Thursday, October 6, 2011

Impersonator (Friday Fiction)

Hi everyone! I have the distinct pleasure of hosting Friday Fiction this week and I'm thrilled to have you. To join in the fun, simply add your name and the link (url) to your contribution in the linky widget below. Remember, keep entries PG-13ish, as these are expected to be family friendly. Don't forget to comment on at least one story, to find out more, check out Friday Fiction on Facebook. Happy reading, enjoy the weekend!



Author's Note: This is a character sketch for one of my current WIP's. I thought it would be fun to share Ithycia's story and I hope you all enjoy her. As you know, my favorite reading genre is mystery and this is one of my attempts to write a world in that line. There's only the faintest hint of 'fantasy' in this one, enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!




General Fiction : Mystery : Light Fantasy


Officer Reeves banged on the front door, the shuffle step-dance on the concrete stoop giving away his unease. “She’s home, why isn’t she answering the door?” He growled. 

“Calm down, Ree.” His partner, Officer Lana, offered a sympathetic smile. “She’s under no obligation to do anything and as of right now, we have no real reason to hold anything against her.”

“She’s an impersonator.”

“That isn’t a crime.”

“She quit!”

“That isn’t a crime either.”

“Lana!”

The woman hid a smile. “Okay, fine, hold it against her. But we don’t have probable cause or even the slightest bit of leverage, so either play it light or let me do the talking.”
“You don't have the leverage. I do. This is as light as it gets and your diplomatic blabbering rarely ever gets the job done when we need results for-”

“Reeves, you’re letting this get to you.”

“So what? So what if I am? She’s a six-year-old girl, Lana. A six-year-old girl! She could be dying somewhere, alone and without any-”

“You think I don’t know that?”

The front door banged open and a scowling, sleepy young woman peered through the screen door at the duo. She blinked several times, then leaned against the door. “Whatever it is you’re selling, I can’t afford it.” She yawned. “My apologies and I’m sure it’s all for a good cause.” She turned away from the screen door.

Reeves yanked his badge from the clip on his belt. “Officers Reeves and Lana from the-”

“Don’t care. Have a nice day.” The front door clicked shut.

The officers exchanged a glance.

*~*~*~*~*~*~

The young woman sat on the coffee table holding an icepack to her forehead, the scowl growing more pronounced. “I hate you.” She muttered, readjusting the baggie of ice cubes. “And I can’t help you.”

“Why not?”

Lana’s hand moved to rest on her partner’s knee. “Miss McMillian-” The girl snorted. “We’re trying to locate Allison Brenz and I’m sure you understand that-”

“She’ll be fine. You don’t need me. Besides, the family’s rich enough, what’s a few million for a life? It’s not like it’ll kill them.”

“Ah, well, we’re not so sure it’s a ransom kidnapping.”

“Don’t tell me!” She glared at the duo. “I don’t wanna know. Don’t tell me your little details and don’t treat me like I’m one of you. I’m a free citizen. I’m living a lousy life and I’m happy with it, I don’t need to throw more trouble into the mix.” She rose from the coffee table. “It’s been five minutes. I said five minutes. You know where the door is and how it works-” She adjusted the icepack meaningfully. “Show yourself out, officers.”

Reeves cleared his throat, reaching into his suit jacket for a colored sheet of paper. “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to resort to this.” He began, “but, all impersonators are required to spend at least fifteen years or the equivalent of twenty-five thousand hours of federal assistance dedicated to the missing persons division.” He unfolded the sheet. “You’ve only filled twenty-”

“I know how many I filled.” She whirled around, hovering in the doorway of the cramped living room and kitchen. “I know. That number’s always somewhere in my head.” Her grip on the icepack tightened. “And  you can’t lord that over me.”

“Actually, we uh, can.” Lana forced a smile, rising to her feet. “Miss McMillian, we wouldn’t have come to you if there was another way to-”

“Yes you would have.” The glare darkened. “You would have. You investigators, cops, police, whatever you call yourselves, you’re all alike. You all treat me the same.” The smile grew bitter. “I’m not going back there. I can’t. I don’t have that gift anymore.”

The officers exchanged a glance. Reeves sighed. “Funny you should mention that.” He rubbed his nose. “See, the supervising head downtown just received an interesting report the other day. A report that would’ve made our lives a lot easier.”

She stared at him.

“It says that impersonators can’t lose their gift. They can just choose to ignore it.”

“Are you calling me a liar?”

“Some have it stronger than others, yours is a little weak. Probably grew rusty from disuse.” Reeves smiled, tightly. “But you’re our only option right now, so you’ll have to do.”

“Look, I’m not-”

“Miss McMillian,” Lana interrupted. “You can come with us now, or we can do this the hard way.”

“The hard way.” She kicked the doorjamb. “You already smashed my skull in with my own front door!”

The officers exchanged a glance. “We did warn you-” Lana tried. 

She turned away, retreating to the kitchen. “Like I said, you know the way out. Nice talkin’ to ya.”

“Ithyica McMillian, you’re und-”

“Marie Langston lives on fifty-three west Sine drive.” Her shoulders hunched upwards. “It’s a shelter for homeless kids—not an orphanage. She practically lives there. Was the best interpreter I ever had. If she’s busy, then so am I. Now get out of my house!”

~*~*~*~*~*
“You found Ithyica?” Marie Langston let herself be ushered through the downtown police department, leaning forward to hear Officer Lana over the shouts and bustles around them. “She’s alive?”

“You didn’t know?” Lana’s eyebrows danced upwards. “She asked for you by name and even knew where you worked. Gave us your address.”

“Well, I’ll be.” Marie shook her head. “That little vixen.” A fond smile settled on her face. “I thought she was through with the impersonating though. Really through with it. How’d you get her to come back?”
Reeves swallowed uncomfortably. “We, ah, didn’t.”

They led her through to the private conference room and the Marie bolted forward at once to smother the young woman in a hug. “Ithyica!” She exclaimed, holding her tight. “Oh, honey! I thought you were dead.”

“Ow, ow, ow! Stop. Please stop.” Ithyica grimaced, an expression of distaste registering quite plainly on her face. “Ow. Marie, quit it with the touching already!”

“Still fussy as always, I see.” Marie gently released her, noticing for the first time that the young woman was handcuffed to the head chair of the conference table. She looked from the silver cuff to the green-eyed rebel.

Ithyica looked away. 

“I thought you said you would stay out of trouble.”

The head whipped around to glare at her, green eyes flashing. “I am staying out of trouble.” Her glare resurfaced. “They’re the ones dragging me into it.” 

~*~*~*~*~*~

“Then let’s get started.” Marie closed the case file, turning her chair to face the sulking young woman. “You ready?”

“Tch. Do I look like it?”

“Ithyica-”

“Ithy.”

“…Ithy, please, work with me. It’ll be easier for both of us.”

“It’d be easier if they’d take this stupid thing off me.”

Marie sucked in a deep breath and summoned a pleasant smile to her face. “Officer Lana?”

“Of course.”
The handcuffs were removed.

Ithy rubbed her wrists, shying away from the hands that had just freed her. Lana stiffened at her recoil. “I don’t like people touching me.”

An awkward silence registered.

“Ithy, c’mon.” Marie tapped the table to get her attention. “Ready?”

“No.”

“Good. Here we go, the item?”

Reeves produced a silver chain with a broken ballet-shoe pendant.

Ithy visibly sank back into her chair, the darkened expression from earlier returning.

“Shhh. Easy.” Marie soothed, taking the necklace and placing it on the table in front of her. “No one’s going to force you to do this.” Her dark eyes drilled into frightened green ones. “You only do this if you want to, okay?”

Trembling fingers reached up to snatch the necklace from the tabletop and then Ithy squeezed her eyes shut.

The silence shifted from awkward to tense.

Marie sat still, her head bowed.

Ithy jerked, twitching as her eyes glazed over. For a moment, pure terror showed on her face and then she shrank even further into the chair, drawing her knees up to her chest, hugging them tight. Her head began to shake and she was mumbling to herself over and over. “No, no, no, no, no. I didn’t do it. I don’t know. I don’t know. Please don’t hurt me!”

Marie came to life, grabbing the stylus off the table and beginning to tap on the tablet in front of her.

“Miss Langston?” Reeves hesitated.

“Shh.” Marie silenced him with a finger, her eyes never leaving Ithy. “She’s already made contact.”

“So soon?” Lana stared.

“Shh!” Marie snapped. “If you’re going to interrupt then get out.” She reached across the table and tentatively waved a hand in front of Ithy’s face. “Ithy? Ithy, love, it’s Marie. I’m going to hold your hand, okay?” With slow, deliberate movements, Marie took one clenched hand in her own, her eyes maintaining a steady gaze with the blank look of the young woman before her. “Can you give me anything?”

Ithy licked her lips, a shudder passing through them. “Scared.” She whimpered.

“I know, sweetie, I know. Shhh. Come on, come back to me. This is Marie, remember? Good girl. I need you to give me something. Details, conversation, sensations. Whatever you can manage, just give me something to work with.”

“Green.” The voice was flat and emotionless. “Green everywhere. Like plants. Stick plants.”

“Green stick plants? Okay.” Marie squeezed her hand. “I got that. Stick plants. Like little trees?”

“I don’t know, how would I know? I’m six-years-old. I don’t know everything.”

“Shhh. Allison, sweetie, I need you to let Ithy talk to me, okay? Ithy? Is it like a decoration? Bamboo, maybe?”

“Everything’s brown.”

“Brown? Okay? Light brown, dark brown, medium brown? Where is the brown?”

“Everywhere. Light brown.”

“Like Almond? Tan? Sand?”

“Beige.”

“Beige. Got it. Anything else?”

“I hate ruffles.”

“Ruffles?”

“Hate ‘em.”

“Lots of them?”

“Too many of them. Ugh.” Ithy shuddered again. “I can’t do this, I gotta-” Her head lolled to the side and her body went limp.

Marie dropped her hand at once, on her feet, grabbing Ithy’s shoulders. “Ithy? Ithy, talk to me!”

“What’s going on? What happened?”

“The link was broken.”

“The link? Then fix it, fix the-”

“I can’t fix it, Officer Reeves.” Marie whirled on him. “And Ithy did the best that she could. I won’t have you treating her like some kind of a tool. Get some medical help in here!”

“Paramedic!” Lana stuck her head out into the hallway. “Someone get a paramedic in here!” She bit her lip, turning back to the trio. “Reeves…”

“Some help.” He snarled. “This little girl could die and-”

“And she helped you plenty. Get over yourself.” Marie snapped. “I’m starting not to like you very much. You can start checking out some of the tourist areas at the edge of the city strip.” Her eyes narrowed. “Try searching ones with artificial beaches, look for a little girl dressed up like a princess.”

“What?”

“I’m her interpreter.” Marie half-smiled. “Bamboo and beige. That means a beach and if she’s wearing ruffles, then it seems that Allison just got a new wardrobe. Her kidnappers must have had her change clothes, you’ll need to include that update in your bulletin.”

October 6, 2011 © Sara Harricharan

A/N: I hope you enjoyed the read. If you'd like to see more--comment and let me know what you think! ^_^ 

1 comments:

Yvonne Blake said...

Ohhh... I want to know more! Is part of your "Child Rescuer" story?