Thursday, July 16, 2009

Friday Fiction for July 17, 2009

Friday Fiction is hosted this week for the first time by Sara over at Fiction Fusion. Enjoy Sara’s creative story and the other terrific submissions this week by following McLinky.

This entry marks one year that I’ve been participating in Friday Fiction. My first entry was for July 18, 2008, and I’ve had a great time selecting excerpts and writing new fiction for this blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.

I had an idea for a scene in Precocious by Consent this week, inspired by a scene in the opening moments of a television show just before I turned the channel. The result is the following chapter, which takes place the night after Lara Schumacher is found (Chapter 7). The killer has called Agent Powell, and stayed on the line long enough to be traced. Powell, certain that the address will prove to be empty, and not having slept since chapter 7, has elected to go home and try to get some sleep.

Chapter 10

Sunday evening

Lloyd entered the house with gun drawn, following Agent Weiderman and flanked by another FBI agent. The front room was dark, but lights shown from one of the bedrooms, and the heavy beat of some rap song penetrated the walls. An odd smell permeated the air, like cheap incense or air freshener masking rotten food.

They swept through the living room and hall, checking the closets and bathroom en route to the lighted bedroom. The door was slightly ajar, and after a cursory inspection, Weiderman kicked it open.

The room was deserted, with a bare mattress on the floor and a portable stereo blaring out the rap. The lyrics were vulgar and misogynistic, and both the performance and the quality of the recording poor. Lloyd checked the closet. “Agent Weiderman? You’re going to want to see this.”

The agent came over, his weapon still in hand but lowered. “What is it, Timmons?”

“Our guy was here, and he left us some photographs.”

Weiderman swore as he took in the sight. The closet walls were covered in pictures of both Celia Moore and Lara Schumacher, taken at various times during their captivity. A printed note was tacked in the center of the collage. “He expected Powell to find this; the letter is addressed to him.”

Tell me what happened here, Celia.

She doesn’t want to talk to you, detective.

What about Lara, Ilsa? Will she talk to me?

I’m afraid you’re just going to have me to talk to.

Wait a minute; you’re all figments of my imagination. How can they refuse to talk to me?

We’re as real as you made us, lieutenant.

The agents that had entered through the back door arrived in the bedroom. “The rest of the house is clear,” the lead agent reported. “Nothing in the kitchen but some chicken left out and the phone that he called Powell from.”

Lloyd moved out of the way to allow another agent to examine the display in the closet. He wandered about the room, looking for any detail that might provide a clue to the killer’s identity. With a frustrated sigh, he slid his pistol back into its holster and crouched down by the mattress. Spots of dark brown covered the surface, and he expected the lab would find it was one or both of the girls’ blood. Not likely he left us his own blood to extract DNA from; if this guy had bled on the mattress, it wouldn’t still be here. Lord, we could really use something to help us. If the blood of the innocent cries out to You, then this mattress must be screaming.

Weiderman leaned his head out of the closet. “Would somebody please put an end to that disgusting racket?” he yelled.

“I got it,” Lloyd said, reaching his left hand for the ‘Off’ button on the stereo. He’d no sooner touched it, when there was a bright flash, and then nothing.



“Just lie still, detective.” The strange voice spoke close to his ear, and a siren blared in the background.

He drifted out again.

What are you doing here, Lieutenant?

Doing where?

He stirred again when he was jostled around, and this time there were numerous voices speaking around him. Before he had a chance to decipher what they were saying, he was back under.

“Lloyd? Can you tell me your full name?” Now a woman was talking to him.

He thought he’d opened his eyes, but saw nothing. “Lloyd… Timmons…” he mumbled.

“Good,” she said. “Just rest; you’re going to be okay.”

He wanted to ask why being okay was any issue, but couldn’t keep his thoughts coherent enough.

Everything was fine; he was sitting at his desk at the Sunny Grove Police Station, only it was his old desk from grade school. Feeling the stubble on his chin, he worried that someone might take him to task for not shaving before duty, but wasn’t concerned at all that he wore only underwear.

A skeleton he somehow knew was Ilsa walked up and handed him a cup of coffee. “Be careful; it’s hot,” she said.

He thanked her, and carried it to his bedroom, which was just a few steps from his work desk. The coffee vanished when the Facenet Killer started running from him, right past Faye as she sat brushing her hair at the dressing table. The Facenet Killer looked remarkably like Wayne Dille, and Lloyd tripped on something every time he got close enough to grab the man.

Faye was right beside him, crying about something. How she got there, when he’d left her brushing her hair back in the bedroom, was baffling, and he wanted to ask why she was crying, but he had to catch Dille.

The killer turned a corner, and Lloyd darted after him, only to find himself falling again. The ground rushed towards him, and he startled…

Awake. He released an involuntary gasp, and his body jerked from the abrupt ending of the dream. He was lying in a bed that was definitely not his own, with something wrapped around his face. He wanted to pull the wrapping from his eyes, and felt a surge of panic when he found his arms restrained.

A hand touched his shoulder. “Lloyd, sweetheart,” Faye said. “It’s okay; you’re in a hospital.”

“Hospital? What happened?”

“The FBI agents told me there was a small bomb in the stereo, apparently set to detonate when you turned the music off.”

“My eyes; what happened to my eyes? Why are they bandaged?”

“The doctor says your eyes should be fine; you got some cuts and scratches on them from the explosion, but nothing that should cause any lasting damage.”

“Was anyone else hurt?” His voice felt raspy and his throat dry.

“Minor injuries. They said you got the worst of it, because you were so close to the source.”

He took a deep breath. “I can’t feel much right now. How bad am I?”

“You’re alive, Lloyd. Praise God the bomb wasn’t any bigger, or you might have been a lot worse.”

“How bad, Faye?”

“You lost part of your left hand, sweetheart.” Her voice cracked. “I’m sorry, Lloyd. The surgeon said he tried his best, but the damage was too extensive. They had to remove your ring and pinky fingers, and part of the middle finger. They won’t know until you’ve started physical therapy how much movement you’ll get back in what’s left of your hand. He said there was a lot of damage done to the tendons, and they’re just going to have to see how well it heals.”


Dee Yoder said...

Oh man, this is so good! I love this genre and this is a very convincing and intriguing plot. I hope you post more of this next week!

Sara Harricharan said...

WOW! Powerful stuff! Whew...I was caught up in the atmosphere and the strangely weird reality of the dream-very well done! I would like to know what happens to him next!

Unknown said...

Great stuff! I am curious on how this is going to work out!

Unknown said...

Ooh, this is good stuff!