Author: Marquis de Pasteur PM
A murder is committed in an insane asylum, and young Andrew Kiersted must go investigate it. The trail runs colder...but things get creepier.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Mystery - Words: 1,778 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Published: 05-28-10 - id: 2811667
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Andrew Kiersted once had a dog when he was a small boy, no older than five. This dog was his only friend, the only one he could trust, living off in practically the middle of nowhere. There were no other children for miles.
The dog's name was Roman. He was mellow and protective of Andrew. He lazed around until his master would come home from school and do his homework. Everyday Roman would sit at a large rock obediently and wait. Just wait. He wouldn't move even if there was wind or rain or snow. Andrew would jump off the bus and ruffle the Collie's light brown, long hair.
Andrew's father was a drunk. He was rather fond of scotch and vodka and beer. It drained their money. His mother worked several jobs, and he barely saw her. When she came home, she would often fight with his drunken father.
Oh how he loathed his father.
Wished he would die.
But he wouldn't.
His mother up and left one day. She had failed to notice that it would put Andrew in danger leaving him alone with his father. All Andrew had left was his faithful dog.
And he hopped off the bus one day, instinctively reaching out the pet Roman. But no delicate fur smoothed under his fingers. No cheerful bark sounded in recognition. No small head nuzzled against his rough palm. There was nothing familiar.
At first, Andrew had thought the bus had dropped him off at the wrong house. But the rock was sitting in the same place as always. Confused, he walked down the walkway and knocked on the door. It swung open. Getting a bit panicky that someone broke in or his dad left, he moved slowly through the house. As he entered the kitchen, his jaw dropped and he bit back a scream. Took a step back. His dog was on the table – at least part of him was; the head was sitting soundly on a chair with its eyes open, Andrew's father sitting across from it. Its body lay on the table, blood pooling around it, father taking delicate bites from the abdomen. He stabbed the heart with his fork and pulled it out, licking the smooth blood. Crimson liquid ran down his chin. Eyes fell on a whimpering son.
"Hush boy. He'll bark."
Andrew pivoted and ran, salty tears flowing down his face. He had no one now. No one as he ran down the dusty road.
It was buzzing rather profusely in his ear. One would think with all the technological advances the world has had, someone would create a nicer alarm to awaken to. Regardless, he rolled over and slammed his open palm against it, trying for the OFF button. After several attempts, he was rewarded with silence.
Andrew lay in bed for awhile. He knew he had to get up sometime – new assignment today, he heard – but he found it rather troublesome, moving and all that when one could be lightly snoozing the day away. But he stood and showered. Shaved. Gelled his pale blond hair back. Admired himself. Those blue eyes sparkled like ice, just as hard. He dressed in a nice suit, fitting just right. He tied his shoes and tie, sipped coffee, and gathered papers for his briefcase.
And he headed out to the car, with an expressionless face and prepared for the traffic of the nation's capital.
Andrew was not a man that liked routines to be broken, and he was not a man that broke them either. When he entered the building all was well and his coffee was still hot. He expected everything to stay that way as well. He nodded to the main receptionist and headed up the stairs. Once on his floor, he surveyed, saw that all was in order, and was glad when he finally sat down in his swivel chair in his slightly larger than normal cubicle.
When he was called to a meeting, he peered at his desk calendar. Nothing for today. Must be about that new assignment he had heard about. He moved out from his cubicle and followed the lady that applied too much make up to the meeting room. Well, rather, it was an office.
There was only one other person in the room, and that man was indeed intimidating. He sat behind a desk, writing calmly, looked up, and indicated a chair for Andrew to sit in.
"Good morning, sir."
The president nodded, and only then did Andrew take notice of the two, huge Secret Service flanked on either side of the desk. He instantly became more careful of his words unknowingly.
Thomas Molanero was a proud man, being highly favoured by the people. He outvoted the competitor by far, and he was an old school Democrat – hard to find now a days. He cleared his throat and glanced up, smiling.
"Hello," he said calmly. "How are you?"
"Fine sir. And yourself?"
"Good, good. Know why I'm here?"
"You're the President of the United States, sir. You can go anywhere without reason."
Molanero grinned toothily, glancing back down to the desk and resuming doodling. He had moved to the dark-stained wood of the desk, carving ornate patterns with his pen – designs blue with the ink. Picture frames filled with people that seemed to be the default people in picture frames decorated the cozy office. This wasn't his office. He probably carried around picture frames with fake people to make clients feel more comfortable when they spoke to him. Because who talks to the seemingly most powerful man in the US without feeling like they're in deep shit?
The agents shifted once, eyes dark. Molanero stopped vandalizing the poor manager's desk for a long enough moment to withdraw a folder from a bag. Sliding the pale khaki item full of thick packets of papers over to the other man, he cleared his throat.
"Though that was a very witty answer – that I appreciate very much – it's wrong."
"Oh?" Andrew leafed through the papers, not really bothering to read them just yet. About halfway through, his eyes landed on a picture of a brunet man. He wore a white uniform and a nametag was pinned neatly above his heart. A crooked, cocky smile sent shivers up Andrew's spine – not to mention the white eye patch with a red cross on it.
"The government has begun institutions for the insane once again. Well, actually… There is only one as of now."
Andrew raised an eyebrow but remained silent, blue eyes back on the photo of the man.
"In Alaska," continued the other. "And, recently, a patient by the name of Rebecca Schorr was murdered. However… None of the staff knows who did it."
Oh, Andrew knew where this was going. His phone vibrated in his pocket, telling him about another meeting.
"So I want you to go – "
" – and find out who did it?"
Molanero smiled, nodding. "Bright man, you are, Kiersted."
"Thank you, sir," Andrew said with a small nod of his own. His eyes finally left the photo. "I am to find out who did it… What is in this folder then?"
"The profiles of most of the staff members and all of the patients that aren't locked up twenty-four seven. I didn't bother getting those. The man's picture you were looking at is the Head Doctor."
So the patients' profiles were on top then. "Ever met him?" asked Andrew.
"Never been to Alaska. Don't tell anyone that. It'll ruin me." He smiled, carving into the desk again. The ink of the pen was running low, so the President was having to run it over a particular line several times. "Anyway, don't come back until you find the murderer. Or if it runs cold. But it's a high security facility, so no one has left or entered without getting seen by the guards or warden."
The detective closed the folder and idly wondered how a murder could be committed in the first place.
"You may go now. A plane will be at the airport, and once you land in Juneau, a bus will take you to the institution."
Kiersted stood, but paused in mid-turn to the door. "Sir, where exactly is the institution?"
A wicked grin. "I've no idea."
It was freezing, and he was pretty sure his fingers and toes were solid. Huddled closely inward himself, the tips of the appendages were blue beneath the gloves. He could just tell. Andrew wondered if they would have to be cut off. Surely an insane asylum would have the correct tools to do so, no matter what year it was.
The car passed over a pothole and swerved. Andrew picked himself up from the floor again.
He had loathed the airplane ride over. It was cramped, and being claustrophobic, it was horrible. There was no help from the fact that they had been delayed by a few hours by a snowstorm. He dreaded to know what would happen if he got snowed into the asylum. Stuck with all those crazies. Just like his father.
And now he was in a car that reeked strongly of chickens and death. There was also a particular smell that he pinned on a dead dog. He didn't want to know if he was right. He was content with sitting on the uncomfortable floor in the back of this van; the driver and his friend chatted loudly in a language he didn't know. It was brusque and he guessed Russian, if only because this was Alaska.
The car stopped, driver climbing out and disappearing. The back door creaked open and Andrew clambered out as if he was being liberated from a Nazi camp in WWII. He pulled his scarf tighter around his neck, covering his knows. Only his eyes, which were as blue as ice, could be seen. The sun was setting, even though it was still fairly early in the day.
A hard looking man was suddenly standing in front of him. The chocolate brown coat ended at his knees. A black scarf trailed away, blowing in the wind. He smiled, holding out a hand. "Privyet, Mr. Kiersted? My name is Nikolai Kawlei. The Doctor is waiting for you."
Andrew took the hand. The other man had a firm grip. He would be one to look out for.
"Shall we go?" asked Kawlei, teeth glinting in what little light was left. "I am the warden, too, Mr. Kiersted, comrade."