Read first post here: https://jessyburche.blog/2019/06/10/ghost-in-the-morgue-i/
Henry got off the mini bus with the driver who kept looking at him strangely and zoomed off before Henry could pay. Oakland street was quiet except for a group of “jojos” that loitered around with their pink punks and tattered trainers. ‘Jojos’ were Sanday’s street urchins – a dark scrap of the peace loving city. Henry felt a familiar uneasiness as he stepped up to a group beside the game shop. The air was laden with the thick smell of cigarettes and broken bottles strewn aimlessly on the ground. A thin boy with a red eye looked from the group as he approached.
“Oi! Whachu want ‘ere?” he asked in that street, Sanday accent.
“I…I’m looking for someone”. Henry said, withdrawing from his pocket, Mary’s purse and her photo. The boy took a glance, hesitating as if he wasn’t sure of Henry.
“I no see yo” he said, backing out.
“Er,…wait. Wait. Could you ask one of your friends? Please?” Henry begged, “She’s a friend”
The boy eyed him before taking the photo. There was back and forth whispers before someone – a tawny looking girl screamed “No, No. Mary!”
Henry’s eyes shot up. The girl walked over to him, the streetlight giving off a yellow tinge to her milk skin. Her pink-dyed hair was a disheveled bun.
“What happen to Mary?” she asked, almost falling over Henry. ” I been look for her. She my friend. Where’s she?”
Henry sighed. It was going to be a long night. “Mary’s dead. I found her in the morgue”
It didn’t seem to sink in at first. The girl blinked and as if a switched had turned on inside her, she flung herself into Henry. She was bawling at the top of her lungs, thrashing and kicking at the boys who had come over to help entangle Henry from her grasp.
“No. She my friend” she managed to say through her sobs. She leaned against the wall, drying her eyes with the tissues Henry was kind to offer.
“Do you know what could’ve happened?” Henry asked, shooting a glance at Mary who was trying so hard to be quiet.
“We had a plan to leave ‘ere” she said, waving around. Henry knew what she mean’t. They were planning to leave Sanday. That was every ‘jojo’s’ dream. “She was supposed to deliver the last smokes to Bobby, then we take the train with the profit…”
“Hold on. Did you say Bobby?”
“Yes”, the girl croaked. “You know ‘im?”
He nodded. Bobby was the chief. He held the controls to the jojos and used them as he wanted – to pickpocket, sell smokes or even…kill.
“Well, Mary’s been trying to talk to him about leaving. I figured it was a good idea. She’s younger and he has a soft spot for her so…I…I sent her with the batch of smokes…” she said, trailing into another bout of body-shaking tears. Henry left her with a pat on the shoulders and made his way to Sanday’s city center. He had to pay Bobby a visit.
“How do you know Bobby?.” Mary asked, skipping beside him.
He sighed and stopped to stare at her. “We go way back kid. I used to be a jojo myself and Bobby used to be a friend up until he became the boss and I, a denier”
“What was your friend’s name though?”
“Trix, for Beatrice”.
“And you can’t remember anything? Anything else?”
“I might as we go along. I remembered Trix when I saw her so…let’s see”.
Sanday’s city center was the uptown area of Sanday. Mowed lawns, trimmed hedges, fountains with changing lights bouncing off tall, white, magnificent buildings. They boasts the glory of the small city unlike Oakland street. The air was clean and as Henry punched the prompt at the gate, he swore he could also smell laundered money and crime.
“Who is it?”
“Henry Hunt. I want to see Bobby” he stared at Mary. She mouthed something and Henry added; “Tell him I’ve got smokes from Crawford” She gave him the thumbs up and Henry wondered what he’d got himself into.