Red Rooms

There have been a chain of murders across central Manhattan. All the victims are teenage introverts, as described by their parents. Never going out, always contained within the same four walls, scrawling ironically through social media. Police are dumbfounded as to what caused the many deaths. Allegedly they were the repercussions of an internet link, but the men were apprehended. Investigator Carrie McKee has been fascinated by the mystery of the case itself, and takes it on with the few leads she has. Little does she know that she was entering into something far deeper than she had first anticipated, that could cost her things she never knew she had. This wasn't a small case. This was something global. It was all over the internet.

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8. November Frost.

It was cold, leaving the police station. Carrie shivered, holding her cardigan tighter around her small waist. She strode past the awaiting cab, averting Mal's weary astonishment. The November frost had embraced Manhattan, much to it's people's disdain. Carrie noticed she was completely alone, as she entered the wrought iron gates of central park. Deciding to keep on walking, she strode briskly down the path, feeling as though she could fully embrace the world, if she wanted to, and no one would see her. But it wasn't...worth it. It didn't feel as exciting as she'd first anticipated. If she was a little younger, a little drunker, she would have rolled around in the grass or played in the kiddie-park, laughing on the swings and kicking her stiletto heels five feet into the air before she to leapt off. She would sing off-key pop music, and the rush of cheap alcohol would dull the memories, conceal the scars and dull the pain.

For a brief moment, as she played in that kiddie park, she'd see November frost as being white, instead of grey. 

 

But for now, it was grey, and the alcohol more so. A dull, patent liquid that had little to offer a woman with too many memories to blemish.

 

Carrie had never been able to fully appreciate Central Park. Whenever she walked through it, she'd always remember the fact that Jason had left. The two items were never connected; there were no bad memories here. But there were sad thoughts. If Jason never hurt her, scared his daughter, or cut unforgiving slits across his wife's bare skin, maybe they could have taken Elin to Central Park. Maybe they could have walked together, hand in hand, as Elin ran ahead in a chubby winter coat. She would wear the most inconvenient padded mittens, and an even more inconvenient hat that scratched her ears as opposed to warming them. As she ran ahead, Carrie would turn to Jason. He'd smile at her, as his hair swept back in the wind to reveal a face scored with laughter lines, rather than a suppressed, drunken anger that tore their family apart. His smile would be of genuine happiness, rather than a psychotic will to harm.

 

But it was too late, and Carrie walked alone, in a cold Central Park. 

However this time, no matter how her heart yearned, Carrie wouldn't cry. She'd cried too much already. 

 

'Hey, Detective.' 

 

Startled, she spun round, flustered and embarrassed, when her eyes met with the face of a young, scruffy man. Aaron laughed, pushing stands of hair to the side of his face awkwardly. Carrie instinctively surveyed the park in panic.

 

'How'd you get out? What the hell are you-'

 

Aaron looked a little uncomfortable, as he held his hands up in defence. 'Relax, did you really think they'd hold us overnight for a crime they don't even understand?'

 

Carrie shrugged.

'They just said since the investigators 'got what they needed', so we are discharged until further notice.'

 

It was fair enough, Carrie thought. The MIU had definitely gone downhill in the estimations of law and order. What a waste of time, for both parties.

'They are never going to take us seriously again.' Carrie said, almost laughing at the complete mess they'd made. She turned to look at Aaron directly, adjusting her glasses. 'I mean really, do you take 'this' seriously?'

 

It was Aaron's turn to shrug. 'In all honesty I just want to sleep, rather than think. It took too much energy to even comprehend why the CIA flipped out over a porn site.' He waved his hands around dramatically, ironic for a man so tired.

'We aren't CIA,' Carrie huffed. 'We are like...Ok if the CIA was Batman we'd be...Robin's stunt double. Or you know what, we'd probably be the guy on set with a clip board that brings coffees.'

 

Aaron laughed. 'What the hell kind of analogy is that?'

'You're not the only one who's tired, you know. Excuse me if my sense of humour isn't up to standard, you know at four in the morning,' Carrie spat, turning to exit the park. Aaron stopped her, touching her shoulder with one hand.

 

'I wanna take you out. Up for it?' he asked, smiling sheepishly.

 

Carrie was taken aback; she simply managed to laugh, detach herself and briskly walk away.

 

Not again. Never again.

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