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Symphony's Requiem: Chapter 2.1
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Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 471
Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Symphony's Requiem: Chapter 2.1  

Chapter 2.1

Warning. This story contains strong language, scenes of violence and other matter that may be offensive. For mature readers only.
Leif could feel his blood pounding in his temples as his heart thrummed with anger and adrenaline. He had his fill of crazy people today.

“What is this all about, and what does it have to do with me?” Leif managed to say through a mouth gone taught.

Detective Tetra let the question hang between them for a short pause, and then smiled that perfect smile. “The case is of a sensitive nature Mr. Tollart, but I assure you that you yourself are in no trouble…as long as you continue to cooperate with this investigation.”

“Listen here Colombo; I’ve had enough of this shit! You are going to leave me the fuck alone or I’m busting you for impersonating a law officer.”

Five seconds of silence must have passed between them, the detective didn’t even blink. “Is this the woman you met in the cemetery Mr. Tollart?”

He held up a Polaroid against the black grid, in the picture she had an ugly, vicious bruise around her right eye. That same eye had gone completely bloodshot and in the picture her hair was buzzed close to her head like a prisoner of a concentration camp. It was her though; there was no mistaking Symphony for anyone else.

Lief’s first instinct was not to trust this guy, now his instincts only wanted to smash in his face. He squared his shoulders and rose to his full six foot two inch frame. He advanced one step toward the door making his 200 plus pounds as threatening as possible.

“Either you get the fuck out of here or you and me are going to have a problem Dudley Do Right.” Leif slammed one hand, open palmed, over where Tetra was holding the picture. “I don’t give a fuck about your picture or your questions.”

Tetra pulled the picture back and placed it in his back pocket from whence it came, when he pulled the hand back out in the place of the Polaroid was a beige colored business card.

“Well Mr. Tollart, if you do remember anything or if you happen to see her again, please give me a call. Miss Symphony poses a danger to others but assuredly she poses the greatest danger to herself. It would be a shame if someone got hurt because she is still out on the streets in a very unstable place.”

The detective put the card between the mesh and one of the solid pieces of metal, and then he locked eyes with Leif. For a brief second panic rose from his chest washing away all of his anger in one wave, his breath stuttered and then froze. Leif was sure that the man knew he had been lying to him and that if he didn’t have better things to do this security door would pose no hindrance to him. Then Tetra turned away and made his way out of the complex.

Leif stood looking at his reflection; a thick undergrowth of stubble had grown in on his normally clean shaven face. Bursts of bright red veins spread across the whites of his dull blue eyes. Parts of his dirty, brown hair stood up at odd angles and had not been kept in days. The flat, white light in the bathroom did absolutely nothing to soften the fact that it looked like he had spent the last three days living out of a ditch.

Leif stared into his own eyes, looking past the stubble and the hair and the weariness. He watched himself, never breaking eye contact, hoping to somehow find an answer to everything – to anything. But instead of some self-realizing moment when all the answers a person needed was always in the mirror, Leif found nothing, if he came to any conclusions he realized that he was looking at stranger. Without a second thought he pulled on the edge of the mirror and it swung open to reveal a medicine cabinet. He reached for the bottle marked ibuprofen and pushed down on the white, child-proof cap. He shook the bottle and three round white pills spilled out along with four long beige pills. He picked two of each, put the bottle back and closed the mirror. He lumbered back to his couch, picked up what was left of his mostly vodka with a splash of orange juice version of a screwdriver that he had been nursing last night.

The Excedrin washed down leaving a slight bitter taste in his mouth; the Zantac didn’t taste like anything. Leif tried the remote, pressing the power button on it over and over again trying to make the television come to life. His gaze briefly went to the table where the stacks of bills that had been piling up. Either the power company had temporarily shut off his power for lack of payment or he needed a new television. Rather than find out which one was true he leaned back his head draining off the rest of the screwdriver and closed his eyes.

The darkness seemed to move and swirl, he could feel more than see shapes in the inky void. The sounds they made – guttural, low and almost just beyond the edge of hearing – made him imagine that when they moved they lurched and slithered and dragged. He stood within the smallest circle of three other circles that seemed to be drawn on what looked like to be a cobble stone of some sort. The one he was in was about five feet in diameter, with the other circles being only slightly larger so that there couldn’t be more than five inches between them. In those spaces were cryptic, hard edged, runes written into the ground, he understood that he knew what they meant but for some reason he couldn’t read them. The runes were written in some sort of mix of chalk and wax and each of the twenty five runes were emanating a soft amber hue, with thick bands of bluish smoke which was soaked up into the darkness. The light coming from the runes did nothing to make whatever it was that was out in that darkness any more identifiable, but it did seem to light up the interior of the circle that he stood in and it make his skin look bronze. One of the creatures of the darkness said something to him – or was it the darkness itself that spoke – but for some reason he could not hear it. He heard a voice that was not his reply.

“Soon. I have met one who has at least made contact.”

He knew whatever it was that was speaking was speaking to him but all he could hear was a low gurgling and sputtering sound. For no reason that he knew of it made him think that it was the sound light would make if it was drowning.

“He is of no consequence, just a mortal – easily cowed or killed.”

The voice he couldn’t understand yellowed and dripped with bile.

“What do you mean someone watches? I took precautions.”

Suddenly he realized that he wasn’t the one speaking to the unintelligible darkness or the monsters within, instead he was staring at the back of the head of a wholly different man kneeling in the light circle. He could see the man turning getting ready to notice him and see him. Then suddenly he felt small, brittle arms wrap around his waist, a pair of delicate hands with long thin fingers locked against his stomach. He felt a surge of vertigo and he closed his eyes, he knew that he was slipping back into himself and though he could not be sure he thought he heard the beating of wings.

Leif was shivering when he woke up; every inch of every piece of fabric he was wearing was soaked with sweat that smelled like booze. His mind was cloudy and he couldn’t think straight, he had been having a horrible dream, a nightmare but it was falling away from him now. Leif’s entire body shook and he crawled toward the sofa looking for a blanket or anything to help get him warm. That was when he heard something in the apartment with him, he peeked over the couch and he immediately saw that the two by four’s he had placed over his windows were all lying broken on his living room floor. When he looked up at the window the sun was shining through it but blocking that sunlight someone was crouched in the frame of the window. His body and his mind were in such a state of disorientation and shock that he couldn’t think of anything to say or do or even wonder, all Leif could do was stare and then pass out again.

When he woke up he was in his bed, which was really odd because Leif couldn’t remember the last time he had woken up in his bedroom. Normally these days he would fall asleep on the couch in various states of drunkenness. Leif also noticed that he was no longer wearing the sweat drenched clothes he was wearing when he first woke up; he was wearing some old sweatpants in surprisingly good condition and a heavy, dark green, pullover sweater with the words “I Like Yosemite More Than You” on it. He had no idea where these clothes had come from; all he knew was that they were not his. He put his hand on his cheek to rub at his stubble that had been steadily growing there, he didn’t know where he got this habit from but he had decided that he liked it. Instead of finding that strange sensation of short bristly hair, his face was clean shaven.

He went to the bathroom mirror to look at his reflection, Leif saw that whoever it was that had dressed him had also at the very least washed and combed his hair. He ran to the living room to see if he had been robbed, but when he got there nothing was out of place, even his wallet was exactly where he had left it. The only thing different were the broken pieces of wood lying on his floor, he walked over slowly to them to get a closer look. He picked up two random pieces, the faint smell of pine came off of the wood, and most of them were splintered and broken exactly in the middle. The remaining ones were still whole; the bare, sharpened ends of the nails that used to hold them in the wall were the only things that made it clear that the boards didn’t belong in the middle of the floor. Leif went over to the window; a vague image from his fading dream slid almost into place, but then was gone again. He ran his fingertips across the plaster next to the window, the holes that the nails made which held the two by fours in place were still there.

Leif just didn’t understand, there should have been pieces of broken glass all over the place. As a matter of fact the window was still intact, which didn’t make any sense at all. In order to break the two by fours a person would either have to break the window from the outside to get at them or come in from the front door. Leif, still holding one piece of wood in his hand, made his way to the door. The security chain was engaged, the deadbolt in place and even the lock on the knob was secured. If they came in the front door why break the two by fours and even more strangely how would they lock everything behind them? His mind frayed a little bit on the edges and he subconsciously reached down for the bottle of vodka that he had been drinking from. Only as he brought it up to his lips did he see the lavender note stuck to the label with some dark red sealing wax. Leif shook his head, took off the note, took a deep drink of the liquid fire and then opened the letter.

Dear Lee,
You drink too much, but I think you already know that, if you want it there is some breakfast in the fridge, waiting for you. You can keep the clothes you seem to need them more than me. Thanks for covering for me with that Detective Tetra, consider us almost even. Just kidding, consider us even. Try to take care of yourself okay.


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