*I am trying to get the details correct for the high emotions of telling someone their loved one has passed. This is the section that is most important. Please leave feedback on how I can make this more vivid and more emotional.*
As she walks down Washington Avenue, she stops as the car approaches. Her fellow classmates are in a car and start throwing apples at her head. She ends up with one right in her eye as she tries to defend herself against the assault. Her classmates just don’t see her as a human. They see her disability as an issue to be eradicated. They see her Asperger’s Syndrome as something to fear. They really don’t understand why she can’t get the whole social thing and since she moved here from somewhere else, she makes a great target.
Both her parents had grown up here and when her dad died in Afghanistan, her mom moved them back where their relatives lived. Only thing is, the kids here hate her for some unknown reason. She lost her best friend in the war. She was so close to her dad and it hurts her yet that he isn’t here to protect her, to tell her it will be alright, to make the pain go away.
As she walks toward the high school, she knows she will be late for class, but she really doesn’t care. No one in that school understands her or even likes her. If it weren’t for her violin, she wouldn’t attend this school at all. She only went for third hour anyway. Third hour is her orchestra class and she loves it. It is the only place she feels alive.
She walks into school half way through second hour. She decides to skip it and heads to the orchestra room in F section. First, she goes to her locker and hangs there for a bit before walking slowly to the class.
After third hour, she generally heads home. Hoping this way she won’t get tortured by anyone. Maxwell Jackson walks up to her after third hour and asks her if she would like to go with him somewhere. She likes Max, he is always really nice to her. She says she will and leaves the school.
It’s 2 a.m., when Clay gets a call from one of his deputies.
“Clay, it’s Mark. We have a missing 14-year-old girl. Her Mother called Central Dispatch saying the last she heard from her was after her third hour class. She said she was leaving with Maxwell Jackson. He invited her to go somewhere. Her Mother hasn’t heard from her since.”
“I’m getting ready now and I will be heading to the station. Get the search and rescue team together.”
“Got it done already, Sir.” says Mark.
Clay grabs his trusty dog Ryder.
“Come on Ryder! We have a girl to find.”
When Clay gets to the Delta County Sheriff Department, he radios his men. Then he talks to his secretary, Rita Hanson.
“Rita.” he says, “call the mother of the missing girl and tell her I need something she has recently worn.”
Rita picks up the phone and calls the mother. Clay heads down the hall to his office stopping at the coffee pot. Clay needs the warmth mixed with the caffeine just to keep focused on what may lay ahead.
“Hello, Mrs. Johnson. I’m Rita Hanson with the Delta County Sheriff’s Office. I am calling you regarding Lillian. Sheriff Forsman would like you to bring something Lillian has worn in the past day or so to the department. He needs it to give to Ryder.”
Rita hangs up with Mrs. Johnson and goes into Clay’s office. “She is on her way. The poor woman is hysterical.”
“Can you blame her?” Clay brings the coffee cup up to his lips and takes a huge gulp.
“No. I think they would need to take me to St. Francis if something ever happened to my Jimmie.”
Clay nearly gags on his coffee. Rita looks at him puzzled. Not having children of his own, Clay still gets it. Total understanding of every parent when you can’t protect them 24 hours a day. He understands parents as being better police officers than the police themselves.
The Deputies radio into Clay that they talked to Maxwell. He had last seen her at school and had no idea where she went. They talked to the school and learned that Maxwell was there for the whole school day. They had asked if anyone was missing after third hour. After looking through the records, they found out that five of the football players had left after third hour and hadn’t returned. The school names the boys for Clay, they are Trevor Page, Jason Bezaw, Dale St.Jaques, Peter Anderson, and James Petersen.
Clay orders his men to find the five football players and ask them about Lillian. None were talking but Deputy Mark Carlson eventually gets Trevor “Squiggy” Page to open up. Trevor doesn’t know the exact location, but the story he tells shocks the seasoned Deputies.
Trevor tells Deputy Carlson an eerie tale. “We saw her go outside with Maxwell. He showed her something in his car. He hugged her goodbye. Why anyone would touch that stinky bitch I have no idea. James decided we were gonna teach that uppity bitch some manners. We waited for Max to get inside and she was near the end of the driveway. She was heading home. She was always skipping school. We knew she left everyday after 3rd hour. She didn’t want to get in the car with us. Jason grabbed her and pulled her into the car. She fucking screamed.We held her down in the backseat on our way to Rapid. Jason was the first to rip off her pants. He decided to have a go with her. Dale had her mouth covered but she was fighting and screaming. Jason got really pissed when she scratched his face. He punched her right in the face. Stupid bitch got whats comin to her. Peter and James were in the front seat. I decided to try my fingers in her ass. Then, what the hell, I went and slammed my dick right up her ass. Man, the tears were flowing from that bitch then. I don’t know how long it took. I was having too much fun in the backseat. We punched her, shoved our dicks where ever we wanted. It was the best time ever. Finally, James stops and says, “we’re here. Pete and I want a turn.” So we drag her out. The bitch starts screamin, “mommy, daddy, help me.” like anyone can hear her out there. Well, we continued doing the same thing to her. Shoving it where ever we pleased and beating the crap out that sub human. Then at some point James couldn’t take her screamin anymore.” Trevor started laughing for no apparent reason then continued. “The last straw was when she said she was gonna tell her mommy. Like her bitch ass mommy could do anything for her. James picked up a rock and smashed it in her head. I have no idea how many times. But blood was everywhere. Then she stopped breathin so we threw her wasted ass into the river.” Mark’s anger was rising. He wanted to smack the evil right out of him. He couldn’t believe how this kid was telling this story. “How could anyone be this cruel? What is up with people these days?” Mark thought.
Mark radios Clay and tells him to head somewhere near the Rapid River. Clay knows this area well since this is his and Ryder’s favorite fishing area!
“Come on Ryder. We are going to our fishing spot to find Lillian.”
The area around the Rapid River looks like a major forest with the trees. The river has paths used by everyone going to their favorite spot to fish. You would never guess that a few feet from here is a clearing and a few yards from here are people’s homes. The area is breathtaking. The smell of the water is in the air. The leaves at this time of year are changing to brilliant colors and if this was any other day, it would be a great time to take a scenic photo.
It takes Ryder less than an hour and he has Lillian. She is floating face down in the river . Clay sighs and starts to cry. He hates this job sometimes, but he knows this is why he does this job. He is the voice of the victim. He doesn’t judge anyone, but he can’t help wondering why people are so cruel to one another.
His search and rescue team pull her out of the cold water. The EMTs all looking way to sullen, take her down to the hospital for the coroner. An autopsy is needed for the criminal investigation of murder. He knows what he has to do next and this was going to be the worst thing he ever has to do.
He drives with Ryder silently to Mrs. Johnson’s house. He sits in his car for a moment looking at their home. He knows this is going to kill her. First, her husband and now the only person she has left. It is the most horrific experience for a parent to out-live a child. Clay tries to get his emotions under control. Clay wipes a tear away from his face and looks at Ryder. Ryder has the same look of depression on his face. They both look at the house and dread what has to come next. This is the worst part. The trauma from the family leaves scars on the inside of your soul. Clay has to disassociate from his emotions and appear stable.
He slowly gets out of the car and walks to her door. Clay fidgets with his hat as if it isn’t on straight. As he walks up to the house he notices a lilac bush to his left. The concrete steps leading to the door number 4 have a strange echoing sound in the ears. The screen door looks aged and looks in need of repair. He enters onto the sun porch to approach the old wooden door, takes a giant breath to relieve his anxiety, and knocks. When Mrs. Johnson’s mother answers, he asks her for her daughter. He notices that she has been crying and the look of worry on her face. He sees inside the house. In the dining room he sees the white lace curtains blow inward as the breeze hits them. As her daughter approaches he knows that she already knows. Her blonde hair is a mess and she looks like she hasn’t slept in years. Her blue-green eyes are red from tears. Her clothes are wrinkled as if she were a homeless woman. He says it anyway and Mrs. Johnson collapses in her father’s arms. To Clay it appears like a movie in slow motion. Her father looks like he is fifty aging to eighty at this moment. They all look so stressed and worried. You can see they have been crying and praying hard. This family is never going to be the same. He watches as her mother runs up to her and grabs her. All three are holding each other, sobbing. He turns, walks the few steps to the screen door, pauses, sighs, and then walks down the four steps back to his car. He opens his car door slowly as emotions are running high. He puts his long legs in as he sits on his seat. So much going through his mind. He looks over at Ryder. Ryder always looks sad. He has those basset hound eyes. Sometimes Clay thinks he is always sad because of the job they both do.
Clay goes back to his office to start the report and paperwork needed for the courts. He is on one mission now.
Clay sits down at his desk looking at his computer. He talks to himself as he types the report.
“I guess I will title this one Unknown Homicide. I, Sheriff Clay Forsman, was called at home on November 23, 2014 at 2 a.m., by Deputy Mark Carlson. I was informed of a missing persons case involving a fourteen-year-old girl. The victim’s name is Lillian Johnson. She attended the Escanaba High School. She was last seen around 12:20 p.m. by Maxwell Jackson. Deputy Mark Carlson talked with Mr. Jackson about the last time he had seen Lillian Johnson. The patrol officer supplement is provided with Deputy Carlson’s interview of Maxwell Jackson.”
Clay sits back looking at it. He shakes his head. He knows it isn’t really correct yet and it will take him a while to collect his thoughts and write it all out. These damn reports take forever sometimes. You have to make sure each page and every word is correct for the court system. There is a knock on his door as Mark enters.
“I filled out those subpoenas. All I need is your signature. I can then walk them across the lot to the court house.” Clay signs them and Mark leaves for the court house. Time for those five to face the music. He is going after the boys who killed Lillian Johnson.