The Girl in the Meadow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A dry summer in Edinburgh allowed a little girl, Coira Ewart, to enjoy nature. Every day since it had stopped raining she had spent outside running around and chasing butterflies and in the evening when it began to get dark her mother would have to call out multiple times for her to get inside the cottage for supper. But on the first day it had started to rain again a un expected thing happened. Coira had been out playing despite of the rain and her mother had called out for her in the evening like she had done before, but her daughter did not appear. After her worried mother had informed her father, he and a couple of other gentlemen from the cottages nearby went out to search for the little girl with no luck. Then in the morning, after a long night with little to no sleep, Mr. Ewart had informed the police that his daughter had gone missing. Soon after two detectives had come to solve the case. Mysterious hints lead them along a path that incline that Coira had been kidnapped. Then one of the Detectives is reminded of a cold case of a missing girl. He gets overly emotional and promiseds to bring back Coira alive, but of course he had no guarantee that she was still alive or that they would ever find her. While he is distracted by the parents of the little girl, the other detective is concentrated on solving the case and in the end they each come up with multiple suspects that could have abducted the little girl. One of the suspects was a colleague of Coiras father, jealous because he didn’t get the promotion, he wanted to take revenge on Mr. Ewart. Another one was the friendly neighbor that had just moved in. He was a suspect because he would not share his alibi with the police. And of course there was a suspect that everyone thought would be the most capable of kidnapping a little girl, the homeless man that according to the crazy cat lady at the end of the street had been watching Coira. Once Coiras dead body was found tragedy had surrounded the village and then in the end the murderer had shown his misery and had confessed.

Submitted: August 22, 2017

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Submitted: August 22, 2017

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Contents

Prologue:..................................................................................................... 1

Chapter One: Vanishing................................................................................ 2

Chapter Two: Hope of Help........................................................................... 6

Chapter Three: Question time..................................................................... 11

Chapter Four: Second try............................................................................ 16

Chapter Five: Guilt and Sorrow.................................................................... 22

Epilogue:.................................................................................................... 24

 

 

 

Prologue:

David and Stacy were playing in the forest near the house of David’s mother. They were chasing each other. Laughing and when one caught the other they would have a tickle fight. Each evening Stacy’s mother would come and pick up her daughter and the next morning David’s mother would drive the children to school. In the afternoon they would spend all their time outside in the woods. It was hard for David’s mother to keep her son from going outside and play even when it was raining or storming out. He couldn’t be stopped.

One afternoon David had come home from school and had gone straight up to his room. He hadn’t even greeted his mother. She instantly knew that something was wrong with her boy. She went to talk to him and he said to her that he had had to walk home alone from school. He explained that he had looked for Stacy in the whole school and hadn’t been able to find her and that he now thought that she had stood him up and gone home with other kids.

Later that evening Stacy’s mother showed up at David’s house. She was there to pick up her daughter, but her daughter wasn’t there, and so the case of Stacy was opened. She was never found. After half a year the case was closed and filed as a cold case. Stacy’s family left town for they did not want to be reminded of their daughter’s disappearance. So David never heard of his best friend again and learned to carry on with his life.

 

 

Chapter One: Vanishing

Green meadows, blue skies and chirping birds, what else could Coira have wanted? She had been spending most of her days outside, running after butterflies and discovering all sorts of creatures. In the evening her mother would call for her to come home for supper. It had become a routine that her daughter would make herself a sandwich in the morning and then leave for the day.

That is the reason that Coiras mother had no worries when she said goodbye to her daughter on this fateful day. It was like any other. Coira got up, said good morning to her mother and her father, made herself a sandwich and then, after getting reminded by her mother to be careful, left the little cottage they lived in. She walked along a path, up a hill to a bench where she had eaten her lunch the last couple of days. Behind the bench there were some trees and bushes, almost forming a tiny forest.

She took out her notebook and examined her work from the day before. She had seen a hare and a mouse, multiple flowers and a tree covered in moss. She had made sketches of these things, with the colored pencils she always carried around with her. Then she packed her things and walked onto a meadow. The grass came up to her hips, it tickled her bare legs with every step she took. After a while she decided that she had found a nice spot where she could settle down. She lay down on the grass and looked up to the sky, adjusting her eyes to the bright sunlight. Then she turned around onto her stomach. Green, green and more green was all she could see. Then suddenly something moved and startled her. A lady bug perched on a blade of grass a few centimeters from where Coira was lying in the grass. She tried to crawl a little bit closer without scaring the insect. She took out her notebook and started to draw the little critter in front of her. The rest of the morning and most of the afternoon went on like this. And then it began to get cloudy.

* * * * *

He had been watching her for a while now. Especially when she was eating by the bench. He would hide behind the nearest tree and examine her like she did with the insects and plants she found. He had a desire to touch her brown curls, to stare into those green eyes, he wanted to touch every single inch of her fragile body. Oh how he missed her, nothing could describe the feeling. Today he was also watching her, admiring her drawing skills and her lack of awareness to her far surroundings. She shut out everything, everything except the things close enough to her, so that she could examine them. He had showed up a little bit after noon and sat on the bench where a few minutes before Coira had eaten her lunch and when the clouds showed up he knew that today was the day.

* * * * *

As soon as Coira noticed the clouds she got up and prepared to walk home. She had forgotten her sandwich box up by the bench, so she started towards it. She was surprised to see that there was a man sitting on that bench, it was the first time that she had ever seen a person near that bench in all the time she had spent there. He seemed to be lost in his thoughts. It had started to rain so she couldn’t make out if she knew the person she was looking at. The ground underneath her feet was getting wet and mud was slowly forming around her shoes. It was also getting harder to walk as fast as she wanted to. The rain got harder and harder and there was a strong wind too. A storm was building up. Coira wanted to walk faster but her feet were slipping on the mud. She fell to the ground several times. It was getting harder to see where she was going, so she was hoping that it wasn’t far now to that bench when suddenly she realized, that she was going to the bench for a stupid sandwich box. Who cares about a sandwich box? At that moment she decided to try and find her way home instead of going back to the bench for a plastic box. The only problem was that she had no orientation whatsoever, she could barely tell if it was going up or down and that didn’t help much. She was cold and her feet were numb, because the water had soaked through her shoes and socks. Her only option was to wander around aimlessly in one direction and hope that she would find her way home somehow. 

* * * * *

It tortured him to watch her try and get to him, even if it wasn’t him she was trying to get to. To watch her slip on the mud and fall, without him being able to help her up again like he had done so many times before. He felt sick to the stomach about his feelings for her, about his desires that he couldn’t stop. It was wrong, he knew that he couldn’t relive his childhood, but he had to try. The rain was so thick now that he couldn’t see her anymore, but he knew where to find her, her breathing was loud and it sounded like she was close to panicking. This was his chance, he sprinted towards the sound. When he was close enough to see her shape he dropped onto his knees and started crawling towards her, making sure she wouldn’t notice him. When he was right behind her, he raised his arms and punched the hollow of her knees so that she fell forward. Then he hit her over the head with one of his shoes that he had taken off a few seconds before. He felt guilty for his actions and tried to calm himself down always whispering to himself that he was doing the right thing and that it wasn’t wrong, but what nature wanted.

* * * * *

Back in the cottage Mrs. Ewart was already pacing back and forth in her kitchen, worried about her daughter. She had seen that it had started to rain and hoped that her daughter would come straight back home as she usually would. An hour had gone by and still no Coira. One thing Mrs. Ewart always did when she was worried or nervous was baking. It calmed her. So like every other time she started taking the sugar and the flour out of the cupboards and looked for her recipes. At that moment Mr. Ewart came home from work. He was drenched, as he took of his coat he heard his wife rummaging about in the kitchen. He instantly knew that something was wrong. He walked into the kitchen. Mrs. Ewart turned around. Tightly hugged her husband and started to sob. “What’s wrong honey?” her husband asked. While trying to stop herself from crying and to breathe normally she explained that Coira had not come home. After a half an hour of trying to calm down his wife Mr. Ewart decided that they would wait another hour and if by then Coira was not home he would go out and look for her. As the hour passed Mr. Ewart was getting worried too. He finally couldn’t take it anymore and told his wife that he was going to the neighbors to ask for help to look for his daughter.

* * * * *

Mr. McAlister watched as Mr. Ewart came up to his front door. The door bell rang and Mr. McAlister went to open the door. “Hello, Can I do something for you?” he politely asked. Mr. Ewart nodded and after Mr. McAlister let him inside he started to explain what had happened. The two men decided that they needed more than just two people to go out and look for Coira. So even though they didn’t know the man, they decided to ask the new neighbor for help. He opened the door and they introduced themselves. The mans name was Thomas Lincoln and he had recently moved here from London. He quickly decided that these were two good men and that it was the right decision to help them find the little girl, he did not know at the time that later he would regret this decision.

The three men then went to other nearby houses and asked for help, until the group consisted of about twenty people. They looked for hours, but couldn’t find anything. It was getting dark and it was already hard to see anything with all of the rain, so they decided to give up. Mr. Ewart went home to his wife. As she opened the door expecting good news she saw her husband shaking his head with a sad face. He did not like disappointing his wife, but he had no choice. They sat down in their living room and discussed what they should do next. Mrs. Ewart suggested that they go to the police station, but Mr. Ewart was against the idea, explaining that in this weather the police wouldn’t be able to do much more than they

had already done and that he was too tired and worried to drive the car in this dangerous storm. So they decided that in the morning Mrs. Ewart would go to the police station and report their daughter as missing. Once this plan was set there was nothing more they could do. So they went to bed, but the night was going to be a long one, as neither one of them could get any sleep.

* * * * *

Coira woke up, her head hurt badly and she felt very uncomfortable and cold, her clothes were still wet from the rain and made her shiver even more. She couldn’t remember what had happened. When she opened her eyes she couldn’t see anything, wherever she was it was pitch black. She tried getting up but as she tried to straighten herself she hit her head. She reached up with her hands and felt the ceiling. She decided to try and crawl her way out since she couldn’t get up. She crawled forward reaching out with her right hand to avoid hitting her head again. Soon she touched a wall again. It seemed to be wood and she felt like she had gotten a splinter. She tried crawling in every direction with no luck. She was caged in. She pounded against the walls calling for help, she screamed but no one seemed to hear her. She panicked and screamed more. When she was out of energy she explored the ground, and found something that felt like a blanket and a pillow. Then she found something else. It was cold and she soon noticed that there was a cap on it. She assumed it was a bottle, opened the cap and smelled the liquid inside. Nothing, it didn’t smell like anything. She took a sip and decided that it was water. She was in fact quite thirsty so she drank some more. She didn’t know what to do and since she was getting tired she lay down on the pillow and covered herself with the blanket. She started thinking about how her parents were probably worried and started crying until finally, exhausted from the screaming and pounding against the walls she fell asleep.

* * * * *

Chapter Two: Hope of Help

As the sun went up the Ewarts got up out of their beds, that they had been lying in awake for hours, and went to the kitchen. Mrs. Ewart made herself coffee and sat down at the table, there were blue circles around her eyes that showed that she hadn’t slept. Mr. Ewart poured himself orange juice and sat down next to his wife, he picked up the paper and even though he seemed to read it, he had no idea what he had read. A little while later he left for work, it was crucial that he went to work, because they were already low on money and his boss had already threatened to fire him if he needed more days off. They also didn’t want to cause too much chaos and drama at the police station and one worried parent was probably enough to cause hectic.So Mr. Ewart kissed his wife goodbye and left. Mrs. Ewart fetched her handbag and a light coat and walked to the bus station. Shortly after the bus arrived, she got in at the front and paid her ticket without saying a word. She felt as if she were being glared at by everyone on the bus.

She got off the bus and walked to the entrance of the police station. Before she pushed open the door she took a couple of deep breaths to calm herself down. “How may I help you?” the receptionist asked her. “My daughter is missing.” She answered. “How long has she been missing?” was the next question. “Since last night” she answered. “I am sorry ma’am but you can only file a missing person report if the person has been missing for over 24 hours.” The receptionist replied and picked up the ringing phone turning away from Mrs. Ewart.

 * * * * *

Mrs. Ewart didn’t know what to do. The police had been her only chance and they obviously refused to look for her child. She walked out the door and to the nearest park. She sat down on a bench and started to sob. A person came towards her. Her eyes were watery so she couldn’t tell who it was. He sat down next to her. “You are Mrs. Ewart right?” he asked her. She nodded and asked how he knew this. He then explained that he was the new neighbor who had moved in and that he had helped her husband look for their daughter the night before. Getting reminded that her daughter was still missing Mrs. Ewart started sobbing louder again. Mr. Lincoln tried to calm her down. He suggested that he take home Mrs. Ewart so that she could get some rest and calm down. She agreed to let herself be driven home. Mr. Lincoln accompanied her up to her front door, then he left.

* * * * *

 

 

He was watching Coira as her chest rose and fell again. She was sleeping very deeply and he knew why. He had laced the water with a sleeping serum so that he had enough time to transport her. The wooden crate wasn’t where he wanted to keep her. He had prepared a room for the little girl. He had painted the walls pink and put a tea set and some dolls in the room to make her more comfortable. Now he just needed to carry her over to the bed. He picked her up and held her in his arms for a moment. He loved the feeling. Then he walked over to the bed and pulled back the pink and purple sheets. He placed her head on some pillows and covered her in the blanket. He sat there for a while and watched her sleep, he remembered how he had done the same when he was little. He had sat there watching his friend sleep, waiting for her to wake up and go outside and play with him. 

* * * * *

When Coira woke up she wasn’t in the dark space anymore. She was in a room. The walls of the room were pink and the ceiling a greyish white. It reminded her of her grandmother’s basement. It even smelled like her grandmothers basement. Coira sat up on the bed and lay back down again instantly after she felt her head throbbing with pain. She rolled onto one side to see everything else in the room. There was a table and on the table a tea set and by each cup sat a doll. On the other side of the room there were two doors and a book shelf. Coira tried to sit up again, this time she didn’t lay back down again. She waited a few minutes and the throbbing stopped a little. She got out of the bed and walked over to the two doors. She tried the first one, locked, then the second one which opened. She turned on the light and entered the room. She was standing in a bathroom. There was a bathtub a sink and a toilet and here also the walls were pink. What Coira found curious about the two rooms she found herself in was that neither of them had windows. The only reason that it wasn’t completely dark in them was that the lights were turned on. Coira heard footsteps above, her heart started racing as she ran back to the bed and covered herself in the blanket and acted like she was asleep, but nobody came in.

* * * * *

In the evening Mrs. Ewart left the cottage again and went to the police station. This time the officer at the front desk couldn’t send her away again for it had been 24 hours since Coira had been missing now. “I’d like to file a missing person report now.” Mrs. Ewart said impatiently. The officer held up his pointer and signaled her to wait a minute as he picked up the phone that had started to ring. “No mister, this morning you said I couldn’t file a missing person report, because it hasn’t been 24 hours but now it has been and I want my daughter back so don’t put me on the wait list.” Mrs. Ewart yelled frustrated. “Ma’am you need to calm down or I will have to remove you from the building.”, another police officer said. “I can’t calm down, my daughter is missing.” She said as she started crying again. From a door behind the desk a figure appeared, he didn’t look like a police officer, since he was not wearing a uniform. He saw Mrs. Ewart and walked towards her. “How may I help you ma’am.”, he asked. Mrs. Ewart explained that Coira had been missing for more than 24 hours now and that she had already been at the police station in the morning. The man turned out to be a detective. He introduced himself as Senior Detective Hume and agreed to help.

* * * * *

When Mr. Ewart came home he couldn’t find his wife anywhere. He was worried that something had happened to her too, because she had been so disoriented this morning. So he called her. She didn’t pick up and he started getting even more worried. He paced around the living room wondering where she could be. He didn’t come to a conclusion so he finally gave up and sat down on the couch determined to wait for her to come home, but since he had had little to no sleep the night before he instantly started dozing off and didn’t even notice when his wife came home.

* * * * *

Coira had been laying in the bed for what seemed to her like forever. After she had heard the footsteps above she hadn’t gotten up again. Sometime around what she suspected to be lunch or dinner time, a plate was shoved into the room through the door. She didn’t touch the food even though her belly was rumbling from hunger. Her mother had taught her that she shouldn’t eat anything that she didn’t know how it was prepared and especially not in suspicious situations like this where she had no idea where she was or why she was here. Now she lay awake in the bed and started to cry, frustrated with the situation. She didn’t know what to do or what would happen to her and it scared her. What if the person that was keeping her captive had other plans with her?  Before she knew it she was panicking again, she felt as if she couldn’t breathe. She ran to the locked door and pounded her fists at it, yelling for help. She sank to the ground and started crying harder. Why would someone want to do this to her? What did she ever do to anyone?

* * * * *

 

When Mrs. Ewart came home followed by Senior Detective Hume and his partner, Detective Irving, she saw her husband lying on the sofa. At first she was hysterical and ran towards him thinking that something bad might have happened to him. Because of her reaction the detectives followed her to the couch with their guns drawn for they had not seen Mr. Ewart yet. As soon as Mrs. Ewart got close enough to her husband she saw that there was nothing wrong and that he was just sleeping in an unusual position on the sofa. She turned around and shrieked, because she hadn’t noticed that the detectives had followed her and pulled their weapons. Immediately she put her finger over her mouth to signal them that they should be quiet. Then she whispered to them that it was just her husband sleeping and that they should move to the kitchen.

* * * * *

In the kitchen the three adults started discussing Coiras case. They wanted to know everything that Mrs. Ewart remembered of the night before and if there was any reason why anyone would have done such a thing to her daughter. They decided they would have to question the neighbors for more information on the whereabouts of Coira to see if anyone had seen something. So even though it was a fairly late hour of the day the two detectives made their way to Mr. McAlisters house. They also informed the police station of the new case and had a search troop sent out.

Mr. McAlister opened the door after the bell rang multiple times. “Good evening, Detective Hume and Irving (They said simultaneously, while showing their badges). We are sorry for the inconvenience at this late hour, but we will have to ask you and your wife some questions about Coira Ewart.” Mr. McAlister nodded and led them into the living room where his wife was sitting on the sofa watching a comedy. “Honey these are the detectives who are taking up Coiras case.” They all sat down on the sofa and the detectives asked them various questions to where they had seen Coira last and where they were when she went missing. Their alibis were the same, they had both been at home watching TV. Mrs. Ewart added that in the morning she had seen Coira leave the house and that there was a suspicious figure watching her and that she was pretty sure that it was the homeless guy that lived around the neighborhood. The detectives also noticed that the McAlisters had no motive whatsoever. So they categorized them as unlikely suspects.

 

Next they walked over to Mr. Lincolns’ house. He opened the door and greeted the officers in a friendly manner. He told them the same he had told Mr. McAlister and Mr. Ewart that he was new and just moved here from London. Yet the thing that Mr. Lincoln left out was where he had been at the time that Coira had gone missing. The Detectives had identified a period of 4pm to 6pm, which was right before the neighbors including Mr. Lincoln had gone out looking for Coira. The detectives had to ask him where he was in that time period and what Mr. Lincoln told them did not convince. He claimed that he was home alone at the time. This brought up a problem. Mr. Lincolns alibi couldn’t be proved by anyone which meant that he was now the lead suspect of the case.

* * * * *

Chapter Three: Question time

The next morning the two detectives decided to make their way around the neighborhood to find the person that Mrs. McAlister had described to them the night before. It didn’t take them long. They had been walking along the street when they saw a big dumpster. Dumpsters were also known as the homes of the homeless. They opened it only to be met by a terrible smell of garbage and alcohol. Detective Irving held his nose together with his fingers and stared down into the darkness of the dumpster where there was a man lying at the bottom, covered in old newspapers, a bottle of wine in his hand. He seemed to be sleeping so the detectives woke him. Of course the homeless man was not happy about this but did as the detectives said after they threatened to put him in hand cuffs.

Yet he did refuse to tell the officers his name so in the end they did cuff him and take him to the station. To their annoyance his fingerprints were not in the system. They had to question him anyway. Detective Irving lead the interrogation. He asked the man if he knew why he was where he was. The man answered that it was because he couldn’t remember his own name. Irving laughed and explained that he was also suspected of having kidnapped a little girl. At this “John Doe” as they called him made big eyes and started laughing hysterically. “What would I want with a little girl? (Irving raised his eyebrows suggesting something) So that’s what I am for you people, a pedophile? Tell you what even if I did kidnap that girl where would I keep her? Ever asked yourself that?” Irving just shook his head and left the room. “He’s right you know, where would she be if he took her?” Hume asked his colleague after he had left the interrogation room.

* * * * *

Mr. Ewart on the other hand had convinced his wife that the best thing was to go on with life as normal and that the police would do their work and find their daughter. It was hard for Mrs. Ewart at first but then she agreed with the fact that there wasn’t anything she could do for her daughter at the moment and that it wouldn’t make anything better if she just forgot about everything else that she had to do. So both of them went on with life like it was just a normal day. Mr. Ewart went to work and Mrs. Ewart did house work and went grocery shopping.

However in the evening Mr. Ewart couldn’t take it anymore. He was frustrated that the police couldn’t do anything and that he just had to sit around and couldn’t help his little girl. So he started drinking, he needed to waste some time and get the whole thing out of his head. When he was tipsy he couldn’t get his head out of the situation anymore and got angry. He wanted to forget that this ever happened to him, but now he was surrounded by suspects and any one of them could be the culprit. When he thought of this he remembered that Mr. Lincoln was a suspect and he didn’t have an alibi. His brain convinced him that he was the one keeping his little girl captive. So he got up and walked toward the front door, when Mrs. Ewart asked where he was going he said that he just wanted a breath of fresh air, but he was planning something different. He walked over to Mr. Lincolns house and rang the doorbell. Mr. Lincoln opened the door and didn’t know what had hit him for Mr. Ewart had punched the man as soon as the door had opened far enough. “You disgusting little thing. How can you live with yourself? Abducting a little girl that has done nothing to you? What were you thinking? Where are you keeping her, bastard? Huh, where is she? And I swear by god if you hurt her in any way I will kill you myself.” He yelled at the bewildered man. Mr. Lincoln didn’t know what to do. Finally he decided that the only way he would be able to get Mr. Ewart to calm down was to call Mrs. Ewart. The woman was out of her mind when she heard what her husband had done. She came running over pulling at her husband. If Mr. Ewart hadn’t run out of energy after some time it would have ended badly, but her husband had finally gotten tired so that she could pull him back into their house. She put him to bed to which he thankfully didn’t complain and fell asleep sooner than she had expected.

* * * * *

Coira had woken up, because her stomach was growling. It seemed like she hadn’t eaten in forever. She sat up and was sad to find that she still was in the pink room. On the floor by the door there was a bowl of porridge and she just couldn’t resist it anymore. She took the spoon, filled it and shoved it into her mouth. To her it felt like there was nothing better on earth at the moment, but in the next moment she remembered where she was and the gloomy mood returned. She emptied the bowl as fast as she could and then went on to explore the room she was in a bit more. She was happy to find that there was paper and colored pencils. At least she wouldn’t be bored she thought, but she couldn’t shake the thought that she couldn’t go outside because she was locked in. It made tears roll down her cheeks and she decided that she would just lay in bed again and hope that she could fall asleep. She was slowly losing faith that anyone would ever find her. She felt lonely and thinking about this only made her sob more.

* * * * *

 

He had waited in front of the door of the pink room when he had placed the porridge bowl. He breathed out in relief as he heard Coira eating. He listened more, what was she doing? And he started fantasizing about him and her playing in the meadow, drawing and maybe even building a fort or a tree house in the forest nearby. He was ripped out of his day dream as he heard Coira sob. She wasn’t happy. What had he done wrong? He didn’t know. 

* * * * *

Coira couldn’t stand it any longer in the pink room. She started banging her fists against the door and yelling for help. Her little hands were reddened when she had finished her tantrum and was out of energy. She lay in bed and started thinking. It suddenly came to her mind that somehow her kidnapper was placing the food in the room, which meant that the door would have to open again at some point. She started thinking of a plan how to escape. She was going to hold the door open and then kick her kidnapper in “the nuts” as her mother called them.

* * * * *

Meanwhile Mr. Lincoln was pacing up and down in his home. He thought about what Mr. Ewart had said earlier that evening and was worried that he wasn’t the only one that thought that he was the culprit. Should he go tell the truth to the police? No, then everyone would be disgusted of him again, but what about the girl. He didn’t want to be held guilty for something that he didn’t do. This fight inside his head had been going on for the past day, since the police had questioned him about his alibi. Finally he couldn’t take the tension anymore and decided that he was going to go do the right thing and tell the truth. So he got into his car and drove to the police station. On the parking lot he sat in his car staring at the lamp post that was placed in front of him. “Mr. Lincoln is that you?” he looked up. Detective Hume was standing by his window. Shoot, they had noticed him so now there was no turning back anymore. “Yes, I wanted to come clean.” He said and got out of the car. He looked down at his hands, they were shaking and he felt light headed. “Come clean about what?” Hume asked. “Well I wasn’t completely honest about my alibi yesterday. I was not in my house at the time. I was with a male prostitute.” he stuttered. Hume raised his eyebrows but didn’t question him more. Then he asked if Mr. Lincoln knew the name of the prostitute for they had to make sure that he was telling the truth about his alibi and then Hume also lectured him that it was a crime to lie to the police for he was interfering in an important investigation. Then he was let go.

* * * * *

Hume called his colleague and they went to see the prostitute, Mr. Lincolns alibi checked out. That meant that they only suspect that the detectives had left was the homeless “John Doe”. Irving looked over at his partner as they drove back to the police station. “It’s getting to you isn’t it?” he asked. Hume didn’t answer he just focused more on the road and ignored what his partner had asked.

Later that evening Detective Hume went home, opened a bottle of whiskey and sat on his sofa. Why was this happening again? He had had a case similar to Coiras a few years back. The girl was never found and he still couldn’t shake the feeling that he had missed something when he had worked the case. As tiddly as he was he dialed the Ewarts phone number. Mrs. Ewart picked up “Yes, Ewart here.” She said. He took a long breath and said his name and found that he was promising Mrs. Ewart that he would bring back her daughter alive. Of course he had no way of telling if Coira was still alive or if they would ever find her and it was certainly the last thing a Detective was to do in a situation like this.

* * * * *

Coira on the other hand was getting nervous. She was laying in bed listening intently. Soon the door would have to open so her kidnapper could bring her food and that would be her chance. She heard footsteps above and decided it was time to hide behind the door. She had formed her pillows and placed them under the blanket so that it looked like she was sleeping in the bed.

It felt to her as if she were standing behind that door for forever. She was holding her breath so that it couldn’t be heard from the outside. Finally she heard the steps again. It sounded as if they were coming closer. Her heart started racing and she felt it pound harder and harder in her chest. She looked down at her hands, they were shaking. Suddenly she felt as if her heart had stopped when the door knob was turning. The next second the door opened. She grabbed it and pulled as hard as she could. Her kidnapper seemed shocked so he didn’t react right away, but he was fast enough to keep Coira from kicking him. Coira struggled as he lifted her up and placed her in the bed. Finally she could get a good look at him, but he was wearing a mask, so she couldn’t tell much, but even with the mask the person seemed familiar to her.

* * * * *

 

He hadn’t expected her to try and escape. He was mad at himself of not thinking about the chance. She was unhappy, so of course she would try to escape from him. He hoped that he hadn’t hurt her when he had put her back in the bed. Thankfully she had turned away and given up the escape plan, otherwise he would have had to tie her to the bed and he didn’t want that, he wanted her to have freedom and be happy. Happy and his friend.

* * * * *

Coira had decided that there was no use trying to escape more when he had picked her up. She knew that she would never be strong enough or fast enough against a fully grown man. Now she was laying under the pink sheets again crying for the hundredth time. She knew now that her kidnapper was a man, but she didn’t know if she should be happy about that. Then she remembered the stories that her mother had told her about the bad men that did bad stuff to kids and that when her mother talked it always seemed to be a man, the thought of the stories scared her. What if this man wanted to do something with her body? And how would she be able to protect herself? She thought about ways until deep into the night and then finally fell asleep.

* * * * *

 

 

Chapter Four: Second try

Senior Detective Hume woke up with a huge headache, it had been a while since he had gone this overboard. He couldn’t remember much of the night before, but he knew that he had called someone and promised something, probably about the girl that was missing. He checked his phone record and no doubt he had called the Ewarts. The only comforting fact about the phone call was that he could tell that he didn’t say much for the duration of the call was only three minutes.

As he walked into the station that morning he thought about the case again, where could John Doe keep the little girl captive? The only answer that popped into his mind wasn’t a nice one, somewhere in a dumpster or buried. His mind was also fighting with the fact that he had to tell Detective Irving what he had done the night before. He sure wasn’t proud of it and he also knew that it was a mistake. This is also what Detective Irving told him when he finally came clean about his evening sins.

* * * * *

After Coira had gotten up she planned her second escape. She remembered her father showing her a trick with keys that were on the outside of a locked door. He had pushed a piece of paper under the crack of the door. He then shook the door knob and kicked the door slightly. Coira remembered hearing the clink of the key as it fell to the ground. He had then told her to carefully pull the key on the piece of paper back through the crack under the door. She knew that if she was going to try this she would have to wait for the night so that the chance of him hearing her was smaller. So she spent the day thinking about nice things in the hope that the time would go by somewhat faster that way.

* * * * *

He was getting more worried about Coira now. He was happy that she finally was eating, but he knew that she still wasn’t happy and if she wasn’t happy all of this would be for nothing. Another thing that worried him was that the Detectives were getting closer to the case. If they figured out he was the kidnapper… he couldn’t bear to think about the consequences. His wife would definitely leave him and he doubted he would get away without time. And what would Coira think? No, he couldn’t think more about this it would distract him more.

* * * * *

 

The day was dull for the Detectives, they tried reasoning with John Doe again. They hoped that now that he was sober he would come to his senses, but no he still wouldn’t or couldn’t tell them his identity. And soon they would have to let him go. Since they had no proof that he had something to do with the case.

In the afternoon Senior Detective Hume had had enough of John Doe. He was angry and frustrated, so he made another mistake. He calmly went into the interrogation room. He didn’t tell Irving what he was going to do so he was completely alone with John Doe. He grabbed the homeless drunks collar and pulled him up onto his feet. “Where do you have the little girl you sick bastard?” Hume yelled at him. John Doe stared at him in horror and only started whining and saying that Hume wasn’t allowed to do what he was doing and that he was going to pay for it. Hume only laughed at the threats, there was no one watching and who would his boss believe more a homeless drunk or a Detective that has been on the force for more than ten years.

Irving had walked by the interrogation room when he had heard the screams. He looked through the mirror glass on the outside of the room and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His colleague was physically attacking a suspect. He instantly opened the door and pulled the detective off of the suspect. After Hume had calmed down, he looked into the eyes of Irving full of guilt. The other didn’t respond with pity, no all there was in Irvings eyes was anger and incomprehensiveness. He would have to tell their boss about this and his colleague would suffer charges and probably lose his job but this was the right thing to do at that moment.

Hume was immediately suspended and pulled of the case. After a tantrum in the police station he finally accepted his fate and left without saying another word. He felt stabbed, stabbed in the back by his friend. Later that night he thought about what he had done and realized that Irving had done the right thing.

* * * * *

After Coiras kidnapper had brought her dinner she waited for about an half an hour and then as soon as she was sure that there were no more footsteps above her she decided to start her plan. It was dead silent and she was lucky when the key fell to the ground with the first kick she gave the door. Her heart was now pounding like crazy, it felt like it would jump out of her chest any second.

 

Coira looked around the corner of the door. There was a staircase leading upwards, the only reason she could see it was that there was light shining through a crack at the top of the stairs. It looked to her as if there was another door at the top of the stairs. Despair reached her thoughts as she assumed that it too would be locked, but she wouldn’t know until she tried. She walked to the foot of the stairs and stood there for a second. She listened intently. What if her kidnapper was still awake and in the house? How would she be able to get past him? She lifted her right foot and set it on the first step up. She pushed herself up and prayed that the step wouldn’t creak. She did this about twenty times until she was almost at the top of the stairs. Finally on the last step she was shocked, a loud creaking noise had come from it when she put down her second foot. Her heart stopped for a second as she listened to see if anyone had heard her. Nothing. She then as silently as possible tried to turn the door knob, and to her surprise it was not locked. The door screeched a little when she pushed it open, but again no one seemed to have heard it. As soon as she adjusted her eyes to the light she noticed that the place where she was seemed familiar, but she couldn’t think of why. She didn’t worry about it long for the fear of being caught was bigger than the desire to know where she was.

On her tip toes she made her way to the front door that was at the end of the hallways where the staircase had come up. She turned the knob, it opened and made a terrible sound. Shocked Coira pulled open the door all the way and created more noise than she wanted. She ran in the first direction she could think of was smart, a forest. Her feet carried her through the trees, her head wouldn’t dare to turn around and see if someone was following her. Just the thought of it made her run faster. Finally she couldn’t take it anymore. While running she turned her head, nothing seemed to be following her. A feeling of relief swept over her, but in the next second she tripped over roots of a tree and fell. Next came a throbbing pain to her head and everything went black. The last thing she could feel was the water around her. Or was it water? That’s when the light in the little girl went out. 

* * * * *

It was early in the morning when Detective Irving got a call from the police station. A hunter had found a little girls body. He immediately got up and informed the Ewarts. They had to come and identify the body and then made his way to the crime scene hoping for answers.

* * * * *

 

Mrs. Ewart had been laying awake in bed when the phone rang. She had picked up and listened to what the detective had had to say. She then hung up and collapsed by the phone. Her husband found her a few minutes later, for he had been woken by her fall. He tried comforting his wife, but she couldn’t stop sobbing. Her breaths were rigid and Mr. Ewart was afraid that she would start hyperventilating soon. After a while he finally got her to tell him what had happened. She explained and started crying harder again when she realized what she was saying to her husband. Mr. Ewart tried to calm his wife some more he said that there was still a chance that it wasn’t Coira that they had found, only this didn’t really make it any better for then she would still be kept captive somewhere or be dead somewhere else. The situation was impossible and he couldn’t handle it any longer. He called Mrs. McAlister so that she could come over and look after his wife while he would go to the scene in hope of not finding his dead daughter there.

* * * * *

Detective Irving arrived at the scene. It was already crawling with other officers and forensic sciene people. They had roped off a large area around the body. He looked over to where a lump was laying on the floor. It was covered in a white sheet and the stations coroner was crouched over it. Probably figuring out the time of death. He looked up and saw Detective Irving standing there. “I’m sorry, but the description fits to the missing girl. It seems that she died about 10 hours ago, so early last night” the coroner told Irving. “Have you found the cause of death?” he asked. “Well it seems like it was the blunt force trauma to her head, but then again she might as well have drowned. We found her laying face down in the river. Did you inform the parents of the missing girl that they had to come and identify their daughter?” Irving nodded at the question, but didn’t say anything more as he stared at the white sheet on the ground.

Soon one of the officers also present at the scene came up to him and showed him the hunter who had found the body. Irving walked over to him and asked him some questions. He answered with the same answer of the gruesome image of the girl laying face downward in the river.

* * * * *

 

He walked toward the scene of the police officers. It couldn’t be her or could it. No this negative energy wouldn’t help him, what would he do if it was her. It was his fault that she was dead. Oh he hoped that she hadn’t died with a lot of pain. What was he thinking, it couldn’t be her, why would she be dead? These thoughts ran through his head as he made his way to the crime scene. There were people gathered behind the tape, staring at what looked like a white sheet. He went to go stand by them.

* * * * *

Mr. Ewart had arrived, he wasn’t sure what to do so at first he just stood behind the people that were staring in a direction. At first he hadn’t been able to see what they were looking at, but it looked like it was a white sheet. Only as he got a bit closer he noticed that there was a body under that sheet.

Suddenly Detective Irving noticed Mr. Ewart standing behind the other spectators. He went over to him and let him onto the crime scene. Mr. Ewart seemed to be nervous now. His hand was slightly shaking. Irving couldn’t think of what the man was going through at the moment, but he knew that he couldn’t let himself get distracted by emotions and feelings or he would end up the same as Senior Detective Hume. So he led Coiras father to the body. The coroner uncovered her face, Mr. Ewart took one look and then looked away. There were tears streaming down his face now. He felt light headed and as if he would collapse any second. Irving clapped him on the shoulder and suggested that he would drive him home to his wife and so he did.

* * * * *

Mrs. Ewart was still crouched on the floor, next to her sat Mrs. McAlister who had been trying to comfort her. They were waiting for Mr. Ewart to come back from the crime scene. Mrs. Ewarts heart froze as she heard the motor of a car pulling into the drive way. What would he say? Was it Coira? What would she do with herself if it was her little baby girl? The thought just caused her to start sobbing again. Meanwhile Mrs. McAlister had gotten up and walked to the front door. She opened the door and could tell from the colorless face that was looking at her that it had been Coira who had been found dead. She shook her head and tried to comfort Mr. Ewart as he walked past her like a ghost.

 

Next came Detective Irving, he told Mrs. McAlister that he would stay with the Ewarts for the moment and that she should go home. He then walked to the living room where he found the Ewarts sitting on the sofa now. Both of them seemed lifeless. He calmly said that he was sorry for their loss. He then explained that the forensic scientist had informed him that there was hardly any evidence on Coiras body since she had been laying in the water and evidence had probably been swept away. He knew that this wouldn’t comfort the Ewarts, but he had to do his job and this was his job. He explained that he would keep looking for the culprit, but there was a good chance that the case would never be fully closed. After he had said all of this he left them.

Detective Irving thought it was only fair that he would inform Hume too. He called the detective and as he had expected Hume had been drinking, he could clearly hear it in his voice. He decided that it wouldn’t matter if he told him when he was sober or in this state, it would only make matters worse anyway. So he calmly explained what had happened, after he was done Hume didn’t say a thing. There was dead silence over the phone for a minute and then the Senior Detective hung up.

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Five: Guilt and Sorrow

He was pacing up and down in the bedroom. His wife laying on the bed sleeping. He couldn’t believe that she was really dead. He was never going to be able to hold her again and it was all his fault. He couldn’t live with himself anymore. He hadn’t slept at all, he had to tell the police that he was the one who took Coira, but then he would be arrested and what would his wife think. She would most definitely leave him after something like this.

He lay down in bed next to his wife. How could he the father of the innocent girl abduct his own daughter? How had he been so selfish to keep her to himself? Only because she looked like his childhood friend that had disappeared? He felt ashamed of himself and he was angry at what he had done, but the biggest question in his mind was what he was to do now. If he went to the police everyone would hate him, but then again if he didn’t he wouldn’t be able to live with himself and all the guilt. His biggest worry was that his wife would leave him. He couldn’t be alone. A devilish voice in his head said that he wouldn’t be alone in prison. Surrounded by all of the other inmates, some might even want something from him.

After about two more hours of his head fighting with his heart he decided that he had to do the right thing, and he would start by telling his wife what he had done. He kissed her on her cheek and slowly woke her. “I need to tell you something.” He said starting to stutter. She was still half asleep and didn’t have her eyes open yet, but she nodded and gestured that she was listening. “I took Coira. I brought her to my mothers’ house and kept her in the room of the basement. I didn’t want her to die. That wasn’t my plan. She just reminded me of the girl from my childhood that I had loved so much and had disappeared when we were children. I thought I had found my friend again and well you were in my way so I took her. I am so sorry, I didn’t want it to end like this.” Now Mrs. Ewart turned around and stared at her husband. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. He had to be kidding or this was a dream. She started pinching herself, nothing, so it wasn’t a dream.  She looked at the now crouching man in front of her. This wasn’t the man she married this was some kind of monster and all of it wasn’t real. She asked him thousands of questions, for example where he had gotten the time to kidnap their daughter, she didn’t believe half of the things that she was saying, but it seemed to be true for he had an answer to every question. He had lost his job and had not told her. In all the time that she had thought that he was working he had spent taking care of his mother, who suffered from dementia. Mrs. Ewart had never met her for he had never mentioned that she was still alive. When it dawned on her that he really was telling the truth and only the truth she yelled at him to stop lying to her, because she

didn’t want to believe anything of what was happening. All he did was sit there and cry. It seemed like forever to him until she had stopped yelling. He hadn’t even heard half of what she had said, but he knew that he was no longer welcome near her or in the house. He had now ruined his whole life. When he had planned abducting his daughter he hadn’t thought of the consequences it would have if something went wrong.

* * * * *

Detective Irving came walking out of the police station when he saw Mr. Ewart sitting in his parked car in front of the station. It was just like a couple of days ago when Mr. Lincoln had sat there in the same spot. Irving walked over to the car and knocked on the window. Mr. Ewart was startled as he saw the detective standing in front of the window. He opened the door and stood next to the man. What Irving didn’t know was that earlier Mr. Ewart had put his gun, which he kept in the car, in his jacket pocket. He knew that this was the end of his life. He would never be the same person again, but he had to do it there was no other way. Now that his soon to be ex-wife knew about what he had done, she would probably tell the police herself if he didn’t do it first and then there would be a hunt for him and where was he supposed to go? His mothers? No, they would look there first probably. Suddenly he got scared and noticed that he was leaving his sick mother to herself. He was leaving and by the time he would get back she would probably be dead. He hadn’t had time to say goodbye to her. Thinking of this tears started rolling down his cheeks again. “Are you alright?” Detective Irving, who was still standing next to him, asked. He nodded and walked toward the police station. Irving didn’t know what he was doing so he just silently followed.

There was hardly any noise in the police station. Everyone seemed to be working, not noticing the sad man walking through the corridor. Suddenly he stopped and turned around, he faced Detective Irving. “I need to tell you something. I am my daughters kidnapper.” He said as he pulled the gun from his coat pocket.

Detective Irving thought the time had stopped. He had seen Mr. Ewart reaching for his pocket. What was he taking out, a gun. He pointed his own weapon at the man in front of him, but it was too late. Mr. Ewart had said his last words and had shot himself in the head in front of the detective. The noise attracted attention from the other officers who came around the corners with their weapons pulled. They saw the accident in front of them and looked at the detective. He just stood there, frozen. His mind racing with thoughts. What had just happened? Why had this happened? The world no longer made sense to him.

* * * * *

Epilogue:

Mrs. Ewart was never the same again. She eventually married another man and became a step mother of two boys, but she never loved them as much as she had loved her Coira. Before she had moved away from Edinburgh she had visited her husbands, David Ewarts, mother and looked at where Coira had spent her last hours of life. That was when she had decided to put that part of her life behind her.

Mr. Ewarts Mother died shortly after Mrs. Ewarts visit. She was alone for several days, until the police noticed that she needed help to live. For the last few days in her life she had a caretaker that she didn’t like at all. He later said that he thought she might’ve died just to get away from him.

Senior Detective Hume went to court for his actions. He was fined for attacking a suspect and lost his job as police officer. Since he was already older he decided to spend the rest of his life in retirement and later moved to an old people home where Detective Irving still visited from time to time.

Detective Irving got over the case fairly soon. He was forced to see a psychiatrist to keep his job as a detective. He still is in the force and has now taken Humes place as Senior Detective.


© Copyright 2018 Jamie Maier. All rights reserved.

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