HELLBOUND [EPISODE TWO]
“Oh my God!” A feminine voice cried out from the door. “Oh my God! please tell me she isn’t dead.”
Shadow and Tracy turned around and saw Isabelle standing at the door. Isabelle looked extremely shocked. With a Swift glance, Shadow could see Isabelle’s legs trembling, he could see Isabelle’s eyes turning watery as she stared at Mena’s dead corpse in disbelief. Shadow could easily fathom the emotional pain that Isabelle was obviously experiencing.
Isabelle finally gripped herself together and walked up to Tracy, then she asked in a sad tone. “What happened?”
“We don’t know for sure,” Tracy said, walking closer to Isabelle. “How do you know Mena?”
“She was my friend and coworker,” Isabelle said and sobbed before proceeding. “My other friend, faith and I were to meet her today. Faith was running late so I decided to come by myself.”
“What business did you and your friend faith have with Mena?” Tracy asked.
“She was going to take us to this shop where they sell ancient artifacts.” Isabelle sobbed again. “I……I…mean. Who will do such a thing to her?”
“Clearly someone who hated her wholly,” Shadow said, catching everyone’s attention.
“Little one.” Tracy focused her stare at Isabelle. “Do you know anyone who might have wanted Mena dead?”
“No….no…not that I can think off.” Isabelle Said. “She had a fight with Johnson, her boyfriend recently.”
“Where does Johnson live?” Shadow asked, giving Isabelle his gloomy stare.
“He stays in an old motel few blocks away from here, room number seven,” Isabelle said, avoiding Shadow’s stare.
“Damn it!!” Shadow cursed as he turned his face away.
“What is it?” Tracy asked, looking at Shadow.
“I spoke with Johnson precisely thirty minutes ago.” Shadow turned his face to Tracy. “Guess I did not ask him the right questions. I will go do so right now.”
“Hey don’t make a move.” Tracy snapped at the shadow. “This is an ongoing police investigation and I suggest you stay the hell away from it unless you want to end up being a suspect.”
Shadow stared at Tracy for a while and studied her. He could easily see she was brave and tough and she was capable of engaging herself into dangerous activities that could get her killed. Shadow turned his face away and became mute.
When Tracy noticed shadow wasn’t saying anything, she turned to Isabelle and said. “You have to get home.”
“I don’t think I can get home.” Isabelle snapped. “I want to find Mena’s killer and I want to make him or her pay.”
“Relax,” Tracy said, calming Isabelle down. “That’s our job and I promise we’ll find the killer.”
“I want to come along,” Isabelle said seriously. “I want to be a part of this investigation.”
“That’s it.” Tracy tapped Isabelle on her left shoulder. “Am definitely taking you home.”
“C’mon I can help.” Isabelle pressed. “You have to let me.”
“No am not!” Tracy snapped. “This is a—–.” Tracy paused and looked around. Shadow was gone without a trace. “Where is the guy?”
Isabelle looked around and said. “I don’t know. Maybe he’s out doing the real investigation.”
Tracy grunted, then she turned to Isabelle. “You’re going out right now!”
“Why?” Isabelle asked.
“Because am locking the apartment!” Tracy said in an angry tone.
“Fine.” Isabelle turned and walked out of the apartment.
Tracy looked around for a bit and walked out of the apartment. She closed the door and headed back to her car. When she got to her car, she found Isabelle sitting on the bonnet.
Tracy ignored Isabelle and opened the driver’s door then she looked up at Isabelle. “Kid, I want your butt out of the bonnet. I want to move.”
“Fine.” Isabelle lifted her arms as she got off the bonnet. “If that’s what you want.”
“And kid, get the hell out of here before the ambulance comes,” Tracy added. “If you’ve seen here, you may end up being a suspect.”
“Noted.” Isabelle nodded.
Tracy got into her car, reversed into the road and drove off. Isabelle watched as Tracy’s car disappeared down the road and when Tracy’s car was fully out of sight, Isabelle swiftly turned and hurried back to the apartment. When she got to the door, she twisted the handle and to her surprise, the door opened. She swiftly remembered that Tracy mentioned earlier that an ambulance will be coming to pick up Mena’s body, so the door had to be left opened.
Isabelle entered the sitting room and walked closer to Mena’s body. Staring at the body alone gave her the creeps. But she could handle it for this wasn’t the first dead body she had seen in her life, it wasn’t the second either.
“What did you do Mena?!” Isabelle muttered. “Hope you find peace.”
Isabelle looked around and walked up to the shelve below the television. She found Letters scattered on the surface of the shelve and picking them up, she began glancing through one by one. After glancing through all the letters, Isabelle turned back to the shelve and saw a black card with some red writing on its surface.
Isabelle picked it up and read the context out loud. “Dear Black-walker, you have been invited to the latest edition of the blind party. Time six o’ clock. Be punctual.” Isabelle stared at the card and wondered what it meant.
“What’s Black-walker and what’s a blind party?.” Isabelle thought.
Without further demurring, Isabelle quickly dropped the letters, folded the black card into her pocket and quietly walked out of the apartment.
After a few minutes of driving, Tracy finally arrived at the old motel. She was a bit shocked when she found Shadow in front of the motel waiting patiently for her. Tracy parked her car in the driveway, got out of the far and walked up to Shadow.
“Seriously….are you this stubborn or are you this stupid you don’t obey a sheriff’s order.” Tracy snapped at the shadow.
“First, my brother was the first sheriff this town ever had, so obeying a sheriff’s order is something I was braided with…second, kindly mind the way you talk to me, am quite older than you,” Shadow said. “Third, I want you to lead, that’s why I haven’t confronted Mr. Johnson yet.”
Tracy muffled a laugh as she turned her face away, then she brought her face back at Shadow and said. “Look, kid, I don’t know what mental hospital you came out from but—-” Tracy paused when she saw Shadow heading towards the verandah of the motel. “Hey, where are you going!”
“Am going to confront Mr. Johnson,” Shadow said, making a quick turn of his face back at Tracy. “You are free to tag along.”
“Damn it!” Tracy made a quick race and caught up with Shadow just in time as both of them walked into the verandah. “Am doing the talking okay?”
“I believe I should be doing all the talking,” Shadow said. “People tends to tell me the Truth.”
“You like to compel people?” Tracy asked and muffled a laugh. “That’s nuts.”
“It’s not compulsion,” Shadow said. “And it’s not nuts either. It’s a gift I inherited from my father.’
“So, can this gift get something outta me?” Tracy asked, turning to Shadow. “I’ll love to see how it works.”
“Very well, but this particular gift of mine allows me to get the truth from liars not get unwanted information from them and since I do not want to get infected with whatever drama you have in store.” Shadow turned to Tracy and stared into her eyes. “I think I will pass.”
Shadow walked a bit faster and got to the room first. Tracy arrived briefly and made a knock on the door.
“Mr. Johnson, this Is the sheriff,” Tracy said. “I will like to ask you some few questions.”
“I suggest we burst Into the room, get Mr. Johnson and allow me to ask the questions,” Shadow said. “I believe my way will be more efficient.”
“I believe we do it my way Mr. Whatever your name is,” Tracy said and made another knock.
“Shadow…..Shadow Morningstar.” Shadow said.
“That’s a weird and odd name.” Tracy gave Shadow a quick odd stare. “Well, am Tracy.”
“Okay Tracy, please make another knock,” Shadow said. “Am beginning to grow impatient waiting for you to confront Mr. Johnson.”
Tracy shook her head, made another knock and said. “I don’t think he’s around…..stay here while I check the backyard.”
“Okay.” Shadow nodded.
Tracy left a shadow and headed towards the backyard. It was a bit small and bushy back there. The fence was made of bricks and from the way they looked, one could easily tell they were old, very old. The backyard appeared unkept and the sight of it irritated Tracy.
Tracy stopped walking when she heard a sound further away from her ground. She looked up and saw Johnson climbing the fence at the other end of the backyard.
“Hey!!….stop right there!!” Tracy ordered.
Johnson ignored and jumped to the other side Of The Fence. Tracy quickly raced to the fence, climbed it with agility and jumped after Johnson.
Landing on her feet, Tracy quickly continued her pursuit and chased Johnson down the narrow street. Johnson claimed superiority in speed as he ran few meters ahead of Tracy, maintaining the gap until he got out of the street and entered a lonely road. He raced towards a car parked beside the road, shattered the front door window with his elbow and opened the door from the inside. When Johnson was fully inside, he quickly hot-wired the car, locked the door and drove down the road at a berserk speed.
Tracy arrived a few seconds later only to watch Johnson’s getaway car speed down the road. Tracy brought her hands on her kneels and bought herself a little time to control her breathing. It was rudely cut short when she heard the engine of her car roaring behind Her. She turned around and saw her police car roaring her engine loudly with Shadow sitting in the driver’s seat. Tracy raced to the off-side door and got into the car. Shadow stepped on the accelerator pedal and drove down the road in pursuit of Johnson’s getaway car.
“How did you get the car to move?” Tracy asked as she panted uncontrollably. “Am bloody with the car keys.”
“I hot-wired It,” Shadow said quickly, focusing his eyes on the road.
“Guess Johnson is our guy,” Tracy said, finally controlling her breathing.
“It appears so.” Shadow swiftly overtook two cars that were in his front and lessened the gap between their car and Johnson’s getaway car. “I won’t swiftly jump into conclusion. I will prefer I question Mr. Johnson first.”
“Why? Because you have a gift that allows you to compel the truth from people?” Tracy asked, staring at the shadow.
Shadow hesitated, then said. “I see you do not believe me. It is quite understandable.”
“Don’t mistake my judgment.” Tracy turned back to the road. “It’s not every day someone gets to meet a mental patient who knows how to drive. Just catch up with Johnson okay?”
“Very well.” Shadow stepped on the accelerator pedal and sped the car forward a bit. He stayed mute for a while then he asked Tracy a question that trembled her spine. “Have you ever been in a car accident before?”
Tracy got shocked instantly and stared at shadow, then replied. “No….no… Why asked?”
“Have you ever jammed your car onto the side of another car?” Shadow asked, still focusing strictly on the road.
“No…no” Tracy said impatiently. “Where are you driving at?”
“Very well,” Shadow said. “Hang on.”
Shadow slowed down the car and made a left turn into another road, deliberately leaving Johnson’s getaway car to speed down the road he had just bailed from.
“What!!!” Tracy snapped as she turned her head back. “You’re letting him go”
“Am certainly not!” Shadow said with his hands tightened around the wheel.
“Then what the hell are you doing?” Tracy stared at Shadow disgustedly. “You clearly drove us into another road while Johnson escapes through the other.”
“I assure you, Johnson is not escaping,” Shadow said. “He is irrefutably not escaping.”
“Elaborate…”. Tracy demanded sullenly.
“Very well.” Shadow sighed. “When I first arrived earlier this morning, I kindly ask the bus driver to take me around boundary walls which he did. He took me through all the roads and as he drove me through them, I sharply pictured everything. The road Johnson is taking has two turns at the end, one on the left and the other on the right. The one on the right is bad and it’s under construction, so Johnson will have to take the one on the left. Again, Johnson is going to meet the ending of the new road he’s in and he will be forced to make another turn, which is going to be the left one since that is the only turn at the end of the road. In the new road, which is the last construct of the puzzle, Johnson is going to find himself in a lonely road and he is going to double the pace of his car and when he does that, he is going to bring both cars to an equilibrium.” Shadow stepped on the accelerator pedal and gave the car more speed.
“An equilibrium to what?”. Tracy asked, looking puzzled.
“To an epic collision,” Shadow said. “For if my calculations are correct, which they are…we should be hitting Johnson’s car a few seconds from now……”
Shadow maintained the speed of the car and drove straight towards the junction at the end of the road. Lessening the gap between the car and the junction by each second that passed, Shadow drove closer and closer and as shadow drove the car a bit into the junction, Johnson’s getaway car sped down from the road at shadow’s left hand side and entered into shadow’s front, just in time for Shadow to jammed the bumper of Tracy’s car against the side of Johnson’s getaway car, sending Johnson’s getaway car somersaulting down the road a couple times before finally coming to rest few meters away from the impact spot with it’s body completely turned upside down and smoking beaming out of it’s warm engine.
Tracy heard a sharp sound ringing inside her ears as she held herself together after the impact. She looked around and discovered her vision was blurry. Slowing unbuckling her seatbelt, Tracy began to hear her surrounding clearly and as every sound began falling into its rightful place, Tracy realized shadow was talking to her.
“Are you okay?” Shadow asked, staring at Tracy.
Tracy groaned, then said. “I’ll live.”
“You have a cut above your right eye,” Shadow said, staring above Tracy’s right eye.
Tracy ran her right hand above her right eye and discovered shadow was right. She turned to shadow and examined him wholly, he didn’t have a scratch on his face or any part of his body.
Tracy groaned again, then she said. “You don’t have a cut…. don’t tell me invulnerability is part of your imaginary gifts.”
“Actually it is.” Shadow turned to the windshield and stared at the getaway car for a while. Then he turned back to Tracy and said. “You should stay here, I shall go question, Mr. Johnson.”
Shadow got out of the car and started walking towards the smoking getaway car. As shadow walked, he noticed people were gathering across the sidewalks, staring at the scene with their eyes filled with curiosity. Shadow got to the getaway car and stopped in front of the driver’s door. He placed his right hand on the handle of the door and pulled the entire door from the car, exhibiting an impressive amount of superhuman strength.
Shadow dropped the door on the road, dragged Johnson out of the car and jammed Johnsons back against the side of the topsy-turvy car. Johnson groaned softly as he battled to remain conscious.
“Listen to me, Mr. Johnson,” Shadow said, looking serious and gloomy. “It seems I asked the wrong questions this morning….a mistake I intend not to repeat…now.” Shadow lifted Johnson’s face up and stared deep into his eyes. “Now, tell me. did you kill Mena?”
“No, I didn’t ” Johnson answered quickly, ignoring the pain he was felt.
“Then why did you run?” the shadow asked, maintaining his stare.
“Because I was scared of the sheriff… I have a bag of cocaine in my room.” Johnson said. “I was afraid the sheriff will see the cocaine, So I ran…you have to understand, I don’t want to go to jail.”
“Do you know anyone who might have wanted Mena dead?” Shadow asked impatiently.
“I….I….”. Johnson stammered.
“Answer me!!!” Shadow thundered furiously and at that instant, his eyes turned pure black.
Johnson saw Shadow’s black eyes and got frightened by them. He turned his face away and began to plead. “Please…please don’t hurt me…I don’t know anything.”
Shadow stared at Johnson with immeasurable hate and as he spoke, two dreadful voices were heard. “Then you are useless on this earth.”
“Oh my god!” Johnson said, trembling in fear. “What are you?…. stay away from me.”
Johnson struggled away from Shadow’s grip and sought to flee but was swooped onto the road by Tracy who swiftly handcuffed Johnson’s hands behind his back.
“Get me away from him!!” Johnson yelled in fear. “He’s a monster.”
Tracy looked up at shadow and discovered shadow had his face focused on the road. As she walked closer to Shadow, she said. “Hey buddy, I know you’re angry right now and I know Mena meant something to you. Am sorry she’s dead but I promise you, I will find Mena’s killer and he or she going to pay for the crime”.
Shadow stayed mute for a while, then he looked up and nodded. His eyes were back to normal and his terrifying look was gone.
Tracy stopped in front of shadow and asked. “Are you okay buddy?”
“Mr. Johnson did not kill Mena,” Shadow said disappointedly. “All this was a complete waste of time.”
“No, it wasn’t.” Tracy disagreed. “We now have a suspect–.”
“That clearly knows nothing.” Shadow interrupted.
“We don’t know that yet,” Tracy said. “We are going to take Mr. Johnson to the station and give him a proper interrogation…..okay?”
Shadow hesitated, then nodded. “Okay.”
“Good… C’mon, help me take Mr. Johnson to the station.” Tracy walked up to Johnson, lifted him on his feet and dragged him along as she walked back to her partially damaged police car.
Shadow looked around for a bit and followed Tracy shortly after.
To be continued.