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John Gray: A Tale of Hearts Part X

Welcome to the Mystery World of Reason…

“One more time, tell us exactly what happened when this woman, came here.” I say to Jason, the gas station clerk showing him the picture of our killer.

“Well she came in and was looking around, but she didn’t buy anything. Now I realize she was probably just waiting for everyone to leave.” Jason says, “When everyone was gone she came up to the counter and handed me this letter. Then she said, ‘Wait ten minutes then call the police’. I tried asking her what this was all bout but she just walked away.”

“And why didn’t you call us right away?” Steve asks.

“I don’t know.” Jason says plainly.

“And you’re sure this is the woman you saw?” Captain Philip asks Jason.

“Yes, Sir.” Jason replies, “What is this all about?”

“A murder investigation.” I say as I walk out of the gas station. I need to clear my head.

“John.” Stone says, “Are you alright?”

“No I’m not.” I say pacing back and forth, “How could she be this close? She’s really bold you know. She could have picked any gas station, but she picks the one that is closest to our office. TO THE FBI OFFICE! Is she crazy or does she want to get caught? Or maybe she’s so arrogant that she thinks she can walk right next to us and we won’t notice. Or maybe she thinks we’re that dumb.”

“Why don’t you take the rest of the day John?” Cap says walking out of the gas station.

“I’m good.” I say. “Have they figured out what the letter says and what language it’s in?”

“When was the last time you went to therapy?” Cap asks.

“I don’t know.” I say, “A couple of days ago, but I haven’t had any blackouts so like I said I’m good.”

“He’s telling the truth Cap.” Steve says, “I’ve been watching him.”

“Alright.” Cap says, “Let’s head back to the office, and see if they’ve translated the letter.”

We all head back to the office and I can tell I am not the only one on edge. “Cap, we have to do something.” Steve says.

“She was right under our nose.” Stone says.

“She’s so arrogant.” Chambers says.

“This killer isn’t arrogant. She’s determined.” I say, “Which is even worse. She has a mission and she is determined to complete it, to matter what.”

“Usually sociopaths deescalate and make a mistake, but this woman hasn’t made a mistake yet.” Steve says, “Except for leaving that hair with DNA on it wrapped around the baby’s hand, but there’s no way she could have even known that.”

“Yeah.” I say, “That really was just luck…for us anyway.”

“Steve, John go to the location agent Minder gave us.” Cap says, “Stone, Chambers go talk to the guy that runs the Doctor’s Fantasy website and see if we can find out more about ‘Amanda’s’ profile.”

“Cap, you never did tell us how the killer kidnapped the twins?” Steve asks.

“The killer posed as a babysitter.” Cap says.

“What?” I ask. “Did she have references?”

“Yes.” Cap says, “All her references ‘checked out’ according to the parents, but I don’t think they actually checked.”

“Why do you say that?” Stones asks.

“We checked those so called references and they came up fake.” Cap says, “If the parents had bothered to call any one of those numbers they would have seen that none of them were real.”

“Why wouldn’t they check?” Steve asks, “That doesn’t make sense.”

“They’re young.” Cap says, “And they and I quote ‘had a really cool party to go to’”

“I’m walking away now.” I say.

“That was my reaction.” Cap says.

Steve and I go to the Locks of Love location agent Minder gave us and when we walk in, there is a lady at the front desk frantically trying to organize a large pile of papers and boxes. “Ma’am, I’m detective Gray, this is detective Meres. Is the manager available?” I say showing her my badge.

“Yes, hi. I’m Margaret.” Margaret says pushing papers and boxes left and right, “Sorry about the mess. We don’t usually have visitors, this is just the sorting office.”

“No worries.” Steve says.

“Deb is on her way, she’s late.” Margaret says, “She’s the manager. Why do you guys want to talk to Deb?”

“Margaret, that’s a pretty name.” I say.

Margaret stops what she is doing and smiles shyly, “Thanks. No one has ever told me that before.”

“I can’t imagine why.” I say, “A beautiful name for a beautiful girl, it makes sense.”

Margaret giggles then says, “Oh my you’re making me blush, but thank you. You’re a very handsome guy. What nationality are you?”

“I’m Haitian.” I say, “And yourself?”

“I’m from Jamaica.” Margaret says blushing.

“Hey, sorry I’m late.” A woman says, coming into the office. She must be Deb.

I look at Steve and he approaches Deb, “Hello you must be Deb. My name is Detective Steve Meres. Is there somewhere private we can talk?”

“Yes, of course.” Deb says, “Come into my office.”

“Aren’t you going with them?” Margaret asks looking at her feet.

“I’d rather be out here talking to you.” I say.

Margaret looks at me and smiles, “I don’t know what to say.”

“So how long have you been working here beautiful?” I ask.

“Well, about five years now.” Margaret responds.

“That’s a long time.” I say, “Do you like it?”

“I love it.” Margaret says.

I walk around the desk so I am closer to Margaret. “What do you like about it?” I ask leaning on the desk.

“I don’t know.” Margaret says, “It’s a quiet job, and I get fulfillment, knowing I’m helping people who have cancer.”

“Wow so you’re not only beautiful, you have a beautiful heart.” I say looking into Margaret’s eyes.

“Thank you.” Margaret says looking down.

“So how does this all work?” I ask pointing to all the boxes.

“When people donate their hair we send them a package and they send it back with the hair.” Margaret explains, “We have very specific instructions and requirements on what we’ll accept.”

“Hmm.” I say, “And what about the people receiving the hair, what’s that process like.”

“They have requirements as well, they go through a screening process.” Margaret says.

“Do you keep a record of everyone you donate to?” I ask, “Like if I wanted to know who a particular hair was donated to could I get that info.”

“Well, I don’t know about other offices, but we keep a really tight record of every transaction.” Margaret says whispering, “Deb is kind of a control freak.”

“There’s a lady who donated her hair to this office.” I say.

“Oh.” Margaret says.

“If I gave you her name could you look to see who it was donated to?” I ask smiling at Margaret.

“Well…” Margaret hesitates, “I’m not really supposed to give out that kind of information.”

“I understand.” I say moving away from Margaret and heading towards the door.

“But.” Margaret says, “If you don’t tell anyone. I could look it up for you.”

I smile at Margaret and walk back towards her. I tell her agent Minder’s name, “I wouldn’t tell anyone. It would be between you and me.”

Margaret smiles and starts to look through a bunch of papers. Then she looks through the computer, “Here it is.” Margaret says. “Miss Dorothy Minder donated 20 inches of red hair, hmm and that hair went to a…Beatrice Walker.”

“Wow, Margaret you made my day.” I say, “Do you have contact information for Beatrice?”

“I made your day? Really?” Margaret says looking at me.

“Yes, you did.” I say smiling, “The contact info?”

“Oh right.” Margaret says. “I’ll write it down for you.”

Margaret hands me a piece of paper with an address and two phone numbers. “Thank you Margaret, excuse me for a second.” I walk towards the door to contact Captain and the office.

“The second number is my number by the way.” Margaret says, “Call me anytime.”

“Yeah, yeah of course.” I say, “Excuse me I just have to make a quick phone call.”

I call Cap and give them the information Margaret provided soon after Steve walks out shaking his head and says, “Detective.”

“Is there anything else I can do for you Detective Gray?” Margaret says smiling at me.

“No, Margaret, you’ve done a lot.” I say.

Steve and I walk out of the office and when we get in the car he says, “I sure hope your plan worked, because I got nothing from Deb.”

“She gave me the name, number, and address of the person who received the donated hair from agent Minder.” I say looking at Steve smiling.

“Seriously?” Steve says, “Do you know what this means John?”

“Yup” I say, “We could be on our way to finding our serial killer.”

Louise ∞ 2

Welcome to the Love World of Reason…

“Do you mind sleeping here tonight Jerry, I don’t want to be alone.” Michelle says.

I smile at Michelle. She can tell I don’t want to be alone so she’s pretending to need company, “Sure thing.” I say.

“Thanks.” Michelle says. “I’ll bring you some pillows and blankets.”

I pull out the sofa bed in the meantime. “Hey Michelle.” I say out loud so she can hear me, “Do you think meanager will make a big deal if I call out tomorrow?”

“I’ll cover for you.” Michelle says bringing out the blankets.

“You sure?” I say.

“Positive.” Michelle says, “Goodnight, holler if you need anything.”

“Night.” I say. I lay down and stare at the ceiling fan. I know it will be awhile before I can sleep, so I  think about Louise, although I probably shouldn’t. I wonder if she is just visiting or if she has moved here. She’s probably visiting; I can’t see Louise living in a small town like Blanca. Louise was always a city girl. If she is visiting I hope she leaves soon. I don’t think I bear to see her again. But If she does come back to the café, I’ll have Michelle find out what her story is. If she is living here, I’ll just move. Yeah, I’ll move. I’ve been in Colorado for five years now, but I can find another small town to settle down in, no big deal. What I know for sure is, I cannot be living in the same town as Louise. I finally feel myself drifting away…finally.

“Jerry, I’m off to work.” Michelle says.

“What? What time is it?” I say.

“Almost noon.” Michelle says.

“Noon. Why didn’t you wake me?” I say.

“For what?” Michelle says looking at me funny.

“I don’t know.” I say. “Hey if you see her again, can you find out what she’s doing here?”

“Sure thing.” Michelle says.

“But don’t make it obvious okay.” I say.

“Make what obvious Jerry?” Michelle says, “Don’t make it obvious that her boyfriend from 40 years ago is asking about her?”

“Actually it’s only been 20 years…” I say under my breath.

“Goodbye lover boy.” Michelle says.

I try to sleep some more, but I can’t. I let myself out and go next door to my apartment. I take a shower and get dressed. I’m not sure where I am going but I get in the car and just drive. Back in the day when I would need to clear my head I would go for a drive. I haven’t felt like that in years, till now. When I get to a red light I text Michelle and ask if Louise is there.

“Hello.” I say.

“I will let you know if she is here Jerry, do not text me every hour asking.” Michelle says.

“What are you talking about, I only texted you once.” I say.

“And I want to make sure that is the first and last text.” Michelle says.

“Why didn’t you just text me that?” I ask.

“I wanted you to hear the seriousness in my voice.” Michelle says.

“Michelle there is never anything serious about your tone of voice.” I joke.

“What are you doing?” Michelle asks.

I can hear her smiling through the phone, “I’m driving around.”

“Where are you?” Michelle asks.

“I have no idea.” I say.

“Look around.” Michelle says.

I look around and see a sign, “Cedar Lake Apartments.”

“You’re two hours from home Jerry.” Michelle says.

I didn’t realize I was driving that long, “Well get back to work M, just let me know ummm well you know.”

“My grandmother lives near where you are. Go say hi to her for me.” Michelle says.

“What? Of course not.” I say.

“It wasn’t really a request Jerry.” Michelle says. “I scratch your back, you scratch mine. That is how it works…right?”

“Who are you and where is my sweet Michelle?” I ask.

“I’ll text you her address.” Michelle says, “I’ll call her now and tell her you’re coming or else she won’t open the door. She’s not used to strange white man knocking on her door.”

“Excuse me? I’m not strange?” I say.

“No but you are a white man.” Michelle says.

“And what is that supposed to mean miss?” I say.

“Well an old black lady living alone isn’t going to readily open the door for you, that’s all.” Michelle says.

“I suppose that makes sense.” I say. “So if she was an old white lady living alone would she “readily” open the door?”

“You’d have to tell me that, Jerry.” Michelle says, “Gotta go bye.”

Michelle texts me the address to her grandmother. I really don’t want to be around anyone right now, but apparently I have no choice. The address she sends is five minutes from my current location. I arrive at the address to see a huge three story house. If Michelle’s grandmother lives here, why is working at a café shop making minimum wage. I knock on the door, “Hello this is Jeremy, Michelle sent me.” I say. I cannot believe I am doing this.

“Jeremy Carr?” A lady says from behind the door.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Get in front of the peep hole, let me get a look at you.” The lady says.

“Yes ma’am.” I say moving directly in front of the peep hole. I smile and hope I don’t look like a strange white man. I am going to kill Michelle. She never talks about any of her family members. She may have mentioned a grandmother once, and now she sends me to ‘go say hi for her’.

“Hello Jeremy, come on in.” The lady says.

“Hi, are you Mrs. McDowe?” I ask.

“Yes, I am, call me grandma.” Mrs. McDowe says.

“Umm okay sure.” I say.

“Would you like something to drink or to eat?” Mrs. McDowe asks.

“No.” I say without thinking and I instantly hear my stomach growl. I just realize I haven’t eaten all day.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Mrs. McDowe says pointing to my stomach, “Come on in the kitchen I’ll fix you something. Would you like breakfast or a sandwich?”

“Oh Mrs…grandma it’s okay, really.” I say.

“A sandwich it is.” Mrs. McDowe says.

This is definitely Michelle’s grandmother, no doubt about it. “Okay ma’am that sounds great.”

Mrs. McDowe starts to make what looks like the biggest sandwich I have ever eaten, “So baby tell me about your troubles.”

“I’m sorry?” I say, “Troubles?”

“No need to be coy.” Mrs. McDowe says.

“I’m not sure what Michelle told you, but I don’t have any troubles, I’m okay.” I say.

“Michelle didn’t tell me anything, but a friend was coming over to say hi.” Mrs. McDowe says.

“So why do you think I have troubles?” I asks.

“Your eyes say it all.” Mrs. McDowe says, “Also, by the way your stomach growled when I mentioned food. You haven’t eaten and it seems like you didn’t even realize it until I mentioned it.”

Wow she’s good, “Okay, so maybe everything isn’t perfect, but that’s life.” I say.

“That’s fine, baby, you don’t have to talk. Why don’t you have a set at the table, your sandwich is almost ready.” Mrs. McDowe says.

I sit at the table in the kitchen. This huge kitchen, in this huge house. “Ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking, why does Michelle work at the café, if she has this beautiful place?” I ask.

“You want to know my secrets but you dont want to share yours.” Mrs. McDowe says smiling, “Is that how it works these days?”

I laugh, “Good point.” I say. Mrs. McDowe brings me the sandwich with a glass of ice tea, and I eat with such voracity I am embarrassed.

“Not hungry huh,” Mrs. McDowe says.

I laugh then say, “I’m sorry, I usually have more manners than this. I guess I was more hungry that than I realized.”

“No worries, kid. My sandwiches will do that to you.” Mrs. McDowe says smiling.

“It is pretty good. And this ice tea is amazing.” I say.

“Thank you.” Mrs. McDowe says.

I finish eating and I am so full I cannot move, “So you live in this big house alone.” I say.

“My husband lives here with me.” Mrs. McDowe says.

“Oh where is he? I should say hi.” I say.

“No need. He’s in a coma.” Mrs. McDowe says plainly.

“Oh no, I’m so sorry.” I say.

“No need, I put him there.” Mrs. McDowe says.

John Gray: A Tale of Hearts Part IX

Welcome to the Mystery World of Reason…

“Can you explain why we found a strand of your hair on a dead baby?” Steve says to Dorothy Minder.

“I don’t know.” Dorothy says, “I’ve answered this same question a dozen times.”

“And you’ll answer a dozen more times until we’re satisfied.” Steve says.

I haven’t seen Steve this mad since, well, never. I better step in, “Hey Dorothy, I know how this looks. It’s bad. You’re an agent and we’re sorry if we treated you like anything but, but you have to understand the predicament we’re in. Three baby girls found dead. And they all had this red hair wrapped around their hand. And now all of a sudden one of those strands of hairs has your DNA on it. Now we aren’t accusing you of anything, but you need to tell us everything you know about these murders.” I say.

“I know nothing about these murders. Only what I’ve heard on the news and what you’ve told me.” Dorothy says, “I’m not a field agent for a reason. I can’t stomach these type of things. I work with computers.”

“I understand.” I say, “So let’s start with this…why did you shave your head?”

“It’s personal.” Dorothy says.

“Do you understand the kind of trouble you are in?” Steve says, “A five month year old baby was found dead and your hair was found on that dead baby. Should we show you the pictures again?”

“No, no.” Dorothy says, “I understand. But the reason I shaved my head is irrelevant.”

“Maybe if we found an article of clothing that belonged to you it would be irrelevant, but we found your hair, from your head. So the reason why that hair is no longer on your head is pretty relevant.” Steve says.

I give Steve a look, but he is too busy glaring at Dorothy to see me. “Dorothy, I understand that you may not want to disclose the reason you shaved your head.” I say, “But this could really make the difference in the case. The families of these kids need closure. They need to know the person who did this is behind bars. I know you can understand that.”

“I’ll tell you only if you promise there will be no repercussions.” Dorothy says.

“Of course.” I say.

“Of course not.” Steve says.

“Steve, why don’t you take five.” I say.

“Absolutely not.” Steve says.

“Actually I think that’s a great idea.” Captain Philip says stepping into the interrogation room. “Steve take five, John and I will finish up here.”

Steve glares at Cap then storms out. I look at Dorothy and say, “I’m sorry about that. Detective Meres just became a father a couple months ago, so he’s taking this case really personally.”

“It’s okay.” Dorothy says. “I shaved my head because my girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer. She started losing her hair and it started to affect her self-esteem, so I decided that we would both shave our heads. That way it would be kind of like a choice not an inevitable end.”

“And what is your girlfriend’s name Dorothy?” Cap asks.

“Is that really necessary?” Dorothy asks.

“Unfortunately it is.” Cap says, “We need to confirm your story.”

“Oh my gosh.” Dorothy says, “This is so embarrassing.”

“It’s Captain Ramana Hanji.” I say. “She’s your girlfriend and that’s why you didn’t want to tell us. It’s against the rules for a Captain to date their detectives.”

“How did you know?” Dorothy says.

“I heard about her diagnosis, and I did notice she has her head shaved.” I say.

“Well now you know everything.” Dorothy says.

“Not everything.” Cap says, “Like how your hair ended up on the dead baby.”

“That part I don’t know.” Dorothy says, “I mean I shaved it, usually hair that has DNA is pulled from the roots.”

“The other hairs we found had no DNA, which is consistent with shaving.” I say, “So I’m guessing somehow some of the hair was pulled out.”

“I guess I could see how that happened.” Dorothy says. “I did shave it myself. We had no idea what we were doing.”

“What happened to that hair?” Cap says.

“I donated it to locks of love.” Dorothy says.

Cap and I look at each other, “Dorothy can you give us all the info you have on where and whom you donated it to.” I say.

“Now that I can do.” Dorothy says.

While Chambers works on the info that Dorothy provided us, Steve and I check out a lead at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. A nurse reported misuse of BZD, the drug used to put the babies to sleep and ultimately kill them.

“Tell us everything you know Casey.” I say to the nurse who called us in.

“Like I said, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.” Casey says, “I overheard one of the doctors yelling at someone on the phone. He was saying things like, ‘how could you do this to me. I trusted you’ and ‘you stole from me’. He said, ‘I could lose my license, what are you some sort of drug addict.’ At first I didn’t think it was a big deal till I heard him say ‘Benzodiazepines are not a drug you should be playing with’. I called you guys right away because I’ve been following that case and I know BZD was used to put those babies to sleep.”

“We never put that in the news.” I said.

“Well not exactly.” Casey says, “But I know you guys have been calling and asking about any missing BZD and I know you guys were working on that baby killer case, so it wasn’t that hard to put together.”

“Sounds like we could use you on the team.” Steve jokes.

“I don’t have the heart for that kind of stuff.” Casey says, “I want to save lives, that’s why I chose nursing.”

“What was the name of this doctor?” Steve says.

“I don’t think he was involved.” Casey says, “I just think he had a lapse of judgment or something.”

“His name Casey.” I say.

“Right.” Casey says, “Doctor James Marsh.”

Steve and I immediately call Doctor Marsh down to the station and he meets us there with no protest. “Doctor Marsh, thank you for meeting us on such short notice.” I say.

“I figured you would call sooner or later.” Dr. Marsh says, “I just didn’t realize it would be this soon.”

“So you know why we’ve asked you here?” Steve asks.

“Why of course.” Dr. Marsh.

“Why don’t you tell us about it then.” I say.

“That crazy nut stole my prescription pad and wrote a bunch of prescriptions, but I only found out about it today so how did you find out about it so soon.” Dr. Marsh says.

“What crazy woman?” Steve asks.

“Amanda.” Dr. Marsh says, “But that’s probably not her real name.”

“Did she give you a last name?” I asks.

“Amanda Red.” Dr. Marsh says.

Chambers is outside listening and I’m sure he is looking up the name Dr. Marsh just gave us, “Dr. Marsh where did you meet this woman?”

“It’s kind of embarrassing, but I met her online.” Dr. Marsh says.

“Why would that be embarrassing?” Steve asks, “Many people meet online today.

“It’s a website specifically for doctors.” Dr. Marsh says, “It’s called Doctors Fantasy Come True or”

“I see why you’re embarrassed.” Steve says.

“What my colleague means is, how did you hear about this website?” I say giving Steve a look. I’m not used to being the good cop in this good cop bad cop game, but Steve is giving me no choice.

“I heard some of the other doctors talking about it in the break room.” Dr. Marsh says, “It’s supposed to be a place where doctors tell their fantasies and a person willing to fulfill that contacts you and well, you make it happen.”

“And what was your fantasy Dr. Marsh?” Steve asks.

“I don’t see how that’s relevant.” Dr. Marsh says.

“Tell us about the first time you met Amanda.” I say.

“We met at a hotel, a motel actually.” Dr. Marsh says, “We hooked up and then we left.”

“So she stole the perception pads from you at that time?” Steve ask.

“No.” Dr. Marsh says, “Well I don’t think so, I didn’t have them with me then…I sort of broke the rules. I called her again and we hooked up a couple more times. At some point I felt like I knew her, so I invited her to my house. She must have taken them one of those times.”

“What made you reach out to her again Dr. Marsh?” I ask.

“I don’t know.” Dr. Marsh says, “Something about her really stood out to me. I couldn’t get her out of my mind.”

“If you saw her again would you be able to recognize her?” Steve asks.

“Of course.” Dr. Marsh says.

“Could you contact her, set up a meeting?” I ask.

“No.” Dr. Marsh says, “That psycho stopped returning my calls a few weeks ago. I haven’t heard from her since.”

“So who where you talking to on the phone in the hospital today?” I ask.

“What? How do you know about that?” Dr. Marsh asks.

“Answer the question Dr. Marsh.” Steve says.

“I was leaving a voicemail on her phone.” Dr. Marsh says, “I was leaving the tenth and last message to be exact.”

“Here’s some pictures Dr. Marsh let us know if you see her here.” I say putting the pictures on the table.

“That’s Amanda right there.” Dr. Marsh says.

Dr. Marsh has positively identified the woman who we believe is behind these murders. “Doctor Marsh, I need you to write down everything you know about Amanda.” Steve says.

“Guys can you step out here for a moment?” Cap says.

Steve and I step outside the interrogation room. “What is it Cap?” I say.

“I just got call.” Cap says, “‘Amanda’ has just been spotted.”

Louise ∞ 1

Welcome to the Love World of Reason…

“I don’t understand.” Louise says, “Why are you doing this?”

“I already told you, this just isn’t going to work.” I say.

“WHY?” Louise cries. “I know you still love me.”

“Unfortunately love isn’t the solution to every problem.” I say. “Sometimes it’s…the problem.”

“What does that even mean?” Louise says. “Yesterday everything was fine, now you’re breaking up with me.”

“Yesterday everything was not fine, Louise.” I say. “I spent the entire day with my mother in the hospital.”

“I mean fine between us.” Louise screams. “I know this is a hard time for you and your family, and if you need space, okay, say that, but don’t talk like you never want to see me again.”

“But I never want…to see you again.” I say.

“Jeremy.” Louise says her eyes filling with tears.

I can’t bear to look at the hurt in her eyes, “Just leave.” I finally say.

“Jeremy.” Louise says again.

“Fine, I’ll leave.” I say walking out of the house, my house. That was one of the last times I saw Louise, until now.


“Jerry, hello! Earth to Jerry.” Michelle says.

“What? Oh sorry, what’s up?” I ask.

“Are you okay, you look a little pale?” Michelle asks.

“Yea, yea. I’m good.” I say.

“Are you sure?” Michelle asks. “Maybe you should sit down.”

“No, I’m okay.” I say. “I umm, it’s nothing, I’m alright.”

“Okay, let me know if you need to take your break early.” Michelle says.

Michelle, is my co-worker and really good friend. Over the years, I tried my best to not make any close connections, but somehow Michelle pushed her way into my life. “Thanks M.” I say.

“If you guys are done with this Dr. Phil moment, there is a table that needs to be served.” Jonny says.

Jonny is our manager, better known as meanager, “Thanks Jonny we’ll take care of it.”

“I prefer you call me boss.” Jonny says.

“Why don’t you…” I begin to say and Michelle cuts me off.

“Sure, thing boss.” Michelle says, “Actually I think I heard the phone ring in your office, you might want to get it, it might be important.”

“Oh yes, of course.” Jonny says. “I have been entrusted to handle the important things, so I should get that.”

“Jerk.” I say.

“What was that?” Jonny says.

“Germ.” Michelle says, “Germs, hate them and…I’ll get the table.”

I walk to the back of the café. I sit down and take a deep breath. Was it really Louise I saw at that table? It couldn’t have been. I haven’t seen her since we were 17 and that was 20 years ago.

“The woman at that table, it’s Louise isn’t it?” Michelle asks a few minutes later.

“Straight to the point as always, no sugar on top.” I say to Michelle.

“I knew it.” Michelle says, “She looks just like the picture in your wallet.”

“My wallet?” I say, “When were you in my wallet?”

“I mean she looks older, of course, but it’s definitely her.” Michelle says ignoring me.

“Michelle, please don’t start, I can’t handle this right now.” I say.

“You should have told me Jerry, I would have let you take the table.” Michelle says. “Oh my gosh! You didn’t want to take the table, did you Jerry? Awe Jerry it’s okay, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been rude or anything.”

“M please.” I say.

“What?” Michelle says.

“I do not want to talk about this.” I say.

“Jerry doesn’t want to talk about something, shocker.” Michelle says sarcastically. “She seemed really nice and I didn’t see a ring on her finger. Maybe you guys can get back together. You never did tell me exactly what happened Jerry, but unless you cheated on her or something, I’m sure she would take you back. True love never dies Jerry you must know that.”

“I’m going to strangle you woman.” I say.

“Yeah maybe later.” Michelle says, “Anyway, one of us better get out there, before “boss” comes out and starts whining again.”

“Umm, I think they really need help back here, so why don’t you handle the front of the house M.” I say. I get up and pretend like I’m doing something.

“Is that so?” Michelle says crossing her hands over her chest.

“Yeah.” I say.

Michelle finally stops staring at me and goes to the front of the café. “Hey guys, you need help?” I ask the chefs in the back. They all look at me like I am crazy, “Cool, I’ll just be over here, shout if you need anything.”

“Jerry, what are you doing back here?” Martin says.

Martin is one of the Chefs, “Hey buddy, what’s going on.” I say.

“‘Buddy’ Jerry are you feeling okay,” Martin says.

“Of course buddy, why do you ask?” I say.

“Well first of all you don’t use words like ‘buddy’ and second of all you hate being back here. So cut the crap and tell me what’s going on. Are there cops outside or something?” Martin says.

“Cops?” I say.

“Well, a couple of the guys think you’re running from the cops, which is you’re so secretive.” Martin says.

“You can’t be serious. Of course I’m not running from the cops, I’m just a private person that’s all.” I say.

“Right.” Martin says looking at me strangely.

I stay back here till Michelle tells me Louise has left. I peak in the front to make sure she is really gone. “Thanks M, I owe you.”

“Whatever.” Michelle says.

That’s odd. I was sure Michelle would bombard me with all kinds of questions. “Hey Michelle, Louise didn’t say anything did she? Or you didn’t say anything to her, right?” I say.

Michelle looks at me, rolls her eyes and continues to clear the tables. “M, don’t do this, talk to me.” I say.

“Are you going to tell me what happened between you?” Michelle says.

“M, I told you already.” I say.

Michelle looks at me and walks away, “Hey Jonny, I’m done I’m gonna punch out okay, see you tomorrow.”

I follow Michelle, “M.” She continues to ignore me. “Okay, okay damn it. I’ll tell you. Just tell me, did she says anything.”

Michelle looks at me, “We’ll talk at my place.”

We both punch out and I drive us home; Michelle lives next door to me, “Hey, let me shower and I’ll be right over.” I say. I need some time to get prepared for anything Louise might have said.

“Cool.” Michelle says.

I open my apartment door, sit on the couch, and take a deep breath. I cannot believe that was Louise after all this time. I take out the picture I keep of her in my wallet. It’s a picture of Louise and I at senior prom, just before everything went bad. We were so happy. I stare at the picture for a few minutes like I do every day, then I get up and take a shower.


“Louise come here, I want to show you something.” I say.

“What is it?” Louise asks.

“I told you it was a surprise.” I say.

“I don’t like surprise.” Louise says.

“I know.” I say, “Now close your eyes.”

Louise close her eyes, but I know she’s peeking. “Hurry up.” Louise says.

“Louise, you’re peeking, no fair.” I say.

“I know.” Louise says.

Louise is so honest, even when she probably shouldn’t be, “Okay fine, here.” I say.

“What is this?” Louise says looking at the little black box.

“Open it.” I say.

Louise carefully opens the box as if something is going to jump out at her. “It’s a string circle.” Louise says.

“It’s a ring.” I say.

“This isn’t a ring, Jerry.” Louise says.

“Well not really, but just pretend.” I say.

“Okay.” Louise says giggling.

I take the ring made of string from the box and put it on her pinky finger. “Now you’re my girlfriend.” I say.

“Eww. I’m not going to kiss you.” Louise says.

“Eww who said anything about kissing, that’s disgusting.” I say.

“Isn’t that what girlfriends and boyfriends do?” Louise asks.

“Maybe grownups but not us Louise, eww.” I say.

“That’s what my sister does with her boyfriend.” Louise says. “One time I saw them kissing and kissing. I thought she was going to pass out. They didn’t even breathe Jerry.” Louise says.

“That’s disgusting. Why do people kiss anyway?” I say.

“I don’t know. But a lot of grownups do it.” Louise says.

“Really?” I say, “I never see my parents do it?”

“Never?” Louise says.

“Never.” I say.

Louise hits me on the shoulder then runs. I run after her. We run until we are out of breath, then we lay on the grass and look at the sky. “I think that one is a monkey.” Louise says pointing at a cloud.

“No it’s a deer.” I say.

“A deer? Oh Jerry, you need glasses.” Louise says laughing.

We stay silently looking at the clouds for a while before I say, “Do you think we will ever do it?” I say.

“Do what?” Louise says.

“Kiss.” I say.

“Yes.” Louise says.


“You guys were high school sweethearts, and you broke up senior year. That’s all you’ve ever told me Jerry.” Michelle says.

“Louise and I have known each other since we were kids.” I say, “Our parents were best friends.”

“Were you guys together, together all that time?” Michelle asks.

“No, I officially asked her to be my girlfriend when we were six.” I say.

“How adorable.” Michelle says. “Sounds like you guys were in love, so what happened?”

“Michelle I really don’t want to get into this. Can you just tell me what happened please.” I say.

“Nothing happened Jerry. She ordered coffee, she sat there for a while typing on her computer then she left.” Michelle says.

“What? So she didn’t say anything about me?” I asks.

“Why would she say anything about you?” Michelle asks.

“But you made it seem like…” I say.

“I did nothing. You came to your own conclusions.” Michelle says and smiles.

“Damn it woman.” I say.

“Be nice.” Michelle says laughing. “You still love her, don’t you Jeremy?”

“Like it was yesterday.” I say.



John Gray: A Tale of Hearts Part VIII

Welcome to the Mystery World of Reason…

“Captain, I don’t think I understand,” I say, “So there were two babies found, one was dead and placed just like the others in the basket wrapped in the same blanket, and now you’re telling me there was another baby, but she was alive?”

“John, I don’t understand it either to be honest.” Captain Philip says, “But yes, that’s what we found.”

“Why did she leave one baby alive?” Steve asks, “What was so different about this baby?”

“That’s what we are trying to figure out Steve.” Cap says, “The doctors are giving the baby a thorough exam. And Marcy is doing the autopsy on the dead baby now.”

“Was the heart taken out like the others?” Stone asks.

“It looks like it.” Cap says.

“And we have no idea who the third baby belongs to I assume?” I ask.

“Correct.” Steve says.

“This bastard is really starting to piss me off.” I say.

“I think it’s safe to say we’re all about done with this horrendous case.” Chambers says.

“I’m sure it’s a waste of time to ask, but were there any witnesses this time?” I ask.

“You’re right, it was a waste of time to ask.” Steve says.

“Right.” I say, “Well how about the sketch that witness gave us, any luck with that?”

“No, unfortunately not, we faxed it to all the local police departments, but no hits yet.” Cap says.

“So is this killer a genius? Not prints, no DNA, no witnesses, nothing, or are we just missing something.” Steve says.

“There has to be something we…hold on my phone is ringing…hello, yes this is Detective Meres.” Steve says, “Mr. Clever yes, of course I remember you, what can I do for you…really…no, no that’s great…can you guys come in now? Okay, we’ll see you in a few hours then.”

“Mr. Clever, that was the father of the kids who found the second baby right?” Chambers asks.

“Yes, and he says Timmy, his son who found the body, just told him he did in fact see a woman leave the basket.” Steve says.

“That’s great.” Stone says, “So we’ll have him look at some pictures, plus the sketch and see if he identifies the same woman.”

A few hours later, the Clevers come to the office. Timmy is now looking at the different photos. We want to show him a variety of pictures that way we will be sure, when he picks the one he recognizes. “I don’t see her here, dad,” Timmy says.

“It’s okay, Timmy, just keep looking.” I say.

“Wait, go back!” Timmy says, “That’s her, right there.”

“Are you sure Timmy?” Steve says.

I really hope he’s sure, because he just picked the sketch we got from the witness who works at the yarn shop. “Take your time Timmy.” I say.

“I’m sure. But her hair was like mommy’s not dark.” Timmy says.

“So her hair was blonde, Timmy?” Mr. Clever asks.

“Yes, like mommy’s’.” Timmy says.

“Was there anything else that was different about her Timmy?” I ask.

“Her belly was not big like this.” Timmy says.

“Okay, Timmy thank you, you did a brave thing. You and your dad just sit here for a couple minutes and we’ll be right back.” Steve says.

Steve and I go outside to talk to the rest of the guys. “So the killer was pregnant when she bought the yarn, but not when she left the second basket?” I asks.

“Are we thinking she lost the baby?” Chambers says, “Maybe that was her breaking point.”

“I don’t think so because by the time she was buying the yarn, she had already had her plan in place.” I say.

“So she dressed up like she was pregnant?” Steve says.

“Looks like it.” I say.

“But why not keep up the façade when leaving the baskets?” Steve asks.

“That’s just a question we’ll have to ask her when we catch her.” I say.

We wrap things up with the Clevers and we head over to the coroner’s office. “Marcy, what was so urgent that we all had to get here ASAP?” Stone says.

“I have something for you.” Marcy says, unable to hide the excitement in her voice.

“What is it Marc?” I ask.

“The third baby had the same strand of hair wrapped around her hand, just like the others.” Marcy says, “But this time, the strand had DNA.”

“What?” I say, “Are you serious.”

“I couldn’t believe it either.” Marcy says, “But apparently this strand, unlike the others was pulled out at the root.”

“Did you get a match?” Steve says.

“Well, no. I just found it.” Marcy says, “But I did send it over to the lab STAT.”

“That’s great news.” Chambers says.

“It is.” Cap says, “Let’s hope the person this hair belongs to is in the system.”

“Anything else Marcy?” Steve asks.

“No.” Marcy says.

“So this baby is just like the others?” I ask.

“Yup, same MO. Baby died from overdose of BZD, then the killer cut out her heart.” Marcy says. “Have you guys made any progress on finding the hearts?”

“No.” I say. “We’re thinking the killer took it with her.”

“What the hell is she doing with a bunch of baby hearts?” Marcy says, “Never mind don’t answer that.”

“I don’t think I want to know either.” Cap says, “Anyway, everyone take a break, let’s meet back at the office in an hour.”

Steve and I go to a coffee shop nearby. We sit down and Steve immediately says, “So how was therapy?”

“It was good.” I say. I know vagueness drives him crazy, so I try to be as vague as possible with him whenever I can.

Steve gives me a frown, “Come on partner give me more than ‘good’.”

I tell Steve everything that happened at the therapist, but before he can respond we both get called into the office, “So much for an hour break.” I say.

“I hope it’s not another body.” Steve says.

“No.” I say, “That wouldn’t fit the timeline.”

“I sure hope you’re right.” Steve says.

We get to the station where the other detectives are waiting for us, “The doctor who examined the baby just called me.” Cap says. “The baby we found alive was the twin of the baby found dead.”

“What?” I say out loud by accident.

“The baby we found alive has a heart defect.” Cap says. “Once the doctor examined the baby he realized the defect and searched for her records and found that she had a healthy twin sister. He gave us the name of the parents and we will be going with them after this meeting to identify the body of the dead twin sister.”

“I’d rather not be there Cap.” I say.

“Likewise.” Chambers says.

“Very well.” Cap says, “Stone and Steve you meet the family at the coroner’s to identify the body.”

“So the killer kidnapped twin girls. Killed the healthy one and left the one with a heart defect alive?” Stone says. “Am I the only one who doesn’t understand this?”

“Actually it makes perfect sense.” I say. “The killer wants healthy hearts. The sick twin sister had a defective heart which was no use to the killer, but it’s the healthy heart she wanted… she needs healthy hearts.”

“That’s insane.” Steve says, “But I think you’re right.”

“Are we thinking she’s using these healthy hearts for some sort of ritual?” Cap says.

Chambers goes to the computer then says, “I’m looking up rituals dealing with hearts now.”

“Maybe she has a bad heart and she thinks stealing hearts will make her healthy.” Steve says.

“But why baby hearts?” I say, “And why only girls.”

“Right, that part doesn’t add up.” Cap says.

“Hey guys I just got a text from Marcy, she said they found a match on the DNA.” Steve says.

“Already?” I say, “How is that even possible.”

“Hey you know Marc, she always finds a way to make things happen.” Chambers says.

Steve calls Marcy and puts her on speaker phone, “Go ahead Marc, you’re on speaker phone, tell us what you found.” Steve says.

“Okay it’s really weird so make sure you’re sitting down.” Marcy says, “The hair belongs to a Dorothy Minder. She’s an agent with the bureau.”



In case you’ve missed the previous episodes or you need a refresher he’s a link with all the episodes:

Detective John Gray will be back on 8/27/15,because  next week I introduce you to a new story, a story of true love. Next week 8/20/15 meet Jeremy Carr and Louise Moore…


I want to do a fan series where I will write short stories with your ideas, the ideas I pick will receive a shout on at the end, email me: !

The Prey: Ch5 Loose ends

“Where is Evan?! He’s never been late before!” Hill yelled as he power walked down the hall of the office floor of the building. Sweat on his brow like the heat was on in the well air conditioned office, tugging at the collar of his suit, brand named something or another, but simply expensive to others. He looked to the cubicles for answers from men and women to busy with their own work to be concerned about the dilemma that seemed to have their boss worried.

Evan’s role there seemed to be a major one, but some how he remained to himself most of the time. He was in on time and out on time, and moved too quick for anyone to give him a second thought, or approach him for even small talk. Mr. Hill however, relied on Evans to always have the most important documents at his desk, and never once failed to get them on time. This was the one thing that Hill never worried about, with this being the first time it had ever happened since Evans was hired. He found himself at Evan’s cubical, looking to it with such concern, as if his gaze would somehow summon him there.

In the Cubical over from him, the radio was playing as always, news updates on traffic and other stories to be told later on in the morning. “Turn that thing down, please!” Hill shouted in annoyance. Hill looked like he was going to collapse as he looked from his left to his right like a lost child in a crowd. “HENDRIX! I need you to do me a favor!” Hendrix shot up from his cubical and turned to face his boss like a meerkat being called from its home by day light.

While his boss worried for his return, the man in question was storming back home, seeming much calmer after the events of the previous night. His formal attire was riddled with sweat patches that had no success in drying out.

“The whole place.. clean.. That guy’s body… All his blood… And that woman and her weapon were gone too. What if the hidden party involved in this really was hiding out nearby and watching?! Did they clean it up to-” He grumbled to himself and then suddenly stopped in his tracks, looking around a bit. “Loose ends.. LOOSE END!” He said out loud, freaking out the few people walking along the side walk near him. He broke out into a sprint to get home, realizing that he was the last end to be tied in all of this.

(Whatever faction cleaned the crime scene will be after you soon. Nothing was left, no bodies, not blood, no trace. With no real means to defend yourself, your best course of action is to call the police. These people are too strong for you to try and face alone anymore.)

“What will you do?
xA) Face them anyway
xB) Try to skip town

>C) Call the authorities.

His other two options were to much for him to get into leaving town wouldn’t solve anything if he was being watch, at the very least if he called the police now, it would be investigated even if he didn’t make it through. Facing them? There would obviously be more than one, and he got lucky last night getting out alive. He won’t have the element of surprise to keep him from dying. He tried to be vigilant on his own, skulking to the crime scene and risking being caught if everything was still there, or worse, if he walked in on the hidden party cleaning up after themselves.

Calling the police would be his next plan of action. As he rushed up the stairs and turned sharp down the hall to his apartment, he unlocked the door, got in and locked it back almost as fast. He took a deep breath and turned around to look for his land line phone. His hand reached out as if were expecting it to come to him, though he moved rapidly toward it.

>A) DODGE!!!!!!!!!!

Something made his senses go nuts, alarms blaring in his head, and his body perspiring madly as if he was standing before an oncoming train. From out of the open closet to his right,  a butchers knife swung around and wedged it’s self into the wall where Evan’s head nearly was. He could hear her pants as she stepped from around the corner, her body shuddering visibly as she gripped the handle tightly to her murder weapon.

Blood ran down from her head to her leg after the damage she sustained from Evans last night. Her head was wrapped with gauze and it seemed as though the bleeding stopped, but as she pulled her weapon free, her buckling knees and stagger walk made it clear that she hadn’t properly recovered from the night before. She sneered at him, pulling back her sharp weapon to attack the panicking Evans.

(The killer from the night before is alive! Judging from the dried bloody bandages around her head your attack managed to do a lot of damage to her… She doesn’t seem to let that stop her as she lunges at you! You are fighting the ‘Crazed Ally Killer!’)

“What will you do?!”


>C) Try to reason with her!

Evans didn’t want this. he didn’t want this at all. He waved his hands at her, tears streaming down his face as he barely managed to dive out of the way of her next attack and get around her and further in to his home.

“PLEASE! WAIT!! Look! I don’t know anything! I Don’t! I w-w-won’t tell anyone.. Please! DON’T!” He tried to speak to her, only to have her chuck the weapon at him in her rage. Evans nearly fainted when the sound of the blade wedging into the wall behind him revealed her miss. Though only by inches. She ran up to him, her left poised like a claw, and her right into a fist.

(She’s disarmed…. She’s smaller than you…. She ha only seen you cower, and is rushing you as if you have no spine… Show her!)

As Evan got pumped up by the text appearing in his head, he moved to attack her only to be countered by the smaller being. A hay maker to Evan’s chin… A knee to his gut, and an elbow to his chin. Evans found himself being torn apart by the little monster, who’s weapon was only half as deadly as she. A quick grab would turn the tables when Evans got hold of one of her arms, yanking her in to a powerful kick to knock her back and away from him so that he could catch his breath. She went through the class table he had sitting there near the love seats that surrounded it. Evan swallowed down the mouth full of blood he had and tried to breath for a few moments, thinking that maybe he managed to end it.

Evans looked to where she was on the floor, once again seeming lifeless like the last time he used force against her. He turned away to walk toward his phone again, slouching and putting his hands to his knees for support. No sooner than when he took a single step, the killer jumped onto his back, and took heavy swings at his head. Her attacks seemed to finally send Evans into a rage, the massive man taking his fears and choking them down with his anger. As she bashed her small rock like fist into his head, Evans would slam her into his walls with all the force he could muster, the two wrecking his whole place in the process. She got off of him just before he slammed her into his front door, where she revealed that she had gotten her weapon back. She walked up to him with a wide grin, thinking she had won, though Evans looked far from ready to give in. He barely managed to catch the hand that swung down the weapon, still slightly covered in dried blood from the first kill. It became a power struggle with both of them using both arms to push. It was amazing that the woman trying to kill Evans was so strong given how much smaller she looked.

The tension between the two was high, when suddenly, they both froze up.

‘Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.’

“Hey, Evans?” Called out a man’s voice. “It’s Hendrix? Mr. Hill asked me to come and see if you were all right. The number you provided wasn’t working, and he sent me here to check on you.” He explained in a loud voice, in case Evans was to far from the door to hear him.

It was silent, the two in Evans’s house glaring each other down, as if agreeing to wait for him to leave, which was odd since Evan could use a hand here, clearly. both of them breathing carefully and quietly in case he was listening.

“I know you are in there, I heard a whole bunch of noise on my way up here right up until I knocked… If you aren’t feeling well, then you should’ve called out sick.” Hendrix reminded him as he waited for a reply.

With his killer glaring into his eyes, the life of his coworker possibly in his hands, Evan’s mind was actually much clearer now. As if waiting on him, the power struggle between the fighters came to a halt, but only until the issue of Hendrix was solved. Evans looked to her and then to his door, and then back to her with a puzzled expression.

“What will you do?”>SAVE GAME?

The Prey: Ch4 Head in the game

Evan's home

Evan’s home

[It was as dark as midnight outside by the time Evan’s panicked sprint got him to the apartment building he lived in, cars still moving around as if it were only a midday. It was needless to say it was rather loud, since their was also a train running above the main street he lived on. He wouldn’t find any peace and quiet here, if that’s what he sought]

[As Evan stumbled carefully from the stairs and to his apartment, he fumbled through his pockets for the keys to his door. His hands were shaky, his sight was blurry, and proper thoughts evaded him. His mind was like a fuzzy t.v. with white noise playing loudly along with it, but what he focused on was a small box that appeared in the middle of it all. a small box where text would appear to him like in his games.]

(You are still shaken up from your first battle. Once you unlock the door, you can head inside. Try to keep calm and locked the door carefully behind you.)

“What will you do?”
>A.) follow the instructions
B.) ////////////
C.) ////////////
D.) ////////////

[There weren’t many options to choose from, so he did the only thing that made sense. A few clicks from his keys, and he was inside his sanctuary, locking it down and stumbling over to the love seat in the middle of his two bedroom apartment. He broke down, breathing heavily as his mind finally played through everything that happened. Seeing a man murdered, and then killing someone himself. Watching crime movies and knowing that finger prints or his wallet would lead officers to his door, he was some how careful enough not to do such things, which only made him feel more guilty. Was he a killer on the inside somewhere. Rocking back and forth, he questioned and tried to rationalize everything, while also guilting himself over his actions.

(You are now at a crossroads…. On one hand, you have successfully left the scene of the crime with no trace of your involvement. With some time, you may be able to move forward with life like nothing has happened if nothing leads to you….. On the other, You could turn your self in and be honest over what happened. You heard the killer. You’d be next if-)

[Evan jumped up with widened eyes, wiping drool from his mouth as he tried to calm himself and think straight as he recalled hearing something she said.]

“She… She shouted that there was someone else….Like someone had just told her this information.” Evan realized as he paced to his window, the V train came by with no regard to the sleeping neighborhood. “She knew I was there! Someone else was watching and knows my face! Knew I was there! Probably saw the whole thing!” He said, gritting his teeth tightly, his gums bleeding from the force he applied.
[Fear began to rack his body, as he held his head tightly. questions began to run all through his head, leaving him no room to think and answer anything. ‘Was he set up? Was it recorded? How would he get out of this? What if they made him look like the criminal? Was this why the gates were locked? Why him? What had he done to deserve it? Who would target him?’ His mind slowly fell back into that panicked state, though this time, he acted out more violently. Evan swung hard at old items that sat on counters and stands near him, punching his wall repeatedly as he cursed the imaginary conspirators of his demise. He then cursed his ignorance, as he couldn’t think of anyway out of this situation. In the darkness of his home, he felt helpless, weak, and alone.]

(You still have the options given to you, try to pretend it never happened, or confess your sins to the authorities. The chose is yours, Evan.)

“What will you do?”
A.) Call the police and confess.
B.) Pretend it never happened.

As he fell to his knees, his body weak with fear and anxiousness, Evan couldn’t decided. “No…. I can’t… I can’t choose either of those… Someone out there knows…”

“What will you do.”
A.) Turn your self in.
B.) Accept that you are a murderer.

“I’m not a killer… I didn’t do it because I wanted! I DIDN’T! I HAD TO LIVE!”

A.) Life in prison.
B.) Criminal.

“I…I….Someone…Vanessa….” He whispered a name to himself, laying on the floor carefully and sobbing to himself as his own guilt had him to afraid to do anything. The more he thought, the more he convinced himself that there was nothing he could do and that he was just as much a criminal as the two who died.

[Evan laid there in the middle of his living room the rest of the night until almost six in the morning, his face covered with dried tears, mucus, and drool from the sudden outburst he went through over the night. The text continued to pop up, and he couldn’t bring himself to answer it. They were both the same answer by the time sunlight peaked into his apartment.]

A.) Suffering
B.) Suffering

[Evan slowly began to set up and pressed his back to the wall where his window was and took a few deep breaths. It didn’t matter what happened next, last night won’t go away. Whoever else was involved had helped kill the thief, and wanted him dead as well. He had already come to this conclusion, but he never thought about it carefully. Whoever did this would have finished him off by now. they could have followed him home, they could have ended it while he went for his wallet. They could have done anything, but they didn’t.]

A.) No way out
>C.) Go back.

[Evan rose to his feet slowly and tested his legs, stomping them to make sure they were working right and wouldn’t give out right away. He didn’t want to think anymore. He didn’t want to worry anymore. It ended with him breaking down each time his mind went there. It was over. If he got caught he’d tell the truth. That was all he could do, and he wouldn’t argue with himself anymore. He found himself leaving his apartment heading outside, his brown skin now pale and clammy. Those early birds walking outside to their cars saw him and gave him a wide birth, not fearing him, but trying not to get puked on, as it seemed he’d do that at any given moment.]

(After a long walk back where he came from, Evan stood at the entrance of the alley. He panted heavily, recalling the man who stole from him before he went in through this very same entrance. As he walked in, he recalled it all vividly, his thoughts from when he was here so foolish to him now and regret slowly creeping back up. He fought it back and navigated further into the maze. His heartbeat increased as he could hear the sound of a garbage truck around the next corner. the corner where it all went down. His chest was rising and falling like a little asthmatic kid having an attack.)

“What will you do?”
A.) Leave.
>B.) Listen.
C.) Peek around the corner.

[He listened, and listened hard, but all he could hear was foot steps, and the noisy thud of garbage being tossed into more garbage, and then the sound of the truck as it move forward pass him and into the next section of the alley. The sanitation workers didn’t seem to notice him as they moved on to the next set of trash to collect. Carefully he stalked around the corner, his eyes wide and face plastered with sweat and crusted snot. He looked upon the alley, not a body to be found, no blood to speak of, and no murder weapon to behold. This somehow made him feel even more afraid that before, his gut giving in before he began to vomit near the empty cans closer to the very one he used last night.]