James Picard had been asked by police not to stray too far from the Blue Gem festival. Luckily his friend and band mate Hobie Hobes lived only four streets away from the fairground, on a road called Leftern. Leftern was a one way street that came off Blue Gem's main, a left turn if you were headed north, but a right turn if you were headed south.
James had driven himself and Hobie to number five, a quaint little house surrounded by native plants. It was made of wood and was decorated similarly, with strange patterns forming at odd angles on the roof and outside walls. Inside was much different. Inside was almost entirely black and white with the occasional burst of colour from a piece of "art". The floors (at least, the ones visitors would be seeing) were tiled black, with a kitchen island to match. The refrigerator and oven were stainless steel. The walls were painted a bright white that shone when hit with sunlight, an occasional jet black stripe would run from wall to floor, keeping with the outside patterns.
The rest of the house was not as expensive. Three bedrooms were carpeted an ugly grey. The furniture was only basic wood and had clothes strung over them.
Hobie had convinced his mother to let James stay until Brady returned. If it weren't a legal matter, she'd have probably cast both of them out at the very notion of an outsider seeing the backstage mess, let alone sleeping in it. Hobie's room was the smallest. It once was a storage cupboard, but when child number three came along sacrifices had to be made. His room was big enough to fit a single bed, a wardrobe and a desk which was covered in what could only be assumed as homework.
James had the privilege of sleeping on a blow-up mattress, usually reserved for camping trips, that had been squeezed into strange contortions to fit on the already crowded floor of Hobie's bedroom. The sleep hadn't been too bad. The air filling the space between him and the floor certainly did it's job. It was the day afterwards that had irritated him. It was eleven in the morning when trouble knocked on the front door.
Donny Mallard and Ian Green approached the front door of a house completely unfamiliar to them. They had seen James' car parked in front, recognisable from all the days he had driven to the school, making sure to pick up everyone's attention. They had known which street it was because it was the focus of one of the few songs Hobie was aloud to sing lead in Double J B called "One way out of Leftern." The two strangers to this house looked up at the unnatural contortions it seemed to form.
"I still don't understand why Jerry isn't here with us," Ian hadn't stopped complaining since they had left Jerry behind at the fairground, "this whole thing was his idea, wasn't it?"
"Because there's two of them, and three of us," Donny explained, "someone had to stay back."
"But what does his even hope to achieve? All this hero bullshit." His last words coming out in more of a mumble than anything else.
"It's just in case Brady is there," Donny reasoned, "and Brady's wallet proves that the police aren't handling this properly." Ian replied with a grunt as he knocked on the door in front of them. "Right now, anything is possible."
A tall, stocky woman answered the door. Her sense of beauty had left long ago with her husband, but her sense of style had not.
"Yes." She spoke with conviction, trying to scare away her intruders.
"We're here to see Hobie and James."
The argument of whether or not they should be let in was lengthy. Again it came down to legal issues, that the police weren't doing their jobs properly, the wallet as evidence.
Ms Hobe let them in unwillingly, having become tired from her battle. Ian was shocked to be in this strange new, black-and-white environment. He had dropped his jaw and hadn't realised, but his reluctant host did. She looked at him with vague disgust: How dare a couple of kids demand to be let into her house.
She lead them past the tiles, and event some would consider a privilege, and through the carpet. She knocked on a closed door, but didn't wait for a response before entering.
Inside, Hobie and James were both sitting on the single bed. They both had their guitars out and were surrounded by hand written sheet music. Some of it was complete and stacked in neat piles, others were half finished and thrown any which way, and some were screwed up into balls and thrown away.
"You have guests. Both of you."
The guitarists had been told to expect police to come around, accompanied by a lengthy interview. For the first part they were wrong.
Hobie and James had plenty of time to think about the events of yesterdays performance. About fourteen hours earlier they had received news that their lead singer had been sighted in the state just south of theirs. The news of their friends safety distilled any sort of concern they had, but replaced it with an inspiration. An inspiration to write a heart-felt song about running away from home.
Their new project had kept them busy for the whole night. With their lack of sleep coupled with their expectations, it was no wonder they surprised when two of their classmates enter the ex-cupboard that was now their office.
Donny and Ian sat down Hobie and James on the white leather couch that faced a plasma screen in the living room. Donny felt it strange to be taking authority in another persons house, but he liked it.
"What's this all about?" asked James, still stunned at the current events. Ian took out his phone, on which was a list of questions Jerry had prepared. This was an interrogation.
"At what time were the police called to search for one George 'Brady' Creed?" He asked in a sigh, never moving his eyes from his phone.
"What?" Hobie asked back, now even more confused, "we've already gone through all this stuff with the police. If you want it, get it from them."
"Just answer the questions," Donny told the two on the couch, "and this will all be over much faster." Silence, from which he took a yes. "When were the police called?"
"About quarter to four, I think."
"Yeah, about then," James confirmed, "but what's this got to do with anything?"
"How about," Donny interjected, "you just let Hobie answer the questions, eh?" A suggestion that was met with a gesture that said whatever.
"Now," Ian continued, "did you help police search the area?"
"Yeah." Hobie would be the one answering the questions now.
"Where did you look?"
"Around the stage, the car parks, pretty much the rest of the fairground." He knew that asking why would get him nowhere.
"Did you- Did you search around the toilets?"
"Did you look to the ground as well?"
"Because," Donny got his word in, "we found this," he rummaged in his pocket then pulled out Brady's wallet to show, "on the ground, near the toilets."
"Is that Brady's?" Even James was interested at this point, but did not break his vow of silence.
"Yes." He dropped the wallet into Hobie's lap, "now, we need you to think," he crouched so he was at eye level with his subject, "was there anyone, anyone at all who was trying to stop the search?" A short silence as Hobie thought.
"N-no." This earned a sigh from Donny.
Ian lifted his head from his device, looking straight into Hobie's eyes.
"What about people trying to help the search?"
"What?" this time from Donny.
"Was there anyone notable, who perhaps looked weird, or suss who tried to aid to search?" An even longer silence for Hobie to think.
"What?" Donny asked.
"I think, I'm not entirely sure, but I think there was one guy. He was old, but didn't act like it. He came up to us and said... Oh, what did he say?"
"He said 'Sorry you can't find your friend.'" James was suddenly sharing this memory.
"Yeah, yeah, ad then he got up on stage and he said something like 'can everybody help search the fairground,' for Brady, then he went on to say 'nobody can find their friend.'"
"Do you know where he went?" asked Ian.
"Nah, that's all I can remember of him."
"James?" Just a shake from his head. Donny stood up and pulled Ian aside.
"This is something we can use," he said in a hushed voice, "this guy sounds suspicious. Might be worth looking into it."
"Yeah," replied Ian, mimicking the hush, "I wonder if Jerry's had any luck?"
Okay guys, that's the end of chapter three. I promise there will be references to super powers in chapter four. Again, feel free to give me any constructive criticism, comments and questions.