Devil's Dark

Devil's Dark

By:  Daniel Paul  Completed
Language: English
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What do twelve years of captivity make of one? What lines behind the new Laurel Brown?Laurel Brown was only eight when she was snatched.Twelve years passed and the Browns had long moved on when Laurel Brown returns with the truth as well as secrets.

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31 Chapters
One
  The wind howls through the darkness, caressing the midnight silence which visits Bushkill on this pleasant August evening. Hazy rays of the moonlight shine through the atmosphere, casting a faint visual of what might be and what might not.The world is grave-silent and asleep except for the whistling and silent songs of gardens and magnificent building illuminating only shady rays on the moist asphalt.A figure is seen walking fragilely from the end of the long road. It takes brittle steps, dragging one foot behind as it limps further. From a distance, its amber eyes are visible to sight but filled with only faintness. ***Sophie has just changed into her nightdress. White lingerie that only covers the essential parts of her body. She heads to Christian's room, walking down the long corridor
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Two
 There's nothing beautiful about hospitals. Not the glittering white tiles from brick to the floor, not the mixture of bright sight of blue and fish tanks or even the flowers set equally outside and in. Christian knows this. Michael knows this. The Browns know this. It is not their first time being here. It is not the first time they walked into a hospital waiting room with their fingers in their mouths and conflicting thoughts jumbling their minds till they totally forget about the fragrance of an expensive hospital with the little antagonizing medical stench. Christian stands by the transparent glass, almost like he is standing too close to the television screen watching a series his mom must have told him a thousand times not to see but this time, it isn't a TV series. It is real this time and even with the fright choked up in him, he also feels the tingling excitement cur
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Three
Twelve years past since the Browns lost their daughter. Twelve years since she was snatched by men inside a black SUV. Unregistered, fake plate number and totally untraceable but it was not until the sixth year since the Browns stopped to mourn. It was not until the police had told them, upon their money and fame, upon the whole county's interest, it was above their power and as much as they would like to have faith, it was aimless to point at any direction. All private investigators had turned down the case on the first ring and now here they are. Here they are again all over the news and flashes of light capturing their house in its troubling bliss. "Why now?" Michael says out loud to nobody. He is alone. He is sitting on the neatly made desk at the centre of his office where there is a swivelling chair behind it and a beautifully designed shelf coate
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Four
Sebastian's life a few days ago has been normal and as happy as it can get. He had just celebrated Hope's birthday with his wife and a cake. Their daughter had laughed and played with her father almost all night till she was too tired to even giggle. Every happy moment comes to an abrupt stop. Sebastian knows that. He has learnt to accept it and although the weight sometimes weighs on him, he knows the world is a shitty place with a lot of shitty people. Now, Sebastian is seated in the sitting room of a two-bedroom flat. The television has today's news on it and while the woman goes on and on, skipping scenes that not only features the Browns but also himself, he is lost in the oblivion of thoughts. His eyes are fixed on the woman and his ears are open enough to hear every word she speaks but just as the vision in front of him is fuzzy and unworthy of his attention, his ears automatically lock the voice out. Why the Browns? Why return her after
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Five
 The Browns have lived in peace. At least they have lived in peace away from the crows that now stands outside their home flashing their cameras on every moving thing, looking for a story. If peace is external quietness and clearly surviving through the next day with elegance and pleasing sights, then we can say the Browns had done a great job for a while.Not anymore!Not with reporters clustered around the house. Cameramen flashing their lights and taking videos. Buses parked outside the big mansion and not even the television set can be turned on without news of the Browns popping up. Radio stations all have their eyes on the house, newspapers and magazines. Is Laurel Brown still the same? Brown former princess returns. Sebastia
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Six
Getting a go-ahead to involve a therapist was not half the process Sebastian remembers it to be. He assumes it is because the whole county is watching but he cares less about why they are more inclined to let the case move fast. He only cares about catching the people that did this. He will not admit to himself that it has suddenly become his new obsession other than the late-night drinks he normally takes before bed. Today he had not had a single word with Maria neither did he kiss his daughter good morning but here he is again, staring at Christian, exactly his daughter's age.“Did you see anybody walking down with her?”“No. I didn't even see her until she got very close. Like I knew there was someone there, or at least, something but I couldn't see it.”“And what time was this again?”“
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Seven
Sebastian is a man of straight vision but the Browns case is already as foggy as it gets. He knows what he was getting into long before he accepted to handle the case again. He knows he will go down as the Detective who could not crack the most important case of the year and the criminals automatically become public figures. He knows the precinct will be taken for granted and crime rates against the rich will heighten over the years and while all these are facts, he also knows nothing he knows about the case is a fact. For all he knows, he can as easily also say the lady they now see is not Laurel Brown. Figuratively and literally.He had woken up with the whole house to himself and although the awkward quietness around hits him, he is totally unbothered by the whereabouts of his wife. He is seated in the dining room, a laptop carefully placed on the round shiny table and a cup of coffee by his hand. He searches through the prec
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Eight
It is the most comfortable office in the precinct. To be realistic, it is the only office. The rest are just desks filled with piles of papers and files. Sometimes, empty mugs. On a few are desktop computers looking like the first-generation computer and are just about the same on the inside. The office Sebastian now sits in is not his. It is the Chief's and as their discussion has gone on for almost forever, with the Chief replaying everything Sebastian narrates to him and then a call from outside interrupts and again, they start from the beginning. Sebastian is slowly gaining more confidence and reassuring strength, at least, he wishes he is. The window makes half the office and the air conditioner makes about a little percentage, except it is no longer functional. What remains as a tangible part of the office is the swirling ce
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Nine
The wind is gravely quiet and the night is peaceful. Sebastian should be on his bed, wrapping his wife in his arms and reassuring her he loves her but he is somewhere in the middle of the streets, his car piercing through the night and curiosity blazing through every nerve in his body. His gun is carefully sitting beside him as he drives just in front of Wilson Avenue, a few blocks away from the Mansion and the exact point where Laurel resurfaced. He steps down, observing the camera positioned at the rear end of the street. Walking down the street, he observes every building. He hears the bleating of goats and whistling of the wind as they brush against dry leaves. The ground is a sticker and Sebastian is sure he stepped on animal waste. Fuck. He arrives in front of an old house and roof made of palm fronds and striding farther, the blasting of
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Ten
Curiosity:The sad thing about it is the mesmerizing urge. The interminable doubt and the cast-iron certainty that only the truth brings peace. Only the truth can save the mind from cluttering into an entanglement and wrapping itself into the foils and claws of a mystery. Only the truth will unravel the mind which has become a slave to the hidden things. Another sad thing is that the mind is unable to acknowledge the red lights that shine its path. It seeks what doesn’t seek it and even then, when it knows to turn back, it is fueled by rebellion to keep up till the truth unravels. But the truth is not always what is expected.The truth. Is that even a thing or just the phrase that keeps Sebastian late out this night, driving back home to his sleeping daughter and wife. He shuts his eyes and the only words that registers are;“Are yo
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