That Chill in the Air
There’s a cold chill in the air. A cold chill announcing stillness. A stillness of the air. A stillness of movement. A stillness of the blood in the veins of lives that have already gone still from a loss, but somehow found it through moving forward. But that stillness reached them, once again, by taking their breaths when they got a call... We’ve found a hair.
And Ai stayed at home with Fanny, and he waited in the still.
Only in Canada can you find such a biting cold wind in October. But it didn’t stay with just the wind, there’s a full grown blizzard blowing through. Snow and ice clung to every surface that got in its way: cars, trains, trees, people- anything! Ludwig’s cab barely made it down the hill intact. He would have liked to have gone straight to the airport, but the drive out seemed like a dangerous one at the moment; even as the cab inched its way down the hill the two had listened to accidents happening on the road via the radio.
He should have listened to his aunt and stayed over a night. Maybe it’s not too late to accept the offer, he isn’t exactly looking forward to going to school now that everyone knows his secret. How could this have happened? He was so careful but one angry slip of the tongue and it’s all over. The outed doesn’t blame Gev, but he sure wishes that his friend had picked on him in a less personal business kind of way. He could have called him ugly, or stupid- even worthless! But Gev spoke the truth, and Clark heard it. Even though it wasn’t confirmed as true everyone is going to see it that way.
“Pull over here, please.” He asks when seeing the diner he often visits when coming to the Mother Land.
It’s not like the food is a knock-out or any reason personal as that, it’s for the simple fact that it’s located just down the long hill and off to the left, so why not stop in? Climbing out of the cab he leans in when paying the man. There’s a photo of Yakusoku in his hand, and he hands it to the driver when giving his money.
“One more thing... have you seen this guy come through here at any time of the year?” He asks in an unpanicked tone. People tend to roll their eyes at another person’s pain. “Think carefully, please. Really look at the guy... he’s my age, eighteen- well, he’ll be eighteen next month.”
The cabby looks over the photo and slowly shakes his head. “No, sorry. I’d remember eyes like those in a foreign face.”
“Okay. Thanks anyway.”
“You’re welcome. Hey, is he missing or something?”
“Yeah. He’s missing. So, can you keep an eye out?” He requests.
“Thanks.” He wasn’t so sure if the man were telling the truth or just being kind, but he was glad to at least be offered the kindness of being lied to.
Walking into the diner Ludwig shakes off the cold and snow that's fallen on him. He needs heat inside of his body pronto! Removing his cap to shake out the melting and still frozen clinging snow flecks, he tugs it back down on top of his head when the threat of hypothermia getting at his head is a minimal threat.
“Can I get a hot cocoa, and bowl of vegetable beef soup, please?” He asks a counter girl.
He’s never seen this girl before in any of the times he’s visited. She must be new or something. Removing his phone, he dials his aunt’s number. She may not have a normal phone, but he can leave her a voicemail since whatever is said types itself out on a screen to be read. Some fancy ass intel thing. He hoped that she wasn’t in bed already, adults check out well before or into nine o’clock. Better that she knows he’s coming than to get locked out.
“Heey, I remember you.” Says the waitress that allowed him to hang the flyers. “You ever find that friend of yours?”
“No. I didn’t come for that, though.” Ludwig explains. Thanking her for the hot cocoa, he gives it a couple sips then sets it back on the countertop. “I came because of something that happened at school. I’m sort of... hiding out.”
“Aaah.” Smiling, she walks over to a wall that has numerous photos tacked to it. “You sure missed some exciting stuff around here. Some celebrities came through.”
Snickering, he puts on an amused expression when seeing he’s got a couple photos coming his way. “Oh really, like who?”
“Some singer for Guns ‘N’ Roses,” She shows him the photo.
Four men, heavily dressed, tattooed, made-up, and unwashed in appearance; men he wouldn’t recognize from a crack in the sidewalk, look back at him smiling. One of them did look familiar, though, but only because he’d seen him on Gev’s and Yakusoku’s t-shirts once or twice when they removed their oversized sweaters in a hot home.
“And this one, a celebrity from an overseas drama.”
He knew for sure he wouldn’t know this person, but when he looked over the photo he saw something he didn’t expect to see... his missing friend. Yakusoku! His hair has been dyed, and he looks thin... sickly thin. He also looks as if he’s gonna throw up over whatever he’s doing, and he obviously didn’t know the photo was taken because he’s looking at the waitress- who’s also in the photo- along with...
“Holy fuck!” He stands, startling the woman who was putting his soup down; the red liquid sloshed in the bowl rocking over the edge and hitting the counter. “When was this taken?!”
“Um... I’m not sure.” She felt a bit in trouble, though for what she’s unsure of. “May... maybe sometime over the summer? Why? What’s the matter?”
“This is him! This is my friend!” He feels woosy-sick. How could he have missed it? All the signs were there and he missed it. Fuck! “I have to call the police... I have to tell the Lands...” He didn’t know what to do first.
Ludwig’s panicked air was so charged that when the sound of a fire truck came through the area everyone seemed to jump having been startled out of it. When the waitress looked back to where the young man excited by fear is standing, she’s shocked to see that he’s gone...