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Against time

Against time

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Chelsea, a private detective, is sent to the Scooter mansion to find out the whereabouts of three teenagers who disappeared without a trace. But apparently, they were last seen entering the mansion of the millionaire Scooter family. Chelsea poses as a maid and takes the opportunity to place cameras and microphones throughout the house to find out the whereabouts of the three girls. However, she will begin to discover that the mansion is not really the paradise it seems and that each of the tenants hides dark and dangerous secrets. So she will have to race against time to find the three girls and make it out alive.

Chapter 1

“These three girls were last seen entering this mansion," Chelsea placed a photograph on the desk, covering part of the newspaper. The photograph showed a luxurious mansion with a large garden full of roses and bushes in the shape of animals.“These three girls were last seen entering this mansion," Chelsea placed a photograph on the desk, covering part of the newspaper. The photograph showed a luxurious mansion with a large garden full of roses and bushes in the shape of animals.

“Right. The mission you have is to pass yourself off as a waitress looking for a job." Mark said, propelling his body, making his office chair turn around, "You're going to plant cameras and microphones all over the house in order to find out if any of the tenants have anything to do with the disappearance of these three girls.”

“And when would I have to report to the mansion to look for the supposed job?" Chelsea asked, making quotation marks in the air. Her green eyes glowed from the light source coming from a small lamp hanging from the ceiling.

“We have to be as fast as possible. Therefore, this very night you will be presenting yourself at the Scooter mansion.” Mark replied.

Chelsea sighed, frowning for a few brief seconds. She looked at the clock in her superior's office, which read three o'clock in the afternoon.

“To find Erika, Sara and Graciela I have to run against all odds." said Chelsea.

“You will have to run against time." Mark corrected, "Because we have little time if we want to find both girls alive.”

“All right." said Chelsea, ”At night I come to pick up the cameras and microphones. For the time being I go home to spend my free time with my daughter.”

“One last thing." said Mark, raising his arm briefly, “Don't even think of taking the girl to the Scooter mansion for anything in the world. We have no idea what kind of things are hidden inside that mansion and we can't run the risk of the girl giving us away.”

“Don't worry. The girl will stay with my mom," Chelsea assured, "With your permission, sir. See you in a couple of hours.”

Chelsea was sitting in a wooden chair with her back leaning against the back of the chair. In front of her was a round, dark beige desk, covered with reams of paper and pens mostly without ink.

“Erika, Sara and Graciela." Chelsea mentioned those three names with total concentration. She had to concentrate, she had to engrave those three names inside her head.

A little girl with straight black hair came running into the office. She had two rag dolls in each of her hands. The girl placed both dolls on top of the desk, causing some reams of paper to fly off and most of the pens to fall on the floor.

“Lucy!" exclaimed Chelsea, letting out a small sigh. The girl stiffened at her mother's apparent angry voice, “Can't you see I'm at work?”

“I'm sorry, Mom." said the girl in a low voice, taking both dolls, “I forget that the most important thing for you is work and that you never have time for me.”

Little Lucy's words caused Chelsea to reflect on the attitude she had taken. She had been too unfair to her little and only daughter.

“I'm sorry. I've been under too much pressure and it's stressing me out.” he explained, "We can play for thirty minutes.”

Lucy formed a small smile on her face and lifted her wrists in the air. Chelsea rose from the chair, taking her daughter's small hand.

“Let's go to my room. We have a date with a princess for some delicious tea.” Lucy said.

“I love tea. But I don't know where the princess lives.” said Chelsea, imitating a worried voice.

“Don't worry, Mom. I'll take you to the place. But don't let go of my hand.” said Lucy.

“Understood." Chelsea said obediently, letting her little daughter lead the way. This would be the last thirty minutes of fun with her daughter, at least temporarily.

Chelsea had her hands on the steering wheel and her green eyes were focused on the front window of her white van. In front of her was the wonderful dark sky, filled with multiple, tiny, bright stars. She continued driving until she stopped the vehicle right in front of the police station.

“Good evening, Commissioner Mark.” said Chelsea politely, getting out of the vehicle and closing the door behind her with total delicacy, “I have come to listen to the last instructions from you and then go to Scooter Manor to get to the bottom of everything that is going on and find those three girls.”

"The girls' parents were here five minutes ago." Mark explained with some concern, "They are furious that we haven't managed to track down the whereabouts of their daughters and haven't even managed to find any clues."

"I really understand them." Said Chelsea, "I'm missing my daughter and I'd be just as desperate. Why don't we go inside and have a better talk?"

They both sighed, raising their shoulders for a few brief seconds, then decided to go inside the police station. After entering, Chelsea smelled a pleasant odor, a smell similar to cleaning product.

"Very careful, just finished mopping the floor." Mark said.

They both walked carefully down the halls until finally stopping in front of Mark's office door. He opened it, allowing Chelsea to be the first to enter.

"Did you clean up in this place too?" Chelsea asked, laughing.

"Yes, but it must be drier than a desert." Mark replied, finished stepping inside the office, "You can have a seat."

Chelsea sat down in a chair with casters that had a small pillow on it. She sought comfort for her back and the right posture for her shoulders. Mark placed the coffee cup on the desk and rubbed both hands together.

"What will be the last instructions you will give me?"

"They're not instructions." Mark corrected, "They are simple directions I will give you."

"I'm all ears." Said Chelsea with a chuckle.

Mark rolled the chair he was sitting in back a few inches from the desk. His hands landed on the bottom and after moving them for a few brief seconds, he pulled out a yellow folder which he placed on top of the desk.

"Inside these folders are photographs of the tenants of the scooter mansion." He explained, pulling out some photographs from inside.

"Who is she?" Chelsea asked, touching her index finger to the photograph of a girl about seventeen years old. She had black hair and ocean-like blue eyes.

"She's the oldest daughter in the Scooter family. She is a sweet, nice, funny girl. To me she will be the one you will like the best."

Chelsea sighed, forming a smile on her lips. This would be an easy job, wouldn't it?

"But according to police sources this girl has an obsession with alcoholic beverages." Mark explained.

"It must be age. In my teens I used to consume alcohol." Chelsea wrinkled her brow. To her it was impossible that the girl in the picture smiling was an alcohol addict.

I'll leave you here for a few minutes to analyze the faces of each of the tenants." Mark explained, getting up from his chair and walking over to a shelf from which he took another yellow folder, "In this other folder there are more pictures and you can also find the personality of each of them."

Mark gently placed the yellow folder on the desk and picked up the empty coffee cup. Chelsea barely raised her head and finally returned her green eyes to the picture of the smiling girl.

"What about cameras and microphones?" She asked.

"Oh, I almost forgot."

Mark said, bringing his free hand over his forehead, finally pointing to a box on the shelf, "The cameras are inside the stuffed animals. It's a strategic way to get them in without them noticing."

Chelsea nodded by way of compression, she formed a tender smile on her lips, "I'll have to pretend to be a teddy bear obsessed nut."

"Yeah." Affirmed mark, "I need more coffee. I study the faces and personalities of each of the tenants."


Chelsea was nervous. She had had a similar mission. But this time the adrenaline was running at a high speed through her veins. She stopped her truck in front of Scooter Manor and got out of the vehicle, taking in the night wind.

"What can I get you?" asked a girl standing in the garden. Chelsea noticed that it was the same girl she had seen in the photograph.

"Hi, my name is Chelsea Amber." Chelsea walked a few inches down the asphalt until she was finally near a wooden fence, "I heard you were looking for lemon staff at this mansion and I came to see if you offered me a chance."

"My name is Samantha Scooter. But I'm sorry, my family for personal reasons is not looking for staff."

"Who are you talking to?" a man in his mid-thirties. Chelsea knew it was Alvaro Scooter a man who owned a major company. A man a cold and manipulative man.

"Good evening." Chelsea began politely, "I was told that this mansion is in search of housekeeping staff and I came all the way down here to see if I received an opportunity."

"Samantha go and help your mother with dinner." Alvaro ordered earnestly. The teenager nodded submissively and entered the interior of the luxurious mansion, "Who told you we were requesting staff?"

"Some friends." Chelsea lied. But she hoped he would buy the lie. Alvaro formed a tight-lipped smile and his blue eyes narrowed.

"We can make an exception for you." Alvaro assured. He opened the wooden door and waved his hand for Chelsea to enter.

Chelsea entered and felt her heart beating uncontrollably in her chest. She had managed to get into the lion's den and could not allow herself to be devoured. She made brief scenes, imagining the three girls entering as normal. But what they didn't know was that they would never be able to get out again, and what if she didn't make it out either?

"Have you ever worked in this area?" Alvaro asked. They were both walking down a white flagstone walkway that was bordered by a shiny, artificial lawn.

"Yes, I was in another housing unit about a month ago." Chelsea lied. She had experience in cleaning. But not as a maid, but as a single mother, a stay-at-home mom. Her wife had abandoned her, gone out one night and never came back.

"That will be enough." Alvaro assured, "Kate! Kate!"

A woman of about thirty-three years of age was coming down the wavy stairs. Her blonde hair was wrapped in a high, elegant ponytail. Chelsea knew it was Kate de Scooter, Alvaro's wife, a vain, self-centered, greedy woman.

"What happened my love?" Kate asked.

"May I introduce you to..." Alvaro looked at Chelsea.

"My name is Chelsea Amber it's a pleasure to meet you." Chelsea in a smiling manner, extended her hand towards her. But she received an unpleasant gesture from Kate. She lowered her hand, hiding her embarrassing moment.

"And what is this woman doing here?" asked Kate. She had a look of firmness and superiority.

"She is here because she is the new maid and housekeeper." Explained Alvaro, "Chelsea you can make yourself comfortable. I'll take you up to your room so you can get comfortable, rest and start tomorrow."

"Can you give me a few minutes to get some things from my truck?" Chelsea asked. She had the teddy bears with the cameras and microphone and had to get them.

"Okay I'll wait for you."

Chelsea walked to the outside of the mansion. The wind stirred her black hair. She walked to her truck and pulled up in front of it. She opened the doors and pulled out a black bag containing teddy bears inside.

"Who is it?" Chelsea became alert as she heard rapid footsteps very close to her. There was no one around her. The footsteps were perhaps a figment of her imagination, or were they not?

Chelsea grabbed the bag with the stuffed animals, locked the van and headed back inside the mansion. The footsteps sounded again behind her, she turned around and there was no one there.

"Everything okay?" Alvaro asked. Chelsea bobbed her head up and down, "Come on, I'll take you to your room."

Chelsea walked up to her room and closed the door behind her. She placed the black bag on the bed and walked to the window. Those footsteps had not been a figment of her imagination, there was someone spying on her. There were still more members to meet, that would be for the dawn. But she had to get up at dawn to plant the cameras and she could not be discovered. She didn't want to be the fourth missing person.


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