- 8 -

     The click-clacking of typing could be heard from the common room.  That is it would have if anyone had been awake. Sleep had come infrequently in the few days following my unearthed memory.  It was just as well.  I used the lonely hours between moonlight and dawn to have uninterrupted access to the single computer in the company’s common room.

      I didn’t have much to go off of but I had managed to find some information.  I knew I should have been working on dance routines.  In spite of all the efforts to memorize the movements my body still insisted on performing the old ones.  Putting more effort into solving that problem was the farthest thing from my mind however.  With the new information I’d received concerning my attacker I could think of little else.

     I drummed my fingers atop the small desk waiting for a website to load.  It was possible that the internet speed was even slower than the run time of the ancient machine.  The dust covered monitor was far too large to be fashionable.  Plastic coating peeled at its edges emphasizing the tawdriness of its rectangular shape.  The modem hummed and grunted with laborious effort.

     I understood why most of the girls had their own personal computers of some sort.  I had already looked up crimes committed in Hong Kong in the last few years.  I didn’t find much considering most of the sites were in Chinese.  Further I couldn’t be sure about the details of my memory, preventing me from narrowing down the myriad of information culled.  I wasn’t even sure how long ago it had happened.  I knew it was before the Dark Dancers Erotic Performance Company had established their home amphitheater here in the Dark District.

     As far as my memory was concerned that could have been anywhere from six months to five years ago.  This train of thought provoked a different search concerning the company’s visit to Hong Kong.  It was possibly a news worthy event to someone somewhere.  The search hadn’t resulted in a plethora of leads.  Most were completely unrelated articles conjured up by a search engine based on matching irrelevant words like ‘dark’ in conjunction with “Hong Kong’.

     One link however looked promising.  The company’s full name revealed itself when I held the curser over the green text.  The URL claimed that it was a personal page on some sort of social networking site.  I had clicked turning the text a fuchsia tone and the site was being slowly revealed every intricate detail of the web page layout one at a time.

     My eyes were tired from staring at the screen all night.  My mind had become bored with the fruitless searching.  I wasn’t expecting to solve the threat I had so recently learned about with internet research.  Yet I knew that I couldn’t go to the authorities.  If this Vera woman was going to kill me then I’d rather end my life that way then whatever the police would do with me.  Imprisonment?  Working as a mole in the dark district?

     I wasn’t sure what I had expected to find but I was insanely curious.  These instances, meeting Vera, the Detective and now my memory, seemed to be all too coincidental.  When the webpage finally loaded I was surprised to find a picture displayed on the screen.  A little pixilated the chorus of young dancing girls I belonged to was discernable. 

     A row of red Chinese lanterns hung above us.  Our matching hooded sweatshirts touched at the shoulders.  Some of the faces I recognized others were completely unfamiliar.  I gazed down the line at the round faced flat-chested girls wondering how old they were.  Then I found my own young face. 

     I imagined I looked pretty much the same.  To the right my arm was linked with a taller girl and on the left my hand firmly grasped that of a boys.  I ran the cursor over the individuals attempting to glean more knowledge from the photograph.  Strange names popped up at me as I rolled over faces.  The girl next to me was Jessica, our talented acrobat.  Her light brown hair fell loose over her shoulders.  A perfectly contented smile graced her visage as she looked at the me in the photograph. 

    When I scrolled over my own form there was no identifier.  I wasn’t even important enough to be labeled in a coworker’s snapshot.  The boy however popped up as Daniel.   In the image my eyes shone and a shy smile looked back at me.  A similar expression could be seen on his face.  Our shoulders just barely touching; I imagined what it would be like to stand so close to a member of the opposite sex.  But then apparently I had once.

     The boy labeled Daniel was a few inches taller than I was.  Short cropped black hair and dark eyes displaying epicanthic folds hinted of Asian heritage.  And his right hand held on to my left one with interlocking fingers, for some reason that detail stood out in my mind most of all.  I glanced at the short muscled arms revealed by his tank top.  This must have been the person from my memory.

     I tore my eyes and thoughts away from the young man.  The purpose of this search was to find a date or some other clue to help me narrow down the list of possible crimes I had witnessed.  Still that was only going to help if some trace of the incident had been recorded somewhere.  I scoured the page and the photograph.  There was no date.  The picture was simply labeled; ‘Dark Dancer’s Erotic Performance Company- The Good Old Days: Hong Kong!!!  The link had only been for that particular image and I was unable to navigate to the actual site it resided on. 

     I couldn’t even figure out whose page it was on.  Surely one of my fellow company members but that didn’t guarantee she was still around.  Although some of those faces were familiar and I could do some investigating of my own. 

The End

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