I read out loud, “I don’t sell pills. You wanna try some brown sugar? I promise it’s better than your pills!” I shook my head and commented, “Wow, what an up-sell! No wonder Aidan likes to hire these people!” I instantly regretted letting that slip out. Not only did I call a former suspect by their first name, which would raise anyone’s eyebrows, but I forgot that he admitted to tricking bad guys into buying non-existent black market items. I’m sure his employees help him in that expedition, and I really hoped no one asked any follow up questions on the subject! His scheme bordered the line of legality, and I didn’t want to call attention to his secret not to mention my own! Fortunately, they didn’t have time to do that! The drug dealer texted us again with a message of impatience, so I had to reply back quickly. I spoke out loud as I typed, “Sure, I’ll give it a try. Where can I find you?” I turned to Sandra and asked, “Does that sound realistic enough?”
She answered, “Sure. You made yourself sound desperate to get a fix, and calling it brown sugar makes it sound cute and harmless, so this person probably would buy it.”
“Meet me in the alley behind Petunia’s Pet Palace at noon. Come alone. Yup, they bought it alright!” When I realized where she wanted to meet, I exclaimed, “Wait, that’s where Ben works! I can’t go there! That idiot will probably try to cozy up to me again, which would totally blow my cover!”
“We could send an undercover officer there,” Sandra suggested.
I mulled that idea over. “Yeah, it’s probably better if we don’t go. What if the dealer turns out to be… someone we already interviewed. They’d recognize us as law enforcement and wouldn’t show up.” I privately worried that Aidan could have been the drug dealer, and if he saw me there, he definitely wouldn’t go through with the transaction! Plus, I wanted to limit the amount of people who saw us interact in case they detected something more than acquaintanceship between us. I know that Giada mentioned not wanting to buy from humans, but if he shared the same anti-human sentiments as her, she could have made an exception. I also wondered if he had previously altered his looks to appear as her preference, and that thought gave me an idea…
When we finished, I gazed into the mirror and uttered, “Wow! I sure hope this isn’t permanent!” It startled me to see myself with darker hair and trashy clothes, but it really boggled my mind to see my skin purple! I couldn’t help but stare and stare at my disguise. It looked very realistic, and that made me hope that we didn’t do too good of a job!
“I swear it’ll come out! See!” Sandra pointed her wand at a patch of my skin on my arm, and my flesh in that area returned to its normal color. I trusted Sandra, but after staring at my new reflection, I really needed that confirmation! As she made it purple again, she remarked, “You know, none of the people we’ve seen turn into Fays reacted like this. I would’ve freaked out about my visage becoming so drastically different, but their first instinct is to run! So strange!”
“I guess they’re mentally prepared to become Fays,” I conversed. “I dunno if they always knew that it would happen or if it just occurred to them as they were getting killed, but at some point, they figured out that they would end up like this.” My statement made me think of what my mom once said about her fate, and it saddened me to consider how many times my mother studied herself in the mirror and imagined what her body would morph into after her demise. I gazed at my current image, and it occurred to me that I didn’t have to imagine what would happen to me! I had romantic feelings for a man I believed was a serial killer, and as much as I held onto that belief, my amorous instincts towards Aidan were growing, not shrinking. I also had the guilt of lying to Travis about his bicycle and lying to my coworkers about my relationship with a possible murderer. I always figured I’d get into Heaven, but with these facts in front of me, I no longer felt sure. It made me numb to think about, but right then, I didn’t feel like such a good person, and I thought maybe I was staring into a window of my future!
Sandra interrupted my train of thought by asking, “Ready to go?”
I tore myself away from the mirror and stated firmly, “Let’s get out of here!” I didn’t know what my final destination would become, but I vowed to keep doing the best I could to do the right thing while I was still on this earth!
I walked down the street close to our meeting place, and I noticed a lot of people were glaring at me. A few passerby’s even hissed some insults in my direction, which really stung since I hadn’t done anything to them! I couldn’t believe how harshly I got treated when all I did was walk by them, and it hurt to receive so much animosity just for my appearance! This really made me garner a lot of sympathy for the Fay Folks! Oh sure, a lot of them didn’t treat us nicely, but the humans by me hadn’t seen any misbehavior from and already made severe judgments about my character! I wanted to remedy the situation and bring some fairness for the Fays, and I had no idea where to begin. That prompted me to remember that Aidan offered them jobs and a ray of friendship, and I almost deemed him to be an amazing human being for this, but then I recalled the fact that he could have been the one behind all of these untimely deaths. If he did do all of these heinous acts, then his Good Samaritan attitude didn’t originate from a pure heart! The killer in my case used the Fay Folks as pawns for his wickedness, so if Aidan did perpetrate all of this, then his kindness wouldn’t have been genuine. After this experience though, I couldn’t blame the Fays for trusting him and helping him with malevolence against our society.
When I saw the pet store where Ben worked, I peeked inside the window out of curiosity. I saw him setting up a display right by the glass, and I immediately dashed into the alley hoping he didn’t see me. As I walked towards the innermost part of the alleyway, a door burst open, and to my dismay, it was Ben! I tried to walk past him and ignore him, but he stepped in front of me and made it impossible to do so. I hid my face as much as I could and prayed he didn’t recognize me. Apparently he didn’t because he needled me, “Hey, cutie! What’s your price?” It disgusted me to hear a man say that to anyone, but it infuriated me to hear my soon-to-be ex solicit a woman like that when we weren’t even divorced yet! He tried so hard to get back together with me, and yet he continued to do what caused me to leave in the first place! I wanted to scream at him, but I didn’t want him to hear my voice, which I now wished we had taken the extra minute to disguise. I had to get past him speedily, I didn’t want to be late for my rendez-vous and risk losing the opportunity to nab that drug dealer that helped my suspect, so I only saw one option available. I punched him in the groin and walked past him as he nursed his injury. Since he technically sexually harassed me, I had a legal right to do it. I’s not something I would do under normal circumstances, but it did feel good to hear him groan in agony!
My joy of that small victory didn’t last long! I saw a familiar face that made my blood turn cold! No, it wasn’t Aidan, thank goodness! I hid my face so that she wouldn’t recognize me, but then a score of doubts ran through my mind. I wondered if I had actually saw who I thought I saw, especially since I thought she got sent to jail! As soon as I heard her voice, it removed all doubt. Dahlia questioned, “You here about the brown sugar?”
Originally, I had a whole set of dialogue planned out for when I met the drug dealer, but I certainly couldn’t speak to her right now! Most suspects would recognize the detective who sent them to jail, but I didn’t think she’d forget me catching her in the middle of an affair with my husband! I didn’t want her to run because we needed to prove she was the actual drug dealer and not just a contact person, and although we caught her helping the killer before, we obviously needed a more concrete reason to keep her behind bars! I simply answered her by holding up a wad of cash, and I hoped that she would move forward with the transaction without having to communicate with me.
Luckily, she swiftly scooped the money from my fingers, and I kept my palm out to proceed with the purchase. I worried that she might take the money and bail out, but fortunately, she didn’t leave! She kindly encouraged me, “I know you’re used to pills, but I promise you’ll enjoy this way more! And keep my number for the next you-.”
“Oh, I’ll never forget your number!” As she placed the baggie onto my hand, I grabbed her wrist and drew out my wand! She gasped when she recognized me, and I told her, “You’re under arrest!”
“They let Fays into the detective bureau?” she inquired.
As I cuffed her, I sardonically replied, “It’s a little late for you to be thinking about new career options!”
She smirked at my quip, but as a police officer began to take her away, her face instantly shifted into a pronounced frown. “You’re gonna regret this! You don’t know how unsafe you just made this planet!”
“You have the right to remain silent, I suggest you use it,” I advised her.
“You’ll all pay!” she shouted as the officer dragged her towards the street where his police car waited for them. “Go ahead and put me in prison! You’re only hurting yourselves!”
I watched as she maniacally laughed while the policeman put her into his squad car. Her behavior really astounded me! It wasn’t unusual for a criminal to act out during an arrest, but it intrigued me since the last time that I spoke to her, she had a very cold and calculating demeanor. If I would have known I’d see her again, I would have expected to get more of the same from her. I never would have imagined her going mad! Seeing her cackling like a lunatic really threw me off!
Sandra joined me and let me know, “The judge gave her a trial date and someone anonymously bailed her out.”
“Who could have afforded to-?” Before I could even finish my sentence, I immediately knew a likely possibility of a person who could have afforded to do that- Aidan! I couldn’t think of anyone else who had the funds to pull off a feat like that, and he had a history of empathy for the Fay Folks. I couldn’t imagine anyone else with that level of affluence having the motive to do something like that, and my stomach twisted in knots upon that realization! How could a man with such lovable qualities also commit such awful atrocities against the human race? I wanted to collapse right then and there, but only one thing prevented me from doing that…
“Hey! How come you never wore that costume when we were together?” Ben probed.
I wanted to channel all of my upset into responding to that jerk, but Sandra grabbed my arm and escorted me away before I could do anything. “Focus now! The key to victory is in our custody, so let’s go solve this thing before we miss happy hour!” As we headed back to our vehicle, I really wished that I could share her optimism!