'Something I've learned on the job, anyone can do anything to anybody.'
'The news for today: the infamous television Psychic, Crystal Palm, was found this morning, dead, in an abandoned toy factory. The picture of her was unavailable for distribution, but what we can say, is that it is unpleasant.'
Herry turned off the TV and sat up straight.
'Did you hear that?' He asked Jay as he came down the stairs, pulling on a white button-down shirt and buckling his jeans.
'Yah,' Jay responded. 'I got a message about it, and then a text one. What's with people and dying these days?'
'I dunno, but it can't be good.' Herry answered.
'I think that if I pull a few strings, I can get you guys into the crime scene,' Jay said, pouring a cup of coffee. 'But it won't be easy.'
'Well, you just do your very best.' Herry said in a cute-and-cuddly voice.
'Hey guys,' Theresa said as she walked lazily down the stairs, hair messy and wearing a pair of short shorts and a baggy T-shirt. 'What's up? Oh, is that coffee I smell?'
'Do you guys know how bad coffee is for you?' Herry asked, standing up, out of the couch and towards the kitchen.
'This, coming from the guy who ate popcorn as your main supplement.' Theresa laughed, also pouring a cup of coffee.
'Yes, actually, it is, and FYI I've lain off the poppy-corny, and have gone onto tea.' Herry responded simply, opening a few cupboards and searching through them.
'So how is Sleeping Beauty today?' Jay asked Theresa sarcastically.
'I am going to ignore that comment and get back to my breakfast.' She answered, taking a sip of coffee.
'Really,' Jay retorted. 'I thought it was your religion not to eat, you know, being a 'superstar'!'
'Shut up!' Theresa barked at him.
'Oh, no,' Atlanta said as she walked down the stairs. 'Trouble in Not-So-Paradise?'
'More or less,' Herry mumbled.
'Come on, Archie, get dressed and come downstairs,' Atlanta yelled up the stairs to him. 'And bring Neil with you!'
Archie rushed down the stairs, tucking a blue collar shirt into a pair of tan pants.
'It's funny how terrible teachers dress these days,' Neil said as he strutted down the stairs after Archie, wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and onyx jeans. 'I, however, always look fabulous.'
'Oh, no,' Theresa said sarcastically and in a bored tone. 'What ever would we do without your incredible fashion sense, Neil? Herry, can you pass me the paper?'
Herry threw over to her a rolled up newspaper, and she caught it one-handed with her hot cup in the other hand.
'Thanks.' Theresa replied, smiling, sitting herself down onto the couch.
'Don't get too comfy,' Jay said, grabbing the paper out of her hands. 'Get dressed and let's get going to the crime scene.'
They arrived at the factory, all wearing police badges and all looking very official.
'Jay, how was the reunion?' A tall man asked him as they entered the factory. 'Fun? And who is this?' he gestured to Theresa, who was walking closer to a gated area nearing the centre of the room.
'Theresa,' Jay muttered to his friend. 'She's an old friend.'
'You mean Theresa, Theresa? As in Theresa Sheridan, celebrity and the exact definition of the word H-O-T?'
'Hey, don't say anything about her, okay?' Jay barked coldly at his fellow officer.
'Jay, how do I get back here?' Theresa called back at him, pointing to the yellow-gated area where officers were only allowed to go.
'I got to go,' Jay said as he ran over to Theresa and showed his badge to the officers around the dead woman. 'Here.'
Her neck was slightly blue and her face was red although it was difficult to tell because of all of the bleeding erupting out of her face and body. Her cheeks were slashed, her body beaten, and her shirt was ripped open on her back with whipping scars: they were still bleeding.
'Jay,' Theresa asked Jay, horrified. 'Who would do something like this?'
'Something I've learnt on the job,' Jay said, tucking and folding his sunglasses into his shirt pocket. 'Anyone can do anything to anybody.'
'But at will?' Theresa asked.
'Yah,' Odie agreed as his face paled. 'That is some nasty piece of work.'
'Tell me about it.' Jay said as he crouched down to get a better look at the woman. Her eyes were a magnificent electric blue but the purple bruising surrounding them definitely outshined them.
'Oh, honey,' Atlanta said gently, pulling on a pair of white gloves. 'What did you do to deserve this?'
'Nothing, by the looks of it,' Odie said logically.
'What do you mean?' Atlanta asked.
'Well,' Odie answered. 'She was shot in both feet, neither fatal although very painful, she has been beaten severely, from her face to her ribs.' He lifted up the side of her shirt to reveal heavy bruising and even cuts, the blood slightly oozing out.
'Was she beaten to death?' Archie asked sickly while Herry's skin turned a pale green colour.
'Seems to be,' Odie replied simply, yet clearly disgusted.
Theresa reached down and touched the bloody cheek with her gloveless right palm. Suddenly, all light around her turned into a very dark blue and her breathing stopped. A very tall man was shouting at her, saying things like 'I know you know,' 'Tell me,' and saying things in Greek that she did not understand. Her hands and feet were bound by a very thick rope and felt nothing but pain, except for fear.
'Tell me what you know Crystal, or I shall be forced to make you cry again, you do not want to cry again, now do you?' That was more of a threat than an actual suggestion that the man barked at her venomously.
'I don't know anything!' Shrill shrieking escaped her mouth, but it wasn't her voice, it was someone else's, someone squat, scared to death, and clearly not Theresa Sheridan.
The man yelled again and raised his hand, about to strike and another terrified scream escaped her lips.
Theresa pulled her hand away from Crystal's cold cheek and fell backwards, her arms flailing in search for a steady grip: she found one, or, more like, one found her.
'Theresa,' Jay asked, clutching her arms. 'Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost...wait, did you have another vision?'
She panted and shook her head, her gaze sweeping over Crystal Palm's dead corpse.
'No, not really,' she said, regaining her lost balance. 'More of like, a vision of the past: I think I just had a, oh, I don't know, a vision from the past or something.'
'You mean psychometry?' Archie asked her, suddenly interested. 'That is the ability to see the past experiences of selected objects; I guess that that includes people. I took a sight class as an elective in college.'
'And yet you never knew what to get me for our anniversary.' Atlanta said casually, yet jokingly still.
'Hey, the female brain is difficult to comprehend,' Archie defended. 'We're not all mind readers you know.'
Atlanta smiled but it soon faded as she saw the terrified look on Theresa's face.
'What happened in your vision?' Jay asked quietly.
'I think I was here, but it was cold and dark,' she answered, shivering. 'There was a man, tall, loud, strong, and dangerous. I could feel his power from where I sat, but I couldn't move; my hands and feet were bound too tightly. He told me that I-that I knew.'
'That you knew what?' Herry asked.
'I don't know,' Theresa shook her head. 'But-but he called me Crystal. I think that I was her mind for that one instant.'
'How is that possible?' Archie said.
'Well you know what they say,' Neil said, grinning. 'Great minds think alike.'
They returned home except for Odie, Archie and Atlanta who stayed behind to get a better look at Crystal. Jay made sure that he drove Theresa home with Herry and Neil. She was still disoriented and her vision blurry, but kept being nudged in the side to keep from losing consciousness by Neil. She felt Jay gently pick her up, carry her out of the car, and gently lay her down on the couch. She felt his warm hand curl her hair around her ear and his thumb graze her cheek softly.
'Theresa,' he mumbled quietly.
'We'll leave you two alone,' said Herry. 'C'mon Neil, let's get going.' He gestured to Neil and the stairs and they quickly climbed up them.
'Jay,' Theresa whispered. 'Where am I? What's going on?'
He smiled weakly and rested his hand on her cheek.
'Shh,' he said just as quiet. 'You need to rest. That weird vision you had, it must have drained you. Are you going to be okay?' He leaned in closer, until he felt her breath on his face.
She breathed in heavily and stared into his chocolate eyes.
'Yah,' Theresa replied softly. 'I think so.'
Their lips almost were touching until she had another vision, this one more usual, yet had very unfortunate timing. She saw a little girl, one with straight, sandy blonde hair and hazel eyes, fairly pale skin and a look of utter pain and terror.
Jay felt his lips touch hers, soft, yet cold, but stiff. He leaned back to see her eyes glazed over, wide open, and her mouth slightly open.
'Damnit,' he muttered and pulled back. 'Perfect timing; she's having a vision.'
Theresa's face relaxed and her eyes cleared. She gazed up at him, over her and his stare intense.
'Jay,' she whispered and her breathing choppy. 'I know the next target.'