Museum Massacre

“I didn’t mean to kill them!” The suspect in handcuffs exclaimed, hoping that the detective sitting in front of him will believe him. The detective looked at the suspect, her face an emotionless mask. She wanted to believe that he didn’t mean to kill all those people at the museum with a biological weapon, but she’s having a hard time doing so given that the evidence all points to this man.

She flipped through the file that she had on him and aside from the fact that he is a middle-class businessman working at a well-respected company, there isn’t anything that would paint him as the one that released the gas on all those innocent people. Yet there’s something about him that makes her suspicious. He told her that he was at home watching a hockey game on TV at the time of the attack, but after interviewing his neighbours, his alibi didn’t hold up.

A few of them said that they remember seeing him at his house, but he didn’t stay there for long. “He went out around 9pm,” one neighbour said. “I was taking out the recycling when I saw him, I asked him where he was going and he said that he’s going out somewhere. I wanted to ask where but didn’t, figured that he’s one of those non-social types.” The detective noted it in her notepad and thanked the neighbour before heading back to her car.

Snapping out of her thoughts, she left the interrogation room much to the suspect’s chagrin. He yelled after her, asking if he is allowed to leave. The detective paid him no mind as she exited, closing the door behind her. She then made a beeline for her desk in the bullpen and sat down in her chair. Opened a new tab on her internet browser, she began looking for anything that she could use to tie the man in custody to the crime. Finding none, she let out a frustrated huff and ran a hand through her hair.

“There’s got to be something that can connect him to the museum attack,” she muttered under her breath. She then flipped through the file on the suspect again, thinking that she had missed something the first time she read it. After scanning it over a few times, she all but threw the file down onto her desk, the frustration of the case catching up to her. Rubbing a hand over her face, she glanced at the clock on the wall: 6pm. Maybe I can find something tomorrow.  She thought, deciding to head home and sleep rather than stay at the precinct and pull an all-nighter. Closing the tabs on her computer, she turned the machine off and walked out of the building. Meanwhile, back in the interrogation room, the handcuffed suspect called out to the rest of the law enforcement officers: “Any chance one of you could let me out of here?”

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MI-Secret

I screwed up. I literally fucked up this time. I know that I shouldn’t have let this happen, but I did. I put my family in danger, and that in itself is unforgivable. Then again, when one works for British Intelligence, there’s bound to be certain dangers and risks. Yes, I am a spy and my family is kept in the dark about it until now. I was talking on the phone with headquarters and didn’t know that someone was listening in to the conversation. By the time I realized that fact, it was too late. My secret is out.

I managed to make it back to MI6 without any more problems and as soon as I stepped foot in the building, a fellow agent came up to me and said that M needed to see me. Knowing what’s about to happen, I thanked the agent and made my way to my boss’s office. When I arrived, I saw that she was talking to someone. She then noticed me standing outside and gestured for me to come in. Opening the glass door, I entered the glass-windowed office and stood ramrod straight despite the fear that’s creeping up on me.

She then dismissed the person that she was speaking to. The female agent turned on her heel and briskly made her exit. As soon as the agent left, the head of MI6 focused her attention on me, a disappointed look on her face. It was the kind of look mothers would make when her children have done something really bad. “What you have done has put the entire organization in jeopardy,” she said, putting her hands on her waist.

“I should fire you for this,” she continued, her blue-green eyes boring into mine. “Then again, you are the best agent we have so I can’t do that even if I wanted to.” Heaving a sigh, she sat down in her chair, picked up a pen and started to write on a piece of her personal stationery. I couldn’t make out what she’s scribbling down, but I had a feeling that it’s nothing good. “I’ll try to smooth things over as best I can,” she said after a brief moment of silence. “You can go now.” I then hastily made my way out of the office without a single word.

Later that night, when I went home, I found my wife sitting in her favourite chair. Her nose buried between the pages of a book. I greeted her by her name and she put the book down and threw herself into my arms. “I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you.” She repeated breathlessly as she kissed me with fervour. Kissing her back I wondered what it was she forgave me for. Our passion inevitably carried us to the bedroom and it wasn’t until much later when we laid in bed in a tangle of limbs that I realized she spoke those words not to me but to herself. My own wife is the one who revealed to the world that I am an MI6 agent. Bloody hell.

Spin the Globe

“No, this can’t be happening!” Cassandra exclaimed, slumping into her chair. “There goes my trip to Iceland.” She muttered, running a hand through her auburn hair. The Icelandic airline has cancelled all their flights, citing a glitch in their system. She had saved up from working various odd jobs and watches what she spends on necessities and online splurges. Now that she has enough in her bank account, the young woman planned to travel the world. Though now with the planes grounded, she can’t go much of anywhere. Or could she?

Sitting upright, Cassandra grabbed the light pink Wild & Wolf globe sitting near the small bookshelf on her desk. Turning the miniature planet with her finger, she decided to try an age-old trick. Setting the globe down onto her desk, she spun the globe as hard as she could. Closing her eyes, she raised a finger and blindly pointed to a location. Whatever place her finger points to, she will travel there instead.

The globe stopped its speedy rotation when Cassandra put her forefinger on it. Opening her eyes, she saw that she had landed on the island of Greece. “Just like Iceland but not as far, to an extent.” She said to herself, pleased that Lady Luck had smiled down on her. She then booked the next flight out to the Mediterranean island, thankfully LAX is not affected by the computer glitch and packed a suitcase filled with clothes and toiletries that will last her for about a couple of weeks.

Early the next day, Cassandra got up when her alarm went off and called for a cab to take her to the airport. After making sure that she has everything from her passport to her plane ticket, she left her apartment, locked the door and went downstairs. She then got into the waiting taxi and made her way to LAX. A smile appeared on her face as the cab took her to the city’s largest airport. Greece, here I come!

Once she arrived at LAX, she paid her cab fare and went inside. After a quick check-in process, Cassandra made her way to her gate. She didn’t have to wait long before she had to board the plane. She filed onto the aircraft with the other passengers and found her seat in the middle rows near the window. Placing her luggage in the overhead compartment, she sat down and looked out the window. To think that all I did was spin the globe, Cassandra mused, giddy that in just 15 hours, she will bask in the warm sun of the Greek islands.

Only Child

I never told anyone. Not my friends and certainly not those that I work with. It’s not exactly the biggest secret in the world, but there are parts of my life that I don’t want everyone to know like they do Hollywood celebrities. I am well aware that the cat will come out of the bag at some point, so I can’t hide this from them forever. Then again, there’s no harm in trying.

“I’m sorry,” I said into the phone. “I don’t think I can make it back by then.” A sigh emitted from the other end as a female voice said, “All I ask is for you to do this one thing for me and you can’t even make the effort? What kind of older sister are you? Maybe you should make the lie that you’re telling everyone a reality.” A click was heard before the infamous dial tone sounded. Letting out a sigh of my own, I pressed the end call button and put my phone back into my coat pocket.

Later that day, after talking to a potential witness about a case, I got into my car and made my way back to the bureau to give my boss the update. On the way there, my mind drifted to my sister. We have been through a lot ever since our parents died when we were young. I had to shoulder the responsibility of raising her while being bounced from foster home to foster home. It was difficult at times when she would not agree with my decisions. “You’re not Mom!” She would scream. “You don’t get to tell me what to do!” I told her, trying to contain my own rising anger, that I know I’m not our mother, but I’m trying my best to make sure that she has a normal life despite living in a foster home. My sister would then glare at me before heading to her own room, slamming the door loudly when she did so.

Coming back to reality, I parked my car in the parking structure and walked toward the Hoover Building. I went through security and rode the elevator up to the 14th floor and entered the doors to the Major Crimes Division. Sitting down at my desk in the bullpen, I put what I had gathered from my interview with the witness and put them into the file. I then took the file and walked toward my boss’s office and handed it to him. He looked through the file and complimented me on my work. I thanked him before turning around to leave when he called out my name, stopping me in my tracks.

“Is there anything else that you want to tell me?” He asked. I stood, back facing him, too afraid to turn around. Taking a breath, I told him that there isn’t anything else and quickly left his office. Yes, I should have told him the truth, but that’s not something one blurts out to one’s superior officer. Maybe one day I will find a chance to tell him that I’m not an only child and had lied about it when I applied to become an FBI agent to avoid being rejected. Yep, I’m so going to get fired.

Trash Treasures

It was the kind of day that I had hoped for over the last couple of months. A warm, sunny day with no signs of winter in sight. Better still, it was a Saturday so I have one more day to catch up with life before Monday rolls around again. Garfield was right, Mondays are the absolute worst.I was finished with breakfast by 9:30. Putting the mug that was given to me as a gift from my coworker into the sink, my mind drifted back to my last day at work. It was two years ago, a co-worker friend had thrown me a farewell party. It was nice and I thanked her for it, but I could tell that some only came for the free food. I graciously thanked everyone and told them that I will miss them terribly, even though deep down, I know that we’re just going to end up drifting apart like I did with the people I knew from high school and university.

Birds chirped outside the kitchen window, snapping me out of my reverie. A sense of determination came over me as I promised myself that I am going to enjoy my Saturday. No Weekend Woes will affect my mood. With that thought, I went out of the kitchen and up the stairs to my room to change out of my pyjamas. What? It’s the weekend, a girl is allowed to sleep in!

I walked down a couple of blocks to a nearby park. Nature always heals me. About half an hour into my walk, I felt refreshed and ready to take on whatever the new work week is going to bring. On my way home, I saw a car pull into the local library. A man got out and opened the passenger side door, retrieving a box of books. He then put the books into the donation box, got back into his car and drove off. Curious, I walked up to the box and peeked inside. There were a couple of fiction books that I have never heard of and a couple of brand new self-help books. I chuckled and picked up one of the fiction books, rifling through the pages.

By the time I was finished reading, it’s almost nighttime. “That’s what happens when one buries ones’ nose in a book,” I muttered as I continued on my way back to my house, the narrative of the book still fresh in my mind. As I reached the front door and fished out the keys to unlock it, I smiled to myself as I remembered the old saying: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

The Burden

When you love someone, you open yourself up to suffering. It’s a sad truth, I know, but a truth nevertheless. Maybe they’ll break your heart or maybe you’ll break their heart to the point where you’ll never look at yourself the same way. To truly love someone is a risk, a risk that some of us are hesitant to take for fear of heartbreak. That is the burden with which we bear every waking moment.

“There’s my two favourite people!” My boss exclaimed as he burst into my office where I was conversing with a co-worker friend. I smiled politely and exchanged pleasantries before asking what it was that I could help him with. “Well, there’s this charity event that all employees, including myself, are required to attend. It’s black-tie so put on your prettiest dress and prepare to mingle with the top 1%.” I assured him that I will find something suitable to wear for the event and after giving me a thumbs up, he strolled out of my office and back to his own. My co-worker then turned to me and asked with an excited smile on her face, “Does this mean that we’re going shopping?”

Later that night, I sat in the back of a taxi wearing the most expensive dress I have ever owned. It felt like I was heading to the Academy Awards, but without the fancy stretched limo and famous celebrities. The cab stopped in front of a five-star hotel, I paid my fare and got out of the vehicle. Taking a breath to calm my nerves, I went into the building, my 4-inch heels clacking loudly on the concrete sidewalk.

Walking up the carpeted steps, I turned left, leading me to a large ballroom. I saw people who I knew from the office and a few others whom I have never met before. “They must be the 1% that Mr. Atkinsen was talking about,” I said to myself as I waded through the crowd. I then saw my co-worker friend and as I tried to make my way to her, I collided face first into someone’s chest. “I’m so sorry, I’m just trying to get to my friend on the other side of the room…” My apology died on my lips as I recognized the person that I bumped into. Out of all the people on this planet that I could have bumped into, it had to be him. I thought as I stared at him, eyes wide, mouth agape, unable to say or do anything.

“Hey, nice to see you here,” he greeted in that deep baritone voice of his that made my knees weak. Quickly composing myself, I replied in a stage whisper, “After everything that’s happened between us, all you can say is “Hey, nice to see you here”?” Not wanting to stay any longer, I whirled around and went out of the ballroom, out of the hotel, called an Uber and went straight home. Once I entered my apartment, I flopped down onto the couch and turned on the television, not bothering to change out of my dress.

I channel-surfed for a bit until I landed on an episode of what has become my favourite crime-drama. The lead female character is typing something on her computer and reading what she is typing out loud. “To love may be a heavy load on our shoulders,  but like wings, burdens have weight. We feel that weight on our backs, but it’s a burden that lifts us and allows us to fly.” I scoffed and rolled my eyes. Yeah. Fucking. Right.

Buyer’s Dilemma

“If you need it, don’t buy it.” My Mom would often say to me. “If you want it, go for it.” Most of the time, I would either choose not to purchase whatever it was that I had wanted to buy, but this time, I’m at the metaphorical fork in the road.

“Just get it! Do what makes you happy! It’s not like you’re spending money left and right!” My friend said as I held a mauve denim jacket in my hand. Granted, I have a lot of denim jackets, yet this one I know I wanted but couldn’t bring myself to shell out the money for it. Heaving a sigh, I put the jacket back onto the rack and left the store. My friend ran after me, confused as to why I decided not to get the jacket.

“I thought that you really wanted it,” she said once she caught up to me. I stopped and turned to look at her and said, “I do want it, but it’s really expensive. I know I technically can afford it cause I’m earning decent money, I just don’t want to have Buyer’s Remorse after.” My friend hummed in response, seeming to understand my point. “Though if you didn’t get it, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.” She said after a moment. “That, my dear, is worse than having Buyer’s Remorse.” She then walked ahead of me towards another store, leaving me behind with my thoughts.

Should I get the jacket for the sake of having it? I thought as my brows furrowed. Or should I just go with the whole “if it’s meant to be yours, it will be yours”? A groan of frustration left my lips as my indecisive mind refused to come up with a solution to the matter at hand. I saw my friend looking at a pair of dark purple sunglasses. The sales associate was telling her that the brand that makes the sunglasses don’t make them in that colour anymore as people tend to go for black or brown coloured glasses as they are the most popular. I could tell that she’s going through the same internal dilemma as I was just minutes ago. Inwardly smiling, I went up and told her what my mother told me: “If you need it, don’t buy it. If you want it, go for it.” Needless to say, she all but ran to the cashier with it.