A man, about 30 with a receding hairline showing off more white hair than black hair, stood up and walked from the wreckage. He pocketed his hands.
"Well doctor... where's the cadaver?"
“Sorry about that, false call. She’s alive and gone.”
“Gone? I wanted a word with her.”
“Sorry, I didn’t have much choice in the matter. She just upped and left.”
The Detective nodded then looked around. “Curious this. There’s no accelerant, no starter. It’s as if it just caught fire by itself with no cause. Though I’ll have to wait for a deeper analysis from the fire crew though. I’d like to know what happened and my main witness is gone.” He glared then looked at the rubble further. “Bother.”
“She’s gone that way if you want to follow her.”
He smiled down to the doctor then walked that way. The doctor stood and walked to the other people, asking if they were okay.
NP “Excuse me!” Rachel stopped then spun around. “Hello, I’m Detective Sam Markham.” He showed his police badge. “I’d like to ask you about the fire.”
“Go ahead.” Rachel said, remaining still and tense.
“When did you return?”
“I was dropped off about … 2 hours ago.”
“I see, and you had lunch?”
“No, my family argued then I went out for some air. When I returned… the fire had started.” The detective wrote down some notes, reminding Rachel of Helen.
“Thank you. I’m sorry for your loss Miss.”
Rachel smiled then turned and walked off. The detective continued watching her then wrote down further notes.
NP Rachel walked to a shop and passed a motorbike. She stopped a few steps further on then looked back. It was a black motorbike with flames on the side. The keys were hidden in the top box, which Rachel cold see through, and it was full of petrol. She licked her lips then looked around and stepped back. The engine was warm, as if the engine had just been shut off. She placed her hand on the handles and slipped onto the seat after getting the key. As the engine roared into life Rachel smiled and accelerated off. The cars, people, animals and nature were blurring as she went faster and faster down the roads, swerving effortlessly out of the way of traffic or any other problems. She laughed with joy then braked and swerved the bike in a handbrake turn. Helen’s town was closer than she remembered so she drove off towards the house, being careful to only go at 30 although it felt a lot slower suddenly. She drove up then saw Helen and Richard talking in the corner while Honey played at the swings.
“Well I don’t care okay? Why go back now? It’s been three weeks since I last saw you and now you want to leave after 2 days?”
“I need to report the theft.”
“Oh yeah? And what about the attack on me huh?”
“Well I can’t say that, otherwise they’ll want to capture him.”
“They’d want to capture him anyway, to retrieve the papers.”Richard snapped. Rachel sighed then turned off the engine and walked slowly towards the arguing couple. “What’s so important about the papers anyway?”
“What’s so important about you?” They both went silent, Helen out of shock and Richard out of anger. Helen walked closer to him then looked to the floor. “I’m sorry, I’m under a lot of pressure lately.”
“The experiment and central? Well go ahead the and don’t come back, we’ve learnt to live without you.”
“Well you’ll have to if I leave. Central wants reports and I’ll need to work more.”
“Fine.” They remained where they were in silence.
NP Honey giggled as she jumped off the swing then looked around to see if her parents had seen. They hadn’t so she ran up. “I jumped off the swing mummy, daddy. Aren’t I clever?”
“Yes Honey you are.” Helen said with a smile.
“Well done sweetie, go on the horses now yeah?”
Honey nodded then laughed and went back but stopped. “Daddy? There’s a man watching us.”
Helen immediately walked up and put an arm around Honey’s shoulder. “Who are you?”
“I am Richard Whiteman’s assistant.” He called out. “I am Doctor Justin Henderson and I need a word.”
Helen nodded then looked at her watch. "Meet me in the café in ten minutes?”
“No, now. It is of the up most importance.” He held up a thick pile of papers. Helen tensed then sighed.
“Don’t leave them.” Rachel whispered. “Stay together.”
“Very well. Honey stay with dad.” She walked to the man.
Rachel shook her head then walked towards the two stationary family members. “I hope you don’t blame me for this.”
Honey turned then gave her a smile.
“No, it’s her work, it’s always her work.” Richard said then looked to Rachel. “You look burnt.”
She looked down t her clothing then chuckled.
“Got caught in a fire.”
“Are you hurt?”
“No I’m fine.” She said then looked to the two now small figures. “She isn’t in danger.”
“I know. She’s capable of looking after herself.”