The way Garcia saw it, the greatest invention in criminal justice in the 20 years since he died was the cheap cel phone. They’d already burned through twelve of their forty-eight hour window grasping at straws and coaxing answers out of Adam. Now that they had a lead, they could cash in some favors, get a plan worked out and find answers all before the sun finished setting. In his day there was a 50/50 chance of doing all that before noon the next day.
The plain fact was that someone broke into a home and violently abducted a little boy’s parents. Although the police had no proof that the child was still in danger, they had posted an officer to keep watch anyway. Garcia was pleasantly surprised to see the officer. It meant someone was doing their job right and taking steps to keep the kid and community calm. His old precinct would only do that for rich folk.
Garcia approached the officer and introduced himself. “Detective Sanchez,” he said showing her his ID, “and this is my partner Huck.”
Samuel Reynaldo Garcia had been a cop long enough to know that sometimes normal cops just fail. For everyone’s sake it was the police’s job to minimize those failures, but there were always bigger and badder forces working against them. Before he’d been murdered he thought those forces were just rich criminals and corrupt politicians. Now he knew that the cops were up against things they would never, ever have stood a chance against.
It had been a long grey autumn of discontent. The air had become cool and thin enough to let the winter chill come spilling around the edges of the buildings and trees. Strong breezes splashed cascades of red and brown leaves down on the ancient village. From the patchwork quilt of yards and farmsteads, the smell of dug up earth mingled with apples, pumpkins and wallflowers. Late blooms rang uncomfortably beside the dirt roads like lingering memories.
The road was an oily black ribbon unraveling quickly ahead of them. The car blew through the bends, crooks and hollows with the low, loud scream of a man falling from the sky.
Inside, Huck turned and craned looking for their pursuers. The forest canopy's dark, flickering static blotted everything out. Somewhere behind it, giant black shapes scattered and swung. The only way Huck still knew they were there were by the shifting pinpricks of light and sudden rushes of wind. It was as though the night sky itself reached down with huge silky hands to sift through the trees.