City folk never realize what is hiding behind the fog and blinding lights. The stars that glitter beyond that.I think it would suprise them to see the amount there is. Like a pond you can dip you hand into, reaching and reaching for the end. But never finding it.Would they realize, how close Van Gogh actually was, at doing it justice?I don't think they'd care. The little people below, always walking to their next destination, not realizing where they are actually headed.
Neill was no one special. The only difference between him and the people he passed was the fact that he was running.
He was also grinning from ear to ear.
No one who run's at 2 am in the morning is grinning from ear to ear.
No one finds work at 2 am in the morning either. Except for poets, or writers or artists. They'd argue that they don't find work, but rather inspiration, and they would be entirely correct, though not wat the subject of the matter is.
Because, whether it be work or inspiration that they find, the only place they are running to is somewhere away from people, the chaos and the madness, so that they may find the madness in their minds and express it.
They certainly do not run into crime scenes they aren't allowed to enter.
Yet, that is where Neill was headed. A dingy, rundown apartment building. He ducked under the police tape, and moved out of the sleepy guards' view.
“You should get some coffee,” Neill, said to one of the yawning guards before he ducked into the building.
“No such luck this morning, too last-minute.” The guard replied, not looking behind him.
The door slipped close behind Neill. The inside was littered with yellow stained walls, dirty floors and old, numbered doors. He followed the stench of smoke and gunpowder all the way up to the 3rd floor and to the scorched door of apartment 42.
He was greeted by a small, shabby apartment. The short hallway he was in, led into a square-shaped living room, decorated with quite a few, happy plants and broken furniture. Observing the peeling paint, the darkened spots on the walls and the scratches on the furniture, he realizwd that most of the damage was the original charm of the apartment. The peeling paint was from a bad decorator, rain, and damp spots around the house. The furniture was either bought second hand or badly taken care of by the owners. Except maybe for the cracked and broken mirror. That was new. As well as the... busted light?
He narrowed his eyes, trying to double his height by standing on his toes. It was a new light from the looks of it. Why was it broken?
“Ah, Jesus Christ, not you.”
The voice brought him out of his thoughts. He looked towards the rest of the apartment. A man was staring at him, disgruntled, in a white, scrunchy suit. Thick gloves and boots, goggles and a mouth mask finished the look. Behind him,a group of similarly dressed people walked around in the apartment, inspecting walls and furniture. Neill couldn’t help but think they looked like male and female shaped scrunchies.
“Hey, Greg.” Neill grinned. He’d recognize that voice anywhere.
“Neill.” Greg repeated, “What are you doing here?”
“I’m a Detective. I’m here to detect.” he showed his little card that was hooked on his bag. The keys with it jingled.
“A Free-lance De - tek - tive.” he spelled out. “No one likes you.”
“No one? Really?”
“Yes. Because you suck as a human being.”
“What?” He asked in disbelief and mocked hurt. “I am a dream to work with.”
“You pitch up during the initial inspection. While every other detective knows to come after.”
“Ah yes but if I come after you dingleb -”
A hand grabbed his shoulder cutting him off. “Hey Greg, let me get this guy out of your way.” The male shaped scrunchie pulled him away into the living room of the apartment before Greg could respond.
They kept left, making their way towards a longer, darkened hallway. Finally out of earshot, the man addressed him. “What are you doing here? And more importantly, why are you insulting Greg? You know that’s a bad idea!”
“I wasn’t insulting him. I just meant, most of you don’t look at everything and think half of the evidence is nothing so you trod all over it, making it impossible to come to conclusions about what had happened.” Neil spoke as he looked around, trying to notice every scratch and every off-color in the room. Most of the lights in the apartment now were the ones that the police had brought in. It was tall lamps, with lights that cast very deep shadows. it gave the house a horrific feel and made some of the evidence hard to see. What he could see before he turned his attention back to his friend, were the newly made scorch marks on the floor, and the spiderweb cracks on the windows. So thickly stacked together, you would’ve thought the glass was frosted.
His friend in question had stopped to stare at him.
“Except you, of course, my dear friend, Lee.” Neill held his shoulder affectionally, his feet turned to his friend.
“Yeah, I’m a fantastic fucking friend. And how is that not an insult?” Lee asked after his friend let go of him.
“It’s not an insult! It’s an observation.”
Lee growled deep in his throat, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Just forget about fucking Greg and tell me what’s going on here? The police scanner said there was a UD? You need to name those better, by the way, anyone can tell what that means -” Neil’s demeanor became serious.
“No, no one can tell what that means, you’re just a prick who stole our codes.”
“I really didn’t.”
Lee glared at him.
“Jesus Lee, why would I lie?”
“Because you like feeling smart.”
“True, but I don’t lie about it.”
Lee gave him a sarcastic smile and patted his shoulder. “Sure honey.” He let go and walked on, leaving Neill frozen, staring after him.
“No, wait! Tell me what happened,” Neill finally bounced after him.
Lee stopped at the first door on the left, that was right at the entry of the hallway, waiting for Neill to bounce in.
“Who - what - why - why are there children here?” Neill froze in the doorway, staring at the two blond heads sitting by the table staring at him. They were sitting so close to one another, Neill almost thought he was seeing one child with two identical heads. If the one’s arms hadn’t snaked around her sister’s waist, the effect would have been completed.
So surprised was he, that he barely took in the shabby, yellowed (may it be from the lamps or misuse) kitchen.
“They’re the witnesses.”
Neill tore his eyes away from them and stared at Lee. “They were here?”
“Yeah. We’ve been trying to get them to talk, but no such luck.” Lee looked around the corner behind Neill.
Lee motioned for Neill to follow him. They walked into the dark hallway and stopped under a broken light.
“They’re all like that.” Lee looked up at the light. “I think whatever was in here, whatever they did, made that happen.”
Neill, frowned, thinking. Finally, he climbed the chest of drawers and unscrewed the lightbulb with one hand.
“It’s cold now, but it must’ve been extremely hot at some point.” He commented after he got down. “They must’ve shattered from extreme heat. But not from the outside, the metal inside isn’t damaged.” He showed his friend.
“Huh, okay, that explains some of the scorch marks in the kitchen and living room.” lee muttered.
“Mh, it might actually. Though It was definitely supernatural related. I mean. This type of heat would have taken the whole house down if it was natural.”
“Yeah.” Lee stood with his arms crossed, thinking. he was staring at the crowd of workers.
Neill pocketed the bulb and stared at the crowd as well. “Who’s the victim?”
“23-year-old female assumed to be the girls’ mother.”
Neill nodded. “Any idea what happened?”
Lee shook his head. His expression set in a worried frown. “No idea. It’s not something we now. no bite marks, no poison. She’s just. dead. Her eyes are missing though.”
Neill turned to his friend sharply. “Missing? As in, taken out?”
“No, melted more like.”
Neill kept staring at him, resisting a shiver.
Lee didn’t notice. “I don’t know. I have a bad feeling about this one.” He whispered.
Neill’s eyes flicked to the crowd, subtly making sure no one was close, before dropping his voice. “Why?”
“We’ve done some small tests on those girls.” Lee finally looked at his friend. “They are not fully human.”
“What?!” his voice went up an octave.
“Shh.” Lee resisted looking behind him. Neill didn’t. His eyes went back to the crowd. They hadn’t noticed, but Greg was staring at them from across the room. He smiled at the man, waving.
Greg’s frown deepened before he stomped away to a female shaped scrunch, possibly to complain and bitch about Neill and the Lead Detective’s relationship.
“So what. They’re witches?” Neill turned back to Lee.
“They’re something.” Lee shrugged. “Whatever they are, I think the force is going to throw this one in the unsolved cases file, because of them.”
“So? That’s why I’m here.”
“Yeah, but here’s the worst-case scenario that is playing in my head.” Lee became more animated as he spoke. “They are going to try and blame it on those kids before you can finish your work.”
Neill frowned. “What? No. They wouldn’t. They’re kids.”
Lee didn’t answer.
“Oh come on, what are they, 2? 4? If they are some type of creature, they wouldn’t have the power to do something like this. They’re too young. And even if they did. And this is a big if. They are too young to have any control. At best it was an accident that happened while the one kid had a fit. They’d get off with that knowledge alone.”
“You and I both know the moment they found out these kids aren’t human, this whole thing changed. They don’t care about “monster” on “monster” attacks. They’ll half-ass it, try and take the kids down because they are an easy target, and because these kids are non-humans, they won’t get a good lawyer, and they’ll be convicted regardless of the fact that they are fucking four.”
Neill rubbed his face in frustration, finally folding his arms. “You’re right. You’re fucking right,” he conceded. “How can we stop it though I mean. Fuck. Do they have any family?”
“I’ve been looking into it, but they don’t have anyone. This chick was a waitress and a dancer at the Seven Veils. her mother died when she was 12 and her dad is MIA.”
“Jesus, how did you get that so quickly?”
“The Seven Veils is apparently very popular amongst the force.”
“So no family?”
“None that we can find right now.”
“Shit.” He looked towards the kitchen door as if he could see the two girls sitting in there. “No family. They’re definitely getting a shitty lawyer. God, I’d be surprised if they’d be able to get anything their mum left them if they came of age, if your gut is wrong.”
“My gut is never wrong.”
“It was in New Orleans.”
“Yeah but that’s because I met you and you like to fuck shit up.”
“Yeah...” he mumbled. His hands rested on the back of his neck and he sighed.
“I think I’m about to do that again.”
Lee looked at him confused. “What?”
“I’m adopting them.”
“Wh - wait - wha - Are you fuck -” Lee sputtered, froze, and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry.” he plastered on a smile. “What do you mean you’re adopting them?”
“Exactly what I said.” Neill dropped his arms and headed for the kitchen door.
It took Lee a minute to process what he said before he rushed after him. “Are you insane? You’re 25! You have no idea how to raise a child! Let alone two!” He stopped at the door in time to see Neill kneel in front of the two girls, smiling sweetly.
“Hey, what’re your names?” He asked them, voice soft.
Lee could do nothing but watch grimly as the scene played out.
The girls looked at one another.
“Mommy liked to call us Fire and Icey.” The one holding her sister said.
“Well, it’s nice to meet you Fire and Icey. I’m Neill. I’m going to be looking after you for a while.”
More exchanged looks.“Do you have toys?” The one being held asked.
“Momma gave me a swinkey, but I get tangweld.”
“Ah. Well, we can get you a toy on the way.”
The girl looked at her sister, grinning. “He's going to give us toys.”
The other huffed. her sister wiggled in her grip, reaching for Neill.
Lee watched him pick her up, and hold the other one’s hand.
Children really are easy to impress.
“This is a bad idea. You have a terrible schedule and can barely take care of yourself. How are you going to be a dad for these kids?” Lee repeated as Neill walked towards him.
“Who else is going to do it? You and your bitchy wife?”
Lee’s face darkened. “Don’t bring my wife into this. She’s not a bitch for not wanting kids until her career takes hold.”
“Right,” Neill backtracked, knowing he took it too far. “Look, I can’t let them just drown these two. And I mean, it won’t be for long. The whole thing will be resolved in a few months, I can send them to someone who can take care of them. or I’m sure they have some family somewhere. You can find anyone.”
“You think you can resolve it that quickly?”
“As long as your crew doesn’t fuck up.”
There was a crash and swearing from inside the living room.
“I think Greg heard you.”
Neill grinned. “You sure he’s not an in-human?”
“Bitch, I will show you in-human!” Greg’s voice traveled into the kitchen.
Lee was trying very hard not to grin.
“Regardless. They must have family somewhere. It’ll only be for a few months dude. Once the case is solved, they can get a foster family. A proper one.”