Chapter 6: .the/equipment460Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡoxml8BAhKc
“You can’t tell a single person,” Scott repeated for the seventh time as we drove back to Chris’ place.
“I know, what we did was breaking police protocol,” I said, getting a little annoyed by the fact that he kept repeating himself. Scott still looked worried. So worried that the previously law-abiding office was now speeding down the motorway. He needed to get out of there. Everything from the look of the place to the smell of it was wrong.
What was going on in that cellar?
Thoughts of slavery crept into my mind. Seeing starving children work day and night packaging the drugs. Chris said I had a wild imagination, but this could be the reality of the situation. We didn’t know, but it could very well be.
“Why are you so quiet?” Scott asked. His voice was still shaky and he was clutching onto the steering wheel.
“I don’t like cars,” I answered.
“But you work at a petrol station.” I looked out of the window. It was quite ironic, really. Working at a petrol station, but being frightened of cars.
“Why are you afraid?” He continued to press.
“I guess I don’t like not being in control.” It was the most honest answer I could muster up. “Cars remind me of not being in control of things, I think.”
“But you’re fine with Chris driving?”
“Yeah, I trust him.”
“So you don’t trust me?” He sounded hurt.
“Not yet.” It was the honest truth.
I stepped into the cold night and watched as Scott drove off again. The crisp air made gave me chills. I tucked a stay lock behind my ear. The car lights disappeared in the distance. I was alone outside Chris’ house.
My need for a cigarette was ever growing. I simply had to have one. After seeing the horrific scene in the cellar, I didn’t know what to think anymore. But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Maybe this had a logical explanation. A million thoughts rushed through my head. It was impossible to grab them all.
I sucked at the end of the cigarette. I could almost taste the tar and the cancer it brought. Many said I was lucky if I saw the age of seventy. But I was a healthy teen. I trained every day (with the exception of the last couple of days).
I opened the door to Chris’ apartment. When I came in, I couldn’t believe my own eyes. Chris and Derrick were sitting inches from each other with the most intimidating expressions on their faces. I knew this look. They were playing scrabble.
I made my presence know by coughing lightly. They moved away from each other, jolted as if someone had hit them.
“Where were you today? I was worried about you,” Chris rose from his chair and ran over the floor to hug me. His hugs were bone crushing, but there was some kind of comfort in it.
“I was with Scott…,” I suddenly remembered I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. “We grabbed some drinks at the bar.”
“Lillian’s bar?” I nodded, getting nervous. Chris and Lillian were quite good friends. He would probably ask her if I was telling the truth.
“Ok, but tell me next time,” Chris said before going back to the game of scrabble. He pulled a chair out and patted on the seat. I sat down and looked at the game. Derrick was good. He was actually better than good. The teenager was beating Chris, and Chris was the undisputed scrabble champion. At least locally.
“You’ve got some impressing words,” I said, motioning toward Derrick. He smiled and pointed at the longest one. Gherkins, counting for a whole of 180 points.
“How do you even know all of these words?” I asked him, shocked at the amount of long, intricate words.
“I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Don’t you think I learn stuff there?” he asked. I shrugged. I guessed the Internet would count for some of his vocabulary, but that couldn’t be all of it.
I jumped as the doorbell rang. Chris looked over his shoulder. When he couldn’t see a person standing outside, he rose to look through the peephole.
“Ah, Onila come. It’s for you,” he smiled.
I trudged across the floor and stood on my tiptoes to look through the hole. Sure enough, it was the police. I didn’t recognise the officer, but he was a lot older than Scott.
I opened the door and looked at what was behind the officer. It was my beloved. The object of my affections. My scooter. I rushed to it and almost hugged the front of it.
“We found it in a ditch outside of France’s Petrol. It was a part of the crime scene at first, so we couldn’t move it. We tried delivering it to your house, but Scott later told us you were here,” the officer explained. I almost wanted to hug him, but I figured that would be too weird.
“Thank you so much,” I said and shook his hand. He smiled at me and went to his car with a utility trailer on the back of it. I didn’t pay him any mind as he drove off. I was too busy studying my scooter for scratches and dents. It was still in mint condition, but the tank needed topping up. I could do that tomorrow after class.
I parked the scooter in the driveway and ran into the house. I made sure to lock the door. The creepy feeling from before was one I couldn’t quite shake off. I wanted to go play scrabble with Chris and Derrick. Like one big, dysfunctional family. I didn’t really mind that Derrick stayed with my boyfriend. It was safer for him than to live on his own. I doubted any foster family would take him in at the age he was, and the system would probably just pay for a sketchy apartment somewhere in the city.
Just as I sat down, my phone rang. I was surprised to see who the caller was. It was Scott Winchester.
“Hello,” I said. My voice was a little too high-pitched. It revealed that I was starving for new information.
“We have a development at site.” He didn’t even say hello. His voice was trembling with excitement and fear. Mostly excitement, I thought.
“What’s going on over there?”
“We need Derrick to come at once, can you get Chris to drive him or something?” Scott asked. I looked at the pair playing scrabble. It was so idyllic and peaceful. Something like a murder investigation just didn’t fit into this scenario.
“I’ll tell them.” Chris turned around with a slightly agitated expression on his face. “Can I come too?” It went quiet on the other side before he answered.
“Yes, you can come.” Then he hung up without saying goodbye.
“Who was that, and what was it about?” Chris asked.
“It was Scott Winchester. He was at the Bashor’s house. We need to bring Derrick down there immediately.” Chris looked out of the window.
“Can’t this wait until dawn?” I shook my head. From the tone of Scott’s voice, this was very serious.
I knew Chris. He didn’t like to drive down the deserted roads of the city in the nighttime. And I didn’t like being his passenger. My fear was only strengthened by the lack of light, and though Chris was behind the steering-wheel, I stilt felt anxious in the dark. I hated not being in control of my life. I wouldn’t call myself a control freak, but some people might. I just liked the simple reassuring face that I had the tiniest amount of control over myself. When things were planned out and thought through I smiled. I didn’t like surprises, and I definitely didn’t like shocks. Fate must have had a great time making the events at the petrol station happen, knowing full well that I would be especially freaked out by them.
“It can’t wait. He needed our assistance now,” I pleaded for his help because I grasped the concept of boyfriends. They would come running if I only sounded begging enough.
“Ok. Let’s go. Derrick, grab the keys.”
“So what was the call about?” Derrick asked as we got into the car. I paused and realised that I hadn’t told him about his father yet. My guilty conscious grew as a cancer in my chest. Getting angry with Scott for not doing his job and telling the boy, I mentally prepared. I needed to tell him sooner or later. Wasn’t it better that he heard it from a “friend”. We didn’t know each other that well yet, but I had a feeling that he thought of me as his equal. We had gone through something horrible together. We were interrogated together. We even lived together for the last couple of nights. It was my duty to inform him. Not my duty as in the law, but my friend-code duty.
“I need to tell you something,” I started. Derrick turned to me with a smile on his lips. I didn’t want to take that smile away from him. But at the same time I had a feeling that it wasn’t genuine. So did it really matter if I took it away if it never really was there in the first place?
“Tell me what?”
“It’s about your father…” His smile vanished. He nodded and readied himself for the truth.
“There was a murder in town before the incident at France’s Petrol. A girl named Amanda Sprague was raped and murdered…” He put his finger in front of my lips. Derrick had tears in his eyes. He understood what I was going to tell him.
“I don’t want to hear anymore,” he whispered. Chris looked at me in surprise before turning back to the road. I didn’t know if I wanted Chris to hear this story. More importantly, I didn’t know if it was ok with Derrick.
“I heard about the whole ordeal… I didn’t even think…” Chris didn’t exactly make it better by saying that. Sometimes he could be so tactless.
“Dad had issues he needed to resolve. I don’t think he ever got the chance to do so. That’s what makes me the saddest.” I didn’t know what to do so I patted his back. I wanted to pull him in for a hug, but he didn’t seem to be in the mood for one. He didn’t strike me as the kind of person that relished in physical contact. Back in high school I had some goth and emo friends. None were particularly fond of the more social aspects of life. I didn’t want to judge a book by its cover, but Derrick hadn’t proved me wrong yet.
We got out of the car at Sundrive Avenue 45. All kinds of police imaginable were gathered there. Everything from normal officers to what looked like a bomb team. They were dressed in something like armour, with big helmets and visors that protected the whole face.
Scott welcomed us as soon as we got out of the car. He was getting into the habit of greeting us as soon as we arrived. I didn’t mind, it made me feel wanted. Sort of at least. He looked nervous, with sweat dripping from his red hair.
“Welcome to the fun house,” he exclaimed. Derrick was trying to take a peek inside the house. It was his home, after all. I wouldn’t like it if strange people used my house as their base of operation.
“What has happened?” I asked. I tried to keep my voice steady, but my pitch exposed my curiosity. I wanted to know.
“We have to go down to the cellar,” Scott said, leading us on our way. Derrick looked more and more uncomfortable. He was chewing on his fingernails and his eyes were wide as two saucers. When I asked him why, he simply answered that he wasn’t allowed there. Scott turned around and said, very coldly, that his father was dead.
“It wasn’t just my father. They said I wasn’t allowed.” Scott asked who they were, but he got no answer. I thought he was talking about the strange men that entered his house to take the furniture.
Down in the cellar there were about a dozen people spread around. Though they were standing in seemingly random places, they all looked at the same thing.
There was a grand hole in the wall. I froze as I saw what was inside the hole.
A camera and some computer equipment. I turned to look at Scott. He had this quizzical expression on his face. Like he didn’t know any more than me. I turned back to the hole. As soon as I saw it I got shivers down my spine. Whatever was happening here, it couldn’t be good.ns 18.104.22.168da2