Category Archives: abuse

Zenith of All Things (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first parts of this story line:  X-Folders and Yesterday’s Sorrows

Zenith

“Zenith of All Things”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Khazarian Rovas, ex police Inspector, awoke in the hospital with a splitting headache, woozy and disoriented for a moment. Knowing only he was laying down, Rovas raised his head. Bad move, as more pain shot through his head. Putting his head back down was almost as painful as when he raised it. The room was dark, the only light in the room was either emanating from the machinery near his head or seeping in from outside his room. Looking the other way he saw Berrak, sleeping, in a chair.

He coughed when he tried to call her name. She woke and immediately came to his side.

“Hi,” she said, running a hand through his hair on the left side. She saw him wince and moved her hand. “Would you like some water?”

Zarian nodded. He sipped some, started coughing again, drank some more. Berrak put it down and moved the chair closer. She left the room only to return with a nurse a few moments later. Berrak refused to leave as the nurse brought in her cart and  turned on all the lights. She took all his vitals down, entered everything into her computer, and asked her questions. She didn’t stay any longer than she had to, which suited both Zarian and Berrak.

Berrak walked over to the light switches, turning all but the light by the bathroom off. Closing the door, she sat down and took Zarian’s hand.

“Obviously I got hurt, but I don’t remember how.”

“What do you remember?”

“Peters had a knife up to one of the children’s throat. He nicked her with it. Is she all right?”

“Yes she is. They all are,” she squeezed his hand.

“Good. Peters put down his knife, picked up his rifle, and aimed it at me. He lost seconds when he tossed…”

“Aemilie. She’s 13.”

“He tossed Aemilie away and brought the rifle up. He knew the recoil: one handed and nothing to brace with, he’d have little to no chance. As it is, he got off two shots before I beaned him.

I had that moment between the tossing the girl and his training his sites on me to barely dodge the first bullet. As I went down I reached for a fairly hefty crystal candy dish…could I have some more water?”

Berrak brought the straw to his lips. He motioned it away after a few sips.

“I tossed the dish as hard as I could. It hit him in the chest with a satisfying thud. Peters staggered. I got to him as fast as I could, going for his knife. I turned…I turned…dammit, I don’t know what happened next.”

“I do, Zarian. The mother, Mrs. Frasier, told us what happened. She was cringing on the couch, trying to protect her children with her body, but she saw you throw her dish at Peters. Mrs. Frasier -Caroline- said as you grabbed the knife and turned, Peters fired one more time. He…clipped you on the side of the head, there.”

“Ah, that’s why the pain there.”

“Yes. It was a nasty looking wound. I thought you were dead when the police let me in. So much blood.” Berrak stopped, took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“And…?”

“And you fell, knife in both hands. You fell down on Peters, driving the knife into his chest. The police found you on top of him, blood all over the floor. Yes, before you ask, he’s dead.”

She brought his hand up to her lips and kissed it. He moved it out of her grip and cupped her face, sliding his thumb over her chin, her mouth.

“It’s over, Berrak. I wished he could have stood trial and rotted in jail, but…it’s over.”

She nodded, closing her eyes as his hand cupped her cheek.

She stayed all night by his side.

*****

EPILOGUE

Many hospital visitors later, they both returned home. Gil and Jill had organized a small “Welcome Home” party. Rovas was not a fan of surprise parties, but this one he tolerated with grace. Jill had brought Sara, her daughter. Tina, who had nicely recovered from her ordeal with Peters, brought a date.  Chief Inspector Oliver Dole was there, with his wife, as well as other friends from the force. Even Maggie and Pearl, who kept refusing the people food the others tried to slip her. Maggie allowed Pearl her treats. He was content with this crowd, but then the doorbell rang one more time.

The Palmonts arrived, all three children in tow. Berrak had gone to the door, ushered them in, and called Rovas over. They gathered around him, the parents shaking his hand. He got hugs from both Janice and April. The three of them shared some tears; the girls hugged Berrak as well, then went into the living room: they had noticed Sara.

Rovas’s arm was tugged on. It was Gerald. He beckoned to him with his finger. Rovas stooped down a little. Gerald went close to his ear, saying, almost in a whisper:”Thank you for stopping…him.” Rovas got another hug. He returned this just as fiercely.

Rovas sat on the couch, a cup of perfect coffee in his hand, made by Berrak, of course. Dole came over. He was congratulating and chastising him in the same breath, until his wife smacked him on the arm and made him promise to behave. This brought a round of laughs from all, more so from those who worked with him daily. Rovas was glad, later, that he kept to his promise.

Gil, with Jill in hand, came over and sat with Rovas. Berrak was talking with Tina and her plus one, Samuel. They went over to join Zarian.

As they sat, Gil hit himself in the head, smiling. “Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t…well, yes I can. It’s not like nothing else has been happening.”

“What, Gil?” asked Rovas.

Gil turned and looked at Tina. “I think we’ve found the man who killed…um…your friends,” he said, pointedly not looking at Samuel.

“He knows, Gil.” She took Samuel’s’ hands in hers. “Go on.”

“Well, while Inspector…um…Zarian,” he changed after a look from Rovas. “While he was recuperating, one of my inquiries into this Vic character came to my desk. In one of the books we found from the…woman of the house…there were numerous booking for a VG. So, I started searches for anyone named Vic or Victor with a surname starting with G. I finally got a hit, and I think it’s him. It took long enough, but…”

“And…?” Berrak asked, pushing Gil along.

“If this is the guy, his name is Victor Gilbride. I found him in the mental ward. Scarily, he was in the same high level ward that Peters had escaped from.” Gil shook his head.

“Victor had been in another…house…when he was arrested. He was with two girls and got rough with them. He left teeth marks, pretty bad ones, on one of the girls. They screamed, he was getting more violent, the madame threw the door open and tassed him.”

“Good for her. I wish Lily had one.”

“Yes, well, once he was in police custody, Victor went a little bat crazy.”

Everyone groaned.

“Yes, well…when they searched his home, they found more equipment like was left at the scene of the murders. Victor didn’t confess so much as relished his telling of why he did such a disgusting thing.”

“Gil, he drank the blood?” Rovas asked.

“Yes, and he got good and sick from it. Victor really thought he was a vampire- wait, I know, but according to the docs this is a syndrome. He was planning to do it again, he said. His biting was a kind of foreplay for him. The madame said she knew he did it, but it had been more restrained before that night.”

“Oh. Oh…wow. I just…I’m not really sure how I feel, Gil. Thank you.” Tina got up, nudged Jill slightly, and gave Gil a hug. She went back to sit by Samuel. “He’s not on the streets. Wow.”

They all smiled and relaxed.

The evening wound up early. Everyone knew Zarian needed his rest. They didn’t linger very long. He got many hugs and pats on the back, and some kisses on the cheek from Jill, Tina, and Janice, the oldest of the Palmont girls. Gerald stood in the doorway, looked him in the eye, and waved. Rovas waved back.

Alone, the two settled on their couch.

“I will clean up tomorrow, Zarian. I’m tired, and I know you are as well. It’s in your eyes.” She leaned her head on his shoulder. “All this horror is done with, now. I think I could sleep for a week.”

Zarian stroked her hair, closing his eyes, relaxing with her on the couch.

“Come,” she said after waking up from dozing off. “Bed time, for both of us.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too. Let’s go up.”

He took her hand as they both levered themselves off the couch. She turned off the light in the room and made their way to the stairs. Rovas stopped for a moment, looking into his darkened study, out the window.

Rovas noticed a silhouette of a man briskly walking away from their house, down the street, hands in his pockets, head cast down, fading down the street horizon.

He smiled, looked at Berrak, and headed upstairs for some much needed sleep.

The End

*************************************************

Well, that’s it…for now? I’m not sure if I’ll return to this or not. There are a few other story lines I like (Devil’s Diary; The Kitsune Mochi; The Abysmal Dollhouse) that I’d like to re-explore, as well as an idea for a novel that has been floating around the vast emptiness of my mind, one that sets foot in the urban paranormal vein. I need a couple of days off of just vegging. Then…we’ll see.

I’m supposed to have a Reflection Post up sometime in May, say the Masters of the A to Z. I will get to that, and announce the date as soon as I firm it down.
There is still plenty of time to check out blogs from the A to Z Blog Challenge. Click on the banner below. It will take you to their home page. Or, click HERE to go to the A to Z Challenge list.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

Thank you for coming by. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, mistakes and all. As I said awhile back, I consider this my “First Draft”, which kinda sorta means I might pull this out and rework it a bit down the road.

Anyone want to be my editor? Beta Reader? Cannoli maker?

Comments, likes, and outpouring of love and gratitude is always welcome.  🙂

 

Witch’s Moon (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first part of this story line: Venus Ascending

Witch

“Witch’s Moon”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros sat uneasily on the couch. He had come straight from work, filing the information he had gathered in the last few days. Mr. Palmont was recovering from the attack by John Peters; so far, no new sightings of the fugitive were at hand. He informed Rovas that the boy, Gerald, started to relax when he was assured that his father was not going to die. Mrs. Palmont agreed to interviewing the boy when Gerald could.

Across from him sat Berrak Rovas and her niece, Kristina. Tina, he kept having to remind herself, which she did every time he called her by her full name. Gil still felt guilty about holding back the story of her niece, and, more so, the information about the girl herself. Berrak was holding Tina’s hands; Rovas was behind him, leaning against the wall by the window.

“Tina, please, I know this is hard, but the Sargent Detective needs…”

“Gil. I’ve always called him Gil.”

He sighed. “Fine. Gil…please tell him what you told us.” He nodded at Gil, who had his notepad and pen out. Tina took a deep breath in, held it, and let it out slowly.

Tina had been aware of the man who committed the murders. The other girls in the house did keep her away from him. Lily, the madame, told her he liked it rough and, knowing that Tina wasn’t up for any of that, tried to make sure she stayed out of sight. It didn’t always work out, although it should have. He had a set schedule: he always made a reservation for the night of a full moon.

One night, she got bored, and hungry, in the attic while he was there. Thinking he’d be occupied by this point, she snuck downstairs to make tea and a snack. He was sitting in the parlor playing with Elise’s hair, her fingers in his mouth. It looked like he was biting on them.

“The red head was Elise, yes?

Tina nodded and continued. She shivered a bit as she told them of the way this john looked her up and down. He tried to call her over, but Lily interceded by catching his attention. Tina ran upstairs; she got a huge lecture from everyone the next day.

“Did his name ever come up?”

“They called him Vic. That’s all. No last name.”

“I made another mistake one other time: I had to go…y’know. The bathrooms were downstairs, and I couldn’t wait. He saw me that time as I came out of the attic door. I looked, but…they had just come up the stairs as I…” she was getting excited and tried to calm herself down. “Elise rushed him into her room and closed the door. Fast and loud.”

Gil looked at her, then Berrak, who was, at this point, staring at him. Rovas interjected: “Tina, I know this is not easy. I do understand why you did not tell us this before,” keeping to himself “but I wish you had, dammit.”

“What about that night?” Gil prodded.

“Yeah. I was warned he was going to be there, Elise again. His favorite. Lily threatened me to stay out of sight. I was in my room, reading, when Lily came in with a tray of tea. She didn’t want me going downstairs for anything.”

“Gil, yes, the only prints we found were the unknown ones, which we believe came from Tina. It seems Lily liked to play the madame part to the hilt, like in an old time brothel. White gloves and all. We found the garments scattered around, but it wasn’t outright obvious at the time.”

Tina nodded. “Anyways, she left the tea, closed the door, and I poured myself a cup. Next thing I know I was in the back seat of your car with the two of you up front. Didn’t mean to scare  you with my screams, but…”

Gil smiled at that memory. It took awhile to calm her down.

“All right, well. Vic, most likely Victor. I’ll have to go have a look at her records. There were a list of initials, with code for what the repeaters liked; thanks to your deciphering what they meant. I’ll look to see if we can get at least the initial of the last name out of this and take it from there.”

“Gil, if you need any help…”

“Yes, Inspector,” he smiled again. “I think I can manage this. We may have a break in this after all. Tina, I want to get a sketch artist with you, see if you can give us something more we can use.”

She nodded, getting up as Gil did. She was giving him a hug. Rovas moved away from the wall and crossed the window.

A bullet shattered through the window.

Berrak screamed.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1300 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Venus Ascending (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Venus

“Venus Ascending”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Facing truths can be difficult; no matter how hard we try to push some away, the dark ones are sometimes the hardest to contain. Coming from the hospital, after Zarian called to set up the meeting, the ride over was tense. It remained that way even entering the apartment. Berrak, with Zarian by her side, sat facing her niece, Kristina. Her eyes were glistening from the held in tears. Kristina was leaning back as far as she could.

“So, you’re my aunt. Huh. Can’t say it’s nice to really meet you.”

“Kristina!” Rovas growled.

“Tina. Tina, not Kristina. Kristina is then.”

“Tina,” Berrak said, “I’m sure this isn’t easy for you. I only just found out about you; believe me, this is just unsettling for me as well. I am so angry at my brother for hiding you from me, us.”

“I’m not too fond of ‘dad’ myself. Only good thing out of all this was ‘Uncle’ Zarian here.” She half smiled a nod his way.

Berrak turned and looked at her husband at the use of his nickname. He shrugged. “She called me that after I told her my name, our connection. Not my doing.”

“It’s more natural. The ‘K’ is kinda harsh sounding.” She pointed to herself. “So, no more ‘Kris’, less harsh me. No more ‘Kha”, and the Inspector becomes…”

“Less harsh and easier to relate to,” Berrak nodded. “I’ve called him Zarian ever since our first date.”

An uncomfortable silence fell over all three of them. Berrak looked around the tiny apartment. Kristina…Tina, she would have to remember…had simply decorated in various shades of blue and white. It was calming, she thought.

Tina picked up her soda pop bottle, took a swig, and looked directly at Berrak. “OK; we’re here. You met me. What do you really want?”

Berrak was at first taken aback by her niece’s hostility, but that morphed into her own anger. She looked at Rovas. “I’d like a few moments alone with Tina, Zarian. Please.”

Rovas looked at both women: defiance radiating from one, the other determination. He got up from the table. “I’ll…take a look around outside. Make sure no one followed us.” He bent over, kissed Berrak’s cheek, and then patted Kristina on the shoulder as he made his way to the apartment door. It quietly snicked closed behind him.

“He’s a good man,” Tina said, anger abated. “I really haven’t met many good men, before. I’m…sorry.”

“Yes, he is a good man. A very good man. And, it’s all right. This is all so out of nowhere. All I really want is to get to know you. You’re family.” She stopped and tilted her head. “You do look like him a little. Your father, I mean. Nose area, eyes. Berk was stupid, what he did. He just…”

“Made a mistake?” Tina’s defiance was back up.

“No. You are not a mistake. He was a bit too self centered. As much as he wanted to protect his wife from any pain, from what Zarian told me, Berk was protecting himself much, much more. He was like that as a child. I had hoped that had changed when he got older. He cared about appearances.”

Tina nodded, turning away when some tears started to fall.

Berrak reached across and took Tina’s left hand in her right. Tina squeezed Berrak’s hand, closing her eyes, her head downcast.  Khazarian called, telling Berrak he’d be in the coffee shop across the street. The two women talked, getting to know each other, breaking through barriers on one side while a bond was beginning to form for both.

Through Zarian help, and Gil’s, Tina managed to stay clean. She attended meetings, finished her GRE’s, and had been admitted to a community college. Sadly, her mother passed away a year ago. This brought a new set of tears-on both sides-as Tina related her teenage years, problems with her mother, barely acknowledging her father the few times he reached out to her.

This brought them to her drug use and turn to prostitution. Tina had little to say, except that she owed Lilly a debt for taking her off the streets. Tears flowed again, and Berrak sensed, in Tina’s reluctance to continue, that there was something more to be gleamed.

She got up and walked to the other side of the table, sitting next to Tina. She pulled her close; Tina’s head rested on her shoulder, which was getting slightly soggy.

“Tina, do you remember anything about that night?” she asked, as gently as she could.

Picking her head up and wiping away the tears with her left hand, she shook her head no. Yet, Berrak felt Tina’s whole body shaking.

“Tina, something has been bothering me. If the other girls and the madame were protecting you from this…deviant…When Zarian and Gil removed you from the house, they also moved the tea service to the kitchen. So many things they did wrong by the law, for you.

The thing is, the tea service was also checked by the crime team. It had been wiped clean like the others, except for unknown prints: yours, I assume. If the others hid him from you, why was your tea service devoid of other prints?”

Tina started another flow of tears, bringing her legs up under her chin, her forehead on her knees. “I, I…couldn’t…I couldn’t tell…please. Stop. Please.” They both sat quietly, Berrak continuing to hold onto her niece.

“What couldn’t you tell? Your mother?” Tina shook her head. Berrak held back her own shudder. “Zarian?”

Tina nodded.

Berrak got up and walked to the window that was facing the street. She took out her cell phone.

“Zarian, come up…now. Yes, it’s important. I think our Tina has something she’d like to tell us.”

She watched as he came out of the coffee shop and walked across the road. Once he entered the building, she turned around and faced Tina. Her eyes were wide, swollen but dry. She blinked a few times, and looked up at Berrak.

“I saw the man who killed the others. I saw the man who was going to kill me.”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1300 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Unbridled Fury (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**The first parts of this story line: Red Canvas, Still Life in Scarlet, and Tea and Soliciting

Unbrideled

“Unbridled Fury”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Berrak was in the back seat of the car while Gil drove. Khazarian at first insisted she sit up front, but she refused three times. He had tried to join her in the back, but she wanted the space, as much space three people in a sedan could afford. Rovas sat up front, drumming his fingers on the door rest. She needed to think.

The house offered nothing new to any of them. No clues, which no one expected, but especially no new insight. It was frustrating to her on so many levels. She understood why Zarian kept the secret of her late brother’s child, Kristina the product of an affair Berk had had while still married to Eva. She was mad at Berk and upset with Zarian, with feelings of anguish for a niece she did not know until that day she had.

Gil’s phone rang. Rovas clicked it on and held it up for Gil to hear. “Could you hold on,” Gil’s face whitened, “Sir, put it on speaker.” Rovas did. “OK, please repeat what you said. Inspector Rovas is in the car with me.”

Gil put his foot down on the pedal while Chief Inspector Dole grudgingly, Rovas heard in his voice, said: “John Peters tried to kidnap the Palmont boy again. The boy’s father is on his way to the hospital; Mr. Palmont had picked Gerald up from school. Peters was waiting by the car with a gun. He tried to snatch the boy but Mr. Palmont rushed him. The gun went off in the melee. Gerald broke free and ran to the school as the school guard and other parents were running towards the scene. Peters fled.”

“We’re on our way back,” Rovas told Dole. “How bad is it for the father?”

“Not good, I’m afraid. A lot of blood loss, but one of the parents on the scene was an EMT. She was able to help until the ambulance showed.”

“What school again?” Gil asked. After the Chief Inspector read off the information again Rovas hung up. “Damn,” Gil muttered.

“What, Gil?” Berrak asked, still leaning over the front seat, her arm around her husband.

“The EMT. I’ll bet you it was Jill. Her daughter goes to that school. I knew the Palmont’s moved for protection, but I didn’t know which schools.”

The car flew on the road. Inside, all three were alone in their thoughts.

*****

After checking the scene at the school, Rovas wanted to go to the hospital to talk with Mr. Palmont. Jill was there when they arrived; she was with her daughter, Sara, and Mrs. Palmont and her children. Gil went over to them, getting a hug from Jill and a “mooommmm” from Sara. Rovas and Berrak briefly spoke with Mr. Palmont, then checked in with Janice and April. Gerald was curled up in a knot and pressed against his mother. She shook her head: it was not the time for questioning.

Gil said he would follow as Rovas and Berrak went to find Mr. Palmont. Berrak stopped outside of the room, holding onto her husband’s arm.

“When this is done, I want you to promise me something.”

He nodded.

“I want to meet Kristina.”

“Berrak, I don’t think…”

“That is the problem: in this instance, you weren’t thinking. I want…no, I will meet with Kristina.”

Rovas looked at her, arguing within himself. Looking in her eyes, he could only nod.

They went into the room hand in hand.
*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Queen’s Gambit (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

** To read the first parts of this story line: Offending Elm and  Perhaps the Dog

Queen

“Queen’s Gambit”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian

The next few days were a whirlwind of activity. The skeletal body of David Sosenko was thoroughly examined. It was determined, by the damage done to a few of his ribs, that he had been shot three times, close up. The dog tags led them to his life: his mother had looked for him when he disappeared, as did the army. The report filed listed him missing almost exactly twenty-one years ago. If this was related to the woman in the tree, and Rovas felt the two were connected, they finally had a time frame. It was time to connect the dots.

Mrs. Sosenko died ten years before. “A weakened heart that finally gave out,” said her long time neighbor. “She never stopped hoping David would come back. He was the light of her life.” Gil brought Rovas and Berrak up to speed, stopping in for coffee and debriefing. There were no other relatives that mattered. Second or third cousins, so far removed from the family. They checked, but came back with nothing notable.

“Gil, what are you not telling me, um, us?” Rovas asked, watching Gil play with his cup but not drinking.

“Dole,” he said. “Chief Inspector Dole is a little…irritated that you’ve been…involved in these things.”

“Involved, or did he say ‘sticking his damn nose into things that he shouldn’t?'”

Gil held back a laugh, but smiled. “Close enough. He’d like to have a word with you, and soon.” He turned to Berrak. “I’m sorry, but he was very specific that he spoke only with Inspector Rovas.”

Berrak nodded in understanding. She still took Zarian’s hand in hers, squeezing gently to ground him and hope he would not get too angry.

“Gil, we have some information ourselves. We were just going to call you with it just as you drove into our driveway. Zarian?”

“Since we found out that Sosenko was listed as AWOL, Berrak tracked down some members from his unit, as well as his C.O. We,” he nodded towards his wife, “may have a lead on the girl. David had a few close friends and with the help of the CO, who is still serving, we tracked them down and spoke to them on the phone. No one had believed David Sosenko would have ever disappeared on his own. He had been well respected by leader and peer.”

“Yes, we found that out as well.”

“Ah, but Berrak went a different route with his best friend Phillip. He was reluctant at first-we had him on speaker phone-he gave up one secret that he had held back all these years: David was in love with a non-Jewish girl. Her name was Merry, or Meredith. Her parents, especially her mother, was vehemently against their seeing each other. When Merry could they met privately, away from where she lived.

Phillip did not know her last name nor where they met. Sosenko never volunteered the information, and Philip never asked. The only thing he mentioned was he was in love with Merry from Magic County. Called her Merry Magic. He was just happy for his friend, and worried at the same time.”

“Worried?”

“The mother threatened him one time with a gun, aimed at his head.”

Gil called the station to check with police in Magic County; small as it was, he didn’t think he’d have to do a wide search for a missing Meredith, as long as their data was up to date. While they were looking, Berrak was on the home computer looking up town records and their local newspaper morgue. Rovas paced back and forth between the kitchen and his study, listening in on one end, looking over a shoulder on the other.

Gil yelled out “Got it!” at just about the same time Berrak found a likely Meredith.

“Müller; Meredith Müller. She was never reported missing by her parents. Last known records for her had her as a graduate of Magic High School,” he beamed at that name.

“She had a job at the newspaper right out of college, a receptionist,” Berrak added. “She was only there a short time before she just never appeared again. The editor I spoke to had known her from school. He never thought she’d just leave like that.”

Rovas got on the phone with the Magic police. He got answers almost immediately to his questions and wrote them down. “Small communities,” he said as he clicked off on his cell. “The parents are still alive. Let’s go-now.”

“Zarian, why the rush?” she asked, grabbing a light jacket on the way out.

“Mrs. Müller is in the hospital. Terminal ward.”

******

Gil had to use his badge to get him past the nurses desk. It took a little bit more persuasion for the nurse to allow  his “consultants” to join them. Upon entering the slightly darkened room, they noticed an older man sleeping in a chair next to a wizened looking woman. Rovas noticed that she was hooked up to the monitors and had two IV lines going in. He was sure the pain medication dose was high, but the woman in the bed still looked drawn out.

Mrs. Müller looked in their direction. “What the hell do you want? Who are you?” Her voice was a harsh rasp, and Berrak took a step closer to Rovas.

Rovas explained who they were, and why they came.

“Get out! Get OUT!” she screamed, waking up the man, who tried to calm her down without much success. He was asking what this was all about when the nurse came in, fussing at the trio for upsetting her patient. Just before she got them 100% out of the room, and as she was closing the door, Rovas said: “Mr. Müller…we have news about your daughter.”

He walked over and opened the door, letting them all back in. He inclined his head to Rovas, who began to tell him what they had found: the body in the tree, the yellow fabric and gold ring, and then the body of David Sosenko.

“That Jew bastard,” came a weakened voice from the bed. Mrs. Müller was glaring at them all, but especially at Rovas. “I warned him-and her-that I was not going to allow my daughter to marry a kike! I warned them, both of them.”

Mr. Müller went over to his wife. “Katie, what did you do? What did…”

“I did what you wouldn’t have. I put an end to it. I followed her to those woods. She had on her Sunday best dress, that yellow taffeta that you both liked so much on her. She and that hebe were kissing by a tree…hell, I warned them. I snuck up on them…” she went into a coughing fit for a few moments. Her husband gave her the drink of water she demanded.

“I snuck up on them, yanked her out of his dirty hands, raised the gun and fired into his Jew heart. Bam! Down he went.”

“What about Merry?”

“She was wailing and screaming like a banshee. I turned around and hit her in the mouth with the gun to shut her up. She fell, but still moaning and bitching away. I told her to stop making noise. She didn’t listen, like she never listened to me. I hit her a few more times with the gun grip. I stopped when she stopped.”

Gil broke the silence that followed. “Her teeth?”

“Picked ’em up and put them in my pocket.”

“And…?”

“Buried that bastard. Got the shovel from the truck and dug as deep as I could. Tired me out. I wasn’t gonna toss my girl into any grave with a hebe. That’d be just what they would have wanted. I put her over my shoulder, but I couldn’t carry her no more. Dragged her to that Elm you found her in. I was resting against it, put my hand to the trunk buy my hand plunged in a ways. I checked and saw there was enough room for her…and it was far enough away from him.

Her dress tore as I grunted her into the tore. Before I was finished, I noticed that there was something on her ring finger. A gold band. A Goddamned gold band. That little bitch had married that Jew!! I tore up her dress and shoved it and the ring in her toothless mouth!”

No one asked her why she was telling them now. It was plain the woman had little time left.

Mr. Müller asked if he could have a word with his wife, alone. They left the room, Berrak closing the door behind her. She went over to Rovas, needing him to hold her. Gil was on his phone with the local police, asking for someone to come over and take Mrs. Müller’s statement, when the nurse rushed out of her station to the Müller room.

Rovas and Berrak arrived right after the nurse, Gil on their heels. What they saw stayed with Berrak for a very long time.

Mr. Müller was standing over his wife, tears streaming down his face. He held the pillow that had been under his wife’s head. The monitor above her bed recorded her death.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Love Her Madly (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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Author’s Note: I must apologize. If you read the previous entry, Kaleidoscope Eyes, I made an error in regards to confidentiality issues with women’s health. No one brought it to my attention; it was just a realization later in the day. It has been edited and, I hope, makes more sense. Most importantly, that it does not trivialize a very sensitive issue.

**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first and second part of this story line, click on: Jane’s Addictive and then Kaleidoscope Eyes

 

Love

“Love Her Madly”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Seven years ago, five people in their 20’s died of a drug overdose. The deaths were cut and dried, but who called it into 911 remained a mystery until now. Aimee confessed her part in that night, but Rovas felt there was still something more. While SD Katsaros took Ms. Andersson to the station for her to write out her part in that evening, Rovas and Berrak went home to dig deeper into Edward White, the one who, Aimee claimed, brought the lethal drug to the “meditation” party.

At first glance, little was to be gleamed from what was online. Berrak went online searching. When she found something of interest, she’d pass that information to Zarian. He would follow it up with phone calls when he could. For the next few hours this continued. They felt they were getting somewhere when Gil called them, asking them both to come down to the station.

When they arrived, Gil led them to his office and closed the door.

“What couldn’t you tell us on the phone, Gil?,” Berrak asked. “We have an idea, but…what did Aimee say now?”

Gil brushed his hand through his hair and sat back in his chair. “Aimee is the queen of omissions. Yes, she was involved with Robert Larsen, was best friends with his sister, called 911 and left. Yet, she neglected to tell us that she knew Edward White a lot more than just as one of Robert’s grad school friends.”

“Were they…,” Berrak asked.

“No, although according to her, he wanted it to be.”

Rovas interjected: “That seems to mesh with the few things we were able to find out. I made some calls to his parents, his sister, and though reluctant to bring it up after so long, they shared little tidbits. I was able to get his parents to speak to me on speaker. They were closed about his drug use, especially the father. Mrs. White  started to talk about it. ‘We thought all that was behind him’ she began, before her husband shushed her. They ended the call soon after that.

I finally reached his sister. She confirmed that her brother was a heavy drug user in his teens, but he got clean. She thought he had stayed that way. She did give us something new: “Eddy was really upset. He really liked this girl, but he said she really didn’t like him. She told him so, that bitch.” Rovas closed his notepad. “I asked her if she knew who that girl was, but she said no.”

“Aimee,” both Berrak and Gil said at the same time.

“Yes, Aimee. She initially “forgot” to mention that to us. She finally filled in many of the blanks that were missing once we got her here. Robert Larsen ‘pushed’ White on her. She felt this was a way ‘Bobby’ was trying to distance himself from her. He asked her out a number of times; she said no every time. Aimee said that just a few days before the incident, she…told him off in an unflattering way. She loved ‘Bobby’ and only wanted him. She told him to get lost, in much harsher terms.”

“Damn!,” muttered Rovas. “White brought the drugs, which she said was not the norm. Gil, Berrak, this was a murder/suicide. It had to be. Edward White wanted revenge against both Robert and Aimee, and to hell with whoever else fell by the wayside. Gil, he may have a a sealed record as a juvenile drug offender.”

Gil nodded, making a note to look into this.

“But, there were five bodies, and each one seemed to have their own roach,” Berrak queried.

“Aimee admitted that Edward gave her one and kept insisting that she light up, but she hesitated simply because of the way he was acting. He and the others were already on their way. She just put the…ahem…roach in her pocket and forgot all about it when the others started reacting to the pure heroin that White mixed in.”

Rovas looked at his wife. “Roach?” He had a smile, and shook his head.

“I am hipper than you know, Mr. Rovas.” She sat there with a Mona Lisa smile while the men chuckled.

“He meant to kill her along with the others, but Aimee’s refusal squashed that.” Rovas sighed. He turned to Berrak as Gil left to get them some coffee.

“What will happen to Aimee?,” Berrak asked her husband.

“It’ll be up to the courts to decide.”

They left soon after they sipped at the coffee.

It was almost a week later when Gil called them. Rovas spoke to him. Berrak noticed he tensed up, his hand going white gripping the receiver. He hung up with a curse.

“I don’t believe this. You won’t believe this.”

“What? Zarian, what has you so upset?”

He sat down and took her hands in his. “John Peters escaped from the mental ward on his way to jail.”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Inquiries (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Impulsive2

“Inquiries”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The tiny caskets were lowered into the earth. The entire Palmont family was there; Gerald was holding both his parents hands, while Janice and April held each other, slightly apart from their mother and father. Berrak was standing off to the side, towards the back, while others gathered around, the first to the grave site trying to touch or hug the girls. Most still didn’t understand Janice and April’s avoidance at the chapel: here, the rebuffs left nothing to misunderstanding.

As the mourners were leaving in small clumps, Berrak gathered herself to join them. She noticed that Janice was staring at her. Neither of them moved for a moment, Janice did a small wave to Berrak, then looked to her parents, then to April. Berrak caught her eyes one more time. She nodded and left.

Khazarian had stayed at home. He felt that he had done all he could do for the girls. The case closed. The funeral, in his opinion, was for them to come together again as a family. He was not part of that process. Berrak disagreed, so she went while sat at his desk, looking over the notes he was adding to the Palmont children’s file. Plus, the file notes about their abductor/rapist, John Peters. Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros had called early in the morning, bringing him up to speed on the proceedings.

John Peters was ex-military, a fact Berrak fathomed by the way Peters held himself while they were in his kitchen. “His posture was stiff, and he clasped his hands tightly about his back,” she said. “I’d be surprised if he didn’t have a military background.” She was right, of course. Each turn of events with his wife left an ever growing sense of respect for her, even with a high regard to begin with.

What he was loathe to tell her was that Peters’ lawyer had him plead not guilty, by way of PTSD. An insanity plea. Khazarian shook his head when Gil told him, this, noting the anger in Gil’s voice over the phone. At this point, Peters was locked up in a secure mental ward, undergoing psychiatric examination to either support or deny any of this. His military file was sealed. Both of them were extremely curious about that, but there was no way they could get that information. It would be on the shoulders of the prosecutor.

There had nothing in their data system about Peters. He had no arrests, no outstanding tickets, and nothing more than an expired meter ticket from three years prior. Bank statements came up clean. There was nothing that outwardly appeared unusual.

That is what gnawed at Rovas. Psychopaths walked among them, he knew all too well.

Rovas completed updating the files, copying down all that the Sargent Detective shared with him. He had a light bite and returned to the study, looking over the files to other cases on the desk. Berrak returned soon after.

“How was it?”

“Dreary. Dreadful. A funeral.” She sat facing him. “Why is it worse when it’s children?” Pausing, not waiting for an answer. “I know, I know. I know all of the usual reasons, the life ahead never happening. This…this was just compounded by what Janice and April-and Gerald-went through.”

Khazarian got up, knelt in front of her, and gave her a hug. He held her until she stopped crying. She gave him a kiss. He patted her back and returned to his chair.

“Zarian, got your shirt wet,” she said as she wiped her face dry with a tissue.

“It’s not the first time. If that is the worst…”

“I know.” Berrak took in the stack of folders on the desk, noticing one was open, some of the papers flipped over. “Is that…”

“No. The Palmont case is closed. I’ll tell you later about what I gathered from Gil about John Peters.” They both involuntarily twitched at that name, he in his shoulder, she in her face. “This file, well, this one does not involve any children.”

He pushed it over to her. Berrak took it, turned it right side up, and began to read.

“Really? Lacing marijuana with Heroin? Why is this…oh. Five deaths.” Looking up, she continued. “Obviously, you didn’t find the one, or ones, who did this. Do you think we could find something after…” she checked “…seven years?”

“Read on,” Rovas answered.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Hour Lives (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the beginning:  From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Hour

“Hour Lives”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Rovas was not surprised by what was unearthed in the hours after the Palmont children were freed. The hospital results were what he feared: Janice, April, and Gerald, had all been sexually abused. Gerald was essentially mute, only making those same small noises as he made when rescued. Janice and April were afraid of any touch at this point; the seemingly endless numbers of medical staff probing them, and police questioning, was to much for both girls. When their parents arrived and went to hug them the girls cringed away from them, fear plastered on their faces. The joy that Mr. & Mrs. Palmont entered the hospital room was quickly overturned.  She was in hysterics,  while her husband stiffened up, only placing his hand on the small of his wife’s back as she floundered. This was a private scene of devastation, and Rovas was not one for empty platitudes.

Leaving the hospital, he did not know, then, that there was more to come.

Rovas and Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros sat drinking coffee in the Rovas kitchen. Berrak joined them and sat quietly while the men sipped away. Rovas had made the coffee; neither was happy with that fact, and Berrak knew better.

“Even with a lawyer present, Peters was pretty open about the events. Finding the children tied up as we did, he had little to skate around,” Gil presented, taking out his note pad, not wanting to forget any detail, as if he could. “We have him on kidnapping, illegal imprisonment, child endangerment, and…there are more charges to come. I came here as soon as I could.

Gerald was ‘his boy, his good boy’. That was why we only saw him at the beach. Peters did not take Gerald out of the house until a few years after the abduction. He wasn’t, in Peters’ words, ‘a good boy yet…but he learned.’ I’ll spare you both the details of that. Makes me ill to have just heard him say that.”

“What of the girls? What did he say about them?,” Rovas asked.

“Not much. To him, the girls were useless. Ill behaved, causing trouble. He originally had them in the third bedroom, but he soon built his…his cage system in the attic. Gerald was easier to contain, being only 4 at the time. Tie him up, boom. Done. He used Janice and April for housework when they weren’t locked upstairs.”

Gil looked at Berrak before continuing.

“I know.”

Gil nodded, and went on.”He raped them. Continuously.  Both girls, and the boy shows signs of it as well, but nothing recent. What a sick bastard. Ha.” Gil shook his head.” That doesn’t even need to be said, does it?”

Gil paused, staring at his notebook. He shut it, eyes still downcast. Rovas could feel there was more. Before Gil closed the book, he noticed more writing.

“What aren’t you telling us?”

Gil looked up, first as Rovas, then Berrak, then back to Rovas. He sighed. “This came out a bit ago. You probably had left the hospital already. Um…”

“What?” Berrak leaned towards him, her nails digging into her napkin.

Pausing before he answered, Gil grew very quiet when he said: “Both girls had given birth. They think Janice…more than once.”

Berrak closed her eyes. Rovas nodded unhappily. “There was nothing in the attic or the bedrooms to suggest there were babies there.”

Berrak’s eyes startled open. “Oh, oh no…Gerald. When we found the boy…remember Zarian? He kept looking out the window. He kept looking out, to the back yard.”

“We found the remains of two of the babies soon after this news came to light. Peters said nothing where they were when we confronted him, but he didn’t deny any of it. ‘Back yard’ was all he said. If there was a third, we didn’t find it on this go around.” Gil felt exhausted at this point. “So, statutory rape and murder charges will be added.”

They talked for a bit more, the “whys” and “how did he get away with this” all still to be discovered. Gil finally excused himself, thanked them, hugged Berrak briefly, and left.

Berrak and Rovas were in their case room nee study. They were taking down all the papers they had tacked up on the bulletin boards, and Berrak finished by wiping clean the white board. She was reluctant to erase the children’s names, but she eventually did.

They sat in stony silence for awhile. Rovas put all the paperwork into the open file that started all this. He put it in the bottom drawer of his desk.

“We need to get a file cabinet in here,” Berrak offered.

“Why?”

She nodded to the other case files on the right side of the desk.

“Oh.” he said. A sad smile. “Yes.”

“But not today.”

“No, not today.” he placed his hand on top of the pile. ” We’ll take a look another day. Today, let’s take care of ourselves.”

She smiled, went over to him, leaned down, and they kissed.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Gables Conceal (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**Please read Delicate Decisions and Easy Pickings and Frayed Knot before reading this chapter

**To start from the beginning, go to From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Gables

“Gables Conceal”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Darkness does not have to wait for the sun to set. There are too many examples of atrocities we, humans, have done and continue to do unto others. Something beautiful can mask wickedness. It does not have to be outwardly frightening to house evil.

Judge Ackerman had owed Inspector Rovas a large favor. A case involving some questionable people, drugs, and his daughter seemed to leave his daughter unmentioned went put into the data base. Rovas knew he was bending the rules: breaking rules, more like it. But, the girl was on the outside looking in. She just got caught with her head through the window. She’s remained scandal  clean since then.

Feeling uncomfortable, the judge was reluctant to issue a warrant to search the house and property of John Peters. Speaking to Gil, but Rovas knew it was directed to him: “You know these photos will not be admissible if this goes to trial. We don’t know if those children were or were not the Palmont children. You have suspicions, most likely accurate, but there is no physical proof.”

Berrak had been fuming already, wishing they had charged in to get the children earlier. Rovas took a firm stance against that, and Gil halfheartedly agreed. Now, in front of a waffling judge, she was ready to scream. Rovas felt this and tried to cut it off, for their sake. He knew the judge would react like this.  They had no other legal choice, even if the true legality was on the razor’s edge. He did not want to go to any length that could potentially set free Peters, if he was as guilty as Rovas believed.

“The boy and girl appear to be the right age for the middle and youngest Palmont child. There are similarities in their hair coloring and contours of their faces, adding in these five years since they were last photographed. I believe that these are those children, and that…man, are the ones we’ve sought. There is no record of either child in any form. They are not registered in any of the local schools under the name Peters. None that fit their descriptors. This is not pure conjecture.” Rovas leaned forward in his chair towards the judge. “If we don’t find a reason to get into that house, I can’t see how we will find anything out-right or wrong.”

Berrak spoke up, having calmed down enough, for her. “Judge Ackerman, I am not one for breaking the law, but if this man is the one who took the Palmont children, and these are at least two of them, we owe it to them and their parents to rescue them and return them home.” Pausing, looking to see if the Judge was leaning towards their arguments-he wasn’t-she gave them all a way to end this quagmire. “I did forget to mention to you, and I see Khazarian and the good Sargent Detective Katsaros forgot as well,” chagrined looks from the two compelled her to continue, “…that while we were strolling along that day we heard some awful noise from the vicinity of that house. The Sargent Detective told us to stay on the sidewalk while he investigated. No one came to the door when he called out, so he went around to the back of the property where he again heard that noise. Again, no one answered his knocks. I’m surprised the neighbors have not complained about that noise, if it’s repeated frequently.”

“Mrs. Rovas…

“Berrak, please.”

“Hmph…Berrak, what, in your estimate, made this horrible ruckus?”

“Well, it sounded like children being very, very upset. More scared, really.”

Berrak had been fuming already, wishing they had charged in to get the children yesterday. Rovas took a firm stance against that, and Gil halfheartedly agreed. They knew.

“Hmph…extreme noise.” He shook his head. “Children not attending school.  Potential child endangerment.” The judge finished and signed the warrant. “Here. Sargent Detective?”

“Sir.”

“By the book, Gil. By. The. Book. If this is what you think it is, I want no mistakes.”

Rovas and Gil both said “Neither do we” at the same time. Berrak gave a half smile.

“Let’s get to it, then,” she said.

***********

John Peters was reluctant to let them in, even after Gil presented him with the search warrant. He introduced the Rovas’ as consultants to the police. It was Rovas belief that no one would question anything like that, after all the police procedural shows on television. He was right. Peters didn’t even seem to blink an eye at them. He was more fixated on the Sargent Detective. Gil and Rovas led the way into the house. Berrak fell in behind Peters, observing every detail of the man as she could.

“He is certainly tall and blond,” she thought.” Standing in the front room, while Gil and Rovas took in the details of the room,  she took in the details of his features. She noticed his large forehead, deep set eyes, hawk nose, and thin mouth. A chin that was barely noticeable. A few drops of sweat beaded his brow. As Gil questioned Peters about the house and it’s contents, she noticed that Peters put his hands behind his back. Moving slightly, she saw that Peters was clenching his hands. Very tightly.

They explored the front room, the hall closet, and then went down to the basement. With nothing out of the ordinary, they ignored Peters attempts to get them to leave, that there was nothing they would find, that he would call a lawyer. Gil pointed at the warrant each time. “Take it up with the judge,” he said, hoping he was throwing said judge under a bus.

From the basement, the next space they went to, with some overt reluctance from Peters, was the kitchen in the back of the house. The three of them stopped just past the doorway and stared. Rovas walked over to the back door, leading out to the back yard. Berrak, as with the rest of the search, stayed back by the kitchen entrance. All three looked up at the rope, hanging from what looked like a library rolling ladder rack that extended around the entire room.

“What do you make of this, Mr. Peters?” Rovas asked. “What could this possibly be for, in a kitchen, of all places. You are certainly tall enough to reach the top of the cabinets. And this,” he pointed towards the rope, “has very little to do with reaching any heights outside of a gymnasium.”

Gil had gone to knee and was examining the rope coiled around the floor. “Inspector,” he said, wincing at the mistake. “Mr. Rovas, there appears to be droplets along the tail end of this rope, knots and all. Dark, dry.” Gil rose. “This looks like old blood, Mr. Peters. Care to explain all this?”

Before Berrak could react, Peters spun and tried to get by her, getting tangled instead. His right arm wrapped around her neck, cutting off some of her air flow.

“You. Will. NOT. Hurt. My. Wife!” Rovas was livid.

“I’m leaving. Now. She will get hurt if you come after us.”

In the time the two spoke, Berrak shook off the shock of the attack. She brought her low right heel down on Peters’ foot as hard as she could. His arm loosened enough for her to squat down and elbow him in the groin, and then move away. Rovas pounced. By the time Gil was able to put him in cuffs, Peters face was more than a bit bloodied.

Gil called for a wagon to pick him up, dancing around anything non-legitimate. Rovas and Berrak continued their search to the second floor. They noticed the four doors. Three led to bedrooms. Inside the third they found the boy, tied tightly to the bed in the room. The knots were expertly done and it took Berrak quite a bit to undo them. Rovas, meanwhile, had called down to Gil to get an ambulance as well.

The boy would not answer any questions. He just kept staring out of the window.

Softly, Berrak said: “Gerald. I think your name is Gerald. You have two sisters, Janice and April. We think April is here. Where are your sisters?” His eyes quickly went to the door of the room, then back to the window. His face betrayed nothing.

“Zarian, I think…”

“Up to the attic,” he finished.

With the boy in hand, they went to the last door. It led, as he thought, to the attic. As they climbed up, the boy began to squirm and make small noises. They had turned on the light switch at the bottom of the steps,. Berrak had wished they hadn’t when she reached the landing.

The same tracks-two sets-ran along the attic room, supported by the beams. Instead of rope, here were metal chains. At the base of the chains, wound around them and padlocked, were two girls, naked. Both were filthy and undernourished. Both looked up at them, but there was little response. Neither tried to cover themselves.

“Are you Janice?” Rovas asked of the oldest looking girl. She stared at him, fear exuding from her.

“Janice. April.” cried Berrak.

The younger girl looked at her, nodded, and started to cry.

As Rovas went to find down to the bedroom to get something to cover the girls, he called the Sargent Detective as he headed back upstairs with some sheets.  “Gil. We found all three children. Alive, yes. We will need more ambulances…and a bolt cutter.”

He clicked the phone off. Berrak was holding Gerald’s hand-Rovas was positive this was Gerald Palmont, that the girls were Janice and April.  He placed  the sheets around the girls, as Berrak silently cried.

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Frayed Knot (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**Please read Delicate Decisions  and Easy Pickings before reading this chapter

**To start from the beginning, go to From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Frayed Knot

“Frayed Knot”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The three were in the car, heading out of the parking lot.

“Turn left,” Gil said, Berrak behind the wheel. He sat behind Rovas. “Damn. No one else I saw even came close. There were plenty of blond headed men, but they were either the wrong body types or with families. This one…this one jumped out at me. Tall, thin, blond, head down, trailed by a boy about the right age as the Palmont boy would be now. He just felt right.”

Gil had noticed Rovas’s look before they got in the car. He knew the inspector wanted something more concrete. It took a bit of ganging up the night before to get Rovas to fully support returning to the last known sighting of the Palmont children..

The search for the tall blond man and the boy concluded back at the beach where it began. Any white sedan they saw did not pan out with positive results. Frustrated, Rovas, Berrak, and Gil trolled the beach for another few hours. Rovas thought it would be a waste of time, but Berrak and Gil wanted to try in case the man Gil noticed returned, or another person meeting the descriptors showed himself.

There were a few who came close. Gil, still being official, flashed his badge and asked the questions while Rovas and Berrak observed. Once or twice Rovas injected a followup question, but he allowed Gil the lead. It would not do the case any good in a courtroom if he or Berrak seemed more involved. Grating, yes, but Gil was the choice to move this forward in the public eye. 

They returned home in the early evening, exhausted. After conferring, making plans on what and how to continue, Gil left. He had work the next day. Rovas and Berrak sat quietly, drinking their coffees, and went to bed early.

They went to the beach the next day, with nothing positive to appease them. This continued for two weeks, with Gil joining them when he could. During this time, Rovas and Berrak looked over other files of his at night, breaking them apart just as they had with the Palmont disappearances. It was during the second week they purchased a white board and large bulletin boards, turning Rovas’s study into a case room.

The third Saturday after they lost the blond man and boy, they returned. It was Rovas who spotted them first as they came up the shore, the boy running in and out of the water, and were heading towards the parking lot where Gil had stationed himself.

Gill was sure this was the car he had seen three weeks ago. He had alerted Rovas of the find, who in turn contacted Berrak. They kept their eyes open, searching, while Gil called into the office and got someone to track down the license plate and model of the car.  Once Rovas spotted the man, he followed, picking up Berrak along the way. Gil was already in the car, waiting.

“John Peters,” he said as they got in the car.”38. No priors. Online trader, works primarily at home. Has lived here for a little more than five years.” He passed his notebook to Rovas, Berrak looking over his shoulder from behind.

“The kicker, for me at least: he’s not listed as married. The office checked further back, after I asked. As far as we can tell, he never has been. Yeah, you don’t need to be married to have a kid, but…”

“Yes…but.” Rovas pointed ahead, noticing the white car made a sharp right after the left out of parking lot. They followed at a safe distance, allowing a car to pass them, catching up, hanging back. Not a long drive, but one, Rovas noticed, that took them our of the original search perimeters. 

The car pulled into the garage of an old two story plus attic Victorian style house. The three drove by slowly, but not slow enough to cause any real attention. Joy riding and house hunting on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, or so Berrak hoped anyone would think. She noticed the lot was large, with the next houses far enough away to allow privacy on all sides. She gave her thoughts to the two in the front seat.

“Convenient, that,” Rovas said, as he mulled over all they had and what they would do next. Gil pulled over down the block, made a U turn, making sure the house was in view and they were far enough to hide their surveillance. “I’d like to take a walk around. Berrak, join me?”

“Of course, Zarian.”

“I’m going to check out the rear, as best I can,” Gil added. “If I see anything of importance I’ll call.”

The house’s rear jutted on a small patch of woods. The rear yard of the house was fenced in. Gil noticed peeking through a parting in the slats, that the inside of the fence was reinforced with metal chain as far as he could see. He stole further down, looking for a chink in the wall to see into the house. Gil found a couple. The second one stopped him cold.

He took his camera out, went to photo, and zoomed in as best he could. Gil snapped five shots, waited, then three more. Nothing more presented itself at the window he had been looking into. Waiting a few more minutes, he hurried back to the car, to find the Inspector and Mrs. Rovas waiting.

Rovas saw the excitement emitting from Gil as he got closer. “Good,” he thought. “Good. Hopefully something concrete. Our walk left us nothing.”

Gil got in the car, flipped through his phone to the photo gallery, and showed it to the two Rovas.

“I got this through what looks like the kitchen window. Thank God for large Victorian windows! There!” he pointed.”A girl, tween to teenager. Same hair coloring as the Palmont girls. She’s bent over…looks like she’s washing dishes.”

“What’s that hanging down behind her?” asked Berrak.

Rovas felt he didn’t have to ask. He flipped through the shots Gill took. Looking at the last three, his observation became much clearer.

“Here’s the girl, with the man we saw behind her. Here, he’s slightly bent over, doing something behind her. Look at her face. No expression. No emotion. Now, this last one, the two of them gone, but still something of importance.”

“A rope, knotted, hanging down. It would have been behind the girl,” Gil agreed.

Berrak stared at the photo for awhile, swiped through the other pictures, and came back to the hanging rope.”That bastard.”

Gil gasped slightly at her exclamation, but agreed. Rovas smiled. His wife came right to the point.

“Now, here is how I think we should proceed…”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.