Miraj

The world took him. It warped him. It changed him. It made him what he was. And then it threw him away. This is the story of a boy who lived, of a boy who killed, of a boy who died. This is the story of a ghost without a past, a string of the memories of a life once lived, now long forgotten. A glimpse of what might have been, had things been different, had the world been kinder. (This is my idea for the corporation story contest. I plan for it to become a full length novel, hopefully in time for the contest! Please support the cause and comment/like, because otherwise I really have motivation issues and will probably forget and work on another story instead).

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3. Chapter 2.

            Kain walked into the police department almost an hour after leaving the crime scene, his arms laden with boxes. Luckily a cop passing the other way held open the door for him, or he might have dropped some of them. Of course no one questioned him or his presence. The three boxes of doughnuts on the top of the stack, along with his undeniably obvious youth, probably made him look like a delivery boy or something.

            Regardless, he had no interest in the pathetic fools of this city, just as he’d stopped caring about all the others over time as well. Now they were just a nuisance, a crowd of obstacles to be bypassed and pawns to be used and thrown away.

            Carefully placing the boxes on the cleanest desk, Kain bent over to stare at the cop behind it, looking him directly in the eyes. “I’m going to need an empty room.” Of course, the man just looked back at him blankly, like a sheep. Sighing Kain straightened and pulled out his wallet, showing his ID. “I’m Blake Kain, a consultant hired to assist with a case, and I’m going to need a private room to conduct my investigation.”

            The cop reached for the wallet, but Kain quickly snatched it back, careful not to let the other man’s fingers touch it. Instantly his expression changed to suspicious, and he cleared his throat as he prepared to demand cooperation.

            “Johny, I’ll handle this.” The voice came from the other side of the room, where a heavyset, balding officer entered through a hallway. Kain showed him the ID and, unlike the younger cop, he had the decency to restrain himself until, with an irritated grunt, he gave in. “Apparently reports were correct about you; you’re nothing more than a little brat. Look, kid, I don’t know what the higher-ups see in you, but we can handle whatever it is you think you’re investigating without the help of a sniveling child.”

            “Charming, aren’t you?” Kain asked under his breath before turning back to Johny. “Here,” he said, passing over the pastry boxes as quickly as possible, as carrying them any further would just be an irritation. Turning away quickly, Kain moved to follow the older cop.

            “You sure kid?” Johny called after him, and Kain nodded over his shoulder.

            “Yeah. I mean, it’s not like I actually had to pay for them.” It was true, he hadn’t. He’d gone in to buy one, his appetite fully awakened thanks to the delicious beauty of the crime scene, and the girl behind the counter had given them to him free, along with a slip of paper with a phone number. He’d thrown that out by the shop, but the food he’d kept. After all, there was no harm in winning over a few of the mindless slaves while he was here. It’d make things easier if there was ever another interesting case in this area. Still, the fact that everyone in this building was likely to refer to him as “kid” for the entire duration of the investigation galled him.

            Kain followed the older cop back toward the hallway he’d come from, a corridor that had to be the most horrifying this the boy had ever seen – a long, perfectly straight path of torment. The walls were the slightly yellow color of stained whitewash, the corners covered in broken cobwebs and dust balls. Even the tile floor was dirty, muddy trails showing the well-worn path. As soon as Kain saw the horror he would be forced to traverse, he wished to revoke his kindness as a punishment for the disgusting conditions he was being forced to work under.

            Shivering, Kain stepped cautiously through the doorway, holding his breath to reduce contamination. Instantly he was beset by the feeling of being unclean, by the undeniable need to shower, to rid himself of the dust and the germs floating about him, sticking to his clothing, his hair, his skin. He could practically see the bacteria clogging the air, could feel it drifting closer, closer, ever closer to his eyes, his ears, his mouth.

            His heart racing and lungs burning with the need for oxygen, Kain broke into a run, desperate to escape the narrow hall. Even if the room beyond was just as bad, it didn’t matter. He needed a more open space, somewhere with windows, with fresh air.

            Of course, the room they gave him was little better, a clearly unused conference room covered in a thin layer of dust, which rose in small clouds with every step. Sighing, Kain pulled a cloth from his pocket and tied it around his face, drawing curious stares from passersby. Of course, his guide left immediately, practically fleeing from the task of what he – and undoubtedly many others – saw as babysitting.

            “Well this sucks,” he grumbled to himself as he stepped slowly inside, placing his load onto the only table. Immediately he dug into the top box, pulling forth and arranging the supplies before setting to work. All told it took Kain almost three hours to finally clean the room, disinfecting every surface and scrubbing every inch of exposed wall. About halfway through someone had come in long enough to inform him that the crime scene had been cleared and the body brought back to the morgue for autopsy.

            He was finished and enjoying the feel of the clean air when the sound of running feet passed by the closed door to his room. Curiosity awakened enough to risk that hallway once more, he pulled the door open and watched in amazement as dozens of police officers in uniform and detectives in suits rushed away, all heading toward the lobby. Of course he had to follow them. There might have been something interesting to see, maybe a bloody head in a delivery box. The thought soothed Kain as he walked slowly back down the corridor of hell, this time carefully restraining himself to a stately walk.

            Finally back in the entryway, Kain stood at the back of a small crowd of officers, all facing inward toward the door. Peering between them, he saw that every other man in the room had a drawn weapon pointed in the same direction: toward a single young girl crouched beside the door. True, the sunlight pouring through the glass glinted off metal in both her hands, but really, was one girl worth this much commotion?

            Apparently so. One of the older cops yelled for her to drop the weapons, and the girl flinched, raising her hands a little higher. When a rookie approached with handcuffs, reaching out to try to grab her wrist, she brought the metal whirling down, and he staggered back with a cry, showing a bloody gash across his forearm. In that instant Kain felt a sort of empathy with the girl, as, not only had she clearly disdained contact, but she’d thoughtlessly stabbed a cop while in a room full of guns pointed directly at her head. The aura of death and destruction, of hopeless, unavoidable calamity that she exuded astounded Kain, and he knew without a doubt that he blood would be extraordinary. The desire to taste it burned his tongue.

            “The next person who tries to touch me loses a hand,” she called out, her voice smooth and low, as her eyes passed over the angry faces in the room.

            Kain laughed and pushed his way through the line of twitchy men with guns. “What’re you doing kid? Are you suicidal? Get back now!” The disdainful call came from one of the higher-ranked officers in the room, who motioned Kain back with exaggerated gestures, all of which Kain ignored as he slowly stepped through the clear space toward the girl.

            “You heard him. Do you really want to die that badly? You’re not even a cop, are you?” the girl asked, her voice bitter and sharp as her knives. She tossed her head, flicking blonde hair out of her eyes as she spoke, a habitual movement Kain knew came from stress and discomfort.

            He took another step and crouched down a few feet from her, resting his elbows on his knees and letting his hands hang between them. “That’s a nice chain,” he said simply, nodding toward her left wrist. None of the others had paid it any mind, but somehow Kian knew it was important, knew that it was related to his case. It was identical, after all, to the one worn by the dead boy. “You know I saw another one just this morning.”

            The girl closed her eyes for a moment and breathed deeply a few times, her body slowly relaxing. Her whole demeanor changing, she retained her defensiveness and obvious distrust, but the underlying tension faded, leaving her open and exposed. Rising with the fluid grace of a dancer, met Kain’s eyes for the first time, a sad smile transforming her face, revealing a strange, alluring beauty. Kain was confounded by the sight of that single smirk, that one glimpse of what seemed perfectly tailored to him, to his sense of glory.

            It was as if this girl were made for him, and he was captivated by her in a way he had never experienced, as if somehow she had trapped him with his own desire, and now her blood sang out to him like none before. He noticed more now, more than just the details he felt were important for manipulation, like the way her eyes shifted away from him when she spoke, or the way she unconsciously rubbed her neck. Now he saw that she was truly young, probably not even eighteen, that her eyes were blue, that her hair was lighter near the ends, that there was an indent near the top of one ear.

            “There’s something I want.”

            Kain smiled back at her, also standing, knowing that he had no power to refuse this perfect creature. “Of course. Let’s trade for it.”

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