XANDER RAN as fast as he could without tripping and falling -a near fatal mistake that would be- and was able to travel, to a rough estimate, about a mile before falling to his knees. In utter exasperation at the determination of his pursuers, he sighed aloud and beat his fist into the dirt. Although they are far older than me, thought Xander, they are also far less intelligent. Yet, the will of one who is in complete control of by their jealousy is quite extensive. To the point of murder, perhaps; But, almost certainly to the point of serious maiming in the case of these three barbaric tenth graders.
It would be a rather brutal ordeal if Xander stayed where he was. So, common sense tells Xander not to stick around and await the pain that was coming, barrelling down Sattlun Rd.
The tenth graders, Jack, Tommy and Michael were jealous and envious of Xanders beautiful, and precise mind. At the age of merely eight years old, Xander was scoring far better than the three of them, and he was eight years younger.
They were getting closer, and Xander knew it, he needed to think of some course of action. Hiding would simply not work; The alleyway he was hidden in had no particularly decent hiding spots. Running away was also out of the question; Xander was exhausted to the point that his sides throbbed and the tenth graders were much faster. The only reason that he had gotten this far was the enormous head start that he was graciously, and accidentally, given.
The only other option, horrendously impossible as it may seem, was to fight them when they got here. The only problem was that: Xander was far smaller, weaker, shorter and had no chance of winning a fair fight against the three sixteen-year-olds.
Xander poked his head out of the alley; The three were jogging closer, panting heavily. He needed to think quickly.
Looking around the alley, Xander could see only a large dumpster and gutters that hung from the rooftops. Not good. But, within seconds, Xander had a plan. He tore a small section away from the downspout, about three feet in length, from the gutter that had, until recently, hung down into the alley. He stood in his position, hidden from sight by the corner of the alley.
This whole series of thoughts and events had happened in a mere thirty seconds, just long enough so that the teenagers were only meters away from Xanders hiding spot. As they rounded the corner, Xander swung his hunk of gutter hard into the gut of the first to pass. Going at the speed that he was, the metal sunk into his chest like a hot knife in butter.
The boys knees buckled and he fell to the ground, grunting in pain.
The other boys were rounding the corner now, Xander had planned for them to get the same punishment; However, they seemed to catch on pretty quickly to what would happen to them and backed away as Xander swung his chunk of gutter. The second -and the largest- boy was able to catch it and tear it from Xanders frail grip.
Xanders eyes widened, and, as if on queue, the stormy sky lit up with a flash of lightning. The second boy grinned at Xander, clear malice and evil intent showed in his eyes.
"Look, chumpkin, you ain't got no right to be smackin' people with metal sticks," said he; "So, it seems that you be deservin' of the same fate you gave to poor Michael here,"
At this, Michael grunted from his spot on the ground.
The second boy, Tommy was his name, raised the metal above his head and advanced closer to Xander. Tommy spat at Xanders face as he came closer, while saying:
"You looks so small, I almost don't wanna hurt ya'. But then I remember how stupid you really are! The teachers, O' they love you so much for no reasons. But we, we don't love ya, do we boys?" the other kid nodded in consent. "let's see if they teachas' will still love you when you got a dent in your skull!"
He swung down. Hard. Xander closed his eyes is came closer, closer, closer...
He waited, flinching away from the boy with his eyes closed and his hands blocking his face. Nothing struck him. What was happening? Hadn't the boy struck him? Where was the impact?
Xander opened his eyes. The boy who had tried to strike Xander was standing, frozen, with his arm stretched out, holding the metal gutter piece, centimeters from Xanders face. He was staring at something that stood behind Xander, or so it looked to him. In the next moment, he and the other two boys, including the one who had been lying on the ground, turned and sprinted away.
Confused, Xander turned around. What had scared them off?
What stood behind Xander was something -someone- he did not expect in the slightest. A police officer stood before him, smiling kindly.
* * *
Xander sat on a bench; Next to him was the police officer who claimed his name was Timothy.
"So, tell me kid, why were those boys chasing you?" Said Timothy; "I mean to say, they were really out to kill you!"
Timothy laughed good-naturedly; "Jealous of what? Your stellar looks?"
"They're jealous of how smart I am. I'm in the tenth grade with them, I got moved up a lot, and they don't like it. The don't like me because I'm still a lot smarter than them. And I'm probably gonna skip eleventh grade too and they don't like it." Said Xander.
Timothy's eyes widened in utter surprise and shock;
"Tenth grade? You're in tenth grade? You must be great minded, my boy!"
"Yes. I have gotten perfect scores on all the exams and tests that we take, and I'm always number one. Also, I've read lots of books. In my free time, I read Aristotle and Plato and I like to read about law and science and maths!" Said Xander, he was getting excited now; He liked telling people about how smart he was. They were always so surprised and impressed and he liked the attention.
The police officer frowned at him with disbelief. "Really?"
"Oh yes sir, I'm really smart. Once, I helped my dad solve a case for his work. He's a private detective, he was spying on this guy who they thought was cheating on this one girl, and then the guy came out and he had tattoos and he started to chase us for spying on him and-"
"Okay kid! I got it, so your dads a private detective? That's pretty cool, I work as a detective too ya' know, I work in murder cases though."
"Really? I've always wanted to see one! What's it like?" Said Xander enthusiastically.
Timothy laughed; "Sorry buddy, but I can't really tell you that. So, where do your parents live then?"
Xanders face fell, he suddenly looked very sad. The circles under his eyes darkened. "My dad... he lives near here, he lives on Hughingtin Lane, 516. But my mom..." Tears started to drip from Xanders eyes.
The police officer looked at him with clear curiosity, but yet, he dared not ask what had happened to Xanders mother. It was clear that she died in some tragic way. "I'm sorry Xander... can I take you to your dads house then?"
Some idea seemed to occur to the detective when thinking about Xanders dad, the private detective. Maybe, thought Timothy, maybe he could help...
* * *
When the police officer had brought Xander back to his own home, a small, one story, rundown-looking type house, he and Xanders father talked for a while. They talked in the dining room while Xander was told to stay in his bedroom so he could only hear a few, rather odd sounding, phrases:
"Him? he's only eight..."
"What help could he do?"
"... an early, yet brilliant mind... "
"Its your decision... he's young..."
Xander could only assume that they were talking about him, even though they never said his name by itself, it didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that. Xander also observed that they wanted him -if it was for certain him who they were talking about- to do some odd task. He could deduce, from the way in which they spoke, that this task was a tedious and hard one; Most likely, this task was one usually completed by adults. What could this quest be that they were speaking of then? The answer to this question came to Xander within minutes, not from his own mind, but from another; His father and Timothy then came through his bedroom door. Upon their faces, they wore grim, but determined, looks.
"Xander... there is something I wish you to do..." Said Xanders father kindly.
"Yes, yes, I know. You want me to do some task, this task is most likely only done by adults. It has something to do with my intelligence and it will be challenging, but what is it?" Said Xander in an impatient tone.
Xanders father and Timothy looked at each other and smiled, had Xanders deductions amused them? No, they had pleased them. Xander realized what the task was just as Timothy spoke it aloud;
"Xander, we want you to work with detectives on a case that has been troubling our greatest detectives. Perhaps you and your great mind can help out, and if not, it should be a quite good learning experience,"
Timothy said those words as though he was embarrassed. Embarrassed of what? What was there to be embarrassed of?
And then it came to him; this case of which he talked about was a serious problem. Perhaps it was not a simple coincidence that lead Xander to meet him today, perhaps Xander is their last hope for this. Xander, the smartest man in the country, at eight years old. But, he was still a child, how was this going to work?
"Of course. I will do it. But, I am a child and therefore I cannot work full days, and I need to attend school too... so what will-" Said Xander.
"We have already thought of this. You will work for five hours everyday with the other detectives. Then, for the remaining four hours of the day, you will be tutored by, well, a tutor. You will spend your whole day in the police station though, we cannot risk you running around after working and yapping about the case. You will also sleep there on Monday nights through Thursday nights. You will have the weekends to yourself." Said Timothy.
The fact that they already had everything planned out just reinforced the idea that this was all planned. It was, almost certainly. They needed Xander.
"Understood sir! So, when do I start?"
Said Xander eagerly, he didn't want the detective to know that Xander was analyzing his every action already.
"Tomorrow. Your father will bring you to the station at seven o'clock. Tomorrow we will tell you about the case and brief you, your real work will be on Thursday, or the day after tomorrow. So, for now, goodbye. I shall see you tomorrow Xander."
And with that, the detective walked out the door.
Xander thought for a moment, and suddenly a thought appeared in his mind. The thought was one that had reoccurred multiple times during his lifetime and now, he wanted answers.
"Father?" Said Xander with a nervous quiver in his voice.
"I know. It will be hard Xander, but it should be fun, right?"
"No. Dad, its not that. It's… something else that is bothering me…"
Xanders father raised an eyebrow.
"What's wrong then?"
"It's… It's mom. You always told me that she died in a car accident, but, that isn't true, is it? She was killed. I'm sure of it. This has been bothering me for some time and I believe I am right. I am right, aren't I?"
Xanders fathers face suddenly shifted from a look of amusement and excitement, to a face of cold and hard sadness. The circles under his eyes look more prominent in the light, the edges of his lips fell. Xander knew he was right. But, yet, his father said nothing. he kept his mouth shut. It wasn't as if he was lying, he was just simply refraining from saying it outloud. The death of his wife still hurt to talk about.
Xander decided it was time to go to bed at that point, so, he got undress, pulled on some night clothes and crawled into bed. That night, Xander did nothing but read. He read for hours past midnight, to the point that it was hard to keep his eyes open any longer. Although, he eventually did fall asleep, only it was far later than he should have, and he did not care.
IN A LARGE warehouse, miles away from any other housing, sits a man. He listens to the conversation between Xanders father, Xander himself, and the detective. The man almost broke out laughing, they were getting a kid to work on the case? How desperate were they to catch him?
Johnathan Marce was his name. The murderer, the psychopath, the man that Xander would be up against soon enough. Johnathan listened closely as Timothy left. He heard Xander and his father chat about his new work for a few moments before the bug cut off. It must have gotten out of reach, the bug was only supposed to work if it was close to Xander so it made sense that it cut off now.
Jonathan Marce picked up his cellphone and called another man;
"Oh! Good evening John, what is it? Did the bug work?"
"Yes, the bug worked, and haven't I told you not to call me by my real name? If you get caught, then I'm gonna go down too!"
"Oh! Sorry sir, I wouldn't betray you or get you caught though sir."
"I'm not worried about you betraying me, I'm worried about you getting caught by one of the other detectives. If they find out that you're in contact with me, well, they will certainly be furious. So, be smarter about this."
"Sorry sir! But, they won't catch me! I'm smart enough not to get caught."
"Good. Anyways, are they serious about getting an eight-year-old on my case? There is simply no way he will ever find out about us though! He's a child! And yet, he's their last hope. Clearly the other detectives are incompetent of finding me out, and now this idiot?"
"Actually sir, this kid... he's far smarter than the whole team assigned to your case; He is the one who could do it, if anyone can. He's brilliant."
"not as good as me. I'll win."
And with that, Jonathan snapped his phone shut and placed it into his pocket. His spy was working perfectly, there's no way he could lose now. He would destroy this little idea of stopping him, he would keep killing no matter the cost. Why? Because he loved it. He loved the feeling of blood on his hands and the smell of flesh.
Jonathan walked across the cold stone floor to his room, he opened the door forcefully and it smacked against the wall with a loud 'Bang!' He then walked over to his bathroom, pulled the small container out of his mirror-cabinet, and drained the tiny bottle into his mouth. After swallowing, he crossed the room again and laid on the bed. Sighing in relief, he curled up and fell asleep quickly as the narcotics kicked in. He slept well that night, well indeed.