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.
"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.
Scott tried to make himself as comfortable as possible, but he knew this would be like so many other nights. Jail cells weren't conducive to sleep. By choice or otherwise, he knew this would be another sleepless night. The moon alternated between sending bright light through Scott's small cell window and hiding deep behind clouds. At times, he could see hundreds of stars in the night sky as the clouds came and went.
This video defies the Big Bang if one is open and honest.
He began to think - "There's so much design to the universe. This didn't just happen. Every design has to have a designer. For every painting, there's an artist. For every sculpture, there is a sculptor. Someone had to have created all this. A big bang just isn't possible." He continued to think. "If I were to smash a wristwatch into a thousand pieces, put it in a bag, and shake it up, what would be the chances of a new wristwatch being formed. Is it possible there really is a god after all? But if there is, why did he allow Carrie to be kidnapped?"
He continued to think. "If I were to smash a wristwatch into a thousand pieces, put it in a bag, and shake it up, what would be the chances of a new wristwatch forming in the bag? Is it possible there really is a god after all? But if there is, why did he allow Carrie to be kidnapped?"
He could hear a soft, quiet voice from within speak. "There is a god, Scott - and I am He. I will reveal myself to you if you truly want to know me. As for Carrie - just listen."
Scott could hear two men talking in a cell down the corridor. "Yeah, the black market is really growing in Pittsburgh. You want to make some easy money, I can set you up. Of course, I get a percentage of your share."
"Yeah, yeah. I'm in. What do I have to do?"
"We both get outta here in less than a month. I'll look you up and give you the details. All I'm gonna say for now is the place to be is the Golden Age Nursing Home. It's an old, empty building in Brownsville. It used to be the hospital, then the nursing home. Now, it's just abandoned and rotting away - a great place to make deals, and deals are made there all the time.
The facts of Scott's investigation were confirmed. Children were freely being sold to whoever and for whatever. Scott took a chance. He didn't know how much the men knew about him, but he needed some answers.
He called out. "Hey, that Brownsville place. It's something else, isn' it. Who got that Carrie Branson that just went missing?"
"Shhh, man! Keep it down, okay?" She went to the boss."
Scott softened his voice. "Hey, who is the boss? I've never met him." He was at a loss as to where those words came from. Maybe it was that inner voice guiding him. Could it be God?
"You're not the only one. Nobody has ever seen him. But, hey - you can't beat the pay, right?"
"Yeah, right." End of conversation.
Scott laid back and thought what his next move might be. His jail time would be up in less than a month, too. He now had proof of the goings on at Brownsville. Although he couldn't see the men, and even if he knew who was speaking, he knew they would never give the police the information. He would have to file the information away for his own investigation when he was released.
He laid back and tried to sleep - all without success.
Ellie had a sleepless night as well. She rose early and drove down to the river. The early morning light, although somewhat covered by rain clouds, shimmered off the waters of the cold Allegheny. She walked to an empty bench and sat down - her mind going back.
It had been three months to the day since she last saw Carrie. The wind began to pick up, and the river was moving faster. Small waves lapped the shore. If it weren't for anxiety and stress, she could have fallen asleep listening to the peaceful sounds around her. But she couldn't turn off her mind. The thoughts kept coming - picking up with the pace of the wind.
An elderly couple passing by made the call. Ellie had collapsed and lay crumpled on the cold ground like a useless piece of paper tossed to the wind - like a note whose words held no meaning
Sharon Gallegher had no idea that her co-worker, Ellie, was now her patient until she walked into the room. Ellie was sitting in bed, but Sharon could see the stress on her worn and weary face.
"Ell - are you up to talking about this?"
Sharon had always been there for Ellie. There were many times during the past three months they had cried together - and occasionally laughed together.
"It's all too much, Shar. I can't possibly go on anymore. There's nothing left in me. These two ladies stopped by the house. They invited me to church. Then they just walked away. I feel so empty. They seemed to have the answers, but you know me - I'm not the religious type. Still, I feel empty, like my soul's bleeding."
"Maybe it is. Are you going to go? I mean, maybe there is a god. I can't believe any human being can go through what you've gone through and still be sane. I think someone is watching over you. I think you should go. It can't hurt, can it?"
Ellie began to tremble as a cold feeling washed over her. "Listen, Ell. I'll let you get some rest, but I'll be back to check on you. In the meantime, if you need anything, just buzz."
The sedative began to work. Ellie was finally getting the rest she needed. The nightmare would still be there when she woke. but for the moment, she would be granted a reprieve. As for now, Scott would spend the day in jail, and Ellie would spend it at Allegheny General - this time as a patient.
- Dear Ellie - Part 15
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price.
© 2017 William Kovacic