Jacob Umari looked feverishly through cold case files, even the old ones that were now considered training material by the Bureau. There was one file that caught his eye: Lowell, Massachusetts. Sticking out of the folder was some old parchment paper that felt like animal skin. A tingle drifted through his fingers and down his spine as he lifted the file from the box. Looking down the dimly lit rows of shelves, he saw a shadowed figure a few shelves down under a light fixture.
“That case is closed. Is this what you really want?” Jacob asked calmly, lifting the heavy parchment out a little trying to read the words written in black ink that looked to have oxidized over time. Upon closer inspection he saw the words were in ancient Gaelic and Latin. Looking up from the folder toward the figure again, the only response was a slow nod before he turned away, his black trench coat trailing behind. Running after him, all Jacob saw were rows of shelves,the man seemed to disappear. Taking out his cell phone, Jacob speed dialed his friend Frankie.
“Hello,” Frankie answered, inform somewhere inside his home in California.
“I think I’m going to need your help on this,” slipping the file folder under his jacket, Jacob made his way to the elevator. “Could you meet me at the Commons in three days? I know it’s short notice, but I really need your help. This whole mess just got a lot more complicated. I feel her presence. She’s near.” Jacob spoke fast, almost nervous.
“Get up, soldier!” the man demanded. “Get up!”
Carl awoke with a start seeing he’d fallen out of bed, looking down at a tight woven blue carpet floor beneath him. Lifting himself off the floor he looked around to get his bearings.
“Attention, soldier!” the man roared again to which Carl looked around frantically. There was no one in the room with him.
Wiping the beads of sweat off his brow, Carl picked up a white under shirt off the fabric chair, slipping it on as he stumbled around. The loud, bellowing deep male voice echoed through his ears again. Feeling disoriented, he fell to his knees. Scrambling back up, his fingers found the hotel card key on the dresser.
“You’re pathetic!” another male voice bellowed.
“What are you doing here?” Carl asked, stumbling a little to the bed, his hands shaking. No one answered. Catching his breath, he sighed, “What am I doing here?” Blinking, Carl looked around where he was again, “Yeah, that’s right. I need to get going, but…” he paused, slipping on his shoes, “I don’t know. Do I really want to?”
Standing before the mirror on the dresser, he wiped his face again looking himself over. Looking to the right of the mirror he saw a man sitting on the bed near the bathroom. He looked awfully familiar. Too familiar. Turning around swiftly in hopes of catching the man in the flesh, Carl found there was no one sitting on the bed.
“You know you want to. You just have to pull yourself together,” the familiar male voice affirmed.
“I don’t know,” Carl breathed, his words shaky as they left his lips, “I don’t know if I can do this.”
“Of course you can. We talked about it for months. For years. You have no choice. You’ll have to pick up where I left off,” the male voice trailed off into the distance as though moving through a wall.
Carl waited with baited breath for the male voice to appear again, but nothing came. Turning the small faucet in the bathroom, Carl splashed water on his face.
“I have to do this. It’s the only way to get to him,” Carl said at last. Grabbing his car keys and pulling on a button up blue shirt, as he walked out of his hotel room with determination.