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Author's note: I want people to question what they've grown up with and what is deemed by society, or...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

I want people to question what they've grown up with and what is deemed by society, or more specifically, their communities, as right. I grew up attending a private Catholic school, as well as a Luthern school, public schooling, and online schooling--I've been exposed to a wide range of ideas and want to convey that living narrow-minded or persuaded by tradition can be detrimental.

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Part 2

“So, let me get this straight...” a tall figure spun around in his leather chair and rests his mound of slicked black hair against a map of Oak Knoll, North Carolina pasted to the wall.
“You’re driving back from Oshira, where you bought some snacks for this week’s youth group, when you see Mrs. Williams lying near the side of the road at Northwest Avenue’s Shell gas station?”
“It’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it?” Father Lawrence chuckled.
The man across from him furrows his eyebrows. He repositions a paperweight labeled Detective Robert Thorpe.
“I’m sorry,” Father paused, “this most definitely is not a laughing matter--”
Interrupting him, the detective growled, “No, it isn’t.”
The priest ignored the blatant comment and continued, “Josie was an active member of the church. She was family,” he sighed, his droopy eyes glancing at the coffee stained floor. “I can’t imagine why anyone would want to murder her.” A long silence continued as the two gazed at the room’s faux wood paneling.
Clearing his throat, Detective Thorpe pushed his black- rimmed glasses up his tan nose saying, “Was there anything, or anyone, else that you could see?”
“Yes, I saw a car. The driver’s side window was broken?” Father Lawrence piped. “I didn’t see anything but the car and her.”
Detective Thorpe stared “No one running from the scene?”
“No.”
Bing, bing, bing! The intercom hiding beneath a mess of papers interrupted the two. Crumbling them in his palm, Thorpe tossed an array of notes and documents on the floor. Scanning the machine with his finger, he furrowed his eyebrows.
“Ah there it is!” He pressed a bright red button.
“Detective, there’s a very upset child here to see you.” a squeaky voice sounded.”He--,” an odd rumbling came over the machine. The voice cried “No, no honey don’t go in there in yet. Not ye--.” A young boy, around eight or ten, hurtled through the door panicked. Tears and snot gushed down his sickening pale face. Studying his disarray of mis matched socks, soiled jacket, and tear-soaked T-shirt, Father Lawrence raised an eyebrow, then nervously fiddled with a pen. The boy rushed over to Thorpe, clutched his sleeve, and crumpled into a shaking ball.
Unsure, Father stuttered, “S-s-should, shouldn’t you be in school, Jake?”
Thorpe looked at the boy suffocating his leg, then to Father, “Are you serious, Father? The boy’s lost his mother, for godsake!”
Jake crawled up to the detective’s lap and un-wrinkled a photo.
“Bella’s gone too!” he wailed. “You have to find her. You have to!” He wrapped his arms around Thorpe’s neck, sobbing into his tie. Reaching for his leather jacket, he cloaked the shivering child and examined the photograph. It portrayed a beautiful brick home situated within a forest of pine trees. A long-haired border collie relaxed on the grass, grinning triumphantly while holding a frisbee between it’s shiny, white teeth.
    “Gramma says she probably just accidently got out. B-b-but I bet that bad guy got em’,” he sniffled.
    “Oh?” Detective Thorpe questioned.
    “Jake’s grandmother has come to watch him, since…” the priest’s voice trailed off. “Since the incident,” he whispered, his plump body leaning forward .
    “I see.” The detective gave an effort to smile at Jake. In an empathetic grin, he said, “It’s going to be okay, Jake. It will be just fine.” Jake pushed his runny nose deeper into the crease of Thorpe’s tie, sighing. He slowly turned towards the priest, “Father?”
    Father Lawrence squinted behind his rimless glasses and grunted, “Hmm?”
“I miss my mommy.”
Father looked down at his hands, “Oh.” His eyes peered over his shoulder, “Sorry.”
The boy now sat fully facing the priest, “Will she go to heaven?”
    Straightening himself out of the slouch he’d been sitting in, the priest let out an extensive sigh. In a more warm tone, he answered, “Of course she will Jake. All souls go to heaven.”
His clammy hand reached over and patted Jake’s head, “You’re mother’s soul was quite remarkable. There’s no doubt God will save her.” His left eye strained into a wink. His shoulders curved over again and relaxed into the cushiony leather chair.
Detective Thorpe’s head tilted to the side, his lips pursed, “Are you tired or something, Father? A slight vapor fogged at the edge of Father’s glasses, closest to his blackhead-ridden nose.
He twiddled with his pants leg, “I’m a bit tired.”
Almost too fast, the detective retorted, “You’ve acted odd today. Almost moody, or agitated.” He scrutinized a bead of sweat trickling down the man’s cheek. Father’s hands now twisted the pant leg’s fabric, smothering it in his palm.
Jake’s eyes lightened. He’d been chewing on the sleeve of his blue turtle neck, but unclenched his teeth and whipped his head towards Thorpe. Breaking Father’s silence, Jake exclaimed, “Maybe you could find some new clues, where, where…” Jake’s optimistic face met Father’s. He continued, “Where mommy’s soul went to heaven.”
Father smiled and nodded, “Of course he’ll do that, Jake. Of course he will."

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