Author: Sapphire98 PM
Harry Dresden, Wizard/Gumshoe for Hire, is faced with children snatched from their beds by persons, or things, unknown. Set before Storm Front.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Suspense - H. Dresden & K. Murphy - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,368 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 03-11-13 - Published: 12-01-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8756146
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Summary: After a string of kidnappings, SI decides to call Chicago's best Wizard PI. Well, the only one. And so, with typical Dresden luck, he ends up facing an old fable that might end up killing him.
Anything else new?
Nope, not really.
For anyone that has ever had repeated prank calls, you should know the endless patience it takes to try and not imagine you reaching into the phone and strangling the person as they try to muffle their laughter. I honestly feel extremely sorry for Domino's, considering a lot of people call there just to ask for Pizza Hut's number. That many prank calls are enough to wear on anyone's nerves.
Harry Dresden, Wizard for Hire, at your service.
As I started to leave to buy some ramen noodles, (business had been slow) the damned phone started ringing again.
I picked it up and growled, "The Force is not with me. And yes, magic is real. Good day."
It had just been that kind of day.
"Dresden," a curt voice greeted me. "How many prank calls have you gotten today?"
"Murphy?" I asked. Thank God. Anymore time without business and I might have to resort to chewing on my shoes.
"We have another case for you now, Dresden," Murphy said, clipped, professional. "Come down over to CPD. This one is a real doozy."
"Why thank you, lieutenant, I happen to be fine," I gushed. The fake sweetness in my voice was dripping enough to give about fifty people diabetes. "You? Your family? Charmicael? The Special Investigators?"
"Dresden. I'm serious." She said, her voice quietly urgent and serious.
I sobered up. It has to be something serious if she was quietly asking. Murphy was the tough girl. If anything could make her quiet and bothered, that spoke volumes of what this case was all about. "What is it?"
"We need to talk. I need your take on this immediately. I'll give you the case file as soon as you come to CPD." She hung up.
I stared at the phone. Tough Girl Murphy, faintly disturbed, and more amazingly, showing it?
I got into the Blue Beetle and started for the Chicago Police Department. A couple things could make Murphy sound sick over the phone. Grisly murders, the supernatural, sappy romances, corrupt politicians and the like. Meh, it could even be some supernaturals coming out of the Undertown to play.
With my luck.
I pulled over to the CPD visitor's parking lot, nodding towards the desk sergeant as he looked at me with beady eyes that told me that he knew exactly who I was and exactly what he thought of it. I'll give you a hint. It was not good.
As I strode over to the Special Investigations wing of the CPD, I brooded the whole way. What we (stereotyped PI) wizards did best.
I stopped in front of Murphy's door. It was the same, without any of those fancy plaques that said who the commander was and all that good stuff. There were (apparently) not enough funds to provide for the commander of Political Siberia.
I opened the door and walked in to find Murphy waiting for me.
You read that right. Waiting.
She was a rose petal under five feet, and had the looks of a perky cheerleader, if she wasn't sitting in the SI's commander office. She had sunshine-y blonde hair and baby blue eyes that would belong perfectly on some innocent little sister, and not the hard-assed cop that I knew today. She is the complete opposite of me, what with me being taller than normal people and having pretty dark features. Whereas my features are sharp and angular, her's was soft and round.
I walked up to her desk and took a seat.
"So, what's the case?" I asked, hoping to go for casual. I'd like to enjoy my ignorance as long as I can, thank you very much.
"You won't like it," she warned. She handed me the case file and I skimmed it. What I gleaned from the paper was rather…disturbing.
On December 1, seven 6-year-old children were reported missing by their parents. They had reported that after they were tucked in at night, they were all found missing from their beds, with no trace whatsoever. A kidnapping is suspected, the motive is currently unknown, and certain parties are to be watched until further evidence appears.
"Seven kids? What the hell?" I felt faintly sick, and then angry with the bastard that would snatch innocent children from their beds.
Murph grimaced. "I know. All were found missing from their beds, and there was no sign that there was a burglary. In fact, there was no sign that anyone had forced into the houses, period. According to the parents, the window wasn't even open, and at first it just seemed like their kids had just woken up early. At least, until they realized that they couldn't find them anywhere. So what do you think?"
"I think that whoever did this was good. If it was anything supernatural, they were able to break the threshold of the home," I said, actually serious for once. I think it shocked me more than Murphy. "If they were human, then they were experienced in leaving no trace behind. Were there any prints?"
"Harry, please tell me we pay you to come up with good ideas and nothing the boring old logic way," she said. "Of course, Dresden. We came up with nothing. Almost like a ghost came in and snatched them out."
I nodded, digesting the information. "Well, you pay me to help you. Besides, I need the money. I was almost ready to eat my shoes before you called me."
"So what do you think?" she asked. "Our 'suspects'," she made those little air quotes with her fingers, "are basically the usual. Some weird psycho decides to snatch little kids, or the kids decide to pick up and run away. Like I said, the usual. I need to know if it's supernatural or not."
"It sounds like it could be an evil spirit. What kind, I have no idea,"
"And I thought we paid you for making the unknowable knowable," she said. "Harry, come on. Innocent kids could be scared and waiting for someone, anyone to Show Up." Her face was troubled, but I could tell that she was holding in a lot more trepidation than she was showing. I wanted to cup her face and tell her it'll be all right, but that's just my chauvinist tendencies talking.
See, I have this instinct that makes me uncomfortable when women are about to cry and/or be hurt. Call me an old-fashioned chauvinistic pig, but I'm the type of person that holds doors for women, pulls out chairs, the whole load. Murphy calls it my Cro-Magnon instinct because it causes me to reach for the nearest femur and Flintstone the nearest person that hurts another woman.
So sue me. I think that women should be treated right.
"Give me a day, Murph," I said, "I think I'll be able to scrounge up enough information. Besides, we can't just charge into the lion's den without packing enough guns to shoot them into next week. Then shoot them into next year if they, or we, are stupid enough to come back for more."
She bit her lip, looking completely vulnerable then. Way too vulnerable to be the hard-ass cop that she is today. God, she looked like she should be tearing up over a bad break-up instead of seven kids that were just kidnapped.
"Fine," she said. "But give me a report as soon as you can. We don't know if the kids are going to be okay when we Show Up to get them."
I stood up and left, ready to catch the bastard that would snatch seven kids from their parents.
But first, I needed to pay a visit for my favorite (by default) talking skull.
A/N: Aaanndd I just ran out of creative-ness. Sorry, but don't expect an update anytime soon. Anyways, what did you think of the story? I thought it was pretty good, but, you know, it's my story so of course I'd like it. :D Yes, I am biased. Sue me. Thank you people for reading it! Don't forget to review!
Disclaimer: I do not own The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher owns them.
Edit: I know that I spelt boogie wrong. It was intentional.