Original/PG-13 for reference to child molestation
Thanks to beta reader, my best friend Jamie, for proofing story.E-mail your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
She thought she knew why. Turned out she only thought she knew why. Why she remained holding the bloodied length of rebar, rivulets of blood flowing down to drop onto the pavement. The police demanded she drop the rebar. Instead she stared at the body in front of her. How could she take a life? Was she not the same woman who just last week ran after an elderly man who had forgotten his thirty-five cents change at the grocery store? And what about the little girl who giggled while she petted her dachshund, Waldo? She always made time for her. The rebar clattered on the ground.
Friday, two days earlier:
Kate Hurley sat at her desk looking at but not seeing the financial printout on her desk. No, Kate was in New York City, walking about Times Square eating a slice of New York pizza, not at her desk in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She jumped at the realization that her name was just yelled. “Sorry, Bob”, she stammered. “I was looking over these papers”, which she held up for her coworker to see.
Bob knew that was a bald faced lie. “Kate, as fascinating as travel receipts are from the sales department, wouldn’t it be more interesting to be daydreaming about, say, New York?”
The flush on her face told Bob he got it right again. The smirk on his tanned face made Kate laugh. “It was a good vacation and I have only been back a few days. So tell me, what do you want, Bob?”
“Just wanted to see where you stood on those quarterlies and to ask if you’re graduating in June?”
Kate’s faced beamed with pride. The nearly 30 something bookkeeper was so proud of finally finishing her bachelor’s degree in accounting. “Yes, and I’ll be taking the CPA exam in the fall!” After nine years of part-time studies she would become an accountant.
Later in the day, Kate hurried home. As she stepped through the front door of her condo she yelled, “Where’s Waldo?”
Soon came running a red miniature dachshund whose nails had sounded his impending arrival. “There’s Waldo”, exclaimed Kate as she picked up her little dog. With his tail wagging and a tongue delivering the best doggie kisses, Kate was welcomed home.
“How about you and me heading to the park to meet some of your doggie friends?” More kisses were bestowed on a face now nearly void of make-up. Kate grabbed his leash, some extra plastic bags and off they went, doggie and doggie mommy.
On their way to the park, the pair met up with 5 year old Esperanza and her mother in their front yard. “Quieres Waldo mascota?” The little girl looked at her mother who nodded her head. Esperanza slowly walked over, squatted, and then petted the little dog saying, “Donde esta, Waldo?” The girl giggled as Waldo licked her face.
Waldo and Kate spent time at the park then came back home where Kate readied her condo for a pot luck dinner party. This month, the dinner was at her place so she cleaned the rooms, then drove the two short blocks to the small shopping area where she dropped off dry cleaning and went to the grocery store.
While shopping for groceries, Kate ran into Claudia Phillips, an eccentric local artist. Mrs. Phillips took Kate’s arm with a friendly squeeze and stated, “Honey, you nearly scared my husband out of the last years of his life just to give him 35 cents! We’re both 85 and I want to keep him around a few more years.” The woman gave Kate a peck on the cheek leaving her to finish shopping.
It was a quiet Sunday morning in Kate’s neighborhood. She grabbed the leash and ever present plastic bags asking “Where’s Waldo?” Waldo was already pawing at the door ready to go out. While walking, Kate noticed a man talking with Esperanza, one hand on the girl’s shoulder the other going into her pants. It was such a bold move out in the open that Kate could not believe what she was seeing. The little girl locked onto Kate’s eyes, and then she screamed “Waldo!” That scream made the man look up. Seeing he was caught in the act, he ran away. Esperanza’s mother had come running out of her home yelling “Tio Eddie!”
Kate picked up Waldo, handed him to the girl and her mother then started running after the man. She was not a runner; in fact, she hated gym class in school. She had to catch him for hurting Esperanza. He was her uncle, family. How could he do it?
She managed to catch up with him behind the shopping center, in the alley. It was a dead-end. “I’m calling the police,” she yelled. Kate reached for her cell phone, but it was no longer clipped to her belt. It had fallen off during the chase.
Eddie saw his chance. Looking at her with hooded eyes he slowly walked toward her saying, “I won’t hurt you if you promise not to tell.”
His words and the look on his face took her back 20 years. Kate had gone next door to see her best friend, Jill. She said hello to Jill’s mother then ran upstairs to Jill’s room. Kate opened the door to her friend’s room and she saw Jill’s father, a large man with bright red hair like his little girl’s. His hand was inside her panties and he said to his daughter, “It’s just you and me, promise not to tell mommy.” Jill’s eyes had locked onto Kate’s.
Kate ran back downstairs almost running over her friend’s mom. The next day, Jill’s house was for sale and Kate’s parents refused to tell her why.
Eddie closed in on Kate. There was a length of rebar near her feet. She picked it up and swung wildly, catching Eddie on the side of his head. His hand went up reflexively but all he felt was pain and saw the blood pouring from the gash.
Another blow was followed by another and still another. He was on the ground, Kate still beating him with the rebar yelling, “You don’t touch little girls! You don’t hurt family!” Kate then stopped and stood there, the bloodied rebar in her hand.
“Put your weapon down, ma’am. This is the police. Put your weapon down.”
A gentle hand touched her arm. A soothing voice next to her whispered “Put the bar down, Honey. I called the police, You’re OK.” It was Claudia Phillips.
The rebar clattered to the ground. As the police rushed in, Mrs. Phillips looked at the officers and boldly said, “I saw it all officer. Take my statement.”
More police came on the scene. Esperanza’s mother came over with an officer while Esperanza sat in the back of the squad car with another officer and Waldo.
THE ENDReturn to the Academy