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 12
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price.
From Part 12
They continued to follow the sounds. Stella focused her flashlight on each door as they passed. The moans grew louder. Finally, they came to room 235. As they stopped, so did the strange sounds from the other side of the of door.
Stella ordered everyone to stay close behind her. She would go first with her gun drawn. She slowly turned the knob. The door opened easily. She reached her hand along the wall in search of a light switch. After a few tries, she hit the switch. No light appeared. Just a thumping sound was heard. It was the ceiling fan. Stella tried again. This time she hit the lights. Although very dim, there was enough light to see the entire room.
The first things Ellie's eyes focused on were the sunken orbs of a rotted corpse hanging from the ceiling fan, held only by an old light cord wrapped securely around her neck. The body was still dancing from Stella's start-up of the fan. Ellie screamed. Scott held her close. Stella just looked on, jaw dropped and wide-eyed.
The skeletal remains were dressed in nurse's scrubs. Stella flashed her light on the name badge. It read, Rosie Spenser.
Within seconds, Stella was on the phone to the Brownsville police. They would be handling the case. No one would sleep that night. Scott and Ellie were dismissed as Stella drove back to the station. Larson was waiting. He had not yet heard of the night's events.
"So, how did it go? I know what you were trying to do by taking him back to the scene of the crime. What kind of a reaction did he have? Did he break?"
Oh, please. Not after a night like this. He's innocent, Larson. Just drop it. He was as shocked as I was."
"Shocked about what?"
"I'll fill ya in, but not now. It's been too long of a night."
Larson scratched his head as Stella walked away.
An Arrest to be Made
Stella knew she had to deliver the news to Scott in the morning. There was no way around it this time. So as the sun came around, so did Stella.
Ellie yelled from the kitchen, "Scott, Stella's here to talk with us. Hurry!"
Scott was already late for school. The stress showed on his face as he entered the room.
"Good morning, Officer. Boy, some night last night, huh? Look, I'm late for work. Can we make this quick?"
Stella,stuttered. "No need to worry about work, Scott. This will be quick." She began. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present now and during any future questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge if you wish.."
Stella reached for her handcuffs. "Whoa, what's going on?" Scott couldn't believe what was happening.
"Scott, there's nothin' I can do to help ya at this point 'cept to offer some advice. This isn't about Carrie. By your own admission, you broke into private property. Of course, they'll be checking to see if you've been in that building before. You could be looking at facing murder charges for the death of Ms. Spenser.
"But I know better. The jails are overcrowded as it is. They'll want to make a deal with you, and honestly, you need to take it. If you plead guilty, you'll likely get ninety days. If you don't agree to the bargain, it could be two to four years. You have no defense."
Stella was almost in tears as Scott was placed in the back of the cruiser. Ellie stood bewildered at the door as she watched them drive off. Her crashing world continued to spiral out of control.
Scott's court date came and went. Just as Stella promised, he was given a ninety-day sentence. What was Ellie to do without Scott? She didn't trust him, and for all she knew, he may have committed murder, but still, he brought a sense of security to the house. What if someone tried to break into the house again? How would the bills be paid? Could she ever trust him again?
Jane and Evelyn
She stared at the note in her hand. Years later, she still found it hard to believe Scott left her this way. She returned to her dream world.
There was a knock at the door. Two women stood a the door. Ellie already had her preconceived ideas of how this meeting would go. She didn't care for the proselytizer type.
"Hello, my name is Jane Watson, and this is Evelyn Harrington. We're from Grace Community Church just down the street. We'd like to invite you to join us this Sunday. We are celebrating twenty years in the community, and we'll be having a meal afterward for all who attend. We hope you can make it."
They turned to leave. Ellie couldn't believe it. That's all they wanted? No push to join some cult? She couldn't get away from the genuine, broad smiles both wore.
"Wait! Ladies!" A tear formed in Ellie's eye. Jane was quick to notice.
"Well, what's wrong, Honey?"
Ellie thought to herself, "Honey - that's what Stella calls me." She grabbed some comfort from the term. "I would like to come. Thank you." Tears began to trickle freely from Ellie's eyes.
"Honey, may we come in and talk?"
Ellie could see the three of them sitting around the same table she was now sitting at. The note trembled in her hand as she remembered. She shared the story of Carrie, and now, Scott was in jail. She was at the end of herself, and hope was dwindling fast.
Jane continued, "Honey, when we come to the end of ourselves, there's still Hope. His name is Jesus."
"With all due respect, ladies, where was your Jesus when my daughter was stolen? If He's so great, why did He take my daughter?"
"Oh, He didn't take your daughter - not at all. That wicked man took your daughter. It's all part of the curse of sin on the human race. And Ellie dear, it hurts God more than it hurts you. The terrible ordeal you've suffered, God has experienced, too.
"That's why Jesus came to die - to pay the price of that man's sin - and your sin, too. But Ellie, we each have a choice to make. The man who took Carrie - maybe he hasn't chosen to follow God, but you can choose to, Ellie, You have nothing to say about this one who took your child. He will answer before God on his own merit. You'll answer to God on your own merit.
"Follow Him. Make Jesus your God."
"And if I do, I just bet I'll be able to find Carrie, right? Everything will be just great, right? My husband will be returned from jail - all suspicion wiped away, right? Come on. I may not be religious, but I'm not that stupid."
Evelyn spoke for the first time. "No Ellie, you're very intelligent because that's not how it works at all. We're told in the Bible we are to follow Christ's steps. Christ's steps led Him to the suffering of the cross. If we follow Christ, our steps will lead to suffering as well. Jesus isn't the big, sugar daddy in the sky that spoils us and gives us everything we want. He will withhold things that may hurt us just as a loving father watches over his child.
He knows best, and although there will be hard times, he won't take you around them. However, He does promise to go through them with you. He'll be there every step of the way if you want."
"Okay, I'll try Him."
Jane and Evelyn's broad smiles faded. "No. Jesus is not something or someone you try. You're not ready yet, please do come to the meal." Evelyn whispered. Both saw themselves to the door as Ellie sat dumbfounded at the table, left with no one but herself.
- Dear Ellie - Part 14
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price
© 2017 William Kovacic