Author: Yonder PM
The face that pins you in a double gaze hides a great secret.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Horror/Mystery - Words: 2,471 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 07-07-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2387293
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Glass shattered, and a scream was heard from the dark street, echoing to the neighboring houses and falling upon deaf ears of the hustle and bustle from the city. If one had been paying close attention, they would've seen a figure emerge from the end of the street and blend in with the rest of the crowd.
"Yes, that's what I said! Are you hard of hearing, sir? Something broke into my house!"
"It didn't look human, officer."
The police officer gave the frantic lady across the desk from him a flat look. "Ma'am, I'm sure you're over-reacti--"
"Listen to me! Something was in my house. I don't know why it was there – it didn't take anything. But, it was there! Jumped right through the front kitchen window!"
Officer Wilson leaned back in his old, worn down office chair, and looked dismissively at the woman across from him. She was there, cradling a tiny child no older than three, and giving him the meanest glare he'd seen in some time – and that included the ones he received from his inmates.
"What did it do next?"
"Nothing! It just stood there, staring at me. Well, it would've been, but it didn't have human eyes! They were metallic! It was all metal!"
"All metal, you say?"
"Sir, are you hard of hearing? That's the second time now." the woman snapped angrily, "It stood there, turned its head this way and that, and then left!"
He sighed and stood up. Walking to the door, he stuck his head out into the hallway.
"Sherman, get in here!"
Seconds later, hurried footsteps were heard, and a rather frazzled police officer appeared in the doorstep.
"You are to escort this lady to her house, and do a thorough investigation."
The man turned to the woman in the chair, and held his hand out to the door to signify her to get up. She left the room, and he followed, closing the door behind him. Her shoes clacked angrily on the floor as she mumbled to herself.
"...didn't even believe a word I said..."
"Ma'am," Officer Sherman interrupted, tapping her shoulder, "Everything will be fine. We'll do a search of your property, and even assign a guard to watch your house tonight, okay?"
The woman huffed, but nodded reluctantly. "That'll be fine," she said.
Dinner that night for the woman was late. She'd spent the better time of the day watching on as Officer Sherman and his group of men investigated the broken window, and dusted for prints. Finding none, they had assigned a night guard outside the door for that night and left shortly afterwards. Now, at 9pm, the woman was just serving dinner to her child.
A screen had been put over the window, and the broken shards had been cleaned, but there wasn't a new window and lock installed yet.
Throughout the whole meal, as she tried to get her toddler to eat, the woman's eyes kept darting to the open window as if the thing – whatever it was – would jump in again at any time and snatch her son right out of his seat.
After she'd put her son to sleep, the woman laid herself down, and tried to succumb to her fatigue, but her thoughts were drawn to the thing that had broken in. True, it hadn't hurt herself or her son, but she didn't know what it was. It was different. It was strange.
She didn't know whether it was dangerous or not, but she had a feeling it would be so, seeing as it had smashed the kitchen window.
She sighed and rolled over, glancing at the baby monitor on her nightstand. Her son was three, but she just couldn't accept that fact. She loved her son, her baby, and didn't want to hear that he was getting older. Every night, she'd stare at that monitor, waiting to hear a cry. But alas, her son had been sleeping through the night for years now.
Closing her eyes, and falling to sleep, the lady's body relaxed, and her mind was filled visions of her son, broken windows, and metal monsters.
Officer Sherman had been a police officer for seven years. He came from a family of them. His father was a police officer, and so was his father before him. But in all of the generations, none of them had ever been assigned to a case quite like this. The man marched up the steps to the woman's porch and rapped his knuckles smartly on the door. Seconds later, the toddler's face appeared in the low glass. Now what was his name? He didn't think the lady had mentioned...
The door opened after a moment longer, and the child's mother appeared in the doorway. Sherman immediately noted the dark circles under her eyes, and the lack luster look on her features.
Sherman greeted the woman with what he hoped was a reassuring smile. "Miss Williams, we need to return to the station for further questioning about the uh... incident."
The lady sighed and nodded, picking up her son and going to the mudroom to put on her shoes. "You can come in." she called through the house. He obliged, and entered the door to the kitchen. The glass had indeed been cleaned up by his team, but the lack of shine in the window was a bit unnerving for such a cool day.
Footsteps on the linoleum signaled Miss Williams' returned, her child held on her hip. Sherman looked at the child curiously. For a three year old, he didn't talk much. In fact, Sherman didn't believe he'd heard him talk at all. The youth returned the stare with one of his own. A stare that hinted that the child knew more than he let on.
Sherman's attention was drawn back to Miss Williams when she tapped his arm.
The police chief was in his office when they arrived; the smoke of a big, fat cigar wafted thickly through the air.
"Miss Williams, Sherman," he greeted from his laid back, feet on the desk position. "There's been a development in the case."
Both quickly made their way to his desk and sat down. The chief lowered his boots and sat up, putting his arms on the desk.
"Last night, there was another break-in, and this time, a kidnapping."
The woman's blood ran cold, and she looked to her son, who was gazing intently at the police chief, his piercing blue eyes unblinking. She cuddled her son closer, mortified of the thought that her son could've been taken from her too.
"Who was it? Who was taken?" she asked.
The chief's face went grim.
The two got the chills, even before they heard the name. "My brother."
Miss Williams had requested to triple the amount of guards for her house that night, and for good reason. Evidently, from what the police chief had told her, he had been at his brother's that morning. Shortly after they'd finished eating breakfast, the creature –even he'd admitted it was a creature – showed up in the living room, jumped through the window, just like it had before.
It had set its sights on the chief's brother, snatched him with its metal hands, and dragged him out of the house. By the time the chief had gotten outside, neither of the two were to be seen, and he hadn't seen nor heard of his brother since then.
Now, washing the dishes quietly, she listened to her son play with his toys on the floor. She turned to him. "Hey Prosper, why aren't you talking? Usually, you're jabbering on and on," she finished with a chuckle.
He just looked up at her, his azure eyes reflecting off the ceiling light, and the corners of his mouth turned up into a small smile before he went back to his toy truck.
The phone rang, abruptly waking Miss Williams from her slumber. She'd fallen asleep on the couch after Prosper and she had eaten lunch together. Her thoughts muddled, she only vaguely heard crying coming from the next room.
Making her way to the phone, she picked it up to her Officer Sherman's urgent voice on the end of the line.
"Miss Williams! Grab your son and take shelter somewhere immediately!"
"Why?" she responded, only half awake.
"The creature was spotted! It was heading towards your house!"
This woke the woman up like a slap in the face. She slammed the receiver down without another word and stormed into her son's bedroom to find glass all over the floor. And that was the only thing she found.
Frantically, she searched through the rest of the rooms, and even the cupboard under the sink for Prosper, but all she found was his toy truck, left lying on its side in the hallway.
She flew to the broken window, craning her neck out in hopes of seeing her little boy playing on the sidewalk, or perhaps on the neighbor's porch. But there was no Prosper.
Sherman awkwardly patted the woman's back as she sat in the station. She was crying, which make the man uncomfortable. "Ma'am, we're doing all we can to find your son. Just please, try to hang on."
She glared up at him through tear stained eyes. "How would you feel if your whole life was taken away from you, and then someone had the nerve to say, 'Just hold on'?!"
Not meeting her gaze, Officer Sherman nodded and removed his hand from her shoulder. The chief wasn't there. He'd gone out with the squad, hunting down small Prosper and the metal mystery, and they were told to await his return.
Sherman stood silently by the door and listened to Miss Williams cry at the loss of her son. Why had it targeted her son? Why had it targeted the chief's brother?
The phone rang, and Sherman snatched it up before she could even move a muscle. "Chief? What's happened?" he asked sharply. He nodded grimly. "Right, okay. We'll be there right away."
He hung up the phone and turned to the expectant Miss Williams.
"It's been found." he said. "Down on Burks Street. We're going there now. They've located Prosper too."
"Is he okay?" she asked frantically.
Sherman didn't answer, but only opened the door and signaled her to get moving.
Minutes later, they arrived at an old warehouse. Miss Williams climbed out of the car and ran in. Lying on the floor against the far wall, she found the metal creature, hunched over, crumpled on the floor. It was dead.
Feet away, sat Prosper, not crying, but staring silently at the creature. The chief approached Miss Williams, but she blew right past him and to the boy. Picking him up, she clung to him, reluctant to ever let him go ever again.
The chief cleared his throat. "Ma'am," he said. "It's dead. Three of the officers shot it on my command."
The woman nodded, looking over to the bloody remains of the metal figure. "What was it?" she asked. The officer looked back at it, "Well, you're not going to believe this, but it appears to be one of those androids you here about on the science fiction channel. Meds have already checked it. Its teeth and eyes are missing, and it's hands rubbed down raw. Metal had been screwed onto its body, which we discovered had mad burns. How it lived and was able to move around; nobody knows. It looks like it was sleeping when we arrived, and it was taken out during the same state."
She nodded uncertainly, hugging Prosper, who was giving the chief a silent gaze.
"And your brother?" she said hopefully. The chief shook his head.
"We found his blood on the floor in one of the upper floors. So much of it that he wouldn't be able to survive. It's assumed that the metal man got rid of the body somehow... He's presumed dead." he finished, his eyes lowering.
The woman covered her mouth, and brought Prosper even closer. "It could've happened to you too." she cooed to him, burying her face in his hair. Prosper didn't acknowledge he was being smothered, but kept the steady, silent gaze on the police chief, who looked at him strangely. Sherman came up to stand beside the woman and clapped her on the shoulder, giving her a grin. "Prosper's safe!" he cheered. "All the danger has passed."
Miss Williams looked to him and then to the metallic man that was now being removed from the warehouse and nodded. She thanked the men, and finally, safely, took her son home.
Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn, the chief thought as he sat in his office, pondering over the past two days' events. That child – Prosper, he recalled – had been silent throughout the whole process. Perhaps he was scorning them all, or perhaps it was just him. He grinned, looking into the mirror on the wall. He noticed his jaw had come unhinged. Picking up his screw driver, he re-secured the screw into the socket. His poor brother, he thought. At least he died for a good cause, for his cause. There was something he recalled his creator telling him, as he looked in the mirror, one of his metallic eyes shining back in him, half his skin having been removed for cleaning. "Look in the mirror," he had always said, "The face that pins you in a double gaze hides a great secret."
AN: My first attempt at a somewhat serious work. This is in response to a writing contest, wanting somewhat of a Twilight Zone-y twist to the end. I hope you enjoyed your read!