Human Condition Short Story

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It was a puzzle. Clark’s head was spinning. “Three child kidnappings in three days, what were the chances?” he thought to himself. There must be a connection. His fists were clenched as he blankly stared at the conference desk, afraid to face the media. Their irksome questions plagued with camera flashes only swelled the misery and embarrassment that he already felt. He had to find a way. Slowly, he raised his head, trying to avoid the scrutinizing looks around the room. His droopy eyes dwindled as a reporter directed a question at him. “Detective inspector is there any chance that these cases are actually murders? And if they are, are we dealing with a serial killer?” Her sincerity was painful. Clark was silent. Unable to answer, he went back into his sombre state. His neck gave way as his head returned to its hopeless position. The reporters were bored, and gradually left in disappointment. Clark knew what the headlines would be; ‘NOTORIOUS DETECTIVE CLARK DAVIDS FINALLY FINDS AN UNCRACKABLE CASE’. Just the thought made him cringe. He left the conference room; his face riddled with anguish as he staggered through the corridor. It had been a week now, and the children were still missing. Suddenly, he received a phone call from his assistant. One of the victims had been found, dead, near railway tracks. Clark was excited. He burst with joy, energized at the thought that there was still hope. Frantically, he jabbed at the elevator’s button, his eyes twitching in anticipation. But he couldn’t wait. He ran down the emergency stairs and exited the building, buttoning his black trench-coat as he bracingly inhaled the chilled London air. He had never felt so refreshed. A black Austin taxi loitered at the Primrose Street kerb. Clark, sparing no thought, ordered the driver to the Malcolm Road railway intersection. The cab sped through Cheshire Street; hustling past the momentous buildings and statues, as ramblers shifted along with their own agendas - it was like...
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