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 5
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price.
From Part 5
Ellie and Scott's life is beginning to unravel. Where do we go from here?
"Scott, come here quick!" Ellie shouted from Carrie's downstairs bedroom.
"Babe, I told you to stay upstairs. What are you doing?"
Ellie stood in the hall, tears running down her face. "Oh, Babe. I didn't mean to make you cry."
Ellie screamed - "It's not you, Scott! She's gone!. CARRIE'S GONE!"
Scott ran to Carrie's empty room. Shards of broken glass covered the floor, and Carrie's bed was empty. Scott ran to the window. He could see shadows moving through the back yard. What should have been done first, never crossed his mind until he forced open the back door. He yelled over his shoulder, "Ellie, call 911!"
He was in hot pursuit of Carrie's kidnapper, but without a flashlight, he had no idea where he was going. All he could do was to listen. What he heard sent him into a boiling rage - Carrie's muffled screams.
The September dew lay slick on the grass as Scott ran from yard to yard in their neighborhood. The more grass Scott ran through, the more his shoes became wet. The more his shoes became wet, the less traction he had. The less traction he had - he was losing the game fast. Carrie and her attacker were nowhere to be found. Scott returned home to wait for the police.
Out of breath and bewildered, Scott stumbled up on his front porch. Ellie met him there and collapsed in his arms. They both collapsed together on the porch as the flashing lights of the first police cruiser.came into view.
Scott struggled to stand, Sweat poured from his brow and glistened in the street light. He held tightly to one of the porch pillars. Ellie was numb with shock. She didn't realize it at the time how her perfect world was quickly unraveling. Humpty Dumpty would have to wait. She remained curled in the corner of the porch as the officer approached.
First, on the scene, Officer Moreland ran from his cruiser to the porch. "Did you see the attacker? Which way did he go?"
Scott pointed to the backyard. Vic Moreland was off and running.
Within minutes, another police cruiser stopped outside the Branson residence. Officer Ethan Alexander took his time which angered Scott. In a feeble effort to appease Scott and comfort Ellie, he said, "Officer Moreland has it covered. He'll have your girl back in just a few minutes. In the meantime, we'll need to go to headquarters and sort through the facts.
Ellie added her two cents. "My daughter is missing - stolen from her own bedroom while she slept, and you want to sort through the facts? Not a chance. Not a chance until Office Moreland brings my girl back, as you say, in minutes. I'm waiting right here." Scott agreed.
"Now, Mr. and Mrs. Branson, we need to get to the details. It's the only way we can help you find your daughter."
Ellie cut in again. "I thought your great Officer Moreland was on it. He'll be back in minutes, right? Or was that just talk/" There was silence. "Well, which is it?"
"Look, Mrs. Branson, I understand how you feel, but. . . "
"Oh, you understand how I feel. So your daughter was stolen from her bed while she slept, too? Yeah, right! You should be out looking for Carrie instead of wasting time here. I mean, that is your job, right?"
"Okay, now we're getting somewhere. We know the missing girl's name is Carrie. Thank you, Mrs. Branson. That was helpful. Officer Moreland might be out in the woods calling for Suzie or Mary, and of course, if Carrie would be able somehow to answer, she wouldn't because we had the wrong information. Now, do you see how important it is that we get the facts straight?
Scott was beginning to cool down a little. "Ellie, the sooner we go with Officer Alexander, the sooner they can be out in force looking for her. Officer Moreland will do what he can do, but we need to do our part. Come on. Let's go."
Scott and Ellie climbed into the back of the cruiser, and they were off.
At the Station
The three pulled into the station parking lot where Officer Alexander helped Ellie and Scott from the back seat of his vehicle. Once inside, Alexander called for Stella Washington.
"Mrs. Branson, this is detective Washington. She's one of the best at this kind of case. You're in good hands. Stella, take Mrs. Branson to Interview One. I'll talk to Mr. Branson in my office."
Scott broke in. "Wait a minute! Our child was stolen together. You can talk to us together."
An exasperated Scott was shut down again. "No. No, we can't. Mr. Branson, please! The sooner we can get the facts together, the sooner we can be looking for your daughter. Okay. Now, let's all of us get moving. We have a child to find!"
Scott's interview didn't go well. He was too tense and nervous. His only interest was getting out on the streets to look for Carrie.
Ellie, on the other hand, was making more progress. Officer Washington began. "Now, Honey, we gotta get to the bottom of this and real fas', so jus' answer the questions as bes' you can. I know you're under a lot of pressure. I know how you feel . . ."
Stella pushed Ellie's hot and angry button. "You know how I feel? Oh, really! You and Alexander have this sixth sense, huh? Well, let me tell you, Officer, you don't know how I feel. You have no idea what it's like to be resting peacefully only to awake to this nightmare.So tell me - how do I feel." Ellie sat back and crossed her arms in a huff.
"Honey, tell me if I'm right. You're extremely tired, to the point of exhaustion. You feel like you're dreaming. You don't believe what's jus' happened. You feel so many emotions at the same time, you can't separate them. Your mind's a blur, and Honey, you're jus' about ready to collapse. Yet you find the inner strength to carry on and reach the goal - finding your precious daughter.
"Now, don't answer Child, 'cause you know I'm right."
"Well, anybody can read a textbook on trauma psychology, but . . ."
"But Honey, I lived it. That's how I know what you're feeling. My little baby, my four-year-old Alise was stolen from her car-seat while I was pumpin' gas. Can you believe that? While I was pumpin' gas! Now, Honey, it's been twelve years and she's not home yet. I vowed right then and there that I would find her, and if I couldn't find her, I'd find all the other missing children God brought my way.
"Oh, Officer, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have acted that way."
"Child, I'll tell you this. I've not found my Alise, but I've solved every missing person case that's been laid on my desk. I don't say that proudly. I say that because we gonna find your girl, too. Now, we need to get to business. There's a little girl out there calling for Mommy."
© 2017 William Kovacic