Chapter Eleven: Monster

Newcrest was 20 minutes from Channelside by car. It only took me one minute to realize that letting my mind wander right now was dangerous. I tried to preoccupy myself with all the gizmos Jay’s squad car had, after all, it was my first time in a cop car, but there was still a nagging present in the back of my mind. So, I waited for Jay to break the silence. He hated silence.

By the third minute, I was certain I was losing my mind, “So, why didn’t you tell me that you were a police officer?”

He shrugged, “You didn’t ask and… well, I’m assigned to your parent’s case.”

“Shouldn’t that be a reason to tell me instead of a reason not to?”

“I’m not supposed to disclose ongoing investigations with family members, Willow. If you knew I was assigned to the case I thought you might ask me for information -” He laughed, correcting himself, “Well, I guess now I know you would ask me for information and I knew I would have told you.”

His reasoning was sound, but it didn’t stop the ping of annoyance. He had every right to put his career before me – I was his ex, barely even a friend anymore – but I couldn’t deny that I wanted his allegiance to me to be more important than his allegiance to the force. It was selfish, so I tried to bury it, “Are you a detective?”

Jay shook his head slowly, “Not yet.”

“Then what do you do on my parent’s case?”

“You’ve met Detective Creed before. I’m his partner, more like assistant really. I handle evidence, get to sit in while he questions people sometimes. Newcrest gets more violent crime than Willow Creek. That’s why they called us in, but still, a double homicide is -” Jay’s explanation came to a grinding halt when he glanced in my direction.

My face was scrunched up like I had sucked on a lemon, “Did you see them?”

“I was called to the scene. Yes.”

“Was it bad?” Mr. Dale had been the one to identify their bodies. The funeral had been closed casket. I had never seen what remained of my parent’s after that night.

“There was, um… there were significant amounts of decomposition by the time… No, it wasn’t, Will. Your mother was shot in the chest, your father in the stomach. You know that though…. But um, it wasn’t bad.”  

He was lying, he had always been a bad liar. I glanced out the window, watching as trees turned into buildings when an imagine of my family home the night I had arrived popped into my mind. It had been spotless, “Do you know who cleaned my house?”

“I did – well, the department did. I asked if I could clean up the crime scene after we were done. A few of the guys helped out.”

“Why?”

“I knew this was going to be hard on you. You didn’t need to see that on top of it all.”

I paused, unsure how to respond except with a simple, “Thank you.”

The words hardly seemed enough, but Jay smiled and in that moment I felt like maybe I could handle this with Jay beside me.

The precinct came into view, decimating the fleeting feeling of security. I was out of the vehicle before Jay had even finished parking. I had no idea where I was going, but my feet moved on their own: through double doors and into the lobby. I had always imagined a police department would be bustling; officers running around, criminals being booked, the hum of conversation drifting through corridors. Instead, there was the screeching of a toddler and a lone lady manning the front desk. Her eyebrows were knitted, but she smiled at me, “Hello, did you need help?”

Jay’s warmth filled the cool air beside me, a hand coming to rest on my shoulder, “She is with me, Maxine.”

Maxine seemed surprised, red lips forming a perfect O, but she recovered quickly, requesting his assistance, “Jay, do you think you could watch Kylie until Child Protective Services comes? I can’t calm the poor thing down.”

“I’m in the middle of something, Maxine.”

Maxine’s eyes swept over me then back to Jay. She looked unconvinced, “Mhm.” She wheeled backward, revealing a dark-haired girl, the source of the screams, sprawled underneath her desk, “She’s not being booked, and you are off-duty. So, please, tell me what are you bringing that pretty young thing into the back for that can’t be done with this baby?”

I felt my face flush, but Jay simply snorted at her, “Do you really think I would take a date here to hook up with them? That would be -”

“Dumb,” She finished for him, “You know what else would be dumb? Taking a civilian on a tour without authorization.”

“Alright, alright,” Jay raised his hands in mock surrender, “I’ll take her.”

The relief on Maxine’s face was instantaneous, “Oh, thank the Maker. You’re a natural with children. I don’t know how you do it, they all hate me.”

“Yeah, that’s probably because you stick them under your desk and ignore them.” Jay grumbled under his breath, just loud enough for me to hear. I couldn’t help the small smile that made its way onto my lips as Jay scooped the girl up. She looked no older than two. Jay began to bounce her on his hip, and her wails calmed to sniffles. Within seconds her hand found its way into her mouth, muffling any further sounds she made. Jay was an only child, like me, but Maxine wasn’t lying when she said he had a way with children.

Once Kylie had settled down, Jay led me to the left of Maxine – past a half-dozen desks that were all currently unoccupied  – until we came to a narrow hallway lined with large windows on either side. I peered into one as we passed, expecting to see the starlit sky. Instead, there was a rusty table with a couple of chair on either side of it.

The realization that the man who killed my family was behind one of these windows hit me. My stomach twisted, and Jay’s free hand steadied me as he voiced his concern, “We can turn around. You don’t have to do this right now. I don’t think this will help you, Will. I think it might make it -”

“I want to see him.” No matter how sick I felt my resolve wouldn’t be broken. I had to know who he was. Jay frowned but stepped backward, allowing me access to the window he had stopped in front of.

Inside was a skinny thing, dark hair unkempt, a beat up tank top hanging limply from his frame. He was sitting directly across from the detective questioning him, directly across from me, but his face was buried in his arms. He stayed like that for some time. When he finally adjusted himself in his seat I caught his brown eyes with my own. It was just a second, but it was long enough.

Long enough for me to take in his sunken cheeks. His red, glossy eyes. He was young – too young – and I took a step back, eyebrows furrowed, “This isn’t funny, Jay. That kid looks like he’s sixteen. I swear to the Maker if this was your lame attempt at -”

“He’s fifteen.”

I paused, taking in Jay’s expression. In all the years I had known him he was rarely serious; always had a smile playing on his lips – a smirk, really – and a glint in his eyes that betrayed his impish nature.

Not now.

Now he was resolute.

“No. No, no, no.” I shook my head, “There’s got to be a mistake. You must have made a mistake.”

“Will -”

“No! You’re making a mistake. Let this poor kid go. You’ve got the wrong person, Jay. Surely you can see that! How could he – he’s couldn’t possibly -”

I didn’t realize I was yelling until Jay grabbed me by my arm, hurrying me into the adjacent interrogation room. The door clicked shut behind us. Kylie began to cry. I paced, hands shaking, confusion sending doubt rapid firing through my mind.

It couldn’t be him. Not that defeated child with the tear stained cheeks, his face gaunt and twisted with sorrow. How could he have had the strength to overpower my father? The man who had protected me my whole life. What reason could that kid possibly have to end my mother’s life? Why was he even there in the first place? It didn’t make sense. Nothing made sense.

The man who had killed my parents was a monster, and what I had seen in that room was not a monster.

I spin around to face him, the whole world unsteady and shifting out from under me. Jay is speaking but I don’t hear his words, nor do I care to, “How do you know it was him? What evidence do you have?”

“Will. He confessed. He came in and he confessed.”

“He just waltzed right in and said he murdered my parents?”

Jay sighed, “Not exactly. He came in with Kylie. Said he needed to file a report. We didn’t think the report was going to be a written confession to murder.”

“He came in with her?” Their hair was the same shade of brown.

“His sister.” Jay clarified.

My fingernails bit sharply into my palms as I clenched and unclenched my hands repeatedly, “He’s lying then.”

“Will, he’s not -”

“He has to be lying! If you’re so sure he’s not, where is your proof?” I’m shouting again, not completely in control of my volume.

Jay looks torn, but his eyes never leave my face. Instead of responding he crosses the room, pulls out a chair. The metal scraps against the concrete floor. He doesn’t take a seat. Instead, he holds my gaze, as if waiting for something – waiting for me. I comply.

“Willow, I will be right back. I am going to lock the door behind me.”

I furrowed my brow, annoyed and angry, “You don’t trust me?”

Jay laughed, “I’m pretty confident you might break into an ongoing interrogation if I don’t.”

I don’t respond to his accusation. That’s what it feels like – an accusation. I realize that Jay meant for it to lighten the mood, but he only dumped fuel where he meant to dump water.

The door clicked shut. A quick glance behind me reveals that he took Kylie with him. Couldn’t trust me with her, either. The thought is venomous, and more of them come. Waves of poison. Of doubt. Of pain and confusion.

I take a deep breath; focus on the cold bite of the metal against my legs. It clears my mind. I click my nails on the table, counting the reps, to keep the thoughts from coming back. I am on 53 when Jay returns, toddler free.

“This is how I know he’s not lying.” Jay’s voice cracks as he slides a necklace in front of me.

Sapphires glint under fluorescent lights composing the wings of two sterling silver butterflies. The necklace is beautiful. It’s simple. It’s my mother’s.

“H-he had this?” My voice cracks, vision blurs.

“The moment he gave it to Creed I knew…”

I swallow hard, throat tightening. My cheeks are warm and wet. Solid arms wrap around me, force me onto my feet, though I am completely supported by Jay’s weight.

“What’s his name.”

“Carson. His name is Carson.”

“Carson.” The name is thick on my tongue. It feels strange there.

I try again, “Carson.”

My nails are digging into my palms again. The pain grounds me, keeps me from plunging into the pit I have been teetering on. I’m afraid if I allow myself to fall into I’ll….Well, I’m not sure what.
I just know I’ll regret it.    

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21 thoughts on “Chapter Eleven: Monster

  1. Authors Note: Sorry about the delay. This chapter is about twice the length of my normal chapters + I had to create a ton of sims/edit a ton of places. Also, writing an angry Willow was surprisingly hard for me. :O

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      1. Oh man, I really dislike creating a bunch of sims at once. I think for the second generation and every generation after that I’ll do a casting call of some sort. I’m glad you think I did angry Willow justice since, well, it’s not going away any time soon. xD

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  2. Poor Willow. This is all very intriguing. So many things could happen. I think this could even rekindle her and Jay’s relationship. I think I am starting to like Jay a lot more. I hope it wasn’t just an excuse to get close to her again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad to hear that! After reading a lot of the predictions was I was worried that my original idea wasn’t enough drama, but it felt wrong to make one of the Levitt’s or Dale the murderer. So I stuck with my original vision.

      I am glad you are starting to like Jay! He’s a flawed man, but he means well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think this is even more dramatic, as the murderer provokes empathy and doesn’t seem like “pure evil”. I’m very intrigued about his motives (if the boy really was the one to do it and isn’t just covering for someone). And I feel bad fir Willow, she obviously still needs to deal with her emotions about the murder( slight hint of OCD?) and not being able to hate the person who dis can make it more difficult. Great and original move on your part- I’m glad you sticked to the idea.
        Oh, and I really love Willow’s and Jay chemistry. I’m happy there is so much more to him- despite not being usually serious, he strikes me as a quite mature person.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, I am happy you think so! You have some very good theories going on, and we will find out what happened in that house eventually. You hit the nail on the head with not being able to hate Carson – it is making it hard on Willow. She is actually angry at Carson right now for being him, being someone she can not hate. It’s going to be a tricky ride.

        Jay has 4 years of life that Willow has no idea about. He has matured a lot in those 4 years, but he still has that youthful playful nature that she remembers. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to agree with Willow; Carson doesn’t seem like the one that did it. Couldn’t he be covering for a parent (which would give good reason as to why he brought his sister)? I feel sorry for the guy. T.T

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  4. Oh, poor Willow..I can see what she is coming from, I mean, she had this whole idea of how their murder looked like, so, I think, it should be easier for her to hate him, and to see it’s a someone like any other…can make her question her relationship, as, if this teen could kill her parents, who knows what other people in the city can do? And, as he confessed, I assume that there’s regret…and if he truly has regret, Willow will still have the anger that her parents died, but no one to dump all this rage with reason…And that, will most likely make things worse.

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    1. Oh my lord, you are exactly right. She had this image of the man who murdered her parents in her head and he was this scary, evil person…. and that is not Carson. She is having a hard time accepting that and it is causing a lot of anger and confusion. She pities Carson but he killed her parents. Those are feelings don’t mesh well together. :[

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  5. At first, I was mad because Willow wouldn’t understand that teenagers can be criminals too. Just because he’s 15 doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. I’m glad Jay showed her proof because goddamn woman, children can be horrifying under bad circumstances. Also Kylie is cute, just gonna put that out there, to brighten up this comment.

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    1. Very true, some teenagers can do all kinds of bad things. I think for Willow though, the reason she has such a hard time with it, is because she imagined someone who was evil, and then she saw Carson crying and torn up as he was being questioned. His age and statue come into play (because Carson is VERY skinny) only when she thinks about him killing her father because, in her mind, her father was this strong figure that never lost at anything, and yet this 15 year old boy is claiming to have killed him. It’s all just hard for her to reconcile in her mind.

      Kylie is adorable! ^_^ Thank you for reading and commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that was an incredible twist. Poor Willow. I feel so bad for her, but Carson, he’s just a kid and he probably got in over his head and shot the parents. And Poor Carson’s kid sister… the little dear. You illustrated Willow’s disbelief really well. This was unexpected, but you pulled it off really well, and captured the moment with precision and emotion.

    On a happy note, Maxine insinuating they were on a date was amusing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not far off with Carson. :[ He’s not some great evil like Willow wanted. I appreciate the feedback! This chapter in particular was difficult for me to write, so knowing that I handled it well is really rewarding to hear.

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