It was Sunday. The day after George "Brady" Creed had disappeared. Three hours after he officially went missing, a missing persons was issued by the police. At eight thirty at night on the day Brady went missing, an anonymous caller told police that they had seen a person matching the description being shown on television screens across Australia. When asked where George had been seen, the caller replied "Sydney," the capital city of the state across from George's hometown. More calls of the same nature came in and police abandoned their search for George in Blue Gem, Queensland, and commenced the search in Sydney, New South Wales.
Jerry Davis rode his bike up the driveway to the Green house. It wasn't very long, nor was it very kept, but then again, not much in Blue Gem was apart from what passers by were going to see. He ditched his bike near the front veranda and knocked on the front door in a hurry. He was more than welcome in the Green house, but still felt the obligation to knock every time he visited. He was visiting for a simple purpose this time: Him, his best friend of five years Ian Green and their friend Donny Hill were going to play Halo.
Ian's mother opened the door, "Jerry, the boys have already started. They're in the back room." She let him pass.
"Thanks, Mrs Green." He said, making sure not to bump her as he pushed past.
The Green house opened into hallway with wooden floorboards with doors on the right that lead into a bedroom and a bathroom, and one on the left that held a carpeted rec room. Hallway lead to a kitchen that kept the floorboards. A counter and a table stood in an otherwise empty space, while cupboards, an oven, a refrigerator and a pantry lined the wall behind it. Joining the kitchen was a carpeted living space, with a three-seater sofa and two armchairs facing a television mounted on a small bookcase. Past the living area was a door that lead to what was referred to as "the back room", but in actual fact was a guest room with a bunk-bed and a desk that housed a television and x-box. This was the door Jerry used.
"You're late." was his blunt greeting from Ian as he shot down Donny's character.
"I know," Jerry slumped on the bottom bunk next to Donny. The top housed Ian, "but my Mum made me promise not to run away, and wouldn't let me leave until my phone was fully charged."
"Why?" Ian half chuckled.
"Because of Brady," it was Donny who had answered, handing Jerry an offline controller, "right?"
"Who?" Ian asked, keeping his focus on the battle at hand.
"George Creed." Jerry answered, "He's in our year level. People call him Brady because his one of six, like in The Brady Bunch, you know?"
"Oh, yeah. What about him?"
"He ran away," Donny answered, finally managing to kill Ian, an action that was met with a curse, "to Sydney the news is saying."
"Why'd he do that?"
"Dunno," replied Jerry, the round coming to an end, "and neither do the cops." The conversation had reached its end, and silence took its place as Jerry joined a new game of Infection. Jerry started as the infected, a role that was accompanied by a series of sighs from the controller, even after his first kill.
"What's up?" Donny asked, almost demanding an answer.
"Nothing," Jerry answered, "just wondering." A new game started.
"Well," Donny began, "you can sit there sighing for the rest of the day, or you can tell us what's going on."
"Well, since you asked so nicely," Jerry replied, shocked at this outburst from his usually quiet friend, "I was thinking: What if Brady didn't run away?"
"We wouldn't be having this conversation." Ian replied, blunt as ever.
"Why would you think that?" questioned Donny.
"I don't know," replied Jerry, "it's just, Blue Gem to Sydney is a long way for one day, even if he did leave at quarter to two."
"So," interrupted Ian, "he caught a cab to the state line, then another one in New South Wales."
"Even so, how would he be able to pay for it?" reasoned Jerry, managing to infect Donny.
"Actually, yeah." Donny said, "And the news said that James and Hobie said he was going to the toilet, and that he left his guitar behind."
"Who?" asked Ian.
"His band, James Picard and Jerome Hobes, they're also in our year level." Jerry explained, not really focusing on his words, but more on his inner thoughts.
"Oh," replied Ian, unphased by his lack of knowledge, "so he was travelling light and invented a simple story to leave." Jerry had paid no attention to what Ian had said.
"What if he's still at the fairground?"
"What?" Ian ridiculed, "That's ridiculous."
"Well there's enough people there this year," Donny reasoned, "and the stalls are packed pretty tight. I went down there yesterday with my little sister."
"That is crazy."
"We could head down there." Jerry suggested.
"Hold on," Ian stuck his head out from his nest, "you're not actually saying we're going to look for him, are you?" Jerry and Donny exchanged glances, "I mean, we're not even friends with the guy."
"But imagine if we did," Jerry said "imagine what the papers would have to say about us."
"We'd be heroes." Donny imagined.
"Around Blue Gem, around the state." Jerry confirmed. Both looked up at Ian. Silence until:
"Alright, fine," he gave in, "but I don't think we can expect to find anything. And don't think I'll be happy looking for a guy I don't even know."
The trio rode their bikes to Blue Gem festival. Donny had to borrow Ian's sister's against his will. The news of a missing person hadn't phased the community much, after all, what was life with one less musician? Jerry took the lead as the most enthusiastic of his friends about their day trip.
There were bike racks at the football clubhouse because often parents were too busy on a Saturday morning to drive their kids anywhere. Jerry, Ian and Donny left their bikes in the safety of the metal racks and headed for the entrance.
"So, last Brady was seen," Jerry explained, "he was supposed to be headed for the toilets near the stage."
"Which is near the side games." Donny confirmed.
"But he could be anywhere by now." Ian pointed out.
The trio came to a stop just outside the fairground. Above them a blue banner was strung from two poles. A lighter blue script read:
BLUE GEM FESTIVAL
CELEBRATING A TOWN OF BLUE SKIES FOR OVER 100 YEARS
"So we start at the stage?" Donny suggested.
"Sounds good to me." Jerry started the group off again.
The performance area was almost completely bare except for people walking through to get to the rides or games. Acts had only been scheduled for the Saturday, so the clean up had begun early.
"So we split up but stay in this area," Jerry suggested, "agreed?"
"Agreed." was the consensus. Donny looked out around the toilets, which were to the left of the stage, Ian looked behind the stage, trying not to raise suspicion, and Jerry looked around where the audience used to stand.
After five minutes of haphazard searching, Donny was the first to speak.
"Guys, what are we actually looking for?" He called out.
"I dunno," Jerry replied, "anything that might suggest Brady is still here."
"Something like a wallet?"
"Yeah, that sort of stuff."
"Oh, okay." Donny was quiet for a few seconds. "You should probably know that I found Brady's wallet."
"What?!" The first sound heard from Ian since the search began.
"Let me see!" a similar reaction from Jerry. Both ran towards Donny, who was indeed holding a wallet. Ian nearly knocked over a woman in the process.
"Pass it here." Jerry said, taking the wallet from Donny. He took a few seconds to search through it.
"Well?" asked Ian, eager for the first time about his current activity.
"It's his," Jerry confirmed, "it's got his student I.D." He showed the other two.
"How could the police miss something like this?" Donny asked to no-one in particular. Jerry looked at his two best friends.
"I think it's time we paid a visit to Double J B."
There you go guys, the second instalment of my Compatibles series. I know I said the fun would start here, but the story needed more elaboration then I thought, but I promise action will start in a few more chapters time. Please leave comments and constructive criticism and I hope to get chapter 3 out soon.