Fragments of a whole
‘Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself’
A phone rang in the middle of the night, disturbing the silence that had dominated it otherwise, stirring awake the soul that resided in the house. An uncoordinated hand brushed against watch, wallet and bedpost, before finally digits found the ringing cell phone, gripping it tightly and pressing it against an earlobe. Before there was time to speak the room drowned in the speech of a man, sounding exited and slightly scared. “Yes, yes, I know what time it is, yet that is not important right now. Listen carefully, no interruptions. I am mailing you the data as we speak and will send someone to pick you up at the airport when you get there, someone you know and have worked with before. I want you on the next plane there.”
The voice said, blurting it all out in one frantic incoherent mess. Whilst the conversation was being held there would be another sound in the room, the laptop signalling that a new email had come in, one specified as a high priority. In response to that the coverers were removed and bare feet touched the floor, bringing the person closer to the laptop, opening the lid and basking the room in a dim light, forcing eyelids to close somewhat, adjust to the new lighting. The person on the other end of the line was still talking, rattling on about ‘the case of the century’ or that this was the most complex and weird thing they would ever encounter in their lifetime. The phone fell to the ground when the email was opened and the data only partially reviewed, three photographs of potential research subjects were peering back from the screen, all three eerily similar to one another.
The phone wasn’t picked up until five minutes later, shaky hands clutching the cell phone and inquiring if the data was indeed accurate, no part of it fabricated or the facts deluded. When the conversation was giving there was another silence before the ok was given, telling the man on the phone what would be required and who would be part of the team. The conversation was then ended abruptly, the phone thrown on the bed and the person taking a seat behind the laptop, eyes scanning the information once more, digging for any and all detail. The report stated that these three men were currently in custody of a small time jail, having to deal with some minor charges of theft and possession of illegal substances.
A second look would be accompanied with blinking back surprise at their mug-shots, seeing three young males that have an uncanny similar appearance, even if they are identical triplets. Their profile is as colourful and nearly as interesting as their similarities. Orphaned after their mother died giving birth to them, all three of them going from foster home to foster home, never longer than a month, if even that. A required intelligence test at age ten had marked them as highly intelligent, yet their school reports spoke a different tale, quickly fading into numerous criminal records that increased in creativity and insanity. There have been cases similar like this one, where twins or triplets have an unnatural close bond and trust between them, almost overlapping, yet never one like this. In all of these cases it was simply a fault in the facts, an investigator’s own delusion or a very, very symbiotic sibling bond. One thing was for certain, those few days until they were released would be the brief window of time to investigate these men, otherwise it would take months and years to track them down again.
Eight hours later
Deputy Liana Toress considered herself a woman with both feet on the ground, if not a bit to firmly. Although their town was quite small and not noteworthy, it still had its steady stream of travellers, most of them staying for the day when they were underway to the larger cities in the west and east. She had seen kidnapping rings, serial killers and smugglers in her time; all adding to her reputation and confidence, yet even this was too much for her. Three men, brothers, had been arrested four nights ago, found in a drunken stupor in a bar they had been in. On them they had found a few illegal substances, enough to see them behind bars, yet not enough to see actual jail time. They would hold the brothers for as long as they could, yet could do no more than that.
The minute the men had sobered up was the minute all the strangeness began, so strange that the sheriff –a man she had known for ten years and had seen the worst humanity had to offer, if not even more than that-, grew frightened and made a few calls to people who might be able to make sense of the men. The first two nights they had put the brothers in three separate cells, yet come morning all three of them would be in one cell, all the locks not showing any signs of wear or tear. This alone was worrying enough, yet it was far from the weirdest thing about them. Alone they were unique men, yet together you would quickly feel like something was wrong, horribly wrong.
The minute she stepped before the three young males she noticed something terrifying, all three heads cocking their heads and glancing at her direction, displaying a mixture of emotions, yet each and every one having that predatorily gaze in their eyes. The brother on the left, the one with the Milan Mohawk hairstyle, was slouching against the wall, taking deep puffs of his cigarette , yet not exhaling the smoke. The man on the right was running a hand through his hair, combing it backwards and exhaling puffs of smoke, yet not smoking himself. He grinned when Liana’s eyes went wide at this, creating intricate smoke rings before he breathed normally again, his smoking brother now exhaling the smoke.“How can I help you, Deputy Liana Toress?”
The brother in the middle said, calmly gazing at her, hands relaxed. His hair was the longest of the brothers, combed backwards and touching the back of his lower neck. He looked more calm and composed than his other brothers; the mature type, yet the way he spoke her full name was making her whole spine shiver. Alone he would be an attractive man in his own right, yet together with these… similarities, he was almost an arcane apparition, something that wasn’t supposed to be real. The fact that he knew her full name was also worrying her, suddenly hating it that her badge displayed this. She collected herself, steeled her voice and spoke in an unwavering tone, letting the brothers know that there would be investigators coming in for a second opinion, arriving within a few hours. “And what are we to do in those lonesome hours until they get here?”
The smoking brother said, running the hot end of the cigarette against the wall, exhaling a large cloud of smoke and stepping through it, leaning against the iron bars and smiling at what stood in front of him. “Why don’t you step inside and I show you how to take advantage of this time?”
The man on the left said, calmly standing upwards, making his way towards the gate in a more fluid way, almost gracefully. His eyes took her in and nearly bolted her to the ground, holding her in place.
They always did this, taking turns talking or even switching it up mid-sentence. At first it was just creepy and well-rehearsed, yet even separated they continued to do so, giving you the impression that they weren’t three brothers, well bonded triplets, but one man living in three bodies. When the middle brother stood up, taking regal steps towards the bars and her, she couldn’t take it anymore, quickly rushing back up the stairs and closing the door behind her, heart beating violently. Whatever these brothers were, the investigators would have their hands full on them.