Roza Maria Kerim

Tragedy Crime Others


Roza Maria Kerim

Tragedy Crime Others

The Detective Part 1

The Detective Part 1

15 mins

The rose-scented candles seemed like royalty in the middle of the small cherry table. Were they chess pieces they would represent the queen, a barbaric one dressed in wine red silk from the most shrewd yet talented worms. They lay innocuously amongst many abandoned books, thrown haphazardly around the table, and lingered in a prismatic shape, wary of the coffee strains. If you asked them they were the stars and the moon, shining like a precious jewel in the limelight. How very portentous of them!

The owner of the delusional rose-candles, the simple, round table, and the cumbersome books filled with freakshow images and disturbing information was none other than David Gallagher, self-proclaimed detective extraordinaire. At only sixteen one would think he would be into sports cars or lovely ladies but he never had any inclinations about mechanics…or chasing maiden's skirts. Not when mysteries come alive in the dead of night, twisting and turning, making everything right…

His esteemed father, Richard was a devoted police officer with a golden heart who while tender to his family tended to be missing in action whenever David had a crisis, or just wanted his existence to be acknowledged. The thought so bitter left him angry, therefore he started involuntarily reminiscing about last week's phone conversation.

"Yes, father. Of course, father. I understand that important cases can't wait. Nevermind I have both my legs in an immaculate, shiny cast, we wouldn't want the criminals to get lonely while you play a good cop with them. I'm sure the bloodthirsty murderers will cooperate if you offer them candy" David said in a controlled, monotone voice.

"If I could come, I would Davie, you know I would. Next week is your birthday isn't it son? Fifteen, already! I'll be sure to make it!" Richard said, voice full of pride and emotion.

"Sixteen, dad!" David corrected while sighing."Why can't somebody else replace you? That donut-fanatic Hanson offered to so you could visit me!"

"Georgie's not exactly…skilled enough for the job yet," Richard answered.

"Is that your way of saying he's incompetent?" David asked slightly amused.

"Son I promise, I will be at your birthday…" Richard started reassuring him again.

"Okay, dad." David said in a shaky voice "I trust you."

Pressing the end call button never felt so pleasant.

Today was his birthday and surprise, surprise, his dad was absent. Leaving him socks as a present and an apology note. At least he didn't have to suffer the indignity of having his legs in a cast also. Now having an absent father he could forgive, but having one that was solving puzzling enigmas without him? It was guillotine-worthy! Or at least silent-treatment worthy...

Luckily he had listened to the conversation his dad had with his boss, Mr. Weaver of Pawns himself, in the dead language called Latin. David would rather they'd spoken in pig Latin as it'd have sounded much cooler and it would have been easier to decipher. Nevertheless, he understood the conversation, vaguely.

His father's somber boss had told him about a child serial killer called either Cradle Robber or Cradle Ripper, he was not sure about the translation. Apparently, the idiotic murderer fancied himself Jack the Ripper and left a calling card…rose petals on the victim's body. His favorite way of murder was too gruesome to talk about on the phone.

The destination he was about to make was an abandoned graveyard. His dad would be there so he had to act fast and gather photos while being unseen. Also, being grounded would impede his investigation.

He was enveloped in comforting ebony, running like a headless ghoul towards the sinister place of sorrows. The putrid stench of death was like a guiding light at the end of the tunnel, it was reveled yet abhorred, and not just for odorous purposes. He's found the crime scene, sees the pale as snow miniature body on the cold, worm-infested ground, and feels hot tears well up in his eyes, his nose turning runny. She looked like a wounded fairy princess…

He's prepared to take some photos when a voice could be heard from behind him.

"Not you again, kid." police officer George Hanson answered from behind David, arms crossed.

"Hanson" Dave answered nonchalantly while snapping pictures of the victim and trying to hide his earlier emotions.

"That's Mr. Hanson to you, punk! Why are you here? Wanting to help daddy on a case with your kindergarten deductive skills?" Hanson asks snarkily.

"I didn't see you complaining when my 'kindergarten' skills helped you arrest that one-eyed psycho last time. But then again, you would not value my abilities seeing as your expertize is glazed donuts." David answered coldly.

"You know what your problem is the kid?" Hanson asked.

"Enlighten me," David asked with a touch of sarcasm in his voice.

"You don't know how to respect your elders!" Hanson shouted angrily.

"I respect my elders just fine," David grumbled.

"Clearly," a rich and sardonic voice could be heard from behind them. The unknown person continued "You respect them so much you make childish remarks towards them."

The stranger was tall, slim, and mysterious. He was dressed as a police officer, yet David had never seen him before and he knew all of his dad's associates. Must be a new recruit, seems pretty young too maybe off the benches of an academy.

"Well?" the stranger interrupted his train of thoughts. "Tell us what you have found out."

David started to gather his courage "Judging from the marks the weapon used was a kitchen ax, most likely from left to right. They also indicate the murderer was left-handed."

"Interesting. How did you come to the last conclusion?" Mr. man asked.

"Don't tell me you actually think the kid is right, Clearwater?" Hanson intervened.

"You know I prefer Laminae now," Clearwater said while scribbling something on a notepad.

Before Dave could defend himself and explain his theory a shout could be heard from their left.

"Davie? What are you doing here?"

Great, it was his befuddled dad.

"Dad, I can explain." David started to say.

"Gentleman please don't mind my son he always had a mind for the science fiction," Richard said in a pleading tone while dragging Dave away. He looked behind. Not caring at all about Hanson's irate face, just noticing Clearwater's pleasing visage. Something was not right.

Laminae meant petal in Latin and Clearwater also happened to be left-handed…Maybe it was an exaggeration, maybe it was because his pride was hurt but he rendered Laminae a potential suspect, most likely infiltrating the police ranks to gather information from the enemy. How undeniably clever…

He was told by his father to stay in the car, but David had an investigation to carry and so he picked the car lock with his trusted bobby pin and hurried home. He ran a couple of steps before, it happened.

A ratty crook, dressed in dirty rags with piercing eyes and lips like curled worms. The windows of his soul seemed to glow.

"Gimme the money kid, or be prepared to meet your maker." the crook said in a self-satisfied tone.

"I don't have any, " David responded flatly then said in a chucklesome way "May I interest you in a shiny bobby pin instead?"

"I'm warning you kid…" the thug said before he was tackled and promptly arrested by Mr. Clearwater of all people.

Why did he save me? David asked himself all the way home before falling into a deep sleep.

The gorgeous twilight shone on the horizon, sending ethereal beams of light that gingerly disturbed David, pulling him away from the realm of dreams.

He wakes up alert and wide-eyed. He almost died yesterday…

Well with his habit of following his dad on dangerous missions it was really just a regular Friday for him, so he should stop acting so shocked, David thought.

Deciding that he should testify his thoughts and frustrations, if only for his peace of mind, he started dialing the number of his number one confidant and seasoned secret keeper, Franklin.

"Yo, do you know what time it is? I bet not even roosters are up at this hour." came a mumbled response from a tired voice.

"Situation alfa, delta. Come to the base…don't leave me hanging loyal trouper."

A groan could be heard from the other end before David ended the call.

His best friend came to his house because he was true-hearted and curious by nature. Also, alfa-delta signified bad news.

The two friends sat on opposite chairs, one with a contemplative look on his face the other trying not to fall asleep and barely succeeding.

"I have no leads Franklin, absolutely none. Zilch, nil, null, nada! Other than…Clearwater. And I am starting to doubt he has any involvement at all." David said, head held in hands.

"Come on man, if there's anyone who can find out who the mastermind behind the massacre is, it's you. Let's guess. Maybe the killer is a half-zombie half-alien invader sent on earth to eradicate the new generation and that's why he's targeting kids" Franklin said, sure of himself.

David cackled than answered "You want me to make wild suppositions Frankie, I will! Let's see. After he rescued me, I saw Clearwater smoking a cigarette. Smoking is an ugly habit that's often cultivated from parent to child. If Clearwater's mom smoked while he was in her womb then he could have developed some criminal tendencies."

"Hey, yours truly smokes too!" Frankie said defending himself.

David grinned, walked towards him with a flashlight, and said with a smirk "Shall I interrogate you? No need to, I already know everything. Franklin Addams, seventeen-year-old member of the drama club and the next Wiliam Shakespeare. Never went to juvie, never vandalized anyone's house…never even stole a piece of candy."

"I don't know if I'll ever be half as talented as Shakespeare…" Franklin answered candidly.

"You need not despair, future bastion of tragicomic acting, if you ever need inspiration for a lousy life, search no further. It seems lately criminals think I must be laced in gold, just ask last night's crook. First dad ignores me, now this!"

"Is this about the criminals or your dad?" Franklin asked furrowing his brow.

"He's just…rarely home. Frankie, he makes me feel like that time I lost a debate argument only much worse. I am his kid, not his job! But sometimes I feel selfish for wanting him home when he's helping to make the world a better place." David said while biting his lip.

Before Frank could try to assuage his friend's guilt, the doorbell started ringing. The boys went to the door and David flung it open carelessly, thinking it was Mrs. Amy, the old lady who asked them to water her plants while she visited her nephews. Of course, that was not the person who greeted David's sight. It was Clearwater. He was dressed in mismatched clothes unsuitable for the weather and unfit for his age. Not at all like that styled police uniform from last night.

Is he trying to imitate a preschooler dressing up in his parent's clothes? David thought.

"The peculiar strangers club is at the next house," Davie said while pointing to a random house before trying to close the door in Clearwater's face.

Laminae stopped him by putting his foot at the door and keeping it in place with his arms.

"Very droll, child. However, I must insist you come with me on a little journey." Clearwater said with a smirk.

"Where? To your little hideout where you could murder me and desecrate my corpse?" David accused.

"Such morbid thoughts, little detective. Believe me, I am not into necrophilia nor am I interested in little boys." Laminae said, a contemptuous sneer on his face.

 "Then where?" David kept on asking while Franklin watched the interaction, gaping.

"To the big boss, of course."

"The big…? I won't go."

Laminae merely curled his lips, not taking no for an answer.

"Can I come too?" Franklin asked out of the blue.

"Frank!" David shouted.

"Are you of any help in a police investigation?" Laminae said, humoring him.

"I can make wonderful coffee and, Uhm, can recite Hamlet by heart," Frank said with a hopeful look.

Laminae looked thoughtful then said "We might contact you later, kid. Maybe in a year or so. We need an inside man."

"I thought you had to apply to a university…" Frank said confused

"We make exceptions for special people, and speaking of special…" Clearwater said while looking at David.

"Alright, I'll go." David said gallantly "Just leave Franklin alone!"

"I'm not some sort of genie kid, but your wish is my command," Clearwater responded while dragging David by the hand.

"Dude, are you being kidnapped? Do I call the police?" Franklin asked frantically.

David threw him an exasperated look while pointing with his eyes at Clearwater.

"Right, he is the police," Frank responded.

Davie is being led from his house to a car then he is forcefully blindfolded then leads again down a series of corridors.

 He doesn't know what to say, doesn't know what to think, yet he keeps his wits about himself.

Finally, he can hear a door open and they stop. His blindfold is pulled off his eyes and he can see…his dad's boss?

"Hello, Gallagher. Have a seat." his dad's boss, Mr. Kowaski said.

"Have a seat, my fanny! Did you finally decide police work wasn't for you so the obvious next choice was child kidnapping?" Dave asked sarcastically.

Laminae cuffed him gently upside the head.

"Don't be so crude young man and don't take it as a kidnapping…you're getting promoted." Mr. Kowalski said.

"I don't work here," David answered flatly and disengaged.

"Could have fooled me by how many times you acted the daredevil by sneaking after us and solving our impossible cases." the boss answered lightly.

"Call it an act of goodwill, and nothing else." David said a little embarrassed before continuing boldly "You people are seriously messed-up loons!"

Then Clearwater asked the magic words.

"Don't you want to help your dad, David?"

"With…catching the murderer?" David asked.

"Bingo" Laminae answered, then continued "He could get hurt pretty badly, you now."

"What do you mean? He's always managed before. Is the situation worse now? Answer me! Please…"

"Things are complicated, kid" Laminae answered.

"If you have any leads you have to tell me because as of now I'm pretty much clueless," Dave admitted.

"What do you know of 'Los mucielagos cielglos' "Kowalski asked, his forehead wrinkled in stress.

"Blind bats in Spanish? I feel out of my depth but I wouldn't say I'm blind." David answered.

"Look, kid. The stitch is as follows. That murderer left a sign using those petals, a bat sign. These sorts of sordid clues appeared everywhere on the globe for the past two months. The government kept it hush-hush to avoid massive panic. Even went so far as to mindwipe the victim's families" Laminae intervened.

"Why would they do that? Isn't it only a serial killer clan? It's just a matter of finding it, destroying it from the inside by placing false information and you know, ambushing them." David said.

"It's not that simple, David. These criminals are trained assassins capable of taking on the entire police force singlehandedly. I've seen what they're capable of…"

David rolled his eyes, not quite believing his dad's boss.

"What does that have to do with me? How can I help?"

"You can help by being a good little boy and listen," Kowalski said

"…to nonsense?" the detective asked

"We're not police kid, and neither is your dad," Clearwater said.

"We've established that. You're lunatics." the kid answered firmly.

Laminae's lips twitched, then he said: " We are a hidden organization called ophidian hunters."

Dragonslayers would have sounded cooler, David thought.

"We target the most skilled assassins hell spit out and your dad is one of us," Kowalski said.

David's eyes were wide, comprehending the danger his father found himself in.

"Why can't the F.B.I. handle this?"

"They have eluded their watchful eye and believe me, the dark side's skill and armament are much too advanced for them to handle. At least, not on their own." the boss answered.

"What do I have to do with all of this. If they couldn't help how can I?" the young detective asked.

"We need your mystery-solving expertise." Laminae answered.

And so the wheels started turning. This fragile newly-forged alliance, whose cornerstone was equal benefit could crumble at any second. For wolves are known to disguise themselves as innocuous white sheeps and the organization, working outside of the law seemed…sketchy.

But the instinct like a jewel shined a myriad of colors. It embarked him inside a novel ship made of cedar to inhale the salty fresh air and oh, stare at the sea of mystery. Life was like an oyster hiding its precious treasure or perhaps like a buried tomb and he, he wanted badly to explore the depths of azure or plum lakes. To taste victory, sweeter than any golden ambrosia, but most of all, he wanted to help his father.

And he had so many questions. After his dad's boss told him all about his purpose, he was lead by Clearwater outside, near a garden. David observed the flowers.

Delicate red roses, still marked by morning dew shined through, creating a tantalizing sight. Their passion so ardent, their flame unextinguished. For phoenix fire could not compare to such crimson wonder, nay, not even in a dream is such audacity allowed. The full bloom calls the maiden's laughter, like bells letting your mind forget of any slaughter, at least for a moment. But there is no cheery maiden here, only flowers. Rows of flowers.

Yellow acacia signifying secret love, apple blossoms for good fortune, white camellias for perfected loveliness. But also aconite an ominous flower, barberry for bad temper, candy-tuff for indifference…

He wouldn't be surprised if half of those other unidentified flowers were poisonous.

"Why do you call yourself Laminae? And…why are you dressed like that?" David asked remembering his questions.

"I like to identify myself with the killer in order to catch him. Think like the enemy, become the enemy. And I dressed in this lovely outfit because I wanted to appear incompetent for our mission kid."

"What exactly is our mission? Where are we going? Is the Cradle Robber there? And… do I have to appear unprofessional too?"

"You're sixteen. No one will take you seriously" Laminae said with a smirk "Our mission is top secret. You will find out when we get there. Cradle is certainly associated with Los mucielagos cielglos, he might have rejoined them. As for the location of our mission…you're the detective, you tell me."


"I'll give you some clues. Pay attention, little detective. The first clue is 'It rhymes with syrup, it can boast with the largest massive available'. The second clue is 'One of its famous Philosopher's thought the cleverest man should call himself a fool at least once a month' and the final clue 'Although it has immense territory, there are only two distinct seasons in most of the area-winter and summer."

"Russia," David said after some thinking.

"The philosopher?" Laminae asked.

"Dostoiesvki" Dave answered, rising up to the challenge.

"And the mountain?"

"I don't know," Dave admitted

"Brush up on your geography, it's Mt. Elbrus," Clearwater said.

"You know, that last clue almost made me rethink my answer." the detective said.


"Hanson's ego reaches immense territory also."

Laminae cackled, shaking his head while saying "Kids".

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