In Brickdown City, when bad things happen, it's either the hand of God or the handiwork of Rupert Crawford. Looking around at my cleansed apartment, every single item of my worldly possessions stolen from the carpet to the couch to the cooker, it wasn't God's name I was cursing.

"Is there anything else you'd like to add to your statement?" The police officers looked at me with faux concern. The two officers had arrived 2 hours after I reported the burglary. And so far they'd done little beside offer me condolences.

"No thank you officer." Loosely gripping my grandmothers amulet, the only thing in the entire house the robbers left, I stared at it forlornly. Rolling it through my fingers, as though the locket was a set of rosemary beads, I prayed that some of her patience would rub off on me."Thank you for all your help." I continued shortly, before fixating both officers with polite smile on my face that held no enthusiasm behind it.

"Not a problem Ann," the officer paused, the sound of his voice dismissive,"May I call you Ann?" He continued regardless completely uninterested in my reply. "Maybe it would be wiser for you to stay with family tonight, somewhere outside of this neighbourhood, while we look into this investigation." The smirk that quickly drew across his face as he finished that sentence told me that these two officers would be doing anything but.

I stopped rolling the amulet as my anger spiked. Steeling myself I let go of all false niceties. "Should I be concerned for my welfare?" As he opened his mouth to begin to deny it, I raised a hand, talking over him as I smiled curtly. "I'm sure you and your fellow officer can see yourselves out. I need to make a phone call."

They both went stock still at that, eyeing each other, before Officer 'Faux-Concern' turned to question me."Who are you calling?"

Raising a single eyebrow in challenge, I flipped open my cellphone. "My father."

I watched as the officer shrank back at the implication."We are just concerned for your welfare Ma'am."

I started to chuckle to myself at the sudden return to formality, "Well," I nodded briefly, "I'm sure you'll be just as concerned from outside my apartment. Good evening officer."

I held out a hand indicating the front door, watching them glance at one another for a long moment, before they finally turned to leave. Following them to the entrance, I triple locked the door behind them, leaning gratefully against the heavy steel before I began to dial.

"Annie!" The jovial voice of my estranged father reverberated through my phone after the second ring. "Its been so long since we've heard from you," I listened as chattering began in the background as my father chuckled over the indistinct speech, "your mother worries."

"Where are my things Rupert."

"Is that anyway to speak to your father? What happened to the little girl who used to call me Papa?"

"What do you want Rupert?" For a few moments, I heard nothing but cold silence, my pulse spiking at the dead air.

"What I want," the abrupt sharp edge of my father's voice sliced lethally through the phone, "is for you to give the Crawford name the respect it demands." The sudden loss of all joviality made me hold my breath. "And for you to return home now."

Closing my eyes in resignation, I tightened my grip on the phone, as I slid slowly down to the ground. "When did it happen?"

"Your grandmother passed away last Friday." My father's voice was low and even. "It is now time for you to take her place in The Order."


Story Prompt : There's been a break-in at your apartment. The robbers took everything—your couch, your clothes, your toilet paper—except for one odd item that they left right in the middle of your living room. This item, though meaningless to the police, is a clue that you recognize and it will lead you to the culprits.