Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 13

            Caleb’s dad was back in the office, exactly where he would expect to be after yet another kidnapping. His unit was still at the scene of the crime, trying futilely to find clues as to who had done it or where they might have taken their prisoners. Once again, Mr. Henry found himself at the station grilling the witnesses for details. The only difference was that this time, the witness was his own son. The gas station attendant had been less than helpful since he had been in the back of the store when the abduction occurred, but here was the gold mine of information: Caleb. Or Mr. Henry could only hope. The doctor had said that he was not seriously injured, but he didn’t know what the blow might have done to his memory. With any luck, his testimony would still be more helpful than those of previous witnesses.

            “Ok, son, tell me exactly how the thing went down,” Mr. Henry said. Caleb quickly sketched out the details of the events for his father. Once again, the account was infuriatingly short of useful information. Just as the devil could be in the details, hopefully the answer would be there this time.
            “Tell me everything specific that you can remember about the kidnappers, their vehicle, their actions,” Mr. Henry said. “Anything can help, so tell me whatever you remember.”
            “It’s all a little fuzzy,” Caleb answered. “I can remember the events pretty well, but the details…it’s like there are only shadows in this memory.”
            “Can you remember anything at all?” Mr. Henry asked in a frustrated tone. This was the first witness in a while that he actually trusted to get the details right and he had a rather inconvenient case of partial memory loss.
            “Well,” Caleb said slowly, “as I recall, I couldn’t make out any details on either of the attackers. It was like they were wearing masks, or maybe hoods.” Mr. Henry shook his head in disappointment, but Caleb continued. “I did hear them speak and one of them was definitely a woman while the other was a man.”
            Mr. Henry grabbed up his pencil which he had thrown down just before and began to scribble on a pad. The conversation was being recorded, but he liked to have his own handwritten notes. He was about to ask another question, when his son continued.
            “The vehicle,” Caleb said and rubbed his head as if it would help the memory come back. “There was a van, a dark van, that they used.” Mr. Henry was scribbling again. “No, that wasn’t the kidnappers’ van,” Caleb amended. “They used a car, gray I think. There was something about the car that seemed, I don’t know, familiar to me. Maybe I’ve seen it before.”
            “Think harder,” Mr. Henry prodded. “Where have you seen it? Do you know who it belongs to? Any idea what the plate numbers are?”
            “I don’t know, I can’t remember,” Caleb answered. “I’ve been thinking about it since I woke up at the gas station, but I don’t know what about the car stuck out in my mind. The best that I can figure is that it was familiar, but I can’t swear to that. Maybe there was just an odd feature that I can’t remember.”
            Mr. Henry had to reign his frustration in to keep himself from shouting at his son. This was the closest that he had ever some to a real lead in this case, and now a case of memory loss was going to stop him before he even got started.
            “Keep thinking about it, Caleb,” Mr. Henry said. “I’ll take you home and you can sleep on it. Maybe the rest will help you remember.”
            “Okay, dad,” Caleb agreed. “By the way, who were the people that got kidnapped?”
            “One of them lives right down the street from us,” Mr. Henry answered, consulting his case file. “Kristy Brown is her name. The other one was one of her friends.”
            Caleb was shocked to say the least. Of all the answers that his father could have given, that was the one that he least expected. This had suddenly become personal. He would force himself to remember who had done this, and they would be brought to justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment