Posts tagged “police

Lighthouse, Chapter 17

Posted on 20/07/2016

Chapter 18>>Phoebe and Geraldine quietly watched Darah pace in front of the fireplace while she gnawed on her thumbnail, her brow furrowed in deep thought. The two sisters-in-law glanced worriedly at each other before facing Darah. “You’ll wear out the carpet that way, Darah,” Geraldine cautioned.

“And the dizziness barely stopped,” Phoebe added, reaching out a hand to the frazzled girl. “How about you sit—”

Darah edged around Phoebe’s hand and started for the door. The women hurried after her, Geraldine grabbing her shoulders while Phoebe barred the path to the exit. Darah wriggled under Geraldine’s hold. “Let me go! They’ll kill him if I don’t do something.”

“Do they have reason to?” Phoebe queried, noting the frantic glint in Darah’s eyes.

“Besides,” Geraldine grunted when Darah’s skinny elbow jutted her side. She gripped her shoulders. “J.R.’s there with them—stand still.”

“That’s the problem,” Darah persisted, struggling in Geraldine’s arms. “One look at his face and they’ll figure out who Jeremy is.” She looked to Phoebe with pleading eyes. “Please help me.”

“Who is this Jeremy guy anyway?” Brows furrowed in concern, Phoebe parked her hands to her hips.. “The father?”

Darah froze and Geraldine gaped at Phoebe. “Seriously?”

Phoebe nudged her chin towards Darah. “Look at her face and tell me who else it’ll be.”

With a dry scoff, Geraldine immediately released Darah. “Well then, we better go or else we’ll have to bail out three men tonight.”

“What about the kids?” Phoebe glanced over their heads at the staircase.

“It’s fine, I’ll go by myself,” Darah pushed away from them and hurried to the door, flinging it open. But she came to a stop at the sight of three shadows standing in the doorway. Her feet inched backwards as the shadows stepped forward.

Phoebe and Geraldine came to stand on either side of a frightened Darah as bedraggled Abe, Bart and J.R. stepped into the house, their hooded stares on Darah.

Instantly, Phoebe put a hand on Darah’s shoulder as though pre-empting her response. “What happened?” she asked her husband gently.

Face unreadable, Abe shifted his hooded gaze to his wife and pursed his lips, not saying a word.

Geraldine sighed and attempted with Bart. “Where is he?”

“He’s outside,” J.R. muttered, face hard as stone and his dark eyes remained on Darah, expression unreadable. “He wants to speak with you.”

Darah didn’t dare move; a relief to both Phoebe and Geraldine. “Can I go?”

Phoebe tamped a sigh as Abe and Bart clenched their jaw simultaneously. She squeezed Darah’s shoulder and released her. “You have ten minutes.”

“Five,” Abe and Bart said in unison.

Darah nodded and edged around J.R. to exit the house, careful not to meet J.R.’s gaze. She only released the breath she’d been holding once the door closed behind her. Her eyes sought Jeremy’s shadow and found him standing in the driveway. She hurried down the steps to meet him.

He turned at the sound of her hasty footfall and reached out a hand when she tripped over an uneven stone in the driveway. When she veered from his touch, he drew his hand behind his back and eyed her shrouded features. “Careful…”

Folding arms across her chest, she sniffed dismissively. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you.”

Heart skipped a beat at his softly-spoken words and Darah clinked her teeth at the unsolicited response. “Rubbish.”

Jeremy gave pause, the night’s refrain filling the silence. Then he sighed. “I see you’re still angry.”

Her lips curled in a sardonic smile. “Not at all.”

“You must’ve told your brothers about me,” he continued. “Why else would they threaten me?”

She arched a brow. “Is that all they did? Disappointing.”

Jeremy kissed his teeth. “You’re terrible.”

“And you’re trash. What do you want?”

He blew out a frustrated breath. “Just when I think we can have an adult conversa—”

“What do you want, Jeremy?” She snapped, tightening fingers against her arms. It was bad enough that she had to live with the memories of him for a lifetime through a child she wasn’t ready for, but having to see him so shortly after their breakup was pure torture. “And how on earth did you know where I live? You a stalker now?”

“Get over yourself.” Jeremy heaved out a sigh. “Tess told me.”

Darah started in shock. “Excuse me, what?!”

“Dumb fool has no idea,” Bart groused from the window, watching his sister and her ex-boyfriend speaking. “Lucky J.R. was there to prevent his untimely death.”

Geraldine patted J.R.’s shoulder. “I owe you one.”

J.R. nodded distractedly, watching Darah’s shadow and growing agitated by the moment. He wondered what they were saying, and why she stood with arms around herself. Was she threatened or nervous around the man she’d once loved or still loved? His brow furrowed deep at the thought and he curled his hands into fists in his pockets.

“What did you say to him?” Phoebe asked Abe, her hand tucked under his arm.

“Nothing,” Abe muttered, frowning out the window. “Just wanted to put his lights out.”

“Isn’t five minutes over yet?” Bart growled over Phoebe’s gasp. “What are they talking about?”

“Maybe she’s telling him he’s a father…” Phoebe noticed J.R.’s shoulders stiffen and trailed off in thought.

“Or he’s telling her the reason he’s here,” Geraldine mumbled, rubbing tension from Bart’s neck. “Calm down or I’ll deal with you if you have to take hypertension meds like Abe.”

The brothers scoffed, her threat ineffective in their frustration.

“Easier said than done, when this girl’s determined to send me to an early grave,” Bart gritted through clenched teeth.

“Over my dead body,” Geraldine countered, kneading his tense muscles.

“No one’s dying today or any day,” Phoebe said firmly. “Right, J.R.?”

All eyes shifted to J.R. standing there with a storm etched on his face.

“Buddy,” Abe said, nudging J.R. on the arm.

As though stepping from a trance, J.R. shifted his attention to the couples staring at him. He raised both brows. “Hm?”

“You alright?”

J.R. didn’t answer for a moment and the couples exchanged curious glances before he nodded. “Yeah.”

Darah gaped in silence at Jeremy for a brief moment before she choked out a laugh. “Of all people…”

Jeremy scuffed his feet against the stones lining the driveway. “I know you’re shocked.”

“Actually, nothing shocks me these days…” She shook her head. “I don’t even want to ask when you two met each other because it’s none of my business and I could care less.”

“Okay…”

Darah shook her head incredulously. Despite her bravado, she couldn’t begin to wrap her head around the thought of her friend and ex-boyfriend together. She huffed a shaky breath and met his face. “It seems I was right all along. You are scum.”

Jeremy sighed. “Can we stop with the name-calling?”

“Sure, scum. We can do that when you stop being scum, Scum,” Darah said breezily.

He snorted. “You’re still very much a child, I see.”

Darah’s lips twitched a crooked smile. “And you’re still very much pure, unadulterated trash. So what did you come here for? To inform me that you and my former best friend are engaged?”

“I already told you it’s complicated—”

“Actually save the details for someone who cares.” Darah fought the tears that threatened; not tears of sadness but mounting indignation. “What do you want?”

Jeremy dragged a hand over his face. “Look, you have something that belongs to me and I want it back.”

Alarmed, she took a step back in alarm as a cold shiver skittered down her spine. “W-what thing?” Her hands instinctively wrapped around her front. “What did that wench tell you?”

“Ugh, enough with the dramatics already!” Jeremy snapped. “I know you took it, so give it back.”

Her eyes widened, shielding her stomach. “What are you, a monster? How can I give this back?”

Jeremy inched forward. “Darah, I’m trying to be patient here but you’re trying my last nerves. Stop your games.” He grabbed her arm before she could turn away. “Give it to me!”

Heart in her throat, she attempted yanking her arm from his tightening grip. “Let me go!”

“Not until you give it to me,” he insisted, his voice hardening as the hold on her arm.

She whimpered as he hovered dangerously too close, his grip unrelenting. “Let me go!”

“Not until–!” A force hit Jeremy from the side and with a grunt, he released Darah’s hand.

Cradling her hand, she gaped as two bodies rolled in the grass. The smaller of the two scrambled on top the other; fighting with merciless fists, and eliciting pain-wrought grunts from the one on the bottom. Her eyes widened in recognition and she stood upright. “Eli!”

The front door opened, all five adults hurrying down to where Eleazar and Jeremy tousled in the grass.

At first, Phoebe and Geraldine crowded Darah while the three men rushed to Eleazar’s side. Then Bart jumped into the fray, followed by Abe. Screaming at their husbands, the women left Darah’s side and hurried to help J.R. break up the fight.

Eleazar flinched as the metal doors slid close, while Bart sat cross-legged and stone-faced on one corner of their holding cell. The seasoned police officer clucked his tongue in disappointment as he locked the cell door. “If your parents could see you now… may their souls rest in peace.”

“They’re at peace, Officer Holden,” Abe drawled with his arms folded. “Thanks for your concern though.”

“I’d expected you’d outgrown such behavior.”

“Aren’t there criminals to arrest?” Bart countered, eying the older gentleman only a few years younger than his late parents. “Or you’ve got nothing else to do than eat donuts and harass innocent citizens?”

“Innocent my butt. I’ve got criminals sitting right here,” Officer Holden replied breezily, moving to the edge of the cell. “You’ve gotta be careful, since you’ve got a record. Aren’t you a father now?”

Eleazar gaped at Bart. “You do?”

Bart’s expression turned rueful but he remained silent.

Officer Holden turned to the youngest Teka male with a mock grave expression. “Yeah, misdemeanor when he was about your age. And it seems you’ll have one too.”

“Not on my watch,” a voice drawled behind him and all eyes turned to see J.R. stroll into the office.

The officer arched a brow. “And you are?”

“Our family lawyer,” Abe answered, standing from the bench. “Are we clear?”

J.R. nodded solemnly. “He won’t press charges. But we’ll have to bail you out tomorrow.”

Puzzled, the three men frowned.

“Why tomorrow?” Bart asked, standing also.

“Phoebe and Geri said to let you stay here for the night.” J.R. shrugged. “They don’t want to see you right now.”

Officer Holden chuckled and all the puzzled gazes shifted back to him. “It’s true that hell hath no fury than a wife’s anger… or something like that.” He smirked. “In any case, it’s a more suitable punishment for you boys.” Whistling, he walked away jauntily, leaving the men reeling in silence.

Abe recovered first and met J.R.’s solemn stare. “What did he say? Why’d he do that to Darah?”

J.R. sighed. “He alleged Darah stole a file from him.”

“Alleged. That piece of trash!” Bart sneered, gripping the cell bars.

“I should punch him again,” Eleazar added, scowling.

Abe frowned. “What file?”

J.R. shrugged. “The details aren’t clear, but it seems Darah knows what he’s talking about.”

“Did she take it?”

The brothers waited for J.R.’s response, but in that pause, they realized the truth.

Bart groaned and turned away. Frustrated, Abe dragged a hand over his face and Eleazar just stared past J.R., all four believing Darah was guilty as charged.

<<Chapter 16 || Chapter 18>>

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SSP 4: Finding Tevin

Posted on 10/08/2013

darkroom

The sound of erratic breathing, the rush of air pushing through parted lips and the stunted sprinting of feet down the pavement. Howling sirens echoed along the empty brick walls. He could hear his name being called, resounding in his heart and his ears in the midst of sirens blasting around him. His body trembled with the impending fear that he would be caught.

The evidence was clutched in his hands, a can of juice. Why did he have to touch it? It was obvious that he did not have enough change to purchase his favorite drink and meant to replace it back on the shelf when the cashier barked at him to stay still. The next minute, he heard the man speaking furiously on the phone for Officer Lee to come by the corner store and pick up a delinquent. Who was the delinquent? Him?

Before he could even think about being caught, the young boy whooshed out the door, shoving between two customers and with his long lanky legs, began sprinting down the streets of Cullen Ave like a mad man. He didn’t know why he ran instead of explaining himself but the vindictive glare of the cashier was enough to make even the most naive child flee, not that he wasn’t innocent.

So the young boy lifted his head to the sky and whispered a quick prayer that he would not have to be caught, his feet flying behind him and gasping for air. Tears streamed down his face with relief once he spotted the tall steeple of the faded yellow siding of the bungalow he once thought as a prison but now proved to be a temporary haven. Then he noticed a couple of flashing lights from a few cop cars parked in the driveway and blocking the streets, and staggered to a stop.

Shivering in trepidation at his awaited punishment from both the police officers and Mrs. Yancey, the boy stalled on the other side of the street, watching other cars drive past. He couldn’t return to the corner store, knowing that more police officers waited there.

“Hey boy!” a commanding voice barked from the other side of the street.

He jerked his widened eyes to see two police officers, their legs poised for the chase and the tips of their hats glaring with imminent authority. He was in trouble. The young boy gulped, still contemplating whether he should run. His feet shifted, a grating sound on the pavement to match the incessant and irregular beat of his heart. What should he do?

“Tevin! Yeh Officer, das him ova there.” a woman’s shrilling voice echoed down the street from the bungalow, causing a cold shiver down his scrawny bones. He didn’t have to look to know the woman was glaring threats on him, probably throwing expletives in her mind to him. “Boi, git ova here afor I smack yo behind all the way back to Tuesday!”

Her threats were the ignition he needed to spin on his heels and start running again. Except it was no good as the small boy crashed into the barreled-chest of another police officer who had crept behind him once distracted by his colleagues and the boy’s furious foster mother. It was over before he knew it.

 —

The resounding slam of metal sliding along metal defined his fate. Poor kid stared bleakly between the metal rods at the empty corridor, fingers trembling. This wasn’t where he should be at 11:57 at night. He missed his bed, missed the arguing on the other side of the paper-thin walls, the shoving and poking from his siblings.

He didn’t want this empty cell, his feet shivering inside his faded and worn slip-on shoes. There was no way he would sit on the cold stone floor while waiting for the police officers to condemn him to juvenile. He was too young, for goodness’ sake!

Barely celebrating nine years of life without seeing his real parents and forced to share even a sole banana-nut muffin purchased by Mrs. Yancey that same day, the young boy wanted to cry that everything in life was unfair.

Casting his eyes to the top stone ceiling of the claustrophobic cell, the young boy wrapped his long and slender fingers around the two thick rods. God, if you’re really up there like Mrs. Yancey says every night…. Do you hate me? Why won’t you help me? It was not a pleading prayer but rather one to see if the man upstairs even knew he existed. If he did, what kind of life was this?

Once the sound of another jail gate slammed close, the boy lowered his head desolately at the silence suffocating the entire jail despite the racking cough from another cellmate next door. Forcing his scrawny shoulders to remain still, the boy shifted away from the door and walked to the back wall of the jail, sliding to the floor. He masked his discomfort once the cold seeped through his thin hand-me-down faded jeans and leaned his head forward to catch some sleep. It seemed, from the quiet outside the corridor, that no one would come for him tonight.

 —

She kept coming everyday, sitting by the wall with her pale wrists crossed over the brown leather bag she propped on her lap. Her eyes were downcast, her brow furrowed in deep thought but she managed to lift her head whenever the metal doors slid open. Her hazel eyes would light up momentarily but once she noticed it was just another police officer, dragging an older man in and out from the corridor, she would sigh heavily and look down again.

Some of the police officers had their theories of who she was. The woman, probably in her early-thirties, always showed up nine in the morning, trudging into the police station and leaning on her wooden-carved cane with a gnarled hook. She didn’t say anything to any of the police officers, merely glancing at the empty corridor with sad, resigned eyes before perching on a seat by the wall. Watching her move around was painful for some of the discrete onlookers. Most knew that under that long, printed skirt she wore was a twisted leg from the knee down. No one understood why she came and no one dared to ask. They simply just watched her warily and quietly, waiting.

Another temporary resident of the South East Patrol on Mykawa St was also waiting and losing sleep while doing so. A week and a half had already passed and no shadow of Mrs. Yancey or anyone from his house had graced the step of the jail cell. Every time he heard shuffling feet or the sound of rustling keys, he would look up with hopeful eyes and slowly lower them down when it was only another cellmate or a police officer bringing him something to snack on. The piteous looks they gave him only made him more sure that no one was coming for him, no matter how many times he lifted a whisper to the ceiling or wished upon a star he could only imagine was gracing the darkened sky outside.

So on another dark cold night, just after he’d finished another packet of Austin Peanut and Wheat crackers, the boy lifted his knees to his chest and propped his forehead on them to sleep. This time, when the rustling keys and shuffling feet sounded off, he didn’t lift his head to see who was moving in. Still, his heart stirred when the footsteps paused in front of his cell and he held his breath. The keys clinked against the rods of his jail cell and too curious, he shifted his head sideways and peeked from one narrowed eye. Both widened instantly when he saw the same officer, Officer Menjivar, who gave him the snack staring at him with a gentle smile. The boy blinked silently, not knowing what to think or how to react. Was it time to have his bathroom break?

“Time to go home, kid,” the middle-aged Hispanic officer with narrow shoulders and a pouch said kindly, turning the key into the gate port and pushed open the door.

Flabbergasted, the boy remained seated and gaped up at the man, his body frozen.

Officer Menjivar chuckled and stepped into the jail cell. “Your legs not any good, mijo?” he extended a hand to him.

Meekly, the boy lifted his hand and placed it in the officer’s rough one. Holding his breath, he found himself being tugged up like a sack of sand and he staggered to his feet.

Chortling still, the police officer patted the boy on his back but jerked his hand back when he felt the boy’s icy and thin shoulders. His brow furrowed and he averted his eyes immediately. He cleared his throat and walked back to the exit. But when he didn’t hear footsteps behind him, the man glanced over his shoulder and cocked an inquisitive brow at the hesitating fellow still standing in the middle of the cell. “Well, what are you waiting for? C’mon.”

Unsure if this was the same reoccurring dream he’d had since he was first placed in the empty jail, the boy shifted back inside. “W-where am I going?” he’d heard the taunting from his neighbors that the local juvenile center was much scary and daunting than this lonely cell. If that was true, he’d rather stay here since the officers treated him pretty well, considering.

Officer Menjivar blinked at him, not sure why he shivered involuntarily at the anxiety coating the boy’s hazel eyes. He managed a smile because he had no other way to comfort the kid. “Hey listen, there’s someone here to take you home.”

The boy swallowed hard, his eyes still widened in trepidation. Was it Mrs. Yancey? He shook his head slowly without thinking and stepped back toward the cell again, already imagining the torturous punishment that awaited him at the house.

“Kid, relax… You’ll be fine.” Officer Menjivar stepped forward and extended a hand again. “I promise.” He masked a wince when the adolescent blinked again at him. It seemed these kind of kids who were shoved like sardines in foster homes heard that cursed word for many years and grown immune to the consequences of trusting someone who used it freely. “Just come out and see. If you don’t want, we’ll take care of it, entiendes?”

Eyes pleading with the officer to not fail him, the boy finally walked toward him without looking to his left or right. Again Menjivar held back a shiver with the urgent plea echoed in the boy’s eyes but kept his gaze on the boy for as long as he could before the boy himself looked down. It was enough for the seasoned officer and he cleared his throat, shifting around to open the door.

The boy blinked rapidly at the change of lighting and the sounds of chattering and phones ringing on the other side of the door. His cheeks warmed with gratitude and utter relief. He was leaving this prison. But he stiffened again, realizing that this next step would determine his future. What was awaiting on the other side of this door and would he be able to handle it?

“C’mon,” Officer Menjivar probed his thoughts and the boy glanced up at the gentle-eyed man. He stepped aside, the security of his narrow shoulders absent for a moment as the boy shuffled out of the corridor. Amid the chaotic noise of phones and voices outside, there was a moment of silence in the office once the other enforcement agents paused to greet their newcomer silently. One woman sitting on the corner of the office, now stood slowly and leaned on her gnarled cane, her eyes affixed on the young slender light-skinned boy standing by the stout officer. She blinked back the tears that ensued, the corner of her lips twitching to hold back a grateful smile. He was here.

The boy’s keen eyes scanned the room warily, already expecting a disappointment. He noticed the amused expressions of some of the officers who had wrestled him to the cold and rough pavement outside his foster home. Shifting his gaze to the other side of the room, he blinked in confusion at the strange look on the woman’s face. She was slender and small yet her frumpy clothes hid her bowed shoulders. Her reddish-brown hair curled and swept over her forehead, almost hiding the heavy stare that was directed on his face. The way she stared at him was what left him speechless and confused. Was that who was here for him? Why?

As if hearing his thoughts, Officer Menjivar turned slowly to the boy and smiled gently. “Mijo, I want you to meet someone…” He glanced over at the woman and nodded, then he placed a hand on the boy’s shoulders and gently pushed him toward the woman who tried to shuffle forward despite her discomfort. “Madam, this is Tevin Gosley.”

Without permission, his heart stirred again and the boy held his breath. This woman’s gaze seemed familiar, almost like Officer Menjivar’s except that her eyes were filling up with tears at the corners. Why was she crying? His fingers curled inward into fists, anticipating a scorn or twisting of her lips to blame him for something he wasn’t aware he did.

Then the woman sniffed, pausing his rampant thoughts and forcing him to peer up at her. She blinked and two lone tears slid slowly down her plump, heart-shaped face. Leaning one hand on her cane, she extended a small, frail and pale hand out to him. “Hello…” she said, her lips trembling to form a sound. Another sniff from her pert freckled nose. “My name is Mrs. Ida Warren.”

  

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