The two cars arrived at the station, and all of the men got out of the cars. Jack kept staring at Mike as though he was in some sort of trance. All that was going through his mind was how lucky his brother was to be there. Then Chief Kanya piped up, “Right guys, this way please!” There was an assertive tone that he didn’t have in his voice before; his voice was calming when they were in the woods. Mike was looking at Kanya as though he was going to punch him in the face.
Jack kept thinking about the man he saw at the coffee shop, and how that was the man who had taken his little girl. Kanya spoke out once more, “Mike, you need to tell us everything you have learned so far, as you have been holding out on us for weeks.” Mike didn’t seem to appreciate this order and stayed silent. Kanya opened the door to an interview room, walked in and smashed the tape recorder against the wall. He then walked back to the corridor, pushed Mike into the room and locked the door after entering. Jack was angered by this shouting, “What the fuck are you doing Kacey?” He continued to shout, “You better get your skinny ass back out here now!” Jack was punching the door and kicking but it was no good.
The door opened just a crack, and Kanya had a huge grin on his face. Jack burst the door open with a swift boot, only to see a banner up that said welcome back. “Sorry Jacky, we just wanted you to know how much we wanted you back with us.” Jack looked astonished, and at the same time had a red glow of embarrassment to his cheeks. Mike was the one to open the rounds of laughter, struggling to blurt out, “You thought Kacey was going to rough me up? Ahahahahahaha” Jack was looking like a spoilt child at this point, “Okay guys, I get it! I made a fool out of myself; let’s just move on.”
After the laughs were gone, the mood changed fairly quickly, back to the serious topic of kidnappings and possible murders. Mike was the one who said, “We need to get back out there and search those woods. I have found two cabins, both disgusting, and filled with photos, of what can be assumed victims or targets.” Kanya looked toward him in contemplation, and agreed with a firm nod. Jack had a look of terror on his face but removed it forcefully when Kanya cast his eyes on him, “You alright Jacky? It’s been such a long time…” Jack interrupted, “Yeah, I’m just ready to find this son of a bitch Kacey!” This was the most assertive Jack had been all night, and it sent a look of pride down to his face as his mouth remembered what it was like to smile again.
Mike, followed by Jack, left the station and jumped into a car. Jack got into the passenger side and adjusted his seat, “Just the way it used to be” he reminisced. Mike looked across to his brother; his partner and smiled into the mirror. This was what Mike had wanted for the last two years, the Hoskins reunited to fight against crime. Their dad had always treated them as some sort of super hero team when they were in the academy, and this was an idea that both men liked secretly.
“So, we going back to those woods?” asked Jack. Mike looked vacant for the first time in a long time. “What’s wrong Mike? You Okay?” Mike still gave no answer, but looked toward his brother. His face had become pale and had his eyes seemed to be glazed over. Jack ran straight back inside to grab the police doctor, “QUICK, Mike… THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH MIKE!!” The doctor ran to the car and pulled Mike to the ground, laying him out as though he was a sheet.
Mike could hear the feint sound of Jack shouting and could feel his body hit the cold wet ground. He felt his shirt being ripped open and then saw a light being flashed into his eyes. At first, he thought he was going to the light in the sky, but then he could make out the sound of the flashlight clicking on and off. He could hear Jack trying to comfort him, as though he was trying to talk him out of dying. He managed to mutter out what he thought was “I’ll be fine” but was in fact “ahhebffffn”
Jack was obviously worried about his brother, and started to shout at the doctor, “Why can’t he talk?” “Jacky, calm down, you aren’t helping anyone right now. He is delirious and it seems he has an infection of some sort.” “That damn axe; I should have taken him to the hospital!” Jack was angered by his stupidity to not tend to his brother’s wound. “It just needs to be covered with an anti-septic cloth and bandaged up. A couple of hours rest and then he should be fine.”
Mike awoke and he was in a white room, with no other colour to it at all. He could see a window and it was bright outside. “What time is it?” A voice came back to him, “quarter past 1.” This voice sounded familiar, but wasn’t one he had heard in a while. “Dad, is that you?” “Yes son… it’ me. How you feelin’?” Mike didn’t know how to respond at first, but started to speak in pride, “Dad, you need to go! I don’t want you seeing me like this.” A tear rolled down his cheek and onto the pillow. “See you like this? I’ve seen you in a lot worse states Mike!” Mike could sense the angry tone in his dad’s voice. “You better be getting well now Mike. Jack told me what happened and it sounds like you have an angel looking after you son.” Mike kept his eyes closed knowing what was coming next; “Like I’ve always told you, your Mum will always be looking out for you!” This was a sentiment never relayed to Jack but always rubbed into Mike’s face.
Jack entered the dingy room and saw his dad holding Mike’s hand in his. “That was a brave thing you did Jacky; going back for his body.” The first time his dad had shown any pride in Jack and it wasn’t long lasting, “But why did he get left there Jack?” Mike stepped in with a passionate cry, “It wasn’t Jack’s fault. I was hit with an axe, and Jack was in danger; I wouldn’t have wanted him to risk his life for mine… we both could have been killed.” Jack’s expression loosened, and he smiled toward Mike. Their dad had always treated them like opposites even though they got on like best friends.
“So Jacky, are you going back to your hideout after this?” His dad had such a nasty look on his face, and sneered right toward him. “Dad, leave him alone!” the defence came from Mike. “You never could fight your own battles Jack. That was always your problem.” It was this line that snapped something in Jack’s mind, “NO! You were always my problem Steve.” All men in the room looked shocked, even Jack who had decided this was the right time to speak out. “You have put me down my whole life. No matter what I did, I could never be as great as Mike. MUM NEVER LOOKED DOWN ON ME!” Jack began to get really angry and this had forced a nurse to come into the room, “Is everything okay in here?” she asked with an inquisitive, yet knowing tone. “Yes, everything is fine.” Steve snapped. “Are you sure? It’s just we heard shouting and what seemed to be arguing. “He’s a moron, that’s what’s wrong. I’m sorry for the shouting, it won’t happen again.” Jack said this in such an apologetic tone whilst keeping his eyes fixed firmly on his dad.
The nurse left the room, sighing away to herself while Mike lay shocked about what he had seen moments ago. “You are no son of mine” their dad snarled. Even though Jack was angry, this hurt him. He went to speak, but couldn’t bring out the words, and eventually left the room with tears caressing his cheeks. Mike was looking straight at his dad waiting for the correct reaction; it didn’t come. “Dad, you better be going after him now!” Mike had never spoken to his father like this. He was raised to obey him, not question him. “Don’t you start as well Mike!” the tone of his voice dropped from angry to desperate. Mike felt a drop of sympathy for his father, but knew he couldn’t side with him on this one. “Dad, what you just said to him, after everything he’s been through; he needs us now more than ever.” Mike hoped this speech would revive his father’s loving side, but instead it just convinced him to walk out of the room.
Steve went to the car park to find his car muttering to himself about respect and loyalty. He was so much in his own world, that he didn’t know the car steaming toward him. He looked up, saw the bright flash from the headlights and froze. It seemed in his head to be taking forever to reach him, as though time was slowed down, and his fate was fixed. He couldn’t bring himself to move, and all that was in his head was what he had just said to Jack. It replayed over and over “You’re no son of mine” “You’re no son of mine” until he clenched his eyes shut and waited for impact. Then BANG! He felt the impact, but not of a car, of a shoulder in his ribs; of hands grasping around him. Then his head tapped the ground and his back slammed hard against the grainy concrete of the car park. As the blur cleared from his eyes, he saw a familiar figure, “Jacky? After what I said to you… I’m sorry” Jack was crouching above his dad panting and out of breath. “You ARE my dad, and I’m not about to lose any more of my family!” He smiled and his dad sat up to embrace him. For the first time in years Jack had received love from his father.
© Copyright 2017 Ashley I Read. All rights reserved.
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