''I have a 187 at Woodways plot, house number 13. Suspect secured. On my way to the station, over.'' He gave a backward glance at the youngster. He could see the overwhelmed look on his face. ''Fella, are you okay?'' the police officer asked the young boy. The boy remained silent.
He was fidgeting with his wrist shackles and looked restlessly out the car's window. He was focussing on the bright stars and the winter-white satellite floating in the inked night sky. It reminded him of his mother and the glow in the dark stars she used to put on his ceiling so he wouldn't fear the dark. The officer knew not to get too involved, but what if the boy was freezing? He had nothing to keep him warm. What if he was thirsty? He felt compelled to inquire once again. ''Are you sure you're fine? Do you need some water or maybe my jacket or something?'' ''You're not my dad'', the boy yelled. The kid's abrupt outburst surprised the officer. He could tell by the hoarse voice that he went through quite a lot that night. ''Just leave me alone!'' The officer did not respond. He thought it would only make matters worse and instead focused on getting to the police station. The child curled up into a ball with his tear-stained cheeks against the window.
They arrived at the police station. It was an enormous building but looked like the typical police stations you see in the movies. There were colonies of armed goliaths that walked around the premises. When you looked at their deadly faces, it felt like they ripped your heart right out of your chest, slingshotted hot magma through it at the speed of light, and placed it back into your chest. ''May I ask what your name is?'' the officer asked while helping the boy out of the car. ''Arthur'', he said, looking everywhere but at the officer. ''What is your name?'' Arthur's sweet voice touched the officer.
How could such a kind, innocent young boy be responsible for something like that? With the officer not having children, he couldn't help but see Arthur as his own.
''My name is John''. A distinct whistle suddenly filled their ears. ''Get the boy inside'', another officer said. ''Chief will not like if you are talking to the suspects again.'' He was leaning against the wall with a hot beverage in his hand. John took Arthur by his cuffs and guided him to the entrance door. There he saw the officer that warned John. He looked at the gold-plated badges he was wearing.
South Weber Police
His reddish eyes and evil-looking face made Arthur feel afraid. It wasn't the first time someone made Arthur feel this way. The three of them walked through the corridors. They first stopped at a medical room and did a few tests on Arthur.
They then reached the confrontation room. ''Sit and keep your mouth shut'', Buck instructed. Though, this wasn't hard for Arthur, for he was used to keeping his mouth shut. He had triggered lots of unpleasant memories for poor Arthur. The kind of memories to be forgotten. John and Buck could see him through the one-way mirror, but all he saw was his lonely reflection.
Buck entered the room to ask Arthur some questions. Both of them sat in silence, staring into each other's eyes. It stunned Arthur how similar Buck looked to his old man. He started questioning Arthur. Where were you?... what happened?... why did you? His voice faded the more Arthur got lost in his dark, empty eyes. He could see everything that happened that night as if the man's eyes were a giant television screen and he was watching a horror movie alone at midnight.''Speak Child!'' Buck said when he slammed the metal table. The horror quickly ended when Arthur heard him almost break the table. It sounded just like the gunshot that was fired that night. ''Kid, I'm warning you''.
''I want to talk to John'', Arthur said, pointing at the mirror. It was like he knew John was looking at them from the other room. Buck stormed out. Ire was coursing through his veins. He could always get his suspects to talk and prove that they were guilty, but for the first time, he failed. ''He's all yours'', he said, and stomped off, barrelling through the cops in the hallway, elbowing every single one of them. John has never liked Buck, so he found his struggle with Arthur quite entertaining. John now had to get Arthur to admit what happened that night. He had a feeling that there was much more to it.
Both of them sat at the table. Arthur laid on his arms like a sad, abandoned newborn puppy while John was completely zoned-out with his stoned face looking at him. John was thinking about the fact that Arthur trusted him. Why else did he ask John to question him instead? He didn't want to jump right into asking Arthur about what happened that night. He could see that a truck ran over the poor pup and thought he needed to be put at ease.''So, Arthur, do you own a dog?'' he asked. Arthur peaked over his arms. ''No. He died.'' ''I'm so sorry to hear that'', John replied uncomfortably.'' It's fine. It wasn't the only thing my dad killed.'' John was speechless. He didn't expect an answer like that at all. John had no experience with situations like this and thought that a nervous bark might just break the awkwardness. Arthur's face quivered. It flushed and blushed -as red as a freshly stabbed, bloody wound. He wanted to cry, but his face was a deserted desert. Drained. It felt like wanting to take a tinkle but not having any fluid.
''Hey buddy, calm down, okay? I know this is difficult for you. No one expects it to be easy as pie.'' John looked at him and held both of his hands tightly.''I trust you and I hope you trust me? I'm here to help you and won't let anything happen to you. That may have been the first time Arthur smiled in a few years. John picked up the list of the questions he had to ask him. After a quick scan, he ripped the paper into pieces. ''We don't need this. Arthur, start from the beginning. Tell me everything, and I mean, everything.
''I am Arthur Fraser, a 10-year-old man with a heart larger than Ur-anus.''
''Sorry, Mom. As I was saying, I'm pretty much every girl's dream husband. I have blonde hair. Even more blonde than goldilocks herself. People have no choice but to wear their best sunglasses when they come within a five-metre radius of my expensive, sapphire blue eyes. I would've been a finalist for Hitler's perfect race. I'm literally so hot I have The Carolina Reaper for blood cells coursing through my veins, and don't you forget it!
'' Arthur, remember who bought you this voice recording doohickey for your birthday? May your mommy have a go?''
''My name is Helen and I'm the mother of the house. I'm also known as the housemaid, the hideous witch, and the yellow snakelike spitting monster. My kids also say I'm a superb cook, but it's not like I have a choice. My favourite holiday is mother's day which is the only day where I don't have to lift a finger. Even though my boys drive me totally insane, I could've never wished for better. Honey, it's your turn.''
''Greetings person, alien or robot listening to this. I am Elton, the family's personal bank. I was a war veteran but now spend my time working as a clinical pharmacologist. Some say I am pretty good looking. People have confused me with Tom Cruise a few times, but I must admit, there is a striking resemblance. Fun fact, Arthur is my favourite son. Just kidding! Okay, firstborn, I had enough. It's your turn!''
'' I am the firstborn child. My name is Mike. I am 19 years old and still haven't tasted a drop of alcohol. I see myself as a decent guy, a gentleman. To this day, I still wonder why I haven't got a girlfriend. I'm not a blondie, so I don't understand what the problem is. Anyway, I see my role in this household as the most important. The glue that keeps our family together.''
''Your family sounds wonderful, Arthur'' He looked at John, gave a deep sigh, and continued.
"It was my birthday. We were on our way to go ice skating. I was playing with the digital voice recorder my parents bought me and wore my brand new red hat my brother gave me. We told stories, sang songs and played exciting games. It was an unforgettable day.
When we finally got there, we almost instantly put our skates on. The ice looked smooth and we could see the swirling of the rainbow scales through the ice. The best thing was that we were the first people there. It felt like getting a new, expensive car and smelling its new car smell. I loved the cold, peaceful breeze that blew against my face and the rhythmical left and right swaying. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I learned from the best. My big brother never left my side, not even when a bunch of hot girls showed up. We all fell so many times on the icy floor and never stopped laughing. There wasn't much snow because the season was changing and the snow and ice were slowly melting, but the guy said the ice was still sturdy enough to skate on.
How I wish we didn't listen to that guy.
As I was skating, I found a side of the lake that had strange patterned ice. I went closer to investigate this textured ice. My mother could see me from the other side. She warned me that the ice could be unstable and that I had to get away. I remembered I didn't listen to her and went even closer. She tried to warn me for the last time with the words ''You're on thin ice Arther.''
The ice started cracking. All I could do was freeze. I felt so cold like winter had come once more. It felt like standing on one of those popular glass bridges that were always so high up where you could see your own grave waiting for you. I couldn't speak. All I could do was turn my head and look terrified in my brother's direction. He quickly realised that I was in trouble and hurried to come to save me. By slowly walking over the cracking ice, he reached me and quickly grabbed me. I was so relieved and remember just squeezing him so tight. It was a big fright to us all, but at least we were safe. I tried to reach for my hat that my brother had bought me, but realised that I had dropped it where the ice was cracking. I told my brother that it fell when he saved me and that it wasn't necessary or safe to go fetch it. What was I thinking? I know my brother. I should've known he was going to fetch it for me, anyway. He skated all the way back to the other side of the lake. He stood there and waved at me with my hat. The second I looked away to show my mother and father, he disappeared. They pushed me out of the way screaming ''Mike!'' I was so overwhelmed and didn't know what had happened. Once again, I stood there frozen. When I heard a woman dialling 911, the shock kicked in and I cried as I hurried to go help him. When I got near, I saw my parents cry in each other's arms. From a safe distance, I looked in the hole. I saw the last few bubbles escape from the bottom of the lake and my red hat floating on the surface. I lost my brother, my friend, our superglue that day."
''Arthur, I don't know what to say,'' John said, holding back the tears. This must have been so hard on you all. I have also lost a son. It was a case eleven years ago about a baby that was stolen out of the hospital. My baby was a few days old when he somehow got kidnapped. I never stopped looking for him. I was obsessive, which caused lots of problems between me and my wife.''
''Why did you stop looking for him?''
''The doctors diagnosed my wife with lung cancer. I tried to forget about everything else and only focus on her. Unfortunately, the cancer spread too fast and she passed away after her first year of treatment. It took me years to accept her death and thought that focussing on my job might help me cope, but...'' There was a moment of silence before the waterworks begun. ''I'm sorry. It's insensitive and unprofessional of me to be acting like a real crybaby. I feel so ashamed.'' ''It is nothing to be ashamed of, mister John. My dad always said whenever I cried about my brother, ''Crying is for wimps''. Be a man. Big boys don't cry.'' He never cried, not even at the funeral, but mommy used to tell me that crying is healthy for our body, soul and spirit. She said that it is like putting a Band-aid on a wound so it can heal. If you pick the scab, you interrupt the healing process. You feel the pain all over again and have to wait for another scab to form. If you keep on picking, you will have a permanent mark that will never go away. Holding back the tears will stop you from healing.