Chapter 15: Hunter

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I hadn’t expected Rem to actually contact this “Hunter” – whose real name was Brent Douglas – so quickly after our decision. But he did, and a few days, some emails, and a couple of secret phone calls later Rem bounced into my room with renewed enthusiasm and told me that detective Douglas had agreed to meet us here in Sunset Valley. A few days after that we really were standing in front of a diner where Rem had told detective Douglas to show up in. It was all happening so… fast, especially after all that waiting and dead ends we’d encountered with so far. I guess I shouldn’t complain. I had to remind myself that hiring a detective would be just the start of finding Donna. Heck, we didn’t even know if we could afford to hire him. Or if he even was there. Or if…

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“Are you sure that this is gonna work?” I asked, “That we can trust him?”

Rem nodded.

“He saved us,” he said, “Well, after he got us in that trouble he saved us from. But he didn’t mean it. Getting people in trouble, I mean. Besides, we can’t turn back now.”

“Actually, we could,” I smiled, “But there’s no way we’re doing it. I was just voicing the obligatory worries.”

“Oh? Ooo…kay. You’re weird sometimes.”

I raised my brows.

“Hey, that’s what I keep saying about you.”

Rem stuck out his tongue– real mature – and pushed the diner’s door open.

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We hadn’t eaten in that diner before. Actually, aside from the occasional moment of celebration, we didn’t eat out much in general. Patrick loved cooking, and his food had been delicious for as long as I could remember, so why waste time waiting 45 minutes for possibly unimpressive food in a crowded restaurant? And that was for the nice places. This diner was… well, I guess it was cosy in a way, but it looked like whoever had designed it had gone through a checklist of diner clichés and put them together. The tartan upholstery for the booths was maybe a bit more original, but the checkerboard floors and the rubber trees kind of made my eyes hurt.

“He’s there, at the back booth,” said Rem in a low voice, as if he didn’t want to disturb the other customers.

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I looked and saw a brown-haired man sitting alone there. He had a bottle of ice tea in front of him, and he seemed to be expecting company. I had never seen the man before, but Rem seemed to know exactly what Mr. Douglas looked like. Maybe he had seen the man when I’d been in a coma in the hospital. Or then he’d seen him in those visions he had told his story about so long ago.

We made our way to the booth, and the man looked up when we got close enough. His face was serious, but there was a bit of warmth in his eyes. They sparked with recognition, and he actually smiled. Some of the seriousness still remained, though.

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“I really never imagined I’d be seeing you again,” he said. His voice was surprisingly deep and kind of rough, “Wow, this is… kind of strange.”

“Hello,” said Rem, “You’re Brent Douglas, aren’t you? We talked on the phone.”

“Yeah, we did,” said Brent Douglas, “You’re Rem Monsoon and Marilynn Farley.”

I nodded. Detective Douglas seemed to ponder something for a while, and then he sighed.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “I didn’t know… back then. I didn’t know he’d do anything like that.”

“It’s fine,” said Rem at once, “You didn’t mean it.”

“Right,” I could only say, “If it’s okay, we could maybe not talk about it? It’s… what’s done is done.”

Douglas nodded.

“Alright. I understand. But the apologies needed to be said,” he managed a small shred of a smile, “So, I guess we need to talk business, then. You had a case for me.”

I shifted uncomfortably. Douglas gestured towards the empty seats in front of him.

“There’s no need to be so on edge. You can sit down. And buy something if you want. The food here isn’t that great, but the snacks and desserts are pretty damn good.”

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We bought a bagel for me, a piece of lime pie for Rem, and a bottle of ice tea we could split. Rem had at first wanted hot tea, but had backed down immediately after he’d realised the only flavour available was Simpton Yellow Label, which he detested. We took our food to Douglas’s table and sat down after stiffly shaking his hand. I studied the man discreetly while I let Rem do the talking like I had told him. I still couldn’t quite decide how to deal with this. This was the man who had let Laketon find us. He seemed friendly, even when he stayed in the business talk like the professional he probably was. There was also something kind of relaxed about him. I could imagine him in a basement office, drinking the occasional beer while he went through his case files, and maybe even monologuing sometimes when he thought it was funny. If he hadn’t done what he had, I could have probably liked him. But even as I tried convincing myself that Douglas had been just an unwitting pawn, and that if he hadn’t taken the job, Laketon would just have found someone else, a small part of me had to be a little mad at Douglas. Maybe I just needed more time. How much, I didn’t know.

“So, Rem already told me the basics on the phone,” said Douglas, looking at me and I was mentally startled for a moment until I realised that he was just trying to bring us all up to speed and in fact hadn’t somehow heard my inner anger, “So we don’t have to start holding a presentation here in a public place. Now I just need to know where to start. You said you have something on that, right?”

“Right,” said Rem and pulled a small folder from under his sleeveless hoodie. Apparently hiding it there had made things more secret. Rem pushed the folder across the table, “We don’t know anything about where she is now. But there are pictures. And an old address. She doesn’t live there anymore as far as we know.”

Douglas went through the couple of copied pictures and the notes we had stored into the folder. He nodded a couple of times, and then leaned on the edge of the table with the serious expression back on his face.

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“I can work with this,” he said, “But… look, I actually don’t take cases from minors.”

Rem bit his lip.

“I understand. But… my dad doesn’t want my mother to be found. Our parents wouldn’t let you do this.”

“Yeah, you told me. I just… you have to realise I’m really making an exception with you guys in many ways. And yes, it has a lot to do with guilt.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re honest about it,” I said before I could stop myself.

“Hey, you shouldn’t complain. I get the job done,” said Douglas with a bit of a smirk, and I definitely would have got along with him hadn’t there been flames and crazy biological parents between us. Then he was serious again.

“Look, this really isn’t the best place to talk about the details. Confidentiality and all that. I got my papers and I got to see that you’re okay. And apologise. That was all I wanted.”

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“So you’ll help us?” Rem asked with enthusiasm he didn’t even try to contain.

“Yes,” said Douglas, “Call my work number, and we’ll iron out the final details.”

Rem glanced at me, a grin of anticipation on his face. It was contagious.

“Thank you,” Rem said, maybe mostly to Douglas, but a little bit to me too.

At least Douglas seemed to be right about one thing: the diner had some pretty good snacks and desserts. We parted ways after we were done eating, but Rem wanted to call him right once we got to a quieter place. Mum and Patrick were home, so we went to Sunset Valley’s central park and spent an hour there until we figured Douglas had got back to his hotel room or wherever he went for the night. So we found a quiet spot and called him, with Rem putting the speaker on so quiet that we both had to strain our ears to hear it.

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Douglas’s voice came through muffled because of the volume:

“So, here we go: I hope you don’t make a habit out of this. This is a one-time deal from me. And even though I can give you a discount, you have to realise that I’m going to be working on more official cases and this will just be on the side.”

“We understand,” Rem said quietly, “We all need money to live. Well, unless we move into the wilderness and become self-sufficient, like dad sometimes dreams of. So how much would this cost?”

Douglas was quiet for a while. I heard some very faint rustling through the phone and imagined he was thoughtfully leafing through the measly information we had dug up about Donna, and then maybe thinking about secrecy and why he was doing this and then coming back to guilt and wanting to do a favour. Or something like that.

“I can probably keep this around three hundred,” he finally said, “But I can only know for sure once the job’s done. Is that okay?”

We looked at each other. It would be a lot of money for jobless teens like us, but not as much as I had feared. I thought about my savings. I had around two hundred there. Enough for one tattoo for my arm. Rem saw my hesitation and then smiled.

“I’ll get the money for this; it is for me anyway.”

“You’re pretty broke, as far as I know,” I pointed out, “Don’t you use all your money on art supplies?”

Rem shrugged.

“I’ll just… help dad in the garden now that you’re the witch’s helper. And I can do drawing commissions for our friends. And maybe dad and mum also know someone who’d like a painting or something.”

He turned back to the phone.

“It’s okay. Thank you.”

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“Good,” said Douglas, “I’m going to keep this mostly a desk job, which should be enough with my connections, unless there’s something really fishy going on with your mum. If she’s dead like you said might be an option, I’ll get proof. If she isn’t, I’ll do a little bit of surveillance to make sure she really lives where I’ll trace her. Then I’ll get back to you. I don’t know when, but it shouldn’t take too long. I’ve done this before.”

Yup. He certainly had.

We exchanged goodbyes and Rem put his phone away. We looked at each other in the darkening park, the new secret hanging heavy around us.

“Now we just have to hope your mum isn’t magical enough to hide from a private detective,” I said in an attempt to both voice our unspoken worry and lighten the mood.

Rem shrugged his shoulders.

“Let’s think about that if that happens. This is better than doing nothing, right?”

It was, maybe. But someone had to be the realist in this situation. And years of experience had proven that it would almost inevitably be me when Rem and I were put in the same room.

“What if she really is dead?” I asked solemnly.

“I don’t think she is,” said Rem.

“Is that something you just know?”

Rem looked a bit uncomfortable.

“Well, no. But it’s something I want to believe.”

I guess hope was worth a few hundred simoleons, even if it might end up in tears. And even if it did, we would probably at least have more answers then. I tried to smile.

“Come on, let’s go home before mum and Patrick get worried.”

We didn’t hear from Douglas the Hunter for quite a while. We tried to pretend like everything was normal and act like we totally weren’t up to something. I wasn’t sure if it worked all the time, but at least mum and Patrick didn’t get suspicious enough to start questioning us. To forget about the wait, we both immersed ourselves into our summer break activities the best we could.

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Rem really seemed to take his promise to pay Douglas seriously. He started asking around if people wanted something drawn or painted for them, and even asked mum and Patrick to find more customers for him. Mum and Patrick were just happy that both of their kids were so hard-working and willingly integrating into the working community – mum’s words, not mine – so they did their best to help. Patrick was especially enthusiastic to let Rem help him with the gardening and even cooking.

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That last part wasn’t so great, because Rem was an atrocious cook. I wasn’t sure how he did it, but there didn’t seem to be a dish he couldn’t get burned, or too salty, or just plain messed up and looking like some kind of greyish pink mush. After a couple of end results like that Patrick took it upon himself to teach his son to become a better cook and did his best to keep Rem away from the family’s food at the same time. For the most part Patrick’s teachings weren’t really getting through, but at least Rem did learn to make pretty good salads and even some tasty wok – with seitan, fresh vegetables, and plenty of coconut milk – by the end of summer.

I, on the other hand, was busy with Sabine’s garden. It was still a constant battle with stubborn and sometimes even bizarrely sturdy weeds and partly hardened soil. Sabine usually offered me a glass of cola after I was done for the day, and I took my chance to talk to her whenever I could. I even managed to connect with her through what she and 99 percent of people couldn’t resist – cat videos. She smiled and her usually sombre façade melted away whenever she saw goofy kittens on the screen of my smartphone. I could count that as a success, possibly a step towards solving the other mystery that was still in my hands.

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Or maybe I could count that as a step towards befriending the kind of surly not-witch of Sunset Valley. Because there was something about Sabine I could really identify with. Maybe it was her disconnect from most people. Maybe it was the little things I could learn about her, like how she still played contrabass and had dreamed of becoming a film composer when she was younger. She was interesting, to put it simply. Someone I really wanted to talk to.

So one rainy day I even walked all the way to her house and greeted her before she pointed out that I shouldn’t have come today because the weather was abysmal.

“I’m not about to put you out in the rain,” she said, almost snapped as if I had actually insulted her by showing up.

“Oh,” I said. I looked outside and only now really registered what rain meant for my gardening job, “I guess I was just that excited about pulling out those weeds. That backyard’s starting to look a lot better now.”

There was an awkward silence, one I broke with a smile that cut through it like a grin-shaped shard of glass.

“Well, I’m not made of sugar. I can handle a little rain.”

“No way!” Sabine snapped, “If you get sick out there, it’s on me! I should sent you right back home.”

“What?” I said in mock hurt, “Out in the rain? But if I get sick, it’s on you.”

Sabine almost smiled.

“Kids these days,” she muttered, “Such nerve… Fine, you can stay for a while. Until the rain lets up. You know how it is around here. There’s usually a break in it soon enough. Maybe you can make yourself useful and help me make some coffee. The damn coffee tin is stuck again…”

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We ended up drinking the coffee and then watching a film on TV. It was in black and white, about a game of chess with death. I was enthralled with it.

“I’ve seen this film a couple of times,” Sabine said during one annoying commercial break, “But it’s certainly good for a few more views.”

There was a hint of tears in her voice, but none on her face.

“I didn’t even know about this film,” I said, “It’s nice, though.”

“You kids don’t get enough good entertainment, if you don’t even hear about classics like this,” Sabine scoffed.

“Hey, give me a break. There are good modern classics too. Besides, I’m more of a reader than watcher.”

I leaned back on the comfortable couch.

“Were films like this that made you want to get into film industry?”

“Among others,” Sabine said, “But those dreams were just too grand. I ended up as a nurse. Definitely not a bad career to work in either.”

“So… how did that happen?”

Sabine shook her head.

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“You are too curious,” she said, “Sometimes, not all questions need to be answered.”

I stiffened slightly. Did she know? Maybe. She was looking at me with very knowing eyes, at least.

“I…” I said, but then realised I didn’t know how to go on, “Of course they… don’t.”

Oh, damn, that was pathetic. Sabine sighed.

“You have been very helpful, and it’s nice talking to you. I’m not sending you away just because you have too many questions.”

“Oh… well, thanks. I mean, there’s still a lot of work to do.”

We didn’t talk much after that. I just thanked her and said that the sky was clearing once the film was over. Then I left home and promised to come back to work tomorrow if the weather was being less soggy.

I only realised later in the evening that there had been something very fragile in Sabine’s eyes when she had talked about curiosity and questions.

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Out of all of us, mum was the only one who had official work during most of the summer. She was writing her articles and her blog, and sometimes she invited her writer colleagues – usually a nice man named Connor Frio – to our house to talk about a story. We usually steered clear of her then, because she hated being interrupted during a crucial working time. When she had free time, however, she was again our nice, smiling, excitable mum who loved to go outside for walks and talk about everything we found interesting.

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Perhaps most importantly considering my summer, she was also teaching me to drive a car, like she’d promised during the spring. She was a patient teacher, even though for the most part she didn’t need to be because I found myself learning very quickly. I really liked driving, and not just because a driver’s license meant more freedom and was a sign of being nearly a grown-up – although that definitely helped too. I liked the smooth way our car responded to my controls, and the appropriate challenge of weaving through traffic. It was oddly relaxing even when the driving school’s endless lessons about being on high alert and looking around like a total paranoid were echoing in my head, and the driving lessons in fact became our relaxing mother-daughter moments of the summer.

I really loved it.

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When it came to parenting, Patrick was definitely no slouch either. Patrick usually took his summer breaks very seriously. As in, he definitely didn’t want to do any school-related things during them, save for the obligatory duties in preparation for the next semester, and the spontaneous teaching he did as a dad of the family. Merrill could stay home from kindergarten, and my – or Rem’s – babysitter services weren’t needed nearly as often. Patrick loved to stay home with us. Although since Rem and I were out of the house so much, he mostly stayed home with just Merrill. They did finger painting and went for walks outside and played at the local playgrounds. Patrick often enthused about how he could again break out the old games Rem and I were too old to play. He was such a dork, and I say that in a very loving manner.

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And even though most of his time went for taking care of Merrill, he found time for the rest of us too. Sometimes he and mum did the sappiest possible things, such as went outside to stargaze romantically. He and Rem did gardening together, and went out for walks in the forest. And with me… well, I usually turned to mum for most things, as much as I loved Patrick. Mum usually understood me better. But to my surprise Patrick took an interest in my tattoo plans. I wouldn’t have expected the all-natural Patrick to really care for tattoos, but he actually spent a lot of time doing research on them and even promised to give his written consent that was required when a minor went to get tattooed any day.

So when the day I was ready to get my first tattoo arrived, he and I got on a bus that took us all the way to the huge city of Bridgeport, because Patrick’s research had turned up – among other things – how many animal parts usually went under the skin in the tattooing process. So Patrick had looked up all the nearby and not so nearby vegan tattoo places for me. Finally we had settled for a place simply called Bridgeport CMYK, mostly because their work looked good and they had actually agreed to tattoo me despite me being only sixteen. They had only agreed for one picture, though, so I’d had to choose which scar to cover first.

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That was why I sat in the bus with Patrick for nearly three hours, occasionally nervously scratching my bicep that would soon have a picture on it. Rem had helped me turn a simple idea into a pretty nice design. It would be nothing too fancy. Just some watery swirls and some flowers. Something I could possibly expand or modify later in life. It would cover up the scar nicely, I hoped, even though the skin would still be just as uneven as before.

“Are you scared?” Patrick asked at one point, “You look a bit nervous.”

“Meh, it’s nothing.”

“That’s good. Sure, it will hurt, but it’s not that bad. Some say it’s like getting a bee sting, or being burned… in the sun.”

He added that last part hastily when I squeezed the edge of my seat a bit too tightly. Patrick smiled.

“It’ll be fine. And hey, we can grab a bite at a café somewhere. Bridgeport has some great ones, I’ve heard. They have organic vegan lattes! I’m not even a coffee guy and I want to try some.”

I smiled. It was hard to stay too nervous with Patrick around.

“And if my tattoo comes out nicely, I can finally wear short sleeves again,” I said, “That really would be nice. This hot weather is killing me.”

Patrick smiled back at me.

“That’s the spirit!”

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The tattoo place was surprisingly cosy, and it had a nice owner. That didn’t make my nervousness fade a whole lot, and the next few hours were pretty unpleasant all in all. People I didn’t know around me, sticking a needle into my skin thousands of times. But then it was done, and we were sitting in a nice café with organic soy lattes in front of us. My arm was covered with my clothing, a sterile pad, and tons of anti-bacterial aftercare ointment, and I was in some sort of daze. I stared at the cute foam kitten in my cup for what felt like an hour before I remembered to take a sip of it.

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“Hey, dad,” I said after putting my now kittenless latte down.

Patrick’s mouth quirked into an especially happy smile.

“What?”

“This stuff really is good. Also… thanks.”

“Don’t mention it.”

He drank the rest of his drink and then looked at the cup like he was trying to predict the future from the remains of the coffee.

“You know what? I think they have courses on making fancy coffees in Sunset Valley. You think I should go to one?”

He thought about it for a moment longer.

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“Nah. I think we can use the money for something better. Like coming back here when you’re allowed to get the rest of your arm done.”

“So you really like it?” I said and lifted my newly wounded arm.

“Yeah. It came out real nice.”

“I can’t wait to show it to Min. And Michel. And mum. And, well, everyone.”

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I hadn’t thought it was possible for Patrick to look even happier than before, but he sure did after that statement.

When we got back home, our happiness dwindled quickly, however, because we found mum sitting on our couch, her shoulders tense and a calendar open in her phone. Rem was sitting next to her, and Merrill was playing on the floor and seemed to be the only carefree person in the room.

“Honey?” Patrick asked, “What’s wrong?”

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He glanced at the phone and then paled a bit.

“Oh, wait… today is… oh, has it been that long already?”

Mum nodded.

“What?” I asked, “What day is today?”

“Laketon got out of jail,” mum said quietly, “We were informed a few weeks ago that he’d be getting out a bit sooner than what he was sentenced for… they told us not to worry, but just that we should know.”

I felt ice in my stomach and fire in my veins. I slumped on the floor next to the couch, and mum reached out to put her hand on my shoulder.

“It’s okay,” she said and tried her best to sound confident through her own worry, “He can’t get us here. They’ll be watching him. And we’ll be watching out.”

“He doesn’t know we’re here,” Patrick added, “And I doubt he wants to mess everything up again.”

I only nodded. I felt hollow, and I had no idea what to feel. Scared? I didn’t want to be scared anymore. But I was. A little. I couldn’t help it. Angry at the justice system for not locking Laketon up for longer? Maybe, but raging wouldn’t solve anything. Or should I just think rationally that he had probably been influenced by Villia and wouldn’t come back for us?

I really wanted to believe that. And I certainly wasn’t about to go back to looking over my shoulder. We were here. Far away from him. There was no need to worry.

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Still, we all huddled up together that evening and put on the TV to drown out our worry-filled silence. The only one who still didn’t have a care in the world was Merrill, although even he could sense that something was wrong, so he mostly stayed quiet aside from the occasional giggle when the silly people on TV did something funny. For the most part he just made faces at the TV and enjoyed the cuddles we gave him. It occurred to me that one day little Mer would grow up too. And that at one point we would have to tell him about Laketon and the fire. Merrill was a part of our family, and the fire was – no matter how little we wanted to admit it – something that had defined us in many ways for so many years now.

But right now, he didn’t need to know that.

“Hey, Rem,” I said, my voice so quiet it almost got lost in the TV noise.

“Yeah?”

“I think it’s my turn to hold Mer now.”

Rem smiled.

“What do you say, Merry? You want a hug from Lynn too?”

Mer glanced at me, eyes big and innocent. He reached his small arms out to me.

“Yes, please!”

Yup. He definitely didn’t need to know about the dark side of life yet. Not to that degree anyway. Boogeymen could stay in storybooks for a little longer.

Laketon didn’t jump through our window that night, or the nights after that. Life went back to normal again, with the usual slight tension in the background. I went back to work. Sabine’s garden was still only half-done, and I liked how the great war against weeds, along with the driving lessons and my moments with friends, kept me busy and my thoughts away from freed convicts.

Then, when the summer break was only a month from being over, we really got something else to think about; we heard from the Hunter again. That day was a warm one, and I had offered to take Merrill to the playground while the others took a break from our endlessly cute but also endlessly demanding toddler. It was a warm day, but the warmth was not as heavy as it had been a month ago. It wouldn’t be that long before the air would become lighter and cooler, and autumn would start sneaking in and painting the trees with flames like a particularly hard to catch graffiti artist. I found myself actually wondering if we would have time to go to the beach before the weather made water too chilly. Wow, one picture in my arm really did wonders for my self-esteem, didn’t it?

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“Okay, Mer,” I said after glancing at the time, “I think it’s time to start getting back home. One more ride on the rocket and then we’ll leave.”

Merrill, who had been driving the spring-mounted rocket ship for the last fifteen minutes, looked at me with a small frown.

“No!” he said adamantly, “Five rides!”

“One.”

“Five.”

“One.”

“Four?”

“Hey, you’re slowly learning to haggle. Congrats. Okay, you get two, but that’s as high as I’ll go. And one ride means two minutes. So how much is two rides?

Merrill’s face scrunched up.

“Two and two?”

“Yeah,” I held up two and two fingers. Merrill looked for a while and then he smiled.

“Four!”

“That’s right! And I’m counting… now!”

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I had just got to four minutes and started another small argument with Merrill about getting off the plane when Rem came running to the playground and stopped near me with his face red and voice winded.

“Lynn!” he gasped, “You’ve got to hear this!”

“Hang on,” I said, “And catch your breath. One thing at a time.”

I looked at Mer with a very pointed look.

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“Okay, kiddo, someone needs to be the bad guy and teach you that life sucks most of the time. We’re going home right now. The rocket’s landed, and Patrick’s making dim sum.”

Merrill crossed his tiny arms and pouted. Very impressively.

“Yuck!”

“You don’t even know what dim sum is, kid.”

Yuck!

“I’m getting you out of that thing now.”

“NO! Lynn is being bad!”

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“That’s not going to work this time,” I said and snatched him up, lifting him high above my head where his would-be scream turned into a giggle, before I propped him properly against my hip.

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“Lynn!” Rem said impatiently, “This is really important! The Hunter just called, and-“

“Okay, slow down,” I said, “You ran all the way here to talk to me about that when this little tattletale is right here with us!”

I nudged my head towards Merrill, who was still pouting and slowly processing crash-landed rocket ships and the unfairness of the world. Rem looked at Merrill, and then at me, his enthusiastic smile turning into an embarrassed chuckle.

“Oh. Right. Hold on.”

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He pulled out his phone and quickly started typing a message.

“Oh, for the love of-“ I sighed, “Seriously?”

*beep*

I set Mer down and read the message. It was three words, the words we’d been hoping to hear the moment we’d hired Douglas.

Hunter found her.

I looked up at Rem, and slowly pushed delete.

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“Whoa,” I said, “This is…”

“Awesome? In both meanings of the word?”

“Yeah. Exactly.”

 

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“Hey, Laketon, long time no see.”

“What the-? Oh, shit… I mean hey, Sticks! How’s your boss?”

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“You didn’t think we’d forget about you, right? You still owe us.”

“I know. 15 000 simoleons. I’m on it. You just don’t get rich in prison-”

*SLAM*

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“Yeah, I know. And I don’t care. You got two months to scrape that together. After that, there’ll be no second chances.”

“…You’ll get it! I promise!”

“Oh, yeah. We will. We’ve been pretty lenient with you lately. But now you’re just pushing it.”

“Yeah, I-”

“Two months.”

“I got it, okay?!”

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“Yeah. I’m sure you did. Good day, Laketon.”

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“…Fuck.”

Author’s Note: Well, I’m back. Aaaannnd… PLOT IS HAPPENING! Also something I call character development and character moments. And some familiar faces are back too. So this chapter had a lot of stuff happening, some unnecessary for the plot, but I sure like my pointless descriptions of everyday things.

The film Lynn and Sabine are watching is strongly hinted to be the classic Swedish black and white film, The Seventh Seal (originally Det Sjunde Inseglet). I’ve only seen some clips of it but it’s a film I’d really like to see in its entirety. Now that I have a Swedish course again I could watch it during a time I should be studying and claim it is studying. Genius!

It probably tells a lot about me that I knew more about vegan tattoos than I knew about tattoo age laws before doing some research for this chapter.

And another fun fact: Brent Douglas’s last name is a nod to a detective character in Silent Hill 3, who is named Douglas Cartland, and who is tasked with finding the main character Heather and thus invites tragedy into her life. As a sidenote, Lynn’s hairstyle is kind of reminiscent of Heather in that game too, what with being short, blonde and dyed, though with Heather the blonde is the dyed part. That is actually a coincidence, though. I didn’t think about it until now. For those who are unfamiliar with the game I’m talking about, here’s a link to a pic of Heather: http://silenthill.wikia.com/wiki/File:Heather_Mason.png

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NEXT Chapter: Mother

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14 thoughts on “Chapter 15: Hunter

  1. I don’t know on what levels tattoo laws vary on or how much they vary between nations, but I have a few friends who legally got them before 18. So it can happen!

    All I know about vegan tattooing is the issue of aspiring artists having to practice on pigs’ skin, which is pretty much impossible to avoid when training. But then again, I don’t have any plans to get tattooed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not seriously planning on getting tattooed (at least not yet, who knows what ideas I get later) either, and I kind of accidentally stumbled upon the info on how things like animal bones and animal fat are used in most of the tattoo inks and aftercare products as well. And according to my research, letting people under 18 get tattoos can vary even from tattoo shop to tattoo shop! It was surprising, actually.

      Like

  2. I have to say, i love the opening picture! The diner is proper nice from the inside too!

    Rem reminds me of a girl i used to work with. She couldn’t cook for the life of her. We used to tease her that she would even burn the water for the pasta. 😀

    Oh, yay, the mum is found! Why do i have a feeling that it won’t be that simple…?

    Also with Laketon out, what could possibly go wrong? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “autumn would start sneaking in and painting the trees with flames like a particularly hard to catch graffiti artist” I loved the mental picture this beautiful phrase painted. And I particularly liked the ending bit with Lynn and Merrill, almost like Mer’s innocence and playfulness took root in Lynn a bit more (bad phrasing but oh well)

    Liked by 1 person

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