Chapter 2: The Note

It was time for the gang to get back together and the first to arrive was none other than Leo Hart, the courageous follower. He had perched himself on the ledge of the concrete fountain and his left leg perpendicular to his right. He stuffed his hands into his black leather jacket to keep them from getting too cold in the sharp wind that was starting to blow gingerly around the center of town.

He had messy short brown hair and emerald eyes. He usually wore anything that had a lion printed on it. Tonight, he had a large lion head printed on the front of his shirt and a regular pair of blue jeans with brown sneakers. His demeanor reeked of an unwavering courage. He stood proud and held his head high.

Now, Rachel on the other hand… She was the gossiper fashionista of the group. She had blonde hair with brown eyes. She always wore the newest trend and it didn’t matter if it had changed because she was on the ball. Lately, her main outfit of choice at the moment were long cardigans with ripped jeans and contrasting shirts to the cardigans. Her shoe of choice with that particular outfit combination were wedge pumps that matched with whatever cardigan she had worn that day.

A small cloud of air floated gently up into the night sky and the clicking of heels had followed. Blonde locks had flowed with the wind. “Hey Leo. Nice to see you here. Guessing you got the text to?” Rachel Riken asked, her eyebrow curling slightly as she had moseyed on over to the concrete fountain and sat down next to the brunette haired male. She placed her hands on her upper thighs, tracing the purposely designed ripped fabric of her jeans.

Leo glanced over at Rachel and he had nodded his head slowly, moving a hand from his pocket to rub the back of his head. “Yeah…I got the text. My guess is that Richard and Lynn will be here shortly. We probably just beat them to the punch and you know how they are. They are even older buddies than we are to Lynn, so he’s probably all caught up in talking to her.” He admitted, a few thoughts rolling through his head about that relationship. Even if he didn’t let to admit it fully, the lion did have a big of an affinity towards their leader of their hodge podge group.

“You may be right on that. It shouldn’t be too much longer that we have to wait for them. Richard is pretty punctual most of the time and Lynn said she was working at the book shoppe tonight. She’ll be late. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.” Rachel reassured, a smile curling on her lips as she thought about how boring it would be to work the graveyard shift at Mister Maynard’s shop. Hardly anyone had showed up at that time, but the shop was opened 24 hours after all.

Leo felt his eyes drift off to the concrete circle around the fountain and his eyes searched for something to grab. A small pebble had drifted into his view and he leaned forward to pick it up. He threw it in his palm a few times before he had thrown it in the distance, not looking where it had hit.

There was a soft thud accompanied by the pebble clanking against the sidewalk leading up to the fountain. “…Ow…that hurt. You didn’t have to throw a rock at me when I got here Leo.” Richard mumbled almost to himself as he had slunk into the light of the street lamp coming near the fountain, showing himself to his friends.

“Sorry, Richard…I…uh…didn’t see you there.” Leo let out a nervous chuckle as he had stood up and slid his hands into his pockets once again. His gaze had rested upon their friend coming closer.

Richard waved his hands in front of himself, dismissing the accidental hit. Not that it had hurt that much. But it did sting a little bit since it had hit him square in the chest. “No problem. It was an accident.” He made his way closer to the fountain and crossed in arms in front of himself.

“So?” Rachel’s voice had perked up as she had taken notice of her other male friend. “What is going on here? It sounded urgent, but you didn’t exactly give us any of the juicy details.” She couldn’t exactly stop herself from wanting to know what was up with Richard and why he had called this meeting this late. She placed her hands on her hips as she had stood up next to Leo, her gaze fixated on the blond-haired friend.

“Right,” Richard started, his arms uncrossing themselves and his fingers had laced together, both of his pointer fingers had come together at a point. “Remember that Wilker kid that used to hang around with us when we were all kids…Well, he went missing and the police have called off the investigation. Lynn said that she wants to find him and she obviously can’t go it alone, she needs us.”

Both Rachel and Leo had looks of surprise on their face. Sure they had seen the posters going around Sheffield, but they thought that the police had found them and he just went off to do his own thing because he was now old enough to well…do his own thing. They had thought nothing of it.

“You see, I told her about it and now she is all gun-hoe on finding him.” Richard elaborated as he had set his hands down by his sides, sliding the tips of his fingers into his pockets.

“What you’re saying here is that Lynn wants to find and possibly rescue a kid that we haven’t seen in years because you brought it up? Because the police stopped investigating it?” Leo questioned skeptically as he had furrowed an eyebrow in a perturbed manner. He may have been slightly pissed off at the fact that Richard had brought something up from a long time ago and all of a sudden Lynn just goes along with it. It just sounded off and it made him bit his cheek to keep himself from making any more comments.

Richard took a deep breath in and nodded his head. “Yes…I know how that sounds, but you know how Lynn gets when she gets something on her mind. Nothing can break her free from that. She is as stubborn as a bull…sometimes too stubborn.” His form shifted around slightly, more from slight anxiousness.

“Great.” Leo exhaled, closing his eyes as he had pinched the bridge of his nose. “I guess we’ll have to go along with it even if we don’t want to just because of Lynn, huh.” Not that he minded following Lynn at all…that wasn’t the problem he had faced. It was the fact that this was something that they didn’t need to get their hands into and should just leave it up for the police to handle if they decided to pick it back up again.

“Come on Leo, lets just wait and see ’till Lynn gets here so we can talk about it then to her. Sitting here getting all pissy about it isn’t going to do you any good.” Rachel mentioned as she had placed a hand on Leo’s shoulder, despite the fact that there was a slight height difference between the two of them. She hoped that it would calm him down a bit and comfort him. Even if it was a little bit, anything would have helped at this moment.

The messy brunette male took a deep breath before rubbing his eyes with his thumb and pointer finger, opening his eyes up. “Fine.” He uttered stubbornly, sitting down at the fountain ledge once again.

Richard cautiously stepped his way over to the fountain to sit down on the other side of Rachel who had taken a seat slowly next to Leo.

The three sat silently, waiting in the chilly night wind for their friend to show up. But it seemed to grow ever more eery as the time had carried on. The minutes had seemed like hours as they waited perched at the fountain’s ledge, two hours had passed.

Leo gritted his teeth slightly as he had grabbed the phone in his pocket, digging it out to look at the time. It was well over the time when Lynn was supposed to be off of her shift and she still wasn’t here. Something was wrong…something didn’t smell right. “Guys, wasn’t Lynn supposed to be here at least an hour and a half ago?” He questioned as he had stuffed his phone back into his jacket pocket and looked to his friends.

“She was and usually she texts me when she had off work so we can talk all night over the phone about our classes…” Rachel noted, taking out her phone to check the messages quickly to see if Lynn had sent her a message at all, indicating what was going on and why she was so late.

“Maybe we should check out the shop and see if she had to stay late.” Richard suggested as he had risen from the ledge and turned around to look at his friends. “I’m sure there is a reason why she isn’t here already. That is my best guess and I don’t think it would be that far-fetched to happen to her, Mickerson is getting pretty old nowadays so it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to ask her to stay later.”

Leo and Rachel nodded their heads, following Richard as he had made his way over to Sheffield’s Read and Watch.

The familiar bell had rung when the group of three had entered into the shop. They had split up to look for Lynn immediately, scrounging the area to check for clues. The place had seemed like it had been when Richard had left. Nothing seemed out-of-place as he had searched in the large main area where he had seen Lynn before he had left earlier that day. But as he had looked deeper, he had saw the bullet hole and how it had cracked the wood of the bookcase behind the cash register/checkout area. There was a trail of blood that had gone from where Lynn usually sat to the wall behind her. As he had leaned closer to inspect, he found a note taped to the desk.

[ If you want your sweet little girlfriend back May-tard, you and your little posse of the lion and gossip girl, are going to have to bring us the records of Thommy Wilker from the police and deliver it personally to yours truly along with all the cash hidden away in that stupid little shop. If you fail to do so, we won’t hesitate to kill Lynny Carmichael, your leader. You have three days to bring me everything I need at this address: 73897 Cherote Ave. APT 8.

Sheffield Snakes ]

“Guys! I found something!” Richard called out as he had ripped the note off of the desk. Leo and Rachel had come racing to the main room and huddled around the blond male. “It is a note from the Sheffield Snakes. They have Lynn and they are going to kill her if we don’t get the police records on Thomas Wilker’s case and all the money Mister Mickerson has hidden away in his shop.” He explained, his heart racing with the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

Leo’s eyes widened when they had rested upon the note and read it, again and again. He couldn’t believe it…the petty Sheffield Snakes gang had actually kidnapped someone…let alone Lynn Carmichael of all people. They were even threatening to kill her if they didn’t bring them the items that they wanted. There was no way that they would resort to murder to get what they wanted…sure burglary. Kidnapping and murder was out of their realm, at least that is what they had thought until now.

“Then lets give them what they want and get Lynn out of there.” Rachel declared confidently, knowing that they would have to act quickly and they didn’t have time to be shocked. Even though what they were going to be doing to get their friend back wasn’t any better than what the Sheffield Snakes had done by kidnapping Lynn, they weren’t going to stand by and watch their childhood friend die.

“We can’t. The police would catch us if we stole the records and Mister Mickerson would definitely call the police if he had found out that all his money was gone.” Richard tried to reason out, but even he was having a hard time digesting what was going on. His stomach had churned heavily and he felt like he was going to keel over. But he had to stay strong for her.

Leo felt something else bubbling inside of his stomach, rage. He knew that he couldn’t stand by and let the Snakes have them dangling in front of them like playthings. He clenched his hands into fists and he swayed forward slightly towards Richard. He winded up slightly before he had punched Richard square in the jaw and after that punch, he had grabbed ahold of him by the sweatshirt and forced him into a bookcase filled with books that toppled over. “We are not! Not! Going to stand around and have Lynn killed! We have time and we’ll come up with a plan just like she does to save her! Don’t you get it?!” He pounded the blonde male against the bookcase again, more books falling down onto the ground. “She would do whatever it took to get us back if we were in that position! She would have a plan and now it is time for us to have a plan and save her ass!”

Richard could see the rage visible in his eyes and he immediately had felt guilt for what he had said. He bowed his head, letting his blond hair cover his face. “I’m sorry…let’s get her…you’re right. She would do the same for us and now it is our turn.” He apologized softly.

Leo let his grip off of the sweatshirt and let Richard fall to the ground with a loud thud. He couldn’t take standing around anymore and he needed to get out of the shop as soon as possible. So he raced out of Sheffield Read and Watch and slammed the door behind him.

Rachel took a deep breath at that display and she had put her hands on her chest, calming down her heartbeat somewhat. She knew that Leo had the courageous nature and the doubled edged sword that came with that, the uncontrollable rage of the lion in which the same courageous nature had originated from. “Now that that is over. We should find the cash and figure out a way to get those police records.” She suggested, her gaze softening slightly as she looked at Richard disheveled on the ground. She offered a hand to him in which he gladly took and helped him to his feet.

Richard thanked her in a nodded gesture and walked over to a very old vintage bookcase with a locked glass display. He kneeled down and slipped his hand underneath the wood trim, catching a key that slipped from the small hooks below. He stood up and unlocked the glass display. He opened it up carefully, grabbing Mister Mickerson’s favorite book that only a few people had known about. It was a copy of course, as the original was in older man’s home. This book had been carved open to hold the money that the store had kept, a secret stash of sorts. He took the money and closed the book, putting it back into the case and locking it back up. He slid the money into his pockets and looked to Rachel before leaving without a word.

Rachel followed in mock surprise that he knew where that was so quickly, perhaps Mister Mickerson had let information slip out of this fact when Richard was around and he guessed it. Either way, they had the money and the next thing was getting those records on Thomas Wilker.

If you enjoyed reading this, consider supporting me on Patreon for as little as $1 a month!