Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Silent Scream: Part Ten

[Thank you for all your comments, bribes and abuse. Something to note...I get all excited when you guys flood me with tweets, theories, comments and threats (haha), so the more you do that, the more likely I am to post quickly. I'm just saying :p

As always, if you need to catch up, parts 1-9 can be found here. I'm not sure 'happy reading' is appropriate at this point, so...Remember to breathe. Xo]

“Mr Axton?”


“Mr Axton??”


“Mr Axton!”

He blinks.

A face shifts into focus. A badge. A name. Detective Roberts.

“Can you think of anyone who would want to hurt them?”


Detective Roberts exchanges a look with his partner. She cocks her head to the side, gesturing for him to come over. He does.

“He’s in shock,” she whispers. “Back off a little. Give him some space.”

James stares at them numbly. He watches the ambulance officers lift Jenna’s limp body onto a gurney and wheel her towards the van. Her hand falls over the side. Something dangles from her fingers, twinkling in the fading light.

His Astro Boy necklace.

It slips silently to the ground.

James stands up, calmly walks outside and vomits bile into the garden bed beside the front steps. He throws up over and over again, twisting his body inside out until there is nothing left inside him, nothing but one single word.


He’s back in his house.

He has no memory of going there.

Faces swirl before him. Detective Roberts. His partner, Detective Oliver.

He looks at the clock on the wall. It’s eight pm.

Where did the last four hours go?

“Thank you for your co-operation,” Detective Oliver is saying. He can see the pity in her eyes. It makes him want to scream. Flashes of his missing memories play before his eyes.

Going to the station.

Some guy asking for his autograph.

Snapping the back of his wooden chair under the weight of stopping himself from socking the guy in the jaw.


So many question.

But no answers.

How? Why? Who?

Detective Oliver puts her hand on his. He jerks away like she burned him.

“Is there anyone we can call?” she asks.


He shakes his head.

She nods and stands up, handing him her card. “Well, if you remember anything else…” When he doesn’t answer she tilts her head towards the front door, telling her partner they should leave.

“Wait,” James whispers. His voice is hoarse. Raw. The detectives stop and turn towards him. “Is Jenna okay?”

Detective Roberts nods. “She’s critical, but stable. She got beat up pretty bad. Blunt force trauma to the back of the head. Probably the butt of a gun by the looks of things.”

James’ body goes cold. Detective Oliver shoots Detective Roberts a filthy look.

“She’s at UCLA, if you want to see her,” Detective Oliver says gently. She glares at Detective Roberts. They leave.

The front door closes.

He doesn’t move.

He doesn’t breathe.


His hand hurts. He looks down to see that it is tightly curled into a fist. He releases his fingers one by one, easing the tension in his palm. Something falls to the floor.

His Astro Boy necklace.

“Hey, brother. I left myself in. I just saw the cops leaving here; is everything oka…” Michael freezes in the hallway, dropping his keys on the floor. “James??” He races over to him. “James?! Are you okay? What happened??”

James opens his mouth to speak. A sob escapes instead. Then another. And another. And another.

They don’t stop.

He keels over, hugging his arms to his body, desperately trying to hold himself together.

But he can’t.

He falls spectacularly apart.

He paces in his bedroom, restless and tightly wound. Once he had regained control of himself, he and Michael had driven back over to Jenna’s house to join the official search party. But after he had lashed out an officer for sitting around drinking coffee and not doing his fucking job! the police had made him leave, threatening to arrest him if he didn’t. When they got back to his place Michael had practically forced him to go lie down, insisting that there was nothing he could do but let the police to do their job. Wait for them to find a lead or wait for Jenna to wake up and tell them what happened. But he shouldn’t be at home. He shouldn’t be just waiting for answers, waiting for someone else to find Alexander. He should be out there searching for him. He should be out there fighting for him.

I will always fight for you. Remember that.

How do you fight when you don’t know who the enemy is?

There’s a framed picture of the two of them on his bedside table. He stops pacing and picks it up, sinking onto his bed and staring at it in the pale moonlight. Alexander is holding an ice cream cone. James is leaning over it with his mouth open wide, pretending to eat it. Alexander has his head thrown back, laughing like it is the funniest thing he has ever seen. Jenna had taken the picture just before he left for Louisiana. He stares at it, gripping the wooden frame tight enough to crack it.

“Where are you?” he whispers. “Where are you?”

The crack in the frame grows wider. He puts it back on his bedside table, scared that if he holds it for much longer it will turn to dust in his iron grip. The last time he saw Alexander plays in loops in his head.

I don’t want you to go.

I know, buddy. I know. 

He pulls the Astro Boy necklace out of his pocket. He can’t bring himself to part with it.

Astro Boy will be with you.

He’ll look after you.

“You were supposed to take care of him,” he whispers to Astro Boy. “You were supposed to keep him safe. You failed.” His voice shakes. “You fucking FAILED.”

He squeezes the pendant into his palm hard enough to leave a mark. The pain is a welcome distraction. A minor one, but welcome just the same.


He thinks about how he used to go out looking for a fight when things got too hard to bear. How every asshole turned into his step-father. How he’d go out looking for someone to save.

How he saved Alexander.

He takes a sharp breath in.


He saved Alexander from his father.

His father.

He is out the door in a matter of seconds. He passes Michael on the way out, who is asleep on the couch. He had insisted on staying.

He gets into his car and searches his memory for Alexander’s father’s address. He closes his eyes, thinking back to a few weeks after he had taken Alexander away. He had gone over there to make sure Alexander’s father signed the adoption papers for Jenna.

He couldn’t play the guitar or type for a few weeks after that. He’d fractured two fingers.

He sees it.

9332 Compton Avenue. Downtown LA.

He reverses out of the driveway, knocking his bins over as he does.