Passion or Possession? - Chapter 1
“A new start and a new life. A new start and a new life.” Repeated Lily to herself while looking in the back mirror of her car after checking if her police officer uniform appeared clean and proper. She sighed while staring at herself in the eyes and got out. On her way from the parking lot to the police district and her new office, she met another police officer at the door.
“Hola! You’re new here. I’m Officer Manolo Cortez but everyone here calls me Cortez. What’s your name?” Greeted Cortez with a thin Spanish accent and held open the door for Lily. She hasn’t been used to be greeted with such kindness for a very long time that it made her nervous and uneasy but she forced a grin. “I- I’m Lily Clearwater. Nice to meet you.” She offered her hand to shake as a polite gesture she still has kept in mind.
Cortez gave a warm handshake. “If you need any help don’t hesitate to ask, I know my way around here for almost ten years.” He smiled.
“Where’s chief inspector Vogel’s office? I need to report to him.”
“Come with me and I’ll show you.” Cortez walked ahead towards the elevator. “You need a key to get to his office.”
Lily followed him silently and looked around her carefully, noting the details she spotted.
In the elevator, Cortez turned the key next to the third-floor button. “I’m curious, what brought you here and made you a police officer?”
“What do you think?” Lily asked back to see if Cortez is really a nice person as he claims to be.
“No offence but for a young person like you, you must have a strong sense of justice or wanting to help other people.”
“That’s about it.” Muttered Lily while looking the ground.
The elevator reached the third floor and doors swung open.
An irregular jingle chorus of telephones rang with a large number to people talking and others typed on their computers.
“This is the calling centre of our district. Chief inspector Vogel’s office is down that only corridor.”
“I see, thank you, officer Cortez.” Thanked Lily calmly and walked to the chief inspector’s office. She knocked and waited for his response.
“Enter!” Demanded a deep man’s voice.
Lily entered. “Officer Lily Clearwater reporting to your district, chief inspector.” She greeted as she has learned and held shortly a firm hand to the brow.
Lily only saw a dark figure facing against the window with folded hands at the back and smoking a cigarette while facing against the bright morning sun. “At ease officer Clearwater.” The figure didn’t turn to face her. “So, you’re one of the top three and yet you decided to be stationed here, why?”
Lily blinked and cleared her throat, realizing the chief inspector is coming straight to the point. “To be frank chief inspector, I need a purpose, a distraction to move on in my life. I believe this place is a good start for me since my father died.”
Vogel walked silently towards his desk and threw a short glance over the papers that lay open. “So I’ve read in your report. My sincere condolences of your loss.” He looked to her and their glances met. It was a usual glance that Lily gets when looking at men of higher authority but she sensed respect in those ice-blue eyes.
“Thank you, chief inspector.” Lily thanked.
Slowly Vogel placed on the desk a badge, a name tag with her name imprinted, a key that looked similar as officer Cortez’s and document that Lily recognized is the contract for her position. “Welcome to district 042, officer Clearwater.” He placed a fountain pen on the document. “All I need is your signature and the badge is yours.”
As Lily stepped up closer to sign she didn’t get a better glance of Vogel’s face as she had hoped. She noticed that she signed with an expensive gold-trimmed pen instead of a simple one. Vogel welcomed her and instructed that officer Cortez will show her around along with her duty.
Not very long Lily was with officer Cortez and showed her office. Her desk stood a few meters in front of Cortez’s desk. “This is your desk and office, officer Clearwater.” Pointed Cortez contented. “Come on, I’ll show you the programs on the computer.” He walked up to her desk.
The hours went past like a breeze as he showed and explained how the district runs. Lily settled herself well and wrote almost never-ending notes to remember. She felt exhausted by the end of the day and content, realizing this work does her good, having no time to think of her painful past and the loss of her father. Before she left, officer Cortez informed her that in the morning she will have her first shift with him. Instead of heading home, Lily drove to her psychologist for a spontaneous appointment, knowing time will not be so generous with her in the future with the irregular shifts. She visits the psychologist to help cope not only her job of what might come but her past. Relaxed Lily explained how her day went and what bothered in her mind. The psychologist listened carefully and took at times notes.
Before the day was out Lily stood in the kitchen after her appointment and cooked herself a simple dinner and enjoyed it in front of the television.
“Come on, Jeff. You promised we would go there and that’s tonight. It’s the exhibition! You’re going to love it.” Smiled a Jamaican with Rastas and a thin beard to Jeffray.
Jeffray sighed. “I promised, right?” He regrets to have promised something like this to his friend and working colleague at a beauty salon. “You do know I was forced by my family to play the violin, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m into classical music, Basil.”
“I know, man. I know. But it is the violin from Niccolo Paganini! He was the rock star in his time. In a way a genius.”
“Yeah.” Jeffray scoffed with a smirk. “Many people saw him as possessed by the devil when he played the violin.”
“Aw, man! Do you hear yourself talking? Have you ever heard of passion?”
Jeffray smirked and shook his head.
Their conversation got cut off by a jingle of the bell and a customer walked up to the reception.
At the same time, Lily got into the passenger’s seat of officer Cortez’s police car. Suddenly she heard a cooing sound from behind her and rapidly turned to see.
“Sorry about that. Before we start our shift I quickly need to stop by the day-care to drop my baby daughter. The babysitter couldn’t make it today.”
Her sky-blue eyes shone with curiosity as their glances met. She cooed and giggled with a warming smile and chubby cheeks.
“Say hello to Maria.”
Lily forced a smile and waved at her slowly. At some point, she was afraid that she might scare her.
Maria giggled while looking at Lily. Officer Cortez chuckled with content and revved the engine. Once Officer Cortez dropped his daughter at the day-care their shift began, as in checking the streets, give parking tickets if one didn’t abide by the law and just making sure that everything was peaceful on the streets of London. Their eyes and hears were ready to pick up anything unusual but they only felt how slow the time can be.
“Are shifts mostly like this?” Lily wondered as they were in their lunchbreak and sat in the park.
“Not always, apparently today runs nothing but the next time could be a lot hectic with thieves and gangs on the streets. Maybe not many thieves like Tuesdays.”
Lily grinned to his notation. “I thought it was Mondays. There must be at least one thieve out there, today’s the opening of the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Maybe they’ve noticed our patrol which is too risky, so they will try at night.”
“Now that you mention. Why don’t we stop by as our shift ends?”
Lily nodded to Officer Cortez’s suggestion. The afternoon got a bit lively for the two of them by discussing with few people who parked their car at a prohibited place and showing few tourists the way along with one driving the wrong side of the street. Their shift ended sooner than they had thought and as discussed, they drove by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Suddenly their radio announced a robbery at the museum and presumably armed men at the scene. Quick-witted Cortez switched on the siren and drove in full speed. Lily mentally reviewed what she has learned and checked her weapon. Quickly gave a response to the radio, confirming that Officer Cortez and her are on their way.
Many people have gathered the entrance and further police cars were parked while the firemen entered the museum and other police officers held the mass of curious people back.
“Madre mia!” Exclaimed Cortez at the sight as they got out of the car.
Lily paced ahead to Lieutenant and asked what assistance she could provide. He quickly noticed she was with Cortez and ordered both of them to guard the entrance. Lily’s curiosity is peaked and had an urge to go in and inspect the crime scene but she knew, orders are orders. With a heavy sigh, she stood at the door and guarded with folded hands behind her back and kept a sharp eye and ear to her surroundings. Lily quickly gathered that one of Niccolo Paganini’s violins has been stolen during a small fire at the restaurant. Was it all part of their plan or bad timing, wondered Lily. As soon as Lily received the order to go home, she decided to take a peek of the crime scene. Her guts told her it was no ordinary robbery. While walking up to the barricaded scene she drew out her notebook and pen. Each violin is cased in the glass but one was empty and one side was shattered open. The shards lay scattered on the marble floor, some sharp edges were covered with a dark red colour. Without doubt blood but the thief broke the glass not barehanded. He or she used something as protection to smash. Whoever this thief is, either the first attempt or was desperate. Perhaps even both, pondered Lily and took notes while her eyes memorized the details. If the thief was desperate then of what? Money? Why a violin in a museum? A collector of sorts? Lily felt it in her gizzard that there was more to it, more as in magic, dark magic. Cursed violin, is a possibility but there she lacks on facts.
Suddenly she stepped on a man’s red and blue sneaker and bumped in. “Pardon me, I didn’t see-” She apologized and turned to face him. She blinked as she saw in front of her a tall slim built young man with short styled hair. “It’s alright.” He grinned at her friendly.
She blinked to collect herself. “What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here. This is a crime scene, leave immediately or I’ll have to arrest you.” Demanded Lily sternly. Her eyes fell down to his hands, holding a camera. “I’ll confiscate the camera, no matter if you’re a hobby photographer or a reporter.” She took his camera before the man could utter a word. She gripped at his arm and led him out.
“Okay, okay, I get it. I can walk on my own if I may.” He tried to shake his arm free. “Do you really think it was a robbery?”
Lily sensed in his tone as if he senses the same thing as she does. Humans out there will never understand the nature of magic hence it is best to keep it for yourself. Let the others say and believe there is no such thing as magic. It is harsh but it is the best. Echoed in her mind as a reminder from a close friend. “What I think is none of your concern,” Lily responded sternly. As they approached the exit, she took out the SD card and handed over the camera.
“What will you do with the memory card?” Wondered the man.
“Remove the pictures of course and set a high sum to retrieve it. It will be available tomorrow afternoon in the district. Now go home.”
The man scoffed and walked off.
She watched him walk away with confusion of his questions, with no clear facts convinced that he knows this robbery is no ordinary one, perhaps even knows the existence of magic. Lily sighed deeply while looking at the small memory card in her hand. She knows she should leave the case to others but her curiosity is too great to ignore. Quickly she headed to her district and inserted the card into her computer to inspect the pictures taken. For an outsider, he knows where to look for details, especially those pointing to magic. One picture made her realize how serious the situation is, one of the broken shards standing within the frame of the casing held a few drops of blood, forming the cross of Christianity is hanging reverse. A demon is behind this! The forensics took a sample of that blood, it would be no surprise if it contains traces of brimstone. That would confirm a possession. Lily sighed heavy to the thought and fell back into her chair. The first case she looks into has to do with demon possession, so soon after everything, she went through. Her hands balled into fists, so hard that her knuckles were white. Trying to cover the painful emotions of the past with something else. “A new start, a new life. A new start, a new life.” She muttered to herself as fear got a hold of her. Lily stopped as she felt calmer and saw at one fist a drop of blood oozing. As she slowly opened it, a small stinging pain broke out. Lily knew, wondering why won’t do any good at this point and she has to face it sooner or later.