After school, they come out to the parking lot to find out that Lien has vandalized Jackie’s car by throwing eggs on it. She also wrote a nasty message on the windshield, with a crosshairs over the driver’s side.
Once the police took over and started going over the car, Officer Wilke took Dora and Brian to the security office. Chase didn’t feel comfortable leaving the girls on their own, so he stayed in the parking lot, watching the crowd, which hadn’t dispersed as they’d been told. Trying his own mind mojo, he spoke a few key students, telling them to get their friends and go. Surprised, he watched as they walked silently away. He was feeling a bit cocky when he felt a creeping sensation up his spine. Turning around and spotted Lien not far away.
Her face was twisted in a snarling smile as she watched Jordan sob over the car. Not trusting himself to speak to her, Chase simply glared in her direction, projecting his anger toward her. It was satisfying to watch her flinch away. Go, he thought at her. Go away now. Once again, he was startled when she complied. He put his arms protectively around Jordan and Marissa, adding his comfort.
In the security office, Dora and Brian waited impatiently for Steve to find the pertinent footage. He backed it up nearly an hour, then ran it fast forward until he saw the first splat of egg land on the car. One camera didn’t give the proper angle, but another one, on the other side of the lot, did. The resolution was a little fuzzy, but it was still quite obviously Lien. But another person was with her, the so called housekeeper, Su. Both women seemed to enjoy the activity a great deal. Lien climbed on the hood and wrote the message on the glass with red paint. She laid one hand fully on the glass to support herself.
“She left a perfect set of prints,” Brian said. “Who would be that sloppy?”
“Either she doesn’t know about fingerprints,” Steve Wilke said, “Or she doesn’t give a damn. That right there, plus the footage, is enough to bring her up on charges. Throw her in jail next to her dad.”
“What if that’s what she wants?” Brian said. “Could she want to see him so badly, she’s willing to act out like this? She told us that she’s not allowed to see him. He doesn’t want her at the jail. What if she wants to go there?”
“Then it’s probably the one place she shouldn’t be,” Wilke concluded. “Look, I know there’s weird shit going on. I haven’t had this job for three years not to know when things aren’t normal. Not that things are ever quite normal here.” He sighed, shaking his head. “I watch and I know, but I won’t say anything. I have family members who are special, too.” He eyed Brian. “I look like an ordinary school security officer….”
“Steve, you’ve been a huge help,” Dora interrupted him.
Brian could tell she was trying her mind mojo on the security officer, but he just smiled.
“It doesn’t work on me, Dora. I go along with it, but it never has. Trust me. My sister belongs to a Circle in Cincinnati. I will help you in any way I can. Right now, I think that the worst thing in the world would be for that girl to have access to her father. What do you want me to do with this footage?”
“Save us a copy and I’ll deal with the original,” Dora said.
“Sure thing.” Steve copied the entire day for them, handing it to Brian on a disc. “I can erase this,” he suggested.
“No, I think we need to simply alter it a little,” Dora replied. “If it’s erased, it will be suspicious. I can’t manipulate everyone who comes in contact with it. And sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. I know you’re only doing it to keep the kids safe.” He finished making a copy of the video, handing a disc to Brian.
Dora sat down and did some quick fiddling with the video, somehow blurring the image of Lien and Su.
“Nifty,” Steve complimented. “I’d better get back out there before someone starts to ask uncomfortable questions. You call if you need me.” He handed Brian a business card with his name and number. “I may not be in a Circle, kid, but I still know a few things.”
“Thank you, sir. I’ll remember that.” He shook Steve’s hand, smiling.
Reaching out with his other senses, he took a reading of the man, hoping that Steve wouldn’t mind. Instead of meeting a wall of confusion or deception, he found an open door and Steve invited him in. Approaching warily, Brian looked around a few seconds before retreating.
“Sorry,” he whispered in his mind. “I had to be sure.”
“I understand, kid,” the officer replied.
Brian didn’t let on, but he got the impression that although Steve Wilke was doing his best to be open with them, he was hiding something. Whether it could hurt them or not, Brian didn’t know. He’d treat Wilke as an ally, but watch him, too.
When they got back outside, they found that Miles and Heath had arrived and were talking to the police. Jordan was in her father’s car with Marissa. Chase was near their fathers, listening and watching intently. Brian joined the girls, hopping in the back seat with them. Jordan flung herself at him, burying her face in his shirt. Sobbing and gulping, she clung to him. Brian stroked her hair, talking quietly to her.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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