Ward was pacing nervously. After he’d seen the yearbook, he had shown it to the superintendent and gone home shortly after. The superintendent had not known what to do, and had told Scott to remain calm. He was trying his best to stay calm, but until now the killer had left no trail, and it had been out of luck that Ward had remembered who Huffman was. He knew that his time was limited, and he had to act fast to catch the murderer. He dialed the superintendent’s number and waited for the phone to start ringing.
“Yes, who is it?” Answered the colonel.
“It’s Ward. Listen, I want to catch Huffman immediately. We need to find out where he is before he takes any more lives. Could you get on that?”
“Already on it, actually. We’ve also sent in some evidence to get it checked for fingerprints. Still waiting for the results. I’ll keep you updated on that.”
“Okay. Could you contact the people who handle national flights and check to see if he’s gone somewhere? Also, I want to get a surveillance team on Huffman’s apartment as soon as possible.”
“How many men do you want?”
“Give me five, and I’ll be on the team as well.”
“I’ll get on it.”
The colonel called him later to inform him that the team would surround Huffman’s apartment the next morning. It would be a covert mission, as Ward had requested. He didn’t want Huffman to know they were on his trail.
The next morning, Ward got up at eight and began to get ready. He was nervous, but he was hoping that they could catch Huffman that day. Perhaps he had just got out the day before and hadn’t come home until late at night. In any case, they’d be watching his apartment for a few days to check for any unusual activity.
He met the team and ten, and he began to send out orders to the five men to watch the apartment from different places. There would be one man positioned on each corner surrounding the apartment. They would all be in different types of cars, so as to not draw any attention, and would each be equipped with a set of binoculars and a walkie-talkie. The last of the men would be positioned directly across the street from the apartment, accompanied by Ward. They had all been given orders to contact Ward immediately if they either noticed any unusual activity in or surrounding the building or if they saw Huffman. They had all been given a full description of the man and a picture to be able to distinguish him.
Ward was in a car with a man named Robert Carter, whom was to accompany him as co-leader of the mission. They were both quiet for a long while, until boredom eventually caught up with them.
“So who exactly is this man we’re looking for?” Asked Robert casually.
“We, at least I, believe he is the murderer of a series of killings that have been popping up lately.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“Well, I’ve known the man since high school, I’ve seen him live through hell and I’ve witnessed the countless beatings he’d had to endure all through high school, at the fault of my school’s jocks.”
“So there was a connection between the murders? Or how did you come to this epiphany in the first place?
“Yes, there was a connection. All of the victims had gone to my high school, and they’d all been either perpetrators of the cause of Huffman’s severe malaise and torture, or part of the herd which had ignited the fire in the first place.”
“I’ve heard that story too many times. You know, high school isn’t as easy as some people seem to think. I’ve seen more than five handfuls of kids in my last years in high school go through hell, and I gotta tell you, it certainly didn’t look easy to have had to put up with that. Worst part is they never did anything about it, nor did the school.” He paused for a moment, and Scott caught a glimpse of empathy in Carter’s eyes. “And while all this is happening, only thing I’m wonderin’ is, where are those stupid parents anyway? I mean, sure, one’s gotta learn to defend oneself, but they also have parents for a reason.”
“Sure,” said Ward blatantly.
“Me, I’m lucky to have had a relatively peaceful high school career, with the occasional slur or misunderstanding once in a while, as to be expected--nothing more, though. I feel quite grateful, actually. Those victims seem to come out quite scarred more often than not. Proof? This case right here. Supposing, of course, that Huffman is, in fact, the real killer--and I’m not suggesting any doubt on my part either, but you know, I’m just sayin’.”
Yes, you’re just sayin’, thought Ward. Quit sayin’ already.
After rambling on for twenty more minutes, Carter finally stopped talking, at the relief of Scott. Yet, still no call from the other team members.
“Hand me the binoculars,” Ward nodded to the binoculars resting on the backseat of the car.
He fixed the zoom on them, to have a clear view of Huffman’s apartment, and looked through the lenses. There was no activity whatsoever coming from anywhere in the building. Huffman was obviously still not home, nor anywhere near the place. Ward was beginning to lose hope as quickly and briefly as it had come.
“Still no sign of the man,” sighed Scott.
“We’ll wait here all day if we have to, we’ll be on his tail soon enough,” said Robert.
Ward didn’t respond. He didn’t care for needless chit-chat. Meanwhile, his head was churning over at the thought of not catching Huffman in time to save enough lives. He began to panic, and quickly his mind became a whirl of thoughts and worst-case-scenarios. Perhaps, he thought, I went completely wrong on this one. Maybe while I’m too busy worrying about when he’ll show up, he’s worrying about when he’ll get to kill me. Maybe he’s actually on my tail, and this is all just a game of cat and mouse. Except I’m the mouse. Suddenly, his phone rang. It was the superintendent.
“Detective,” he stuttered, “I’ve got bad news.”
I'm not going to be posting any more chapters, as I'm nearing the end of the story and, well, I like to spite people. I'll be finishing the first draft soon, and I'll let it sit for a while before starting on the second (and hopefully final) draft. I'll post that one later when it's completely done and all polished up.