After war and peace, the world rested as dust and grass fields amassing in patches across spanned the lands. It is the year 2069 and over rundown concrete structures are endless skyscrapers connected by roads and other buildings, all suspended high in the air across every continent. The Earth is covered by a clear reflective dome to protect from the Sun’s UV Rays. Without such contraption, a human won’t even last a minute as the ozone had depleted years ago. From schools to courthouses, all buildings are suspended in the air next to these skyscrapers and kept afloat by state of the art levitation technology.
Jink, a half Egyptian half Brit woman, is starting her first year at Shaffer Conservatory, a graduate music school in Britain, and she is extremely gifted at playing the violin. A gift imbued in her by her mother as her dying wish along with the only violin she’d ever owned.
It is her first day at Shaffer and she is on a tour of the campus. Staring into space and mesmerized by the beauty of the school and the beauty of space, she senses something suspicious only to realize that her violin is missing. She thought she left it in her dorm while moving in so she strayed from her group to call her long-term boyfriend Arthur to help her. She carries it everywhere with her.
Arthur is the son of a very prominent British lawyer. He sought for law school after college to become a successful lawyer just like his father. Arthur is a very vigilant person and pays much attention to the details of his surroundings. This was an attribute that he acquired while being a member of the Detective Club at the college that he went to and served him well in many different occasions. Arthur solved crimes that seemed to be impossible to solve and assisted the local police in resolving cold cases (cold cases are cases that haven’t been resolved yet). Around the city, Arthur was respected as an amateur detective with a good heart. Not only was he a good detective, but he was also a great public speaker, a great rugby player, and an amiable person loved by everyone around campus. Arthur and Jink went to the same college. They first met at Jink’s recital where Arthur heard how beautifully Jink played the violin. He was instantly mesmerized by Jink’s elegance. Arthur meticulously examined Jink’s every move with the violin. He just couldn’t stop staring at her. The passion that she expressed while playing the violin carved a certain love in his heart, and after getting to know her, her story became the very framework of his being. The more he became closer to her the more it became clear that neither of them wanted to let go.
Using a phone chip connected to her brain she sought to contact him. Before she’d even tried Arthur was already staring at her. Running to him, Jink nervously latched onto Arthur’s hands with perspiring palms as soon as she could. Then, her mind began to race through the memories, and a panorama of her recollections with the violin flashed before her eyes. She recalls the first time she received her violin from her mother who was a professional Egyptian violinist.
“Don’t worry it’s going to be alright. We’ll find it. Let’s check your dorm first, I finished moving your things in.” He tried calming her already knowing her thoughts.
“You don’t understand, my mother died during childbirth for me to live and I don’t just misplace a gift that. It represents my life!”
“It’s your first day of school Jink, I understand and you’ve told me a million and one times.”
“Do you remember she was…”
“Forced to be a housewife because her family needed the money from the desired marriage. They were poor Egyptian farmers, et cetera, etcetera. Let’s go we don’t have all day before they realize you’re gone.” To activate a teleportation circle Arthur pulls a small metal circle off of his back and throws it on the ground. It expands and he pulls Jink close as it activates causing a beam of vertical light to cover them. When the light dies down Jink jumps out the circle and Arthur puts it back on his back.
“It’s not here! I wouldn’t have left it, you know I wouldn’t have left it!” She yelled at him. She became desperate to find her violin even after only a few hours of not holding it. She tore apart her room in a craze. Arthur just waits to comfort her as she tears apart her room during her search knowing how important it was to her to find it.
“If I didn’t bring it, your brother or your father must’ve had it. I’m 100% sure it couldn’t have been in anyone else’s hands. I know how much you care about it. We should go home quickly and check before they realize you’re gone. You have a performance tonight remember? At the conservatory? How about this…” Jink was barely listening as she continued to destroy the room.
“Jink! Jink! Jink listen!” Arthur grabs her shoulder frightened when she broke the wood framing of the bunk bed just by pulling at it with brute force. She stopped when Arthur put his arms around her and squeezed.
“I’ll go check your house and you get back to your tour. I’ll contact you if I find it. Just please don’t cry when I’m gone, it breaks my heart to see you like this. ” He says as Jink orders her hair and wipes her tears.
“You have two hours.” She pulled his arms from around her and stared at him. Eyes lasering into his piercing his soul angrily. In fear and shock, he threw down his circle and she walked in.
“Understood…I’m still yours Jink.” Jink looked at him and calmed down her anger.
“And I’m yours.” She said as she teleported out. Arthur knew he’d made a mistake in not bringing it himself.
Meanwhile, Jhin, her brother who Arthur instructed to get her violin, stood in his father’s secret quarters in the mansion he grew up in with Jink’s violin on the ground frozen.
“Holy Crap! There was so much blood!” Jhin thought to himself. Jhin had just seen the crime scene that within it contained the corpse of his father. He remembers looking down and seeing his father’s still and lifeless body drowned in a pool of blood. He remembers how blood splattered across father’s face, how it saturated every fiber of his clothing, turning his white shirt into a rich shade of red. Jhin didn’t move from the spot where he was standing, even when he called the police. Now, all he heard were the muffled sounds of voices and camera clicks and flashes as CSI examined the room. He stood there, frozen from the shock of what he was seeing. At the time, Jhin couldn’t feel anything, there were too many emotions coursing through his veins to comprehend. All he felt was a sharp chill trickling up and down his spine. He felt a cold tingling sensation creep from the tips of his toes to the tips of his ears. “Sir! Sir! We need you to move away from the crime scene!” prompted CSI agents. But Jhin couldn’t move. He tried to move his legs or move his feet, but it was almost as if he were glued to the floor. All Jhin could do was stare. He stared at the blood covering every crevice of the floor like paint on a canvas, how it reflected back his own reflection. Jhin noticed that his hands had started to shake uncontrollably, as soon as he stared at one object: his sister’s prized violin, lying next to his father, covered in blood.
Arthur had just teleported down to the Rodgers Estate, the channel taking longer because it was at a remote place at sea level. He landed somewhat far from the estate. As he gazed outward, he saw massive mansion surrounded by the dwarf ryegrass and beyond the gate a sarcophagus perched upon a pedestal, as its gold and silver body shimmered against the blue sky. A single road of sand led to the main building.
Arthur fought his way through the deadened brush and trees to get to the gate. Immediately he saw the CSI’s technologically advanced cars surrounding the main building suffocating its tranquility and peace. He felt it as a bird feels the winter coming, spreading its wings to speed closer to the equator to survive.
The sun was going down and the beauty of the estate became barren and void of life. As he climbed over the gate he contacted Jink.
“Jink, there’s a lot here that I think you need to see,” he said as he transmitted his visuals to her brain.
“That’s my mother, I forgot you’ve never been to my home. I always hated that space. Especially at night. Her sarcophagus is an entrance to her tomb but inaccessible by any normal means. It’s tighter than a bomb shelter.”
“Interesting, but that’s not what I was getting at.” He zooms in on the dark modernized suvs with turned off police lights.
“Is there something you haven’t told me about your family?”
“I don’t know but, I’ve gotta go you have 3 hours until my performance. Beam me in if you see anything that’s extremely unusual. Just try to make sure my father is okay, then my Violin.”
“Got it.” He said as he walked closer. As Arthur got closer he came to the front door, he knocked but there was no answer, the front door knob was bent out of place. “Odd…,”He thought. It was a giant estate so he began to look around the immediate vicinity. He found a massive glass window shattered across the finely trimmed shrubbery bordering a section of the main mansion. The window was so large it even functioned as a wall. Conflicted, he studied the broken glass.
“It shattered so violently….” He thought. He looked ahead of the broken glass to see a golf cart lodged inside a wall beyond another wall it had been broken through. “Woah…there’s a lot here…Maybe I should use my evidence scanner…” He pulled up his watch to his chest as if he was checking the time and with the press of a button a visor appeared in front of him as a 3D hologram. It materialized as he grabbed it and put it on.
Arthur had created a crime scene examination tool that identifies all the irregularities in the room from displaced objects and shoe residue to unusual air currents and unfamiliar fingerprints. Anything a detective would take days to notice took seconds given the tech Arthur created. “Jhin?…why did you break in this way…” Then on the broken walls, Arthur saw blood, Jhin was searching frantically for something with what seemed like overly aggressive intent and cut his shoulder on the broken wood. “JINK! JINK! Get here now! Something is not right!” Arthur yelled to her brain.
“What!?” She yelled back, beaming in instantly instead of teleporting. He materializes an extra pair of evidence scanners. In shock of the scene, they wandered along the path of destruction and Jhin’s blood.
“Listen, I have something to tell you, can we pause for a second?” he asked Jink as he took off the scanners to look at her. She was in shock, yet with an accepting seriousness, she looked at Arthur. “ I sent Jhin to get your Violin, listen I know you told me to get it but I was busy moving in everything else okay I just thought since Jhin was in the area he could help.”
“I told him to get the violin from your father’s house. Your dad came and told me he wanted to clean it while I was setting up your room. I told him no. Jink said ‘she’d clean it herself’. Then I found out he just took it! So I told Jhin to go get it because I don’t know where your house was and I assumed it’d work out fine if it was him and that he went home to clean it.” He rushed his words out from fear of what Jink might do to retaliate.
“You let my father….take my mother’s violin from me…” She said slowly yet calmly.
“Listen he took it, it’s your father, I thought he was just gonna clean it!”
“Put your scanner back on and let’s find out what happened. I will deal with you later.” Trying not to shout, Jink covers her own mouth pressing together her teeth and clenching her fist so hard the air inside pops. Mad and confused, Jink aggressively pieced together the evidence in the room. She saw it all so clearly as she proceeded to retrace the whole house to piece together the story.
“It all happened so fast,” Jhin thought to himself “One moment searching for a Violin and the next father told me to pick up some files”. It had all started in his father’s office. Jhin had gone in there to pick up a file regarding client transactions in order to return it to the archives back at the mansion. However, as Jhin picked up the file, he noticed a small disk fall out from the file. Intrigued, Jhin picked it up. He turned the object in his hands, feeling its sleek metal body sit in his hand. “Hmm, this looks like one of those old hologram recorders,” Jhin concluded. Curious, he pressed the button the in the middle. Immediately, a holographic video of his father popped up. “What the he-” before Jhin could finish his sentence, the video began to play. “This video must’ve been after mom died,” Jhin inferred as he noticed the wisps of silver hair that his father had, which he had developed after his wife’s death. “I don’t know what to do now,” Jhin’s father stated in the video, “I must not treat my daughter the same way as her mother, I must cherish her. Though I’ve come to realize that I have come to treat my sons rather- ” the video ended before Jhin’s father could finish his sentence. “No! There have to be more of these!” Jhin exclaimed. Jhin could feel the pulsating in his chest became stronger. He teleported back to the mansion. “Father! Let me into the archives now!” shouted Jhin. There was no response. “I don’t have time for this,” thought Jhin impatiently. He found one of his father’s golf carts and drove it through the bay window in front of the archive vault. A sharp clash and rumble echoed throughout the property, as the golf cart plowed through the house, leaving behind a pile of dust and rubble. Jhin stormed into the archive room. He searched through every business file, finding similar silver disks in each one.
Raised in an impoverished orphanage in Britain, Walter Rodgers despised poverty and longed for more. He was always interested in the sciences, reading as many books as possible at the local library. From his readings and the rapidly decaying Earth, he was inspired to create protective suits and make city domes to protect future people from exposure to intense UV rays. After years of aspiring, he finally established his very own business that he dreamed of. He began to amass a great deal of wealth but it went to his head. He became cruel and corrupt and when he was older he abandoned his obligation to be a father. He neglected his sons and beat his wife whenever she would play the violin. His brain just couldn’t grapple with the idea of a high-status British man loving a poor, dark-skinned Egyptian violinist.
But when his wife died he couldn’t help but break down. Deep down he loved her along with her children but never knew how to express it other than giving them pain. Walter’s wife died minutes after Jink was born, who would be the only girl she had. Holding the violin and the newborn in the hospital that his wife left behind, he remembered that his wife always wanted a daughter to pass down her violin. Thinking about his wife, he looked into the eyes of the newborn in determination to raise this child as his wife had wanted to. Meanwhile, all Jhin can think of was of the days when his father would come into the house drunk and mentally and physically abused his sons. Walter would beat his sons how he beat his wife to express his perverted view of love. Yet, Walter Rodgers was extremely devoted to Jink while she grew up, providing a completely opposite behavior towards his daughter out of the guilt he felt. He wanted her to master the violin because he felt that he had killed the only woman he “loved” by oppressing her for so long. Jink was free to be creative, free to dream, free to live, but was too naive to realize Jhin and his brothers’ true pain. She accepted her father’s love but trusted no one with her violin, and her father let her be.
Jhin couldn’t believe what he had just seen. He felt his blood boil as if fire coursed through his veins. Jhin wanted that violin destroyed, and his father along with it. “Father!” Jhin roared. He found his father frozen in the living room. As soon as his father saw the look on Jhin’s face he ran.
The evidence providing a progression ended at the office they originally stood inside. Jink stood horrified.
“He’s in there.”
“Do you think he was ki…”
“Stop.” She interrupted him.
They stared at the entrance of what looked like a closed vault when they took off their evidence scanners. Arthur looked at her. He was right next to her seeing the same things she had, hearing the full story just as she had but, her mind became so remote from him. He used to know her, he used to be her boyfriend, and for the moment he still was, but he felt like a human taking the place of Atlas holding up the sky. The gravity of the world fell on her and was crushing Arthur too. He looked at her in overwhelming fear of how she felt. Her face was hard. She put her ear on the vault. She began to hear walking and voices.
“Charge your density shifter. We have to get in there I hear Jhin far away.”
“What about your father, do you hear him?”
She stabbed him with her stare. Such a look dominated his body to pull out the density shifter as fast as he could stumbling a bit but turning it on. It would allow them to get through the vault without making noise as their atoms would squeeze through the metal and reorganize themselves instantly after they passed through.
“Crouch as you activate it, and walk slowly. Jhin and my father are in there I can feel it.”
She said sternly. Jink led the way as they activated the shifter. As soon as they got through running through a short dimly lit corridor.
“Jink…I’m sorry.” Jink shed a tear as she put her evidence scanners back on and saw less and less of Jhins blood trail and more and more of her father’s.
At the end of the corridor going deeper into the ground, they found a room full of more archives both digital and physical papers. They rushed quietly to a dark spot as Jink instantly caught sight of Jhin in the middle of the room. Bookcases and shelves lined the room. The blood trail ended there. She then saw CSI officials mopping blood and evidence from the room with Jhin talking to one official in the middle of the room in a spotlight.
“Arthur I’ll record what’s going on so we have proof when we call the police, you find my father. Do it discreetly.” Arthur nodded as he quietly crouch walked away briskly into more darkness. Jink then started recording. Then after a few minutes, the perfect nail stabbed through her heart. She saw Jhin in the middle of the room handing cash over to an official. She quickly grabbed an electronic listening device out of her pocket to confirm her thoughts. The device picked up the whole conversation.
“Take the money and finish cleaning. I’ll pay you in full when the body is disposed of. It’s in the room over there.”
“Did you kill someone or paint the floor with pigs blood?”
“The hell do you mean do you see the blood trail. Of course, I killed him, he was a terrible father, he deserved it. I’ll take the violin its next to the body.”
She looked over and saw Arthur in the darkness approaching the spot ever so cautiously. She saved a recording of what she heard, then sent what she had to the police and told them to beam in as soon as possible. She then stood up in the darkness and walked past the CSI cleaning to the spotlight making sure her steps were heard. In red wet eyes, she stared at Jhin throwing down her device and letting it play aloud.
“What!? How did you!? Get her! Tie her up! Now!” The corrupt officials rushed at her then stopped when a full police force beamed in. They seized everyone except Jhin Jink and Arthur who got up and observed the phenomena.
“You know he deserved it! You saw the archives!”
“Take him away, he’s the killer ID’d.” The police seized Jhin and cuffed him.
“I remember the scared look on your father’s face when he stumbled backward after I punched him in the nose,” Jhin said with a smirk. “He was such a coward, trying to run and hide in his little secret room like that! He thought I wouldn’t find him, but c’mon it was straight out of a movie: a mirror with a large jewel at the top? He looked so petty and helpless while I was dragging his sorry ass out of there” Jhin laughed, “I remember seeing your violin on the mantle. It was perfect: I could beat him with the very object that ruined my life! I could make him feel the pain that I felt. He cried a lot you know”, Jhin said to Jink, “but that just made it even more fun for me. Feeling your father’s warm, thick blood splatter across my face and eyes only made me wanna keep going! The only thing that stopped me was his gurgled pleas as he begged me to not break the violin. Can you believe it? Even as he was dying, all he could ever care about was that damn piece of wood! To be honest, he looked dead anyways, but somehow that bastard was still breathing and I wasn’t about to allow him to die from that violin, he didn’t deserve that kind of death. I had to make things more interesting. I wouldn’t kill him with the violin. No, I would kill him with the very object that gave value to the violin: the bow. Take away the bow, and you take away the sound of the violin with it. Oh, how I despised that sound! So I took that bow and drove it straight into his femoral artery. I remember the satisfaction that I felt as I ripped it out and watched as his blood spewed out of his leg faster than water from a hose. I remember feeling the tension release as the flowing blood pulsated in rhythm to his slowing heartbeat. But that wasn’t enough for me, father beat the twins too, they needed justice. So I broke the bow into 3 pieces. I stabbed your father with those pieces over and over again, carving his midsection like a roast turkey. When I was finished, I decided to leave the 3 pieces in your father’s chest cavity,” Jhin said as he looked at Jink, “I figured since you were going to see this that you should know his death was YOUR fault.” So yes! I killed your father!” Jhin exclaimed, “and you know what?” Jhin uttered with a crazed look in his eye, “I enjoyed every damned second of it!”
The police held back Jink as they took away Jhin as she was about to commit another murder with the rage and sadness in her eyes.
As he got beamed out, Jhin made such a subtle mischievous smile that Jink yelled in frustration, “You’re lying!”
Arthur calmed her down as he called in a medical examiner to order an autopsy of her father’s corpse. As soon as the doctor arrived, Jink nervously opened her mouth, “Will the autopsy take long?”
“No, it won’t take long.” The doctor said.
After sometime later, the doctor stood up and told Arthur about the examination as Jink looked away from the body. Picturing her violin bow in her mind, she picked up her violin and clasped it in her arms. A drop of her tear landed on the violin. Arthur, glancing towards Jink, listened to the doctor’s reports.
“The stab wounds make sense but the scar seems unusual,” said the doctor. “The wound path is through the body in the femoral artery with fresh hemorrhage too. This was a fatal stab wound with a long stick. So as a summary, the corpse sustained multiple stab wounds and was beaten to death.”
“And uh…. here are the objects he was stabbed with,” The doctor said pulling out the pieces of Jink’s bow and handing them to Arthur.
Jink snatched the pieces from Arthur’s hands and dropped down on the floor at the doctor’s reports, staring at the pieces.
After a while, everyone finishes their cleaning. The doctor was about to take away the body but Jink said she needed a moment. She had to gaze upon him one last time. After a while of staring, she realized Arthur was still in the room holding her as she’d cried. She looked at him in silence, thinking about everything that happened. Why? She asked herself. Then she exploded.
“ I can’t believe you didn’t get the violin for me, Arthur. Was that too much to ask? You could’ve stopped all this madness from happening. Why are you so stubborn sometimes?”
“You have every right to be angry Jink…”
“I know I messed up, but how was I supposed to know Jhin was a psyc…”
“Don’t you dare call him that. We both saw what he went through.”
“Then who’s crazy here Jink. It’s not you, it’s not me, it for sure wasn’t your mother. Like I’m sorry but nothing about this whole situation is normal.”
“Arthur step down from your high horse! My mother suffered, my father suffered and therefore my brother suffered because the pain was passed down. Hatred was in his blood.”
“I get it. They were decent people, but this is an indecent time. You have to see them for what they are even though it hurts. It’s not my fault Jink. The world got to your brother as it got to your father and I’m so sorry. Yes, I admit I fucked up but…God! How was I supposed to know!?”
“I entrusted you with the one thing I loved more than you Arthur! Do you not get that!?” She yelled at him resisting her tears. Her eyes were red. Her clothes were stained in her father’s blood. She looked at herself and cried.
“Jink….I’m sorry I just….I never should’ve treated your violin like an object. I can’t even understand what it feels like to go through this..for your violin to be your only comfort for years on end. I’m not you, and I don’t want to pretend I know you. But Jink…I want to know you. I don’t want you to face this pain alone if you don’t to.” He motions to hug Jink.
“Thanks….you were always so understanding….but right now… I need space. I need to mourn. And I don’t want you to see me cry. Would you mind?” She quickly hugged him back and then let go motioning him toward the exit.
“I get it Jink, but know where ever you are and whatever you do, I’ll be cheering you on and I’ll be here when you need it…always…I’m yours….” He said as he beamed out.
“And your mine.”
Jink slowly started making her way towards the entrance after Arthur left. A lot of thoughts and feelings rushed through her mind like speedy bullet trains. She fought off the sad and negative feelings. As she stepped outside, she looked up to the sky and whispered, “ Rest easy Father and Mother. I will always dedicate my talents to you.” Tears rolled down her face as she collapsed to the ground and sobbed her sorrows away. Jink fought hard to wipe away her tears and became silent. She went back inside and repaired her bow, cleaned her violin and began to play: Requiem by Mozart. Her mother’s favorite. Her mind cleared, her tears dried at the sound she created, she would be born again through music, she would overcome.