Dear Ellie - Part 26
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 25
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price
Ellis was struggling to sleep. Her battle led her Carrie's bedroom where God began to deal with her need - her need was Him. She eventually fell asleep clutching
Carrie's teddy bear.
Ellie tried to sleep, but she knew she was wasting her time. This night had all the marks of another sleepless night. Scott stayed close beside her. He knew he wouldn't be sleeping either. Less than twenty-four hours ago, they were both standing in the old Brownsville hospital hoping to find some clues as to what happened to their beloved Carrie. There were no clues, and Carrie was still missing.
The nights seemed so long without Carrie. Ellie went downstairs and sat on Carrie's bed. She could remember tucking her in for the last time. Tears fell from eyes, watering the pillow.
"God, Scott seems to think you're out there somewhere. He says he knows you're right here in the middle of this mess. If you're here, and he senses you, why don't I? Are you real, or just something someone invented to ease the pain? I'm not even asking you to relieve the pain I'm drowning in, although that would be nice. I just want to know you're walking with me through the pain. If you are real, I'll love you for who you are, not for what you can do."
A silent voice spoke. "I understand your pain, Ellie. I walked through life with hurt, too. Those I came to love crucified me."
Then Ellie remembered a verse from Sunday's sermon - Psalm 30:5 - ". . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." she thought on those words for a while, longing for the joy of the morning. How could anything or anybody bring her joy again? Unless, of course, it was Carrie herself.
The silent voice spoke again. "It will be a long night. Much must pass your way, but I assure you, morning will come, and joy will return. For you see, Elaine, I am real."
Ellie wasn't overloaded with hope - just enough to get her through another sleepless night. She fell asleep on Carrie's bed holding her stuffed teddy bear.
Ellie tried to keep busy to keep her mind off Carrie. Dusting, Vacuuming, grocery shopping, washing the car - the list went on with no relief. The busyness only intensified her thoughts. She remembered Carrie's help with the dusting. She remembered Carrie's help with the vacuuming. She remembered Carrie's help with the grocery shopping. She remembered Carrie's help with washing the car. There was no escape.
Then she remembered she had heard about the prophet Elijah in the Bible. Going to church was beginning to make some sense to her. God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. That must have been what she heard the night before. God Himself was promising His peace and comfort to Ellie if she would receive it. He spoke again.
"Elaine, you carry too much of the weight. Let me take it. I will give you rest if you only come to me. I will lift your burden if you allow me to carry it. I have all your answers in my book, the Bible. Don't you think it's about time you just give up on yourself and follow me?
"In yourself, you don't have the ability to deal with life. Life is hard, and for the most part, too difficult for any human to handle without me. You're weak, but I am strong - strong enough to take you through the hard times. Strong enough to heal the emotional and spiritual wounds of this life, but you must allow me to do so,"
Ellie mused to herself, "So You do promise to bring Carrie home?"
"No, I do promise to walk with you whether Carrie comes home or whether you never see her again."
"You want me to follow You just because You are who You say You are? God?"
"You got it, Elaine. Trust me with your life - for good or for bad, and I'll take you through. That is my promise."
"Okay, Lord. I will trust You. No matter what life brings. I commit myself to follow You - no matter what."
A new and different peace fell over Ellie. She couldn't wait to tell Scott.
"Scott, I know what you mean now about a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He saved me. Relationship? I've been adopted into the family of God. I'm His daughter, and He's my Father. It's not religion. It's knowing Him on a personal level. No matter what happens things will be okay. I know that now."
Still, the days were hard for Ellie. The fall days were becoming shorter. It would soon be the one-year anniversary of Carrie's disappearance, and sadness filled Ellie's heart. She sat at the dining room table staring into the distance as the leaves from the silver maple rode on the breeze. The beautiful golds and the striking reds formed a lovely pile in her backyard. She knew she needed to rake them, but that would have to wait. She was in deep contemplation.
The autumn was always her favorite time of the year. But now, everything changed. Those lovely golds and reds turned to brown in her mind. The fresh crispness of the cool, autumn air turned putrid. The soon approach of the holidays told her her morning joy had not appeared yet. Apple cider and pumpkin pie brought no lasting peace.Skies bluer than blue seemed to be overshadowed with clouds of the darkest variety.
Still, she sensed God was with her, directing her paths. Another 'Bible verse came to mind - "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Her conclusion was the words are easy to speak. but so very hard to live. Difficult as the situation was, she knew she'd get through it.
Ellie spoke so much without saying a word. Scott was aware of the pain in his own soul. Football season was in full swing for the West Mifflin Titans. The thrill and challenge of the game were no longer present. The Titan's little mascot, Carrie, was gone. Still no job, and his unemployment was quickly running out. Ellie's pain became his pain. Inside he was hurting but couldn't let anyone know - especially Ellie.
"Hey, Babe. I got to go to the store and pick up a few things. Need anything while I'm out?"
Ellie tried to force a smile. "No, I love you. See you later."
The doorbell rang. Ellie paused her cleaning and opened the door. She thought it may have been Jane and Evelyn, but to her surprise, a cute, little puppy sat on her doorstep, adorned with a bright, red bow. She picked up the puppy and rubbed its down-like fur. Then Scott appeared from around the corner.
"I know she can never take Carrie's place, but I did hear she needed a good home."
"Scott, where did you get her? She's so cute."
"I went to the shelter. This one was just begging to come with me. I couldn't resist. She's a special puppy. Out of all the ones there, she won my heart. What do you want to name her?"
"She is a special puppy, for sure. That's it! Her name is Special. Like it?"
Special held Ellie's attention most of the day, but eventually, the night came. The evening gloom of shorter days blended with the other familiar signs of the season emphasized her loneliness and loss. Through her pain, she was reminded that God was walking with her through it. Whatever and whenever the end would be, she knew she'd get through it.
Scott and Ellie headed for bed. Special spent the night between them, a sign of things to come. Special was special, but Scott wasn't sure she was that special.
The morning was just another day without Carrie. Ellie could picture her running through the leaves with Special tagging along at her heels. They would have been best friends. Ellie was sure.
Just what clicked in her mind wasn't noted, but the result was. Ellie ran for her laptop. She began to search for similar abductions in nearby areas. What she discovered was alarming. There were missing children in Monroeville, Wilkinsburg, and even from a town as small as McKees Rocks. There was even a report of a child being taken from her bedroom as far north as Erie.
Her next step was to contact the parents and compare notes. Maybe they could help each other. The question slipped into Ellie's mind. Why didn't the police already do this? Then she remembered. Larson was the police. It would have served him no purpose to involve more investigating if he was guilty.
The front door flew open. Scott returned from a jog with Special. "Babe! Babe!" Scott's excitement was hard to contain.
"Shhh," Ellie whispered. She was talking to the mother of the girl who was missing from Wilkensburg. "Yes, we need to get together and compare notes. I'll be in touch. Thank you. Good-bye."
Special seemed to be excited, too. "Okay, what's going on?"
"Special found this down by the golf course." Scott held up a small notebook."
"What is that, Scott?"
"It has names of tons of kids - dates -times - all to be delivered to the Brownsville building. If we cross-check these names, I bet you we find they're all missing. It's a complete list of transactions that went down at Brownsville. We just struck gold!"
"Let me see that." Ellie began to search through the list of names. There it was. Hayley Carson. The missing girl from Wilkensburg. She went back even further. Carrie was listed, and the deal was checked off as completed. There was no further information.
"Hey, Babe. You better give Stella a call. She needs to see this."
© 2017 William Kovacic