chi-eng translated, 2835 words, various pairings
"after 48 hours, only one boy will be alive in this house"
Lately, LA’s weather is sunny and pleasant, nevertheless, there isn’t a significant decrease in the number of patients visiting my clinic. As usual, my secretary complains about the importance yet low worth of her job between the tiny breaks she gets while picking up phone calls. The patients maintain their deafening silence, sipping water relentlessly while the overgrown plants insolently curl about in its rather scarce boundaries.
I am a psychologist, 42 years old, still single and holding a license in America (for more than 10 years now). Generally speaking, I haven’t got much dissatisfactions or expectations of myself, either.
Ever since my schooldays, LA has never been peaceful before. But this, of course, is of no relation to my choice of major- psychology. However, in selecting my doctorate, I was unable to evade my interest. I would admit that my take on psychological crimes cases are largely related to my passion towards the psychological coordination between husbands and wives. It is in no disdain towards the responsibilities of my occupation but more of the recognition I have of my fate because I understand, after all, living is not easy. 4 years ago, an autistic 40 year old man was suspected of wrapping his son in a plastic wrap and disposing him in a bin 2 kilometres away from his home. His wife, a thai woman, was unable to comprehend English, her psychological well being unfortunately went viral after the incident. I remember it being a not-so-pleasant Christmas, in the control room of the Federal Bureau, the man that sat opposite, eventually shedding a tear or two which proceeded on to collect in the coffee cup.
Since then, the route to the bureau grew all too familiar to me, but only applying to the sceneries on one side of the street as I was always there in the day and back at night. I was (and still am), a rather satisfactory supplier, making use of my professional skills to win the souls of the devils and subsequently selling out to Satan. This of course, did not include my own soul.
My soul did not require any rescuing, I allowed it unlimited enjoyment in hell and thereby learning from the pain. This (police) gang did not need to know of my sexual orientation, which would not be beneficial to any of my 'product sales', it would make them think of me as a psychologist with personal psychological problems.
Beginning last year, I intended on reducing my cooperation with them, the substantial amount of private patients resulted in the lack of attention for myself; I definitely did not wish for the overwhelming pressure to eventually require the attention of another psychiatrist. However, in the last week, a major case happened, involving a number of men of Asian descent. This may have been due to the peculiar case itself and my psychological relations with Asians, for when the 40 year old police inspector David phoned me an invitation, I did not refuse.
Simply speaking, a young and popular Korean group came to LA last friday in preparation for a tour, some interviews and a series of MV shooting activities. They disappeared the moment they disembarked the plane; the local company personnel who was arranged to welcome them did not manage to and their accompanying staff had separated while exiting a different channel. They had lost contact ever since.
“I only heard two people calling out one of our member’s names but failed to wait for the others”, said a local staff.
It was only until yesterday, a tuesday morning, that the police located a few boys in the villa of a suburban farm.
Unfortunately, when they were discovered, only one male was alive, sitting in the tub, attempting to swallow great amounts of heart disease pills.
“This boy is just like you, he is Chinese.” said the young trainee Mike, to me.
Evidently having withstand an intense amount of mental stimulation, the boy had refused to communicate with people ever since he was discovered by the police. The most helpless point being, he was the very person who knew the entire story and at the same time of being a victim, he had also became the biggest suspect. In addition to the temporary autism, he demonstrated obvious mood swings and tendencies of violence. Yesterday, as he was handed a pen to sign an identification document, he made an attempt to assault the police officer. Due to the highly sensitive nature of this case, he is now locked in an all-day monitor room.
Although his hair is disheveled and him having gone at least 2 days without shaving, I would still have to admit that God had given him an outstanding appearance and stature. If I had not known beforehand that this was an idol group, I would have used “heavenly shocking” to describe him.
It was blatantly obvious that God had a preference towards him, apart from blessing him with good looks, he was also blessed with the chance to retain his life.
His Chinese name is Wu Yi Fan, English name Kris, 24 years of age. His parents divorced early and he experienced a short-term overseas life, heterosexual and has had several girlfriends. Judging from his resume, his family background is well-off, well educated, no significant medical history, no cosmetic surgery done, no drug dependence and no criminal record, he seemed to have smooth stardom coming ahead. His interpersonal skills appeared normal and was even the leader of an idol group, he had no autistic tendencies.
Most of the confirmed deaths were of Korean nationalities, there were only 3 who were like Kris, ethnically Chinese who further developed themselves in the Korean entertainment industry. Mike handed me a group photo taken at their Tokyo concert, they looked intimately close with similar looks. According to the horrible judgments of the Europeans towards Asians, they were definitely unable to figure out who was who.
“Judging by the time of their deaths, these 4 must have happened between the past 18 hours from discovery.” Mike singled out 4 photos from the crime scene and placed them in front of me, these photos all had their English names written in ink respectively. At this stage, the letters were even more recognisable as compared to their faces.
“Chanyeol, found in a closet on the first floor at the villa. Cause of death identified to be abdominal stabs, the suspected tool of crime is a prop for magic.” He pointed to the retractable sword on the door in the picture, “tool of crime is suspected to have pierced through the door and into the victim’s abdomen, causing his death.” The boy in the photo seemed to be quite tall, his hair tied back in a little ponytail, body slightly crooked with loose strands of hair hanging over his face.
“Luhan, Chinese, the only one who was found outside the building.” Mike’s slender fingers pointed towards the second of the 4, “it seems he attempted to climb the chimney but unfortunately the linens he used were made of cloth and therefore unable to withstand his weight, snapping quickly.” The face of the boy in the photo was unharmed and he appeared handsomely fair. Mike seemed to be terribly apologetic for the failure of this only fugitive, “I do not understand, the plastic rope in the center of the first floor living room was far more solid than strips of torn bed linen, why? What was he thinking?”
“You can ask him”, David said abruptly from behind, I had worked with him umpteen times and quickly held out my hand. “It’s been a long time since I saw you, old friend”, he smiled and shook my hand. “That kid is currently the most direct breakthrough.”, pointing at the lucky survivor in the control room, “If you breakthrough to him, I’ll invite you on a ski trip to Canada.”
“I’m wholeheartedly thankful for your generosity, however” touching my nose, “shouldn’t you be honouring me with a trip to Hawaii from the last case before even talking about this. Moreover,” I watched as Kris stayed inside, motionless, “you know, I have always been unable to communicate about work with children, not to mention some kid this cute.”
“His adorable phase of life is over, especially if he continues with this silence.” David patted my shoulders, “This is your job, soul-selling master. Let me see his obedient and crying expression while recalling this case and keep that expressionless face back in your bag.” He said as he walks out through the door. “Has anyone ever told you how sick you are?” I said, jokingly. “Of course”, he nodded, “My wife tells me that daily, it’s really weird that you’ve realised it too.” he said while blinking his eyes. “Go back to hell.” I sent David out again and turned to face Mike, “Does your leader torture you like that everyday?”
“No, it’s just you.” Mike cheekily said as he raised his eyebrows, “Oh, there is still Mr. Survivor.”
“Abusing of prisoners? I can tell you, you need to know that this is racial discrimination.” I joked and jabbed Mike with my arm.
“Oh, come on, he abuses us.” Mike helplessly says, “that kid’s expression maintains like that all day, so emotionless, just like a mute person. We watched their past MVs on the computer in the office, they were dancing and singing like grasshoppers, I really can’t imagine it’s the same person.”
“Hey, he was alone with so many other dead people in the same room for at least five hours, if it was you, you would have become a dead grasshopper.” I rebutted.
Mike smiled with his twisted mouth, “dead grasshopper? If we went a little later he would have departed for heaven with a stomach full of heart disease pills, oh, or maybe it’s hell.”
“Are you really doubting him?” I said, “I prefer the metamorphosis of dark humour.”
“Maybe”, Mike curled his lips and shook his head, “however he really needs to work with us. Look at him right now, covered in thorns, just like a lion who's had his claws and teeth plucked out.”
“Lion? Cubs?” I said.
“Does a 24 year old seem young to you?” Mike bent his head.
“Oh, of course. I like mature people. To be precise, if someone of his age were to become my lover I would feel like a criminal” I said.
“Come on,” Mike shook his head in utter disbelief, “I don’t hook up with women over the age of 24.”
“Oh, right. I forgot you were a cub.” I smiled to him and before he could retort, I picked up another photo, “Who is this? His skin tone is …..... sexy, I mean comparing to the others.”
Mike looked at me despairingly and shook his head, continuing with his work, “Kai, Korean, also one of the 4 dead within 18 hours.” My eyes scanned the sombre photo and listened to Mike’s incessant speech, “before his death he seemed to be involved in a fierce scuffle, the fatal blow was the impact against his neck. “This one seems interesting,” Mike smiled, “until the very end, he still had in his ends this beige button, most likely torn from that kid's shirt." He pointed to the daydreaming Kris slumped in the chair, “the skin particles in his nails have also been confirmed to belong to our sole survivor.”
I nodded, cute cub, you do seem to be in some trouble.
“Lay, Chinese, 23 years of age, death by excessive bleeding.” Mike picked up the photo at the bottom.
“His time of death was a really short one, seems like the last death.” Mike said.
“Is this a display photo?” I asked.
“This is a photo of the crime scene, as for the display photo ….........” Mike turns and looks at Kris, “You would have to ask him.”
At first glance, this looked like a magazine cover photo. The boy called Lay is seated on the chair in the bedroom facing the window. In the mildly shining sun, the peaceful face, mouth and even the slight smile did not reveal any form of pain. Judging from the photo, he looked like a teenager sleeping under the Sun, if not for the shallow cut marks on his drooping right wrist, and the blood trail on the carpet leading from the door all the way up to his wrist.
“Cuts of this depths do not cause death easily, but for people who suffer from naturally severe congenital coagulopathy, it is hard to determine.” Mike’s voice boomed, “Without any timely medical rescue and matching blood supply, the rate of him losing his life is 100%.”
“Is this suicide?” I asked.
“What do you think”, Mike said.
“I don’t know.” I shooked my head, “I’m not a professional, I am merely going by my gut feelings …...” Look at his expression, he looks peaceful.” I pointed at the photo.
“That’s right, he really does, however ….” Mike picks up a photo of the bathroom, “the cause of death seems to be a piece of shattered glass from the mirror, it all has Kris’ fingerprints. “Obviously, before Kris could take his own life”, Mike pointed to the side of the tub, “he formed a really bizarre pattern with the mirror shards, he was most likely already in an unstable mental state.”
I flipped the photo to see a crooked polygon. “Moreover, Kris was wearing 2 watches on his left wrist, one black and white, the other pink, two of absolutely different styles.“ Mike recalled, “both watches were not moving, both stopped at different timings.”
“On the basin, a written Chinese address and telephone number was placed,” Mike continued, “It has been proven to be the boy named Luhan’s Beijing family address and number.”
“There are also many details yet to be explained, such as the big hole above the Dance Revolution machine and the boy Sehun who fell into the basement to his death, and just beside it was a small trampoline..” Mike said, “Also, this empty safe which is linked to a rubiks cube ….... It is after all my first time seeing a rubiks cube coded safe.”
“Two small Chinese characters were also found written on the bottom right side of the mirror in the first floor’s bathroom...” I reached for the photo from Mike’s hands and carefully scrutinized it, those two words meant “Leave quickly.”
“This Chinese-national boy called Tao left his entire fingerprint on the bottom left of the half mirror.” Mike flipped through the photo and said, “He died of an abdominal hit, tools of the crime is suspected to be a broken vodka bottle.”
“Location of death?” I asked.
“In the living room.” Mike said.
“What about the rest?” I asked again.
“I already said too much, “ Mike shrugged, “You know it too, we have our rules and regulations to follow, after all,” He looked at me apologetically, “You aren’t one of our staff.”
“I understand,” and kept silent for a moment, I packed up the photos, “Thank you for explaining, it is more in detailed than any other time.” I smiled and looked at Mike.
“I did not say anything in extra detail, it was your listening which heard everything in more detail than usual.” Mike blinked.
“Alright then, I admit.” I lowered my head and giggled, although it is said to be fair, however somewhere in between, there is this immense inequality, such as the passage of young beautiful life which is often more than regrettable, such as God’s choice to let one live and others die.
“One last question”, I lifted my head and blurted, “was last friday a special day? A religious holiday?”
Mike looked at me and shooked his head, “to them, it was indeed a date worth remembering, it was their 2nd debut anniversary.”
“You even know this?” I glanced at Mike.
“I shouldn’t be knowing but there are certain details I must know.” Mike said, “Alright, I can’t say anymore, I’ve made a mistake.”
I flashed an understanding smile. “When may I talk to him?” I looked down and organized some files.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Mike looked at me again, placed down the files and photos in his hands, “However you must inform me 30 minutes in advance as there are some small and tedious preparatory work.” Then he walked towards the control room.
“Ready to work?” I asked from behind.
“Oh, you must be kidding, he had once attempted to attack one of our colleagues, and as for you,” He looked at me from top to bottom, “such a gentle and weak doctor, I wouldn’t want you to become a photo.”
“I am now in the city’s most secure place.” I blinked in his direction, “Mr gentle and frail doctor personally has magic most of you don’t.”
Nodding ambiguously, .. Mike went in anyway, “I’m sorry, duty calls. Also,” He turns back again, “Don’t mention magic to me or I would be suspecting you.”
Translated by heecups
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