She wiped her hands on the dishtowel and turned around to face the two police officers, her face red and swollen from crying.
“I don’t believe you! There’s absolutely no way my Stuart would have killed those kids. He loved school. He was a good boy. ” She sat on the chair at the kitchen table and covered her face with her hands.
Then lifting her face up to them, she recovered her composure, and said, “I raised him as a good Christian. It couldn’t have been him!” Her voice escalated with each word. “Sure, those kids pick on him a little, but the good Lord will see to it that they’re punished for their sins.”
“Do you have any idea where we might find him ma’am?” The officer asked, raising his nose in the air to sniff, noticing a disturbing odor. He looked at his partner who understood what he was doing. She looked around for the source of the smell. She shook her head briefly, giving him an eye signal that she couldn’t see where it was coming from. He nodded just enough to acknowledge her.
“No, he’s quiet, and he leaves for school in the morning. I don’t usually see him until he gets home. Then he usually spends his night in his room studying, like a good boy. Of course, we spend an hour or so with bible study after dinner. It’s only two o’clock, so he wouldn’t be home from school yet. I’m sure he’s fine. Just let me call the school and find out.”
“Ma’am, like we’ve already said, he shot and killed six other students and a teacher. Right now our focus is on finding him.”
The tall male officer looked around the dreary, yellow, worn out kitchen, and his eyes darted from cross to cross that hung above every window and door. The two pictures of Jesus were large and definitely out of place here, he thought. Her black leather covered bible with gold embossing on the table, wasn’t the least bit out of place here. He looked at his partner and raised an eyebrow. She nodded once.
“May we see his room?” The female officer asked.
“I guess it won’t hurt, but Stuart will be mad if he comes home and finds his room a mess.” She stood up, took off her apron, and straightened out her faded paisley dress.
“Follow me then. It’s at the top of the stairs.”
As they followed, they both noticed the lack of furniture and the unusual alter set up in the living room. Candles, pictures of Jesus and a large cross hanging on the wall. Two small benches for kneeling sat in front of the shrine.
They made their way up the stairs to the only bedroom on the third floor.
“Here we are then. You better not touch anything.” She warned. “I told you Stuart will be angry. He’s already been through enough. Our Lord will see him through his problems.”
One of the officers tried the handle. “It’s locked.” He said, and looked at the woman, who was now holding her bible in her hands and praying silently.
“Stuart has the key. He’ll be home soon.” She lifted her head and her eyes were now wide and trance like. “Don’t go in there. Stuart won’t like it.” She started to shake a little, as if she were having a seizure. The dark hallway made seeing difficult. Both officers looked at her as she started muttering nonsense that they didn’t understand.
The male officer stepped back a few feet, and then slammed into the door with his shoulder, breaking the lock and forcing the door open.
Both officers stood in the doorway looking around the room. Pictures of the murdered kids adorned the walls.
The woman fell to her knees on the floor, rocking back and forth, humming.
They stared in horror, as they scanned the room. There were crosses painted on the walls with what was clearly blood. Both of them raised their arms to their mouths to hold back the stench that was making them gag.
And, hanging from a beam in the middle of the room…
Filed under: My Stories |