002: Part 10

by CM Towns

   Frank walked out of the lockers, dressed and refreshed from his work out and short swim. He saw Elijah tossing weight discs up in one hand and catching them in the other. Frank approached and said, “Nice weight training.”
   “I guess. This is 35 lbs. and I’m doing this rather easily. At least at first. Now its starting to wear a little,” Elijah replied.
   “You look tired,” observed Frank.
   “I did spend the night reading up on the history of mummies from a book I downloaded. I checked in this morning with Kate and Sally. Kate’s reading up on cults, Set, and mummy mythology. Sally is pretty much doing the same plus visiting professors,” Elijah said.
   “So keeping your mind busy on the case.”
   “Yes. More people are missing. More graffiti left. No clues. Whoever buried the bastard wanted him forgotten,” Elijah said keeping up his routine.

   Frank had notice how focused Elijah had become regarding their cases. Frank was unsure if it was because that was who Elijah was or because of the responsibilities laid on him. Frank also considered that it could be a form of survivors guilt. He wanted to say something, offer his help in anyway but did not. Elijah had already designated people to confide in and Frank was just his good buddy on the team.
   “You consider juggling with the other weight?” asked Frank.
   Elijah grabbed the other, tried, and missed both. The two hopped back before they hit the ground and then looked at each other. “Juggling is not a talent it seems.”
   “Practice makes perfect,” Frank said. “Something else is bothering you.”
   Elijah picked up both weights and put them back before saying, “Looking through news reports I found a story of a young superhuman who was shot down by SHRT members in so-called self defense. Lawyers for the family says that they were trying to remove the boy forcefully and were calling him scum, freak-when struggled an officer hit him in the gut and the boy’s powers-a sort of telekintic effect triggered. They say it was reactionary.”
   “This is the third death that’s been documented.”
   “Its frustrating. They tell you to trust your police but why? I mean-I don’t how it is in your neck of the woods but I’m not from a middle class family. I’m lower class scum. I got this friend-black guy-got the stop and frisk treatment. You heard of that?” asked Frank.
   “Of course. My family is very aware of social issues. Plain clothes officers stopping youths-mostly black or latino or mixed. Verbal harassment sometimes racial. Physical intimidation,” Elijah said. He took a deep breath and then added, “The police are suppose to make as feel safe. Not make us feel like lesser people.”
   “This country man-the wealthy look down at lower class thinking we’re lazy. ‘That families got a refrigerator and cable they can pay more taxes.’ That family might be a family of four or five in a two room apartment in a bad neighborhood where dads working two jobs and the mom and someone else are working,” said Frank growing annoyed at the thoughts.
   “Not all the wealthy are like that.”
   “Yeah-obviously. I know you guys are good,” he smiled.
   “We try.”
   “I’m hungry. You hungry? Maybe I’ll cook up some breakfast. Or eat cereal.”
   “I do crave some fried ham all of a sudden,” Elijah said walking past him.
   The two made their way to the kitchen with a little conversing on the topic of mummies. Once inside they found Reed throwing a plastic container down.
   “What wrong?” asked Frank.
   “Someone ate all my Cinnamon Toast Crunch!” he shouted.
   “That’s everyone’s,” Frank said.
   “No. Its mine!”
   “Reed, calm down-”
   “It was his. Very specific about that. The teams cereal is Honey Nut Cheerios and Raisin Bran,” Elijah said.
   “Shit. My bad,” Frank said
   Reed yelled at him and Frank felt a desire to shout back. Elijah intervened, “Frank will get you a box when he can. Now, do you want any other cereal or do you want something else?”
   “What are you making?” asked Reed.
   “Fried ham. Maybe some hash brown,” said Elijah.
   “Okay. I’ll be in the cafeteria,” Reed said before leaving. He bumped into Frank hard as he passed.
   Frank chuckled and shook his head. “I love the kid but sometimes I want to smack him in the back of his head.”
   “Reed is… I don’t know. Not really spoiled. A combination of anger, loneliness, and young hormones. Much like most of us here,” Elijah commented.
   “You moreso than the others?”
   “I would not say that. I think all three of us have suffered loss.”
   “But they weren’t targeted for their skin color,” Frank responded.
   “No. They were not,” he said while retrieving the food. Elijah started cooking it up while Frank decided on toast and Raisin Bran. He started to eat there in the kitchen while Elijah assembled breakfast. Elijah broke the silence by asking, “How do you feel about Araminta’s crush?”
   Frank replied, “I don’t know. I can see she’s smitten but really we don’t have much in common. Plus how many guys does she get to hang out with? Limited pool of choices.”
   “True. You might just be a passing infatuation. She is cute though.”
   “Yes she is, but not my type.”
   “Your type punk girls?”
   “Maybe, maybe its something else. Are you trying to hook me up so we can triple date? Now that Antoine has called dibs on Sally,” Frank said.
   “Antoine has no intentions of asking Sally out. He told me as much. If you’re not that interested in Araminta best to make sure you do not do too much to have her go from small crush to madly in love,” Elijah advised.
   “Thanks for the love advice,” he said between bites.
   “You’re welcome. Don’t want young hormones stinking up the joint,” Elijah said. The food was done a little bit later. Elijah grabbed a tray for the platter of food. Also grabbed some paper plates, utensils, ketchup, and poured a couple cups of milk. Put them on the large tray and carried them out as Frank followed with another bowl of cereal. Once out in the cafeteria Elijah sat the food down and Reed started to dig in.
   “You like it?” Elijah asked and Reed nodded. Elijah gave a piece of ham to Wolf who was seated by him. Frank leaned over the table to see the wolf and sat back down.
   “He seems to always know when foods about to be served,” Frank said of Wolf.
   “Whats the plan for today?” asked Reed.
   “Same as usual. Unless you want to read some books about Egyptian curses and mummy’s,” Elijah said.
   “No thanks. I’ll just watch the Mummy on Netflix.”
   “How is that going to help?” asked Frank.
   “How will it not?” was Reeds reply.
   Frank tried to respond but could not. He lifted his hand when he thought of something but the snappy comeback was quick to exit his brain. He turned to Elijah who had nothing to offer to that.
   Reed finished quick, thanked Elijah and pointed at Frank with a scowl before walking away with Wolf following beside him.
   “Lets skip research and go into town,” Frank offered.
   “I don’t know. Check out the mall.”
   “How do you propose that?”
   “In costume.”
   “Let’s be serious.”
   “Okay, we wait till tonight, find a zoo. Park the Tuskegee-1 in the lot, and wander around and look at sleeping animals while drinking.”
   Elijah could not tell if he was being serious or not. Frank had a slow smile on that idea. It just came to mind and he now wanted to do just that.
   Elijah answered, “Now I have to figure out how to kill several hours.”
   Frank smacked his arm and said, “Excellent. Late night zoo visit. Maybe they talk when they think no ones looking.” Frank got up and added, “I’m going to go play my guitar for a while, than listen to music and cruise the internet. Than we research the hell outta the case. Followed by dinner. Than breaking into a zoo. Maybe get myself a pet anaconda.”