The Vanisher: Stray

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The Vanisher returns in this sequel to help the MCU on a strange case.
With new dangers lurking everywhere, no one is safe.
With Campbell gone, a new threat has come to Brimswood, and no one knows how to stop it.
A mystery causes people to break apart, for an end to trust, and death to arise throughout the city.
The Vanisher, almost a year later, has returned to solve the case, and the one respinsible comes as a shock to all.

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16. Teenage Crisis

"The Brimswood Killer struck yet again last night, making this the 3rd victim this week.  Authorities have warned against going out during the curfew, and advise the public to stay in well lit areas with groups of people." The morning news covers the murder from last night.

The MCU has no leads.  We're dead. Whoever this is knows what they're doing.  They have experience. I feel 100% useless.  And last night, a mother of 3 was killed on her way home from the grocery store.

She's dead.  And we can't say we did everything we could to save her and to stop it, because we didn't.  We couldn't.  We're sitting ducks, waiting for the guy to slip up, and he hasn't yet.

I patrol the streets when curfew starts. The sun sets over the city and the night is dark.  The clouds are covering up the moon.  I patrol until Jones orders me to go home and I listen.  Tim and I have been having a rough patch since that night a couple weeks ago.  I've been trying to be there for him as much as possible these days, and we're making it work.  

I get home to find Tim already asleep, a textbook opened on his lap in bed.  I mark his page, turn off the lamp, and climb into bed.  I fall asleep easily. 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

I wake up a little later than usual the next morning.  I head out into the kitchen and see Tim standing there.

"Morning." He says, taking a sip of coffee.

"Morning." I walk up and grab a mug off the counter.  "You passed out studying again last night."

"No wonder.  That class always puts me to sleep." We stand there silently for a moment.  "Aren't you gonna be late for work?"

"I thought maybe you and me could have breakfast this morning.  We haven't done that before and it was a quiet night again last night on the street, so I figured why not."

"Okay, sounds good."  We get dressed and walk down the street to a nearby coffee shop.  We sit down and enjoy breakfast.  It feels like we were getting back to normal.

"So Mason walks up and looks at this kid. I swear the kid was going to-" he stops.  I look at him.  His eyes aren't on me but on the tv behind my head.  I turn around and look at the headline.

'Teenager Found Dead Outside High School'

"Oh my God, when is this going to end?" Tim mumbles.  I look at him.

"I gotta-"

"Go.  I know." He starts playing with his coffee stirrer.  

"I'll see you later." I say, placing a ten dollar bill on the table.  Tim nods, not looking up at me.

"See you."

______________________________________________________________________________

"Ragan-" Director Jones announces when I arrive at the crime scene.  "What are you doing here?"

"I saw the news and came to check it out."

"I didn't call you in.  You shouldn't be here."

"What's the big deal?  I've seen a dead body before."

"Ragan......." Jones grabs my shoulder, "I don't think you should be here."

"Why not?  I can help, I-" I look over his shoulder and see a pair of red sneakers peeking out from under the white cover.  I recognize those shoes vaguely.  I turn to Jones.  "Who is that?"

Jones looks down and turns away.  He lifts up the crime scene tape and walks me over to the body.  

"Brace yourself." He lifts the white cover and I gasp, almost falling over.

"No." I whisper. "No no no no..." I kneel down and brush the boy's hair our of his face.  

I know this face.

"How, why, I don't....." my head starts spinning.

"We wanted to tell you back at the office, but..." Jones stops talking.  "The boy's name is-"

"James.  James Weaver." I manage to get out.  Jones puts a hand on my shoulder.

"Ragan, the victim-"

"It's Tim's brother."

 

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