Category Archives: Children

Yesterday’s Sorrows (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: Venus Ascending , Witch’s Moon, and X-Folders

Yesterday

“Yesterday’s Sorrows”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The manhunt for John Peters continued. Fresh from the attempted second kidnapping of a prior victim, his attack on Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros and ex-Inspector Rovas and his wife drove the police in a wide search to bring him to justice…one way or the other. That escalated by his next crimes.

A family who had not been heard from in five days, were found, brutalized, in their home. A friend of the wife’s had come round, not hearing from her after she didn’t show up to a play date with the youngest children. She peeked in a window, saw the place in shambles, and called the police. All five were found dead; John Peters’ fingerprints were found all over the house, and on the murder weapon, a kitchen knife.

He had a hiding place and lost it. Police presence was out in full force. Gil was taken off the case, forced to receive protection, which he fought until Rovas fed him back his own words of caution from weeks ago. Berrak was uneasy: both glad and bothered by being so closely guarded. The Palmont family was put into a safe house under heavy rotation. Tina, who had undergone two more operations due to complications from being shot, was finally on the mend. She, too, had police watching. She was never left alone in her hospital room.

There were no other sightings, which worried them all. Gil called in favors to keep him updated; Rovas discretely doing the same. The three of them met often, adding information to their wall as it came in. Berrak was busy online, researching anything that related to Peters, his family, and the families he had affected. Every now and then the three of them would pick over the other open case folders left in the study, doing research both by phone or computer. But no chasing down any ideas or leads. Not then. Capturing Peters was of utmost concern.

Rovas and Berrak were brainstorming in the study while Gil busied making the coffee for them. He had insisted, and Berrak gave in, knowing he wanted the privacy to talk with Jill on the phone. He eventually came in with three mugs, balancing them and burning some fingers in the process.

“We have a tray,” Berrak softly scolded while Gil blew on his fingers.

Rovas’ attention was on the information tacked on the wall and written on the white board. He was trying to fathom any pattern of Peters. He was considered a loose canon by those he kept in touch with on the force. The destruction at the family vacation house, the attempt on Gerald Palmont, the shooting at Tina’s apartment…yes, a loose canon. But, there was something…

“Damn!” he slammed his fist down on the table, drawing Berrak’s and Gil’s instant attention. “There. The families.” He got up, stepping up to the victims list they had made. “Besides the police deaths he caused in the bombing, and his attempts on us…the families. The Palmont’s: three children. This latest atrocity: three children.”

“Oh…the three girls that were traced back to him before…” Berrak clenched her fists.

Gil got on the phone. Once he was connected to Chief Inspector Dole, he put them on speaker phone.

“Dole, Rovas here. We may have a pattern that I know you’re not perusing at the moment…”

*****

The search for families with three children went from a 25 mile radius to 50, officially. Rovas and Berrak bought a laptop and Gil brought over his. Jill helped out from her home when she could. They made lists of their find, which went beyond the 50 mile search, but discarded them one by one as Gil made “official” calls to the schools, seeing if those children had all been absent, and for more than one or two days.

During one call, he held up his hand to the others. All they heard were “yes, yes” or “Are you sure?” with a final “Yes, alert the police. Now.” while he scribbled information down on paper. “Three children, again two girls and a boy. Third day they haven’t shown up; one teacher reported she was having trouble reaching the parents on their in school reporting system. It hadn’t been picked up on anyone’s radar.”

Berrak and Rovas stood up at the same time.

“Gil,” Rovas said, “would you mind distracting our minders outside?”

He smiled. “With pleasure. Now, how will I meet you?”

They formed a plan.

*****

They pulled up near a barricade forty minutes later. Police car lights dotted the area. Gil went up to the officer standing duty, identified himself and pointing out the Rovas’. After a short conversation, he rushed back to them.

“Inspector…Peters is asking for you, well, the three of us, but specifically for you. He,” Gil took a look at Berrak and then continued, “he killed the father and tossed him out an upper window. Said he’d gut the kids and let the mother watch.”

The police officer letting them through after he had called in that they were there. They made their way to the commander in charge and introduced themselves. He reluctantly went over the details, more to Gil, but firmly aware of Rovas’s presence.

“He has a gas mask, he claims. Curtains are drawn; any shadowy figures are always of two close together. No secure shot. The only communication we’ve had with this guy is he wants you, really badly.” He pointed his finger at Rovas. He nodded back.

“Then, let’s give him what he wants.”

“Zarian! No.”

He looked at his wife. “The children,” was all he said.

With tears falling she fell into his arms.

All attempts to change his mind failed. All Gil could say, at the end point, was “I have faith in you.”

No more needed to be said.

*****

Rovas was in the living room. He took everything in: Peters with a knife the throat of a young teenage girl, her hands tied in front of her, mouth gagged. The mother and two other children were also tied up and gagged, sitting together on a couch. He noticed a rifle-an M82, he wasn’t surprised to see-resting just off to the right side of where Peters stood. His eyes took in the area around him as he walked into the room, his hands up to show he was not carrying.

They stood starting at one another. Peters blinked first. Rovas moved a step closer.

“Well. I’m here. Let the children and their mother go.”

Rovas noticed Peters knife arm was tense, an indentation against the girls throat that drew a thin line of blood. She was shaking, her face a mask of pain. “Stop moving,” Peters growled. Rovas felt it was as much for him as it was the girl. He stopped.

Peters held onto the girl with his left hand while he put the knife down behind him. He reached down to pick up the rifle, bringing it level with Rovas’ middle. Rovas knew what was next.

Peters’ tossed the girl to the floor and brought the riffle up.

Outside, they heard two shots ring out.

“Zarian!” Berrak cried out. Gil and the commander had to restrain her.

“We have to go in. We have to go in,” she insisted.

They heard one more shot.

*************************************************
“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, one more post. I was late with this one. Life happens. The final post, the Z, is supposed to end on Saturday, April 30th. I’m going to take a short break and get to the last part of this story and post before Midnight, so it ends on time.

Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Please click on the below pic/badge. It’ll take you to the A to Z home page; from there, click on the top link to find the other bloggers who took the challenge. I’m sure you’ll find something enjoyable to read.

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.

Offending Elm (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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

Offensive Elm

“Offending Elm”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

The gunshot wound to Gil’s left shoulder was more serious than first perceived. On the way to the hospital the EMT grokked the swelling and immediately splinted Gil’s upper arm. Upon arrival, Gil was rushed into the ER. He underwent surgical debridement, the wound cleaned out but some bleeding continued. He was hours undergoing treatment before he was brought to recovery. The doctor wanted to keep Gil overnight for observation. The prognosis was overall good, but there was concern about nerve damage.

Rovas and Berrak got all this information from Jill, the EMT who brought Gil in. She had access to the surgical team that they did not. She had left with her team but returned when her shift was over.

“We get a lot more hunters accidentally shooting themselves or a friend. Dumb asses.” Jill shook her head, sitting back in the waiting room chair opposite Rovas and Berrak. “Things like this…I feel I have more at stake, y’know?”

Berrak nodded to her. Rovas was distracted. She nudged him slightly, and he, too, nodded at the EMT.

Rovas had called Chief Inspector Dole, filling him in with all the details as he knew, when they arrived at the hospital. After their conversation-which did not go all too well, for either of them-Rovas made another call. He was waiting for answers to his inquiries.

When Gil was finally out of recovery, all three went up for a quick visit. He woke up briefly, insisting he should still be released so they could go after Peters, and dropped back to sleep just as quickly. “Pain meds and trauma to the body,” Jill said.

Berrak and Rovas stayed for a little bit longer, getting one more audience with the Sargent Detective before he drifted off again. They left the hospital soon afterwards, leaving Gil’s EMT in the room, getting a recommendation and directions to a nearby motel from her. Rovas checked at the desk about the conditions of the other police from the explosion. Both were doing better than expected: they were alive.

“Stake in her duties,” Berrak mentioned on their way to their car. “Jill and Gil, hmm?” She held Rovas’ hand through the hospital lobby.

Rovas got a text after they had settled into their room: no trace of Peters. Whatever trace he left up the hill and with his bike ended once the motorcycle hit the main road. The note Peters’ left stabbed into the tree went straight to the point: “Inspector, if you are reading this, you are alive. I’ll make sure that changes, and soon. If I got you, good. You took my boy!”

The next day, Berrak and Rovas went back to the hospital, hoping Gil would be released in short order. They could hear him laughing as they came to his room. Jill was sitting in a chair, a big grin on her face. Berrak nudged Rovas and smiled.

It took a few hours more for the hospital to discharge him, with strict notes for Gil to follow up with his own doctor as soon as possible. Berrak said “I’ll make sure of it” at the same time Jill said “He will.” Rovas finally smiled at this. Berrak’s observation were on the nose, again.

*******

A month passed. Gil was doing PT, getting his arm back into shape. They all were happy there was no deep damage to any muscle or nerves. Over dinner Gil told Berrak and Rovas that he had a “lovely” scar to show for all this. He blushed deeply when he realized he said “lovely.”

“And how is Jill, Gil?” Berrak asked. No one thought it was possible for Gil to redden any more, but he did.

Cups of Berrak’s coffee in hand, they made their way into Rovas’ study. They had pulled all they could on Peters and were at a standstill at this point until the active investigation turned up anything, or Peters made an appearance. Rovas had been reading over his files sporadically with Berrak-sometimes with Gil present-compiling further questions on many of the cold cases.

Rovas lifted up one of the folders. “I suggest we try and shake ourselves out of our waiting for Peters to make a move. This one,’ he passed the file to Gil,  “has nagged at me for way too long. Berrak, it’s what we were looking at the other night: the woman’s body that was found in the Elm tree by those four boys.”

“Certainly not boys anymore. They’d have to be in their early thirties by now,” Berrak said, looking over Gil’s shoulder at the files’ contents.

“The…boys…were poaching in Haley’s Woods, they admitted, when one of the group climbed up the Elm for a ‘look see’ around. His foot dropped down into an opening where the branches parted. When he looked, he found the remains of the body.”

“Says here it was a woman, aged between twenty and thirty. No one reported any sister or daughter missing in the area that fit that?”

“None. Dental records were no use: her teeth were missing.” Rovas paused, remember the sight that greeted him. “The boys didn’t look too closely. They reported what they found to the police, and I was called in soon after that.”

“Gil,” Berrak pointed, drawing his attention to the photograph under the report he was going over. He took out the folder and laid it on the desk so all of them could see it.

Putting his finger on it, Rovas said “We found a piece of yellow taffeta shoved into her mouth. A gold ring, no inscription, was placed in the middle of the material.

We’ve had luck with these cases, coming at them with time and new eyes,” he nodded to Berrak. “I think it’s time we revisited this and do our best to find out what happened, and who the young lady was.”

*************************************************
“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 1700 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.

Mental Challenges (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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

Mental

“Mental Challenges”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Weeks after the fact, John Peters’ escape, en route from mental ward to jail, was still making news. Details kept leaking out, and the press were merciless with the police force by this point. They were too lax, inept. Criminally inept. His break out left one guard dead, shot with his own gun. Another guard was still in critical condition. The search for John Peters was growing cold, and the news was starting to focus in other directions, until something horrible was discovered: other bodies had been found, buried in the back yard of a home where Peters had previously lived.

The Palmont children also became news again. Janice, the oldest child, had tried to kill herself after the grisly discovery of other victims. Her parents had done their best to restrict any news filtering into their home, but…it happened. She had been sneaking  onto the internet, well after everyone went to bed, ever since Peters escaped. Police presence around their house now doubled, spilling over to the hospital while she was in recovery.

Chief Inspector Dole, Rovas’ old boss, insisted on keeping the Rovas house, and especially Berrak, under surveillance. After rebuffing Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros entreaties for the third time in as many weeks, the Chief Inspector made an unprecedented official appearance at their home. With Berrak present, Dole got Rovas to reconsider, after an hour of persuasion. It came down to, in Rovas’ mind, keeping Berrak as safe as possible. Hours after the Chief Inspector left, Gil showed up.

“You didn’t have to sic Dole on me, you know.” Rovas scowl at Gil had little effect. He drank the coffee Berrak laid out before him quietly.

“Yes, I did. You were being stubborn. Sadly, you are not an Inspector anymore, Inspector, Sir.” His smile was grim. “How many others have you insisted that surveillance was for their safety?”

Rovas was silent. Berrak patted his shoulder and sat down with them.

“You should have taken the Chief Inspector position when it was offered to you,” Gil said, pointing with his cup.

“Not that again, Gil. I wanted to solve cases, not send others out to do that for me. I’m not the political animal Dole is.”

Berrak broke in: “Gil, what about the other bodies that were found?”

“Initial reports indicate all three were girls. The ME estimates that they were all in their early teens, maybe younger. She had to do more tests for further determination. No infants, thank god. A search for any place Peters lived previously is undergoing. The ME knows that filing her report is her first priority.”

“Any luck with getting his military file opened?,” Rovas asked. “We know he was dishonorably discharged, but not the why. Although, I’m afraid we all can think of what he might have done, given this…pattern of his.”

“The military has been fighting us, but adding in the new bodies, even not confirmed they were his kills…I think we won’t have as much trouble getting his file unsealed.”

Through the evening the three went over every bit of information they had. Gil left close to midnight. Rovas sat in his chair, looking out his window, lights out in the room.

“You should come to bed, Zarian. Nothing we can do at this moment.”

“I’ll be up soon. Promise.”

She gave him a kiss and went upstairs. Rovas stayed in his study, falling asleep in his chair.

He was awakened at 7:14 in the morning by a call from Gil.

“John Peters father finally opened up. I was almost at my house when the station alerted me. I rushed over, called Mr. Peters back…I don’t think we will need the military files opened, except for trial when we catch him. I was on the phone with him for quite awhile. I know you wish I called you sooner, but…well, there was nothing we could do at that point. We gathered our information and set our plans.”

“He most likely molested other children on a tour of duty,” Rovas offered. “It probably would have been a political nightmare if they outright arrested him. That assumes there was no murder involved.”

Gil was quiet for only a second. “Pretty much right on the nose. It was a case of She said/He said, but in this case it was underage girls, two of them, according to the father. He said his son took the discharge since neither side could bring it to court, and he was getting hassled by members of his troop. Of course, he lied. Mr. Peters said he didn’t want to believe any of this about his son, but with the other bodies…”

“He had no choice. Hard to admit your child is a monster.”

“One more thing: we may have a lead to where Peters could be. There is a family vacation house under the mother’s maiden name. She inherited it before they were married and never changed the title. He was hesitant about mentioning it.”

“Where?”

“A few hours drive, up the coast line,” Gil was rustling paper in the background. “We’ve been coordinating with the law in that jurisdiction. They’re waiting until we get there to move in on the house. I have room in my car. Coming along?”

“I wouldn’t miss it, as long as Dole doesn’t interfere.”

“Good.  I’ll be right over.”

Rovas hung up the phone. He started to get Berrak, but briefly hesitated. He wanted to keep her safe, yet he knew she would not stand being left behind. With a sigh, he went upstairs to their bedroom. She was already awake.

“News?”

“Yes. Let’s get dressed. We may have a lead on Peters.”

She hustled out of bed, gave him a hug, and went to wash up.

Rovas thought this was too easy, but it was all they had to go on…for the moment.

*************************************************
“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.

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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.

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.

*************************************************
“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.

Easy Pickings (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**Please read Delicate Decisions before reading this chapter

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

 

“Easy Pickings”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Rovas and Berrak went through the file together, past lunch and well into the afternoon. They looked at the photos of the beach, the walk home the children should have taken, and all the odds bits of potential clues that the investigating team had hoped would turn up as a clue. None had offered any information that was of any use.

They had several sketches of the tall blond man from the various witnesses on the beach that day.  No one seemed to agree on anything except he was tall, on the thin side, and blond. Very blond. Facially, the facial features different widely. No one had gotten up close for the details needed.

One woman, a Mrs. Foley, had gone over to talk to the eldest child, Janice. Yet, she recounted, when she drew near the man skipped away, laughing, and the children followed him, their laughter echoing his. She, too, never got a good look at the man.

Berrak was taking notes on multiple sheets of paper, putting any information into categories. They did not have a white board to chart the details. “Not yet, anyway,” Berrak answered, after Khazarian lamented that they had to work without one. He looked at her, adding another quality to his mental list of things about Berrak  he had sometimes taken for granted all these years.

They went over every particular numerous times, coming back to one facet or another. Berrak questioned Khazarian “rather astutely,” he thought. Sure she had run out every iota of Khazarian’s memory, matching up with the notes, pictures, reports, Berrak would then asked Khazarian to question her, to allow her to brainstorm with him like he would with his old squad-room partners. Hours later, one of those rang their bell.

“Sargent Detective Katsaros, how nice to see you again,” Berrak said as she let him in.

“A pleasure, Mrs. Rovas.”

“Please, after all these years. Call me Berrak, won’t you? It’s one thing when ‘Zarian was in charge. Now…things are different, in some ways.” She smiled. “Others, not.”

Shaking his head and smiling, Katsaros said “What is with you two with first names?”

“Berrak, please, Sargent Detective.”

“If that’s the ‘order,’ then it’s Gil. Not sure how comfortable I’ll be, but ok, Berrak.”

“Thank you, Gil”

She led him into the kitchen where Khazarian was bent over her notes. “Sit. Sit. I’m glad you came.”

Gil’s eyebrow shot up a tad when Berrak sat next to the Rovas. He took a third seat, giving Rovas a questioning look.

Rovas took this in, glanced at Berrak, and then sighed. “Berrak has been a great help all day. She has me looking at things from a different perspective. It has been a good thing, Gil. A good thing.” He nodded at his wife. “I called to ask you to come over after work once we attacked the file fifty ways to Sunday.”

Rovas saw the “but” forming before a sound was made. Gil’s face flashed his concern.

“I know it’s not regulation. This is not regulation. I’m…retired, for better or worse. This has the chance to bite us in the ass, but it also has the chance to catch a break and close this. Find out what happened to those three children.”

Straightening up, Gil replied: “Well, let’s dig into all this…” he waved an open palm over the paper strewn table.

For the next two hours plus, Berrak and Khazarian went over all the details and thoughts about the missing Palmont children.with Gil. Berrak brought out bread and sandwich fixings while they talked, coffee being their main choice of working beverage. Berrak made the first batch. Khazarian the next two.

Physically exhausted, but mentally stimulated, a decision was made. They would return to the scene and walk it all through with fresh eyes.

“Tomorrow is my day off, as you well knew, Sir.” Gil got a frown, but continued on. “I’ll pick you both up at ten.”

“To the beach,” Berrak said.

“Back to the beach,” Rovas answered.

They sipped their coffees as they made their plan of attack.

*******

The next morning found the three of them trudging through sand. An early summer day, the beach was not crowded, but by lunch time they knew they would be fighting for a good space to scout. Rovas, who had walked this route so many times after the children went missing, assigned the three of them equidistant locations for them to observe the throngs. Cell phones made these type of stakeouts easier in the long run, as long as the reception signals were good. At this location, the reception was spotty, but it was the best they could do. After going over their plans one more time, and Rovas warning his wife not to take any action-again-they went to their spots.

At 12:17, Gil rang Rovas, who was at the southern tip of their perimeter. “Sir, I spotted a tall blond guy. He came along the beach north of me. At first I thought he was alone, but a boy of about 9 or 10-the right age for Gerald Palmont, came up from the shore line and took his hand. They are walking away now, off the beach to the parking lot. I’m following.”

Rovas ran as fast as he could, which was not easy for him. Winded, he spotted Berrak and went to her. They set off at a fast walk, almost trot, while he told her what Gil had said.

“No girls?”

“No. He said nothing about the girls,” he panted. “Let’s get in Gil’s car and pick him up. I hope we’re not too late.”

When they got there, Gil was red-faced with anger. “I missed them. I missed them. He was parked right on the edge of the sand. I thought I would have enough time. It was white, a sedan. Not new. I wasn’t close enough for the license plate or make. “

Rovas had his hands balled into fists, laying them on his hips. His head swiveled frantically over the few roads that left the area. He saw no sign of any white car in any direction.

Berrak headed back to their car. “I think we need to try searching. Futile or not, it’s moving forward. Yesterday, we didn’t even have this much to go on.”

They got in the car and went up and down the streets, hoping to spot the Palmont boy and the blond headed man. 

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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.

Delicate Decisions (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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Delicate

“Delicate Decisions”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The morning started not with coffee with his wife but a dialogue, one Khazarian had hoped would not happen, but knew it was eventual. Just not this soon. Berrak was sitting up straight in her chair, arms folded tightly across her chest. He took a glimpse towards the coffee equipment, sighed, and sat down opposite his Berrak.

“Why?” She nodded her head towards the file folder he had placed beside himself on the kitchen table. Berrak stared at him. Khazarian noticed her eyes were wet.

“I rarely, as you know, ever brought work home. Yes, even though that time that work followed me here. I’ve had cases that…I have cases that were never solved, that baffle and gnaw at me to this day. You know that as well. Berrak, you could always sense how I was feeling,” he tried, with a smile.

“So?” It didn’t work. “Again, I ask ‘Why’? Those cases belong to your old unit. You’ve done enough. We’ve done enough.”

“Do you really believe that?”

A tear made it’s way down Berrak’s cheek.

Rovas sighed, reached out a hand towards his wife. It took a moment for her to unclench. Berrak took his hand in hers.

“I do not do this to punish us. You. All this free time…I have not yet adjusted to this new routine. Going in early, the hustle of the day even without a major case, and when it was major…” He shook his head. “I never thought I would miss it as much as I do. I also did not anticipate that cases unsolved would come to haunt me with such a vengeance.”

The room was silent but for the ticking noise of the wall clock. Berrak soon cleared her throat. “I am assuming that that folder holds one of those cases?”

He nodded. “Yes.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Tell you…about this investigation?” Rovas’s eyes widened.

“Yes.”

“Berrak, I don’t wish to…”

“‘Zarian, how will you…well, we…adjust to our new regimen, if you don’t let me in. I am no longer at arms length. Tell me. Please.”

Rovas sighed. “You won’t like this.”

Berrak sighed louder. “‘Zarian…”

Rovas took his right hand back, reached for the folder, hesitated, and then opened the case folder.

“Do you remember, almost five years ago now, the story of the missing Palmont children? Janice, April, and Gerald, ages 9, 7, and 4. On that late summer afternoon, the three seen on the beach, just a few blocks from their house. Witnesses who knew them said they were playing games with an unknown man, blond, tall, thin, who they assumed was a relative of their mother’s,  resemblance enough for them to not be overly concerned.

The children were seen leaving the beach around dinner time. They were never seen again. No clues. We could not find this blond man. It went totally cold and was filed away”

“Could they still be alive?”

“I would like to hope so. I doubt it.”

Rovas was flipping through the pages, glancing at what little they had gathered. Berrak got up, moved her chair around to sit next to her husband. Khazarian looked at her.

“Where do we start looking?,” she said, leaning her head on his shoulder.

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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.