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Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes Part Five

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Rita Fox:
“We have a name.” David tells me as he rushes into my office. “Call up the rest of the team.”
“They’re sleeping.” I tell him sharply, not trying to be rude but trying to be practical. “What if they don’t hear the phone?”
“Call!” David yells. “We just got a call from a neighbor. He fits the profile perfectly. And he works as a janitor so he should be gone now. We can get the girls without trouble.”
“What about a war-“
“Screw the warrant!” David tells me, handing me the phone. “It will be too late if we get one. Tell the team to meet us there.”
“What about his helper?” I ask David and David sighs.
“We know who she is.”
“Who?”
“The neighbor said that Gage Seth Bender has been a real wreck since his daughter died. Especially since they couldn’t do a proper funeral because the body was too mangled.”
“So that means….”
“Yep. Luna Bender, age sixteen, has been helping Gage for seven years.”

Grace:
“What the h*ll are you doing Luna?” Sasha screams at Luna. “Are you insane?”
“Far from it.” Luna tells her calmly. “I’d be insane to let you go. I’m not going to jail.”
“Why would-‘’
“You really don’t get it, do you?” Luna shakes her head. “Do you know what kind of charge I could get? These days the accomplice gets almost as bad as the killer. I could get death or, if they are feeling nice, life in prison.”
“But-‘’
“DON’T INTERUPT ME!” She hit my head with the pistol. Stars instantly appear in front of my eyes, but I do not pass out to my suprise“I have not been raped for years. In exchange for information, the Lord wouldn’t rape me. He would hit me, oh yes, and he would cut me, but he didn’t treat me like the other girls. I’m the favorite, and for good reason too.”
“Luna you can’t seriously….”
“SHUT UP AND LET ME FINISH SASHA OR I WILL MURDER YOU AND EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER CARED ABOUT!” Luna’s eyes flash coldly and I feel a shiver run down my side as Luna continues with her story.
“I never wanted to leave my mother’s house because I was still afraid of my father. He would hit me, scream at me, feel me and I knew now that I was older he would probably rape me. But I had no choice. The law put me with him and besides, no one would believe a little nine year old girl. I suffered with his abuse for three years before I made a deal with him; I would live with the girls, and learn their secrets and he wouldn’t hurt me sexually. But once I was in, there was no way out. I didn’t know about law, I didn’t know what I was doing was illegal. I didn’t know that by burying the bodies and going to school and not telling people I was an accomplice. I thought I was just surviving.”
“You’re the reason Dakota is dead.” Sasha accuses Luna stupidly and I moan.
“Sasha, I am being held hostage. She is holding a gun to my head. Are you trying to get me killed for some reason?
Luna ignores me and presses the pistol closer to my head.
“No, you are! I tried to warn you not to leave.”
“You’re a monster!”
“I had to put up with this for years!”
“You could have told!”
“I would have died.”
“Why Luna?” Claire’s voice is barley heard over the shouting. “Why?”
I look at Luna, hoping to see even the tiniest bit of remorse in her eyes. There is none.
“I learned to stop caring a long time ago. Everyone you love dies.” Luna presses the pistol closer to my forehead. “Get in or Grace dies.”
“You’re my friend.” I plead to Luna. “You don’t have to do this. Tell the police this story and they can help you. My parents, they can pay for a lawyer. You are a victim. Let’s go, please, and you can escape from here….”
“THE LAW IS NOT MY FRIEND!” Luna screams. “I see you’ve made your choice. Are you ready to die?”

Gage Seth Bender:
Something isn’t right. I can’t risk the girls escaping. If Luna can’t hold them off, I’m done for. The law can, and will, legally kill me.
I turn the car around as soon as I reach the school. F*** work. I can call in sick.
I know that I am too late when I reach the house and there are police cars circling.
“Gage Bender.” I feel the cold handcuffs slip over my wrists. “You are under arrest for the murders of Dakota Warner, Audrey Chip, the kidnappings of Grace Bacon, Claire Belle, Sasha Sheldon, and possibly some other Jane Doe’s. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court….”
The gig is up. Proud of your son now, mother?


Grace:
I squeeze my eyes shut, to prepare for the cold feeling of death. I hope I go to heaven. I want to see Jesus.
“Don’t worry Mommy.” I say quietly in my head. “I’m going to see Jesus. Jesus and Kurt Cobain.”
“Come closer and I kill you!” I hear Luna yell. I open my eyes to face the FBI.
“Luna.” The ginger speaks up first. She’s standing closely next to a man with short brown hair, and a nerdy collared shirt buttoned all the way to the top. “You don’t want to do this.”
“You don’t know what I want to do!”
“We know what your dad did to you. Your mother left him because he was hurting you. She didn’t file charges though because she was scared of him. You were too. So scared you never even told him about the sexual abuse.”
“SHUT UP!” Luna screams at the woman, tears falling down her face.
“You loved your mother and it killed you when she died. You went to live with your father and you were hopeful. After all, it had been a few years. Maybe he had changed. But when you got there, you learned he was worse.”
At first you didn’t think it was wrong to help him find out the girls secrets. After all, they were going to be killed anyway. But by the day you learned it was wrong, it was too late. You were a fugitive.”
Luna lowers the gun and I run over to the FBI agent and wrap my arms around her like a little girl. The woman continues.
“You cry yourself to sleep at night because you feel guilt over what your father does. But it’s not your fault Luna. You are a victim. We can get you a lawyer who will show the court you’re a victim, not a murderer. Please Luna, do the right thing.”
Luna looks at me, then to Claire, then Sasha, and back to the woman. “I will.” She says slowly.
“Good girl.” The woman tells Luna. “Come on.”
“No.” Luna says, and in one swift moment Luna presses the gun up to her temple. “I’m sorry.”
BAM!
Following the silence is the sound of Claire’s sobs.


Three Months
Rita Fox:

“Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins, and here lies the ultimate act of saving, of healing, of overcoming dualism.”- Matthew Fox
The I.D. on my cell phone says “Baconater”. It wasn’t my choice for an I.D., but Grace insisted on putting something a little more memorable then Grace.
“Hey babes.” I pick up.
“Hey Ginger.”
“How you doing?”
“Duh, winning.” She responds with a giggle. It makes me smile; the poor little girl is finally getting closer to happiness. “What about you?”
“I’m fine, girl.”
“Working on any new cases?”
“Yep.”
“Any girl’s as cool as me?”
“Of course not.”
“Good.” There is a significant pause until Grace’s shaky voice cuts back in. “I went to see Luna’s grave yesterday.”
My breath gets caught in my throat, but I don’t miss a beat, for Luna’s sake. “Do you miss her?”
“I don’t know how to feel about her.”
“There’s no way you have to feel. You feel however you feel.”
“I know but….like my parents are always bad mouthing her and I feel like I should hate her but I don’t. She was my friend. You’d be surprised how close you can get to someone in a few days when you’re locked together.”
“You have a right to miss her. She was a friend.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Have you talked to any of the other girl’s lately?”
“I talk to Claire a lot and sometimes Sasha but I really think the only thing me and Sasha have in common is what happened to us.”
“No shame in that.”
“Yeah.” There is a pause and I hear Grace clear her throat out of the phone. “Miss. Fox?”
“Come on, Grace. I understand you have this whole proper crap going on but we’re friends. Call me Rita.”
“My parents hate it when I do that. But okay, Rita.” She giggles. “I um….thank you so much.”
“Don’t worry Grace. You’re the reason I do this job. You don’t know how many people I have come so close to saving, but failed at the last minute. Serial killers rarely leave survivors.”
“I’d be dead if it wasn’t for you. I don’t know how I can thank you enough.”
“Keep going. Stay strong. And stop calling me ‘ginger’!”
Grace laughs. “I can do two out of three of those.”
“Stay strong, kid.”
I hear the phone click off and sigh. The poor girl has a long road ahead of her. All I hope is that she learns how to heal.


Gage Seth Bender:
“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”- JM Barrie
Charges; child neglect, sexual assault, and five homicides. My lawyer managed to knock off a few homicide charges because the bodies couldn’t be found, and also knocked off the kidnapping charges. Sentence; three life terms. So if I live for another one hundred and twenty years I may be eligible for parole.
Yippee.
“Hey Blondie.” My roommate greets me as he wakes up. That’s what all the boys here call me, Blondie. Mockingly. The media gave me the nickname “Blonde Butcher”. Have you ever heard such a stupid name? The respect a serial killer gets in jail comes from the nickname. And I get f***ing Blonde Butcher.
“P*ssy.” I answer him and he shoves me against the door. I smile, for that is what I wanted him to do.
“What did you call me?” The man, Chucky “J*zz” pushes me up against the door and draws out a tooth brush that he had been collecting for years, according to the other imamates. In case you are wondering why he is called “J*zz”, let’s just say that he is in prison for rape.
“Are you asking what I just called you or what I told you’re mother you were last night?” I question, smiling.
“Do you have a death wish?” I hear the imamate across from us yell. I smile because that is exactly what I am doing.
Taking the law into my own hands.


Alison Grace Bacon:
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” –Helen Keller
I don’t think I will ever be the same after this experience.
Getting back into the real world and back into my old schedule was probably the hardest part of leaving the basement. At first my house was constantly swarmed with reporters, journalists, writers, and sometimes just regular people who wanted to hear my story. After a while I became old news though.
At school I was somewhat a celeberty. Nobody knew how to act around me. My friends stayed away from me, out of fear of saying the wrong thing. If my friends had plans to see a violent movie, they wouldn’t invite me. In fact, John was the only one who treated me normal and even he was a little…..off.
“Thanks for treating me normal.” I told him randomly one day. He gave me a funny look.
“You went through a hard time. That doesn’t mean you’re a different person. You’re still Grace.”
My friends are starting to treat me normal again, although I don’t think things will ever be the same.
As soon as I got out of the basement, I had to go to the hospital. I was treated for malnutrition, my beatng and cut wounds, and they stitched up the place where my finger used to be. It had been unattached to my hand for too long for them to put it back on, but it looks a little more normal. They had to keep me for a week because my stomach wouldn’t keep food down; everytime I ate my stomach would throw it back up. They eventually had to put me on a feeding tube. It was a miserable couple of days before my stomach got used to the food again. I lost sixteen pounds in eight days. The doctor’s say I’ll probably be skinny for a long time. John says I’m still beautiful though, so it’s okay.
My parents are still terrified to let me out of there sight. My theripist tells them that they can’t blame themselves for what happened,but I know they do just like I blame myself. Why was I walking home alone in the first place? If I had run away would I still have gone there? Maybe I should have died my hair or something. I know most of my worries are irrational, but that doesn’t make them go away. I don’t know if they ever will. My theripist says it’s natural for me to blame myself and so does Rita, but that it is not my fault. They tell me that I was, in fact, part of the reason that man is in jail now and without me he would probably still be out there hurting girls. That makes me feel a little better, but not much. I wish I could have saved Luna. I wish I could have done a lot of things differently. And I wish my mind would shut up and leave me in peace.
But my biggest hope, is that one day I will be able to close my eyes, and not see Gage Seth Bender standing over me with a knife….



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