Chapter 2: Céleste Polisson

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 346

The ride back had been long, or maybe it had been short. Mint hadn't been able to tell. The only thing he had focused on was the violent jostling of the truck's contents.

Now, he was in a room. Was it a basement? It was dark, cold, and empty. It had that feel to it. It had that creepy, chilling feel Mint could remember feeling whenever he entered a basement as a child. It was the fear that ghosts and monsters could reveal themselves from the darkness at any moment. That was the same fear he felt now, but it was different.

Children see the world in magical ways, but when you grow older that changes. Mint remembered the ugly, furry or scaly, drooling monsters with sharp teeth and blood-shot eyes and the pale, sickly, bloodied ghosts he always imagined in his younger years. Those were monsters too, but those were a child's definition of a monster. If Mint answered the question of "What is a monster?" twenty years ago, he would have answered with that child's definition. If he were asked it today, he would talk about the mistakes of human beings he has seen on his job.

Mint didn't know how long he had been shaking in that bitter, damp room, but he knew his body ached from the rope bound around his wrists and legs. He knew he was cold and scared. He knew he didn't want to be here, but the worst of it all was what he had found out in the truck. It was beyond comprehension.

The recording he heard before his friend drove him away in the truck was playing over and over again in his head. He quaked with a kind of curious, heartbroken fear.

Mint's fear only heightened when he heard a door open. He instinctively shuffled backwards against the wall, his feet scraping against the dusty concrete floor. The lights flicked on and the door clicked shut -- the woman came into view. Mint fought himself to say something. He had so many questions he didn't know what to ask first.

"Why...?" Seemed the most important -- his own voice had surprised him on how shaky and unsure it sounded.

She didn't answer and only approached him. She was holding a laptop in her left hand, a small portable one. She sat down in front of him and placed the laptop on her lap, opening it.


She pushed a finger against Mint's lips, staring into his hazel eyes for a few seconds before removing it. She didn't want him talking.

The light of the laptop shined against the woman's beige skin. Her eyes were dull, grey orbs staring into the computer screen. Mint could see the bulges of the scars across her face; there was one below her right eye, one across her left cheek, and one on her neck. He thought there could be more, but her deep green jacket covered most of her torso.

Her dull, almost emotionless, quiet nature was a unique feature he had loved about her. He had missed it. However, that quirk he once loved now scared him more than anything.

Mint wondered what she was doing, and the agony of waiting was getting to him. It had only been two minutes, but in this situation it was the worst wait of his life. He assumed there would be more recordings, but in reality he could be about to be showed anything.

She finally set her laptop down and pivoted it into Mint's direction. There was a small window up with nothing except for play, rewind, and forward buttons. In the background, behind the window, there were tons of folders with different names. Some sounded normal, like the "Pictures" and "Music" folders. However, some sounded suspicious, like the "Research" and "Recordings" folders. Those would be normal folders if this laptop belonged to somebody else, but it belonged to a criminal, a criminal he had never known to be one before. The woman tapped play.

"You know me, Céleste Polisson, first name meaning 'heavenly' and surname meaning 'rascal'. Very fitting for my morally grey nature. You always liked that little introduction, huh, Mint?" The voice paused, "It really has been a long time. What, six years? I don't know what happened, but we just stopped talking. I'm glad I found you again though."

Céleste still had not answered Mint's question. His face contorted. Don't cry. Don't cry.

A deep breath was heard, "Well, I searched for you after moving to Canada. I lived in England during those years we were apart, but something sparked me to move here and find you again. You'll find out that reason later." She sighed, "I have a lot to tell you. We've known each other for so long, but there has been so much I've been hiding from you." The recording stopped there.

Mint wondered what Céleste wanted to tell him. He wondered what she had been hiding. He wondered why she chose this way to tell him. Were her secrets that bad? Were they bad enough she had to have him bound and unable to run?

He realized he had gotten distracted by his thoughts again when his captor, and his old friend, dragged the laptop back toward herself. She pulled up another recording in the plain window, clicking play. She set the delicate piece of technology down and stared at Mint. It was more of a glare. He felt her eyes alone were threatening him to listen carefully. This woman needed no words to communicate what she wanted.

"You're probably wondering what I want to tell you. I want to tell you stories, stories of violence and crime. Stories of my violence and my crime." It started.

Mint knew her to be deviant when they were kids. She got in her fair share of fights throughout middle and high school. She used to threaten peers and teachers. She had convinced him to partake in petty crimes, like shoplifting and trespassing and vandalism, but all of it was nothing more than fun and games and teen stupidity, right?

Mint began to feel stressed. He was trying to piece things together too quickly. He felt heavy and confused. He wanted to grab his mind and throw it. He wanted to groan and scream, but he stayed still and kept a calm appearance.

"I've had a long history of it. It went from the smallest things like vandalism to the biggest things like murder." There was a small laugh, "Some of it was actually laughable. When I was only six years old, I snapped our cat's neck because he bit me. It was a little sad, poor Tigre."

All Mint could think was how that could be laughable. He remembered Tigre dying. She told him it was an accident.

"When I was seven, I set our neighbor's yard on fire because I couldn't play in the backyard. When I was nine, I threw a chair at my teacher because I was angry, but I missed." Céleste let out another small giggle, "Ah, but in middle school I started to beat the kids who bullied me. They called me psycho and creepy: uncreative, edgy insults. So, on multiple occasions I punched and kicked them to the ground. They cried a lot, and they thought they were big and tough. I only proved to them the names they called me, but I didn't care."

Mint had known about the chair. He was in her class when it happened. He pushed it off. People do impulsive things that aren't necessarily the smartest decisions, especially kids. He had known about the fights, but he had a problem of getting in fights too when he was a teenager. He couldn't be a hypocrite. The fire, well, he didn't know that that had been her. She lied and told him a cigarette started it. He believed her. The neighbors were avid smokers.

All these things he had pushed off so easily beforehand, now felt so wrong. He was shaking. Weren't they just dumb kids? Deviant teens? That's all they had been. That's all. Mint didn't want to accept the truth.

"I distinctly remember throwing a brick at them once too. That is when I got expelled. In response to getting expelled, I killed the principal's dog. I was around fourteen then." A breath, "I got arrested but Ellie, my mom, you remember her, and her friend's all pitch in money to bail me out. All I had to do was some community service. Wasn't that bad."

Mint remembered that. It was in the news. It wasn't some headline thing, but it was a small story. He remembered Ashley, his mom, even pitched in a little money. Why did he ignore this? Why did it all hit him so hard now? He felt sick. He pulled his knees to his chest, his tied up legs dragging against the floor. Why did they all ignore it?

They had had so many good times together. When it snowed, they used to sled off the roof into a big pile of snow. They'd do it until they got too cold and had to go inside and drink the hot apple cider his mom always made. They used to play in the woods and climb up trees, sometimes racing each other through the dense forest. They used to steal candy from the little convenience stores near their houses. There was this really good sour candy they both loved that they could only find at that one store. Sometimes they actually bought it when they had the money. They used to bake cakes and brownies at his mother's cafe. They either turned out really good or into some monstrosity, but they always had fun either way. They used to tease Pepper, his twin sister, about not joining in on their antics, but they all laughed it off and watched some bad movie together. What happened to all of that? Did it mean anything?

"It was a rocky road of violence for me, but it was weird. I don't know why I did any of it. Was I angry? Was I frustrated? Was I depressed? Was I happy? It was none of that. I was indifferent. My reactions of the violent acts were just as simple and as ordinary as the acknowledgement of a cup sitting on a table." Céleste inquired.

The recording stopped. Something about the last sentence felt strong, emotionally strong. She didn't have the feeling in her voice, but the statement still rang loud and clear.

Mint got pulled back into reality after he heard another click. Another recording started. He felt tired. He didn't want to listen anymore. He just wanted to fall asleep, even if it meant doing so bound up in a basement.

Céleste pointed to the screen then held up one finger to Mint. He could only assume that meant this was the last recording. He breathed a sigh of relief.

"I want to tell you the purpose of you being here, or what exactly I want to tell you." It started off, "You're here to figure out why you're here. You have to listen to these stories I will tell you then guess why I want you. It's like solving a little puzzle. If you can help solve crimes, you can find my reason, Officer Mint."

Mint felt like there was a big weight being thrown on top of him, a crushing ball of stress. He remembered walking home earlier; he had been so excited to crash at home and relax after the pressure of work. He felt close to panic. What was happening?

I was kidnapped by my best friend, he thought. Thinking that statement as truth startled him. I was kidnapped by my best friend, he thought again.

He decided to just pay attention to the rest of the recording. Who knows? Maybe resting after will help his brain regain control of his thoughts and allow him to process all of this better. He took a deep breath and listened more.

"I'm going to tell you every intricate detail of each of the three murders I committed." There was a small pause, "All were done before the age of fourteen."

That being said, the recording ended. Céleste grabbed her laptop, shut it, then returned upstairs. The lights shut off, and Mint was left to cower alone until he fell asleep. His emotion could only be best described as when a child first discovers evil, violence, and crime; he already knew of it, of course, but there was something about hearing it in this manner that made it all worse. Something about knowing that his best friend since école maternelle did all these horrible things made it all worse. In a sense, he felt he had lost his innocence again.

Submitted: April 03, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Misha Drahoslav. All rights reserved.


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