Chapter 1- The Pill Popper
"Same old crap..." I sighed, shaking my head, reaching my pocket for my bottle of pills.
Popped two- swallow- now mellow.
"Detective, the boss told you to head back... sesh!, there's gonna be a lot of paperwork on this", the cop uttered. "Nah", I replied uninterested... "its an open and shut case, the driver was drunk, lost control and ran over the kid here, cant believe they sent me just cause the kid is the son of the Mayor and the local authorities didn't wanna get mixed up, damn amateurs"
Two days later- a call from the agency, nothing fancy- gotta meet the Director, Hector.
"That Mayor's kid, that case is officially closed, good work", he said lighting his cigar offering me one. "I'm good, got my own poison", I grinned, popped two pills.
Smoke pervaded as i tilted my head with acquiesce.
He said "Well Winter, wish I could tell ya to rest but we're sending you to Zatin for a missing kids case, about 13 kids have gone missing in the last 6 months... there's more in file...", he bent over and dropped the yellow file on the desk.
Probed the file- flipped through the pages- saw the ages...all young kids- gone missing without a trace, pages filled with pictures of their face. Damn, what a mess.
"Zatin, aint that a remote hill town up north?", I asked, concerned. "Yeah", a nonchalant reply from him, "the local cops asked for help, the big guys want someone with authority out there... its about missing kids Winter, its bad publicity if they sweep it under the rug. You'll have our support... be quick with this one".
I chuckled "be quick? I don't even...", He looked at me- dead serious- the look of authority.
Four days later- in a car on my way to Zatin, darn, was still rummaging through the file when i saw the sign "Welcome to Zatin".
Some welcome, the rusted street sign was an apt depiction I guess, a small town that in a twisted way was rusted in itself, like being 10 years behind civilisation... technologically destitute, not a good first impression, not for me. The ride all the way up this hilly region was exhausting... my strength sapped, trapped in fatigue but the intrigue somehow kept me going.
Next day, left the hotel early to start investigating, apprehensive... popped a pill - the hill is quite serene and chill, guess I was too hard on the place at first. The local PD sent a guide. "What's that pill for Sir? Are you sick?", he asked curious. I smiled and said "Nope, aint nothing like that, just need it to stay focused". Pays off to give an elusive answer than explaining stuff huh, what a load of crap, clicked my tongue- annoyed and kept moving.