Freitag, 27. Februar 2015

Chapter six.





Thanks for your patience, everyone...



No content warning needed this time around, no worries
... ok. You know me. Rude language is very likely.



Sometimes, it feels as if Winter will never end. Legions of snowflakes keep falling from the grey skies as if they were tiny alien invaders, slowly but surely taking control of the world


Some say, though, that everything looks so much nicer when covered with pure white, but...
Well, I am I the only one who is thinking "shroud" here? Anyways. Let's see how Al is doing


And there he is, seemingly oblivious of his surroundings and the cold, staring rather blankly at the building on the opposite side of the road from a gap between two more old and rundown brick buildings


As he hangs his head, a tossed away newspaper catches his eye. Mechanically, he reaches for the soaked paper and picks it up


Only to freeze as, promptly, the first article he sees on opening the paper is about Betty.
"Local girl still missing after failed attempt to hand over ransom money"
"Grieved parents blame SCPD, will move South"


The building on the other side is where Betty used to live
The paper is several weeks old
Silent tears of despair trickle down his face
The White Knight has failed his Princess


Silent tears, and silent rage. Al recalls all to well how, some time ago, he came back "home" from his daily search for food








No, he still had no idea that Basecap set him up. But the sight of a woman in a suit on an abandoned factory ground was suspicious enough in itself to make him stop dead in his tracks and quietly retreat behind the next corner to take a better look
... Feds, eventually? But why?


Another suit, apparently searching the premises? Hm.


"Sir, with all due respect- we are wasting time here- that little druggie was obviously just trying to save his own ass! We have literally turned every piece of trash in this building, there was absolutely no sign that the girl has ever been here!"


The senior officer looks just as tired and worn out as you would expect of someone on a job like this, knowing all to well about the 48 hour rule when it comes to missing children
"Helen, we both know that we have no other lead. So would you please just carry on and, eventually, pray that we find something, anything at all?"


While those two still muse about the use of the operation, the pale blonde guy hesitates, then goes down on his knee to inspect a dent in the snow a little more closeley

"Sir I know, but still, I believe that we should press matters with the stepfather some more. He has something about him that makes my skin crawl!"
"Sir? Excuse me..."
Have you found something interesting, Pale Guy?



"I think I found..."


"... that pink bunny toy the mother kept talking about, Sir"


"Hell. See that? The suit found that rabbit thing. I can't believe it. I can't believe he really did this. Kidnap a child? Fuck it. Fucking unbelievable"

Tomasz watches his partner for a bit. As the other cop falls silent after that omnious remark, he hesitantly reaches out and touches Harry's arm lightly before speaking up
"Huh? What?"
"So I was right. You know that homeless guy, don't you? How? Who is he?"


Can he trust his new partner with this? Hell why not...
Taking a deep breath of the cold Winter air, Harry mans up

"Alan used to be a street cop, one of us. Same precinct, even. One of the best...  then he was called to a bar brawl. Killed a Guy. Couldn't get over it.
Even internal affairs said it was self defense, but still... he kind of lost it after that. Got on the wrong side of the uppers all the time, ended up loosing his job, his family, everything, and plain dissapeared from the screen. 
Saw him last summer, digging through a trash can in a back alley... don't think anyone but me knew he was still around at all. Jeezas. I just can't believe he has fallen so far. A kid? A little GIRL? That's low, man... that's so low. Don't even want to think about what he has done to her. Guess you just never know a guy inside out"


And that was how Al learned that he was the main suspect in Betty's case. As you can tell, he did not take it lightly, but what should he do- but run?
So run he did







Running, and hiding he has been eversince. Kept on moving. Never slept in the same place twice so far, but he knows he is running out of options and will have to start to use the same hideouts in turns now
Taking one last look up at the now lightless windows of Betty's former home, he wipes the already frozen tears from his face and starts to walk away


As a former cop, he knows literally everything about man hunting, so he keeps a low profile at all times, and he keeps on moving. Needless to say, he doesn't get much sleep anymore

Lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of any kind of rest for both body and mind are taking their toll on him, and he can feel it... he won't last much longer




Al knows that his priority is sleep, and in a frost free place. People's houses or garages are not safe... public buildings are better...


Like this old slaughterhouse, converted into a grungy nightclub by some shady investor


Public toilets are best, as long as you keep an eye on the opening hours of the facility you are using, you will very likely go completely unnoticed




What now... should he return later, or can he take the risk of entering a stall now to take a much needed nap?




"Al?! Oh my God"


Yes, I guess he is just as perplexed as you are...


 "Oh God, man, I- I- I am so sorry!! I had no idea... when I heard they suspected you... I just couldn't.."


"Jeezas ... they framed me, I swear..."
And without warning..


... he breaks down. Physically. On his knees, on the still slightly damp floor he wiped just a moment ago. Sobbing, shaking
"Please don´t kill me, I am so sorry"


After a moment of stunned silence, broken only by frantic sobs the older man reluctantly reaches for the younger one´s shoulder and pokes him ever so lightly

"Son. Shut up, get up, start over - what the hell are you talking about?!"



So, fire away. Guess. What on earth could Dan of all people have done that would be reason enough for Al to finish him off?


Donnerstag, 19. Februar 2015

To whom it may concern

In case you wondered, no, I did not fall into a hole and I did not give up on this story, neither.

I made a new friend some months ago, and being his friend uses up all my spare time and all my energy. Literally. I don't have time to work on anything sims. I hardly have time to even start the game once in a while.

So I made a decision.

This weekend, I will upload the few pictures I was able to take so far, and start writing the next Chapter. Then, I will FINISH writing and use descriptive placeholders like "Al staring at x" to replace the pics I do not have.

Same with the Epilogue.

So, you will find out how this story ends, and some day, eventually, I will be able to add the missing pictures.

Sincerely, yours.

Samstag, 26. Juli 2014

Chapter Five.




And on and on the story goes... slowly but surely.

Welcome back. And now, without further ado- same content warning as always- let´s proceed.








It´s been almost two weeks now since Bethany went missing, and looking down on the city it feels like the world is holding it´s breath


But let´s be down to earth. Winter. Snow. Muffled sounds, covered grounds... little light
The world is not holding anything, it carries on regardless as ever


So let us look for a light in the dark... how about this one? It´s one of the shabby terraced houses not so far from the factory grounds where Al lives his dire existance


Oh my. There is a cop standing in that...


...kitchen?!
And he is holding a coffee mug... so, no, we will not find the girl here. This is a man in the process of getting ready for work, obviously


Smacking his lips, he regards the remarkably dark, hot liquid inside the mug
"Thank God for coffee. I honestly don´t know how I could make it without coffee. Seriously! I hate morning shifts so much, they´re the worst for real... "


Unimpressed, the woman by his side continues washing the dishes as he takes another sip. She shoots him a sideway glance as she reaches for a towel to dry her hands

"Honey, was it not only last week that you told me that you hate night shifts most?"


Now look at that expression. Is the man pouting or what?

"Yes, but that was last week, when I WAS on night shift. NOW I am on morning shift, so... well. And you know, no matter what time of day, I always hate to leave you home alone... these days"


The woman laughs out loud and turns to face him

"Tomasz! You really are behaving as if it´s the first time... oh my, what are you doing now?!"


Laughing, the wife is watching her husband bending down to her swollen stomach
"Shhhhhhhh, I am trying to have a conversation here, if you don´t mind... what did you say, little one? You are not planning on getting out today, no? So I can just go and work unperturbed? Oh now that´s a relief, thank you SO much!"


This is when another child is tugging at the back of his uniform shirt, demanding attention, rubbing her eyes sleepily

"Papa, what means unper.. umpre...?"


Someone is blowing a car´s horn down in the street. Her mother is looking out of the window and answers with a small sigh

" Unperturbed means, without perturbance. Without being interrupted..."


"Tomasz, it´s Harry. You better get down fast, or the poor man will freeze to death in that patrol car"


The cop bows down to give his little girl a bear hug

"Unperturbed, is what we are not right now. Go back to bed hunney, you can sleep in- looks like another snow break day to me for sure. Now, do you have a huuuge huggy for Papa?"
"Yaaaaaamwwwwwwwwaa!"


As the little girl runs of with a giggle, the father reaches out for her mother and pulls her into a careful embrace

"You sure you will be ok? Jelena I am not kidding... if anything, whatever, should happen, if you need me- call me on the cell. I will make sure to carry it with me at all times"


"I am good. And will continue being good as you walk out that door. And will still be good when you come home, stupid! Now kiss me, you adorable boyscout"


Reluctantly, but neverless with increasing passion he does as requested until, in the end she pushes him away, laughing once more and gasping for breath


The cop very carefully descends the snow covered stairs that lead down to the street. He already cleared them two times this morning, but it´s been continously snowing for days. Even the main roads are hardly fit for traffic by now


"Morning..."
"Tom, get the fuck in and shut that door, it´s winter yanno"
"Right"

Apparently, said Harry loves mornings just as much as his partner does



They drive down all the way to the precinct in silence. Harry parks the patrol car with some care and remains seated, staring at the steering wheel

Puzzled, Tomasz look over at him

"Hey, what´s up? You good?"
"Shit yeah. I just don´t do mornings, you know that. Common let´s go in and get it over with"


So what is he referring to? Obviously he is not very fond of the regular status meeting, or briefing, that is held at the very beginning of each and every shift
Silent once more, they enter the building


Heading for the briefing room, they spot a man in a black suit entering the large office on the other side of the corridor, originally the common room... now in use for a different purpose


Tomasz slows down and finally comes to a halt, staring, lost in thought


The suit unit


The FBI squad, looking for the missing girl, stationed in this building now since... yeah, the day the parents, no, the mother and her boyfriend, finally came forward to report that there had been a ransom demand


This cop and his colleagues have been doing the footwork for this lot, have been interviewing the whole neighbourhood, have been accumulating all the details... and what now? Now it´s all top secret, insider business

Only that this cop and his colleagues feel that the suits are not making any progress


Harry punches his partner´s shoulder hard from behind

"Oi! Are you coming or what? We´re late!"



Tom hardly flinches

"Yeah... coming..."


And late they are indeed. The briefing seems to be already halfway over as they enter the room. The sergeant in charge draws a deep breath and announces their arrival on the top of his voice

"No look who is deigning us with their presence after all- may I have a little applause for officers BROWNE AND KOWALSKIIIIIIIIIII!!!!"


"Sir, it´s Kowalczyk. And the streets are completely covered with snow, there was positively no way...


"Jeezas, Browne, will you just shut up for once and take a seat? You and your Polack have already messed up enough for today, don´t you think? Sit, for chrissake!"


"My.. Polack?"
"Harry. Leave it be. Common."


And they leave it be. And as the sergeant drones on with the same goddamn speech he has given the officers so many times before, they sit down in the back row


Browne can´t help looking at his partner time and again. He just doesn´t get it. He just doesn´t get why his partner is taking all that shit, day after day


Kowalczyk´s face doesn´t give it away, but frankly, he´s not so sure about the why himself

Maybe it´s because he is weak
Maybe it´s because he doesn´t mind
Maybe it´s because he already has three kids and number four on the way and desperately needs the job


In truth, everybody fears the boss. Especially a boss like this, who is known to be a damn good cop, and a complete sociopathic asshole at the same time





And then, it´s over with the traditional slogan

"... and now, get out and whoop some ass!"


Kowalczyk and Browne make sure not to give the sergeant another chance to parade them and deliberately leave with the crowd


"But... that WAS an offence against the anti- discrimination law of 1983, or not?"
"Rookie, come on now, patrol time... I´ll draw you a picture later, ok?"


Finally released to the streets, things are definitely looking up

"I swear to God, one day I´ll just wait him out near his favorite watering hole and beat the crap out of... "
"Hey, relax. Totally not worth the trouble..."


Browne slows down for a bit, then laughs out loud

"Yanno, you are right- no need for that. Someone else will take care of him, someday, probably sooner than later- why should I get my hands dirty with that "
"My point exactly. Breakfast? My turn today."
"Breakfast!"


Grinning, they enter the car and carefully head down the icey, snowcovered roads


In the end, they stop right in front of a rather old fashioned diner in a not so nice part of town...
Then again, their district basically is the worst part of town anyway


"Good morning to you, Mrs. Henderson! I know we are a bit early today, are you open yet?"


The lady who runs the place appears about as old fashioned; oddly enough, the impression is not sad, way more nostalgic. Old black and white movies come to mind

"Oh don´t worry officer, I am always done with the baking about 4am! At my age, you do not need that much sleep anymore... So no problem, none at all. What would you like today? Oh, silly me, the usual, of course..."


She swiftly reaches out for two already prepared plates behind her and places them on the counter

"Here you are! A jelly doughnut for you, officer Browne..."

Slightly embarrassed, the man murmurs his thanks and grabs his breakfast


"And a chocolate doughnut with extra sprinkles for you, officer Kowalczyk"

With a broad smile, he pays for the food and drink and carefully places his paper cup next to the doughnut


Balancing the plates over to their usual table, they can not help but grin at each other. Cops, eating doughnuts, drinking coffee from paper cups... it´s so clichee it´s almost original again


Those two have only been partners for a short while now, but they get along really well- to the neverending irritation of Sergeant O´Leary, who deliberately teamed up ill tempered Browne with the quiet newbie who just moved into town, hoping they would make each other´s  lives miserable
Simply because he could. Sick bastard.


"... wait, wait, just a sec... need to watch this one man, it´s so sick... gotta love it..."


While Kowalczyk is enjoying his coffee - "as black as the soul and as bitter as life" - Browne is fiddling with his smartphone, totally oblivious how quiet his partner is today


Or not. Putting his phone away, he looks straight at him and goes for it

"Tom, what´s up. Something wrong with the wife... the baby?"


Hesitantly, the younger cop searches for the right words, words that won´t make him look like to much of an idiot

"No, no, all good at the home front... it´s just... about that little girl. She is gone for how long now, two weeks? Even if that handing over should really take place... man, let´s face it, that kid is long dead."


With a sigh, he grabs his cup again

"And every time I think ´bout her, I can´t help thinking, that could be our Gosia. She´s eight now, yanno? Or the twins... I can´t help thinking, this could be my little girl. It´s a sick world"


At that, the old Lady looks up from the newspaper she has been reading behind the counter and gets up from her chair.
Seems like she is one of those old matrons who love to hijack other people´s conversations even if she has no idea what they have really been talking about, and so she exclaims through gritted teeth

"I could not agree more. For instance, take those young vandals! No respect for the property! Spraying graffitti all over the place! When will the authorities finally do something about that!"


"Well I´ll be damned"

The old lady audibly breathes in, shocked by this blasphemy in her café

"I beg your pardon, officer?!"


"Mrs. Henderson, I am happy to be able to tell you that the answer to your question is: Now"

"Huh?!"

Poor Browne worries for his partner´s sanity right now, it seems



"Eh, Tom... are you... ok? What are you..."
"Never been better- take a look at that...."


"Could be wrong here, but if you ask me, those kids over there with the backpack look like they are up to no good... besides, show me ONE teenager who would willingly be up at this hour. No, there is something fishy about those two"


"Hell yeah, you are right. Let´s go check..."
"Common, hurry up, they are moving!"


"Ah crap, they´re gone..."
"They can´t be far yet"


Kowalczyk is speaking quietly now as they carefully cross the street, scanning all directions
"Maybe we´ll get lucky and they left a mark... let´s see..."


And right enough, a brand new tag, paint still wet, greets the two cops at the corner


Browne takes one cautious look around it, right into the narrow alley next to it, but it´s empty

"Nothing... do you see..."
"Yes."


"I do see them. Now, how about..."






So while the cops plan their further actions, why don´t we take a closer look at our wannabe street artists in the meantime...oh. It´s a small world, is it not? 
Oh come on now. You must recall those two, surely? Admittingly, it´s been a while, but still...


" Yanno, man... yanno... this... is.. WAY the coolest stuff you did so far, man, WAY... like... cool, yanno? Like, by far, yanno..."

Little hint here... this one goes by the name of Stevo, and last time he wore a different head wear... he looked a lot healthier... and he was not stoned as hell, neither


So this, very obviously is The Other one, and although his fingers must be freezing holding the metal can with no gloves whatsoever, he continues tagging the wall with smooth, even moves that give away his expertise. This boy has finally discovered that he has a talent, and takes pride in his artwork

"You reckon? Yanno, I took me ages to figure that one out, been drawing sketches for weeks..."


Stevo is taking another deep drag first, but still reacts quiet enthusiastically

"Totally, man! Like, yanno, ´tis... like, art, yanno? Like, the real thing... cool an´all... watcha say, Mister, ´tis, art, right? "


As he turns to the casual bystander who has quietly approached for confirmation, his jaw drops

"Hm, yeah, not bad. Shame that he is spraying it on some back alley wall... by the way, should you be smoking? Especially that stuff, kid?"


It must be true what they say about dope, it calms people down for sure- I do not know about you, but personally I expected Stevo to react a tad more... agressive, but see. He is falling short from curling up in a ball

"Awwwwwww shit man... I ... we.."


The Other One, on the the other hand ( no pun intended ) is wide awake at this time of day. Flinching, jumping, trying to run is all but one movement to him
He turns on his heel to make an escape


Only to find the way blocked by a rather tall and wide cop, so he freezes on the spot

"Easy, kiddo. Where do you think you´re going, eh? Better slow down... road is slippery, and we don´t want you to fall, right, hit your head or summin´ "


Now look at that. When we first met this kid, I was under the impression that eventually he was rather bright, or at least bright enough to last a while... but now I am truly impressed.

"Wait, no, officers, please- it´s just some stupid old wall, I mean, look at the place already, not like another tag would make things worse, right? - And... and we have something to tell you, too, some info you want! About that missing girl!"


"About the girl? Say, say. Really?"

Browne lightly touches Stevo´s shoulder to get his full attention. As he succeeds in his attempt, he automatically lets his hand drop as he finds himself facing the hateful grimace on the boy´s face

"Yeah, for real. We saw her. We saw her with that... bum, yanno? The crazy one. "


The cops exchange an expressionless glance, then Kowalczyk leans in to The Other One, eyes narrowed

"Kid... this one better be good. Yes, we are still looking for her, but it´s been weeks and question comes to mind why you didn´t come forward with anything before, right? So, one thing after the other... who are you talking about? There are a lot of homeless men living in this area of town. I am not making any promises here, but if your info is any good we might cut a deal"




Stevo- Basecap, yes that´s who he is- steps up to the two and leans in close enough that Kowalczyk can smell cigarette and other smoke, old booze and probably some nasty throat infection on his breath 


"The one who lives in the old factory... crazy as shit, that one. Dangerous... freak threatened me with knife, yanno? Out of the blue... I bet HE has her... so... we have a deal, or what?"