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Uno And Fog: Fruitless

August 24, 2019

The Fog Waited until the Jennings left their home before making his way through the back alley of the residential neighborhood.  Unlike New Amsterdam where he could have blended in with all the foot traffic, Second City had considerably more sprawl and he was in one of the many suburbs adjacent to the hub on the downtown.

He couldn’t easily case the joint, he had set up small remote cameras and watched the goings and comings along on the block for the patterns of the people.  He had scoped out security in the neighborhood.  He realized that he was getting a little rusty in that department, having relied upon Uno perhaps too much.

The two story home was crammed next to its neighbors and after making sure he was clear, he picked the lock and entered into the kitchen.  A door led to a stairway into the basement, but what he was looking for was unlikely to bed there.

The kitchen was all yellow and greens, with a tired looking curtain over the kitchen sink window.  The living room with the flat screen tv, and overstuffed chairs.  He noted they still had new magazines delivered.  He didn’t think anyone still did that.

The hallway leading to the upstairs had family pictures.  He looked at them.  High school graduation, a trip to somewhere tropical.  Smiling faces skiing, or perhaps snowboarding.  It was hard to tell.  Boating.

The woman in the photos looked like April.  Normal teeth though, and occasionally sun kissed though.  Two things that were different.  He took digital close ups of several of the photos before heading up the stairs.

A long hall paralleled the stair well.   A couple of mascaraed masks adorned one wall.  A narrow table with a small statute of a knight of some kind carved from some dark wood.

The master bedroom doors were open, but he wasn’t looking for that.  There was a bathroom off the hall.  He went there first.  It was clean.  Immaculate even.  No hairs, nothing that might given him a DNA sample or something to compare to April.  He looked through the drawers.  Neatly organized, clean, nothing on even a hair brush.

Disappointed he made his way to their daughter’s room.   The bed was made, the desk was neatly organized with well worn books placed neatly in a row at the back of the desk beneath the room’s window along with a couple stuffed animals that looked like they had been carried everywhere at one point, although they had been washed.  A dresser with a music box and a porcelain doll on top.  He opened the drawers carefully.

Old clothing was neatly folded in the drawers.  A stack of cards and letters were in the top drawer.  He glanced through them.  Notes from friends, birthday cards, the occasion card from a lovesick boy.

He felt around each of the drawers carefully looking for a diary or journal, but found none.  He stepped back and looked around the room.   On the walls were a couple posters of singers he didn’t recognize.  Things you would expect from a teenage girl.  He went to the side of the bed and checked the nightstand, inside was a stack of thank you letters, a bible and some brightly colored pens.

There was a hair brush, but no hair on it.

He searched the closet next, neat rows of dresses and blouses.  A couple taffeta nightmares, probably for a prom or similar dance.  On the shelf were shoes, some school memorabilia and that was about it.  Under the bed was an emergency ladder for the window, nothing between the mattress and box springs.

Nothing.

He looked for any surface that might carry a fingerprint but every smooth surface looked like it had been either polished or cleaned recently, he dust a few likely spots but found nothing.

He stood back and slowly turned, taking in the room.  The light pastels of its colors and the neat and tidy arrangement made it look and feel pleasant.  It looked and felt the way a teenagers room might appear in a catalogue, or perhaps in a show.

It didn’t look real.  Perhaps her parents had cleaned it after she left and kept it neat for when she returns, he thought.

It made him feel uneasy, but he couldn’t figure out why.

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