The Perfect Woman: Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

Where has my daughter gone?

The old dying mustang pulled up to the apartment complex which Maggie Donner was living in, it was a run down graffiti riddled cesspool. The homeless slept on the sidewalks with their make shifted homes and tents, the effect of the economic boom of the nation, the new poor of this generation, thirty and homeless with no where to live but the streets. “ The lengths a mother will go to find her daughter.” Peewee told Karen, staring at the apartment with heartbreak, knowing each visit ended the same, Maggie in tears, pleading for him to find Lisa , just to end the suffering that would drown her each night, Causing her to wake up from her nightmare and run to the phone, hoping her daughter would call as she always did each morning before work.

“ Okay, well, we better head up.” His voice was firm, but his will was weak, here he was with no further progress, just a bucket of false hope to ease her burden.

They exited the car and made their way inside. A few homeless folks slept in the hallways, in the stairwell was a woman tying herself off, ready to inject heroin into her veins. She eyed them from head to toe, wondering if they were cops. “ Best leave me alone, bitch, you ain’t better than me !” She screamed at them as they passed her by. “ You fucking assholes, you better keep walking.” They did nothing to set her off, it was just the natural instinct, a tick, when you were broken and defeated, everyone seemed like an enemy to you, mocking you and judging you with their eyes, pointing out the fall from grace you knew you had become. “ You don’t know my story, you don’t know the life I’ve lived.” Truth.

They reached Maggie’s apartment, before they could knock, the door opened. “ Peewee, you came!” Maggie cradled her cell phone in her hands. “ Come in, who is she?” She was taken back by Karen‘s tattooed arms.

“ She’s my associate. Karen, this is Maggie, Maggie this is Karen.” He introduced one another.

Karen had seen the photos of Maggie, she had long blonde hair, a face that never seem to age. That drastically changed with the months. She could tell Maggie wasn’t getting any sleep, the bags and dark circles under her eyes were proof of that. She even had lost a few pounds, her face was much thinner from past photos. The clothes she wore seem to almost barely cling on her. She wore a stain pink shirt, and baggy sweat pants. “ Come in, come in.” She opened the door, inviting them to make themselves at home. The entire apartment was a pigsty, It was litter with garbage and old news papers, insects crawled at the corner of the living room, and the stench of old food roamed in the air. Karen could see the deteriorating of Maggie Donner mind over her missing daughter. The old photos of Lisa as a child were littered around the house, Maggie was clinging on to the past, unable to come to terms with a future without her only daughter. Karen wondered if any news they brought would ease this woman’s already cracked psyche.

Both Peewee and Karen took a seat on a couple of boxes as Maggie sat on a wooden creaky chair. “ How’s everything, Mag?” Peewee spoke to her as an old friend.

“ Everything is fine,” She glanced constantly at the cell phone in her hand. “ just been working, trying to pay the bills.”

“ Do you need any money?” He asked her.

“ No, I’m doing fine, hon.” Peewee had loaned Maggie some money the last time he was here, she felt bad for not being able to pay him back. Her husband was the bread winner, but he refused for his wife to carry on the search. He like the others, thought Lisa had ran away out of her own free will.“

You just didn’t allow her to live her own life, you always kept hovering over her, why do you think she moved to New York, to escape you!” Maggie flinched in the seat, as her husband words replayed in her head, it was on the night he tossed away Lisa’s clothes in the fireplace, “ She’s not coming back, so stop all this right now!” No matter how hard she cried, he was willing to accept his daughter was never coming back, so he destroyed every last thing that used to be her.

“ I would offer you something to eat, but, I haven’t had time to head to the grocery store.” Maggie bit on her finger nails.

“ It’s alright, you texted me.” Peewee tried to keep Maggie focused. “ I’m guessing you wanted to know about the case?”

“ Do you know where she is?” Her voice was mixed with anticipation and fear.

“ Maggie, we think whatever happened to Lisa, is happening to other women as well.” Peewee cleared his throat.

“ Are you saying someone’s taking other girls, like my Lisa?” Karen could see it in the eyes of the poor woman, nothing was really sinking in, her mind just seem to wonder back to her old life. “ I wonder if this phone works.” Maggie stared at the cell in her hand, losing focus on what was in front of her.

Peewee carried on. “ Another girl, went missing, her name was Janet Morales.”

Karen interrupted Peewee to ask her own question, something that would keep Maggie Donner with them. “ How would you describe your daughter, Mrs. Donner?”

Peewee looked over to Karen. “ What are you doing?” She never answered.

“ She was a sweet girl,” Maggie began to smile. “ everyone loved her, she could make you laugh, she would just love you with open arms.”

“ How was Lisa’s past relationships?”

“ They were good.” Maggie darted her eyes to the floor.

“ That’s a lie.” Karen shot at Maggie.

“ What are you doing?” Peewee asked once more.

“ She was too good for them.” Maggie spat out angrily. “ Those little fuckers never could love her, they just used her, they used my angel.”

“ Maggie,” Karen voice began to soften as she saw Maggie returning back to the present, stepping away from the past. “ the last phone call you received from Lisa, what did you two talk about?”

“ I could have told you.” Peewee pulled on her arm.

“ I want to hear it for myself.” She moved Peewee’s hand away. “ Tell me what you two talked about.”

“ She would always call me before heading to work, she asked me how everything was back home, I filled her in on everything, then she told me about him.” She let a out scream of pain, she couldn’t relieve that moment again, the last time she heard her daughter’s voice.

“ Cool it.” Peewee demanded. “ All Lisa told her, was that she met a guy.”

“ What was his name?” Karen asked, she cold see the hate in Peewee’s eyes, the last thing he wanted to do was bring harm to this woman, make her relieve that agony. “ Maggie, if you want us to help you, you have to remember every little detail.”

“ His name was Gerard,” She sobbed. “ She told me they met a few weeks ago, and that she felt he could be the one.”

“ Where did they meet?” Karen asked.

“ The metropolitan museum of art.”

“ Why would Lisa go there,” Peewee stood silent, he was wondering where Karen was going with this. “ was she a fan of art?”

“ She liked paintings at a young age, she even drew some masterful ones.”

“ Did she even describe Gerard to you?”

“ Yes,” Peewee was in utter disbelief, not once did Maggie tell him a description of the charming man. “ He was tall, he had dark hair, she said she was handsome.”

“ What does that say?” Peewee asked Karen.

“ It means he either was stalking her before they met, getting to know everything about her or he enjoys art himself, I‘m willing to place my bet on the second.” Karen bit on her lip, thinking of the description given from Maggie and the waitress at the Midnight Heat “ The description we have don’t match.”

“ So, what, the Midnight Heat is not our guy.” Peewee slumped in his chair.

“ No,” Peewee was puzzled as Karen spoke. “ It means he’s careful.”

“ Disguises?” There was doubt in Peewee’s voice, even he felt that to be a stretch. “ Impossible.”

“ He’s not stupid, Peewee, if he’s taken more girls, he’s not going to walk out in the streets looking like himself.” Karen looked back at Maggie who was still cleaning the tears from her eyes. “ Maggie, did you guys ever check Lisa’s phone calls from her cell phone provider?”

“ No,” She shook her head. “ The fake letter came in days before the cops could look any further.”

“ Why didn’t you check it?” Karen asked Peewee.

“ Not as simple.” He said.

“ I’m sure we’ll find a way to get that info.” She smiled at him.

“ Yes ma’am.” It was refreshing to see that old fighting spirit return back to his friend, that was the girl he fell head over heels for, that’s the one he needed now, the one Maggie deserved.

“ Why aren’t the cops doing anything?” Maggie said.

“ There’s no body, mag.” Peewee told her.

“ What about the dead girl you told me about, you said they found DNA?”

“ I was ahead of myself, Mag‘s. They found the guy behind that, he‘s dead.” There were times when Peewee couldn’t take the look of disappointment on Maggie’s face, every time he let her down there was a blow to his heart, she put so much faith into him and still he had brought her nothing.

“ Will you ever find him?” Maggie said to them.

Karen interrupted Peewee before he could utter a single word. “ Of course, you‘ve given us a lot to go on, before you know it, we‘ll have the son of bitch in our hands.”

Maggie blew a sigh of relief, it was a comforting notion, knowing retribution would be paid. “Just, be careful.” Maggie knew as they did as well, the risk of hunting down a serial killer. There could be repercussions.

“ He’ll never see us coming, Maggie.” Peewee reassured her by holding on to her hand, he smiled at her with that boyish smile.

“ Thank you.” She squeezed his hand back.

Even though they were complete strangers, they both had formed a bound that seem to be mother and son like, though they didn’t share the affection as openly as others, it was evident in the way they spoke to each other and the small grasps of affection. It made Peewee think of his own mother and how he should visit her more often. Perhaps when the case was over and when he could hang a good deed around his neck, in the mean time he had a promise to keep. “ If you need anything, call me. I’ll be here.”

After all the goodbyes, they were back in the car, driving home ready to pour a few more hours trying to figure the what, when and where. “ What was all that about?” Peewee asked, still upset with the way Karen forced herself on Maggie.

“ I had to shake her out of whatever hole she was in, “ She turned over to Peewee. “ I know the last thing you want to bring to her is pain, but sometimes you have to shake people out of the lie they’re living in, for better or worse, or they‘ll just end up running away their entire life.”

The Perfect Woman: Chapter 22

Chapter 22

National Front Disco

The Midnight Heat was empty; the cleaning crew was busy picking up the mess left by last night’s visitors. The only way Karen and Peewee had access this early in the morning was by passing themselves as private detectives hired by Janet Morales’s family, the owner Luis Santos agreed to meet them at 10:00 AM with the staff that was working on the night Janet went missing. “ The cops already talked to every of me workers and found nothing, okay, I’m not sure what you looking for.” The owner was a Puetro Rican in his mid forties, he talked a bit like Tony Montana and attended to walk with swagger. He opened the night club ten years ago, in the same exact spot of another failed night club name the National Front Disco, a joint paying homage to the Morrissey song of the same, you would still get those Morrissey look alikes walking into the club remembering the days of old.

Mr. Santos used to work as a kitchen cook in a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn. It wouldn’t be long until he hit it big with a small sum from playing the lotto. It wasn’t enough for him to retire, but just right to fulfill a dream of owning a nightclub. The club was becoming vastly known in New York, it was bringing some of Hollywood Celebes under its roof. It was a hot spot for some of the N.Y Giants Football players to blow off some steam during the off-season, most of the heavy hitters would drop a cool four-thousand in mere minutes, but despite all the glitz and glamor, Midnight Heat still stayed a club for the people.

A club for the people, but now for Peewee, as he had tried to get in on numerous occasions, only to be tossed out by the bouncers at the door, which in itself is a shocker, as all guests were welcomed with open arms, but that one particular bouncer just had it in for Peewee. All in all this was a small victory in a way; he was finally inside the club that had made his mortal enemy list, right under old people and Oprah. “We just need to double check, you know how cops are.” Peewee was dressed in a cheap worn out suit, something a private eye would wear, an upgrade to his jeans and masturbating bears shirt or have a nice day smiley face.

Karen was dressed in her nice long trench coat, and work slacks, something a fed would wear. They needed to sell themselves, fit the description, fool the untrained eye, lies were only half of the equation. “We won’t take much of your time.” She added as well.

The staff that had been up late night walked in one by one, none of them pleased to be called out this early in the morning. “pendejos de mierda.” One of the bartenders muttered, Karen dabble in Spanish, she knew it meant “ Fucking assholes.”

“lo siento por todo esto, esto sólo tomará un minuto.” Karen replied in Spanish to the bartender, the only thing he could do was smile after being embarrassed, he and the entire staff never expected them to know a single word of Spanish, they both looked like the average white person with low self-esteem. “ Like I told your friend here, I’m sorry, but this won’t take long. We just need to ask you guys a few questions on the night Janet Morales went missing.”

The twelve employees talked among themselves, a bit suspicious that people were asking questions about the case, seeing how the cops had brushed it aside. “Cops already asked questions?” One female employee said.

“Yes, we know. We’re private detectives hired by the Morales family. We’re conducting our own search.” Karen pulled a photo of Janet and passed it around the employees to get a good look at her. “We know for a fact, that this was the last place Janet was in before she vanished. We just need you guys to remember something about that night that can help us speed things up.” Karen and Peewee spent hours speaking with Janet’s friend whom they ran into outside Rusty Chicken Shack, what they got out of her was little, but Janet did match Karen’s theory of the killers taste in his victims, Janet had been a part of a broken family, no father in her life, looking to the common loser for that missing void. Now all they needed was a miracle, someone that might have seen anything.

The photo circle around the group, each one just shook their head as they laid eyes on Janet; they couldn’t come up with a single thing to help them with their case. But the look on one of the girls face in the back caught Karen’s eye. “Hon, do you have something to add?”

She was hesitant to say anything for a second. “I do remember seeing the girl.” One of her female friends grasp her arm, telling her to stay back, but the young worker just said calmly. “ It’ll be ok.”

Karen gesture the girl to come forward. “Can we have a moment alone?” she asked the owner.

“Yeah, sure thing, boss.” Mr. Santos snapped his fingers at his crew. “ Let’s head out the parking, to have a smoke.” They followed, complaining on their way out. Asking if they would get paid for showing up to this meeting. “ You fucking lucky I pays you at all, chico.”

Karen waited until they were gone to continue asking questions. “Let’s have a seat.” The three moved over to a nearby table. The female worker looked no older than nineteen, no doubt too young to be working with the nightclub. But she was eye candy, which meant more customers for the establishment. “ What’s your name?” Karen asked.

“Brittany.” She mumbled.

“Relax, kid. You’ve got nothing to fear from us, we’re not the cops.” Peewee could see the uneasiness in her face, she was scared they would ask her age and use that as a card on the table. “ Just tell us what you saw.”

Brittany took a deep breath before answering. “ It was around midnight, I saw her dancing with this guy, they were getting hot and heavy on the dance floor. It was, sensual.” She blushed a bit.

“ That’s what caught your eye in the first place?” Karen smiled, she missed being young and pure. Though at her age, Karen had lost her purity ages ago.

“ Yeah.” She giggled nervously, she played with the edge of her flower skirt, twisting it back and forth, being interrogated was a first, she had no clue what to expect.

“ How did this guy look like?” Peewee took out a small notebook from his pocket to make notes.

“ He was tall.” She said.

“ Can you tell me how tall, like six feet?” Karen nodded at the girl to answer Peewee’s question.

“ He might have been, I think he was like six-four.” She nervously scratched her leg, her voice began to prattle. “ He also had long hair.” She scratched her forehead, trying her best to dig the memory from her mind.

“ Did you see him face to face?” Karen asked.

“ I passed him by twice, but each time his hair covered his face.” She shook her head. “ I should have said something, I know, but they told me not to, I can‘t lose this job.”

Karen held her hand. “ Relax, we’ve all been there. It’s ok, you’re not in trouble.”

“ Do you remember the detective name who came to question the staff?” Peewee’s voice was soft and comforting, he didn’t want this girl to feel she had cost someone’s life, no one deserved to carry that weight on their shoulder.

“ He looked mean, small, but built..” Brittany shivered

“ Harkness.” Both Karen and Peewee said, they knew the man, they knew his face, he could be a rabid dog when he wanted to be. Jamie had once been chased by the detective himself down the streets after snapping a photo of a crime scene. Her long legs were able to out run the detective in the four block race they had.

Karen placed her hand on her shoulder, to keep her calm. “Yeah, he’s a bit of an asshole.”

The young girl laughed. “He looked like one.”

“Is there a chance any of the other staff got a good look at him? “ Peewee knew it was a reach, but this could be the golden opportunity to have a visual description on their man.

“No, they were all busy handling other customers. I’m the only one that saw her on that night.” She looked at them. “You don’t thinks she’s dead?”

Karen jumped quickly to answer. “No, there’s a good chance she‘s just doing this to give her family a scare.” It was a lie, but a lie to ease Brittany’s mind. “You know, the whole melodrama.”

“ Good,” She blew a sigh of relief. “ is there any more questions you guys want to ask?”

“ No, we’re done.” Karen borrow Peewee’s notebook, ripped a clean page, and wrote both their numbers on the paper. “ I want you to have this,” She handed Brittany the piece of paper. “ It’s our cell numbers, in case you remember anything, don’t hesitate to give us a call any time of day or night.”

“ Can I call you if I’m lonely.” She winked at Karen.

Karen just rubbed her chin. “ I can never say no, to a pretty gal, like yourself. But, seriously, don’t hesitate to call us if you remember anything new.”

“ I will.” She reassured them.

“ That’s my cell at the bottom in case, you know, you want to chat or whatever.” Peewee said to her, but was complete blown off, which added more bruises to his already battered ego. “ Let’s get going.” He told Karen, grabbing his notebook feeling like the third wheel in this girl on girl sex fantasy, kinda like the guy in a porno, you don’t want to see him, you really don’t need to, the girls are all anyone needs. “ We got a lot of busy things to do.”

They informed the owner that they were through with the investigation and thanked him for his cooperation. “ We’re just glad we could help.”

“ There’s a bouncer here…” Peewee wanted to get to the bottom of that issue.

“ We’re done.” Karen yanked him out the front door.

“ The girl was all over me,” Peewee fixed his clip on tie as they walked down the street. “ I’m telling you it’s the suit.”

It didn’t take a genius to know he was full of crap, but Karen was willing to humor him. “ I saw that, made me so jealous. ”

“ I know, I saw that, I didn’t want to say anything, but I just knew it. I could see it in your eyes.” They reached the car. Peewee rubbed the hood, a sign to show his baby that he had return to her. “ But, that’s beside the point. What do you think of the description?”

“ It’s not a lot to go on, but, it proves our charming man was at the crime scene.” Karen didn’t want to use those words, she hoped the girls were alive and well. “ A note from Lisa Donner didn‘t come down the wire until the pressure was poured on, I’m guessing we’ll see the same here.”

“ What the hell does he do with them.” Peewee was frustrated, the more he tried to figure out the why the more walls he seemed to hit, it was wearing on him. “ I just need to know…” His cell vibrated in his pocket, taking the words out of his mouth.

“ Who is it?” Karen asked as he dug into his pocket to pull it out.

“ It’s Maggie, she wants to meet.”

“ I’ve been meaning to ask does Maggie live here or just flies over for a visit?” Karen wondered, seeing how Peewee had been very hushed in the whole background of his relationship.

“ She moved to N.Y recently, has a small apartment close to Harlem. She’s working at a diner to pay for the rent.”

“ Husband’s not in favor in her living here?” Karen knew the answer to the question already.

“ He’s hoping to cut Maggie off and get her back to L.A. It’s a really fucked up situation. You mind if we head over to her place?” Peewee looked at his cell again viewing the message left by Maggie, “ Have you found her?”

Karen wasn’t going to say no, she knew Peewee had formed a bond with this woman, it’s the only reason he was going out of his way to solve this case. “ Yeah, of course. I want to ask Maggie some questions too.”

The Perfect Woman: Chapter 21

Chapter 21

Scrapbook

He walked back into his apartment, turned on the radio to drown out the noise from the outside world. He casually walked over to his bedroom; everything was completely neat, set the way he had planned. A plain room with no color or life, the objects left in his nightstand and his drawers were alarms to him, if someone ever walked inside his apartment unannounced and decide to rummage through his belongings he would know immediately. Then it would be up to him to take the appropriate actions in dealing with the culprits.

He knelt down and began to remove a floor board a few feet from his bed; he dug his hand slowly inside the hole to remove a scrapbook that was hidden inside. He brushed the dust off it and inhaled the scrapbook scent. Inside were photos of his soul mates, with pictures dating back to their childhood. He smiled at each passing page; he could feel himself be taken back in time, living each one of their memories as if they were his. A gift each of his lovers gave him, they wanted him to relive the special moments in their lives, they wanted him to be a part of their memories for eternity. “You’ll have a new sister soon.” He said out loud, he felt his soul mates presence in the room with him. “She has a way with words, I can’t wait for all of you to meet her.”

He took a pen from his pocket and began to write the name of their new sister “Carolina Carter” inside the scrapbook, saving her a spot, soon she would become a part of something wonderful beyond her comprehension. He knew she’d be frighten like the rest at first, but she would come to understand it all in the end.

In the mean time they needed his protection to keep them safe, keep the outside world of knowing what was going on, he wouldn’t let anyone harm them, as Angela had tried with her lies, but he found a way to deal with that problem. He looked at the watch on the nightstand; It was time to make the phone call he had promised.

The Perfect Woman: Chapter 20

Chapter 20

The Stranger in Apartment 206

Waking up at seven wasn’t Karen’s ideal morning, she was never much of an early riser to start with, and being woken up to her crazy sex addict neighbor from upstairs moving furniture just pissed her off the wrong way, at least she hoped Vanessa was moving furniture.

Karen rolled over to her side to get some sleep, only to find a drooling Peewee sucking on his thumb and holding tightly to his Batman “Action figure“ with the duck tape leg. She begged to buy him a new toy after breaking his bedtime buddy, but he would have none of it, no other could take its place. “Hello, Bruce, has Peewee tried to molest you yet?” She asked the doll tugging on its damage leg. Suddenly the sound of blaring music came raining down from her ceiling, almost causing her to snap off the leg of the Dark Knight once more.

The noise alone was enough to awaken a passed out Peewee, whose first image was seeing Karen without her black eye shadow and dark lipstick. He cringed and held on to his doll tighter. “ Jesus, you really do look different without the whole bad girl look.”

Karen rolled over on her back staring at the ceiling that vibrated with some sort of Asian rock music, she wanted to ignore it and continue to get some sleep, but obtaining such goal was far out of her reach, knowing that only fueled her rage. “ That nympho is going to get it,” She jumped out of bed, opened her drawer to find her pair of jeans. “ I’m going to rip her a new asshole!”

“ Where are you going?” Peewee asked rubbing the crust from his eyes.

“ I need my sleep and that bitch isn’t going to let me have it today.” She tossed half her clothing onto the floor until she found the pair she was looking for, but putting them on still half asleep was making it a challenge and with the music growing louder with each second, made the task more complex. “ She’s dead!”

After slipping on her pants, she raced out of the apartment walking into the hallway, where she was welcomed by the other tenants, they waved and said hello to her, which she replied with a bitter. “ Bite me.”

She passed the broken elevators which had been promised to be fix over five years ago. According to the landlord, “It was still a work in progress.” Which was code for “They’ll be fixed when hell freezes over.” Not far behind her was a half awaken Peewee still holding on to his doll. Some of the tenants laughed and pointed at him, but he wasn’t quite sure why? “Morning.” He waved at them. “Odd people.”

Karen made her way into the stairwell, going up one floor. The moment she graced the next level she was surprised to see how well taken care of, it was, the carpet was new, the painting smelled fresh.“ We pay less, so we get less?” Karen muttered to herself as She made her way to apartment 206, the home of the Nympho herself. “ Vanessa open the hell up!” Karen yelled over the loud music and slammed her fist against the door. She could hear Vanessa running to answer, but as the door opened, she was shocked to notice the person standing in front of her wasn’t the nympho, but a white tall man with glasses, he looked to neat to be around from their neck of the woods. “ Who the hell are you?”

“ I live here, who the hell are you?” The stranger said to Karen. He eyed her from head to toe, holding the door open halfway, wondering who this crazed woman was. It took him a few seconds of observation to know exactly what she was. “ Look, I know times are tough, but there’s a lot of other jobs you can do, God forbid, I don‘t like to judge but you can do better.”

“Come again?” Karen asked.

“I know it’s not your fault, you probably had a bad life, always looking for a daddy figure.”

“What are you talking about?” Karen tossed her hands up in the air.

“Look, the manager warned me of your type, he told me people like you might show up, but I didn’t think you would actually come knocking at my door.” He rolled his eyes as Karen kept her confused look. “ I know you’re a hooker, but I don’t want any sexual favors from you.”

“ What !?” Karen was offended, she felt the urge to punch this new tenant in the throat for thinking she could be on the streets trying to sell her body. “Where do you get off calling me–” She was about to unleash the shit storm on him until Peewee came walking behind her, rubbing his eyes, with his Batman doll still in his arms.

“ Can we get something to eat, I’m hungry. ” Peewee asked

The tenant shook his head, he couldn’t believe what Karen was doing. “ You need to set an example for your mentally retarded son, think how he feels about his mother being..” He leaned and whispered to Karen. “ A hooker.”

Peewee let out a laugh like no other, a laugh which seemed to prove that man’s point of him being mentally retarded. Karen was red faced from anger and embarrassment. “I’m not a hooker, and he’s not my son!” She told him. “ I live right under you, your fucking music woke me the hell up!” She stomped her foot on the ground.

“Oh crap, I’m really sorry.” He apologized. “I swear, I didn’t know. Just give me a second.” He ran back inside the apartment, to lower down the radio.

Peewee was still giggling over what had happened. “I like this guy already.”

Karen sighed at him. “Peewee, he thought you were mentally retarded.”

“Must be my haircut?” He combed back his hair.

“Is this how morning starts, really ? ” Karen muttered under her breath.

The new tenant came stumbling back. “I’m super sorry, my name is Scott, I just moved in a day ago.”

“What happened to the other person that was living here?” Peewee asked him.

“The landlord said that she eloped with the janitor of the building.” Scott pulled out a box of Vanessa’s old things. “She left this here, just a lot of vibrators and countless pictures of men’s penises.”

Karen had always thought that her story about photographing her ex lovers penis was just a rumor, didn’t seem that way anymore. “ Keep it,” She shove the box back to Scott, causing the embarrassed man to fumble with his balance. “Look, just keep the music down. I was trying to get some sleep.”

“No problem. It won’t happen again.” He promised

“Good. Come on Gilbert, let’s head back down stairs and keep you from climbing any water towers.” She pulled Peewee by his shirt collar.

But as they were leaving Scott called out to them. “Wait up.” He tossed the box inside; he nervously rubbed his hands together as he approached. “How about we have dinner tonight, my treat, it’s the least I can do to make up for this whole mess.”

Karen was about to decline, only to have Peewee interfere. “We accept, what time?”
“ Is nine cool with you guys?” Scott asked them. “I know it’s a late time for dinner, but I want to whip something special for you guys and besides,” He was stumbling with his words. “I still have some items to unpack, so, yeah, is nine alright, or not, it’s really up to you guys.”

“We’ll be there!” Peewee wasn’t one to past up a free meal, his only source of nutrition was doughnuts and Rusty Chicken Shack value meal.

“That’s great, really sorry again.” He could only clear his throat as Karen stared at him with those eyes that wanted to burst him into flames. “I should go back, I’ll see you guys then.” Scott walked back inside his apartment, opening the door again slightly, just to apologize once more. “Really sorry.”

As they made their way back down, Karen was fuming. “You had to invite us.” She snickered and smack Peewee’s shoulder. “You couldn’t just politely decline or tell him to screw off.”

“It’s a free meal, besides, it gives us some time to relax and kick back.” Peewee hid his Batman doll behind his back as they passed two female tenants. “ You ladies are looking lovely this morning.”

“ That guy really bugs the hell out of me, you know there’s a good chance I might end up stabbing him with a fork before the night is done.” She warned Peewee.

“Would you relax, he seems like a cool guy, pretty funny too.”

“Have you forgotten we have a case to do ?” She reminded him. “We can’t spend time having dinners and chit chatting. We need to get serious.”

Peewee rolled his eyes at her. “I know, we’ll just head down to the nightclub right now and talk to the owner.”

“Might as well,” She sighed. “My beauty sleep is long gone by now.”

The Perfect Woman: Chapter 19

Chapter 19

The Hunt

He passed one after another, looking frantically for his lover, her mere scent was different from the others, her very presences would overwhelm him the moment they crossed paths, leaving him in a state of awe. Even though he could not see her yet, his instincts knew she was close, something had called him out to Central Park in this blistering heat, as it had with the others, he could feel it in his bones. There was a higher calling pushing him down this road.

He passed two busty young women in tang tops, to any other person this would have caught their eye, but not to him. To him, they were just mere eye candy for the fools of society that wanted the corporate created women of the times. That was not love, that was a mirage of a sad diluted society too occupied with the price of gas and internet porn to notice the crumbling decay of its mental state. “Sluts.” He muttered at them, they couldn’t hear him over their excessive yammering about their new tan, newly dyed beach blonde hair, and the latest celebrity gossip. Both women seem to be carrying two different conversations as they talked to one another. He could feel a headache coming on.

He spent three hours walking in circles through the park, but she was nowhere to be found. He let out a depressing sigh, knowing he would have to call off the search for today. He had other matters that needed to be attended to before the day was over.

“Society is falling into a point of no return.” His ears perked. “We’re all too occupied with meaningless gadgets and toys, to even care about it all.” Her voice was sharp, a sliver tongue so to speak. He shivered with pleasure at every word flowing out of her mouth. He slowly turned around to see a young African American woman talking to a male companion of hers, they walked side by side together, He shook himself from the daze and slowly began to follow them. His heart thundered with each step, her scent becoming stronger as he approached.

“Now, Caroline you‘re being over dramatic. Look around you, can‘t you see how far we‘ve come, if anything, society is at the golden age of a new era.” Her male companion said. They dressed casually as not to stand out, but their speech was impeccable and educated. College students no doubt, out for a walk and a friendly philosophical debate.

“I don’t quite believe that to be – – -” Caroline could feel someone was staring at her, but as she turned around to look, she only found people enjoying a walk in the heat wave of hell. She laughed away the sudden alert as her mind playing tricks. “ True.”

Her lover could see her beautiful face in the distance, looking so intensely for him in the sea of people, how he wished he could smile at her, let her see him face to face, but he knew that would be wrong, it wasn’t the time, so he remained hidden.

Caroline eyes remained on the crowd for a few seconds until her male companion tapped her shoulder, asking if everything was well. She laughed, muttering something to him and they continued, walking briskly on with their day carrying on their debate.

He wonder if Caroline’s companion was her boyfriend, the man seem to be well built, attractive enough to win anyone. But the more he followed, the easier it was to erase such notion from his mind, as they walked he made no attempt to hold her hand or show any hint of romantic involvement, he could see the look of boredom on his lovers face as they continued, but her companion didn’t seem to care, his mind was more eager on winning the war of words and coming out the victor. Surely, lovers would be doing something more physical in this heat than arguing.

He smiled at her from afar, enjoying the look in her eyes as she wondered where her soul mate was. He knew she could feel his presence, as he felt hers. He took a deep breath as he continued on, feeling so anxious, knowing she was so close but there was nothing he could do. “We’ll be together, very soon. I promise, my love.” He whispered to her, hoping she could hear his voice.

The Perfect Woman: Chapter 18

Chapter 18

New Lead

Karen and Peewee leaned on the old mustang as they stood outside Rusty’s Chicken Shack, the most notorious fast food joint that was clogging America’s arteries with it’s chemically injected product and welcoming a new era of obese children to the world since 1985. Only place where you could buy three piece of greasy chicken for three dollars, who was going to argue.

“We should buy a bucket for the road, the price is right.” Peewee begged Karen. “They’ll even throw a large bucket of fries if we super size!”

“None of that sounds right,” Karen shivered as an obese family hobbled out of the restaurant. “They’re not going to make it through the night.” She muttered softly.

“This chicken is yummy, mommy, I want more.” The little pudgy girl said, as she scarf down the deep-fried chicken thigh in one hand and pile of fries in the other.

Karen diverted her sight the other way, only to see another victim of the fast food chain slave; he was an overweight officer wobbling his way down the street to the restaurant. He had sweat drenching down his back and almost seemed on the verge of dropping dead on the pavement from the mere grueling exercise of carrying his own weight. “He’s dying in a few seconds.” Karen laughed

“That’s Carl!” Peewee waved his hand at the officer whose face was bright red, from the extensive workout of walking a block from the precinct to Rusty’s chicken shack. “Dude, you are looking thin.” He complemented the chubby officer.

“Hey, Peewee.” He heaved for air. “Yeah, man, I’m only eating two meals a day, it’s working miracles on my physique. I’m in the best shape of my life.” Karen almost let a snort of laughter, only to hide her face behind Peewee’s back. “She ok?” The officer asked.

“Yeah, she just ashamed, we went to her OBYGN, turns out she has crabs.” Peewee fib, would earn a silent but deadly punch to his kidneys, almost causing him to slightly black out. “Oh, sweet Jesus.” He cried out as the pain radiated down from his back.

“What’s the matter?” Carl was lost in the sudden outburst. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine,” Peewee held back tears. “Just wanted to say the sweet lord’s name.” Peewee slowly leaned his head back and whisper to Karen. “Truce.” Another punch like that and he would crap his pants for sure.

“Right on.” The officer threw out a peace sign. “Like Jesus always said, one love.” The officer was mistaking Jesus for Bob Marley, but Peewee was not one to rain down on his parade. “Hey, you want to have lunch with me?”

Peewee was a nanosecond from saying yes, but one glare from Karen and that was enough to kill his appetite. “I wish I could, but,” He leaned in and whispered. “I’m here for something else.”

The chubby desk jockey looked from side to side, to make sure the coast was clear. There was no need for it, as everyone was inside stuffing his or her face with greasy chicken. “You know the fee, pal.” He said with a mischief grin.

Peewee broke the bad news to him. “Buddy, I don’t have any porno tapes.”

“Peewee, “Carl pouted. “ That was our arrangement, I lived up to my ends, why can‘t you?”

Peewee gestured to him to keep it down. “ Will you relax; you didn’t think I was going to leave you high and dry, did you?” He put his hand around Karen. “Bud, forget porn, today you get to see the real deal. My STD riddle friend here is going to show you her tits.”

“Really!?” Carl gasped with excitement he could not believe it. “What’s the catch?” He asked.

“ You run a few names for me, pull up some history background and give us access to the Angela Denning case and we‘re even.” Peewee pointed at Karen’s breast. “Trust me, they’re worth it.”

“You sly little bastard, this is why you needed me.” Karen whispered into his ear, as Carl gnawed over the offer made.

“Come on, now, this is one of your many talents. Just throw me a bone.” They kept their smiles as Carl fumbled around with his decision.

“Deal!” Carl shouted, this was a once in a lifetime chance for him, when would an opportunity like this present itself, especially to him? “Thank you, Jesus, one love!” He pointed to the sky.

Karen opened her leather jacket and pulled up her Smith’s t-shirt, exposing her ample breast. “Take a good look; get all the mental pictures you can.” She instructed him.

“Can I touch them?” He stuttered.

“You’re a virgin aren’t you?” Karen asked, but he could not answer, his only response was the goofy look on his face. “That’s an emphatic yes.”

“Me can, please?” He squealed, without even correctly finishing his words.

“One quick touch and that’s it.” Karen sighed. The things she would do for information, a part of her was laughing in the inside; this was the crazy crap she was used to getting into.

Carl took a deep breath, his entire hand shook as he extended it out, his fingers were inches away from Karen‘s breast, for once, he would no longer have to grope himself in the dark and touch his own bosom; he could finally sleep peacefully at night, knowing he touched boob for the first time in his life. “Oh crap!” He jumped back instantly.

“Hello!” Peewee saw the stain coming from Carl’s pants.

“I got excited.” He reached down quickly to cover the stain.

“Well, show’s over.” Karen pulled down her shirt and zipped her jacket up. “Now you live up to your deal.”

He blushed at Karen. “Of course, I won’t let you down. Just tell me what you need.”

Peewee pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. “ These are the names I need you to look up, don‘t bother with the girls that don‘t have a history of violence reported with the cops, are you getting this?” He could tell he was talking to himself, as Carl kept smiling at Karen like a complete fool, he was glad he decided to write the names out for him. “ I wrote everything I need down on this paper, don’t lose it.” He put it inside Carl’s brass pocket.

“Don’t worry I won‘t.” Carl reassured him.

“What have you heard about the Denning’s case?” Karen asked him.

“Oh, that’s over.” He said to them.

“What the hell do you mean it’s over?” Peewee stared in dismay.

“Yeah, they caught the guy a few hours ago.” Carl chuckled. “Well, not caught, discovered, but they found his body, so is that the same as caught?”

“Woo,” Both Karen and Peewee stepped in. “Are you saying he’s dead?” They both said in sync.

“You guys look like twins?” Carl stared at them. “Dude, she’s not your sister is she, because that would be pretty fucked up.”

Peewee snapped his fingers at Carl to keep focus. “Start from the beginning, what happened?”

“They got a match on the DNA, gross.” Carl scrunched his face, but he could see they were more interested in the now. “Anyway, they matched it with a guy name Leonard Hudson, some racist asshole from Alabama, he’s wanted in two others states for rape and murder, he was living in Harlem,” Carl laughed. “Go figure right, I mean everything in Harlem are just blacks and…” He stopped himself from saying more. “Like I was saying, they tracked him down but when they busted inside, the asshole was dead. O.D on heroine, they found Angela‘s wallet at his place.”

Peewee just crouched to the floor, pulling on his hair as tightly as he could, all those hours looking for a connection, only to be wrong, it felt like running into a brick wall. “Fuck.” He muttered.

“It’s ok.” Karen knelt beside him. “We’ll look somewhere else.”

Peewee turned to smile at her. “You said we.”

“Shut up.” She hid her grin, pulling him back to his feet. “Well, just run the names for us, in the mean time see what you turn up.” Carl nodded his head and made his way into the restaurant.

“I’m sorry, Maggie.” Peewee muttered to himself, Karen was able to catch it, but said nothing. She still had not poked around the relationship between he and Lisa Donner’s mother, and wouldn’t. He would have to tell her when he was ready or when he felt he could trust her again.

A few seconds later a woman with short brown hair came walking up to them carrying a stack of fliers, her eyes were bloodshot red as though she had been crying all day. “Excuse me,” She said in a whimper. “I’m trying to look for a friend of mine, her name is Janet.” She handed them a flyer from the stack. “She’s a really nice girl.” She was trying to hold it together.

“When did she go missing?” Karen asked the woman.

“Three days ago, she hasn’t called or anything. We’ve gone to the cops, but they haven’t been any help.” The woman began to tear up. “It’s our fault, we left her alone at the club, if we stayed with her none of this would have happened.”

“What club?” Karen pulled a pen from her pocket, to write the name down.

“Midnight Heat. “ The young woman said. “Please, if you see her, please call us, her family is worried sick.” She brushed away the tears and walked towards to an approaching couple.

Peewee caught a glance of that old fiery look in Karen’s eyes. “What are you thinking, Karen?”

She placed the flyer inside her jacket. “Excuse me, “Karen ran after the girl handing the flyers. “ Can we have a little chat? ”

“Guess we’re back in business.” Peewee said with a youthful voice, running behind Karen to keep up.

The Perfect Woman: Chapter 17

Chapter 17

DEEPER INTO THE RABBIT HOLE

I wasn‘t like this you know,” Twenty years to the date and Klecko could still remember every word that was said. “ I was a catholic boy, always said his prayers, always did as the good lord demanded. But then you just get tired of it, you want to know how the devil’s fruit tastes like, no matter how wrong it might seem. My first time was amazing.”

“ Bryan Thompson, Dorchester, age four, skull cracked in with a rock, semen found in his mouth, that turned out to be a sort sick and perverse calling card for you, didn‘t it?” His voice was young then, still green, learning the ropes but ahead of the curb when it came to finding people like Alan Smith, a repeated child molester/serial killer.

“ You know everything about me, don’t you, I’m flattered. I really am.” His god awful laugh forever stuck in the cracks of time. “So, tell me son, what’s your name?”

* * * *

Child porn blasted on the television screen in a run down basement, the voice behind the camera order the young girls to take off their clothes, to lay in bed together naked and they did so without fighting back. Every officer in the house paid no attention to it; they were all too preoccupied with the matters at hand. Klecko was the only one staring aimlessly at the screen, his mind drifting to another time and place, the moment that made his career and opened his eyes to the dangers lurking around this world.

“Poor kid. “ Officers hovered over the six year old girl’s dead body, that was lying on the floor with her neck slit from ear to ear. Leaving the flap of her neck looking like gills. She had been chained up in the basement for the past two weeks, sexually abused and tortured until her captor felt it fit to end her life. The person who did this was a sixty-five year old man name Timothy Cartwright. The outstanding citizen in the block, who never raised his voice or caused problems. Perfect in every way, until neighbors heard strange noises coming out from his home in the middle of the morning. They immediately called the police, when the officers responded; they found his front door open, walking in to find him sitting on his old worn out reclining chair fast asleep, with blood all over his shirt. When he heard the squeaking of the officer’s footsteps on the wooden floor, all he could say was “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself, I just couldn’t.”

His entire basement was littered with child pornography, his own homemade video tapes of his crime, all label with titles he bestowed upon them. “ Debbie Does Me, Young Slut, Bad Lola and Her First Backdoor Experience #1.” just hours of him making the victim perform sexual acts on him finding obscene ways for the young girl to humiliate herself. His idea of paradise and heaven for his deranged mind. “She wanted me to do this to her, she would always be playing in the park with her legs spread apart, I knew what she wanted, she loved me.” Cartwright believed those words to be true more than anyone else did, he felt he did no wrong.

He claim to never harm a child in his life, until now, he felt the hunger and need to carry out his lust before his time on earth ended. “ I couldn’t live without knowing how it felt, you understand me don’t you?” His eyes darted around the officers hoping to find someone that could relate to him. Klecko could only stare at the old man as he ranted and pleaded before they hauled him off, for a second he could have sworn he heard Alan’s laughter as they drove him away.

In every case Klecko had been apart, most of the murders felt no regret. They stood there and justified their actions; they never seem to notice the problem with the carnage and death they caused. It puzzled him, what was there thought process through it all. They must know right from wrong, he knew it as a child. Were they born that way, or did society shape them into the monster they became, if so, then who among society would be the next mental case he would have to chase down? “I felt so alive, I feel closer to you, father!”

“Detective?” A young female officer tugged on his black trench coat. Snapping Klecko out of his daze. It took a moment to gather his surroundings, he was standing in front of the T.V; with the video tape still rolling. He looked around the room wondering where those last words had come from, he turned to his side to see a young officer standing right beside him waiting for him to answer. He brushed back his black slick hair and just tried to shake the images of the children out of his mind.

“Turn this crap off and tell someone to take all his shit into evidence.” Klecko barked in a daze.

“Yes, sir.” The female officer said. “I just wanted to inform you that Harkness needs to speak to you.”

“About what?” He made his way up towards the stairs.

“It’s the Angela Denning’s case, sir, they found the man responsible.” Klecko stop dead in his tracks, turned to face the officer, almost colliding into one another. “He’s outside waiting to drive you over to the scene.”