Summer Kids

When Lucas Tweedle, leader of Left Hand Private Investigators, receives a box containing a film he hasn't seen in years, he is prompted on a road trip across miles and years. He has to save Eva Grey, the only girl that ever loved his teenage self.
She may be in the clutches of the Nemesis Crime Ring but the memories of the summer after college graduation haunt the both of them.

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3. FAMILIAR

 

CHAPTER TWO - FAMILIAR

LUCAS

The word familiar meant two different things to Lucas. To a normal man it meant something that was closely associated and intimate. To Lucas it meant a bond stronger than friendship, something that was built from fibres of honour instead of blood. More like family, instead of close associates.

This double meaning was rooted in his early years, back in the days where he wanted to be prime minister or an artist or something or another.

The past came to meet him like a man without a plan. He was a man without a plan, even a plan without a plan. Everything was disorientating. 

There was nothing familiar about him. But familiar encased his circumstances.

Eva Grey, or rather the spiritual haunting of Eva Grey, stood in his peripheral vision. He didn’t realise that he had fainted until his ears registered panic from someone else, and the feeling of bubble wrap trapped under his left foot.

At least bubble wrap was good for something in this situation.

The darkness faded, along with the haunting of Eva, and the form of Kayleigh took her place. Her hands were on his face and she looked desperate.

“Boss-man, boss-man? You alright?” The panic was evident, and Lucas knew barely anything.

“Ugh,” his tongue felt too thick to be a tongue. He felt his limbs scramble, like he was on ice instead of an office floor. He pushed himself up, ignoring the concerned words of Kayleigh who noticed his ignorance. In retaliation she called downstairs for their team.

His eyes were screwed on the box on the ground, slightly to the left of him and thank god it wasn’t too near him. It made him feel sick but his hands were drawn to it. There was something in there that he needed.

His team were flies as they crowded around him, struggling for leg room as they wanted to get near him.

“—alright?”

“—happened?”

“—Boss?”

The questions buzzed in his brain and he didn’t put the effort in to distinguish what they truly said. Lucas pushed through the hoard, like a desperate fan at a concert, and he put his hands on the god awful box. His hands rifled inside, making sure to not touch the clump of hair, and touched the CD.

This CD was the most familiar of all. Decorated with flowers and childish vines in CD marker pens, a scrawl in all caps reading that it was A Summer Tale, a play on words to a Shakespeare play. The font was on purpose, a tale that all caps was the standard font of all fathers in the world.

“What on Earth?” a voice echoed in his ears. It was Farren, his tone perplexed as Lucas’s fingers itched to trace the writing.

“Someone has her.” His voice was small, a toddler learning how to walk. Lucas shoved his team off of him, the college rugby training coming back years later. It was delusional to consider Lucas as anything other than demented, a demented shadow as he tried to place the CD in the player of his computer.

Static played on the screen and in his head as the CD loaded up. Instead of looking at a series of videos he was transported back in time, his body still in place at Left Hand Private Investigators, but his mind in his eighteen year old self.

“Sacrifices for the greater good should be left in Hogwarts.” Lucas grinned shaking Deathly Hallows to his companion.

“Sacrifices for the greater good happen in America.”

“Not just in America Ev,” Lucas stated, walking down the cobblestones of an old Durham alleyway. This was University territory, and in truth they had been in the city for open days but the fifteen minute train ride was more than justified.

“God you're right because the Tories will do so many great things with Britain,” Eva scoffed, and tripped over a cobble, muttering her curse words not liking herself for swearing verbally.

Switching topic she brought up Harry Potter again, asking for his opinion on Severus Snape.

Lucas was currently half way through Deathly Hallows having discovered the world of Harry Potter after he first entered college.

They got swept up in debate and soon the main street was upon them, “Hey, how about we…?”

Eva’s trailed off sentence made Lucas pause in his own verbal explosions and look up. They were a few shops down from a restaurant called The Library. Eva was a sucker for literary references and so he couldn’t deny her.

The food was a hodgepodge but no book cases were in sight. Their own books had to do. When their own conversations dried up, like they most often did when in the companionship of someone who knew pretty much everything, they returned to their own books. Lucas going back into the Battle of Hogwarts and Eva immersing herself into a new YA novel.

The summer had just started, exam season had just ended and nothing much had changed except their stress levels. As the days become warmer, they became calmer and their friendship only intensified.

They ate noodles and basked in the presence of one another and all was well until Eva dropped her book into a puddle and Lucas had to console her. They spent that night in a Premier Inn, like they had planned, but what they had not planned however, was spending the night with a hair drier and a book in hand.

“It’s just a book.”

“That’s a lie and you know it.”

Lucas succumbed to the memories and succumbed to reality in between one breath and the next. Music was playing from the CD, a funky up beat tune that mimicked the waves and laughter in the final scene. Lucas hadn’t seen this film in about ten years, the last time playing his own version on a drunken night.

“I’ll repeat what I said before, what on Earth is going on?” Farren was adamant as he swept past a concrete Lucas to eject the CD. It was only then, when the CD emerged once more, cutting off a burst of sunshine laughter, that Lucas noticed something that was not familiar.

An N on the right arc of the disk. An N that was sadly familiar but not in the way that he meant.

The ‘someone’ in his statement suddenly became all the more clear.

Lucas was no longer a human made out of concrete, he was a human made out of need. He needed to find her because she was in the hands of monsters. He paled and swept down the stairs, pushing past shoulders as if they were paperweights.

“What on Earth?” The repeated sentence echoed at the cobwebs of his consciousness.

His feet was in front of the big clear board on the second floor of Left Hand Private Investigators. His hands wrapped around a white marker, forming the image of a spider in the middle of a web like a frantic rain storm. It was drawn just before his team came rushing through the doors.

“The Nemesis Crime Ring.” He stated to the room at large and watched as they shuffled side to side. They all knew who this crime ring was. They had evaded police capture for years, only allowing previous members to show up dead, and they were involved in the drug distribution of Spider Fang, an alternative to ecstasy. They were also responsible for fifteen deaths, three of which where their own members. The police only knew that because of the small spider tattoo on their index finger. The twelve deaths that were left were all women, a selective out of the bunch that had been kidnapped. The numbers were reaching sixty and not one of those women had been found yet, all kidnapped from roadsides or in forests or in shopping centres. They were masters of manipulation and deception, unbelieving geniuses for what they did.

“And Eva Grey, my best friend has been captured by them.”

The room stilled. Lucas remained as frantic as a caged bird.

In truth, Eva hadn’t been his best friend in about ten years, ever since the fatal summer after college graduation, but he wasn’t one to let that stop him from finding her.

He wasn’t that kind of man. 

“What?”

He couldn’t pin point who had said it since his senses were cut off to allow his brain to run at Usain Bolt speed, if that was even possible.

Lucas didn’t stop though, by the time the singular word was uttered the word Nemesis was written underneath the spider and there were lines going to the words Kidnapped, CD and Edinburgh.

“Lucas maybe you should sit down,” Kayleigh coaxed and moved to usher Lucas into a chair.

“I don’t want to sit down,” Lucas adamantly denied and waved the marker pen like a wand. One hand rubbed at a temple and the other wrote more words. Lines came off to words like Lloyd Webber, Hair and Yendale Primary School.

“Well maybe you should explain what the words mean?” Edward motioned and Lucas nearly face palmed. Of course they wouldn’t be able to understand, even he couldn’t understand his brain at the best of times.

“Eva Grey has been my best friend since Primary School and since then she knew that she wanted to be a primary school teacher. Anyway, we remained best friends until we left for different universities. I remember after Uni graduation that she had moved to Edinburgh and had become a teacher at Yendale Primary School. The CD that I just played for you was one we made after a road trip before we all went to Uni, there was a ring of bloodied hair in the box, and of course you all know who Lloyd Webber is.”

Lloyd Webber was the man who the police suspected to be their next target concerning the Nemesis Crime Ring. He was relatively lower down, not in the inner circle by any means, but he was vulnerable and if they could get him then they would have more information than ever before.

“We could all gather what the CD was, you looked spotty and hormonal.” James muttered and was rewarded with the slap to the head by Shawna.

“I think you need to sit down,” Farren urged and this time forced Lucas to sit.

“I need to think, that is what I need to do.”

“We’re not taking this case.” Farren stated and confiscated the pen from Lucas’s hand. Lucas shut down, colour returning to his face in reddened waves. He was outraged. Of course they were taking this case. That wasn’t up for negotiation here.

“You’re too closely connected to this and you haven’t even checked if the Edinburgh Police are on the case, you know that all missing people’s cases are reported after the first twenty four hours. We’ll turn the box and CD into the police and leave it up to them.”

Farren was adamant and his crossed arms only made his emotions more solid. He was the psychologist of the team and the wisdom of Mr. McClellan had rubbed off onto him like there was no tomorrow.

“You know yourself that everything to do with the Nemesis Crime Ring are posted on our channels, and there’s been no mention of a missing Eva Grey.” Lucas’s voice was as thick as steel, he was the boss and he was not allowing any other options.

“You well know that sometimes the police keep things for themselves.”

“How about we all cool down?” The rather timid voice of Shawna pushed the two men apart and she pushed herself so that she was between them. She was the only other out of the rest of the team that had been part of the old team, and although she hadn’t been through as much as Farren had, she knew enough to know Mr. McClellan’s wisdom more than the newbies did.

“How about we dig into it a bit, contact the Scottish branch which deal with the Nemesis Crime Ring and then start contacting Eva’s parents, gather whether they want us up there before we go in all guns blazing.”

Shawna was the voice of reason.

Lucas was still a caged bird, flying high enough to be Icarus with the bars preventing catastrophe. 

 

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