Letter 32: To My Dearest Hope
These days have grown long, and my actions have become tedious. I sit here in this chair, with a pen in hand, in preparation to spread my knowledge on to the next being who is willing to accept a life commitment of pain and suffering. My journal is not a log built to humor the weak hearted. I have experienced things that no human being should ever experience. What my eyes have seen cannot be unseen. What my ears have heard cannot simply be forgotten. What I have personally experienced is life, no, not just an ordinary life. A life filled with mysteries and supernatural happenings, and you are next.
No matter if you are tall and strong, or small and wise, you will never fully be prepared for what is coming or the things that you will encounter. If you are reading this letter then your soul is destined to live as a servant to the right hand of a higher power. The life you lead in no longer your life. This new life exists on the edge of Hell. Your friends are no longer your friends, and your family is now vulnerability. You will find yourself in the midst of puzzles that will seem unsolvable. You will also find yourself taking notice of things that seems humanely impossible. This is because they are all of these things. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference. My intent is to help make sense of your new life. So use these readings wisely. Not as a crutch, but as a navigation device through the world in which you have stumbled upon. With that being said if you wish to embrace this new life, then read on. If not, please BEWARE of these future texts, because, if your curiosity drags you on from this point, you will be stuck with your decision.
Before you set out to venture your near future, I must quickly prepare you as best as I can. I will provide you with knowledge that is unknown to the average human being. I will provide you with names and contacts that will be an aid to your journey. I will also provide you with fear, anger, love, and hatred towards people and creatures that you will most likely never get to know. This story is no joke, and it is not entertainment. This story is the truth. What you will soon read will have you questioning life, and may very well drive you insane. But this is a test of your strength and resolve.
This is your final warning. Once you obtain this insight, there will be no turning back. Avoiding your destiny will not save you, but embracing it might.
My story begins on Letter 33.
Here is to those dreadful days of solitude, and paranoia. I was previously lifting my glass filled with iced whiskey, but of course you couldn’t see that. When my life took a turn for the worst, or the better, depending on how you look at it. I found myself trusting no one, and for good reason. Prior to “The Beginning”, my existence felt futile. Then all of a sudden, everything changed. Except, nothing changed. It had always been that way. I just had no idea of what really was. No one did.
Let me paint a picture for you if you don’t mind. There was a day, among many other days, that I presumably lost my mind. Well, that is what my psychiatrist told me, along with my co-workers. But let’s not start there, let’s go back a bit further. Forgive me for my attention to detail.
The door slammed behind the both of us as we fought to get at each other’s zippers. Her hands slowly moved down my chest and towards my crotch as her lips vigorously pushed themselves against mine. She had begun to squeeze with both of her hands, which caused me to slightly twitch due to the unexpected display of affection. I returned the favor with a slow massage to her lower half causing her to lose her grip, which returned all control to me. We pushed ourselves together, all the while our feet moved in unison, directing our bodies past the kitchen, around the bathroom, and into the one bedroom of the apartment. Both of our bodies fell onto the mattress, but the impact wasn’t enough to stop us. My shirt came off of my toned body, and her shirt mimicked a similar action. Underneath her white spaghetti strapped tank top laid a silver cross, attached to a chain, fixed in between her breasts. My eyes gazed at the cross, and then they wandered elsewhere. The rest of our clothes seamlessly left our bodies after which the inside of her provided me with warmth of a freshly dried blanket. My eyes closed, and I buried my face amid her shoulder and neck. Seconds turned into minutes as our bodies’ switched positions, allowing us to maximize the experience. Gravity then pulled down on her, leaving her chest swaying in front of mine as our frames rocked back and forth. The melody that exited her mouth was to me, as water would be to a plant. I needed it. The night went on, and so did our passion. Nothing would stop us, and nothing did.
“Hey, Lia?” I called out her name in a whisper while my frame situated into the established grooves of my mattress.
“Yes?” She asked, as she took a deep breath in order to renew her oxygen.
She was lying directly next to me with her right hand over her stomach, and her left hand grazing the side of my right leg. Our actions left us exhausted, so we lied there staring towards the ceiling fan as it spun consistently in its’ usual pattern. I propped my body up against my arm as I turned towards her, resting my face in-between the crevice of my palm. Her beauty exceeded my every expectation. Her thin and slightly slanted eyes grabbed my attention every single time I looked in her direction. Her eyes were a dark brown color. The kind of dark brown you would get lost in if you ever saw them. Her long dark hair reminded me of a silky cloth. Each strand of hair had its own personality and its own beauty. The skin that she claimed as her own since birth was light enough that I could see her even in a dark environment permitted that there was even the smallest amount of light. Her sheer beauty alone had me questioning how I could have gotten with someone as flawless as her.
“Remember how we met?” I asked Lia.
“Of course I do. Why, does your nose still hurt?” She asked with a huge smile on her face as she turned towards me.
It had recently turned dark, and the room was coated with a murky shade. The moonlight shone through the transom above our bedroom window, which caused Lia’s face to glow like the body of a firefly. I returned the smile that I had formerly received from her, after which I leaned over and gently planted a small kiss on the tip of her nose. My body soon shifted back to its’ comfortable position, adhered into the foam covered pallet.
“I just think sometimes, you know?” I mentioned amidst the brief silence.
At that moment in time, she remained facing me. I could feel her eyes searing a hole into the side of my face.
“It could have been anyone. Anyone could have walked through that door.” I told her.
“And that anyone was me. It just so happened, that I was that ‘anyone’ that you were looking for.” She replied
I lied there thinking about her previous statement. She was right. The universe had brought us together. Who was I to question that?
“Please don’t use your poetry crap on me.”
“That ‘poetry crap’ helps pay the bills.” She snarled back at me, accompanied with a friendly nudge.
Our eyes faced the ceiling fan once again, as we kept our thoughts to ourselves. Abruptly, my cell phone rang.
“Oh shit.” Those words left my mouth so re-actively.
My body jolted to the sound of a hundred bells, and my arms reached out past my comforter and towards the nightstand. My back was now facing Lia while her eyes were surely fixed on me. My wrist bent down and then up again, as my fingers lodged themselves around my store bought phone case. I looked at the screen of my phone and the words read “PD”. Hastily, I slid my thumb across the phone and placed it against my ear.
“Hello?” My voice echoed back through my phone.
“It’s Bryant. We need you on Brisken, now!” The man had a sense of urgency in his voice.
“What’s the deal? Where on Brisken?” I replied back, still half way confused about what was going on.
“Just get your ass here Owens. We are north bound where Brisken meets the suburbia.
I hesitated to reply. “Okay, I’m on my way.”
My thoughts began to race through my mind, and a faint voice whispered into my ear providing me with comfort.
“You’re fine. I won’t wait up.”
Lia removed her hands from my back after she gave me a slight push towards the closet located to the left of our bed. The spinning within my head persisted until I found myself, fully clothed, and stood in front of the anterior door of my home. Lia trailed me until I built up the courage to leave her. There was one last stare into the eyes of a fallen angel, and then the onset of a heavy burden fell upon my shoulders as the door between heaven and hell closed behind me. Though, I had been on the force for years by that time, I still got pretty anxious about being called out to a crime scene. It probably had something to do with the possibility that I could lose my life.
When I arrived on the scene, my heart dropped into the depths of my bowels. Never, have I ever seen something so gruesome. I briefly stayed seated in my car as I prepared myself for what was soon to come. I slowly reached my left hand down towards my car door handle. The upper half of my body leaned out into the night’s cool breeze, and soon after, my trembling legs followed. As I stood up, the sound of pills shaking around inside of a plastic bottle caused my hands to lightly perspire. My migraines set in, but I wasn’t comfortable being on any sort of drugs while on the job. There were slight side effects to my medication, all of which were inconsistent. Sometimes they would occur and at other times they wouldn’t. Despite all of this, I held my composer and continued on. Once I got closer to the house, I saw a blood trail that started from the frontal window and lead to the tree that was located on the front lawn. Next to that tree was the body of a woman. Her profile was hard to make out, but if I were to guess I would say she was about 40 years old with blonde hair (now highlighted with red streaks). At that point in time, her lifeless body remained pale. Her once pink rosy skin was now grey and filled with wrinkles that covered her from head to toe. My eyes continued to examine the scene, and a number of distinct features caught my attention. The door was completely untouched. There were no signs of a forced entry. Which could only mean that the suspect knew the victim. Or maybe even he or she had a key.
“Owens, there you are!” Head detective Charles Bryant yelled as he waved his hands towards himself. His strong bruiting presence laid waste to any confidence I had approached him with, which was already scarce. Bryant was six foot three, maybe 200 pounds. A lot of that weight was probably fat, but enough of it was muscle to make him the most intimidating Detective on the force. His dark skinned complexion was rich and smooth. Though, his face couldn’t be any less eloquent. There lied a big dark mustache right along his upper lip, and his neighboring hairs did not exist. He always wore a nice suit, but he never wore it in any nice manner. His tie was always halfway on, almost as if he couldn’t breathe unless it was tied loosely around his neck.
“Get over here, we got some freaky shit going down.”
I simply nodded as I walked towards Bryant and his team of detectives and forensic officers. My face begun to fill with blood and my heart sped up as I approached the cold body. The vibe that I had gotten wasn’t a good one. I approached the crowd of people and everyone looked at me as I stood still, avoiding eye contact with the lifeless woman.
“Well shit, aren’t you gonna say hi?” Bryant snarled at me as I stood in disbelief.
“Damn, Charles. How many times you gonna use that word? Shit, you’ve used it three times already.” Marty, the lead forensic officer told Bryant. Marty. What can I say about this guy? He was a jokester for sure. It was hard to take him seriously unless he was speaking about dead bodies and causes of death. It was unusual of his position for him to be out on every crime scene. He felt as if being there as it went down gave him some sort of majestic powers that allowed him to channel what happened to the corpse. His short and round build fit his personality perfectly, and it was cause for a number of jokes made about him. Regardless, he was an expert, and a damn good one. We had a couple of forensic officers at our disposal, but none of them could match Marty’s ability.
“When you’ve worked here for 25 years, and when you’ve seen the SHIT that I’ve seen . . . Then you can say whatever the hell you want to say!” Bryant snapped at Marty.
Marty’s mood completely changed after Bryant addressed him. His head dropped and his eyes were fixed on the tops of his shoes while he played with his shoestrings.
“Okay, listen up men.”
Maria Gonzalez, one of our very few female detectives, looked up at Bryant. The glare caused him to quickly correct himself. Maria was born and raised here in the United States of America. Her voice was deep, considering, and her tone was sort of dark and depressing. Her slightly tanned skin wavered, but her eyes never shook. She was a lioness. Her above average height intimidated almost everyone she encountered, including Bryant. Bryant and Maria seemed to have a thing going on. Everyone in the department knew about it, but no one really acknowledged it. I don’t see how their relationship even worked. Both of their egos were through the roof. I don’t mean to be inappropriate, but I’m positive Maria was always on top.
“And ladies . . .” Bryant said as he lowered his head to meet eyes with the victim. “This woman was a single mom. She had one son, who by the way is now missing. We’ve already put out an APB out on the kid. His name was Dylan.”
“Is, Dylan.” I interrupted.
Bryant gave me a look of annoyance, but he continued.
“He IS six years old, has dirty blonde hair, and a gap filled smile. Here, we’ve made copies of his picture. Everyone take one, and be on the lookout.” Bryant passed around a stack of flyers with the kids face on them. “Amber alerts will be out soon.” He said this as an afterthought. “Incidentally, the mother worked evening shifts at the grocery store down the street, and as a waitress at Lithium’s on weekend nights.”
“Lithium’s? What was she doing working at a place like that? It’s filled with a bunch of freaks.” An officer spoke up for all of us to hear.
“She needed to make ends meet I guess.” I told the officer.
“She also had a thing going on with one of the regulars. At least that is what the neighbor over there told us.” Bryant said as he pointed across the street.
I turned a full 180 and locked my eyes on the house directly behind me. The outside walls were bricked and there were bushes to accent the aesthetics. This particular house had two stories of brick and mortar to take in. Most noticeably, the door of the house was painted a rich red color. I saw a young kid watching the scene through his bedroom window on the second floor. I thought to myself, if that kid happened to see anything, maybe he could be helpful. That seemed like a ridiculous thought, but it’s happened in the past before. The detectives kept up their conversation as I stared down the boy through his windowpane.
“Hey! Could you show some respect please?” Bryant asked me as he began to wrap up his briefing.
“Shit Owens, I mean there is a dead lady right there lying on the ground all sucked the fuck up, and you want to stare off into wonderland.” He said all of that as he gestured towards the woman’s corpse. In that one moment I had forgotten how graphic her appearance was, but I was quickly reminded after I followed Bryant’s pointer finger towards her body. I swiftly turned away.
“Not so pretty is it? I bet she doesn’t think so either. I bet she wants closure, and we are going to give that to her. Okay men?”
Maria, once again, snapped her head towards Bryant.
“and ladies . . .”
The team dispersed as I stood there, gazing in the direction of the neighbor’s home. There was something that kid had to say. It was something important.
Not too long after, I found myself knocking at the door of the neighbor’s home. Being closer to the door allowed me to realize that the paint looked very new. Unfortunately, there were crayon marks on the bottom right hand corner. I guess the kid couldn’t go a couple of weeks without marking his territory per say. My right hand reached into the side pocket of my coat, and I could feel my pill bottle. My urge to medicate at that moment was through the roof. To resist the urge I bent down to examine the markings the kid had made, but nothing came of it. As I looked over the script, the door slowly opened and I immediately found myself on my feet and at full attention.
“Hi, how are you doing ma’am?” I asked the older woman as she stood in the doorway. Her eyes suggested she was sweet, but her attitude proved otherwise. Maybe she was just in no mood because of her seemingly hectic life. The wrinkles in her forehead suggested she was of old age, but it wasn’t just that alone. All of the telltale signs were there: several grey hairs, slightly wrinkled skin; there was no doubt about it.
“I’m fine. I’m just trying t– I’m” I heard a noise in the background that sounded like something clanged against the floor.
“Hey!” She yelled back towards the direction of her hallway. “Stop touching–” She sighed while she began to turn towards my direction once again. “I’m sorry, now’s not a good time.”
She spoke to me in a low tone. She seemed so tired. My eyes dropped due to the feeling of shame because of the annoyance I seemed to be adding to her life. Just then I saw the head of a little boy peak around the corner, and then back into the shadows as quickly as it came out. The woman kept speaking but my attention was elsewhere. I forced my eyes to make contact with hers as a re-calibrated my focus.
“So I hope you can forgive me, but I can’t do this right now. I know you want to probably ask me questions about . . . you know. That.” She said as she pointed towards the dead lady who still remained in the same location as she did when I first arrived.
“No, I completely understand. I’m just trying t–” Once again I saw the boys head pop around the corner. “Is there a way I can come in and just ask a few questions?”
She was a bit reluctant, but eventually she gave in.
“Yeah, sure. As long as this won’t take too long.”
“No ma’am. Ten minutes at most.”
She stood aside and held her hand out, allowing me to walk past her and into her living room.
“Sorry that we’re keeping you up so late.” I said as I walked further into her home. No response. I turned towards her after having approached the sofa. “This is a nice place you have here. I saw that your door was recently painted.”
“Oh, yes, we had that done a couple of weeks ago. Brian over there took the time to scribble on it a bit.” She said as she gestured in the boys’ direction. He was sitting on the staircase near the top. “I’ll have to clean that tomorrow.”
I looked towards the boy, but once again he disappeared, but this time around the railing of the stairs. I searched the house with my eyes for any signs of who these people might have been. There were pictures of her family placed along the top of her fireplace. In one picture there was man in uniform. Most likely, her husband was in some sort of military group, but her front yard was fully grown in, and there were no signs of a male presence. Something happened to her husband. He may have died in action. Though, it was sad revelation, it was the least of my concerns at that moment. So I avoided the topic all together. Instead I focused on her kid.
“He’s a shy kid isn’t he?” I asked her in attempt to spark up conversation.
“Yeah, he has his moments where he seeks attention, but mostly he keeps to himself. He doesn’t even talk much to me. The mood around here has been pretty down since that incident over there.”
“Who wouldn’t be upset about something like that, did you know her? Her, family and what not?”
“No, not really. I mean, my kid would play with hers on occasion. She was always working. She worked almost every night.”
“Does she have any family besides her kid?”
“Not that I know of. The only person I ever saw her with, besides her child was one of the guys from Lithium’s. I could tell by his wristband. They all have these weird looking wristbands. They only sell them there I think. Is her kid okay? I can’t imagine how he is feeling about this. Given the fact that he even understands what is going on.”
I drop my head as I prepared myself to tell her the bad news.
“The kid, is missing, Ms . . .” I told her as I went to jot down the clubs name in my notebook. Soon after I noticed that I had already written it down. I had just simply forgotten about it.
“Langston, and that’s, terrible.” She told me as her right hand grabbed the back of her neck. “Brian seemed to feel most comfortable around him. I’m ashamed because I can’t remember his name at the moment.”
“Dylan.” I said interrupting her thought process.
“That’s right, his name was Dylan.”
“Is, Dylan.” I replied eagerly. “How often did they hangout?”
“Yeah, you know, play. How often did they play together?”
“It depended on Brian’s mood, maybe a couple of days a week. Sometimes less.”
We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then I decided to get straight to the point.
“Look Ms. Langston, it’s late and I know you’re tired so I’m just going to get to the point here. I need to speak to your boy. I know it seems–” I looked up towards the direction of the staircase, which I assumed led to the boys’ room all the while I moved closer to Ms. Langston. “I know it seems a bit crazy, but I think he knows something. I think he may have seen something.”
She looked a bit timid once again, but she gave me the blessing to speak with him. I adjusted my pants as I stood up, and I walked upstairs and around the corner. I approached his doorway and I began to knock on the post that outlined the entrance to his room.
“Hey, Brian, you there bud? Is it okay if I come in? I just wanted to ask you a few questions.” I said in an inviting voice as I let myself in without waiting for his consent. “I’m just going to sit here okay?” My hands grazed the top of his lightly colored wooden chair that seemed way too small to fit me in it, though, surprisingly it did. As I sat down, I grabbed his DC Comics superhero toy off of his desk and held it in my hands as I looked in his direction. He was sitting on the corner of his bed with his hands wrapped around his bedpost. That kid had an innocent look to him, as do most children I guess. His face suggested an unusual sense of innocence though. The light that shone through his bedroom window traveled directly though his pale skin. His hair was sort of a medium length, in the front it stopped right before his eyes, and in the back it reached halfway down his neck.
“Do you like superman?” I asked in attempt to lighten the mood. Of course, I got no reply. “Personally I think he is awesome. Though, I think Captain Marvel, sorry, Shazam, is just as cool. If not, maybe even cooler.” I said with a smile on my face. In return, I got a smile back from him.
“Can you help me with some stuff? There is a lady across the street that has had a bit of an incident. I was wondering if you saw what happened to her.” I asked the kid. At the same time I felt like an idiot. What if this kid didn’t really know anything? Once again, he remained silent and did not answer my question.
“I heard that you liked playing with her boy, Dylan. Is that true?” I asked the boy. He replied with a subtle nod.
I immediately felt bad for the kid, because Dylan was nowhere to be found.
“Look, I know you don’t like talking much, so how about this.” I grabbed a piece of paper he had lying around along with a red crayon and handed it to the boy. “You can write pretty well huh? If you saw anything could you please just write it on this paper? After you are done you can go back to playing with superman here. Okay?” This seemed like a bit of a stretch to me. The kid was only 7 years old, maybe younger, but I expected him to write legibly enough for me to make out what he knows at least.
I sat and waited for the boy, sorry, Brian, to make a decision. He finally grabbed the paper and crayon out of my hands and began to draw. Which surprised me, but whatever I could get out of him was good enough for me at the time. After a while he handed the paper back to me and on that paper was a drawing. The picture was of a woman in a long dress. She had long legs and arms. The most unique feature was her face. It seemed, creature-like. Her mouth was wide open and in that mouth was a number of sharp teeth. Obviously, my attempt to get information from this kid seemed like a lost cause.
“This is what you saw just a couple of hours ago?” I asked Brian. The kid nodded quickly after I asked him. “Okay, sure. Thanks bud. Here’s your figure.” I handed him Superman and he snatched it out of my hands and ran towards his closet. I left the room and walked towards the front door.
“Was he helpful at all?” Ms. Langston asked as I grabbed the door handle.
“Yes, he helped as much as he could.” I said with a reassuring smile. “Thank you for your time, I hope you guys get a good night’s sleep.”
“Okay, sorry we couldn’t be of more assistance. If we find out anything else, I’ll give the station a call.”
“Thank you ma’am.”
Her door closed behind me, and I looked out towards the crime scene. Most of the detectives and officers were outside once again. They seemed to be taking a last look at the body before they went home for the night. I could hear Detective Bryant asking other officers if they were aware of my location.
“Where the hell is Owens?” He yelled across the yard. “We need to get this scene closed up for the night. Let these people sleep.” He told another officer.
“Bryant! He’s over there!” An anonymous voice yelled within the crowd.
Bryant made his way through the yard, and eventually met me half way across the street. His face suggested that he was exhausted, but yet determined to solve the case. We stood face to face as he began to speak to me. I noticed in the background that the cleaning crew started cleaning the area where the dead body would once lay. All the while, the lifeless body that once belonged to Jillian Hall was now being packed into a protective bag, and hauled into a van. My thoughts ran wild until I was brought back to reality.
“Hey, man, pay attention.” Bryant said to me as he snapped his fingers in front of my face a couple of times.
“Sorry, I was just thinking. What were you saying?”
“I was asking what you found out from Lady Lonely over there. I spoke to her earlier and I barely got anything out of her.”
“Nothing. I spoke to her kid, I thought maybe he saw something.”
“Did he say anything?”
“He didn’t speak much, but he did draw me this picture.”
I handed the drawing of the creature-lady to Bryant. He had a look of disgust on his face. I could tell he was quickly getting upset and impatient with me. He squeezed the paper until it turned into a little white ball.
“What the fuck is this Owens?” He asked with anger in his voice.
“I know it seems useless, and it mostly is, but I think he may be on to something.”
“This is a shitty drawing of a damn boogie monster Owens!”
“Sure, but maybe his imagination just exaggerated it a little bit. We can go off of this picture. Let’s assume the attacker was a woman. Probably somewhat tall with long hair?”
Bryant chuckled at me.
“Let’s assume I get your ass kicked off of this case!” Bryant yelled, as he got closer to my face. “Are you telling me a 5 foot something woman caused this mess? We need some real evidence here, Owens. You can’t question a fucking . . .” He lowered his voice and pressed his finger contentiously into my sternum. “You can’t question a 7 year old and find reliable evidence.” His fingered lifted from the mid of my chest and his hand patted me on my left shoulder.
As much as I hated it, Bryant was right. Though, I still wasn’t quick to dismiss Brian’s drawing. Bryant threw the balled up piece of paper on to the ground and walked off to go yell at some of the other officers. I picked the paper up, unfolded it, and tucked it deep into my coat pocket.