Chapter 8: Confessions
Chapter 8: Confessions
My confession with Carter was most unsuccessful. I managed to vent about my frustrations and I did feel better later, but I couldn't get any information out of him. The worse part is that I upset him. He noticed I was fishing for answers and berated me for it. Then he straight out told me no one had confessed to the near murder and gave me whole sermon about honesty and what not. On the bright side, at least I know I shouldn't waste my time trying to get more information out of him. I do want to apologize though, so I'm taking some snacks to him as a gift for my 'misbehavior'.
It's a new day which will hopefully be filled with new discoveries. Charles expressed his impatience and I told him I had a solid story, that I just needed the proof. He didn't have time to question me as a doctor from the city was coming over for Alice's checkup. I headed to the church to give Carter the snacks, but didn't see him there. I listened and heard voices from the confessional. Curiosity overtook me and I listened on.
"Enough of this going around in circles, tell me what you know," that was Skye's voice. Could it be that he was interrogating Carter? I believed him when he said he didn't know anything and I don't want my new assistant to pressure him. But how can I interrupt them?
There was a long pause until Carter answered. "I know about your hypnotic abilities." Carter's words took me by surprise and I remembered the suspicious silent communication going on between Skye and Carter yesterday. Just what is this hypnotic ability about?
"That's it?" Skye sounds relieved as he laughs lightly.
"This is not something to be taken lightly, young man," Carter scolds him sternly. "I cannot allow you to take advantage of your ability in Mineral Town. I can sense these things you see. It doesn't seem that you've used it on her yet..."
Skye laughs again, taking Carter's warning lightly. "There is no need to worry; I would prefer not to resort to such methods." He spoke as if he was saving a trump card for an emergency, rather than deciding not to take a certain action.
"Prefer?" Carter inquired suspiciously.
I could picture Skye's cocky smile in my imagination. "I won't use that gift in the situation that you're thinking."
I heard Carter cough as if in embarrassment. Just what was the situation Skye was hinting at? "That's would be... terrible indeed." He coughed again; does he have a sore throat or something? He muttered something about purity and I couldn't understand the rest. "Well, please try to refrain from using such tactics, it is improper. That is all." Carter sounds tired.
"Sure no problem," Skye chuckles.
"Skye..." the name lingers in the air as if Carter is considering speaking further or not.
"Yes?" Skye prompts.
"You asked me what I knew, is there something else you think I should know about you?" Carter's question had me holding my breath.
"No," I have a feeling that Skye's answer is to be left up to interpretation. "There is nothing more you should know."
"Very well, if you never need anything to talk to, I will be here," Carter kindly offered.
"I'll remember that," Skye went out of the confessional and saw me standing there. He quickly shook away the surprise and smiled. "Hey, beautiful."
"Hi..." I replied and hurried past him trying to pretend I wasn't eavesdropping. "Excuse me..." I went into the confessional and let out a breath.
"Have you come for a proper confession this time?" Carter asked with more kindness than the implications of the question deserved.
"Actually, I came to bring you a snack." I gave him the little package.
"Oh, thank you!" Carter smiled kindly and gratefully.
I nodded and smiled, then let myself out, "I have to get back to work now."
"Have a nice day," Carter gently voiced.
"Same to you!" I called out as I left. Skye was still there, at the church, waiting. "Um... hey... is there something you wanted to do today?" I'm the detective, he's the assistant, I should be deciding our work, but my mind is at a blank right now.
"I want to make curry, if you'd be interesting in helping me, I would be most grateful, princess." He gave me an irresistible smile.
I blinked and stared for several moments. "I guess so," that's not what I meant when I asked. I was talking about the investigation, but instead I ended up going back to the Snack Shack with Skye.
xoxox xox xoxox
At the Snack Shack, I didn't really do much except talk. I talked about our favorite TV shows, video games and websites. Despite living in the country, Skye was rather well informed in such things, though he admitted that the internet signal was quite bad and before Fun Land came along he was stuck using the dial up from the local inn at Forget Me Not for a long time. Of course, he didn't tell me he would sneak into the inn and make himself at home at one of the rooms in secret, downloading action movies. He did mention, after I assumed mistakenly that he was another paying guest there, that it took forever to download the movies and that he just left the laptop on while he slept. He didn't say it was hidden in a vacant room on the days when he knew it wasn't time to clean it, as it was unused anyway so it didn't need as much maintenance.
After a while of laughing at the movie cliches and going on and on about the characters we liked the curry was done and I had done nothing. The morning was gone and it was mid day so we sat down to eat. It was delicious. Skye, gave me a victorious grin, "I think I finally did it, I got the flavor I was trying to achieve for so long! Why do you think that was?"
"Maybe because you were entertained," I suggested. "They say food turns out better when you make it while in a good mood."
"Maybe it's true," he smiled.
Then something cliqued in my mind and I innocently inquired. "For how long have you been trying to get this recipe just right?"
"It's been a long time, I dare say even over a year." Then he froze as my vigilant gaze penetrated his icy blue eyes. "You caught me, miss detective. It seems that being caught by a beautiful lady was my destiny."
"I should have known not even an amateur was such an awful cook. You lied about now knowing what you were doing." I was accusing him, but I couldn't make myself sound angry.
"Alright, I admit it, I'm not an amateur, I just wanted you to stick around and give me a hand," Skye confessed. "Is that really so terrible?"
"I guess not," I laughed. From a certain point of view it was almost sweet. "so what other secrets do you hold? Something about hypnosis?" I decided to be direct.
"You heard..." Skye stated. He looked uneasy for a moment, then took a deep breath and admitted it. "My eyes have the power to appeal to the instinct of a member of the opposite gender. For animals it instantly charms them into becoming docile and friendly."
"I knew something was up with Diamond!" I exclaimed. Then another very suspicious thought came to me as I recalled Skye's conversation with Carte. "What about humans? Does it charm humans too?" I instantly glared and was once again at full alert after I had started to really relax around him.
"No," Skye explained. "Humans have a process of reasoning that animals don't have. Humans are not driven by instinct alone, so they do not follow it. When instinct and reason clash, the result is paralysis. For a moment, until the effect of the instinct that reason cannot accept fades away, the brain can focus on nothing more but to annihilate the inconsistency and thus the limbs do not respond. You can still think, you can still speak, but you can't move other than little movements, the brain won't have enough resources for such commands. It'll only last a little while though and the discomfort of paralysis will if anything, help cement you more solidly in reality and made the effect fade. If on the other hand, the charm was actually accepted, then there wouldn't be an inconsistency, no paralysis."
"Has that happened before with a human?" I asked in disbelief.
"The paralysis? Yes, I'll admit it has," Skye didn't further elaborate about the possible situation surrounding such an event and I knew he didn't want to talk about it, but I was curious.
Yet my other curiosity was even stronger. "What about the charm being accepted?"
"That has not happened yet, so my interpretation about how it would affect a human is only a theory," Skye admitted. "I suppose for it to work, I would have to use it on someone who already consciously likes me so that the affectionate instinct wouldn't be at odds with the rational thought."
"But if you're already liked then, it wouldn't make the situation all that different, would it?" I theorized.
"I guess not," Skye chuckled.
"Right..." I let out a breath and bluntly stated. "I don't believe it."
"It is a rare trait," he admitted. "Few people in the world have it. Especially in the modern day."
"Who has had it then? Romeo?" I suggested with a light laugh.
"As far as I know Romeo was fictional," Skye reminded me. "Your suggesting him shows just how much you don't believe me." He seemed amused by it rather than offended, but then who could be offended with something utterly silly wasn't taken seriously? Yet Carter seemed quite serious.
"Who then?" I insist amused.
Skye thinks for a moment and finally replies, "Jezebel."
I mull over his answer, I'm not exactly a history buff but he name is easily recognizable. "I didn't know she was real," I mused aloud, but that wasn't the point. Weather Jezebel was a historical figure who lived long ago, or a character based on one, or a purely fictional character wasn't the point. The point is that the name is something so easy to interpret in terms of modern culture, Jezebel the seductress. I get it now, Carter was using a metaphor. Skye doesn't actually hypnotize people, who could do that? He's just so handsome and charming and anyone who looks into his eyes falls for him.
Yet if Skye really is that way, if he is how I assumed him to be from the start, why would he warn me? Then again, I've been with him often enough, haven't I? He's not running off to flit with another girl, right? Maybe I should keep an eye on him. What am I saying, since when did this become about Skye? If I do spend all my time with him, investigating of course, I'll hopefully progress with the investigation and I'll keep on eye on him at the same time. If he's just toying with me he'll get fed up with the constant surveillance soon enough and if not... I won't think about that now, I won't get my hopes up just yet.
Having finished my curry I stand and pick up the empty plate, taking it to the sink. Skye stands up with his empty dish too. I take it from him, "you cooked today, so I'll wash the dishes."
"I couldn't leave you to over work your beautiful hands." Skye kidded my hand and standing next to me, washing his dish. Since we're both in front of the small sink, we're standing pretty close.
I haven't made an effort to continue the previous conversation and neither has he. "We should go around town this afternoon, talk to people and ask them a few questions. Let's try to read between the lines and try to figure something out. Maybe bring them snacks too, that'll soften them up."
"I can make some things," Skye offers.
"Alright," I agree, "don't hold back on your skills as a chef."
Skye grinned confidently, "I'll show you what I can do, fair maiden."
We ended up spending the whole afternoon and evening baking treats. Another day passed without obtaining clues to solve the mystery of Alice's near murder. I tried to tell myself that I wasn't slacking off too much; this was for the sake of getting information after all. I didn't want to face Charles empty handed again, so I stayed the night at the Snack Shack once more. Tomorrow first thing the morning, Skye and I would set out with our baskets full of treats and visit everyone in town. We'll find some clues, tomorrow for sure... I hope.
To be Continued
Things are at a turning point...