HELLBOUND (EPISODE THREE)
The station was an obvious building in boundary walls. It was a single storey building located within the center of the town. Like every police station, it’s compound was crammed with a rife amount of police vehicles.
Tracy walked down the hallway leading to the interrogation room. She had a white plaster over the cut that was above her right eye. She got to the interrogation room, opened the door and entered into the empty room that had nothing but a desk with a chair at both sides. Shadow was at the other end of the room, his back leaning on the wall with his eyes fixed upon Johnson who was sitting on one of the chairs close to the desk. Tracy closed the door, walked to the other vacant chair and sat on it.
“Okay, Mr. Johnson,” Tracy said. “Are you ready to talk?”
“I’ve already told you…I didn’t kill mena.” Johnson said quickly.
“Yeah…am finding that hard to believe,” Tracy said. “Let me get this straight, you and mena broke up…why?”
Johnson paused then turn his face away.
Tracy sighed, then said. “You see that guy over there?” Tracy pointed at the shadow, Johnson makes a quick look at shadow then turned his face away quickly and listened as Tracy continued. “That guy just jammed a police car onto a car you were driving… that’s a bit reckless and brave if you ask me…so if he can do something horrible like that?… I imagine what he is going to do to you when he doesn’t get the mutual information we want…now Mr. Johnson, talk.”
Johnson hesitated then sighed. “Fine.. we broke up because I confronted her about her having an affair with another guy.”
“Was that it?” Tracy asked.
“Yes!” Johnson said quickly.
“This other guy, do you know anything about him?” Tracy asked.
“No…I don’t know if he even exists.” Johnson said. “I was jealous okay?…..maybe I was just scared over nothing….I…I was shocked when that guy over there asked me if I killed mena.” Johnson motioned to shadow and went on. “I wanted to react and let my shock known but for an unexplainable reason, I couldn’t do that, I could only answer the question he had asked.”
“And what was your answer?.” Tracy asked.
“No”. Johnson said quickly. “I will never do such a thing. I’ll never kill her.”
Tracy stared at Johnson for a bit, then sighed. “Okay..but am bringing you in over the bag of cocaine you have in your room.”
Johnson sighed and then lowered his head to hide the expression on his face. Tracy got up from the chair and walked closer to Shadow.
“Hey, guess you were right.” She said. “He knows nothing.”
“Yes, I know that,” Shadow muttered.
“Hey buddy, don’t worry…we’ll find the killer,” Tracy said, aiming to brighten shadow’s face but failed.
The door opened and Jude walked into the room.
“Hey Tracy, a girl wants to talk to you.” He said.
“A girl?” Tracy looked puzzled. “Did she drop her name?.”
“Yeah…Isabelle..” Jude said. “She said you two met earlier today, at Mena’s apartment.”
“Great!” Tracy sighed. “Okay…take her to my office and tell her I’ll be with her shortly.”
“Okay.” Jude nodded and walked out of the room.
“I assume this Isabelle have some news,” Shadow said, his face a bit brightened. “An exquisite timing.. let’s go talk to her.”
“Yeah, of course.” Tracy nodded at the shadow. “But first, tell me the information mena had for you?”
Shadow strictly stared at Tracy for a bit, then asked. “Why?”
“Because I know you were supposed to meet her at Johnson’s motel room which you did but unfortunately she was already gone by the time you got there,” Tracy said.
Shadow paused, then he said. “If I knew the information mena had for me, will I be here talking to you?.”
Tracy studied shadow’s black sparkling eyes, they were so fine and pure. Tracy quickly understood that shadow wasn’t the lying type. She sighed and said. “Okay… guess you’re clueless too… let’s go talk to Isabelle.”
Shadow walked out of the interrogation room with Tracy and followed her down to her office at the other end of the hallway. The office was a bit of a small room. It had a desk crammed with paperwork. It also had a window on the wall behind the desk. At the edge of the room was a small black refrigerator and on the wall was a whiteboard and on the whiteboard were pieces of newspapers articles and pictures, they were all pinned on the whiteboard with red threads running aimlessly across them.
Isabelle stood in front of the whiteboard, admiring its content. There was something about police work she found intriguing and exciting.
Tracy walked to her desk and sat on the table, facing Isabelle, then she said. “Okay, lady…..tell me what you got.”
“And make it swift,” Shadow added.
“First of all.” Isabelle pointed at the shadow, with her face affixed at Tracy. “Why is he still here?… I thought no civilian allowed in an investigation.”
“Yeah, it’s true,” Tracy said. “But Shadow has proven his usefulness in the case and am not gonna throw away good help.”
Isabelle lowered her hand and gave Shadow a queer look, then she said. “Shadow?….what type of name is that?”
Shadow stared back at Isabelle, their eyes meet furiously and intensively. Shadow maintained his stare, so did Isabelle and none of them made any move of relinquishing.
Tracy looked at Isabelle and Shadow slowly, then she said in a perplexed tone. “Okay guys…..what’s going on?”
“Eyeballs war.” Isabelle quickly replied, still maintaining her intensive stare at the shadow. “The first to turn away losses.”
Tracy turned to shadow and said. “Shadow…you know of this game?.”
“Irrefutably not!” Shadow said, maintaining his intensive stare at Isabelle as well. “But I believe Isabelle wants to prove something…”.
“Yeah, I am…I want to…”. Isabelle paused and turned her face away. “God! you’re good.”
“Of course I am.” Shadow forced out a smile, then stiffened his face shortly after. “Now tell us what you know.”
Isabelle brought out the black card from her pocket and gave it to Tracy. “I found this in mena’s apartment.”
Tracy examined the card. “You went back to the apartment, didn’t you?.”
“What!” Isabelle yelped, moving her eyeballs both sides. “Am a girl of curiosity.”
“Anyways, this is an invitation card,” Tracy said. “How does this help?.”
“In every way,” Isabelle said excitedly. “Mena is supposed to attend a party this evening. It’s called the blind party.”
“The blind party?.” Tracy looked puzzled. “Never heard of it.”
“That’s why you have me.” Isabelle smiled which instantly made Tracy to roll her eyeballs. “I did a little digging on the blind party and I found a lot. The blind party is a secret monthly party, it’s normally hosted in a secret location and it’s location is usually moved every month.”
“Am not seeing how that helps,” Tracy said impatiently.
“Here’s the good part.” Isabelle continued. “The nature of the party is so secretive, the host doesn’t even get to know the people he or she had invited until they arrive at the party…so if mena was invited, there is a ninety percent chance that the host doesn’t know if mena is a male or a female. The host only knows mena with a codename which is black walker.”
“So, anyone can simply pretend to be mena and the host would not know,” Shadow said, finding Isabelle’s plan intriguing.
“Exactly!” Isabelle turned to Shadow, then to Tracy. “So, if one of us go as black walker, we might be able to enter into the party and know what it is all about.. and who knows, it can lead us to the killer.”
“It might.” the shadow said. “Considering the fact that killer might know that Mena is the blackwalker, it may be to our advantage. And if the killer is at the party, he or she will be a surprise and nervous to see another person portraying as the new black walker and that is how we know our killer.”
“But we don’t know that,” Tracy said. “We are not supposed to conclude that the killer might be at the party because we don’t know that… We can’t just go to the party and start face reading random people.”
“I know it’s crazy.” Isabelle said. “But its worth the shot.”
Tracy hesitated, then sighed. “Fine, I will go as black walker.”
Shadow and Isabelle exchanged glances then swiftly turned to Tracy and chorused. “No!!”
“You cannot go,” Shadow said.
“Why?” Tracy asked sullenly.
“Because you look like a sheriff…oh wait! you’re a sheriff.” Isabelle said.
“Ha ha.” Tracy stiffened her face. “Very funny.”
“Look, don’t get mad but they will smell your badge from the gate,” Isabelle said. “But they will never suspect someone like me, that’s why I will be the one going.”
Tracy laughed, then said. “What?….you’re kidding me.”
“You are not going.” the shadow said.
“Why?”. Isabelle turned to shadow. “I clearly do not look like a sheriff.”
“Exactly the reason you shouldn’t go,” Shadow said. “I shall be the one going. Clearly, I will be the last person they will suspect.”
“Come on..please let me come along.” Isabelle pled, her eyes looking innocent.
“I shall not watch this ridiculous entertainment..am going to the blind party.” Shadow turned and walked out of the office.
“Hey!!” Isabelle yelled. “You don’t even know where the location is!!.”
The door handle turned, the door opened and shadow entered into the room then said with his face hardened. “That is true..tell me the location.”
“No!” Isabelle shook her head. “Unless you promise you’re going to take me along.”
“Fine..we do this the hard way.” Shadow walked close to Isabelle and stared deep into her eyes and said confidently. “Tell me where the location is.”
Isabelle stared into shadow’s eyes for a bit then moved her eyeballs. “What are you doing?”
Shadow swiftly stepped back in shock. He was extremely shocked and surprised that his ability to extract the truth from people didn’t work on Isabelle. He stared at Isabelle in disbelief then he finally asked unsteadily. “Who are you?”
“Hellooo…am Isabelle..the girl that’s following you to the party,” Isabelle said quickly.
Shadow couldn’t take her eyes off Isabelle, there was something odd about her and that oddness terrified him.
“Helloooo.” Isabelle snapped her fingers across shadow’s face. “Are you there?.”
Shadow made a quick blink, then turned his face away. “Yes, of course.”
“Okay.” Isabelle turned to Tracy who had been suspiciously quiet. “Are you on board? and what are you thinking?.”
Tracy sighed. “Am just thinking, if you found the card in Mena’s apartment, that means the host knows that mena is blackwalker.”
“No,” Isabelle said. “The invitation was sent to blackwalker’s blind party account. So mena just printed it out.”
“Okay.” Tracy nodded. “Makes perfect sense.”
“So, are you on board?.” Isabelle asked, her eyes pleading for a positive reply.
Tracy paused for a while then nodded. “Fine..am on board….but if anything goes out of the plan, you two should get out of there as fast as you can.”
“Of course.” Isabelle nodded then turned to shadow. “The party is formal so…how do you look in a tux?.”
“Clearly not going to look suspicious,” Shadow said. “I will be outside waiting for you two,” Shadow concluded and walked out of the office.
Isabelle turned to Tracy. “Let’s do this shall we?.”
Tracy sneered then shook her head. “Am so going to hate this.”
Tracy parked the Mazda Cx-9 2017 model she was driving beside the road. Shadow and Isabelle were occupying the backseats. Shadow was dressed in an all-black tuxedo with no bow tie, while Isabelle was dressed in a red long gown.
At the other side of the road was a mansion which appeared to the location of the current blind party.
“Okay guys, let’s do this,” Tracy said, tightening her hands on the wheel. “Backup is ready when we need them.”
“Wait! don’t tell me this gonna turn into a gunfight….is it?.” Isabelle asked seriously.
Tracy turned her head back and faced Isabelle. “Are you getting scared now?”
“No.” Isabelle turned her face away. “No..am not scared.
“Good.” Tracy turned her head back to the windshield. “I’ll be waiting for you guys here.”
Shadow and Isabelle got out of the car and walked to the mansion’s gate. The gateman didn’t ask them for any pass, he simply let them in. Shadow was beginning to think it was too easy but he retracted his thought when they met a heavily built man standing in front of the entrance door. The man was tremendously tall, had a bald head and was wearing a gray suit.
“Invitation please.” The man asked strictly.
Isabelle brought out the black card from her red purse and offered it to the man. “Here you go.”
The man examined the card and said. “This is just for one person.”
“Actually it’s for two,” Isabelle said quickly. “My boyfriend and I are quite intimate. We love having everything together. The black goes for him while the walker goes for me. So technically the invitation is for two of us.” Isabelle ran her left hand into shadow’s right hand.
At that instant, Shadow got completely shocked and terrified. In all his immortal life and from the point of his birth, Shadow hasn’t been able to feel anything physical except they were factorized by celestial beings like him. In 1934, he had explained this to a doctor. The doctor had told him that it was a rare disorder called cognitive insensitivity. Shadow had also explained to the doctor that he could feel physical touches or pains caused by celestial beings like him but he couldn’t feel any from humans. Of course, the doctor had thought shadow was crazy and in need of mental health. But right now, Shadow was literally feeling Isabelle’s soft palm and he could swear Isabelle was just a human. The instant experiencing terrified shadow immeasurably and intensively, so intense, he failed to notice that Isabelle was talking to him.
“Is that not right love?.” Isabelle held shadow’s hand more tightly.
Shadow leaped himself out of his ocean of thoughts and nodded. “Of course love.”
The man stared at both of them for a while, then he stepped aside. “Go in.”
“Thank you.” Isabelle smiled at the man and led shadow into the entrance hall.
The entrance hall was huge and beautiful. It had glittering chandeliers hang up on the decks, exquisite fine work of art hanging on the walls and had a sparkling tiled floor that could show someone’s reflection. A lot of formal individuals walked about in the hall room, all dressed in fine and expensive clothing.
“What happened back there?” Isabelle asked quietly. “You froze up for like a minute.”
“I….I…I felt something.” Shadow said sullenly.
“Well, put your head in the game,” Isabelle said and smiled at a lady that was approaching them. The lady smiled back and walked passed them. Isabelle watched the lady, admiring her fine coral blue gown she was wearing. “God!… that’s a fine gown.”
“Do not use my grandfather’s name like that.” Shadow said.
Isabelle turned her face forward and said. “Guess your head is back in the game.”
Shadow walked forward a bit and turned back to Isabelle, staring deeply into her eyes. “Tell me the truth, were you adopted?”
Isabelle face stiffened. “What’s wrong you?..come on, don’t screw this up.”
Shadow turned his face away and hid his frustration and erupting anger. He was getting annoyed at Isabelle’s ability in resisting his ability to compel the truth from people. And what vexed shadow the more what that he was beginning to realize that Isabelle had no idea she had this gift.
“Shadow, what’s wrong?.” Isabelle asked, getting worried that shadow might flaw and the whole mission might collapse.
Shadow turned his face back to Isabelle and said. “I want you to tell me the truth….were you adopted?.”
“No.” Isabelle answered. “Why are you even asking?.”
“It seems I cannot compel the truth out of you so I want you to be sincere with me,” Shadow said.
“Shadow, what’s going on?” Isabelle asked impatiently.
“Do you feel pain? do you bleed? are your parent’s humans?” Shadow asked quickly. “Do you age? how old are you?.”
“What the heck!” Isabelle looked around nervously to see if they were raising attention when the coast was clear, she turned back to Shadow. “Dude, what’s wrong with you?.”
“Answer me,” Shadow demanded impatiently.
“Fine!” Isabelle grunted. “Fine! my parents are humans. what else do you expect them to be? I feel pain, I do age like a normal person and am eighteen!”.
“Are you sure?.” Shadow asked seriously.
“Of course am sure!” Isabelle paused when she saw the man at the door approaching. “Oh, no…..”