Beep, beep, beep, beep. A girl in bed stretched as her alarm blared in her ear. A huge yawn crossed her pretty face as she sat up in the cozy bed. Her wavy brown hair tumbled around her shoulders and she hopped off of the structure and struggled to hit the 'Stop' button on her phone alarm.
"Come on," She groaned as her finger hit the 'Stop' button over and over. Finally, the annoying blaring ceased. The girl padded through her dark room and threw open her blinds. Her emerald green eyes snapped shut for a millisecond in reaction to the bright sunshine streaming in through the window. Three stories down below her, people rushed to and fro, off to work. A normal day in Birmingham, London. Work. Yes. That's something I have to do. The brown haired girl blinked the sleepiness out of her eyes and plodded down the narrow staircase of her house. As usual, her eyes flicked up to the photographs on the wall. She saw herself with the little boy. A miniature version of herself, with the same bright emerald eyes and wavy chocolate hair. A deep feeling welled up in her chest. Not sadness or hope. More like a reminiscence of better times that had passed. Times she could never re-live, no matter how much they were longed for. In a flash the feeling was gone, replaced by the cold, calculating mask that folded over her face on a daily basis. There was no room for emotion in her workplace. At least those were the beliefs that had been hammered into her very soul. Well, that was the past and one should really move on from things that can't be changed.
The girl continued on her mission downstairs to the bathroom. After a quick, relaxing shower, she ate a small, classic English breakfast of tea and a piece of toast with some lime flavored margarine slathered on.
Then on went her black corduroy work pants, white button down shirt, thin black jacket and shiny brown clogs. Her thin hands flipped through her wallet, making sure everything was there. Cash, credit card, oyster card and personal identification that read 'Sharna Campton.' Sharna's eyes flicked over to the case file on her desk that she had picked up the day before. She hadn't opened it yet, but now she hurried over to it and flipped over the folder.
Sharna's eyes widened when she saw the title. "Kidnapping"
"Crap," She mumbled.
In all of her years at the Birmingham Detective Agency (BDA), she had only ever had to work a kidnapping case one other time before. It involved the kidnapping of her little brother, Tony. Sharna prayed that the scenario wasn't too similar.
Sharna's hands shook as she held the case file. Her brother had been found after two weeks, but it had been too late. Tony's body that was found, was missing vital organs. Sharna and her colleagues hadn't ever discovered who and why had committed this monstrosity.
Taking a deep breath, Sharna slipped out a piece of paper. It was a letter to BDA from a witness.
'Witnesses are always helpful.' Sharna thought. Most of the time, any witnesses at the scene of the crime, cut down the time to solve the mystery by a long shot. The letter was hand written. Interesting. Normally they got emails or the rare time's they DID receive a letter, it was at least typed. The letter read;
I would prefer to stay anonymous but if it's absolutely necessary. I will answer to my email if you have any questions.
I am one of the witnesses to the Darlington kidnapping. Harper and I attend the same school and I am in a couple of her elective classes. She and I aren't extremely close but I hang out with her enough to know that she wasn't herself at the party.
First off, I'm pretty sure that she snuck out because her parents are rather strict and she had said yesterday that she didn't plan on coming. At first the party was pretty mellow until one of my buddies Ruby, called her brother Caesar and he brought what I assume to be his college friends. It escalated quickly from beer pong to smoking pot. I was getting a little light headed because the smoke was so thick in the room and I decided to get fresh air from outside. There I saw Harper alone; I'm guessing she needed to get some fresh air as well. A few minutes later a few of the college kids came out and walked towards where she was. I was a bit afraid so I quietly went and stood somewhere where they couldn't see me.
I admit I was a little tipsy, my mind wasn't straight. I had a few drinks and took a couple puffs of my friend's cigarette to catch up with everyone's vibe. From where I was hiding, I was able to see one of the college students put something that looked like a white pill in Harper's pink shot glass. Since I was a little tipsy I'm not positive whether they actually did, or if I imagined it. I specifically remembered this partially because the shot glass was pink, which I found strange. I wasn't able to see their faces because it was dark out and they had their hoods on. As they approached her they attempted to get her finish the drink. At first she refused but after several attempts they managed to get her to drink it and get her back into the house. A few minutes later I got bored and decided to go back to the party. Once I got there I saw Harper drunk... and she was insane. She was definitely not acting like herself. Each second she got crazier and more insane. She got so drunk and high to the point to where she passes out. Everyone laughed and acted like it was normal, so I dragged her into one of the guest rooms so she could sleep it off. After that I went home I didn't want to be involved in it anymore. When I got home and tried to sleep it was like my head was spinning with the blurry image of someone slipping a pill in Harpers drink kept replaying over and over. Then snap I woke up and went to school. Ever since the party I never saw Harper at school, or anywhere in general. The scene keeps popping in my head, the guilt from my act of leaving so early kicks me and hurts. A few days go by I heard a rumor that her parents filled out a missing person report. This is everything I know/ think I saw. Again if you have any questions you can contact me at:
Sharna sighed and collapsed onto her desk chair.
"Why do kids do drugs? It's so stupid!" She exclaimed to herself.
Sharna had been raised in a Christian household, and though she didn't necessarily retain everything her Pastor and parents taught her, she DID abide by one thing. Don't do drugs. Half of the cases that Sharna was sent, had to do with drugs or alcohol.
Sharna skimmed over the letter again. The handwriting was obviously female, that much was easy to tell. But anyway, that didn't matter. The writer wanted to remain anonymous anyway.
First thing to do was to find the victim's parents. Sharna flipped through the file and found a page description of the victim.
Victim: Harper Smith Darlington
Hair color: Auburn red with platinum blond at the ends
Eye color: Brown
Last seen wearing a purple "Avengers" t-shirt. Jean jacket. Black tights. Black and white checkered Vans.
Last seen: 221c Cook Street
Address of victim: 798 Fox Point Road, Birmingham England.
"Well this is just laid out perfectly for me." Sharna quipped. She had been to Fox Point Rd before, and it was very nice. It was a gated neighborhood and every plant in sight was perfectly manicured by each house's personal gardener.
"I'll just pop over and pay the Darlington's a visit I think."
Then, Sharna stopped and thought for a minute. 'Why weren't Harper's parents the ones to contact BDA or the police?'
Now, Sharna wasn't one to jump to conclusions, but usually when something with similar circumstances took place, either the parents were involved in the crime, or they had somehow been blackmailed.
Even though it was terrible, Sharna did, in a way, hope that it was the parents that were involved and not blackmail. Blackmail really just made things more difficult.
Sharna slipped the case file into her briefcase along with her wallet, and grabbed her phone from the charging station. Off went the detective to 798 Fox Point Rd.
Brown eyes snapped open and blinked a couple of times. As the eyes tried to adjust to the dark, a cough escaped the person. Long, greasy hair hung in clumps from the female's head. "Where, what…who am I?" The girl whispered in a raspy voice.
"You're Harper Darlington."
Harper snapped her head up and scanned the room, trying to find out who the deep voice belonged to.
"Oh, I'm not actually here." Came the voice.
"I am, however, watching you. Don't worry, you won't be able to recognize my voice, I have a voice blocker," Came the eerie reply.
"So that means I know you. I would know who you are if I heard your voice." Harper whispered. Her throat was parched. The thought of how long it had been since she had drunk water flickered through her head.
Silence was all that answered her.
Figuring that she would either have to be rescued, or escape, Harper stood up. Well, she tried to. Unexpected iron chains pulled her back to the cold, concrete floor. Harper cried out as her body collided with the hard ground. She groaned as she realized the danger of the situation she was in.
"Ah, hurts, doesn't it?" Came the automated like voice.
Harper spat on the floor in reply.
"Anyhow, let's get to know each other, shall we? Well, I already know everything about you, but I can tell you something about me. I have a very special purpose for you little miss. I'm not going to tell you what it is now, because where's the fun in that? You get to wallow in the uncertainty. The terrifying darkness that surrounds you. The knowledge that you will never escape. You will be in torment. Forever."
"Wow, you should be a poet. A bit dramatic, are we?" Harper scoffed sarcastically.
Of course, she was terrified, but decided not to give her captor the satisfaction of knowing that.
"I have to admit. You're one of the funnier ones." Admitted the deep voice again.
Harper gulped. That meant that she wasn't the only one he had kidnapped in his "career." Not a good sign. Whoever this was hasn't been busted yet, that means he was good at his job. So far Harper's odds weren't exactly in her favor.
"Back to getting to know me. You can call me Alpha." Said Harper's captor.
"Not your real name I suppose?" Harper sighed.
"Of course not, who do you think I am? Some amateur kidnapper?" The voice scoffed.
"No, I think you're a coward who doesn't even have the guts to show his bloody face to the innocent girl he's kidnapped. Also, if you've resorted to this life career, I'd say you're lazy because you don't want to get a real job, and also a psychopath. That's who I think you are. Oh, and also, I'm not calling you Alpha, that's stupid. However, if you ask nicely, I'll call you Alphie."
Harper took a deep, shaky breath. That took a lot of guts and she wasn't sure how her kidnapper would react. Now that she stopped and considered what she had said, Harper realized that she had been a bit reckless. Recklessness, however, was a common character trait of the teen.
"You should watch your tone with me girl. Remember, I can make your life a living hell if I feel like it. Right now, I would like to do so, but I'll hold off for a while. Are you thirsty?"
"Yes." Harper replied.
She jumped when a loud buzzer filled the silence of the room. The shackles fell off from around her wrists and clattered to the ground. Harper massaged her wrists, which she was sure were red by now. A small whizzing sound caught the girl's attention and she turned to the right where the noise came from.
All of a sudden, the pitch black room was flooded with light. "Ahhh!" Harper cried out as she dropped to her knees from the brightness. Her eyes squeezed shut and she pressed her thin hands over her eyes to block out as much light as possible.
After a few minutes, the girl slowly started removing her hands, little by little, until eventually opening her eyes fully. Harper blinked rapidly as she stumbled her way over to a little slot in the concrete wall. A small plastic cup of water sat there on the ledge, simply begging to be gulped down.
Harper stared at the cup for a minute before timidly taking it. She peered into the clear liquid and sniffed it. It looked fine, but she knew that her captor very well may have drugged it in some way or another.
After a minute of contemplation, she decided that she wasn't in the mood to die of dehydration, so she chugged the water. It tasted like normal, Birmingham water.
Harper stood there, waiting to fall unconscious or something, but nothing happened.
"I feel a slight tingle in my fingers. I think it's affecting me!" She cried out, dropping to her knees in despair. (By now, her knees were fairly bruised and even a little bloody) "Shall I die here in this forsaken warehouse? Never to be seen again?" Harper gasped. She buried her face in her hands and waited for her inevitable doom. But it never came.
"And who exactly were we calling dramatic earlier?" Said the voice over the speaker.
Harper dropped her hands from her face and sat with her legs crossed, feeling stupid.
Ok, so the water wasn't poisoned, and so far the mysterious captor hadn't personally harmed her. What was this man's intentions? Were they malicious at all? Harper had a lot of questions, and none could be answered.
Harper closed her eyes and her mind began to drift back, trying to figure out how she possibly could have gotten here…
"Come on, Harper, it'll be fun!" Said girl sighed into the phone to her best friend.
"Asher, I don't know. I mean, what if my parents found out! You know they don't want me to go to parties. It's not "Christian" or whatever. Anyway, I just don't think it's a good idea."
"Oh well, do what you like, but believe me, you'll regret not coming." Asher said in a convincing voice.
Harper pursed her lips. "Oi! You're so annoying Ash. I gotta go now though. Byeeee!" She sang into the phone.
"Bye." Replied Asher.
Harper sighed as she fell back onto her flowery bed. She clutched her phone, thinking hard. Her parents were going to their work party later that night. It was perfect timing. She could just be back by the time her parents returned.
A smirk crept across Harper's face. She was going to that party, and nothing was stopping her.
5 Hours Later…
"Harp, you made it!" Asher gave her best friend a big hug. "Your Mum and Dad know you're here?" She asked.
Harper smirked, and that told Asher all she needed to know. A shocked smile crossed the teens face. "Ooooh, ok Harp, you're being a bad girl, are you?! Come on, come inside, the party's great! Oh, and they have alcohol, so you might want to stay away from that."
Harper nodded. She had never been to a party with alcohol before, so she should be careful. She wasn't exactly in the mood to get drunk and lose track of time, just to have her parents find out where she had been all night. She would probably be grounded for life. Likely no television, dessert or crisps for a week. Yeah and also the lecture's that would abound. Harper decided there and then, to stay away from the alcohol.
22 minutes and 12 seconds later…
"Didn't I tell you to stay away from the alcohol!" Asher yelled as she was trying to be heard above the blaring music and singing teenagers. Well, she wouldn't really call it singing at all. More like talking with rhythm.
"Harper, what are you doing?" Cried Asher, she had never seen her friend like this. She was drunk. Like REALLY drunk.
Harper took another sip of her drink that she was holding and continued dancing to the loud beat.
"I'm livin' ma best life! YOLO!" Harper yelled, as happy as she could ever be.
"Oh dear goodness," Asher wiped her hand down her face. This was going to be a very long night. Now she not only had to deal with her own slight intoxication, but also being responsible for getting her best friend home safely.
Harper grinned a lopsided grin at her friend. "Thank you for inviting me Ashy! This is the best night of my life!" She giggled with excitement.
The rest of the night passed as a complete blur to Harper and Asher. There were so many people, because college students had begun to arrive after eleven. They hyped the place up even more, if possible. Somehow, Asher and Harper drifted outside with some of the older college kids. Asher had tried to keep Harper in check, but she couldn't always be watching her. However, she did notice a college boy trying to convince Harper to try a drink that he explained to be "The best thing you've ever tried." Asher couldn't remember the man's face, but Harper was more than happy to try the drink. After all, it was from a college boy! Harper took the red plastic cup from the boy in a daze. Asher frowned as she watched the boy slip a white pill into the cup. She tried to comprehend what she had seen, but up drove her parents. Right now to her intoxicated mind, that was more important than her friend who had just taken a drink from a stranger. Asher got into her parent's SUV and they drove away, leaving Harper all alone.
"It's my fault."
"No, Asher, honey it's not."
"Mum, I remember what happened. How was it not my fault! I convinced her to come and I didn't watch her close enough. I am the one to blame for my best friend being kidnapped.
I hope you guys enjoyed the first chapter! I'll be uploading the next one soon! Feel free to leave a review, and constructive criticism is welcome. :)