“Eloy Roberts?” Terrence pulled out his badge and flashed it to the bartender.
“That’s me,” the bartender replied “can I help you?”
Terrence tucked his wallet back into his pocket. Gavin floated directly behind him, sizing up the weary alcoholics sizing up Terrence.
“We were hoping we could have a moment to talk to you,” Terrence continued “in private.”
Eloy rested his hands on the bar, raising an eyebrow, thinking on his answer. He turned to his co-worker and asked “You good?”
The other bartender answered with a nod.
“Let’s head out back,” Eloy pointed a finger to a green door all the way at the end.
They stepped outside into a dark alley, the music and chatter fading to nothing but the breeze of a cold night. The only light came from a full moon overhead, with few stars shining through the barrier of pollution and a sea of clouds. Gavin stood by the door, leaning on the old, decaying wall of the building.
“Am I in trouble, detectives?” Eloy wondered.
“No,” Terrence assured “we just wanted to ask a few questions.”
Eloy turned around to Gavin, who was giving his typical bad-cop glare, and then returned to good-cop Terrence.
“About what?” He asked.
“We’ve been informed that you were one of the victims from the ’05 trafficking ring,” Terrence said.
Eloy smiled and nodded in realization.
“Yeah, I am,” he replied “this is about that girl from Auguston isn’t it? Helen Yates, right?”
Terrence nodded and continued “There anything you think you can tell us about that?”
Eloy reached into his back pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes, offered one to Terrence, then Gavin, and lit one in his mouth after they both passed.
“Y’all think it was one of them?” He said through the smoke.
“I wanna know what you think,” Terrence answered.
“Well,” Eloy sucked on his cigarette “apparently you guys caught ’em all back in ’09,”
“Apparently?” Gavin interrupted.
“Yeah,” Eloy turned to Gavin “apparently.”
Terrence pinched his eyebrows and shared an intrigued look towards Gavin. “What do you mean?”
Eloy grinned, a hint of madness and the years of abuse beginning to surface in his eyes.
“I know for a fact you didn’t catch all of ’em,” He exhaled his smoke. “but y’all never listened to me.”
Gavin stood up from the wall, now leaning towards the conversation.
“How do you know?” Terrence pressed, worried that Eloy’s mind was too fragile to continue speaking of this.
“Y’all never got the kidnapper.” Eloy answered in a nonchalant, matter-of-fact tone. He sucked in a deep puff from the cigarette, his eyes now aimed at the sky, his memories taking him back to a dark place.
“I remember all of them, all their faces,” he continued “but I never got a good look at that kidnapper. He was always quiet, always hanging around in the corner, away from everyone else, real creepy and all, ‘ya know? But he was younger, like 30s, maybe 40s. All those trafficking guys were older pieces o’ shit.”
“So you’re saying there was only one kidnapper?” Gavin asked, now standing next to Terrence.
“Oh yeah,” Eloy confidently confirmed “there was just the one. They hired him to do all the dirty work. He took us in our sleep, drugged us up, brought us to that mansion, the whole nine.”
“And you know for a fact he never got caught?” Gavin asked.
“Yep,” Eloy said, nodding his head “they brought me in back in ’09 to identify all those guys they caught. I saw all of them…except that kidnapper.”
Terrence began to write notes down on his pad. Gavin continued for him: “And you think this guy that took Helen Yates is the same guy?”
“Nah,” he grinned wider “I know it’s him.”
Terrence stopped writing and looked up at Eloy, his madness written all over his face. But was it madness? Or was it someone who knew the truth no one would listen to?
“There were always a couple kids they didn’t like,” Eloy finished his cigarette, tossed it to the ground and immediately lit another one. “And then were some who didn’t ‘cooperate’. Whenever they had one of those kids, they’d let him have his way with them.”
Gavin turned away, his anger rising. Terrence remained there, unfazed by Eloy’s words. Gavin questioned whether he had the stomach to continue listening to him, or anything else about the case. But Terrence wanted more.
“So that’s when all these teens started turning up dead in their beds,” Eloy continued “with those signature notes of his.”
Terrence wrote down more on his pad. Gavin walked down the alley, recuperating himself.
“Anything you can tell me about the notes?”
Eloy shook his head. “Not really, man. I just know he was all poetic ‘n shit.”
Terrence looked over his notes, satisfied with their findings.
“Anything else?” he asked.
Eloy pondered a moment, then shook his head.
Terrence finished writing and closed his pad. He reached out a hand, and Eloy accepted.
“You’ve given us a lot,” Terrence thanked “we’ll be in touch.”
Gavin returned and shook his hand as well. They stepped back inside the bar, the place quieter and emptier now.
“Y’all are welcome to some drinks, if you’d like,” Eloy offered.
“We’re gonna be on our way,” Terrence passed “but thanks, Eloy.”
Eloy nodded his head, a hint of pride for helping them out. The detectives opened the door at the front, when Eloy shouted “Hey, detectives!” They stopped, just before exiting. Eloy walked up to them and said “Y’all be careful going after this guy.
“You’re dealing with one sick fuck.”