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 22
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price
From Part 22
Scott and Ellie were last seen in a battle with David Martin. Martin was seen placing a tracking device on Scott's car as they were leaving the church. Scott's manic drive to find Carrie leads him back to the Brownsville Golden Age Nursing Home as Martin attempts to follow them.
Out of the many who could answer the phone, Larson was Ellie's last choice. "Yes, Detective Larson, this is Ellie Branson. May I please speak to Stella Washington?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Mrs. Branson. This is Stella's day off. How can I help you?"
"I need Stella to meet us at the Brownsville Nursing Home. Can you get in touch with her and have her call me as soon as possible?"
"I'll see what I can do. I believe she's out of town this weekend. By the way, Mrs. Branson, what are you doing in Brownsville? You were told to stay away from there. You could seriously jeopardize the investigation. You need to head home now."
"We can't. It's too late. Ellie disconnected the call and hoped for the best. Martin was closing in. By the erratic movements of his vehicle, both Scott and Ellie knew danger was near. "Ellie, give me the tracking device." She placed the device in Scott's right hand as he opened the window with his left.
At the next intersection, he took a hard left and threw the device out the window. He took another left at the next intersection, then another. He saw Martin pass by as he followed the tracking signal. Although Martin was sure they were going to the nursing home, he took the same left only to find an empty street. Scott began to follow him back to West Mifflin, but Martin turned at the nursing home parking lot.
Scott's suspicions were confirmed. Martin surely had some connection to his missing daughter. Scott pulled his vehicle off the street, ready to walk the rest of the way to the nursing home.
Ellie screamed,"Scott, what are you doing. You can't go there. We have to let the police handle this. When Stella calls we can let her know what's going on, but please, please, don't go there without the police! Your drive to find our baby is going to get us both killed. I lost Carrie. I can't lose you, too."
"Just wait here. I'll be okay. I'll be right back. I have to see what this guy is up to."
Shall We Continue
Scott underestimated David Martin's intelligence. Martin always seemed kind of dull of thought to Scott. Walking close to the buildings on the street, Scott approached the nursing home and looked for signs of Martin. That's when he saw the familiar light burning from the second-floor window.
He made his way to the other side of the old, abandoned building and pushed on a door that was partially opened. Once inside, he realized what he was doing. He thought "This could get me another ninety days in the slammer." But the choice had already been made. He had to follow it through.
Once Martin confirmed Scott was in the building, he placed a call to the Brownsville police to alert them of the intruder in the vacant building. Then he carefully took the back stairs and slipped outside.
It wasn't long until Scott heard police sirens wailing as they sped down the street. He knew what that meant. So did Ellie. She pulled the car into the parking lot just in time to pick up Scott as he raced out the door. They were off, but in the distance, they could still see the strobing lights of the police car as it turned into the same parking lot.
Pulling into the driveway, they found Stella waiting for them. "Ellie, Honey, you need to straighten out your man. We could've had Martin if he'd called the Brownsville Police himself. Martin was inside. We had him."
She turned to Scott, "Scott, you had him. All you needed to do was report there was an intruder on the private property. We could've arrested him. But, no. You had to let him get the upper hand. I'm tellin' ya right now, Child, Larson's out to nail ya. Ya didn't help yourself much today. You only made it worse. Please, Scott. Stay out of this."
If Scott could have found a hole to crawl into, he surely would have.
Stella's rant continued. "Larson wants ya behind bars for this crime, but there's really no evidence ya did anything illegal. But he knows ya were in the building again, Child. Now, listen. He's watching ya like a hawk watches for his evening meal. Child, I don't want ya to be Larson's evening meal. We can use all the tips ya can give us, but let us do the work."
Scott was embarrassed beyond words, and Ellie had never seen Stella so upset. Something was bothering her and Ellie could tell.
"Stella, how about a cup of coffee? Come on in."
The two sat at the same table where Ellie was now holding her last note from Scott. Ellie stopped for just a moment to feel the sadness. Most, if not all of Scott's notes mentioned his love for her. His last was anything but a love letter. Still, she held it close to her heart. After all, it was her last connection to Scott.
"So, Stella. Something's up. Let's talk about it. It would make me feel better and maybe you, too."
"They want me off the case."
"No, Stella. They can't do that. Why? You're working so hard for us."
"Why? Honey, ya got under my skin. I see so much of me in ya. Your battles have become my battles. They say that's unprofessional. But it's more than that, Honey. Larson wants to wrap up this case. He's lookin' for a scapegoat. Scott's as good as any.
"I been tellin' him all along Martin has somethin' to do with this, but he won't hear of it. He wants to bring Scott down. Even after today, he still won't consider Martin, but we all know he was in Brownsville, too. We know he was the one that tried to set up Scott."
Ellie thought out loud. "Do you suppose Larson has anything to do with this?"
"Honey, I thought that myself. I didn't think he did or could, but I really don't know. I guess anyone is capable of anything at any time."
"Tell me about Alise, Stella."
"Honey, she was the sweetes' thing there was. Her daddy, he disappeared a long, long time ago. It was jus' me and her. We were feedin' the ducks in the park, and on the way home, I noticed I was jus' about outta gas. I stopped to gas up and was pumpin' the gas when somebody came from behind and asked me for street directions. All the while, I think I'm helpin', the other one was openin' the car door and takin' my baby. It all happened so quick. Jus' like that - my baby was gone.
"I spent months in a deep depression. I blamed myself over and over. I should've been more careful. I should've been more alert, but that didn't bring her back. It won't bring her back. I had to learn to accept it for what it was. Mos' people tell me to give up hope. She'll never be found. They may be right, but I will not let go of hope. If not today, maybe tomorrow will be the day my Alise will be home. And Honey, tha's the way ya need to think, too.
Ellie sipped her coffee. "Tell me more, Stella."
"She was cute as a button. So full of life. Every night Mommy had to read her a bedtime story. If I'd forget, she'd remind me - every single time. She always fell asleep running' her fingers through my hair as I read. She always woke with a smile. I never seen a girl with a more gentle demeanor.
"Ellie, I feel so los' at times. I miss her so much. I feel so empty inside, I jus' want her home. But until then, she lives inside of me. She's in my mind. She's in my heart. She consumes my every wakin' thought. I can hear her cry. I can sense her anger. I can feel her pain. I jus' want to see her smile again. To feel her little hands pullin' at my hair one more time. To read her one last bedtime story.
"One more thing, Honey, and then I have to go. After all, it is my day off, right? Oh, but I enjoyed spendin' it with ya. Anyway, Please do your bes' to keep Scott out of this. I know how important it is for him to find Carrie. I wish Alise's daddy cared half as much, but he's going to ruin any chance of us finding Carrie's kidnapper. He may even get himself killed. We don't know who we're messin' with. They could be very dangerous - could be murderous. I'm glad for his tips, but he needs to let us follow up on them. Honey, we're going to find Carrie. I promise!"
The back door closed as Stella let herself out. Scott poked his head around the corner of the kitchen. Ellie began, but Scott cut her off. "I heard it all. I know she's right. I only want to find my daughter."
"I think she knows that, but she's right. if you would have reported David Martin's intrusion at the nursing home, he would be arrested by now. We might have some answers. Scott, I do love you. Larson's after you. Please just follow the directions. Play the game by the book. I believe Stella. She's going to find our baby."
The afternoon was getting late, but there were more questions. There was much to think about, much to process. Scott began again.
"So, Babe, what part do you think Martin plays in this? Do you think he's working for someone, or do you think he's acting on his own?"
"You said you heard some people talking in jail. Apparently, this is not a one-man operation. I think he's working for someone. He's not the main man. Like you said before, he's not smart enough to pull this off - but I have to admit, he did outsmart you at the nursing home. He had you set up the whole time. He made sure you saw him plant the tracker on the car. He made sure he led you to Brownsville for the sole purpose of having you arrested. He was able to pull that off not because he thought of it but because someone else told him what to do."
Scott thought on that before speaking. "So we need to find the head honcho. But how do we do that?"
"By getting Martin to talk, We'll work our way up the food chain until we reach the top. But we'll let Stella know what's going on every step of the way. We get the information, but the police do the work. Agreed? "
Scott remained silent. "Scott! Agreed?" Ellie repeated.
"Yes . . .agreed."
- Dear Ellie - Part 24
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price
© 2017 William Kovacic