THE INVISIBLE MAN
They drove past the cops and onlookers, slowly seeing Detective Klecko fade away in the distance. Karen looked at Peewee, wanting to know who Maggie Donner was. “ You’ve been keeping something from me,” Her voice was serious. “ Start talking.” She warned him.
Peewee knew this wasn’t the time for jokes or trying to weasel his way out of it, the truth needed to be said.“ Fine, “ He took a deep breath before proceeding. “ It was over a month ago, you went ghost on me, I got out of work and I really didn’t want to spend my time sitting at home watching porn.”
“ Bullshit.” Karen said.
“ What?” He was confused.
“ You computer crashed when you were downloading porn.”
“ It did not.” Peewee defended himself.
“ Look me in the eye and say that again.” Karen waited for him to prove her wrong.
The words of defeat came from his mouth as he admitted the truth. “ It was over a month ago, you went ghost on me and my computer crashed after I was downloading porn from Mistress Mandy.com. ” He continued with the story. “ I went down to the precinct to see what was new.”
“ Jesus, Peewee.” She shook her head at him. They were forbidden to show up at any precinct since the last time they had been caught.
He waved his hand at her to calm down. “ I know, but I needed some time to kill. Anyway, I walked into the police station, saying that I was a journalist looking to do a puff piece on one of the detectives, it worked like a charm.” He gloated. “ Pigs like two things, doughnuts and fame. Anyway, while I’m there this lady comes in, she starts screaming and tossing things over, she’s yelling at them find my baby, for the love of god please find my baby.” Peewee sighed depressingly, reliving the moment was never a pleasant one for him.
Karen had never seen that look of sorrow on him before, she could only wonder what this was all about. “ I’m guessing this was the Maggie Donner character ?” He just nodded his head. “ What happened?”
“ Maggie’s daughter Lisa went missing a month ago. She just dropped out of sight, her apartment was cleaned out, credit cards, cell phone, bills, everything just closed. She left a note in the apartment that she met a guy and wanted to be with him and she never wanted to see anyone again, with another five pages of F U to her co-workers, mother, brother and father, basically everyone in her life.”
Karen scratched her head. “ So, she got love struck and did something incredibly stupid.” She shrugged her shoulders.
“ No, Lisa had a strong bond with her mother, they were almost BFF’s. She had no reason to just up and leave without even trying to explain anything to her mother, that wasn‘t her style.” Peewee fired back defensively, Then again why wouldn’t he? There wasn’t anything he didn’t know about both Lisa and Maggie, this case became his life. “ Lisa always called her mother first thing in the morning from her trip to work, it doesn’t make sense she would go dark on her.” Karen didn’t try to argue, she allowed him to continue. “ Anyway, Maggie’s mom begged the officers to check this out, they did, they came back with nothing. Even the people Lisa worked with had no clue she was dating. Bunch of assholes.” He knew what it felt to be the outcast of a group. “ They didn’t even bother to check up on her when she missed worked, they just let her go.”
“ What about the letter, did they match the hand writing.” Karen asked.
“ Donner family, or should I say Maggie, paid for a professional to check it out.”
“ And?” Karen leaned in closer.
“ It was a match.”
Karen dusted her hands off. “ Case close, Lisa Donner just ran away, maybe she and her mother weren’t as close as you thought.”
“ That’s what I thought,” He kept his eyes focused on the road, never once glancing at Karen. “ But up to nine other girls have gone missing as well, same style.” That was enough to grab Karen’s attention. “ Some friends or family remember them talking about how they met a charming man, then one day out of the blue they decide to live far away with him forever. Cutting off their entire past. ” He tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. “ Of course, the cops won’t do anything, each one leaves a letter or some form of saying goodbye forever.”
“ If the Cops won’t touch it, how do you know about the others that went missing?” She had to ask.
“ Online, some family members went pleading for people to help and to post anything new if they ever saw their daughter or friend ever again.” Peewee shook the mental image of all the letters pleading for help.
Karen hunched in her seat, letting everything simmer in her mind before asking the next question. “ Has anyone seen this prince charming ?”
Peewee grinned. “ Nope, in all cases this guy was the invisible man. You couldn’t get a description on him, not from any of the victims friends, co-workers, neighbors, or even mail men.”
“ I’m assuming this investigation of yours is what got you on Klecko’s bad side?” Karen asked.
“ He took an interest in this one, that didn‘t last long.” He rolled his eyes, hating ever fiber of Klecko’s body. “ After Maggie’s missing person case was thrown out, I decided to lend my assistants. I told her I was a private detective and that I could track down her missing daughter.”
“ You gave her hope.” Karen said out of the blue.
Peewee continued with his story. “ Maggie and I spent hours together going over everything, but then Maggie’s husband called regarding about me to Klecko, and I was caught red handed.”
Karen was taken back by that. “ Maggie’s husband ratted you out, why?”
“ He thinks that Lisa ran away from Maggie, to escape her constant mothering over her. I guess he knows I’m still in contact with Maggie, hence why Klecko called me out on it tonight.” Peewee honked his horn at an elderly driver that was trying to merge into his lane without signaling. “ Hey, father time, use your fucking signal!”
“ Why was Klecko running point on this case?” She tap him on the shoulder to stay focus.
“ I’m assuming he thought this could be connected to the first one, give his old case some legs.” Karen was lost. “ His first case here was another missing person, Casey Miller, sweet girl, under the thumb of two religious parents, really hard knocks . Only problem with that case, is that there was no charming man, a lot of people and eventually even the parents confirm with cops that their daughter ran from them. She got tired of doing things their way. Klecko, the poor bastard ran at it hard, maybe too hard. I heard they were even thinking of sending him back after that mishap.” Peewee chuckled. “ Poor son of a bitch, I kinda feel sorry for him.”
“ What‘s this guy’s history?” Karen asked.
“ He was a hot shot in Boston, got his shining moment when he tracked down some pedophile serial killer, the streak of bagging the nut jobs didn’t end there. The guy had the credentials to make the jump to the Fed’s, instead he talked to a friend of his over in the NYPD to pull some strings and get him all set up over here. Why the NYPD over the FBI, your guess is as good as mine. Despite all his fancy rap sheet, he’s still an asshole, any one can see what happened to Lisa isn’t a girl playing the Romeo and Juliet angle.”
“ Do you have names for these other victims?”
“ Yeah, Lucy Daniels, Barbra Vargas and Linda Rogers. Those are the only three names that really stand out for me, I got the list back at home, we can swing by real quick..” He said to Karen.
“ Maybe you should leave this be,” Karen hated to say that, but maybe Lisa did leave on her own freewill. Even though it was hard to ignore the other missing women. Then again, they weren’t exactly cops, they were just people who read one too many detective novels, what could they do to stop a serial killer on the loose in New York. “ We’re not adapt for this.”
“ Horseshit.” He slammed his fist on the steering wheel. “ Don’t you dare say that.”
“ Jamie had a point, Peewee. We’re just kids playing a game, we have no clue what we’re doing.”
“ Oh yeah, well you were schooling the cops on the crime scene back there. I saw it in your eyes, you were loving every minute of it. This is who we are, we live for this. Who says we can‘t make a difference?”
Karen stood silent for a few seconds before saying a word. “ Just drive me home, Peewee.”
“ I can’t do this without you,” He looked over to her. “ I know if you were on this case with me, we would figure out this whole thing in days. I was hoping all of this would bring you back..” How he wanted those words back as they left his mouth.
“ Is that why you took me down to that crime scene, to get my blood going, so I could help you,” She stared at him with a furious look that could stop the devil cold. “ Or because you wanted to spend time with me as a friend?” He couldn’t lie, so he said nothing.“ That’s low, “ She swallowed down her anger. “ Just take me home, Peewee.”
“ There’s a good chance this will happen again, you’re telling me you‘re going to allow it, when no one else does anything to stop it?” He asked her.
“ That’s why we have the cops.” She stared at him with a sad tired look.
He was hoping to have the old Karen back. The one that believed in what they were doing, the one that never backed down from a challenge. But she was gone, all that was left was a sad mopey girl, that was too busy hurting, just waiting for life to past her by and bury her in the ground. “ Yeah, you’re right.” There was nothing he could do.