forefinger by her throat and slashed it as if to behead herself, “a divorce. You do the maths Taylor.”
She raises her eyebrow at me then makes her way into the kitchen. I watch Celia and can’t help envy her. Karen was talking about sucking, but what truly sucked was the fact that I had been studying almost my entire life to be where Celia was. Years upon years dedicated to being a journalist and yet all I had become was a measly receptionist for a low ranked radio station that no one had really heard of.

I take a sip of my strawberry and lime cider and change the channel. It was bad enough that Celia and I grew up in the same area together and even studied together, but somehow our worlds seemed light years far apart and watching her progression did nothing for my self-esteem. I settle on some late night talk show as Karen returned.
“You ever wonder how people like that go on with everyone knowing how you got to the top?” I ask her.
“Babe, when you’re at the top, do you really think you’ll care about those below?”
“I probably would!”
“Trust me Taylor, when you get high enough you don’t even hear the whispers of those below, let alone the gossip.”
“True.” I sigh as I roll my head back. What made our paths so different? Same age, same journey, practically same upbringing yet, she was Daisy Buchanan and I was Nick Carraway watching her from across the bay.
“What’s the time?” I tap my phone screen causing it to light up.
“Half past ten.”
“I’m off to my room, Damian is meant to call.”
“And off she goes!” She throws me a cheeky smirk and heads to her bedroom. I turn off the television calling it a night too. I didn’t expect any late night calls, but sleep was calling and I couldn’t afford to be late again this week. If I wanted to get to where Celia was, I had to make sure I made no mistakes on my journey in getting there and lateness was not going to be it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dammit! I’m going to be late. Bloody delays have now got me sweating as I run towards the office. Greg is going to kill me. I’ve been trying to impress Greg ever since I got the job. He’s not very known in the industry, but ever so often he gets invited to events and award shows that is basically an aspiring journalists wet dream. If I could get myself just included in the list of attendees, then I could network and who knows whom I could meet.

Yet without a doubt, every event, every award ceremony Greg invites the ‘more important’ employees. The radio hosts, his secretary, everyone known to man but me. Of course I know it’s a long shot, I’m just the receptionists, but I want to prove I can do much more and I can’t do that by taking calls and fetching refreshments.

I practically hurdle over people and push through the office doors when I notice that it’s still quiet. Without hesitation, I take off my jacket and bag, stuff them under my desk, neaten out the creases in my shirt and get to work. If he hasn’t noticed then it’s better to get my head down straight away than to apologise.

Time goes by, a few calls and emails come in that I attend to. Everyone upstairs is busying around as we have an ‘important’ guest arriving today for an exclusive interview – the only thing is what we classify as ‘important’, is far from that in reality. My telephone flashes as a call from upstairs reaches my line.

“Hi Bob.”
“Taylor, Aimee Lynn and her team will be arriving shortly – please ensure that they are offered refreshments before you send them up.”
“Sure thi-“
“Oh and another note,” He says cutting me off, “make sure you give Greg’s secretary a call when she arrives.”
“Will do.”
Before I could ask further questions the line cuts. I roll my eyes and put the receiver back on the phone. Bob wasn’t even ranked as anything, yet I got no respect from him. I roll my eyes again and checked my emails when I feel a breeze envelope me. I look up to expect Aimee and her entourage but instead see two men walking towards my desk.
“Hello, I’m DC Fletcher and this is my partner detective Williams, is Mr Evans available?”
Just as I am about to respond, Aimee Lynn walks through the office doors with her team. I look between the detectives and Aimee Lynn. Weighing which one I should respond to first. I excuse myself and rush towards Aimee.
“Miss Lynn –”
“Urgh, my mother is Miss Lynn.” With a nervous smile, I correct myself.
“Aimee, would you like to follow me and I will take you and your team to Greg Evans.” We walk pass the policemen and straight towards the elevator. It was then I was reminded that I was meant to call Greg’s secretary when Aimee arrived and offer beverages, but with the policemen catching me off guard, I’d failed to do any of what I was required to do. The elevator dings as the doors open and I’m left contemplating going in or running back to my desk to call Greg.

Before I have a chance to act, Aimee and her team walk through without my permission. I step inside with them, catching a glimpse of the officers who requested for Greg just only a few minutes ago and give them a nervous smile. Sort out Aimee then attend the officers, I chant to myself as the doors shut.
We reach the seventh floor and walk towards Kelly.
“Hi Kelly, could you let Mr Evans know Aimee Lynn is here.”
Her eyes flicker with confusion and anger for just a second before it’s gone.
“Sure Taylor, I won’t be a minute Miss Lynn.”
I hear Aimee groan behind me from what I can assume was due to being referred to as ‘Miss Lynn’. Kelly disappears into Greg’s office, returning with Greg closely behind her.
“Aimee, what a pleasure! Great to have you here, please follow me.”
He walks off with Aimee and her team, leaving me with Kelly.
“Wasn’t you meant to call me before she arrived?”
“I was caught up.” She chuckles and shrugs her shoulders.
“Have fun explaining that to Greg.”
I turn to walk back to the elevator when I remembered the two officers I left waiting for me.
“Well when he has a spare minute, there’s two policemen asking for him downstairs.”
“Pardon?” The confusion in her voice clearly showed she wasn’t paying attention to what I was saying up until ‘policemen’.
“Two policemen are asking to speak with Greg, I’ll have them up shortly.” The doors ping open.
“No! Have them wait downstairs, I’ll get Greg to come and see them.”
I nod my head and enter into the lift. By the time I’d reached the lobby, both officers were nose deep into the guest book I keep just in front of my monitor. The noise of my heels and the marble floor cause the men to look up from the book.
“Hi officers, my apologies that I left you so abruptly. Mr Evans is in a meeting –”
“With the girl you just took to him I presume?” The officer named Williams curtly said. Lost for words I nod and take my usual position around the desk.
“Yes, if you could give him a few minutes he should be with you shortly.”

The officers walk off talking to each other quietly. What were they looking for in the guest book? My curiosity gets the better of me, whilst still watching the men I grab the book and slide it to my keyboard. They’d left it on sign-ins from Monday this week. Looking for something I clearly had no idea what it was exactly I was looking for, my telephone rang, echoing around the lobby.
Hesitantly I pick up, knowing it could be Greg on the other line, “Hello?”
“I asked you to do two things Taylor, offer refreshments and call Greg’s secretary. You did none!” Bob shouts down the line.
“I was dealing with another issue for Greg, I was pressed for time.” I whisper, trying not to attract the attention of the officers, who were already making their way back to me.
“Clients are our priority, keeping them happy is our priority. Delivering outstanding service is just simple knowledge–” By now the officers stood before me.
“Bob I have a customer, I’ll call you back.” I drop the phone on him mid-sentence and address the officers.
“We don’t have all morning Miss?”
“Taylor.” I answer DC Fletcher.
“Taylor, we don’t have a lot of time. We have a serious investigation underway and need to speak with Greg Evans as quickly as possible. We don’t want to have to go up to meet him, but quite frankly, I don’t like waiting.”
Just as Fletcher finishes his sentence, Greg appears from the elevator, clearly confused by their visit.
“Officers I heard you were after me?”
“Mr Evans, I’m DC Fletcher and this is my partner detective Williams – do you have a spare moment, we have some questions we need to ask you?” DC Fletcher said addressing Greg.
“Of course, right this way.”

Greg and the officers take off as I’m left watching them walk away. I look back at the guest book remembering the officers mentioned they had an investigation underway and wonder what that had to do with who came to the office on Monday and Greg. I look back again and notice DC Fletcher staring at me. I wonder what Greg has gone and got himself involved in now?

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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The Hunt – Part 1

She sat frozen, watching Gabriel watch her. He was being sentenced to ten years in prison for domestic violence and numerous sexual assaults. She tried to ignore his glare, the way in which she was aware of the fierce fire that burned behind his expressionless face. She knew what that look meant and even as the security guards began handcuffing him, she felt more vulnerable than ever.
At first he tried to defend himself. Tried to lie and claim that Marina had wanted it too. The beating, the abuse, the constant verbal insults, in his mind she had wanted it…asked for it even. According to Gabriel, it was a mental thing, that somehow sexually excited her. Being dominated and oppressed was something that apparently gave her thrills.

He even continued to state the their daughter was planned, that she had begged for child, to extend their family and that he was more than happy to give his woman what she desired. Marina shut her eyes, remembering how hard Gabriel had knocked her out that night, to awake the next morning naked on the floor beside her bed. She had almost left him then, she knew she had to get out before he had killed her. But, every time she was close to escaping, she realised the fear that wrapped itself around her was more than the one that was with her whilst she lived with Gabriel. She then knew leaving him scared her than being with him. It was that fear that had kept her grounded with Gabriel until Elina was born.
She was now bound to this man, he had not only tainted her, made her undesirable, but he had officially claimed her by giving her a child, whom she loved dearly. Two conflicting emotions with people who ran the same blood as each other, things as such was enough to confuse Marina and keep her with Gabriel. Through the abuse, the torment and the constant demeaning comments – this was what she knew, and that monster had given her a beautiful daughter, at times she found herself thanking him for Elina’s life.

She opened her eyes to see Gabriel walking away with the guards. But just before he disappeared from her sight, he turned and stared at Marina. No last words, or even a shift in his face, just a dead glare that Marina knew she wouldn’t forget anytime soon.
That was the last time Marina saw Gabriel, being handcuffed and taken away to serve ten years of his life behind bars…that was until now. Four years later and she had found herself just as tightly wound up as she was when Gabriel had first entered this place. She sat on the uncomfortable plastic chair that was nailed to the ground, unable to move as the nerves was all too much for her to bare. Why had she decided to see him again? He’d asked for her to bring Elina, which Marina wholeheartedly disagreed with when she first received his letter. But what made her still come? What was it that Gabriel had said to bring her to this confined room, under the tight surveillance of the guards – back to the man who she was more than grateful was behind bars?

A door opened and in walked the inmates. Marina’s breath caught in her lungs as she remembered the letter she received from Gabriel. Asking her for her forgiveness, for a chance for him to explain his actions. Four years was a lot of time for someone to go over their behaviour and he now knew where he went wrong, he simply wanted to apologise. At first she refused to even consider going to see him, but after some thought she thought he deserved to explain his actions, maybe he could change. And he certainly had.
He was far more built from the last time she saw him, his shoulders broad and square almost looked too big for his jumpsuit. His chest was clearly visibly through his clothes as it pressed tightly on the material, showing her the definition of how much muscle he had gained through his four years of being in prison. He was bigger and more threatening compared to the Gabriel she once knew. What had she done? And was she truly ready to hear what he had to say to her now, whilst he was walking slowly towards her?

Family Debt

 

I thought I’d handled the issue well. You see, I borrowed a couple thousands, but I had plans to regain the money and return it, it was meant to be a simple loan. Simple my ass. Because once a bitch named interest and her friend loan began working hand-in-hand, the couple thousands, started to accumulate. Thousands turned into more thousands, and if I didn’t pay up this week, it’d turn into a million. And who else to tell me this bitter sweet news other than my father. Ah! My good old father. The bastard who’d get a kick at praying on helpless women, and his own son, the bastard who’d steal money and then gamble it all away, leaving his “family” starving, the bastard who appeared in my office in the finest suit on Monday to tell me, with a smug smile that the company I owed this loan to was now his, and that the interest was increasing. The bastard, that not only crippled his child emotionally when he was 15 but was ready to cripple his child again, financially at 36.

I could still remember the way mother stared at me from time-to-time, looking at me like she hated me. Why? Because I was ‘blessed’, as what many women would refer to it as, with chestnut hair and dark brown eyes. The things that drew ladies closer made my mum stare at me like I was the one who’d given her the black eye, or swollen lip, or cuts and bruises on her body. I’d grown to hate him for what he did, what he made us. Dysfunctional.

I promised I wouldn’t let him win, she cried in my arms that night, and I promised, if ever there was a chance to prove my strength, my purpose, my protection towards my mother, I’d prove he won’t win; and I’ll be damned by God if I let him win again.

So let this shit begin.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

 

Big 6 [Part 1]

Harriett could read people in a matter of seconds. And it took her less than a second to realise she wasn’t going to like the woman that stood before her. Her stance and her atmosphere-oozed with power, power she clearly didn’t have once she’d left this school building. Harriett could have mentally listed approximately seven things about the woman that stood hovering over her that she disapproved, but the one she found herself repeating the most was the way she was looking at her. Like I was nothing. The woman’s chin lifted ever so slightly. Not in a defiant way, but more so challenging Harriett. This woman wasn’t going to be easy interviewing, and staying calm was going to be even harder, Harriett thought. It didn’t help that the woman was a foot or two taller than her, so any action the woman performed, like gesturing towards a chair for her to sit in, felt like a demand that she was forced to comply with.

Harriett politely declined the offer to sit, knowing if she sat down her height would further decrease along with the power this woman seemed to try to take away from her.

“What can I do for you detective…?”

The woman said sitting behind her desk, speaking whilst rearranging the items that were already neatly organised on the table.

“Costa.”

The woman nodded and smiled, in attempt to hurry her along with the conversation.

“Yes, so what can I do for you today?”

Harriett stood behind the seat that was offered to her and brought her pad of notes out, ignoring the blatant hint the woman threw at her showing her lack of interest.

“I have a few questions for you.”

“Regarding?”

“Regarding the two missing children from your school, Annabelle Adedun and Abiola Lawal?”

Harriett watched her face attentively to see how she reacted to the news about two of her pupils being classified as missing. But only felt angered when the woman shrugged nonchalantly as though she hadn’t taught or known both girls that were students in her own school.

“Detective, I have many pupils in this school. Calling out a name or two won’t help narrow down who you’re referring to. I assume you have photo’s, information or something more specific to help me remember these girls?”

Harriett controlled her anger and plastered a smile on her lips, she’s testing me, she thought. There weren’t many reasons as to why Harriett disliked teachers, but one reason for sure was that they never seem to turn off that patronising voice they used on their students. No matter who you were, teachers were most likely going to speak to you in the same tone they spoke to every child who walked through those gates every morning and who walked out every afternoon.

“I’m surprised you, as the head mistress, is unfamiliar with the names of pupils that attended your school. When I was in school my head teacher made sure she familiarised herself with all the students.”

“Well detective, I don’t know what school you were taught at,” She paused, far longer than needed. The unspoken words added to Harriett’s anger, but she calmed the roaring seas in her mind and allowed the woman to finish. “But it’s not a priority to learn the names in this institution. What is the priority is to ensure the students are learning in a safe environment and are getting the most out of the education we provide for them.”

“How safe can this environment be if two of your pupils were reported missing a week ago, whilst on school premises?”

This had gotten her attention. Straightening her back and squinting her eyes slightly, she looked at Harriett daring her to add to her last comment. With no further addition to her question, the head teacher leaned forward on her desk, resting her chin on both her hands that were intertwined with each other.

“Are you claiming that ­I – the head mistress – played a part in the disappearance of these two pupils or are you just being disrespectful about the way I handle and run this school?”

“Neither, I just want to know a little about the students and their progression in school. Whether they were failing or not, did they have behavioural issues, was there any complications between the girls and other students?” The head mistress dropped her hand and slowly rose from her chair, not breaking eye contact with Harriett. She slowly walked around the desk, sorting a loose sheet of paper and stood head to head with Harriett.

“You’ve come to me in the middle of the school day, insulted my procedures and as I will take it, have attempted to place me under the suspicion that I may be a suspect of the disappearance of those two girls. Whatever information you are looking for would not be coming from me detective. Maybe try their parents, or close friends but for now I suggest you turn around and leave my office – because there is nothing here to help a person like you with this little case you’re trying to build.”

“A person like me? Being a detective or being black?”

The head mistress bent down just a little so that their faces were a few inches away from each other and slid on a small smile. Looking into Harriett’s eyes, holding her gaze as she spoke, “Either, take your pick.”

Countdown [Part 2]

Last night was difficult for Anna and the cycling had only done so little to settle her nerves, which left her too restless to sleep. All night she stayed awake, remembering that night seven years ago. The memories fresh in her mind, reminding her who she used to be and who she is now after what had occurred. Her life was no longer the same. She was no longer the same. She was eroding away in front of her own eyes and there was nothing she could do to stop what seemed to be the inevitable. Dammit, she muttered to herself in her bed. One night was all it took to have her clutching onto her sheets again for dear life, when she was in no apparent harm. She thought about the letter again and the photo and shock inwardly. It was stressful enough to not know whether this was a just someone with sardonic humour, but something in the back of her mind screamed alarms.
The same voice that screamed alarms seven years ago, but she ignored. Anna had learnt her lesson and she learnt the hard way. She’d find herself rummaging through her memories to see if she knew the man in the photo, but nothing came to mind. Instead she’d try to remember the man laying dead in the picture and then remember Detective Sutherland.
There was something about Sutherland that made Anna feel protected. And that alone was what was scaring her. She barely knew the man, let alone spoke to him. But the aura that fed off him was something she treasured, a feeling she had no awareness that she desired, but had wanted so deeply. Anna wasn’t prepared to teach today, with her mind still wandering back and forth between Sutherland and the photo, she wasn’t focused enough to prepared students for upcoming exams. But she was sure as hell she wasn’t going to stay at home, where there was definitely no escape of the events of last night and Sutherland. She began to clear her mind and focus on the paperwork that was stacked on her desk as her students were reading, when the door knocked. She looked up to see Mike standing in her doorway, with that grin that made her skin want to turn inside out.

“Miss Phillips can I have a word outside please?” Anna excused herself from the class and made her way outside, hoping Mike wasn’t trying to ask her on yet another date, because she didn’t know what other excuse to give him to avoid his proposal. It was bad enough he kept asking knowing she wasn’t interested in him, but being her boss made everything more difficult. Mike didn’t know when to take the hint, especially when it came to Anna, and he didn’t seem to read expression very well too. Because if he looked closely for just a second, he would realise every time he spoke to Anna, she’d recoil within herself. Every time he stepped just a little too close to her, she made sure the gap between them was more than big enough to give her the space she needed. So whatever Mike thought he was seeing between himself and Anna was far from reality.
“What’s the issue?” Anna asked looking at Mike. He shrugged, directing her towards a figure that was behind her with his gaze. She turned around to see Detective Sutherland, standing just as large and confident as he did in her living room the night before.
“I have no idea, but I do hope you’re not starting trouble Miss Phillips – you’re too much of an asset to lose.”
She cringed at his comment, knowing what he meant and faced the detective.

 

Sutherland, who had caught every meaning to that slimy principals comment, clenched his jaw, watching Anna attentively to see if she’d received his subliminal meaning. When he saw her slightly flinch and turn away from him, he decided to react the same, there was no need to fight this woman’s battles just yet – even though he wanted to. No matter how much he tried to fight it, it was the first time in a long time he wanted to protect any woman who wasn’t family or his partner. The world was a cruel place, it gave when it wanted to give and took when it wanted to take. He thought of his life only just a few years ago and grew stiff at the sour memories. He needed to pull himself together, this was no time to reminisce on the past and the ‘what could have’s’, instead he focused on the now, and that was finding out more about Anna Phillips and who would send her a picture of a dead man.
“I have a few questions to ask you Miss Phillips, is there somewhere private we can talk?”
Kane wanted privacy, with the principal still lingering around like an unwanted smell, he didn’t want to ask anything that could possibly cause complications to the investigation. Anna looked towards the class and Kane.
“I hope you don’t mind sparing 30 minutes, I’m in the middle of teaching. But after, I’ll be free to answer any of your questions.” Kane nodded then faced the principal.

“Is there a place I can wait until Miss Phillips is finished?” He nodded and began walking down the corridor. Kane could destroy this weasel who thought he was a man in a second if he truly wanted to. Not only did Kane tower over him, but is was clear enough that physically, Kane weighed and worked out more than this principal did. As the man continued down the corridor, leading Kane further away from Anna, Kane dared to turn around to catch one more glimpse of Anna and did he catch an eyeful. Not only did her pencil skirt accentuate her curvaceous body figure, but the shirt she wore grew tighter around her breasts, almost making Kane salivate. Like a dog, because I’m behaving like one. Kane shook his head, trying to focus on the matter at hand. But when Anna hadn’t entered the classroom, he realised she too was watching him. When he caught her eyes staring at him, she disappeared in the classroom without giving him a chance to react. The principal led him to the waiting room outside of his office.

“Sorry,” Kane spoke. “Does Miss Phillips have many friends here?”
“A few,” the principal replied nonchalantly.”She does her job and leaves. I’d consider myself one of those few she classifies as a friend. I’ll always look out for Miss Phillips.”
Kane’s body tensed, this man was more than interested in Anna. It seemed he would do more that the average to get her attention, which made Kane dislike him even more.
Through gritted teeth Kane spoke, “what about teaching?”
“Oh, Anna always goes that extra mile for her students, there’s no doubt in that. She is definitely an asset to this school and losing her would be a major loss for me.”
How much more could Kane take before his primal instincts took the better of him. He took a deep breath and continued.
“So you’d say she’s a good colleague?”
“She’s amazing. Just very quiet.” A woman spoke from behind Kane. He turned around and was met by a tall, slim ebony beauty. She greeted him with a smile and stuck her hand out for a shake.
“I’m Toni, Mike you have a call on line one.”
In a flash Mike the principal disappeared into his office, leaving Kane standing alone with Toni.
“I’m –” Kane wasn’t sure what to address himself as. He didn’t want Anna’s business spreading like wildfire, and he wasn’t sure what the repercussions would be if he told Toni who he was. “I’m an old school friend.”
Toni smiled whilst looking towards Mike, who was now behind his desk, chatting away on the phone.
“Mike’s odd, don’t mind him. We’ve all guessed he has a crush on Anna, but if she’s going to ignore it, then so will we.” Kane looked at Mike then shook his head.
“A little unprofessional, don’t you think?”
“Hell, when it comes to Anna, the man acts like he’s never seen a woman before.” She huffed and continued. “Chasing like a dog without a leash, it’s embarrassing. The man just doesn’t know when to stop.” Kane made a mental note of Mike, and thought to conduct a background check on him when he got back to the office.

“Does he behave like that all the time?” Kane asked, partly to keep the conversation going, whilst wanting to know more about Anna.
“It went up a notch when Anna’s ex split with her…that was years ago now. But ever since then, Mike never stopped trying.”
There was an ex, Kane made another mental note and decided to ask Anna when he saw her. His phone vibrated in his pocket, whilst he was just about to continue his conversation with Toni. He grabbed it, seeing the caller ID and decided that the conversation could wait.
“Sorry excuse me.” He left the building, praying his partner Charlie had some good news about the case.

The Little Girl [Part 1]

Reports had stacked up far beyond what she could even recall gathering. Amongst those were email requests from clients and reporters who had been more than intrusive on Olivia’s work and private information. She wasn’t interested in responding to those emails, all they wanted was to put their noses into places where it wasn’t needed. After hours of categorising her workload she began to put pen to paper when her phone rang. Dammit. She grabbed her phone and looked at the caller ID before answering, Lieutenant Young. Her thumb lightly traced the answer button as she stared at the name. How long had it been, five months? Olivia remembered her last time she’d been with Young, all her insides tighten at the memory. There was always something about Young that had Olivia tense in a way she tried to reject far often than need be. Remembering she’d left the phone unanswered, she picked up the call.

“L-Lieutenant?”

“Olivia.”

The connection that she had questioned for months hadn’t just been an imagination. It was there and still strong as it was five months ago. With a struggle, she put on her professional voice, ignoring how her body had reacted to his voice.

“Is there something I can help you with?”

“Yes,” he spoke with a husky voice. Olivia rejected the urge to feed into her need and desire and let him continue. “I mean, I’ve got a case here and need your help.”

He wanted her and that was obvious. But he hadn’t called for that, something was wrong and he’d called for help.

“I assume you need me now?”

“Yes, if it’s possible?”

Her eyes gazed at the pile that continued to gain in height and ran a hand through her hair. Whether the workload was a mass amount or not, she knew due to the fact that Young had called her, she’d oblige to any request he made. You’re pathetic Olivia, so pathetic.

“Sure, I’ll be there shortly.”

She cut the phone and with an exasperated sigh, stood up stretching her arms and wondered what case Young was working on that would require her expertise. She recently read in the news a case Young had been working on. A child had died in the hands of his own mother, yet the mother was still able to walk the streets free no matter how much Young had tried to put her away, due to her attorney.

Grabbing her car keys, she left her office sure to return after her visit to the precinct. Weary of the poor weather the Cincinnati skies had showered upon everyone, she slowly walked towards her Ford Fiesta, making sure the snow beneath her feet were solid enough to handle the pressure she applied.

It hadn’t taken her too long to reach her destination, which is probably why they called her, she thought, hoping there was more to Young’s invitation. Stop it Olivia, just find out what he wants. She buried her hope deep within a place where she was sure she couldn’t reach and focused on the task before her. Bracing herself for the frosty weather, she got out her Ford Fiesta and walked towards the building. Shaking off the snow, she looked around noticing how busy it was and found what looked like to be the reception.

“Hello.”

“Dr Lint?”

“Yes, is Lieutenant Young around?”

“You’re here.”

A deep voice rumbled behind her, making her turn around. He hadn’t changed. Lieutenant Young amongst two officers made their way towards her, giving Olivia enough time to get a glimpse of how Young had developed over the few months they hadn’t seen each other. Young was the youngest in the force to become a Lieutenant, yet held so much confidence. Whether that was because of his huge frame or his stern face, either or, no one attempted to cross his path. He not only strived to gain the best possible outcome, but he always seemed to have that golden intuition that helped solve his cases. As far as Olivia had known, he had only failed three times to close a case in the eleven years of being a cop and last month was one of them.

“Lieutenant, how are you?”

“No need for formalities, call me Nicholas.”

Olivia only realised how great his frame was after being so close to him. She wasn’t a woman who was dependent on anyone, but being beside Young made her feel small but not in a way which she felt vulnerable. I’ve missed feeling like this. It’s been so long. She didn’t despise the feeling, in an odd sense she enjoyed it, probably far more than she should have. She shook his hand, ignoring the electrifying shock that ran through her body and focused on the matter at hand.

“So what did you need me for Lieutenant?”

He gave her a quick but brief smile, noticing her obvious remark to ignore his previous request and angled her towards the corridor.

“I thought it would be better to let you see first hand with what we’re trying to work with.”

As they walked through the corridor, with the remaining officers behind both her and Young, she tried to ignore the gut wrenching feeling that began brewing in her stomach. She knew all to well that the last time she walked this path was to help solve a child trafficking case, and Olivia tried so hard to forget those memories.

“Another child I guess?” Without looking at her he nodded.

“Just step into this room.” She opened the door and walked in, sighing as she witnessed from the one sided mirror a small fragile girl, who probably lacked nutrition in a large black jacket. The little girl had her fists tightly balled in her laps with her head down, letting stray clumpy hairs fall.

“She’s so young.” Olivia murmured to herself.

“This is both Detective Dorian Moore, the lead detective of this case and his partner Detective Andrew Williams. Both detectives came across a blood bath this evening and the only living thing left is this little girl.”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus indeed-” Detective Moore spoke reaching his hand out for a shake. She took his hand, instantly comparing it to Young’s and then disregarded the thought. “After she was recovered from the scene all she’s done is sit, with her head down.”

“We can’t even get a reaction out of her, she almost seems as though she can’t hear us.”

Detective Williams said looking at the girl through the one-way mirror. She must have been through a lot Olivia thought, definitely nothing she hadn’t come across before.

“We tried to see if she was possibly deaf, but she was still unresponsive.”

“How did you try that?” Olivia asked Moore who seemed to hold a grave look on his face.

“My brother’s deaf, so I learnt how to communicate through sign-language.” She nodded then turned to the little girl who hadn’t moved an inch during their conversation.

“And she didn’t respond to that either?”

“No.” Young had said, closer to her than she had anticipated. She steadied her heart and focused on the girl.

“We tried everything.” Williams said rustling hair that once had been carefully groomed, but now held a rough look.

“Apart from you.”

Trying to ignore the double meaning behind his comment, knowing it was her alone who had caught it, she pushed those disobeying thoughts further away in her mind, and she stared at the child who’d probably seen more than her mind could comprehend and began devising a strategy.

“Before anything I can’t promise to give you any critical information tonight. This girl has probably witnessed too much to even function anymore, my main priority is to get her functioning again, have her involved in idle conversation and then I’ll begin working on pulling out information in relation to the case.”

“Anything is better than nothing.” His voice ricocheted around the room, leaving Olivia vibrating. Waiting until she had gathered her composure, she turned to face Young, who was no more than a foot or two away from her.

“Is there any other aspects of the crime scene I should be aware of?”

Trying to gain an understanding of how she could formulate her questions without pressing any trigger buttons.

“First we need your trust. What we disclose with you cannot be recorded or broadcasted, not until things play out in our hand more favourably than now.”

Olivia gave Young a firm nod, knowing far too well the extent of those bottom-feeding journalists. Once they got an earful of any of her cases, they piled up at her office requesting for a statement, she hadn’t needed Young to go on to understand what he was saying.

“You have my trust Lieutenant.”

With a dark look in his eyes, he looked to his colleagues who shared the same look as he did and took a deep breath, his jaw working as he faced Olivia.

“Nine, nine dead mutilated bodies were found with the little girl. So Olivia tread carefully.”

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Mr Winters [Part 1]

It wasn’t the first time the police had pulled Hugo Winters into their interrogation room and played good cop bad cop with him when he refused to cooperate. But just as usual, he always found himself walking out of the precinct with a smug smile on his face, as the police had once again missed something vital that his attorney, Sarah Rayne, had picked up and used against them.

He and Sarah had become a team. An unstoppable force that even the police couldn’t handle. No matter what evidence they may have gathered against Hugo, whether that being legitimate evidence or fabricated (which he was sure had happened on a number of occasions), Sarah always found loopholes in their accusations that left him a free man.

Now standing at the top of the stairs of the precinct, feeling untouchable, a swarm of bottom-feeders gathered around him. Shoving microphones in his face, asking for a response after being taken to the precinct for the third time this month. He forced his annoyance away and began walking to his car that was already awaiting his arrival. With tape recorders, cameras and phones floating around him, he had to contain his anger before losing his composure. He despised reporters. All they did was feed off of others fame and success, and knowing the trials and tribulations Hugo had to cross to get to where he was, being the CEO of his own firm, he was not interested in giving people freebies. Especially if none were handed to him in his time of dire need.

Nearing his car, a female stood in front of him blocking him from entering his vehicle.

“Mr Winters, do you have any comments following the third arrest being made to you this month?” Hugo’s mouth opened to dismiss the woman’s question, when Sarah came from beside him.

“Mr Winters would not be answering yours,” she then looked at the rest of the other eager reporters who were waiting for any sort of information that could give them a story. “…or any of your questions. Good day.”

And with that, Sarah swiftly moved the bottom-feeder out of his way, giving him access to his vehicle. He sat in the passengers seat at the back, whilst Sarah got in with him. Closing the door, Sarah instructed Ainsworth to drive them to Hugo’s second property.

“Second?”

“Hugo, if those many assholes can gather at your release, imagine how many are lurking at your house. The second property is best, just for privacy. Until I can get a court order for all of them.”

Hugo smiled at her. He didn’t only hire Sarah because he knew her for most of his life, but because the way her brain functioned was beyond unique. She was fast on her feet and more in her brain. She thought of outcomes and solutions before problems even rose. That along with her on-going loyalty to him had deserved her the position of his right hand man, well woman.

“Well, someone’s a little tense.”

She shot him an angry look and he returned her glare with a cheeky grin. Shuffling his body closer to her as she returned her attention back into her briefcase.

“I’m not tense Hugo, I’m just doing my job,” She looked at him with frustrated eyes “far more often than I would like, if I’m quite frank. Can’t you stay out of the police eye for a second?”

He rolled his eyes and slid back into his original position, knowing she was going to talk his ear off about reducing his illegal activities and staying clean for a couple of months. She ordered Ainsworth to give them some privacy, whilst facing Hugo as the partition began rising.

“Not now Sarah, we’ve got more important things to deal with.”

“And this isn’t important? Hugo, I’ve only given you the best of my ability, but soon they may not stumble, the police might actually do their jobs right and there won’t be no way I could pull you out of it.”

He looked at her and gave her another one of his cheeky grins, making her roll her eyes. She pulled sheets of paper out of her briefcase and shook them towards him, not giving him eye contact. He grabbed her hand surprising her and then pulled her towards him, dropping her briefcase in the process and other loose sheets of paper. He grabbed her neck and pulled her towards him, making sure both their eyes were locked onto each other.

“Mm, I wonder if you still taste sweet?”

Her cheeks flushed whilst he continued to admire her beauty. Sarah had not only been Hugo’s attorney and friend, but on rare occasions the reason as to why they connected became blurred and more than just what the public were aware of. A connection Hugo knew far too well how to ignite and awaken, but also shut down. She held a strong persona in front of the cops, but when it came to Hugo, he knew what buttons to press to keep her silent and turn that stern face into something worth watching for a lifetime.

“Not now Hugo.” She said breathlessly.

“I haven’t even started yet,” He said kissing her jawline, slowly moving towards her neck, where her neck beat visibly due to her excitement. “Besides, you seemed tense and you know you work better when you’re more relaxed.”

With her hands still clenched around the papers, he used his free hand to caress her chest through her shirt as he began kissing her neck. Her throat worked to keep her moans quiet. Dropping the papers she clutched to on the floor, she used her free hand to caress his head as he planted soft kisses on her. He moved from her neck to her lips, which were parted slightly, teasing her by biting down on her bottom lip enough to cause her to grow impatient and pull his head closer to her to embrace the kiss fully. Feeling more and more hungry with each kiss they shared, Hugo began reaching for the buttons on her shirt, finding his mind stilled, as all he did was focus on Sarah and releasing his steady building desire. Until Ainsworth’s voice cut through the speakers, tearing them apart, but only by a fraction as reality came crashing back into Hugo’s mind.

“Sorry to disturb you Mr Winters, but I’ve noticed we have a tail. What would you like me to do about it?”

Sarah turned in her seat in attempt to catch any type of detail of the tail, but Hugo gently tugged her to face the front as he calmly thought of a way to deal with the issue.

“Leave them to tail us, however take note of the drivers license plate number and then give it to me when we reach the hills.”

“Very well.”

Hugo knew he hadn’t needed to worry with whom ever was following him, because he made sure he surrounded himself with able people. If he really wanted the tail gone, he knew Ainsworth would have done things a chauffeur didn’t need to do, to make sure the job was done. Especially with Ainsworth once having been in the army, he knew that his eyesight was more than capable of driving safely whilst still getting the license plate of the tail. Focusing back on Sarah, who was still tangled in his embrace, he smiled giving her a light kiss on the lips.

“Mr Winters, you know you play far too much?” She smiled whilst analysing his face.

“Only with you Miss Rayne. However currently, all I request from you is to make the charges go away.”

She pulled away from his embrace and grabbed the paper she’d let go of, during their heated moment of passion.

“I nearly forgot since you pulled me,” Still focusing on the scattered paper laid near their feet. “I sorted two of the charges.”

“How’d you manage to do that?” He said letting go off of her slightly, so she had easier access in picking up her papers.

“Me? Apart from working my magic, like I always do, I had a quick talk with you’re accountant and she let me know you had loose change hanging around, so I paid most of them. However, others are demanding a lot more.”

“How much more?”

“Enough that I’d need you to confirm the amount they are suggesting. It’s a lot, but we have other ways of making those charges go…” Hugo lightly chuckled and faced Sarah.

“And I thought you said I should cut down on the illegal activities huh?”

She shrugged her shoulders and returned her focus back on gathering the papers. Hugo kept quiet thinking about what Sarah was suggesting. Getting rid of some of those pestering people seemed very ideal to Hugo. However, being under tight observation by the police, he was sure that wasn’t the best way to get rid of some of the people who had been bothering him. Knowing the police would be eager to arrest him if they were under the suspicion he was doing anything illegal, Hugo thought better of just simply ‘getting rid’ of those other people. He stared at Sarah, who was now analysing some of the claims she spoke of. They were a powerful pair. He never mixed business with pleasure, but Sarah was far too sweet to let slip passed his fingers. He knew there was a chance this romance could be the end of their business, but Hugo was a smart man and knew when it was time to depart from a person before it got sticky.

 

Even though they’d driven to his second property, reporters still gathered by his house. Making it difficult for him to reach his property. Sarah had known they would be waiting for him, Hugo was aware of this too. But he didn’t know they’d somehow find themselves at his second property, the one that was meant to be far more private than his first one. He knew he had a few phone calls to make before he settled and put this day behind him. Someone was either tipping these reporters off, which meant the team that he thought was loyal, had a snake. Or the cops had a close eye on him, closer than he initially believed. He clenched his fists, remembering the tail that had been following him earlier and took note to ask Ainsworth immediately for the plate number. Sarah sighed and straightened out her suit as she closed her briefcase. She face Hugo as the car slowed nearing his home.

“Don’t say a word, I’ll handle this Hugo.”

Before Hugo could respond, Sarah had already opened her car door, to flashing lights and microphones in her face. She shut the door behind her, not allowing anyone to get any pictures of Hugo. As Sarah spoke with the reporters, Ainsworth shifted in his seat.

“Sir?” Ainsworth’s voice broke through the speakers, reminding Hugo he wasn’t alone.

“Yes?”

“Would you like me to get you into your property without them following?”

Hugo contemplated the offer, knowing Ainsworth would manoeuvre with ease in the crowded area of reporters. But Hugo didn’t want to ruin the strategy Sarah was creating for him, so he sat still and awaited for her.

“No, that’d be okay. But please email me the plate number of the tail we had earlier.”

“Yes sir.”

He smiled, again satisfied with the amount of trust he placed in Ainsworth and watched as the group of bottom feeders began to disperse and move back into their vehicles. He didn’t know what Sarah had said to the crowd, but she had somehow managed to get his once packed driveway free of reporters. She deserves a raise, he thought.

She walked to his door and knocked on the window, signalling for him to come out. Smoothing his three-piece suit, he stepped out his car and walked towards his house, grateful Sarah handled the reporters.

Hugo was a wealthy man and each and every one of his three properties replicated that wealth. The second property was in a private location far from the city of New York and had security surrounding the house 24/7. It was obvious he had to have some words with the security manager. If a hoard of reporters had the ability to cluster in his driveway, someone hadn’t done the job Hugo was paying them to do. But at least that was one problem solved. Thanks to the lady standing beside him. As soon as they were out of the public eye, Hugo grabbed Sarah’s waist, pulling her towards him. Their bodies crashed as he kissed her, trying to channel his annoyance and irritation into passion.

A small cough coming from his living room caused Hugo to stop his affection for Sarah. He looked at Sarah, wondering whether she had heard the cough. He hadn’t invited anyone and he surely didn’t expect any visitors, so who had just loudly coughed to make their presence known? Her expression mirrored his own, causing him to act based on instincts. He silently made his way into the living room, with Sarah close behind him, tapping silently on her phone contacting Ainsworth. Aware if anything happened with Hugo, she was to provide support until Ainsworth showed up. Rounding the corner that was the entrance to the living room, Sarah waited for Hugo to pounce on the intruder. But when she saw his body stiffen, she circled around him to see whom he was staring at.

“Hello Mr Winters, it seems as though you’ve been in trouble again.”

“What are you doing here Penèlope?”

The young lady stood, allowing a river of blonde hair to cascade down her shoulders. Her red lipstick was a strong contrast against the white fur coat and the black silk fitted dress she wore.

“Oh, we have unfinished business Mr Winters.”

 

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Countdown

It was late, later than usual. Anna hadn’t planned leaving work so late; this was the second time this week I’ve gotten home when it’s dark. She checked her watch, 19:21. It was far too late for her to be getting home at this time, especially when it didn’t take too long for the Denver skies to get dark and cloudy with snow in the winter. She clutched her jacket tighter to herself, feeling alone and cold. There was always something about the evening that didn’t make her feel safe. Maybe the way the darkness slowly consumed any and everything in its way was why Anna shuddered. If she drove, this journey wouldn’t be as bad as it seemed, but she didn’t drive or ride her bike today either.

The streets were silent. Nothing but the wind made noise, and Anna hated that. It did nothing other than highlight the fact that she was alone, or even worse someone was quietly watching her. She balled her hands into fists, trying to ignore the faint fear that began slithering up her spine, but she couldn’t shake it off. She increased her stride, picking up the pace, fear escalating with each step. There was no real reason for Anna to be scared, but she kept thinking of the possibilities that could occur if she didn’t get home soon. Someone could jump out and rob me, or worse… Anna took a deep breath and without thinking began running home. One foot in front of the other, trying not to miscalculate her footing.

 

Finally she reached her house. She hurriedly searched for her keys in her jacket pocket, but realised they weren’t there. Oh fuck, where the hell are my keys? With panic slowly gripping her body, she threw her bag onto the ground and began rummaging through the past test papers; homework and essays then pass the laptop where she found her keys. She picked her bag up, quickly checking the street to see if anyone else was there. She was alone. Of course I’m alone she thought, nobody was ever there, it was always her mind that got the better of her. She unlocked the door then stepped inside, closing it behind her. After gathering herself, she slowly rested against the cold steel, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths wishing paranoia didn’t have such a stronghold on her like it did. Get a grip Anna; you aren’t the same woman you were seven years ago. She ran her fingers through her hair, opening her eyes, noticing the large amount of letters that lay scattered on the ground. She turned to lock the door, one bolt, then another and then the key lock. Whether her mind continuously wanted to play games on her or not, she wasn’t ready to take any chances. She dropped her bag near the umbrella stand and began gathering the letters on the ground. Sifting through the envelopes, wondering whether any of them were worth reading tonight.

 

“Work stuff, bank stuff, gym membership…what’s this?” She held a white plain letter that only had her name on it. Anna Phillips. She held the letter whilst removing her jacket. After hanging it loosely onto the coat rack, she made her way into the kitchen.

 

She considered calling Caroline, seeing as these panic attacks are getting worse. Then decided to eat first, and then figure out whether a call to Caroline was necessary. She put the letter on the table and walked to the refrigerator. Finding left over spaghetti, she grabbed the bowl and removed the foil lid. Placing the bowl in the microwave, two minutes should do it. She sat down on the dining chair and grabbed the letter, unsealing it wondering who would have gone to the trouble to hand deliver a letter to her. It wasn’t her birthday (not like anyone remembered), and she barely kept communication with her family or friends, so figuring out who would have gotten in contact with her was something she couldn’t guess. Once she’d opened the letter, she shook  the contents over the table and out came a note with a folded piece of paper. She took the note and read it,

 

‘Dear Anna Phillips,

 

I apologise for the grief and hurt I’ve laid upon you. I was foolish and unaware of what I was doing. I now know what my behaviour has caused you and I’m sorry.

Please forgive my actions.

 

                                                                                                                        10.’

 

Confused, she unravelled the other piece of paper, wondering who felt the need to apologise to her. She unfolded the paper failing to comprehend the image before her eyes. But with another moment everything clicked. A slit throat, bathed in blood, and dead eyes staring right back at her. Her hands trembled involuntarily and without thinking, she jumped out of her chair and rushed to her phone. She held her mouth trying to suppress the scream she knew would escape her lips and waited for someone to pick up. Finally, the operator came alive,

“Hello, you’ve called 911, what is your emergency?”

“Dead…someone’s dead!”

 

*******

 

It didn’t take that long for the police to show up but once they had, they secured Anna’s house within moments. People roamed the house,  whilst others were repeatedly analysing the picture. Dead eyes. Anna hadn’t moved from where the officer had questioned her earlier. He’d asked the generic questions, “So can you recall the situation to me madam?” “When was this delivered?” “Where were you before you came home?” “Do you recognise the man in the picture?” Throughout his questions she couldn’t help but tremble, remembering the picture, the man, the blood it was all too much for her. She knew something wasn’t right. First she felt like she was being watched on her way home, then that letter. She bit her lip and took a deep breath, she refused to let the police know she didn’t feel safe before she got home, because then they’d ask questions, questions she wasn’t prepared to answer, not tonight. She shut her eyes, the dead man printed on the back of her eyelids. Even though she hadn’t witnessed a real dead body, seeing one in a photo was just as bad. And maybe because she was already shaken up on her way home was what had her panicking. But something in the pit of Anna’s stomach made her know this wasn’t something to ignore. She shivered again thinking about everything; breathe Anna. She took another deep breath and gathered herself together, opening her eyes to see an officer watching her. She averted her eyes, but noticed in her peripheral vision that the officer was making her way to Anna.

 

“Would you like to take a seat madam?”

 

Anna shook her head, again refusing the offer to sit. Focusing on her breathing, she closed her eyes and tried to remember things Caroline had told her to do when she felt like a panic attack was close. Take deep breathes, forget everyone and everything around you and focus on your breathing. In through your nose and out through the mouth. Anna replicated the instructions in her head, focusing only on her breathing, shutting out the footsteps, the talking, the clicks of different equipment. Once she had control over her breathing the only thought that ran through her mind was why would anyone want to mail this to me?

 

She tried not to dwell on the question, but it was the answer to that one question that could ease her mind if she knew the answer. She held herself tighter until she could feel the air around her become smaller. She opened her eyes and her gaze was filled with a man that made Anna pause just for a second. His strong jaw structure, skin hard around the mouth, but smooth everywhere else and then his eyes stunned Anna. His glassy blue eyes held her gaze. With everything occurring, for just a moment she felt safe. For a minute this man, who she knew nothing of had made her feel safe. He stretched out his hand to shake hers and reality hit her again. The noise around the house arose again, feet continued to move, the pounding of her heart grew so loud, she grew conscious wondering whether everyone else could hear it.

 

“Anna Phillips, I’m detective Sutherland, would you like a seat, you look pale?”

She shook his hand and shook her head, looking at the ground declining the offer for the fourth time.

“Alright, could you explain what happened tonight?”

“I came home, later than usual and when I got in, I saw a pile of letters. I was going to look at them tomorrow, because I was exhausted, but one of them only had my name written on it. And I just wanted to know who would have come all the way to mail me something…”

“Then what happened afterwards?”

“I went to warm my food. Whilst it was warming, I opened the letter. There was a note and a folded piece of paper inside of the letter. I read the note, not understanding it, so I opened the paper which revealed the picture.”

“Why did you read the note first then look at the picture?”

He stood waiting, attentively listening, not forgetting any details.

“I…I don’t know. Maybe because I thought it was easier to read the note than look at the folded piece of paper first.”

“Okay, then what did you do after realising what was in the letter?”

“I rushed and called you.” He looked up, his eyes turning dark and his jaw clenching.

“I mean I called the police. I don’t know if this is a prank, but…” Anna shuddered again. Stop this Anna…at least until you’re alone. “That note and then that picture.”

 

He continued writing silently whilst she watched him. Watched him write, watched him inhale and exhale. There was something about this man that made Anna feel safe, though his build was strong, it was his aura that made Anna want to talk. Talk about everything, something she never did after the things she’s been through. She looked down, attempting to repress those memories, no matter how many times I went counselling nothing got better.

“Miss, please take a seat.”

 

She looked up, and her eyes were met with the detectives stare. He was cautious of her, this was the second time she grew pale, and why would I know that? Because I keep watching her that’s why. She slowly sat down and controlled her breathing.

“What now?” She tested her voice; glad it wasn’t replicating how she truly felt.

“Well,” He knelt in front of her and gave her a reassuring smile. “We’re going to do our best to find out who sent this to you. Then we’re going to find out whether or not this is real.”

“And if it is real?”

She looked into Kane’s eye deeply, almost pleading for him to give her an answer that would end this, but he knew if this was real, it was just the start of something dark and vile.

But he decided to smile.

“If it is real, we’ll track down the body and catch the killer.”

She nodded. He brushed a hair away from her face, gave her another smile and walked towards his team. For now he was going to ignore the foreign feeling he had towards the this woman and focus on the task at hand.

“Alright guys, what do we have?”

Sutherland asked the ME.

“Not much and I’m not surprised, I’ll take it to the lab and run it for prints. We’ve swept the house to check if the person dropped anything, but right now…nothing.” Another ME grabbed the photo from the previous one.

“Never in my 16 years have I had to analyse a body through a picture.”

Lauren, the leading medical examiner said assessing the picture.

“We’ll try to get something Kane.”

Kane nodded.

“Something is better than nothing.”

 

They nodded and shortly after, Kane’s partner walked through the door.

“What’s going on?”

As soon as Charlie spoke Kane noticed the faint smell of alcohol on his breath. Jesus, not again. Kane grabbed his partner outside.

“Are you drunk?”

Charlie smiled but shook his head, sighing.

“No, I just had a drink, maybe two.”

“We don’t have time for this Charlie, we’ve got a possible dead person lying around somewhere, a woman who is shaken to death and you’ve had a couple of drinks?” Kane lowered his voice and stood closer to Charlie, so that nobody overheard their discussion. “I need you focused Charlie, especially now.”

Charlie scratched his head then sighed, this time without a smile.

“Sorry, it’s been a rough day, I’ll sober up.” Charlie walked back inside with Kane staring at him. All he had to do was remain sober, but Charlie couldn’t do it. Charlie was a good cop. Good was even an understatement. He had talents that a lot of other cops didn’t have. Yet, he continued to drown his talents at the bottom of a bottle. Even though Kane was angry it never really lasted, Charlie had lost a lot in the past year and if drinking was the way he dealt with it, Kane wasn’t going to stop him. However, drinking during work hours wasn’t responsible and once Charlie and Kane were done here, he’d have a quick talk with him. He walked back into the house and looked at the neatly folded paper.

“Has anyone read that note yet?”

“I have,” Lauren grabbed the note and gave it to Kane. “We couldn’t make nothing out of it, seems real personal.”

Kane opened the note and read it.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

 

 

The Predator

No one knew me here, and that’s the way I liked it. I could easily mold into a crowd  and no one would acknowledge me. It wasn’t as though I caused attention to myself, but even if I tried, people never had the time to pay any attention. It was a blessing and a curse at the same time. A curse because it brought me to be the man I was today and a blessing because I’d now knew how to utilise this feature to my advantage. It was the only way I fished out my prey without being detected.

Easy was an understatement. It was almost unrealistic the amount of times I’d managed to get away with the things I’d committed, to the point I’d become sceptical of the authorities. Maybe they did know what I was up to and was waiting to capture me during my activities? Ha. I overestimate the authorities. If they had known what I was up to, they was sure to have arrested me years ago, but they hadn’t because they knew nothing of me and never would because I was never a suspect.

I had the face that many would see and double take a few times, before never looking again. My face reflected the work I’d done over the years. However, my eyes always captivated those who truly looked at my profile. When I was young it was the only compliment I’d received. I knew from young my eyes held power beyond the average blue eyes that most held. They revealed love that was never there, sympathy to a heart that was hardened and affection – all emotions that never resided within me. That’s what had made them plead. When all hope was lost, they’d look into my eyes and hope I’d release them. But that was what I enjoyed most, the fact that people never knew that it was what kept me killing, kept me collecting prey. The look in their eyes when they realised that there was no hope and that their life was now my own.

Thanks Mother.

The memories now vivid in my mind, bring a smile to my lips. How I love what I do. There was no amount of money that could be offered to me, that would deliver the same satisfaction as the one I got whilst I’d watch my victims die in my hands. My body vibrated of excitement. Just the thought of seeing my next victim limp in my hands almost made me hard in delight. And it was only about to get better when I had felt someone from afar watching me. I was rarely watched, so when a few eyes managed to linger on my face longer than need be, I knew. To the left of me, by the furthest exit of the train station, stood a female in a trench coat, with her bag in her hand and her eyes glued to my face. A man like me shouldn’t smile – my aunt once said. How I hated my aunt, I was glad those were one of her last words.

I concentrated on the woman in the trench coat, now ready to let her know that I had acknowledged her glare. As predicted she had noticed, averting her eyes swiftly away from me, clearly fighting the urge to turn around to stare once again. Usually nobody stared, however sometimes the business costume and briefcase didn’t do the trick and that’s when I had unwanted stares.

I fully turned towards her and began walking. Picking up my stride, until I’d gotten behind her. Feeling my presence, she spun around, fumbling on her feet not aware of how close I was towards her. The fast action caused her to fall to the ground, so with my premeditated hand, I reached for her waist, gripping her lightly, but firm enough for her to know that I was now in control. She visibly winced, which only made me inwardly smile and shudder in excitement.

She throws a smile, an attempt to veil the raw panic that had probably began to creep along her spine. I didn’t move my arms from her waist, asserting the power I had over her. She tried to wiggle free, but that didn’t do anything but strengthen my hold on her.

“Thank you.” I smiled, causing the colour to drain from her cheeks. I pull her close to me whilst I notice tears forming in her eyes. I began taking her towards the exit of the station, and without any struggle she willing followed. I enjoyed victims that didn’t fight, the more willing the more fun I had with them. Some may say the more they fight the more enticing the victim become, but that rule never applied to me. I liked when my victims knew their fate, because that meant that they knew all attempts of escaping were futile, which meant they compiled to everyone of my demands, praying I’d release them. Which never happened. Even as we walked towards the exit of the station, she’d had moments of courage and attempt to fight against me, but a firm tug against her hip, settled any thoughts of calling for help.

It was snowing, so it wasn’t dark – but that did little to my motives. Whilst walking past a homeless man, I dropped the briefcase. Knowing there was no use of the façade anymore. I had come out to play and when I came out to play, I needed a playground. The irony when I spotted a nearby park, filled with children and mothers surrounded the area. I took her to the far end of the park and pressed her up against a tree, facing away from the crowd. Once she had realised that she was completely powerless, the pleading began. She explained that no one would ever know what happened, stated she didn’t even know my name. Keith. I lied, but she cries, saying she didn’t hear the name. Keith. I repeat once more, only causing more tears to cascade down her cheeks. Looking into my eyes, I see the hope every victim sees when they meet my stare. The moment everyone thought they had a chance of escaping.

Please. Don’t. Please. You’re not a bad person. All these meaningless words, I smiled silencing her words, as her small perfect mouth shut in utter despair. And there was the look that had my body trembling again in excitement, the look of realisation. The moment you know whatever you do, the ending will only end one way.

With screams, sex and a death.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun