Mitch was in St. Peter’s hospital, running down the corridors, with his coat flapping behind him like a cape. He barged into a room and went over to the bed. He could see the patient had a nasty cut along his neck, presumably caused by a knife. “Hello, I am Inspector Mitch Crosby. I am the policeman who has been sent to interview you.” He signalled to the nurse.
“It’s ok. Go right ahead. I’ll give you some privacy. If you need me, just give me a buzz.” The nurse got up and walked of the room. Mitch took out a notepad and a pen and wrote down some basic observations. He had written that the witness had a cut along the neck, which had already ruled out the means of the investigation. “Ok, this is nothing personal. Just a few routine questions. Is that ok?”
“Yes that’s fine.”
Mitch nodded. “What’s your name?”
“How old are you?”
“What’s your job?”
“I’m a senior sales consultant.”
“Where were you when this happened?”
“I was walking to the Exeter Building.”
“What time was it?”
“Early day. It was around eight to nine a.m.”
“Can you tell me your version of what happened?”
“This young man was holding a knife against a man’s throat and there was somebody else lying lifelessly on the ground. I took my phone out and I was going to call the police, but the man saw me and I panicked and started to run. I don’t know what happened with the hostage, but the man snuck up behind me and cut my throat and then knocked me out. Next thing I knew, I woke up here.”
“Do you think you had done anything at all to anger him?”
“No, this attack was completely unprovoked.”
“Why do you think this man left you alive rather than just killing you?”
“I’m not quite sure. Obviously I am grateful to this man. Even though he could’ve killed me, he didn’t. I’m not sure why. Maybe he just didn’t want to. Maybe he wasn’t capable of it.”
“Ok, John thank you for your time.” Mitch closed his notebook and walked out of the room.
Shadow and Gravity were standing outside a TV showroom, which was broadcasting the ‘news at 10.’
“Good evening, we have some breaking news; the police are investigating a murder of a young man, which has happened in the business district. David Tucker is at the scene.”
“Thank you. Yes I am right at the scene of the crime. At eight thirty a.m. today, police received a phone call describing a young man lying on the floor dead; the police have determined that his cause of death was a knife cut along the carotid artery. Only one witness has come forward. A Mr. John Blake has pleaded his case to the police. He has given a report stating that he saw one teenage girl and one young man involved in the incident. That’s all from us here, back to you in the studio.” The siblings turned away and walked off.
“Hmm, I thought we had dealt with him.” Shadow stated.
“Obviously not, but the police will be on the lookout for us now. We need to be careful.” Gravity warned.
“Don’t worry sis, they didn’t get a description of us. All we need to do is pretend we don’t exist.”
“Everybody pretends that.” Gravity gave a sad smile and walked off.
John Blake woke suddenly and sat up. The curtain to the window was not closed and the moonlight poured into the room. He looked around and saw a blonde girl and a tall young man leering down at him. He flinched, as he heard the sound of a dog barking. “Shut her up.” The man whispered, harshly. He then smiled at John.
“Hey, I know you-” Before John could finish, he saw a knife protruding into his chest. The girl held the buzzer up and pressed it. “They won’t be able to save you.” She hissed.
“Come on, let’s go.” The dog barked one more time and they ran quickly through the hospital, past the dead night receptionist and through the doors into the night air.
“How did the interview go?” Sarah asked, carefully.
Mitch sighed and shook his head. “It didn’t go very well at all. The only thing I found was the culprits are young people. He didn’t give us an accurate enough description. Finding them is going to be like trying to find an ice cube in an ocean.” Mitch’s radio crackled into life. The static clear up and a very angry voice was relayed through. “Mitch, this is Milton, whatever you’re doing drop it and get down to my office immediately.” Mitch rolled his eyes and left his office.
“Mitch, what the hell do you think you’re playing at?! I gave you a direct order to leave the murder case alone and what do you do? You prance along and question the victim.”
“Sir, I believe that these cases may be linked.”
“That’s not good enough. You are off the murder case. Sarah will take over the case of the bombing at the hospital and I’m suspending you for three months. Don’t come in for your own health. It starts tomorrow.”
“Sir this really isn’t necessary. I can change.”
“It’s not good enough Mitch. I’m giving you some time off and I suggest you take it.”
Mitch stood up and stormed out of the office. He was fuming. He ran back into his office and slammed the door. He looked up at Sarah. “Did you tell Milton, about the interview?”
“Why? I’m out of a job now.”
“I’m sorry, but it was for your own benefit. You had become overly obsessed with this case. I was just trying to help.”
“What do you want me to do in return? Bow down and kiss your feet? You didn’t HELP!” Mitch shook his head and walked out of the office. Sarah sighed; she knew that anybody who knows Mitch is well aware of how extremely sensitive, one dimensional and arrogant he is.
It was morning and Shadow was sitting looking at his sister who was also awake. He quietly arose and crept away. Gravity sighed; she knew that her brother tried to wake up earlier, so he could beg that little bit of extra money. She sighed and picked up her begging cup and put it in front of her. As she heard the first clink of coins, she wondered how long Shadow would be gone for and if he would come back, with that extra money they so desperately needed. As it turned out, Shadow was not gone for very long. “Hey Gravity, I’ve got a big surprise for you, but it would probably be better if you opened it somewhere private.” Gravity nodded and Shadow helped her up and gave her Bliss’ leash and then they walked off. Shadow led his sister down an alleyway and they stopped. It smelt like sewage and the brickwork was uneven and slimy, but it would do for this. The siblings had stayed in worse places. “Ok sis, take this.” Gravity took it. She let her hands see for her. “Wrapping paper. It’s a present!”
Shadow smiled. “Go on. Open it.”
Gravity excitedly tore off the paper and felt around the edges. “It’s a book.” She put her fingers down to the cover and started to feel all over the bumps and ridges.
“A gripping story, full of suspense and terror. When I finished it, I went straight back to the start.” The Daily System
Written by Mark Gilbert.” She flipped to the back and started reading the blurb. “Darkness and prison. Two things, everybody is scared off, but what happens if those two fears are combined. In this thrilling novel discover what it’s like to experience your worst fears and try to discover the biggest mystery that’s going on.” Shadow this must have cost a fortune. How did you afford it?”
Shadow smiled slyly. “I know a few people. Happy thirteenth birthday Gravity.”
Mitch raised the bottle to his lips once again and let the liquid trickle down his chin. He had not taken well to being laid off. He had started drinking heavily. Out of nowhere he heard the doorbell ring, bringing him out his drunken fantasy. He forced himself off the sofa and staggered over to the door. Sarah was standing on the other side
“What are you doing here?”
“Milton sent me here-”
“Oh what does that son of a bitch want now?!”
“He wanted me to talk to you. He said he’ll reassign the hospital case and we should focus our efforts on the murder case and he wants you back on the job.”
“What changed his mind?”
“I’m not really sure. I suppose he felt that bombing at the hospital was a dead end.”
Mitch shrugged, casually. “When do I start?”
“How about tomorrow?”
Mitch nodded. Sarah disdainfully grabbed the bottle out of his hand and threw it in the bin.
“Hey Sarah, I know I’m not at my best, but if I tidy up, do you want to go with me to dinner tonight?”
Sarah smiled. “Yeah, I’d like that. Well, you can get me on the radio, I best be going back to the office now. I’ll see you tonight.
Mitch parked his car outside Sarah’s block of flats and went up to her apartment. He had completely sobered up and now he was wearing a rented tuxedo and was very proud of it. Nervously he knocked on Sarah’s door. Without much waiting, it opened.
Mitch thought Sarah looked fantastic. His date was wearing a vintage low cut black dress.
“Are you ready for dinner?”
Sarah nodded. “Where are we going?”
“I was thinking of L’Amore.”
“Wow, that place is expensive.”
“Don’t worry, I’m a little saver.” Sarah smiled and started walking down the stairs.
Mitch and Sarah were sat next to the window, a virgin Cuba libre each, “I’m not letting you drink wine, it’ll turn back into an alcoholic,” as she put it. They had ordered Saumon Tartare and Moules Mariniere for starters. “Why did you invite me here, Mitch?”
“To celebrate me getting my job back.” Mitch replied, casually.
“You’re such a bad liar. You’re very sweet, but we can’t let anything happen. Milton would fire us.”
“Bugger Milton.” Mitch leant in and started passionately kissing Sarah. Sarah leant back a bit surprised, but then started to lean inwards enjoying it. She suddenly turned away. “I’m sorry, but it just seems a bit too public to do that.”
“What? This restaurant started in Paris. The city of love.”
“Yeah, but it’s still too public. If, you want we’ll go to my apartment after dinner.”
Mitch nodded. “I’d like that.”
The waiter set their meals down. “Bon appetite.”
“Good morning Gravity. Today we’re going to see an old friend of mine. Do you remember Cameron?” Gravity shook her head.
“He was my old school friend, but he’s managed to get a good job and he has always bailed us out.”
“I don’t remember him.”
“Why don’t you remember him? When we were begging in Ashford, he let us stay in his house for a few nights.”
“I still have no memory of him.”
“Hmm. Ooh I know. He has a smooth soft voice.” Shadow knew that Gravity was quite sensitive to different voices. “Oh now I remember. Yeah, he’s a nice guy.”
Shadow nervously knocked on Cameron’s door; a pretty fair haired woman opened it. “Hi, I’m Shadow and this is my sister Gravity, is Cameron there?”
“Oh yes, Cameron said you’ll be coming, he’s right through here. Come inside. I’m Melissa, Cameron’s fiancee. Wow, what a lovely dog. What’s her name?” Melissa knew down and started stroking her. The dog felt that it could trust Melissa and playfully started to lick her hand. The young woman smiled.
“It’s Bliss. Don’t worry, she’s fully house trained.” Shadow stepped through the doorway followed by Gravity. He walked through another doorway, to find himself in a rather cosy looking lounge. The lights softly glowed onto the comfortable looking leather sofas. He suddenly noticed a young brown haired man enter the room. “Hello Shadow. It’s so good to see you after all this time.”
“Alright Cameron. It’s good to see you too.
“I’m just cooking dinner at the moment. I decided to make a roast. Do either of you want to wash or anything, while it cooks?”
Shadow turned to Gravity. “Sis? Do you want to go first?”
Gravity nodded. “I’ll take her up there.” Melissa offered
“Yeah, that’s fine.” Shadow agreed. Gravity held out her hand and Melissa took it and started leading her off. “Wow I’m usually surprised by how well Melissa is taking Gravity’s blindness. Usually people freak out or get scared.”
Cameron shrugged and smiled proudly, but quietly. “Melissa’s sister is blind as well, I suppose she’s used to this.”
“Wow. That was a brilliant dinner, Cameron.” Shadow said, rubbing his stomach. Cameron smiled modestly.
“Hey Gravity, if you’re all done I can braid your hair if you like.” Gravity nodded. Melissa stood up and went over to her. “I’m sure you have beautiful eyes, can you open them for me? Can you do that for me?”
“Gravity is very sensitive about her eyes and people looking at them, they don’t always react very politely when they see them. They usually make some rude comments and this really hurts my sister’s feelings.”
“Shadow, I know that you’re trying to protect your sister and that’s fair enough, but I’m telling you that there’s no need to worry. I really don’t mind about this. My sister is blind, I know what Gravity’s going through.”
Shadow sighed and turned to his sister. “Sis, it’s up to you.”
Gravity nervously smiled and hesitantly opened her eyes. Melissa smiled back and looked into them. She jumped back and started screaming. Gravity turned away, feeling guilty, and shut them. Cameron quickly came into the room and went over to comfort Melissa. “I think you should go. There are bags by the front door, with everything you need.” Shadow nodded and walked out. He picked up the bags and opened the door. “He gave us two hundred pounds and some fresh clothes.” Gravity smiled quietly.
“Let’s just hope nobody has taken our spot.” Shadow joked.
Shadow and Gravity were in their spot, eating sandwiches. They had talked about it and decided the money would last longer, if they did not blow it all and on a big restaurant meal. Gravity viciously bit into her sandwich. Shadow frowned. “Everything ok, sis?”
“I’m going to kill her! There was no need to react like that.”
“Don’t worry about it; she was just shocked that’s all. It was an accident, I’m sure she never meant do that. Just forget about it.”
“NO! I’m going to kill her. Gravity stood up and stormed off.