His Own Dark Chambers
Looking west out of the break room window, Detective Nathan Chambers watched the fall sky fade to a rich blue as the yellowish orange light of the falling sun slipped behind mother nature’s skyline. Chambers finished his fourth cup of coffee in just under twenty minutes. He pulled a Punch© cigar out of his breast pocket and lit it up. A thin curl of acrid smoke followed him as he walked back to his desk and opened up the Cheska Rivera file 072191.
Missing for almost two weeks, there was only one choice of direction, head to where she was last heard from. If that led to a blind avenue, he’d still have to continue the search. Chambers knew the 24 to 48 hour rule. A grim shade lowered over his mood as he extinguished his cigar into a Styrofoam coffee cup. He had to blink to keep his vision from clouding with the memories of past child abduction horrors, and to keep a forward positive lens on his future concentrations.
Cheska was such a cute young girl, with a rich light brown complexion. Her mother said she had this friendly demeanor and was quick with the laughs when she heard something amusing. She was simply a wonderful girl with a promising future. Her reply to a text message was the last time anyone heard from her. Cheska replied to a joke with a jajajajaja instead of hahahaha, which made her unique.
Detective Nathan Chambers felt the aloneness in the break room the same way he felt cold in the winter, all over, every inch of his body, just cold. A uniform detail stood behind him without saying a word. They watched Chambers for a few minutes and then they left the room, leaving him with dreaded thoughts in his own dark chambers.
Chambers thought about the other wonderful girls who lost their lives to a madman and he couldn’t beat those memories down. They slapped him around until his head hurt. Beating down a shudder, he picked up the phone mostly to hear someone else speak besides his own thoughts.
“Anything else on the Cheska case?” he spoke into the receiver.
“Cheska Rivera! She has a goddamn name!”
“I’m sorry, Nathan, nothing yet.”
The detective slammed down the receiver breaking the small piece of the plastic handle around the receiving end. The bell from the land line phone kept ringing in his ears several minutes more after it stopped.
Detective Nathan Chambers paused briefly to settle down a bit. He sat with his back against the south wall that separated the homicide and robbery offices. He started staring at the frost building up on the corner of the window. On the desk in front of him was a brown binder with the file number 072191 stamped on the cover. He turned away from the frost and stared at Cheska Rivera’s file with malevolence, and that binder stared back.
He knew that if a missing person hasn’t turned up in 48 hours it was bad news, and it was way more than 48 hours for Cheska. Instead of trying to find her alive, this might just turn out to be a search for her body. He tried to tell himself that this was a new situation, with a stronger child. He clung to the chance that the stronger child could fend off the hideously savage abductor, therefore making the situation different, but memories of dead children had him by the throat. Not just memories but experiences as well.
A Uniform female officer broke his concentration and stood directly in front of him.
“Nathan, we got it!”
“Cheska Rivera, we have her alive and well!”
“That private eye Nick Barnum found her over on Jackson Street off of Madison Avenue being held captive by that twisted freak that got off with an insanity plea last time we grabbed him for child abduction.”
“Chester the molester,” he whispered.
“Yep, Detective Laura Kimber says that Nick Barnum beat Chester up so bad he might not live.”
“Yeah, Nick was arrested and Chester was taken to Bridgeport Hospital.”
Chambers stroked his chin as he thought about Barnum’s arrest. “Are we planning something?”
“O’Brien says Nick should have let the police handle it and shouldn’t have taken the law into his own hands,” she paused. “He’s gotta pay the Piper.”
“I would have killed that son of a bitch,” Chambers said. “Get Kimber on the phone, we have to make something up to get Nick off the hook.”
“You think she’ll go for it?”
“Just have her come see me.”
The uniformed looked at him as if he was crazy, but she understood the hatred in his heart. She also wondered if having that hatred in his heart compromised his position as a Detective.
What ever happened to just going by the book? She thought.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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