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Dear Ellie - Part 10



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  • Dear Ellie - Part 9
    Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price

From Part 9

We last left Ellie and Scott with Scott's attempt to find Carrie. The guilty finger is pointing directly at Scott. Did he? Or didn't he?

"Listen, Babe. We have to find Carrie's attacker - not just for Carrie's sake, but for us. They're looking at me as a suspect."

For the first time since Carrie was taken, the thought entered Ellie's mind. Her wrinkled brow spoke volumes, "Are you responsible, Scott? I mean, did you have something to do with this?"

Scott looked at Ellie incredulously. "Are you kidding? How can you even think that much less speak it? She's my daughter, too. I would never hurt her!"

Scott's anger was reflected in Ellie's eyes as she shot back. "There must be a reason they're looking at you. Besides, if you're innocent, why are you so defensive? Scott, if you hurt her, we're done! Now, tell me, what did you do?"

Scott hung his head as he stood and walked over to the recliner.

"Scott, what did you do? Tell me."

"I didn't do anything. That's what I did. I did nothing. An unwelcomed guest enters our home - our home, Ellie, and takes our child. And I did nothing. He's still out there, and I did nothing. It's time I do something to find our baby."

Scott headed for the door but was stopped by Ellie's question. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to find Carrie."


It was late evening when Ellie finally crawled into bed. Scott hadn't returned, and she didn't really care. Her disgust and confusion overruled her rational thinking. Maybe Scott would never come home. She'd be thankful for that.

Sleep didn't come easy. She turned this way and tossed that way. After a few hours, she finally fell asleep. In her dreams, she could hear the front doorknob rattling. Someone was trying to break in. She awoke and sat up. It wasn't a dream.


Maybe it was Scott - no, she remembered seeing Scott grab the keys off the counter when he left. Perhaps Carrie's kidnapper was back. "He'll not get away this time," Ellie vowed. Before she quietly grabbed Scotts .357 Magnum from the dresser drawer, she called 911 to report the break-in. Then she headed downstairs.

The intruder was slowly making progress when Ellie slammed the recliner against the door. The sudden thud sent him running. Ellie tried to get a glimpse of the man, but it was too late. Just then the police cruiser pulled up. Bright, red and white, flashing lights covered the street. The night shift officer made his way to the front door.

"Mrs. Branson? . . . Officer Gerald Clancy. We have your burglar. I need you to step over to the cruiser and see if you can identify this man."

Ellie followed Clancy to the vehicle.

A surprised Ellie shrieked, "Scott! What have you done? She broke down in tears.

"I'm trying to find our baby. That's what I'm doing - at least until I got picked up for trying to break into my own house."

Clancy interrupted, "Mrs. Branson, shall I take him in?"

Ellie had to think for a moment. What should she do? "No, officer. I'll take it from here. Thank you for your time."

Still in tears, Ellie made them both a cup of coffee as she waited to hear Scott's explanation. She sat on the couch opposite Scott who collapsed on the mislocated recliner.

Tears began to form in Scott's eyes as well. Total exhaustion for both had set in long ago. The mix of emotions, the constant adrenalin rushes, the battles of fear against fight, had taken hold of Scott and Ellie. How much more could they endure?

"Scott, level with me. What's going on?"

Her trust in Scott had been shaken. In all their years of marriage, she had never second-guessed Scott. She trusted him implicitly. But now, that trust was dwindling. She didn't know what to believe anymore. She was either married to a hero, or to a low-life fiend.

"Babe, listen. I just want to find our daughter. I'll do whatever I have to, to bring her home again. I spent the night searching in the woods for some kind of clue. I found something."

"Scott, I'd like to believe you, but I just can't - at least, not right now. Stella had 100 people, including you, go through the woods. They didn't find anything. And now, you expect me to believe you found a clue in the middle of the night - in the dark?"

"You don't have to believe me. I still found a clue. That's something your Stella didn't do, now, did she?"

Ellie was losing patience with her husband. "Okay, okay. What's the clue?"

Scott held up a small piece of ripped paper. Ellie took it from him and began to read. "To be delivered: one brown-haired, brown-eyed girl between the ages of seven and twelve to Brownsville General Hospital September 7 at 11:58 p.m; Sale price - $35,000."

Scott's excitement was beginning to overwhelm him. "That's what they did with our baby, Ellie. They sold her for $35,000. Babe, we gotta get these guys."

Brownsville General Hospital

Brownsville General Hospital

"Brownsville General Hospital? Isn't that the hospital that morphed into the Brownsville Golden Age Nursing Home? It's been abandoned since 1985. They say strange stuff goes on there in the middle of the night. I've heard them talk about it at Allegheny General."

"Yeah, strange stuff, like selling kids."

Ellie's mind began to focus. "No, more like hauntings. things appear and disappear. Voices are heard echoing down the halls, that sort of thing. They say the ghost of Rosie Spenser appears at midnight searching for her long, lost daughter that was abducted from the home.

"Uh oh, Scott. Do you think she was taken to appease Rosie Spenser?"

Scott stood and looked at Ellie. Searching her face, he had to ask, "You don't really believe that stuff, do you? Anyway, I'm going over there to have a look around."

"No, Scott. You're in enough trouble. I'll give this note to Stella and have her follow up on it. After all, that's what she gets paid for.

A weary Ellie had one last question on her mind. "Scott, why were you trying to break into the house? You had your keys. I saw you take them when you left earlier."

An extremely tired Scott sprawled out on the couch next to Ellie. "Babe, I just told you. I was in the woods looking for clues. I didn't try to break into the house."

The realization of Scott's statement brought more unsettled feelings to Ellie. She could only think, "Then who did?"

The morning found Ellie at police headquarters tracking down Stella. As Ellie entered the facility she caught a glimpse of Stella turning down the hall.

"Stella! Stella! Wait! "She ran to catch up with her.

"Good morning, Child. Wha's on your mind?"

"Scott found this note in the woods last night. He wants you to check out the old Brownsville Nursing Home."

Stella took time to read the note. She shook her head in disbelief. "Honey, that place has been closed for years. Ain;t nothiin' goin' on over there now, but it is evidence. Le's take this down to Officer Alexander. I can't believe this wasn't found during our search Saturday morning."

The two hurried down the hall. This was the first piece of real evidence the case had brought in. Alexander was sitting at his desk, chin high in paperwork. Not wanting to be bothered, he ignored Stella's first knock on his door. Stella didn't wait. She opened the door and invited herself in.

Officer Alexander hard at work

Officer Alexander hard at work

"Alex, we got somethin' here. Look at this."

He read the note twice, maybe three times, before turning to Ellie. "Mrs. Branson, does this writing look familiar to you? Have you seen it before?"

Ellie studied the paper closely. "No, Officer. No, I haven't:"

"Alex continued. "Stella, we'll need a writing sample from Mr. Branson and Mr. Martin."

"You have Mr. Branson's writing sample when he filled out the report on his missing daughter. I'll go see Martin." Looking at Ellie, she said, "Come on, Honey. You come with me."

Ellie stiffened as the doubts began to form in her mind again.

She looked to Officer Alexander. "You mean, you think Scott wrote this?"

"It's a strong possibility. I have to ask myself, why didn't the search team find this? Your husband claims to have found this at night. You said he didn't even have a flashlight, but yet 100 people missed this in the daylight. Doesn't that seem a little strange to you? I'll have it analyzed. Then we'll know for sure. Now if you'll excuse me, ladies. I need to get back to this pile of papers."

© 2017 William Kovacic

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