Excerpt of City of the Sun by David Levien
(Page 9 of 11)
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"Okay, let's go." He sweeps up his keys. She takes a thin
folder with Jamie's picture stapled to it, reports and forms protruding slightly
from the bottom, and they leave.
The station bustles around them as the Gabriels sit stonelike
on their bench outside of Captain Pomeroy's office. Across the room the concerned
patrolman who took their statement so long ago looks over at them. He snaps off
the sad look and turns away guiltily. Paul and Carol sit inches apart, but it
may as well be light-years. They dwell in private capsules now, each alone,
unable to reach out for the other. The only thing they share now is great
They can see Pomeroy in his office, feet up on his desk,
conversing with a colleague. The colleague is not a cop, at least he wears no
gun, and when he notices the time, he gets up. Pomeroy shows him to the door,
and as it opens, his hearty laugh escapes into the waiting area. The Gabriels
eye him accusatorily; they haven't laughed like that in some time. Upon seeing
the Gabriels, Pomeroy claps up.
"Okay, Jase, we'll finish this later. Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel,
how are you? Come on in, let's review."
They enter his office. Paul and Carol take seats and Pomeroy
plunks himself down, wearily now, behind his desk, sighing deeply. "I tell you,
things are not quiet around here. Never too quiet."
He riffles through several manila folders and comes up with
his copy of the file with a picture of Jamie Gabriel stapled to the cover.
Pomeroy dons a pair of plastic-rimmed reading glasses and skims the case much
like a merchant reviewing an account. His lips skip and mumble along with his
eyes, his volume low. "Case estab'd Oct. 24 . . . Fourteen months . . . Last
seen, night before...No evidence struggle. Area disappearance: Auburn Manor
neighborhood, Wayne T'ship. Exact unknown. Listed: Miss Pers Bureau, Nat Cent of
Missing and Exploited ...Children of Night...Proj Shelter . . . Runaway Hotline
. . . Angel Find ...Cross-listed with State Police, Sheriff's Dept., and Federal
"Do you have any new information? Anything?"
Pomeroy doesn't acknowledge hearing the question and
continues to scan for another moment. He pushes up his glasses and gives a finger
massage to the bridge of his nose. "As you can see by your copy of the report,
we haven't been able to develop any hard leads yet."
"What are you people doing about it currently?"
"I want to assure you, the case is still active. In these
situations, missing youths, runaways . . ."
"He's not a runaway." Carol's words come out weak, nearly
exhausted. Only thin anger fuels them along. "Can't you just understand that?
All you've done is send his picture to shelters. He knows his way home if he had
run away. But he can't get home, because somebody took him. He's been taken."
The last word still cuts through Paul like a dentist's drill finding a nerve.
"We haven't found evidence to suggest that. Neither has the
Federal Bureau. Yes, it is a possibility. A probability. These things happen,
but often these youths don't want to be found."
"Bullshit," Paul says. He can't believe he's said it aloud to
Pomeroy looks at him in surprise. Behind Carol's pain-glazed
eyes there is a stirring as she looks at her husband, a spark. She glimpses what
she's been missing for so long. But it fades too quickly.
"Look, Captain Pomeroy, I'm sorry....I know you've been
working on it, it's just . . ." Paul runs out of what to say.
Pomeroy's mouth spreads into a sickly crescent as his
customary control drifts back across the desk to his side.
"I understand what you're going through. We're using best
efforts to" He is cut off by a female detective poking her head in.
"Scuse me, Captain, A-2 task force needs you to sign off on
this watch so they can go home."
Published by Doubleday. Copyright © 2008 by Levien Works, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.