The Angel of San Diego

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Chapter 26 - The Pink Slipper

26 - The Pink Slipper

Robin started to say something when he heard the front door open and a familiar gruff voice saying, “Hello, anybody up yet?”

“We’re in the kitchen, Hawk,” Nancy said as she went to greet her friend.

Robin leaned toward Malissa and said in a low voice: “Amanda Potts here is kind of our little secret, if you know what I mean. We don’t think the Lieutenant and especially his partner are ready to understand.”

“Hawk might be okay with it, but Sgt. Tinker would definitely freak out,” she said with a smile.

They could hear Lt. Hawk’s voice coming from the front room.

“Good morning, Nancy. Is Robin up? I hate to put a damper on such a beautiful day, but we think that fiend has struck again.”

“Good morning Hawk, you too Sgt. Tinker, yes, they’re up. We’re just having our morning tea. Would you like some? I told them you’d be by.”

“Sounds great… We skipped our morning coffee to get this here as soon as we could. Time is really important in this case, as you well know.”

The Lt. and his partner joined the little group at the table. Nancy got two more tea mugs from the cupboard and filled them for Lt. Hawk and his Sgt. Tinker.

Robin spoke in a tone that said he hoped otherwise: “Is it true?”

Lt. Hawk looked grim, “Yes, there was another abduction last night. We don’t know yet if it’s the same animal or not. I was hoping you might be able to tell us. Put that bag on the table, Tinker.”

“Are you sure this is such a good idea, Hawk?” Sgt. Tinker sounded worried. “Remember the last time?”

“Yes. My ceiling still bears the scar from your little trip down my stairs,” Nancy said as she gave him his tea mug.

“That wasn’t my fault! I was…”

“Yes, we know,” Nancy interrupted, “You were attacked by bric-a-brac.”

Sgt. Tinker flushed. Amanda Potts giggled.

Lt. Hawk said, “We haven’t got a lot of choice. There is a chance she’s still alive and that…,” he pointed to the brown paper bag, “…that could be the thing that saves her.”

Robin took a deep breath and said, “Let’s have it then.”

As Sgt. Tinker put the bag on the table: “I’ll be outside on the porch.”

Nancy picked up the bag and emptied its contents onto the table. Sgt. Tinker left the kitchen taking his mug with him. They heard the front door close.

On the table was one house slipper. It was pink and small. Nancy looked at it for a few seconds and instinctively reached for it. She held it in her hands a little while and slowly put it back on the table.

“Anything?” Lt. Hawk wondered.

“I’m afraid not – the only thing I see are pictures from the past.”

“A pity, her name is Brittany. She’s 8 years old,” Lt. Hawk took a deep breath and let it out, “She was probably wearing that when she was taken. We found it in the yard. The other slipper is still missing.”

As Robin reached for the slipper, Malissa stopped him, “Wait. Give me your left hand, Robin.”

Robin looked puzzled for a second.

“It’s just a hunch,” she nodded her head to the corner where Amanda was standing.

“Yes,” Amanda Potts nodded back.

He gave Malissa a look of understanding and gave her his left hand.

“Okay, now you can pick it up,” she said confidently.

She held on tightly to his hand. Robin reached out again. He paused, with his right hand directly over the slipper. “It’s him, all right. I don’t even have to touch it to feel his presence. It’s really strong.”

Malissa nodded in agreement. Robin picked up the slipper.

“Twinkle, twinkle little star,

Now I have you where you are,

Down below the City Street,

In my room so clean and neat,

Twinkle, twinkle little ones,

Scream and scream but no one comes.”

He was locked in a small room. The walls were of rough brick and mortar. The floor was cold cement. There was no furniture. Above her head hung a bare light bulb, which gave off just enough light to see, but not bright enough to comfort.

The syrupy singing was coming from behind the door. Jake was there singing and preparing for his morning’s entertainment of torture.

A cell phone rang. She could hear another voice answer it.

“Yes?” said the man, “What…? Now…? Bother!” He hung up the phone and the two of them began arguing with each other, but the walls were so thick the words sounded muffled. The light went out. She heard another door shut and then silence from the other room.

They must have left, she thought.

At least she’s still alive, he heard Malissa say.

He looked to the left and saw her sitting on the floor next to him. So, that’s what you meant by ‘having a hunch’.

Yes, Amanda Potts thought that since we shared our dreams so easily that we might be able to share your visions too. She was right. I can see and hear everything. I can also feel everything you are feeling. That horrible voice!

Yes. It sickens me every time I hear it. From the looks of it there are two of those fiends and yet I can’t get a fix on either of them.

Forget them, for now, Robin. Focus on this place. Where are we?

He knew she was right. They needed to know where the place was in order to rescue the girl. Robin concentrated. After a few seconds he got up from the cement floor and walked to the door. Looking back, he could see little Brittany huddled against the wall shivering and crying. He looked down at his left hand. He was still holding Malissa’s.

They passed through the door. In the center of the next room there was a morgue dissection table. There were restraining straps hanging from it. From the roof and on the walls, there were chains and other horrible looking devices.

On a table, next to the dissection table, were many surgical knives, needles, and other terrifying instruments of torture, all laid out neatly and ready for use. There was a sterilizing tray with more instruments in it. He must have been interrupted while laying these out, Malissa thought.

Yes, now let’s see where this door leads. He headed toward the only other doorway in the room. On the other side, they found stairs leading up. They climbed the stairs together. At the top was another thick, heavy door, which they passed through with ease.

It’s like being a ghost, thought Malissa. I wonder if this is how Amanda Potts feels.

Outside, they stood overlooking part of San Diego. They could see the bay. At first, they thought they were in some public park. Robin suddenly realized where they really were.

It’s a cemetery, Malissa.

This guy has a thing for them, doesn’t he Robin?

Looking behind him, Robin saw that they had just stepped out of what appeared to be a crypt. The name inscribed in stone above the door was: “Cartier”.

The cemetery faded. They were seated at the kitchen table. Robin put the slipper down.

“What’s wrong?” Lt. Hawk asked, “Lost your touch?”

“What do you mean?” Robin replied.

“You picked up that slipper, looked at it and then laid it right back down again like nothing happened.”

Malissa was surprised, “Really? It seemed to me we were gone for about 20 minutes.”

“Yes, and we found little Brittany alive,” Robin added.

Nancy felt a great relief come over her, “Thank God!”

“Where is she?” Lt. Hawk said anxiously.

“She’s in a cemetery overlooking San Diego Bay. In a torture chamber disguised as a crypt. The name on it is ‘Cartier’,” Robin explained.

“‘Cartier,’ you mean like the jewelry people?” Lt. Hawk asked.

“It’s spelled the same way, but none of them would be buried in San Diego. They’re European,” said Malissa.

“Be right back…” Lt. Hawk left the table and headed for the hall phone.

“Mom, it was amazing! I was there with Robin, experiencing everything!”

“Yes, and Malissa helped me separate from Brittany’s persona. I was able to be there as myself.” He looked at Malissa and smiled, “It also kept me from overloading having you there with me.”

“I told you that you were good for each other.” Nancy beamed.

Lt. Hawk came back to the kitchen.

“We’ve located the crypt. It’s in the old Jackson Hill Cemetery. Come on let’s go”

They all got up and headed for the door. Amanda Potts followed behind. Outside, on the porch, they could see that Sgt. Tinker had fallen asleep on the glider.

“Tinker!” Lt. Hawk bellowed.

Sgt. Tinker fell off the glider onto the porch face first.

Amanda Potts winced, “Ooh! I bet that hurt.”

“Come on partner, Robin’s found the girl and she’s alive.”

“Thank God for that!” Sgt. Tinker exclaimed.

He jumped up and ran for the car. Robin and Malissa sat in the back with Sgt. Tinker while Nancy rode up front with the Lieutenant.

“Let’s hope he hasn’t gone back to finish his dirty work,” Nancy said.

“I hope he comes back while we’re there. This is one arrest I’m going to enjoy”

Even with the bubble light and siren, people were reluctant to pull over for a pacer. For the first time in years, Lt. Hawk almost regretted his choice in conveyance. Fortunately, traffic was light so they made good time anyway. When they arrived at the entrance to the cemetery, they found the gates unlocked and standing open. They drove through, up the hill and made a left toward the crypt.

The Lieutenant was out of the car and running up the grass toward the crypt before anyone else had a chance to even open a door. As they reached the Lieutenant’s side he said, “It’s locked! Stand back!”

He drew his pistol and aimed at the lock.

Sgt. Tinker stepped in his way, “Excuse me, partner. Isn’t this breaking and entering? Where’s the probable cause? If we do this the wrong way we won’t be able to use any evidence we might find in there.”

Lt. Hawk looked at Sgt. Tinker for a few moments and then turned toward Robin and Malissa.

“Are you two sure she’s here?”

“Robin took Malissa’s hand and walked up to the crypt door. He held his hand an inch away from the surface. “Yes. She’s here,” he said. Malissa nodded in agreement.

“Good enough for me,” he nodded to Sgt. Tinker to stand aside. After the Sergeant had stepped away from the door, Hawk shot the lock off the hasp and pulled it open. He dashed down the stairs with Sgt. Tinker on his heels. Robin and Malissa heard the sound of another shot come up out of the stairwell. The three psychics entered the crypt and descended the stairs. Amanda Potts floated along behind them.

When they entered the lower crypt, they could see the Lieutenant listening at another door at the far side of the room. There was a strong smell of bleach in the air.

“Brittany? Don’t be afraid. We’re the police. We’ve come to take you home. Brittany? Can you hear me?”

The muffled sound of a child’s voice crying out in terror came through the door, “I want my mommy!”

“I can’t shoot this lock, it might accidentally hit her. Get me a hammer or something.”

Sgt. Tinker went to the table with the torture instruments laid upon it and brought Lt. Hawk a small sledgehammer. God knows what he uses this for, thought Lt. Hawk. He hit the lock three times and it fell off to the floor. He snapped the bolt back and opened the door slowly.

“Brittany?”

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