"Mom I'm home!" Christine said as she stepped through the door kicking her shoes off into the corner and dropping her backpack upon the couch. Out of one of the rooms a tall woman with short black hair and emerald eyes stepped out. She had a slight look of concern.
"Hey there honey. How was your day at school." She asked trying to hid her concern behind a smile.
"It was alright. Some girl started a fight in the cafeteria by spilling her chili onto another girl though. Other than that it was all normal and boring."
"Thats good to know dear." The woman said sighing. "Do you happen to have any plans for the night?"
"No not really, but I was considering going over to Sarah's house for a little while, why do you ask?"
"Well work called me in and they need my help. Three people called in claiming they are stuck out of town and they need someone to run the kitchen. I was sadly the only one who could. I normally would not ask this of you, but I need you to watch over Alexander for me. He seems to have caught the bug thats been going around, and I don't want to leave him alone."
"Don't worry about it. I can always visit her another time."
"Oh thank you!" the woman exclaimed excitedly before grabbing Christine and giving her a big hug, her look of concern fading away a little knowing thats one less thing to worry about.
"Mind letting me breath a little?" Christine said giving a small grin.
"Oh sorry." She said letting her go. Christine took in a small breath. "I need to get ready for my shift now. Once again I'm sorry to ask this of you." With that the woman quickly retreated to her room to put on her work cloths.
Christine walked into the kitchen and searched through the fridge for something to drink. She finally spotted a soda, but she reconsidered. Instead she pulled out a pitcher of fresh lemonade. She poured herself a glass and set it down on the table after taking a sip. She moved towards her room when she stopped at the doorway to her brother's room. It was open a slight bit, and the sound of heavy coughing could be heard. She opened the door and walked over to her brother's side. She put her hand on his head and smiled.
"Hey there Alex." She said as his coughs came began to quit. "How are you feeling?"
"Hey sis." He managed to say after a cough in a weak voice. "Not to well." He said in through a fake smile.
"Poor guy." She said as she looked upon her frail brother. He was normally energetic, and to see him like this made her heart ache. His normally shiny black hair turned dull, as well as his skin. His eyes also gave a slight distant look to them. She was quickly broke out of her musing when her brother began to speak up again.
"Is mom going to work?" Alex asked after hearing her mother moving franticly around.
"Yeah, she was called in. I did agree to look after you while she is away, so if you need anything feel free to ask me ok?"
"Thanks." He said with a weak grin. "Ummm sis can you get me some water?"
"Sure, I'll be back with it soon." With that she turned around and returned to the kitchen to find her mother dressed for work and drinking a final cup of coffee before she headed out the door. She walked over to the cupboard and got a cup and filled it with cold tap water. She began to leave water in hand, but turned around and grabbed a straw out of a drawer as an afterthought. She then quickly returned to her brother. He took the glass gratefully and began to sip the water in small sips through the straw. When she was sure he was going to be fine she began to walk out, stopping next to the door. "Don't forget to call for me if you need anything, and please try to get some rest."
She returned to the kitchen and sat down upon one of the wooden chairs, opposite to where her mother was drinking the cup of coffee while finishing up with her preparations. They exchanged small talk about this or that as the time quickly passed. Finally her mother got ready to head out the door.
"Remember to call me if you need anything. I'll try to bring home dinner for us."
"Thanks. I'm guessing you will be home at around seven?"
"Hopefully. Thats when the next shift should begin." She said as she was halfway out the door.
"Goodbye Christine. Talk to you later tonight."
Christine could only manage to give a small wave before the door closed and locked. She went over to the couch to retrieve her backpack and then moved to the kitchen. She dug out her history homework and began to work on it. Over the course of three hours she managed to get close to finishing her assigned work, now working on her English homework when she looked at the oven's clock. It read six forty six. She stood away from her chair and gave a stretch. She walked into the living room and looked out of the window. The sun began its transition to dusk, filling the sky with a mixture of colors. She then moved away, hearing her brother call out faintly. She moved through the house with haste, stopping next to her brother's door. She pushed the door open slowly and flicked on the lights. She walked over to her brother and kneeled down.
"You need something?"
"Could you get me some more water?"He asked while holding out the empty glass.
"Sure thing. By the way how are you feeling?"
"A little better after sleeping, but my stomach is getting upset."
"Ok I'll go get you something to help with that. Just sit tight for a small bit while I get it for you." With that she grabbed the glass and walked out of the room and returned to the kitchen where she proceeded to fill the glass and then she pulled a small plastic cap out of a drawer. She walked over to a shelf in the corner of the room and grabbed a small bottle of medicine and twisted off the cap. She poured the rest of the foul smelling medicine and threw the bottle away. With both items in hand she returned to her brother's side.
"Here you go." Christine said handing the medicine to her brother while setting down the water. He grabbed the small plastic cup and took a small breath before drinking it down. Once the medicine was finished he stuck his tongue out at the foul taste.
"Well its good to know you can still taste a little." She said as he grabbed the water and began to drink the water. After ridding the taste from the mouth he placed the glass down on the counter and got settled in his bed. Christine smiled at her brother and thought about what she could do for him. With a quick burst of inspiration she came up with a plan. She smiled and began to talk softly.
"Listen, I need to step out of the house for a bit. I need to get some more medicine incase you need some more for tonight. I'll only be gone for a short while, maybe thirty minutes max. While I'm gone try to get some rest would you."
"Alright, don't be gone to long." Alexander said turning on his bed to see his sister walk out. She went to her room and dug in the near crack dividing her bed from the wall and pulled back a small box. She then took the box and went over to her desk and opened the top drawer. She placed her hand on the underside of the drawer and pulled back a small key held in place by some tape. She opened the box and pulled out the entire contents of fifty dollars earned from small jobs around town. She left the box open on her desk and went to put her shoes on. She grabbed a set of keys handing to the left of the door and went out into the hall. She proceeded to lock the door and walk down the stairs and out another set of stairs.
She felt the cool breeze against her skin. She thought about returning to put on a sweater, but then decided against it. Her destination was not all that far. She began to walk against the setting sun along the sidewalk leading to the near by shopping complex. It took only a matter of minutes to cross the street into the glow of the near by buildings. Her first stop was at the local supermarket. There she wove her way to the medicine aisle and grabbed the same type of liquid medicine her mom buys. She then quickly went to an empty checkout. She bought the item without a word and left the store.
She quickly walked over to the small toy store. As she opened the door a smile went along her face. She loved to walk around this store since she was a kid. She has been know to walk in weekly, and as such was on a first name basis with the employees of this place. She had a set goal in mind and walked past the elderly man, who she knew as Drew, with a small greeting. She went down where they kept the model kits. There she spotted the item she was looking for. It was a deluxe model of the Bismarck battleship. Her brother had an eye on it for a while, and she planned on getting it for his birthday. Now however was a good enough time to buy it, anything to bring her brother a small amount of joy while he was sick. She quickly grabbed the box off the shelf and went over to the register to buy the item.
"Hello there Christine, find everything alright?" Drew said with a smile.
"Yup, I'm sure this will make my brother feel better."
"Wish my brothers were as kind as you." He said as he rung up the purchase. "It comes to forty five dollars and sixty nine cents."
"Alright heres fifty dollars." She handed the money from the wallet to the elderly man's hand. He counted it out slowly and then went to get her change. Finally he put the item in a large sack.
"Thank you Christine, hope to see you in here again soon."
"You can count on it Drew. See you again soon." She said as she left the store, quickly heading back to the apartments. As she approached the apartments something did not feel right and her smile quickly changed to that of worry. She went through the doors of the apartment trying to convince herself its all in her mind. That was until she reached the door to her apartment. The ill feeling seemed to seep out from the apartment. She quickly fished out her keys and unlocked the door, finally convincing herself she was just paranoid.
"I'm home!" The girl yelled as she took her shoes off.
"Sorry for having to leave you here while I went out to get your medicine." Christine set the bag with the medicine on the table and made her way through the hall to her brother's room holding onto the model kit.
"I see you are asleep" She said quietly to herself as she walked to the side of the bed, setting down the model kit. She then turned back towards her brother and noticed droplets of water dripping off the side of the bed. "...Why are you soaking wet?" She slightly shook Alexander. "Hey wake up, this is not funny." She shook slightly harder.
"Please wake up, your starting to scare me." she said feeling her heart begin to race. "WAKE UP!" She yelled moving her hand over his wrist to feel his pulse.
She stumbled back "Oh my god, please be alright." She rushed out the room grabbing the phone and dialed for an ambulance.
It felt like a hour as she waited for the ambulance to come. She attempted to contact her mother, but she was already out on her way home. She found herself pacing around the house trying to calm herself, but to no avail.
Suddenly a knock came at the door. Christine looked through the small hole to the other side to see it was her mother with a couple of paramedics following close behind. She quickly unlocked the door and the three people walked in. Her mother quickly set the food she held in a plastic bag onto the floor and looked Christine right in her eyes.
"What happened Christine? Why are they here?"
"Alex... he... he..." Christine said finally breaking down, the tears now streaming down her face like they managed to break through a dam.
"What happened to Alexander?" She said trying to remain calm, but fear began to overwhelm her and it began to show.
"I... I went to get some more medicine for him and I got him that model ship he wanted." She began quickly going through her story trying to hold back her sobs long enough. "When I came back I found him in his bed soaking wet and when he would not wake up I went to check his pulse. I found no sign of life in him."
"I... I don't know All I know is he was not breathing." She looked up and saw the two paramedics walking out of the hall. "Is he alright?"
"He should be fine, but we need to get him to the hospital quickly." Is all they said as they wheeled him out on a stretcher. Christine looked at her mother and they both quickly followed behind, locking the door and getting into their car, following the ambulance as it roared down the road towards the hospital.
The ride to the hospital was nothing but awkward. The entire way was in silence, with only the siren blaring ahead of them. They each wanted to say something, but was at a loss of words. They both had a feeling of worry about them. When they reached the hospital they quickly found a parking spot and followed the paramedics inside. They were quickly instructed to wait inside the lobby by a kind receptionist that went by the name of Carla.
The time ticked by unbearably slow. Each minute that ticked by felt like a hour. It wasn't till a doctor called their names that they took notice. They rushed over to the doctor quickly.
"Is he going to be alright doctor?" The mother said, not sure if she wanted the answer or not.
"We believe so, but we want to keep him here for a couple of days to make sure."
"What was wrong with him?" Christine said weakly.
"He was drowning. When he got here his life signs were weak, but we were able to keep him alive."
"Drowning? Why would he try to drown himself?"
"We do not know, but what it looks like is someone was forcing him. He had some pressure marks on him, like someone was holding him under the water."
"Thats horrible! Who would do that to him?"
"Well if you would be so kind and cooperate with us we will do what we can to find out." A tall police man said behind them causing them to turn around suddenly. "Sorry to startle you. I'm officer Bryant, and thats FBI agent Kenneth. We would like to ask you both a number of questions that might aid in the search for the culprit."
Christine eyed the cops as they showed their badges. The FBI agent was dressed in a white shirt with a black hat on top of his head, shielding his eyes from view. He was somewhat plump, but he looked like he worked out a little. The other man wore the normal blue uniform. He was rather tall and skinny.
"We will do anything to make sure this psycho is put behind bars." The mother said, with Christine nodding in agreement.
"We would like you to then follow us back to your apartment. We would like to go over anything that seems amiss before we ask any questions."
The ride back home felt more tense than before, but it passed just as quickly. Back at the apartments they met up with a crime team who was getting ready to look around the apartment.
"Hold off your efforts till we tell you to come in. We want to make a clean sweep of the place before hand."The FBI agent said with a commanding tone.
"Sir you know that is against the regulations." One of the people said while putting on rubber gloves.
"That may be true but I want to find out if the culprit is still inside, or if anything was moved slightly out of place before hand. So remember, don't move till we give the order to." With that the four entered the apartment. Carefully they went through each room starting with the kitchen with the glass of lemonade still on the table and the medicine still in the bag where she left it. From there they eventually moved to the hallway and began a search of the rooms, starting with Christine's room.
"Was that metal box open before you left?" The FBI agent said eyeing the box suspiciously.
"Yeah, I opened the box and took out all the money from it. It was right before I left."
"Why did you say you took the money again?"
"I felt bad for my brother and I decided to buy the model kit he wanted for a while. Something to make him feel better."
"I see. Where did you buy the toy from?" He said while writing down her words on a note pad.
"The toy shop down the street from here."
"Alright then, lets go onto the next room." With that they slowly walked out and entered Alexander's room. They looked around. The only thing out of place was the bed, which was still soaking wet. They then moved onto the bathroom.
"Nothing looks out of place in here." Christine stated looking around.
"You would think so, but not all is as it seems. Look at the tub, the sink, and the toilet. Notice anything?"
Christine and her mother took a closer look to see what was being talked about. It was not so apparent, but they slowly got the picture.
"They are all dry." The mother stated.
"Exactly. There are no tracks leading back to the bed either. Somehow the killer managed to put Alexander into a source of water, without him splashing water around, put him back in his bed without leaving a trail. The culprit was really good hiding anything that might reveal how he went about the task at hand." Kenneth said as he began to drift off into thought.
"Well there has to be something, there always is." Bryant said voicing the mother's thoughts.
"We can only hope." Kenneth said. "We can only hope..."