This is an original short story written by Edward Fagan.

 Missing child abducted close to her parents

Missing their abducted child, the Riley’s are doing everything in their power to get her back in their custody. The Rileys experience is one of shock, loss and utter pain.

Crystal Riley 7, frequently plays in the park not far from her home. She, however, only plays in the presence of her parents John and Maria Riley. The Riley’s are usually vigilant in keeping a watchful eye on their only child. On this occasion, Crystal’s parents stand their usual several yards away from her, but they are speaking with a couple. This conversation lasts about half an hour.

The couple with whom the Rileys speak receive a phone call and suddenly depart. They are polite while leaving and bid the Rileys good bye.

The Riley’s then attempt to take their daughter home; but Crystal is nowhere in sight. At first the Riley’s don’t think that Crystal is missing. They look everywhere in the park, speaking with adults and children expecting to find Crystal. After about 45 minutes, the Rileys become convinced that Crystal is indeed missing.

The Riley’s immediately call the police who respond very swiftly.

Missing child and parents, about

The Rileys (each is an Ivy League graduate) both work in law enforcement. They think that this might be a contributing factor to their daughter’s plight.

Maria Riley 35, is a skilful prosecutor of some ten years experience. She served as an Assistant District Attorney for five years. She has been serving as a District Attorney following her appointment to this post five years ago. Maria Riley’s sound arguments in court have resulted in the prosecution of many accused persons.

John Riley 38, is an erudite state court judge. He also has six years experience in this position. John Riley is a former District Attorney of several years experience; and he has successfully argued against many accused persons. His rulings as a state court judge have also resulted in the prosecution of many accused persons.

Crystal Riley 7, the abducted daughter and only child of the Rileys, is doing exceptionally well at school. She is also very good at remembering faces, names, phone numbers and addresses. She knows her parents’ names, phone numbers, and home and work addresses.

The Riley’s are hoping that somehow, their daughter can use her cleverness to help them find her.

Missing child and the investigation

Police are investigating the abduction around the clock. Police and the national guard are searching to locate the child and acquire any evidence of, and apprehend, the abductors. The media are announcing information relevant to finding Crystal and apprehending her abductors. They are asking persons to come forward with any information that can help in the investigation.

All parties involved in finding Crystal Riley, such as the police and media, continue working briskly to find her. The Riley’s and police are prepared for calls from a likely kidnapper. The Rileys offer an attractive reward to anyone who provides information that leads to finding Crystal.

Persons formerly prosecuted by one or both Rileys are the chief suspects for the police. The police have questioned some such persons and released them for lack of evidence against them. The police are seeking other such persons in connection with Crystal’s disappearance.

Missing child and a turn in the investigation

Sergeant Paul Lashley, a member of the investigating team, thinks contrary to the other members of the team. He has a completely different suspect in mind. He questions the Rileys about the couple to whom they spoke in the park. Sergeant Lashley thinks this couple, to whom the Riley’s spoke, performed a role in Crystal’s disappearance.

“Why were they checking their watches so frequently while speaking with the Rileys? Why did they end the conversation and departed so suddenly after a phone call to which they responded “OK, fine” ? What was that phone call about? From whom did that phone call come?” Sergeant Lashley asks himself in his notes.

The Blackburns probably are still performing some task in connection with the custody of Crystal. They, perhaps, are in contact with her abductors, Sergeant Lashley thinks.

Sergeant Lashley notes a few things about the couple, Jane and Richard Blackburn. They mentioned their names to the Rileys and drove away in an empty car. They parked in an open area before driving away, easily revealing their registration plates.

He observes that the Blackburns display freedom from fear of suspicion. He thinks this can be helpful in leading the investigation to Crystal’s abductors; and he conceals all evidence of police suspicion from the Blackburns.

Missing child, the investigation continues

Sergeant Paul Lashley continues working determinedly to find and free Crystal Riley and arrest her abductors. Toward this end, he does a background check on the Blackburns which turns up clean. It also reveals they are owners of a successful retail business.

He then asks and receives the Rileys permission to show around photos of Crystal to selected persons. These persons, hopefully, might have information that could lead to her location. He shows around such photos for almost a week without a helpful response.Then something happens during the following week.

Missing child and the hope of finding her

A middle aged lady who sees the photos says that she saw Crystal walking reluctantly with someone to a car. Crystal was walking with a man in his forties. She says it was clear that Crystal was sad, unhappy and fearful of him. This lady says she noted the car and took its registration number in case this could be of help later.

Several other persons give vivid eye witness accounts similar to this one. Two other persons give similar accounts which indicate this man taking Crystal to the Blackburn’s retail store.

The vehicle’s registration number leads to a James Wickham who perfectly fits the eye witnesses description of the vehicle’s driver. The police arrest and question James Wickham and check his background. His criminal record shows that he has abducted children in the past for hire.

The police question him about the Blackburns; and he strongly denies knowing them. The police tell James Wickham about his phone call to Jane Blackburn on the day of Crystal’s abduction. James Wickham then says that he knows the Blackburns. He also says that the Blackburns paid him to abduct Crystal. The police charge him with Crystal’s abduction and custody.

James Wickham says that he does not know where Crystal Riley is. He says this because he handed her over to a couple whose name and address he does not know. He says he handed her over on a lonely country road a week after he abducted her; and the Blackburns set up the handing over of her to the couple.

Missing, the police find Chrystal alive 

The police arrest Jane and Richard Blackburn and question them in connection with Crystal’s disappearance. The police, however, do not tell the Blackburns that they arrested and questioned James Wickham. Officers question Jane and Richard Blackburn about James Wickham; and they deny knowing him.

The police then tell them about the phone call he made to them during their conversation with Crystal’s parents. The Blackburns admit to knowing James Wickham. They then admit their involvement in Crystal’s abduction. Jane Blackburn and her husband hired and paid the abductor. The money, however, was provided by the couple who received Crystal. The police charge the Blackburns with their involvement in the abduction and custody of Crystal.

Jane and Richard Blackburn say that they were just trying to assist a couple who truly love children.

This couple, they say, desire to have children but are incapable of becoming biological parents. The couple are always unsuccessful whenever they try to legally adopt a child. They have exhausted all legal avenues for adopting a child, without any success.

Richard Blackburn, gives the police the names and address of the couple to whom James Wickham gave Crystal. Mark and Janice Stuart received Crystal from her abductor, James Wickham. The police raid the home of the Stuarts, taking Crystal and arresting the Stuarts.

In police custody, the Stuarts reiterate all that the Blackburns told the police. The police, likewise, charge the Stuarts according to their part in the abduction and illegal custody of Crystal.

Missing child happily reunites with parents

Crystal returns to her parents who delight at her presence and receive her with much joy, and tears. John and Maria Riley are effusive in their expression of physical and other affection toward Crystal.

Crystal says that the Stuarts treated her like a princess, but they prevented her from using the phone. She says that the man who took her also treated her kindly. She says that she fear him because he is a stranger who took her without her parents consent.

A medical practitioner examines Crystal and finds her to be without any injuries. A psychiatrist also assesses Crystal and says she is not adversely affected by her recent abduction.

By Edward Fagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an original short story written by Edward Fagan.

The accident happens 

The accident occurs as Ryan hears a loud sound which makes him very alert. He thus is suddenly aware once again that he is driving. He is unable to give an account of his driving for the last couple of minutes. Ryan did not lose consciousness during this time due to any illness.

Ryan thinks he fell asleep while driving and struck an object. He struck this object, whatever it is, very hard given the loudness of sound heard. Ryan wants to know what object he struck.

It is 02: 15 a.m. and outside is chilly and dark. Ryan is traveling on a long stretch of winding road that runs through a large, forested and ecologically diverse area. The forest contains wildlife, and there is a lake and a river in the area. This forested area is located in a remote country region.

The accident and its background

Ryan was driving toward home while he was under the influence of alcohol. He had spent several hours drinking at a pub in a nearby county prior to the start of this journey.

Ryan stopped drinking at pubs and bars in his home county just over a year ago. He stopped because his drinking and behaviour had given him a bad reputation there.

His drinking and behaviour were also affecting his relationship with his family and his work. Ryan’s wife threatened him with divorce, and his boss warned him about the prospect of dismissal from his job.

He even once injured one of his neighbour’s sons while driving under alcoholic influence. He, however, made an out of court settlement with the boy’s family over that accident.

Ryan promised his family and his boss that he would not repeat that mistake. He also promised to control his drinking and change his behaviour. Ryan, therefore, can not afford to become involved in an accident where he is driving under alcoholic influence. He even more so, can not afford to become involved in an accident that causes injury or death to someone.

The accident, Ryan conducts an investigation

Ryan is very apprehensive about the accident. He slows to a stop, takes his flashlight from the cubby and leaves the twin cab pickup truck. The object he struck, is what Ryan is trying to find out.

He slowly walks around the truck, looking carefully on the ground. He expects to discover any fixed or moveable object struck by him while he was driving. Ryan also looks underneath the truck.

He does not see any object, animate or inanimate, that he might have struck while driving. Ryan then decides to check the truck for any sign of damage caused by collision with an object. He now carefully focusses the flashlight’s beam on the pickup truck itself, slowly and meticulously.

Before completing a full circle around the truck during its inspection, Ryan sees damage. He sees two dents that he’s sure weren’t there before. One dent is located in the area of the upper to lower part of the front bumper. It is equidistant from both bumper ends. The other dent is located in the area of the upper to middle part of the grill. This dent is just above the dent in the bumper.

Ryan continues to inspect the truck and completes a full circle of movement around it. He sees no other damage. He struck a movable object, no doubt, but what and where is it?

The accident and Ryan’s further investigation

Ryan parked on the right hand side of the road. He struck the object, whatever it is, on this side of the road. The middle of the front of the vehicle is the part that struck the object. This is so based on the location of the dents on the vehicle.

“I don’t have any clues concerning where to start looking for the object I struck. Perhaps I should start looking in the wooded area to my right.”, Ryan thinks. “Standing close to this area, maybe I could start here.”, Ryan reasons. Ryan starts to walk away from the pickup truck in the direction in which he was driving. He thus walks along the right hand side of the road.

Using his flashlight as he slowly walks along, Ryan looks attentively into the wooded area to his right. He looks as far as the flashlight beam would allow him to see. Walking steadily, he only stops occasionally to pay closer attention to some area that looks darker.

Sometimes he sees a fallen tree limb, other times he sees a small clearing. Hikers and campers do make these clearings at times. He even sees the decaying, partial remains of a deer.

Ryan continues walking slowly and steadily, carefully checking and stopping for a while every now and then. Still, he sees nothing unusual. He does not even see an insect or small animal of any kind.

Then, he sees something that looks unusual; and he starts to worry. Ryan sees a freshly made, narrow foot path. “Who made this foot path and why did they make it?”, Ryan wonders. “Where does it lead?”, he asks.

The accident scene and Ryan’s discovery

Ryan decides to walk off the road and through the tract to its ending. “I hope this isn’t the worst that it can be.”, he says to himself. He worries more and more about a painful outcome from this walk. He worries as he goes deeper into the woods and toward the end of the tract.

Ryan continues using his flashlight as he did earlier. Suddenly, in the faintly lit distance, he sees something that looks unusual. He wishes it offers the prospect of hope rather than that of despair.

Ryan walks ahead and sees what looks like the end of the tract leading to a small clearing. In this clearing, Ryan sees a motionless human-like object. He continues walking toward the clearing and the human-like object. Ryan sees something that extremely shocks him when he finally gets to the clearing, and he faints.

He returns to his normal self but remains in a state of acute fear. He looks at a fully dressed human, a male, who appears to be in his 40’s. This man is lying on his back and motionless. Ryan draws closer and examines him but does not see any external wounds, bleeding or other evidence of physical injury.

Bending over, Ryan checks his pulse and body temperature, and examines his eyes. Ryan thinks he’s dead. “I just killed a man in a vehicular accident”,  Ryan whispers in a sad tone.

The accident and Ryan’s response to his discovery

Ryan glances at his watch and notes that it is 03: 30 a.m. Ryan worries that he has now killed a man while driving under the influence of alcohol. He knows that he has a much higher level of alcohol in his blood than the legal maximum level. Ryan fears that the sheriff’s office will notice his state of intoxication if he goes and reports the accident.

“What should I do? Should I report this accident to the sheriff ‘s office? Should I dump the body in the nearby river and continue on my journey?”, Ryan asks in silence. Ryan makes a decision “I’m going to report this accident to the nearest sheriff’s office immediately.”

The accident and Ryan’s action after his discovery?  

Ryan returns to the vehicle and drives toward the sheriff ‘s office. He drives in the direction in which he was traveling at the time of the accident. He notices a bear lying motionless on his side of the road and it seems to have died recently. It is about 35 yards from where the accident occurred.

Ryan gives a truthful account of the accident after arriving at the sheriff’s office. He is glad that he complies with the law in doing this. Ryan is accompanied by two sheriff’s deputies back to the location of the accident. They are to conduct an investigation there. Ryan is still sad, and fearful of the consequences of this accident.

On their way to the location, both deputies take note of the bear lying at the side of the road. They note that it seems to have died recently. Ryan and the two deputies arrive at the location of the accident.

Ryan is fearful of the consequences of this accident. He thinks he is guilty of the motor manslaughter of the man whose body he discovered in the woods. He thinks that some of the evidence that will lead to his prosecution, will come out of this investigation. Ryan thinks that the rest of the evidence will come from the autopsy that will follow it.

The accident and Ryan’s relief 

He takes the deputies to the clearing in the wooded area where he saw the body of a man. He believed the man was dead. The body Ryan saw is no longer there. Some one removed the body without a trace. Ryan is surprised and confused.

” There was the body of a man right here in this spot.”, Ryan says to the deputies. He is pointing to the exact spot where he saw the body. Both deputies believe that Ryan saw the body of a man in the spot as he claims.

The two deputies quietly carry out their investigation and take photos; after which they ask Ryan to return with them to the sheriff ‘s office. At the sheriff’s office, the deputies tell Ryan that there will be further investigation of the accident. There will also be further investigation of the claim of discovery and disappearance of the body of a man.

Ryan is praised for reporting the accident early, and telling the truth about the accident. He is praised for telling the truth about his drinking prior to his last home-bound journey. He is also praised for reporting his discovery of a man’s body.

The deputies warn Ryan, however, about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. They also remind him that the practice is illegal. The deputies promise that they will not prosecute him for driving under alcoholic influence on this occasion. Ryan thanks the deputies for pardoning him for driving under alcoholic influence.

The sheriff’s office also refuses to charge him with any other traffic offence. There is no evidence that he is guilty of any such offence; and he thanks the deputies.

The accident and what follows

Ryan tells the deputies that he continues to have fears about the accident. He worries that he might be responsible for the death of the man whose body he saw in the woods. One of the two deputies who visited the location of the accident spoke with Ryan. He reminds Ryan that he could have struck the recently killed bear seen close to where the accident occurred. He, instead, could have struck the man whose body he discovered in the woods.

Ryan agrees with the deputy and finds some hope in the thought of his having struck the bear. He prefers to have struck the bear rather than the man.

The sheriff ‘s office promises to contact Ryan if necessary, concerning the continuing investigation into the accident. The sheriff’s office also promises to contact him if necessary concerning the claimed discovery and disappearance of a man’s body.

The sheriff’s office does not charge Ryan with any traffic or other offences. He continues to experience a sense of sadness, but now, is beginning to also experience a sense of joy.

The accident and Ryan’s final thoughts about it

Ryan wonders about a few things as he drives toward home. He wonders if he caused the accident by not being sober and falling asleep while driving. He also wonders how the accident would have gone had he been sober and awake when it happened.

“Did the vehicle collide with the man or the bear, and if it did, whose fault was it?”, Ryan asks.

Ryan thinks this accident leaves a few questions unanswered. Some of these questions pertain to the discovery and disappearance of a man’s body. Some of these questions, likewise, pertain to the presence of a recently killed bear near the location of the accident.

Ryan is wondering if this accident and its implications might just be the final wakeup call. Is this a warning for him to stop driving under alcoholic influence before something much more serious than this happens?

By Edward Fagan

 

Prose writing experiences are immeasurably Joyful to many of us who love writing prose.

Prose writing experiences of deep and lasting joy are had by those of us who write and love writing prose. Since I write a little but have a lot of love for writing, and since my love for writing far exceeds my ability to write, I’m forever grateful for the immensely joyful prose writing experiences which I get. (Prose is the form of writing referred to in this passage.)

headphones_dj

 

I’m grateful to writing for its peculiar and joyful experiences, which it only grants to those of us who write. One factor in writing which aids such joyful and wonderful experience is that of writing to a standard.

It brings immense joy when one successfully writes a passage that meets, in several areas, an idealistic standard toward which one aimed, from the beginning. This standard will include values relating to: writing technique, as well as esthetics and morality as they relate to writing.

man_head

There also is great joy to be had in the experience of writing a fictional passage. The author here is lord of this fictional world. He has and exercises the powers of creation, sustenance and destruction of this world. He exercises such powers over its: details, contents and events; its characters, their thoughts, speech, actions and the conditions of their existence.

Another source of joyful experiences is nonfictional writing. A world of joyful experiences is available to the writer of nonfiction who upholds certain principles in his writing. These principles include, truthfulness, objectivity, empathy, sensitivity to others feelings and the practice of writing in good taste.

happy_lady

Other experiences that can result from the practice of writing include: improved spelling and vocabulary and improved orderliness and clarity of thought. The following experiences also, can result from one’s writing activity: improved comprehension of both written and spoken language and improved general reading and speaking ability.

handsome_guy

We experience joy, satisfaction and fulfilment whenever we successfully write fiction or nonfiction. This results from our timeless love for fictional or nonfictional writing, and the application to actual writing tasks, of our natural writing ability, knowledge, and any other relevant skills we might possess.

When we write fiction, we naturally apply our creative writing ability to this task; when we write nonfiction we also do a similar thing. In both instances of writing, we also draw on knowledge, other skills and abilities to improve the outcome of our effort. In the case of creative writing, we ensure that the supportive information we give is accurate because this is important to a good end result of our effort. In the case of nonfictional writing, we ensure that the following qualities, as mentioned above, prevail through out our written work: truthfulness, objectivity, empathy, sensitivity to others feelings and the practice of writing in good taste.

By Edward Fagan