This story in no way depicts real life events. It is purely fictional. As always, I welcome any constructive criticism you may have. Just leave it in the comments below. Please join me now as we continue in the world of Dear Ellie.
- Dear Ellie - Part 1
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price.
The sound of sirens could be heard in the distance. They were growing ever louder as the ambulance turned left on Fraternity Row. Todd and Josh stood in the front yard waving down the EMTs. The driver approached them.
"He's in the backyard! Hurry! Follow me! Todd shouted.
The men grabbed the stretcher and followed Todd to the back. It was a very curious scene. Todd made sure everyone left the party. As of yet, the news of Scott's fall was not known, and police, underage drinking, and a murder cover-up don't go well together. All possible witnesses had to be removed.
Todd shouted again as he turned the corner of the house. "He's over here!" But then - dead silence. Todd's heart sank as Officer Hendricks walked toward him. "Mr. Martz, I believe. We meet again. Your parties have seen better days. I'm going to make sure this frat house is closed for good. You might just end up in jail this time - so what's going on this time?"
"Well sir, you see there's no party - just me and Josh."
"And the deceased who fell from the balcony?"
"Oh, yeah. Scotty Branson. Me and him, we're like this." Todd overlapped his index and middle finger in a gesture of unity.
"Do you always allow your closest of close friends to drink themselves to death - and I do mean literally."
"Look, man, I can't control what someone else does. He is an adult, ya know. He makes his own choices. I can't help it if this one was a bad one."
"Okay, okay, just show me the body so the EMTs can get their work done. I'll talk to you another day."
"Absolutely, officer, He's around the side of the house. Follow me!"
Todd's heart sank ever more when he discovered Scott was missing. No body anywhere. "Oh, Mr. Martz, you made a terrible blunder this time. Making a false report to the police is serious business.What do you have to say, Mr. Timmons?"
"Officer, really, he was here just a few minutes ago. I don't know where he went."
"You, too. So, you're suggesting we have a walking dead man among us?"
"All I know, Officer Hendricks, is that he drank too much, staggered to the balcony, and fell over."
"So you're admitting you served him alcohol?"
Josh hesitated and glanced Todd's way. He didn't know what to say.
Todd picked up the conversation. "No, no, no. You see Scotty stopped by after he had been out bar hoppin'. He said he hit nearly every bar in town, and ya know how many that is, right?"
"Okay. Look, you two. You'll be hearing from me again soon, but for now, stay put."
Hendricks turned to leave when his trained, eagle eye saw something. In an otherwise neatly kept yard lay some small, broken branches. Hendricks looked up. He could see from the tree he now stood beside that something or someone had sheared off several branches and twigs - possibly a body? Maybe.
He continued to piece things together. The tree was too far away from the balcony to break branches if a man simply fell over the railing. On the other hand, if a man was tossed over the edge, it was possible that he could have taken some branches with him. Blood stains were also found on the patio pavement. Hendricks was becoming more curious with each passing piece of evidence.
And More Clues
He noticed there was a path beginning near the blood stains, through the yard and leading to the street; a path of suppressed grass as if a body had been dragged across the lawn.
"Okay, you two come with me. We're going to talk this out down at the station. It looks like we have a murder on our hands. It looks like we also have a charge of tampering with the evidence. Otherwise, we would have a body. Right, boys?"
"No body, no murder. Ain't that how it works, Mr. Policeman?"
"It's Officer to you, Martz. And you're about to find out how it works. Just be patient."
"Wait, I ain't gonna take the wrap for somethin' someone else done."
"We'll talk about it more down at the station. By the way, Martz, how did you ever get accepted at a fine school like this? Your English is terrible."
Across town, Ellie sat in the emergency room at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Looking at Scott and holding his hand was all she could do. She felt so helpless. In a twisted sense, she felt responsible for what happened. She alone saw the Sigma Nu brothers attempting to hide Scott as they carried him to the balcony. She was rounding the side of the house when she heard his body meet the ground with a sickening thud. Once the scene had cleared, she pulled her quarterback through the grass to her car at the side of the street. They were off to the hospital without a sound. Because of the severity of Scott's injuries, he was hurried to the top of the list. He was placed on a heart monitor. X-rays were taken. His stomach was pumped.
Some time later the doctor returned with the results of the tests. It wasn't all good news for Scott, but at least he was alive. No damage was done to the heart nor other internal organs. By Ellie's quick actions, the medics were able to rid Scott's body of the overdose of alcohol. He would, however, still be feeling the effects of it in the morning as the body eliminated the last of the poison from his system.
The x-rays illuminated Scott's biggest problem. The doctor spoke. "Scott, you sustained a broken right shoulder. That's not good news for a right-handed throwing quarterback. You're going to need a lot of rehabilitation to get it going for you again."
The concern showed on Scott's face. "We have an early practice Monday morning. I will be able to participate, won't I."
"Not a chance, Scott. You'll likely miss the entire season, but with a lot of hard work and extended PT sessions, I think you'll be fine for next season.
"Now Scott, when you first came in here tonight, you really couldn't speak too well.I need to wrap up my report. Just a few quick questions and you'll be on your way. Tell me, how did this accident happen?"
Scott was stunned and at a loss for words. Ellie began, "Oh doctor, it was terrible. We were at a frat party . . ." Scott glanced hard at Ellie as if to say, "Shut up."
Ellie had enough. Looking back Scott's way, she protested, "No Scott, he needs to know. It was part of a hazing ritual at Sigma Nu. They nearly killed him - probably would have if I didn't see what they were doing. After Scott was more than drunk, they threw him over the second-floor balcony. Doctor, somehow, someway, sometime, this craziness has to stop."
"So Ellie, are you reporting a crime?"
"I guess I am. They tried to kill him to cover up their own carelessness and bad judgment"
"Are you willing to make that statement to the police, Ellie?"
"I've already said it, why not again to the police. Of course, I'm willing!"
"Scott, what do you have to say about this?"
"Doc, I just don't want any trouble. What's done is done. It won't change anything. Just let it go."
"Scott, is what Ellie says true?"
"Well . . .yeah, but they were just having some fun."
"At your expense. Scott, I think it was more than just having fun. Your friends at the frat house are no friends at all. I will need to report this to the proper authorities."
Once again, Ellie stared at the note she was still holding in her hand.
© 2017 William Kovacic