The Missing Kid (Part 1)
“No answer, huh?” I mumbled to myself as I hung up the phone in silent rage. Annoyed, I stepped out of the office to get some information on the case since my so-called Intel wouldn’t pick up her freaking phone. This left me with no other choice but going to see her if I really wanted to get this job done.
As I headed out of the office and onto the street, I took a really deep breath from the street that smelled like rotten eggs: and took a look around to see the people looking like busy bees. However, I wasn’t concerned. This was how the city always like from the sidelines. I straightened myself and crossed a small puddle from last night’s rainfall, heading into the small coffee shop.
As I had expected, two twats I always managed to argue with from the police station were enjoying their drinks and donuts carefree. “Well isn’t this grand and reassuring that our city’s finest are just sitting here having coffee while there are kids going missing.” I mocked them, taking a seat as I waited to order.
“Well, isn’t this our favorite, good-for-nothing detective,” Brian retorted as he turned over to his partner who gave me a glare.
“You know, that kid’s parents must have been really desperate if they came to you for help,” John said.
“Yeah,” I shrugged with a smirk. “I guess they just wanted someone who would actually get the job done instead of you damn cops who’s only job is to serve as bullies and protect your never ending goal to make sure there is always a donut shortages around here.” I waved to the waiter, Clyde, as the big, redhead man walked out from the kitchen. He came right over with a kind smile twinkling in his eyes.
“Been a while since I’ve seen you around this joint, Jake,” he joked. I gave him a friendly smile then asked. “I’ll have that apple over there and is Lola around?”
“She’s been in her shop all day, probably trying to hide from me” Clyde sighed out frustration. “If you see her, tell her to give me back my CD’s back.” The guy gave one final sarcastic smile. He then gave me the apple before he excused himself to head back to the kitchen.
“Gentleman, I hope to see you soon,” I said, as I began to walk off in the most professional way I possibly could manage.
I barely got out the door when Brian said, “Try not to get arrested this time, please. We wouldn’t want another ‘Liu’ incident, now would we?” Both men were now laughing hysterically as I headed out of the shop, as I walked out the shop angrily. It took every fiber of my being not go back in there and choke both of those idiots. I mean, how they could joke about such sensitive topic?! I was gritting my teeth, fighting myself to not make a fist. I almost thought steam would come out my ears and nose. I was going to get those guys sooner or later. It was only a matter of time, but I would need Lola to cooperate. Somehow, I just knew her cooperation was not going to be so easily won.
I got to Lola’s shop quickly, as it was only a few blocks away from my office and the coffee place. I walked into the boutique, the bell on the small, mahogany door, chiming to alert her to my presence. The little wooden shop was looking as the same it did last time. Empty.
“What the hell do you want, Jake?” I heard her voice coming from the counter and about jumped out of my skin.
“What do I want?” I scoffed. “Really?”
“What is it this time?”
Ok, now I was mad. “I called you at least 50 times this morning, and you didn’t even bother respond!” I yelled.
“I told you before that I can’t stand cell phones! That’s your thing, not mine! Why can’t you come see me if you have something to tell me?!” she yelled back.
“Oh, like you would’ve been here. Now, because of you, I had to talk to those donut monsters at the coffee shop.” I knew I was starting to be a little unreasonable, but I couldn’t back down.
She took a threatening step forward and pointed at me. “You ungrateful swine!” She hissed under her breath, bringing her voice down low, causing her to sound menacing. “After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me? By coming into my shop and running your damn mouth like you own the damn place?” Her accusing glare wandered to my trench coat. ”And what in God’s name are you wearing, anyway? That coat makes you look like a freaking rapist!”
She was just trying to get on my nerves, now. “Don’t talk about my favorite coat like that when you’re nothing more than a hippy with daddy issues.” I shut my mouth after I realized what I’d said.
She stopped for a moment. I knew immediately that I was busted. If you knew Lola like I did, you definitely knew better than to mention her issues. Especially the ones that involved her father. I could tell she would explode at any given second.
She came really close to my face. “Listen here and listen good, asshole.” She snarled. “Daddy issues? You’re the last person I expected to ear that from. You have no freaking right! You’re a 25 year old, double-major engineer who can’t get a job. Jake, you live in a shack! You have the worst criminal record known to man, and you’re the biggest freaking idiot ever seen to walk the planet!”
“Hey, don’t say that! You know my situation…” I tried to defend myself.
“What situation? Oh, you mean when you were abandoned by your little girl friend? That one? When Liu framed you last time?” Her eyes sparked in anger. “You’re the one who makes people run away from you, Jake. Even your own parents! You messed up with Liu big time. You live it up and then try to blame other people when it’s your own damn fault!” It got really quiet for about ten seconds as her words sank in. “Sorry.”
“Me too. And don’t worry about it. Its fine,” I replied with a quiet voice.
“No, its really not,” she said regretfully. “I mean it. I was out of line. I shouldn’t have said that.”
After her confession, I felt bad. Lola’s that kind of person that gets depressed over everything, and I could tell by the way she was frowning; she really was sorry. “I said its fine, just forget it,” I dismissed the matter. “Look, I really need your help in this case I’m working on.”
“What do you need, Sherlock?” Lola replied.
“A teenage kid when missing about two days ago. His parents just moved to town recently, and have no idea where he could possibly be.” I explained as I walked to the counter to pour myself a drink of water from the pitcher Lola always leaves out.
“They ought to be pretty clueless to have come to you,” she smirked.
“They seem pretty loaded to me. When I solve this case, I’m going to make at least 20 Gs,’” I replied as I walked back to her from the counter. “The only thing I know is that he was wearing a big, blue jacket. That and the fact he was last seen around Bob’s Shack”.
“You’re in luck, then. Keith said he saw someone like that around that old, scary shack you got stuck in last week,” she told me.
“I wasn’t stuck, it was all part of the plan!” I said indignantly as she rolled her eyes.
“Sure, it was.”
“So you think he might be in there?” I asked as I took a seat on a nearby stool, shrugging off her comment.
“I don’t know. Kids that usually hang that place are there for two reasons; buying or selling drugs”.
“The kid just got here, for crying about loud. Do you really think drugs are the first he got in mind? Besides, didn’t the police crack that place few weeks ago?”
“That may be, but you know how it works with those kids. The cops bust them, they run, stop for a week or two, then start all over again,” She said as she took a seat across from me.
“The police probably don’t have any clues, yet, judging from the lack of media. This case just might turn out to be slightly easier than I thought,” I said getting up from the stool, making my way to the door.
“Looks like I just solved part of another case for you again, Sherlock,” Her voice joked.
“Shut up, Lola,” I teased. “And if anyone asks for me, I went to Mexico. Oh and Clyde wants his CD’s back” With those words, I left the shop and waved for the cab that was approaching.
“Another hot case?” asked the driver who stopped.
“Hi, Karesh,” I smiled, recognizing the other man. “Yeah. You can just drop me off on 7th avenue,” I said as I reached into my pocket for money.
“No, man. After what you did for Sarah? It‘s on the house,” my old-time friend replied with a smile. I was relieved when he said that, because I’d just realized I didn’t have any money to pay, anyways.
We got to Bob’s old place in about five minutes, and I quickly exited the car. “Tell your wife I said ‘hi’ and that she still owes me,” I winked with a grin.
“I will,” Karesh said, smiling happily.
I walked away from the taxi as it pulled back onto the road, and I headed towards the shack. I cautiously opened the really old, graffiti covered door, then closed it behind me. The place smelled of old urine and dead rats, and I wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as I possibly could. It was also really dark inside, a single, eerie light flickering like it would in those cheesy horror movies that had become ever so popular.
“Hello? Anybody here?” I yelled several times, then figured I was wasting my time on this lead. I began making my way to the door.
As I reached for the door’s rusty handle, I heard a noise in the back. I curiously took a few steps back into the darkness, to see what it was… When something hit me in the back of my head. I cried out at the sudden burst of pain, then blacked out.
When I finally came to, my head was pounding and I was sitting on some chair under the flickering light, my hands tied up. I slowly opened my eyes, blinking at the pain in my head. Then I noticed the group of about three or five kids standing in front of me, one of them holding a baseball bat threateningly in his hand, but I couldn’t see well enough to tell what was going on, exactly. The sticky wetness dripping from my head also told me I was bleeding, and explained my headache and the reason I couldn’t quite think straight. “Okay, so who’s responsible for this really cliché movie set up?” I ground out through gritted teeth as I tried to untie myself.
One of the kids walked up to me, punching me in the face. “Who sent you, bastard?”
I was starting to lose my patience right away, now, because that punch had seriously hurt. Feeling nauseous and seeing stars, I put on a guarded expression and forced myself to pull it together. I hadn’t even done anything but ask about movie setups!
“Who sent you?” He asked again in a gangster-like voice. It was then I noticed that the guys surrounding me were only ranging from about sixteen to twenty years old. The kid who’d punched me look like he was the oldest, and seemed to be the leader based on his demanding looks.
“So is this what’s hot for kids to do in the streets, huh. Taking other kids from their parents to hide them in smelly shacks, and then tying adults in chairs to question them?” I asked in a sarcastic tone, dodging questions about my identity.
The kid’s eyes darkened in anger, but before he could answer, I heard a voice come running from a little boy, and as he got closer, he glared at the older kids. “Are you guys stupid? This is not the guy I said to get!” Finally, he was close enough for my foggy head to make out his features. It was then that I realized who it was. To my utter confusion, it was the kid I was sent to find!
“What the..? Aren’t you supposed to be in this tired up in a chair situation, kid?” I asked motioning my hand awkwardly to the chair in which I was confined. I have to admit, this was a little surprising.
“Who the hell are you?” The kid replied with an angered storm in his eyes, ignoring my question.
“Well, I’m the guy who was supposed to save your ass and then get paid, but it looks like I’m going to ask for a bonus for all this lying and abuse. What the hell are you doing here, kid?” I asked, calming down now that I knew the kid was safe and unharmed, but was still wondering how much I was going to ask for bonus for all of this crap.
“You shouldn’t have touched him, so can we just let the man go?” the kid in the blue jacket asked the boss.
“No! This punk already saw our faces! Besides, we are going to ask twice the amount in ransom since your stupid parents can’t seem to listen to instructions,” the boss replied as he signed to one of his guys just as someone answered and started talking on an old cell phone.
My head was still throbbing from that punch, so I couldn’t ear exactly what was being said over the phone being that I was practically doubling over in pain from just hearing the soft whispers of the other kids. However, it was almost certain to be about my case’s parents. “Do you fake kidnap yourselves with your little buddies often?” I asked feeling, ironically, calm.
“Shut the hell up!” The boy yelled, causing me to visibly wince at the sudden burst of sound now echoing in my brain. “You have no idea what’s going on, okay? My parents are liars and they need to pay!” Just then, the eldest gang member said it was time to go. They were agreeing to meet up at five with the parents. A couple of the kids grabbed me and started dragging me across the floor. It was then that I realized that this job was going to take longer than I thought it would.
Obviously not the end!