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Long Island, New York 11971
By Melissa R. Mendelson
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Rated "G" by the Author.
"We live in a dangerous time, and there are many characters capable of brutal things."
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"I'm Special Investigator Ryan."
"The police were already here." Mrs. Tamaro opened the apartment door.
"I know, but I would like to ask you a few questions." He stood in front of the door, gazing at the old woman.
"For a few minutes."
"Only a few minutes. Thank you."
He entered the apartment.
"The police officers took all of the evidence and did their investigation." The old woman wrung her hands.
"I know." Ryan looked around the small apartment.
"Please, call me Ryan."
"Do you know who killed my son?"
"That's why I'm here." He scratched away some dried blood near the bedroom door. “I have a suspect in
mind, but I need some details first."
"Okay. Would you like some tea or coffee?" The old woman walked into the dark kitchen.
"No. I'm surprised to find someone like you living in New York City.
Most of these apartments were abandoned after the quake, and I didn't think there was any electricity left
in these decaying buildings." Ryan leaned down and swiped the floor with his finger.
"My son found a small generator and rigged it up to this apartment. We were the only residents on the
third floor, and I didn't think anybody knew we were here." The old woman scratched at her right hand as
Ryan pulled out a notepad from his coat pocket.
"Did the police ask you to leave?"
"They'll be returning tomorrow to move me to a shelter." Mrs. Tamaro shuddered at that thought.
"At least, you'll be safe there." A glimpse of a shelter rose in front of Ryan's eyes, but he quickly pushed it
"How was your son killed?"
"His throat was slashed." Mrs. Tamaro reached for a withered chair and sat on the edge of it.
"And his hands?"
"How did... Severed." Tears filled the old woman's eyes.
"My suspect usually severs her victim's hands after they're dead."
"She? Surely, a girl could not have done that."
"We live in a dangerous time, and there are many characters capable of brutal things."
"She's not an ordinary girl. Trust me."
"Did your son deal in drugs?" Ryan leaned against a cracked wall.
"Was he in a gang?"
"How old was he?"
"Did he kill someone?"
Mrs. Tamaro looked away before answering. "Yes. It was an accident. The kid was one of those orphans
running through the debris. My son never meant to shoot him." Mrs. Tamaro wrung her hands again.
"You weren't present at the time?"
"No. He told me afterward."
"I see." Ryan closed his notepad and slipped it into his coat pocket.
"You see? You see! Well, Mr. Special Investigator, why haven't you caught your suspect yet?" Mrs. Tamaro
rose angrily from the chair.
"I will in time. She does have a pattern."
"And what pattern is that?"
"She only kills those who kill. Thank you for your time." Ryan began to leave.
"That's it? What shit is that? What kind of investigator are you?"
"Someone who takes my job seriously."
"I don't believe this!" Mrs. Tamaro watched Ryan open the apartment door.
"What you should believe is that you are lucky to be alive."
She slammed the door shut in his face.
Ryan left the apartment building and walked toward the subway. The city was quiet, and the night was
cloudy as Ryan remembered tall skyscrapers that used to cover the sky. All that laid around him now was
debris and abandoned, decayed buildings. The street and sidewalk were both split open, and Ryan walked
around turned- over cars. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed something scurry in the debris, but he
continued walking. He was in the abandoned sector, and the gangs shouldn't be in this area unless they
wanted to test the police's new law, where they shoot first and ask questions afterward. Who would ever
have thought that New York City would become like this?
Ryan thought about his suspect as he descended the stairs down toward the subway. She was tall,
brunette, and had deep blue eyes. He remembered stories that the gang members told in the cube, which
was a steel prison. He remembered they said that their buddies turned on them, trying to kill them
because she made them do it. At first, he wrote it off as bullshit, but more and more gang members,
sexual predators, and killers began telling stories about her and how she made their friends, lovers, and
even their family members try to kill them. Instead, they all ran and got caught, and Ryan was assigned to
follow up on their stories. That was a year ago.
Ryan pulled out a silver pocket watch from his coat and looked at the time. He hurried down the
remaining steps and slipped past bars that used to spin round and round. He saw his contact waiting on
the platform and approached him. Ryan glanced once more at his pocket watch before placing it back in
"Always on time, Mr. Ryan?"
His contact wore a black suit with a blue shirt, but he was wearing jeans and a dress shirt. His contact's
hair was smoothed back, but his own blond hair was messed up. Ryan glanced down at the cement
platform, at his contact’s loafers, and he knew the other man was now looking at his sneakers. Maybe, one
day, he would dress right for this job.
"You should dress for the job." The contact seemed to have read Ryan's mind.
"So, I'm always told."
"Was it her work?"
"Yeah, she killed him."
"A year ago, they said that she came from here, but she never came back. Until now. One full circle.
Why?" The contact placed his arms behind his back like a soldier and gnawed at his lip.
"Maybe she’s tired of this. She must know we are after her."
"That wouldn't mean anything to her. Still, something significant must have drawn her back here. This
murder is only a few days old, so she still must be around. The question is, Where?"
"What did you once call her?" The contact's head snapped up and looked in his direction. "A psyionic?"
"I told you to forget about that." A loud humming filled Ryan's ears.
"I know, but I need to remember it." The humming disappeared.
"To help me understand her."
"If I disclose something with you, you will be terminated, if you tell another soul."
"Fine." Ryan looked around the empty platform before facing the contact.
"The master computer in Washington, D.C. has been programmed to track down genuine psychics and
chart how strong they are, and this girl goes off the chart. She is indeed something, and the new
government wants her either as an agent or deceased. You must find her. I would hate to terminate you, if
you were to fail."
"Good. Remember. You're no longer a government agent, Mr. Ryan. You have been transferred to Special
Investigator. Your job is to find the girl. My job is to monitor you until you get her.” He started to walk
"One last thing."
"We are not waiting for a train, Mr. Ryan."
"What a funny thing to say because a train hasn't run through here for a very long time now," Ryan
thought. "The shelters."
"I know. With the destruction of Los Angeles and New York City from those two major quakes and
Washington, D.C. being bombed, the new government's hands are full, but the shelters are only
temporary. They‘ll be closed soon enough."
"Till next checkpoint?"
"1600 hours." His contact left the platform. Ryan surfaced back onto the New York City streets. His
stomach growled, and he pulled out a slice of bread from a coat pocket. He nibbled on it when a shadow
on the wall caught his eye. He reached for his gun, which was strapped to a holster around his waist, but
then a stray cat ran between his feet. He watched the cat disappear into an alleyway nearby and laughed,
and he took a step away. And then something slammed hard against his head.
Ryan awoke on a mattress in a dark room and realized he was handcuffed to a headboard. He looked
around to see boarded up windows and a broken wooden chair, and something told him that he was still in
New York City. He quickly lay back down on the mattress as footsteps approached the cracked door, and
he wasn’t surprised to see who walked into the room.
“I know you’re awake.” She stepped closer, and he tried to grab her with his free hand. “Don’t make me
“Release me.” He looked into her eyes and felt a tingling in the back of his mind. “What... What are you
doing... to me?”
“I’m showing you who I am.” She closed her eyes and focused on Ryan.
Ryan’s mind exploded into white light as laughter and arguments filled his head. He writhed on the bed as
he felt kisses on his mouth, bullets passing through his skin, and tears rolling down his cheek. He looked
at a child with bright blue eyes waving a teddy bear around and who then changed into the woman before
him. “Stop it!”
“I’m sorry.” She backed away from him as tears ran down her face.
“Well, don’t take it out on me.” Ryan sat up on the mattress and felt his temples pulsate.
Ryan saw an angry flash in her blue eyes as she stared at him. He glanced at his handcuffed hand and
wondered if he should wait or make a move. His eyes met her gaze, and he realized she knew his every
thought and what he planned on doing. He leaned his head against the wall behind him and stared up at
the ceiling as she moved closer to him.
“Why do you call me Fallen Hazel?” She sat down on the mattress.
“Nobody knew your name.”
“I never wanted this. I was happy with a normal life, but then all hell broke loose. I had to become what I
am, or I would’ve died.”
“I don’t care.” Ryan looked away from her.
“No, you do.” He turned toward her, and she drew closer. Her breath touched his cheek. “You do care
about me, and you’ve been chasing me for a year now. And you got close a few times. Don’t pretend that
you didn’t fantasize about me. I fantasized about you. We both wanted to know about each other, and I
think it’s time that we both confronted each other.”
“It’s the anniversary, isn’t it?” He held her gaze. “It’s the anniversary of when you became like this.” Now,
she tried to move away, but he grabbed her with his hand. “Maybe, I do care, but it’s my job to bring you
in. My contact expects it.”
“Your contact is a clone, a psychic clone.”
“He might be psychic, but he’s not a clone. All the clones were destroyed after the bombings.”
“No, not all of them.”
“How do you know this?”
“Your contact is searching for us. He’s close, but I’m blocking our signals.” She closed her eyes.
“Our signals?” Ryan pulled his hand away, knowing it was time to make his move, but he found that he
couldn’t do it.
“Our brain waves.” She opened one eye, watching him. “That’s how they track you.”
“If you say so, but I still don’t think that the contact is a clone.”
More images bombarded Ryan’s mind. He saw a homeless guy pass him in the streets, never realizing that
it was a copy of his contact. The cat that ran past him also ran past a man hiding in the shadows, another
copy. Mrs. Tamaro opened the door to the police and followed them to a van that would take her to a
shelter, and the driver turned around to smile at her, another copy.
“He’s gone.” She noticed the look on Ryan’s face. “Just because this country was thrown off its feet, it
doesn’t mean that the conspiracies will ever stop.
You’re told what you need to know, and nothing else.”
“I still have to take you in.” Ryan yanked his hand free from the headboard.
“They’re going to kill you when you take me in.” He pulled her to her feet. “People will think I was a ghost
story when I was really cloned and made into another contact.” He reached for his gun. “They’re going to
kill you, Ryan. You did your job, and now you’re done.”
“And I’m suppose to believe you?” Ryan aimed his gun at her.
“You have a choice, Ryan.”
“Move!” Ryan gestured for her to walk to the door.
“Do you want to die? They only let you live to bring me in. Why can‘t you believe that?”
“Why don’t you stop me? Make me shoot myself, or make me walk through that door and forget I was
here. Why don’t you do that? Why!”
“Because I love you!”
“Love me! You don’t even know me.” Ryan put his gun back in its holster.
“Some of your dreams with me weren’t just dreams.”
“You had no right! They’re my thoughts, my feelings, and not for you to play with.”
“Then, let’s just end this. You have me. Take me away.” Hazel walked toward the door.
“If I were to take you in, then I don’t even know what comes next for me, if I’m not terminated.”
“If? Having second thoughts?”
“Yeah, no thanks to you.” Ryan hesitated for a moment and then pulled her toward him, kissing her on the
“Wait. Are you sure...” Hazel looked into his soft, brown eyes. “Don’t think you know me because you can
walk around inside my head. I know how to block some secrets, and I can’t fight this urge anymore.” He
kissed her again.
“But do you love me?”
“Yes.” Ryan felt a warm sensation consume him as she kissed him back.
“I guess the suspense and desire just built up between us over the year.”
“What are we going to do, Ryan?”
“I don’t know. Where’s the contact now?”
The door exploded open as copies of the contact filled the room. Three grabbed Hazel, who tried to fight
them off. The others pointed their guns at Ryan. For a moment, it looked like Ryan was going to be
gunned down, but then Ryan pulled his gun out of its holster and held it to his side. Then, he raised the
gun and pressed it against his head.
“Ryan,” Hazel cried.
Hazel was suddenly shoved aside as the clones began fighting each other.
She ran over to Ryan, who shook off their mind control. They dodged clones that tried to put the other into
a headlock. They made it to the door when another clone stepped in their way.
“Run because they will always be looking for you two,” the contact said.
“Why are you helping us,” Hazel asked him.
“Do you need to ask why? Get her out of here, inspector. Now!” Ryan then noticed the bomb that the clone
was holding. “Run!”
Ryan and Hazel hurried down the stairs as the clone activated the bomb. They reached the exit as the
clones snapped out of the other’s control. Just as they attacked the clone, he pushed the button. The bomb
went off, consuming all of them except for Ryan and Hazel, who were thrown forward outside the building
from the blast.
“Come on.” Ryan helped her up to her feet. “I know some people, who can help us, but we have to get out
of the city first.” He led her away from the burning building.
“All I wanted was my life back.” She stared at the burning building for a long moment. “This will never be
“No, Hazel. It’s far from over, and we have to run. We have to run now,” and he led her away,
disappearing into the darkness.
©2006 Melissa R. Mendelson [All Rights Reserved]
NEW REVIEWS: There are so many fine pieces by Melissa to enjoy. This represents a bright new addition. Strong
Melissa.*****__Barbara A. Sabo.
I don't like that "clone" business. I see too many of them at the airports everyday. SPOOKY, but a very nice writing of
a scary time in America. I really enjoyed it! Do it again, Melissa. ****__Captain Apple Jack.
I believe this may be the first futuristic writing by Melissa. And it is a good one. Having lived in Manhattan at one time,
I am disappointed to see some of the old haunts under concrete now. And the clones really are spooky, because they
are just around the corner. Anyway, love a good, strong detective character. Nicely done, Melissa.****__Jean Ann
Thank You, Barbara, Captain Apple Jack and Jean Ann.
"Fallen Hazel" is one of my Notebook Stories first written back in high school. Lately, I have been bringing those
stories out from under the dust and trying to give them new life. Two are now on Amazon. The rest I'm still picking
at. ___ Melissa R. Mendelson.