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The City of The Faceless

By @LilyRavenclaw

He sat in his desk chair with his feet elevated on top of the table. His file cabinet was open and overflowing with files behind him. His gun lay unloaded on his desk with bullets scattered around it along with more files and papers. A paperweight lay next to a plaque that read “Officer Haegen”. He held a bottle of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The whole police station smelled of tobacco and even had a layer of smoke over it so that objects further than ten feet away appeared blurred.

Nobody had entered the station all day. Nobody had entered it for the past fourteen days for that matter. Nobody cared about the single officer inside the building. Nobody would ever care unless they needed him to care about them. And besides, people would much rather report a problem through the holographic communicators stationed on every street block and within everyone’s home. Why on this disgusting, impoverished earth would somebody want to interact with another person? Or even look at another person? They wouldn’t of course. What an appalling prospect! The thought would scarcely run through one’s mind. Which is why our very own police officer didn’t care to do his job precisely or correctly. He didn’t care to put on a professional mask. No one ever saw his face anyway.

People continued to pass by the tall stone police station that might as well have been invisible. So invisible that if one was to be brave enough to point the building out to somebody else, the person might question it ever having been there before. Although the building had been there for over twenty-three years.

After another hour, topping the eleven hours he had already been there, Officer Haegen decided he was hungry. There was a microwave in the break room. He was about to go back and warm himself up a dehydrated meal, something that would fill him up, when the unthinkable happened. It happened so suddenly and abruptly that he had to squint through the smoke that was thick in the air, thinking it might have been playing tricks on his eyes. But no, about fifteen feet in front of him stood another person. The person was female. She had walked through the station doors and stopped in her tracks. She had her hands in her jacket pockets. Her eyes shifted from side to side, examining the station and its unprofessional image.

“Can I help you?” Officer Haegen inquired.

“Yes.” She promptly responded. But there was something about her response that stuck out from every other response he had received from anyone in the last five months. It was sincere and genuine. It was mature and honest.

“…What can– What can I help you with?” He crushed his cigarette and hid his beer bottle.

She walked toward him and approached the front desk. She took her right hand out of her jacket pocket and placed a letter on the desk before him. “This.” She said solemnly.

“A letter?” He raised his eyebrow. She nodded her head. He gazed at her expectantly, waiting for more information.

“It was given to me by a man. He pretended to be blind and asked me to deliver the letter to the address written on the back. But I don’t think he was blind and besides he could have delivered the letter himself.”

“Well if he was blind ma’am then it would have been difficult for him to find the address wouldn’t it?”

“But he wasn’t blind.”

“How do you know?”                   

“When he handed me the letter I believe he purposely dropped it. When I bent down to go pick it up, he ran away. When I stood back up and looked for him, he was gone. Luckily for me I was barely able to get a glimpse of him before he disappeared behind a group of people. Not so luckily for him. In short, his actions were suspicious.”

“And do you have any other proof that he wasn’t blind?”

She hesitated. “Er…No sir.”

“Was there any other way in which this man was suspicious?”

“…Um, the way he was dressed.”

“Alright, I’m going to need you to fill out this form. Please write down any other information that you feel is vital and even information you feel is irrelevant. Write down a description of the man, the letter, you’re location at the time, the date and please sign at the bottom. If anything is wrong we’ll sort it out for you.”

She nodded in comprehension and took the form on a clipboard. She recorded what the man looked like and what he was wearing. She recorded what she had been doing and how old she was. She even described the “blind” man’s habit of “accidentally” hitting people with his cane.

When she’d finished she handed the clipboard back to the officer. He took it gently from her.

“Thank you officer.” She smiled.

“Oh!… Um…Of course. My–My pleasure ma’am.”

And with that she turned, her golden hair falling over her shoulder, and walked out of the station doors.

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