Lyn Saunders... stereotypical feminist/stubborn reporter
Where am I?
Why is it dark?
I can't see anything, and... I think my hands are tied behind my back. The floor is cold and rough. Concrete. My back is against a metal pole. My body aches, like I was hit by a truck. My eyes are starting to adjust to the darkness, but everything is spinning, including the floor. I feel lethargic. No. I can't fall asleep again. Think! It's obvious that I'm here against my will. That's the only logical reason to explain me being tied up. The pain is more focused on my crown. Perhaps I was hit on the head. No, it's more likely that I was drugged. That's why I'm still dizzy. Maybe I should call out for help... Well that's not going to work. My throat is too dry. I can't even whisper! That probably means that I've been down here for quite some time. There's got to be something I'm missing. Something I'm just not getting. My memories of the past few weeks are a blur. THINK! Wait a second. I remember the article. That's right! I was working on my newspaper article! But, why would that...
"What are you getting so worked up about Jack?! You know this story would have the newspapers flying off the racks! Anyway, people have the right to know what's going on here."
"Lyn, try to comprehend the amount of trouble your getting yourself into. It's just not worth it. Some things are more important than how many copies we sell."
I stared deep into Jack's wisened eyes. I was suddenly aware that I was leaning threateningly over top of his desk. A very inappropriate way to act in the office of the guy who signs my pay checks.
I straightened up slightly, keeping my obstinate stance, "This is not the Jack Harris I know," I teased, trying to lighten the mood, "The real Jack Harris would be bursting with excit-"
"The Jack Harris you knew took a permanent vacation," he snapped, "Or have you so easily forgotten about what happened Walker?!"
My breath caught in my throat. Devin Walker was one of the best journalists I had ever known. Determined, quick-thinking, inspiring. He was apparently after a story that would have exposed more than a few drug dealers. Getting in over your head is the worst thing you can do in this line of work. No one really knew much about the case. All of Devin's work and research for his article had been stolen from his home, and he was left for dead, with three bullet shots in his chest. Losing him was especially painful for me. He was a good friend of mine, and an equally good rival. No more nights at the bar, horror movies at the local cinema, or races to the best stories. I was so hysterical after it happened, that Jack forced me to take some time off work.
Tears started gathering in the corners of my eyes. I blinked them back furiously, shaking my hair subtly in front of my face to hide them.
Jack's eyes softened, his wrinkled forehead creased in worry, "I'm sorry Lyn. That was out of line. But can you blame me for me bringing it up? I don't want it happening a second time. Besides, you don't even have solid evidence. Just alot of suspicions. Until you can find some concrete proof, without confronting anyone directly," he added quickly, "I will not accept this article. Do I make myself clear?"
This was going no where. He was right of coarse. In order for me to print this aticle without getting the entire newspaper sued, I would have to get hardcore evidence. I sighed, "Yes, sir." I put my hand to my forehead, massaging my throbbing temple.
"Lyn, are you alright?" he regarded me anxiously, "You look faint."
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just little tired." Lie. I felt like I would keel over at any minute.
He shook his head disapprovingly, "Lyn-"
"Look, I've just been a bit stressed lately, alright?!" I was involuntarily raising my voice, "I'll be fine after a good night's sleep."
"Make that two weeks of good sleep. I'm giving you time off."
"Jack! I'm perfe-"
He held up his hand, "Don't start. This is not up for discussion. For the next two weeks, I don't want to see you anywhere near this building. Understand?"
"Fine, Jack." I sighed in defeat.
Jack made me take holiday. That article was on the meeting between a high ranking public official and a drug lord. It was suspected that this meeting had something to do with the recent murder of Mia Sanchez. Her husband, Allen Sanchez, was the public official, and was the prime suspect in his wife's murder. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough proof to tie him to it, not to mention he had a decent alibi that night. There were rumours that Sanchez often slept around on his wife, and that she was planning on leaving him, and exposing his secret assemblies with the drug lords of the city. Fortunate for him, she happened to be killed the day before the signing of the final divorce documents. It is quite possible that Sanchez hired someone to kill his wife, so as not to dirty his own hands. I had witnesses who had seen him in the darker places of the city, where he could be possibly meeting someone, and I had even discovered that large sums of money had been taken out of the city's budget. But it still wasn't enough to make a decent conviction. I needed pictures, and what I needed even more was a witness from the inside.
When Jack sent me on vacation, I wasn't about to give up. I was convinced that I would find something, the final breakthrough to take down Sanchez. Of coarse, what I am doing would have turned out better if I had left it to the police; my current situation prooves that much. But what if they're on a payroll? I know it's a stupid thing to think, something more suited to a B rated movie, but I still can't get over how fast they closed Mia Sanchez's case. Not to mention the strange way they acted when I finally went to them...
"I'm sorry miss, but that case was closed months ago. It was a dead end."
"But this proves that Allen Sanchez was involved!" I waved around a picture of Sanchez meeting with a well known convict, "Why else would he have been giving money to Richard Haynes?"
"First of all, you can't prove in this picture that Mr. Sanchez is handing over money. Second, Haynes has never killed anyone before," the officer explained, a little too calmly, "He's just arrogant and pushy. He did his time,"
"He's pushy alright! He pushed a helpless women down the subway stairs! It's a miracle she's not dead!" I was shouting, knowing full well that it wasn't going to do much good. I just wanted him to get it through his thick skull that this wasn't something to be looked over.
"If you don't calm down, I'll be forced to ask you to leave," the tone of his voice made it clear that he wouldn't ask.
I took a few deep breaths, "Look, I just want you to consider opening the case again. It's unjust to let her murder go unsolved. You can even see him handing over a briefcase. Sanchez was probably paying off Haynes for killing his wife for him. Not to mention the fact that Sanchez knew a reputable convict, which means that he must of known his way around the bad side of town."
"You journalists are always the same. Trying to stir up trouble just so you can get a good story. What you are accusing Mr. Sanchez of is... is... unthinkable! He has done alot of good for the city." He was angry now, I could see that much. Either he was exceedingly ignorant, or exceptionally loyal (aka on a payroll). No matter which it was, he was completely useless, so I stormed out before he could say another word to me.
He probably was on a payroll. I'm pretty sure no other police officer would have turned me down like that. My wrists are starting to chafe from the rope. I can't loosen them; whoever tied me up knew what they were doing. I shouldn't think about what might happen to me. It's probably not a good idea to panic. Now let's see. After I went to the police...
"Hi. Is this Spencer Cole?"
"Yes. Who is this?"
"My name is Lyn Sanders. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about Allen Sanchez."
"I'm not talking to a detective."
I sighed in frustration, "Mr. Cole, if I was part of the police department, I would be coming to speak to you in person, not calling you on the phone."
"Oh. Well, then... who are you?"
"I'm a journalist. I want to know more about Mr. Sanchez's personal habits and I hear you're the guy to talk to."
"Look, I don't want any trouble, okay?"
"What do you mean?"
"If I tell you what you want to know, I'll find myself being thrown into hot water, in more ways than one."
"Please, any information you can give me would be useful."
"As soon as it hits the papers I'm a dead man no matter where I turn. I've gotten myself into heaps of trouble with the cops and I'll be cuffed for sure if they find out about my involvement. At least, if they get to me first."
I understood. He had more than just a few tidbits of info. If anyone found out that he was the one who spilled, he'd be hunted down and killed.
"Mr. Cole, if you tell me what I need to know, I could find some other way to prove it. You would remain completely anonymous. I promise."
There was a pause of deliberation.
"Alright. I'll meet with you."
"Thank you. How about the Harris Cafe on Regent. Ten o'clock."
"I'll be there."
Then he hung up.
Something went wrong though. The only witness I had managed to find, the only one who I was able to convince to speak to me directly, didn't show up...
"Would you like anything else?"
I looked up from my cold, untouched cup of coffee and smiled politely,"No thank you, I'm fine for the moment."
I watched the waitress walk to the next table, and then took yet another desperate look at my watch.
This isn't good I thought to myself. He said he would be here and I have been waiting for almost two hours.
I sighed in defeat. No point in annoying the waitress any longer. I would call him back and see what the deal was.
When I got back to my apartment, I called him up immediately.
Two rings...Three rings...Four rings...Five rings...Six rings...
I hung up and trudged over to the couch to turn on the news. As I listened, my eyes widened with horror. I knew what happened.
"Twenty-eight year old Spencer Cole, was found shot in the alley way this morning by King Street. Police say that Cole was most likely mugged on his way home..."
I stared openmouthed at the television.
Yeah, mugged. What a load of bull. It was just another fortunate occurance for Allen Sanchez. I still feel sick with guilt. I'm pretty sure Spencer left behind a three year old daughter. Hopefully her grandparents get custody of her, instead of her being put in the system.
I'm remembering a little more clearly now. After Spencer Cole died...
I quickly turned the key in the lock of my apartment door. It was difficult when juggling two grocery bags full of food. The first thing I noticed when I got in, naturally, was the fact that my apartment was pretty much ripped to shreds; Plates broken, couches and pillows torn... Long story short, it was trashed. I had a pretty good idea why.
I slammed the door shut only to find a note held to the back of the door with a kitchen knife.
"Shit," I breathed, setting down my shopping bags. I struggled to pull the blade out of the door, and when I did, there was a nice hole where it once was.
That settled it. I would go to the police. This was obviously proof enough that something wasn't right. I didn't even bother to put away the groceries. I rushed out the door to the elevator.
I never made it to the police. Which means somewhere along the way, someone saw me heading towards the station, and decided to make sure I didn't get there. So now I'm here. In the dark. Tied to a pole. And feeling like crap, I might add. What will happen to me? Are they just going to leave me down here, or are they... wait... I t-think I hear someone at the door. Oh God, this is it! I'm going to die here. The doorknob is turning slowing... If they're trying to make the anticipation agonizing, it's sure as hell working! ... The door creaks open and the beam of a flashlight hits me in the face, blinding me temporarily. I cringe against the pole, awaiting my painful demise...
"Are you Lyn Sanders?"
I recognized that voice. Surprised, I look up to see that the man before me is wearing a uniform. He is the same young police officer I spoke with before, the one I had suspected of being in league with Allen Sanchez.
"Y-yes." I answer hesitantly.
His face unexpectantly softens. He lowers the flashlight and walks behind me. I suddenly feel him cut the bonds on my wrists. I pull my hands in front of me and rub the tender part of my skin, where the rope has left a burning laceration.
"Jason Cole, Spencer Cole's brother, came to the police station only a few hours ago, to confess to witnessing everything that was going on between Sanchez and Haynes, as well as the meetings between Sanchez and suspected drug lords,"he offers me a hand and pulls me off the ground, steadying me when I sway from dizziness," He gave us names, dates, places, but we're still going to need your testimony and whatever else you managed to dig up on Sanchez in order to have a solid case. We might also have enough evidence to question Allen Sanchez on his involvement with certain members of a gang. Cole also told us the details of his brother's murder and where you were being kept. You were reported missing almost two days ago," He smiles sheepishly and rubs the back of his neck, averting his eyes toward the ground,"I owe you an apology. It seems that you were right, and if I had taken you seriously this probably would've never happened."He drops his hand and looks at me gravely, "I just couldn't believe that Allen Sanchez had anything to do with it. He's done so much for the city, I couldn't see past my personal beliefs, and that was wrong."
He puts my arm around his shoulder and helps me walk out of the door, leaving behind the dark, depraved room. I feel the side of my mouth twitch upward in a small smile.
Exceedingly ignorant. Well, I suppose I can't really hold a grudge against the guy. He did manage to come and find me. With the help of a nineteen year old kid. I forgot Cole had a brother. I suppose now that Jason has spilled the beans, we really will be able to nail Sanchez for murder. I have to admit, I really thought I would be the one to find the source and final evidence, but for now I am satisfied with the knowledge that I got this case started up again, and Mia and Spencer's deaths won't be in vain. I should clean up as soon as possible. I need to get started on my article.