Volcan Knights, page 1
Published by Laurie Bowler
Copyright 2011 Laurie Bowler
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Memories that seemed vague, and a whirlwind of nightmares that were excruciatingly painful, and my mind constantly struggled to regain control.
Working the day shifts for the police seemed to be the easiest transition I had made, after the accident that had changed my life forever. Every day started with the same morning routines, and my own version of life’s history and paths that led me around in circles while I tried to decipher my own clogged memories.
The people I met on the job had their own agendas, criminals born into a life they always seemed reluctant to break away from.
Each one of them becoming whipped away from their loved ones to pay back to society for the sins they had committed, the murderers taken to spend the rest of their own lives behind bars, never again would they be able to walk along the streets where they had been born, and played in as children.
“Zera, are you alright?” Mandy called as she sat across me on the desk we shared.
“Of course,” I replied smiling brightly.
My days were a confused muddle. I tried to remember dates and times that had been crucial to me, since the accident I couldn't remember anything, not even my daughter who had been killed.
Smiling back at me, willing me to remember what she had been like, willing me to remember how her beautiful smile had lit my world and made my heart explode with love, but each day I remembered nothing.
Bravely I had returned to work, only allowed to take on light desk duties and never allowed to attend the ‘biggies’, the crimes that led many offices to the weapons station to collect weapons and protective gear.
“Sam looks good today, don’t you think?” She asked as she openly stared through the glass windows at the officer in command of the police station where we were based.
“Yes, I suppose so” I answered as I watched my cursor flicker dramatically on my screen, and tried not to think about the handsome man that sat behind the glass windows, his face had been etched in my mind since I had woken up from the coma I’d been in for many months.
When I woke up after spending some time in a coma. It was Sam’s face that had been the first one to smile and welcome me back; I remember seeing the concern when in my confusion I tried to remember who he was.
He seemed to be important, but I couldn't place the significance of this man that had held my hand through many months of nurses and doctors advising to switch of the machines that had kept me alive.
At 29, my daughter dead, and not knowing who my family were, or where in the world they seemed to be, so many questions lay ahead of me. They were unanswered and frightening.
Every night, the nightmares drew closer, but the mist lay around thick and heavy to the events of my life before the accident. I never seemed to remember the accident, only waking up to find Sam, my boss sat beside me and becoming alarmed when I asked who he was.
“Zera, do you need to go home?” Sam’s voice broke into my heavy thoughts as he stood watching me with an expression of deep concern.
“No, why?” I asked puzzled.
“I’ve been stood here, waiting for you to answer me about the draft report I asked you to draw up last week, it’s been ten minutes since I first asked you” He answered.
“Oh, just daydreaming, nothing important,” I said a little too brightly as his brows shot up in surprise.
“Well, the report?” He continued
“Here, in my out tray” I handed him the report and wished my friend and colleague Mandy wasn’t sat opposite drawling at the sight of him stood next to me.
“Thank you,” he muttered as he walked away.
“You could have at least looked at him; it’s obvious he cares for you,” Mandy moaned.
Mandy made me feel uncomfortable whenever she commented on Sam, he was my boss and one that happened to be a caring commanding officer, there wasn’t anything else to it.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I scolded as I started to type dramatically on my computer, I didn’t realise until I looked at the screen that I had been typing my memories of when I had woken up, and it had been on the screen for Sam to see. I hoped and prayed he hadn’t seen. My thoughts and my jumbled mind had been evident in the words I had typed.
“Zera, you’re acting a little odd today, I think you should take Sam’s advice and go home for a while. Come back to work tomorrow, you can always ask Sam to drive you home,” She said hopefully.
Mandy was forever trying to persuade me to start having a relationship with someone. She had arranged to meet me for a movie a few times, but had instead arranged a blind date with a random man that I hadn’t known, and didn’t care about.
Sam was always on my mind, his face appeared many times in my sleep and had appeared more than once in my daydreams, I couldn’t understand why I thought of him as much as I did or the reasons why he seemed to be somehow connected to the accident. Again I was drifting into a daydream, the radio played softly in the background the love songs that I thought I liked, but I wasn’t sure if I did if I had always liked them.
“Hello, Mandy speaking,” Mandy answered the annoying phone as it rang and cut my thoughts of abruptly and rudely.
I listened with intent as her face lit with excitement, and her words drifted easily across to me.
“Be right there,” She said as she hung up the phone.
“What was that about?” I asked
“Come on, there’s a hostage situation, everyone has been called to attend. Prince charming,” she glanced with a grin at Sam. “Can’t stop us attending this one; the orders are from higher up the ladder,” she said as she grabbed my hand and launched me out of my chair.
Her quick steps marched in the direction of the weapons room as we collected our body gear and the weapons that we would fire, if we had too. As I hurried my own steps to match Mandy’s, the weariness started to fade as the excitement of being called to attend a situation, finally after to attend action of any kind for months, I began to pick up my pace and soon over took Mandy as we headed outside to the patrol car.
“I’ll drive,” I said as I jumped in the driver’s seat and waited for Mandy to take her own seat beside me.
“Only if you’re sure.” She answered.
She made no gesture to take the keys and climbed in and buckled her seatbelt.
As I reached down to switch on the siren and the lights, their blare creating the fascination and excitement that I hadn’t felt in months, as I allowed the adrenaline to race through my veins and my pulse picked itself up some notches, making my heart pound away. My foot reached for the accelerator as I moved the car into the position that would allow us to race through the streets of the small city where I lived. As I handled the car expertly, the wheels moving to the directions of the wheel as I accelerated to get through the traffic, arriving in front of the small family home where the many patrol cars had already surrounded, creating a barricade and an army of police that held the public and the reporters at bay.
“Hi, you must be the extra help.” The officer called from the parked car beside our own.
“Sure are. What’s happening?” Mandy asked as
“Nothing much, we have tried negotiation, there’s been no demands of any kind. The neighbours have said it’s the husband that returned after spending some time in the nut house, and there are two children present, one’s five and the other seven,” he answered.
“What about the mother?” I asked.
“We haven’t heard from her, no one knows if she’s in there. She hasn’t been seen all day,”
“Has anyone asked him?” Mandy asked, gesturing her hand at the house.
“No, not yet,” he said. “He won’t talk to us now”
I stood where I knew I would be safe, the longest distance away from the house and safely behind the car door while Mandy and the other office talked some more.
There seemed to be something odd about the situation. No noises came from inside the house. Surely the children should be making some noise?
I waited outside, all geared up, ready for the action to begin, but since it had been quiet for a long time without any word, or news of what was happening on the inside, it was now time for someone to make their move towards the premises. Even it meant just peeking through a window to ensure the safety of the children, I believed to be inside.
I moved without being noticed and cut down the alleyway that lined the side of the house, the four bedroom house was on my left, silence met my ears, but I kept on crouching, low and I crawled along in silence.
I faintly heard Sam when he arrived, demanding to know where I was and why I had been sent here in the first place because he always felt like I wasn’t ready, but I felt ready and stronger.
Considering I couldn’t remember a dam thing about what had happened to me in the first place, this was nothing for me to fear. I couldn’t even remember the last time I felt scared, mainly because I couldn’t remember my life or my origin. The scar on my back started to tingle, and it felt as if it was burning, my back started to feel hot; whether from my scar, or the excitement of the situation, I don’t know.
Finally, reaching the side entrance to the back garden, I stooped lower still, the sweat poured of me, the sound of feet shuffled behind me trying not to make any noise. And it was then I knew someone from the force had followed me, and it would undoubtedly, be Sam. My fingers dug around by the gate trying to find a way in, and I found the tiniest hole to start with, the murmuring of voices from within the house made me stop suddenly, my fingers freezing in the dirt as I tried to listen to what being said.
"You know you can just leave, there isn’t anything to stop you now," the female voice said. "The cops are at the front, I checked the back more than once, just like you said."
"I don’t believe they're only at the front Callie," the man replied. "I've been seen with this gun. I will have to do something now, or they will lock me away in the nut house for sure."
The silence went on for several seconds, and I was still crouched low, listening.
Whether the wife of the assailant was inside now, and she was called Callie, I wasn’t sure, but the man seemed pretty sure of one thing, he had to do something.
Which most likely meant, according to my training, that he would be starting to shoot and put his family in danger. The public and neighbours had been cleared from the area hours ago when all this had begun, but that didn’t mean my colleagues or myself wasn’t in any danger because while he still had a gun, we were in the greatest danger.
"Just run," Callie insisted from inside. "You don’t have to shoot anyone, just don’t hurt the children please, Barry that all I ask." she pleaded.
"Callie, don’t you see. We all have to die together, that the way it’s supposed to be," Barry explained. "We married; our family is whole, as one and we must leave the same way."
"Barry, you’re ill. We can get you some help, the best help we can find. You know we can make you better together,” her voice was soft and pleading. “The police will understand. You have to surrender now," She pleaded with him, I could hear her sniffle softly, making my own heart beat with the fear she must be feeling.
All I need was one shot, one opportunity to maim him, not to kill him. He sounded as if he needed some help, and to kill him would destroy a family and take away the father of the children. I knew I couldn’t do that, no matter how much training I'd had, it would be a challenge, but the biggest challenge right now was finding a way in. I waited a couple more seconds for the silence to carry on from inside, and I knew that they had moved away from where I was still crouched.
I started to dig with my fingers, to make the small hole under the gate a bigger one, so that I could crawl through and wait in the shadows of the garden for my one shot.
The dirt gave way and revealed the opening I'd hoped for; I crawled through on my stomach, pulling myself through with my fingers and hands.
I entered the garden and searched around and to find a decent hiding spot; I looked to see if there was any way into the house, without being seen. I grasped the branch that was hanging from the tree in front of me, and I pulled myself through the rest of the way, carefully so I wasn’t seen from anyone the house. The footsteps I'd heard behind me had stopped, almost as if the person had decided to turn back and quit trying to keep up with me. The tingling and burning on my back carried on. It felt on fire burning with a need to do something, but I wasn’t sure.
Still crouched as low as I could get, I slowly began to advance towards the house. The silence surrounded me, and no noise came from inside the house, the silence captured my concentration.
I strained to hear even the slightest movements, even the shuffling of feet that would tell me if anyone was heading in my direction.
Still nothing so, I continued with my advance, the side of the house presented me with the prize I'd been looking for.
The tiniest window had been left slightly ajar even though it would be too small for a man to climb through; it would be perfect for me.
I hefted myself onto the ledge, beneath the window and lifted myself up. My fingers closed around the hook holding the window open, and I gently lifted it up and opened the window the widest it would go, without making any noise that would attract attention.
I had to put my gun in my belt for safety; I knew it would be no good for me to lose it now, before I went inside. The children’s interest and safety was on my mind the entire time, giving me a focus point to whip them out to the safety of the waiting patrols outside. My feet found the way, scrambling up the small wall beneath the window, while my hands pulled me up from the top; I had finally gotten into the house. Making sure the only sounds were the ones natural to the appliances around me, I had entered the house through the utility room, the freezers slight hum behind me and the gentle movement of the pet hamster in his bed.
"Callie, just stay still," Barry ordered. "It won’t hurt much; I promise you won’t feel a thing"
"Barry, stop this. The children are seeing everything you're doing, they dent understand why we have to be tied up," she said with fear evident in her voice, by the way, it sounded, slightly wobbly. "We promised not to run, and we won’t do anything to make you angry with us, just please allow us to be together on the sofa,"
"No way, you've got to be kidding me," he answered. "Your one of them, aren’t you? You joined them, didn’t you?" he shouted suddenly.
The sound of his voice made me jump in the small room.
Pressing my ear to the door, so I could hear the conversation, in the hope of trying to build a picture in my mind of what was happening and the rooms they occupied within.
"Barry, who are you talking about?" she asked. "I haven’t joined anybody, I promise you, please let the children go,"
"No! Do you hear me, Callie; there is no way you’re leaving here alive, none of you. We joined in marriage, and we will die together before they take over the world around us, they will only take you from me eventually anyway. They're getting bigger each day. I felt it." He said.
Only time would tell who he was talking about, and why he felt fear knowing they existed. All too soon with a bit of luck and then we would all have the answers to the riddles that Barry was facing within.
The sounds of the ticking clock from outside the door represented that time was ticking by with the current sniffling of silent tears from inside.
"Mum, what’s wrong with dad?" a little boy asked. His voice came out in a hurried whisper.
"Sh! Nothing sweetheart," she answered. "We need to be quiet for a little while, so we don’t make Daddy angry. Do you think you can do that for me?"
"Ok mum, but I want to play with my toys," he whined.
"I know you do. It won’t be long, and then we can play as much as you would like too," she gently encouraged the silence by way of asking the child to be quiet a little while longer.
The scuffling of feet went past on the other side of the door, and knowing the Callie and the children were tied up from the conversation I'd already heard, it was Barry walking past trying to be silent.
But my hearing had always been something to be reckoned with.
For reasons, I couldn’t explain since I'd woken up in hospital, I could hear everything around me as if it was being played through a speaker. Even the conversations ten streets away, I could hear those too. It was more than a little daunting at first, but after a while, I had gotten used to it.
The footsteps had long since gone from outside the door, and I tried to turn the handle, hoping it wouldn’t make any of those squeaking noises that mine did at my own house, that would certainly give my presence away, and I would end up like everyone else, either tied up or shot dead. Holding my breath when I opened the door, making sure no noise was made, I peeked around and looked into the small corridor which had been decorated with family photos all around the walls.