Chapter 14: .revelations
Scott’s walls were one big evidence board. He had pictures of the crime scenes. I don’t know how he could sleep at night with the pictures of the corpses hanging on the walls. He slept on the settee, it seemed like, but due to the level of coffee cups in the kitchen, I doubted he slept at all.
The walls had a sickening beige colour and the floor was cold as ice. He didn’t have fancy underfloor heating like I had. His computer had a tape over the web camera and the front door had multiple locks. He locked none of them for some reason.
Scott puzzled me. He was only twenty-three, yet he was one of the most famous, or infamous rather, police officers in the force. There were even rumours about his promotion to detective.
I stopped to look at some of the family pictures in the hallway. Scott had an older brother with Down’s syndrome. I didn’t remember this. He probably went to a private school or something. Scott was from a poorer family than I was. Even though his foster family were from a wealthier part of town, I didn’t think they were as rich as I was. And Scott’s flat was evidence of that.
We were in a rural industrial area of town. Even though this town didn’t have a lot of crime, I still got uneasy as I looked out of the window. Some hooded people were walking down the streets. Scott told me it was just Timothy and Caspar, two druggies that lived close by. I looked back at them, wondering how Scott could see that.
I went to his bathroom to splash some cold water on my face. There was a medicine cabinet over the sink. I couldn’t help my self; I just had to go through his cabinet.
I just opened to take a peek, but got surprised when I saw the amount of medicine he had in there. I took one box out, and looked at it.
“It’s heart medicine,” Scott said from the doorframe. I quickly dropped the box of medicine. “It’s for father,” he explained, picking it up.
“Not my birthfather, but the one I came to know in my second life.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snoop.”505Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ1Ng1PHSp0z
“And yet you did. You’re a curious one, Onila. Curiosity killed the cat, you know.”
“So I’ve been told,” I half-smiled him. He put the medicine back in the cabinet and brought me to the living room. It smelled a little musky, but I didn’t complain about it. It surprised me because Scott always smelled so pleasant.
The settee squeaked as I sat down. Scott brought me the blackest cup of coffee I had ever seen. I tasted horrible, but I thanked him and downed the God-awful substance. We sat there looking at each other for a while. We both sat one the settee. His hand rested on his thigh. I never noticed how well built he was. He wasn’t big and bulky like Chris, but he had muscles. I could see them under his white shirt.
He must’ve noticed I was staring because he cleared his throat.
“I’ve put up this evidence board, or evidence wall as I like to call it,” he said with a goofy smile. “Jason and Herbert are still working on the computers. They are taking long time, but I have faith in them.”
“So what have you figured out?” I asked.
“Nothing. This situation is equally barmy and weird,” Scott said.505Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ1DJ5BTjUfB
“Let me help.”
“That’s why you’re here,” he said. He walked up to the evidence wall and started moving the pictures and text around. After a while, I could see the system he was making. He was putting the things in chronological order.
The first thing was a quote of sorts from Derrick’s statement. The strange men that had entered his house.
“We don’t know who these men are, and we don’t know what their objective was. But from what I have gathered, they had something to do with his alcohol debt.”
Then he pointed at the next picture. It was of a naked female, with her throat brutally slit from ear to ear. She had a piece of cloth in her mouth. I imagined that had muffled her screams as the man cruelly raped and killed her.
“Amanda Sprague. Found raped and killed in this run down basement. Evidence of a drug-lab was also found at the scene. But you know all this shite,” Scott moved on.
“Then it is the incident,” the pictures were from the surveillance footage, “John Bashor pulls out a gun and starts shooting, killing Emily A’idah, Rose Abigail Bashor and wounding Thomas Oxford.”
“What happened to the druggie?” I asked.
“He’s in a rehab centre. He still hasn’t started talking. We’ll wait with his statement ‘till he gets cleared up a little bit,” Scott answered. The next picture was one from John Bashor’s autopsy. The doctor was standing in the background of some of the pictures. I recognised him as one of dad’s friends. Dad was a plastic surgeon. He was well respected in this town.
My relationship with my family could be better. They gave me money, but we didn’t really have any other contact. On the surface, for a bystander, it might look like we were the perfect family, but we were never that close. Mum was always up in the attic, painting her life away. And drinking. Dad was cheating. He didn’t even bother waiting until me and mum got out of the house. He was sleeping with a nurse from the hospital. There were indications of him paying her for her services. Nurses weren’t exactly paid well, so I guessed she was pretty desperate.
Mum forgot his infidelity as soon as she pulled out the flask, and he forgot her drinking as soon as he was in the sheets with the nurse. It was sad but quite comical.
“Having a bit of a laugh?”
“Sorry, I was thinking about something,” I defended. Scott shrugged and continued his run down of the evidence. I couldn’t concentrate, I just thought about my family situation. They hadn’t even called, even though they probably knew that I was involved in a serious shooting.
“Are you even listening?” Scott asked, getting a little angry.
“I’m just thinking about my family. I should call them.” Scott sat down again.
“Haven’t you talked to them lately?” he asked. I shook my head.
“We don’t have the best relationship.”505Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡz5JnW1WfKP
“I thought they paid for your apartment…” he trailed off as he realised who my father was. “Your father is Dr. Roy Jenkins, right?” I nodded.
“He got a parking ticket the other day. I probably shouldn’t have told you that, but I just thought I’d let you know. He had a young nurse in his car. They were getting hot and heavy, if you catch my drift,” he said.
“He’s not the most faithful man.”
“I understand,” Scott said. It became awkward between us again. Scott asked if I wanted more coffee, and just to break the silence, I said yes. It was actually too late for me to drink coffee. I wouldn’t be able to sleep all night. Not that I would have been if I hadn’t been drinking it. The fright this break-in gave me, was one for the ages. If anyone ever wrote a book a about me, that would be an entire act.
When he came back with the steamy cup of coffee, I sat him down to tell him about the creepy pictures I found on my computer.
“The man that entered my house wanted to show me something. It’s on my computer.” I rose to find my overnight bag. He looked curious but weary.
“Here it is,” I said as I opened my computer. He was met with the same blue screen as I was. I clicked the right hyperlinks and came to the same site. I started scrolling down and showed him the pictures. His annoyance grew into fury as he saw page up and page down of my pictures.
“Who did this?”
“I don’t know.”
“Bollocks. You must’ve seen something.” I told him about the man in the school. The man Beatrice apparently saw. We scrolled past the more sexualised photos. I saw Scott clench his fists and tighten his jaw. I continued down. Now I saw even more pictures than before. I hadn’t scrolled this far down before.
I stopped as I saw a photo from before the shooting. I was out on one of my daily runs.
“That’s from before the incident,” I said with a confused tone in my voice.
“This has been going on for longer than you’d think. I don’t know what this is, but I think we need to put you under our protection.”
“I don’t need your protection, that would make me feel more unsafe.”
“Then you’re staying at my flat. At least until we catch this guy,” Scott said. I wasn’t against his offer. Being close to Scott was tempting.
“There was this guy at the incident. He just kept staring at me. I call him the Staring-man. I’m sure it was him that was looking in through my window.”
“What makes you so sure?” Scott asked.
“He had the same build and the same black hoodie. I couldn’t see his face at the crime scene, but I’m sure. It had to be him.”
“Did you see his face when he was looking through the window?”
“Yes.” I imagined those green eyes looking at me. Scott got a sketch pad from under the settee and found a 2B pencil on the table.
“Tell me what he looked like.”
“You had a look at him as well.”505Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ48vOinqHrq
“You were standing in the way. I only saw his shadow as he ran away.” I found my packet of cigarettes and asked if I could have one. Scott nodded. It didn’t seem like he cared about the odour of the cigarettes staying in his furniture. Still, he wrinkled his nose as I started smoking, complaining about cancer sticks, and telling me how he never would start smoking.
“He had green eyes, and he was young, in his mid-twenties probably. He looked very neat. It looked like he hadn’t shaved for three days, but it still looked neat. The hood covered his hair, but I got a look at the colour of his eyebrows. They were brown. His nose was pointy and he had a wrinkle between his eyebrows.”
“His lips were thin. Also, he was pretty scrawny.”505Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡYEEQAwm9nH
“Did he look like a druggie?” Scott asked.
“Quite the opposite actually. He looked like he came right from the casino. It was something in his eyes. He looked so serious.”
Scott sketched for a while. I looked over his shoulder as he was doing his work. He was a decent artist. Or at least he could draw forensic sketches.
“I wanted to be a forensic sketch artist, “ he explained. It was quite endearing to see that this cold man had a softer and artistic side.
As he was sketching I sent Chris a text message. It said:
Don’t go looking for me. I’m at Jen’s.
When he was done, I saw the exact face of the man that had looked through the window.
“Let’s go,” he said while I was looking at the picture.
“Where are we going?”
“To Sundrive Avenue,” he said, putting his jacket on.
“Why?” I asked again.
“I want to see if the guy follows us.” After some loud protests I silently followed him. I was so damn tired at the moment. After sleepless night after sleepless night, I was ready to pass out on the nearest comfy surface I could find. With that being said, I didn’t fall asleep in his car. I was too scared. I wouldn’t admit it, I will not be afraid, but I felt my heart racing.
He drove slow and steady, which helped me relax. The drive to 45 Sundrive Avenue was silent. A flashing light of a car behind us caught my attention. The police behind the wheel waved at Scott as it drove past us. Then the police officer sped off.
“Chrissie,” Scott smiled and shook his head. It was the daughter of my landlord. So she was a police officer after all, I thought.
We arrived at 45 Sundrive and jumped out of the car. It was dark and cold outside. I felt the raindrops in the air, and though it didn’t pour yet, it still made it chillier.
“I don’t see anyone,” I said. Scott still wasn’t content.
“Let’s take a look inside. There should still be some computer stuff down there.” Feeling so tired, I wanted to scream, “Woe is me” and go back to the car. But I didn’t. For some idiotic reason I followed Scott down the creaky staircase to the dark cellar. I wanted nothing more than to go home. Curl up in my bed, cocooned by a blanket. But I still followed him.
“Can you turn on the light, and help me carry the rest of the equipment to the car?” he asked. I didn’t remember exactly where the light switch was, but I felt my way towards it. It was like reading braille on the wall; only I followed the cracks in the foundation instead of small dots.
I found the light switch. My eyes went blind for a second or two. As I got used to the bright light, I stumbled across the floor.
“Do you see this?” Scott gasped.
“I don’t see anything.”
“They have destroyed it. Everything!” he shouted. On the floor I saw smashed computers. They were smashed with a tire iron that was tossed across the room. The few pieces of equipment the police hadn’t got yet, was now destroyed beyond repair. Scott tousled his hair and kicked some of the broken equipment.
“I knew coming here wasn’t a good idea,” I mumbled.
“Not helping, Oni.” It sounded like a warning.
“Let’s get the hell out of here. This place gives me the creeps,” he started walking up the stairs. He turned to tell me that I needed to turn the lights off. I didn’t want to walk behind him up the dark stairs. If felt like someone from the deep dark could come and snatch me.
Thankfully, we got up all right. Everything was fine, as Scott started to radio in this “unfortunate occurrence”. That’s when we saw him. Standing across the street from us. He was staring right at us. His hood was pulled over his face. He had his hands in his front pockets. There was something ominous about his silhouette.
“Scott,” I slurred and gestured towards the man. He turned, with the radio still in hand, and for a second the city went quiet.
They were staring each other down. Scott was sizing him up, looking if he could take him down if it came to it.
His whole outfit was black, even the shoes. I could see that the man was white, but I couldn’t see his eyes.
“Hey, mate! What do you want from us?” Scott shouted across the street. The man kept staring at us. Then he pulled his hand out of his pocket. He dropped down to his knees and put something on the pavement. Scott started making his way down to him. He grabbed my hand and made me follow him again. I guess he didn’t want me to stand there alone, being an easy target as he ran after the hooded-man.
The hooded-man had the same peculiar aura as the Staring-man. I was sure they were one and the same. They had to be. Scott walked slowly, as if he were approaching a timid animal.
The man turned on his heel and ran away. Scott followed after, leading me in the same direction as the man. I tried to stop Scott. I wanted to see what the thing on the pavement was. Scott was a lot slower than the man. Even though the Staring-man was rather lanky, he had an extreme sprint in him. Scott had no chance of following him.
He stopped, Scott that is, and shouted some profanities after him. The man continued into the night. Not stopping for anything.
We walked back to the side of the pavement the man was standing on. Sure enough, on the pavement there was a small piece of paper. It was all curled up and looked wet. Scott looked dubious of this paper, but I just took it in my hand. Scott took it right out of my hands, probably afraid that I would destroy some crucial evidence. He opened it up. His face lost all its colour as he read.
“It’s for you,” he said, handing it over to me. I didn’t understand what he meant. How could this random piece of paper be for me? I went cold as realisation washed over me. And you guessed it, my name was written on the paper.
Turn back while you still can. .onila
My look of horror matched Scott’s. ns 126.96.36.199da2