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A girl around the age of fifteen strolled the streets of New York City on a cold fall evening at 10:30 PM. She had no one with her. She was simply alone.
If you were to ask her where she was going, she would reply with 'I don't know.' If you asked her when she would return she wouldn't have an answer for that either. But here she was. Wet, tired, hungry, confused, and above all else, with nowhere and no one to turn to. She didn't talk much unless it was absolutely necessary, which wasn't very often.
It wasn't that she couldn't talk, or that she was too dumb to talk. It's just that she had nothing to say. And ever since she was young she was taught that 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all,' and with the condition she was in, she had nothing nice to say.
She pulled up her sleeve, revealing her newest gash which would soon heal over into an ugly scar. It would always be there to remind her of her pain.
She had golden hair that reached far past her shoulders, and fell to her waist. She tilted her head towards the sky and let the rain pound down on her face. Her emerald green eyes shone with hope even though others told her there was none.
A boy at the age of seventeen also sauntered the streets with a story. His was different, however. His parents never beat him, but it was if they never existed. He was also alone.
His saturated, brown hair fell in front of his dark, coffee-colored eyes. His broad shoulders slouched for he lacked the hope the girl had.
He took notice to the girl and watched her for a bit, looking for what made her different. Why did she look so content. She obviously didn't live a perfect life. He could tell that just by looking at her arm which was bleeding and had many scars. He looked at her face and realized that she was very pretty and he wondered why she was bruised up so badly.
He decided to go over and take his chances at talking to her.
“Hi.” he said hesitantly.
She looked at him and gave him her best attempt at a smile. She then looked back at the sky.
“Why are you out here this late at night?”
She gave him a slight shrug and crossed her arms across her chest. She turned towards him because she had a feeling this would not be the end of his interrogation.
“Do you speak?”
She glanced at the ground as she pondered for a moment. She finally answered, “Yes.”
“Alright. Do you need a ride home?” he offered.
“I don't want to go home.” her laugh sounded almost sad as she gestured to her arm, which still bore her marks. She then reached her hand out for him to shake, “My name is Addyson by the way.”
He had thought Addyson was a pretty name and suited her flawlessly.
“Darian.” he accepted her hand, “I just moved here.”
“It's nice to meet you. I've lived here all my life. I think you'll like it here.”
“Yeah, well, I try not to get to attached to where I live. We move so often, we barely finish unloading the house before we have to pack it all up and leave again.”
“Does your dad work?” Addyson asked.
“Both of my parents do. Full time. I never see them.”
“I'm sorry to hear that.” she told him earnestly.
“But I guess I can't complain. My parents have never, well...”
“Beaten you?” she finished for him, “Yeah. I guess most parents haven't.”
“Well, do you need a ride anywhere?” Darian offered again.
“No. I'm fine.” she again denied his offer.
“Well, then where are you going?”
“I don't know yet. I'll tell you when I get there.”
“Well, if no one's driving you, how are you gonna get there?” he questioned her again.
“Wow, you ask a lot of questions don't you?” she accused.
Before Darian could answer, a hand held a cloth to his mouth. He gasped for breath, but could draw in none. He could hear Addyson's screams as his head clouded with a thick darkness and his legs caved in from underneath him. He was out.
Addyson was having just as much luck only she had put up much more of a fight than Darian had. She screamed and flailed her arms, trying to break free of their grasp around her. She had seen Darian being dragged away by someone in a dark cloak, and she was certain that she wasn't going to let that happen to her.
“Help! Help! Someone help me, please!” she cried, tears streaming down her face, “God! Please help me!” she prayed.
Addyson's body started to ache and weaken and her perpetrator was able to get a firm hand on her.
“No!” she screamed, but it was too late. They pressed a rag against her mouth and just like Darian, she was out.
A couple of adolescents were taken from the
streets of New York City on October 14.
Victims Addyson Ayre and Darian Michaels
were suspected to have been walking the
the streets around 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
Police suspect foul play. If spotted,
witnesses are urged to go straight to
the authorities. Male victim, Darian
Michaels, was last seen wearing a dark,
navy blue t-shirt with jeans. The victim
is 5 '9' and has dark hair and dark eyes.
Female victim, Addyson Ayre, was last seen
wearing a white Paramore t-shirt and sweat-
pants. The victim is 5 '3' and has blonde
hair and green or blue eyes. A reward for
Darian Michaels' safe return is being offered
by the family. Addyson Ayre's family has
yet to be identified.
For more information see page 6.
Madelyn sat at an empty kitchen table, newspaper in hand, a half eaten piece of toast in the other. She was intently reading the most recent copy of the New York Times.
At sixteen, she was used to taking care of herself. Since her mother was no longer in the picture, Maddie lived alone with her full time police chief father. Her dad practically lived at the station, so most days, she had the apartment to herself.
So she spent most of her hours two floors down at her friend Hannah's place. Hannah's mom treated Maddie like a daughter, which was much more than she had received from her actual mother.
A sharp knock on the door pulled Maddie away from her reverie and back to her paper.
“Come in!” she called, shoving the remainder of the toast in her mouth.
Hannah came through the door, bags under her eyes and an energy drink grasped in her hand. Maddie offered her a chair at the kitchen table as she got up to go fetch something from the kitchen.
“How bad was it?” Maddie asked as she rummaged through the refrigerator.
“It was worse than last week, Mads,” Hannah rested her head on the back of her chair and closed her eyes, “Sometimes I wish Cami would just move out, ya know?”
Maddie nodded sympathetically. Cami was Hannah's nineteen year old sister who had gotten pregnant about a year ago. The baby was now three months old and very colicky.
Maddie brought Hannah some left over coffee cake and a cup of orange juice. Color started to return to Hannah's cheeks as she began to eat.
“Thanks,” she mumbled, mouth full.
Once Hannah was finished eating her breakfast, they hurried out the door to school. Living in New York City, a car was unnecessary, so neither of the girls bothered to get their license. Or learn to drive for that matter. So, they walked to school every morning. The walk wasn't too long, but they always stopped for a coffee on Mondays. Maddie had insisted it was the best way to start the week and Hannah didn't argue. So they made sure to leave early this morning.
In line at the counter of a local cafe, Hannah turned to Maddie.
“Look,” she hissed under her breath, “the booth in the corner.”
Maddie directed her attention to the corner of the room. There was a boy sitting there. His dark hair hung over his eyes as he stared down at the menu.
“Cute, right?” Hannah smirked.
“Oh, come on!” Hannah shoved her shoulder, playfully and laughed, “You so think he's cute!”
Maddie turned around and gave the boy a once over. He was well built and tall. The kind of guy who Maddie guessed looked nice in a pair of skinny jeans. There was nothing that struck her with any interest, however.
Maddie shrugged again.
Hannah stuck her bottom lip out, like she always had when she wanted to get her way, “Fine, if you don't think so, I'll just go talk to him.”
Maddie gave Hannah an annoyed look as she flounced off to talk to the kid, calling, “Order me the usual!”
Maddie stared after her, unbelieving, until the lady at the counter snapped at her, “Hey, your holding up the line!” Maddie then turned and ordered their coffee and made sure to give the cashier a generous tip.
Two coffees in hand, Maddie approached the booth in the corner of the room. Both Hannah and the boy looked up at her. This made Maddie even more annoyed.
“Hey, Hannah,” she sneered, “it's nice to see you again. You remember we have school, right?”
“Maddie, this is Scott. He goes to the a prep school in Jersey. Hot right?” at this, Scott flipped his hair out of his eyes and looked up at her. This annoyed Maddie even more than Hannah saying “Jersey.”
“Yes,” Maddie replied, rolling her eyes, “it's oh-so-very sexy. Can we go now?”
Hannah huffed and then puffed her chest out, “Fine,” she turned to Scott, “Call me later?”
“I'll make sure I do,” was what he said.
And with that, they left the cafe.
Maddie walked home from school alone.
It wasn't because Hannah was irked with her about what happened in the cafe that morning, although she was, but it was because she preferred to take the long way home, which passed the station. Even though she didn't have much time to spend with her father, she still loved him, which was much more than she could say about her mother. Maddie still couldn't find the forgiveness in her heart to give to her mother. She despised the woman with a burning passion. Just the thought of her made Maddie clench her fists as she pushed through the station doors.
Ben, the man sitting at a desk near the front, greeted Maddie as she walked in. She made her way to her dad's office with a doughnut in one hand and a coffee in the other.
She pressed her back up against the door to shove it open.
“Hi, Dad,” she said as she skillfully balanced the coffee and kicked the door closed.
“Hey, hon,” he said reaching out for the doughnut, “You know you don't always have to do this everyday. Soon I won't be able to fit through the door.”
Maddie knew these were just words of kindness to her. Her dad, of course, wanted her to come by everyday and bring him a doughnut. You know what they say about cops and their doughnuts.
“It's no problem,” she said passively, “You up to anything today?”
“Nothing. Just a few missing kids,” he scratches his head, “It's odd. This has been the fourth kidnapping in a month, all within a street next to each other, and we can't find any leads?”
“Only neglect,” he said and when Maddie gave him a look of confusion, he added, “Their parents.”
Maddie nods. She knew this made the victims the perfect target. No one would notice them missing right away.
She picked up the paper that was lying on her dad's desk, “Is this from today?”
“Yup,” he said, still staring down at his work.
Maddie scanned the article. It was the same one she had been reading earlier this morning. She saw the excerpt her father had circled in red ink. Her eyes fell upon the images of the victims. The girl looked slightly disoriented in her picture. It wasn't a school picture. It looked like she had taken the picture herself.
She then looked at picture of the boy, Darian, and stopped. Her jaw dropped.
“Dad?” she said.
“Yeah,” he muttered, still not looking up.
“Have any of these kids been found?”
“No,” he said and pauses, “Why?”
Maddie shakes her head, “No reason. Just wondering,” she managed to say.
Her father looked her square in the face, his eyebrows furrowed into a straight line, “Maddie if you know or have seen this kid, you have to let the police know.”
“Oh, I don't know him,” she denied, slowely inching her way out of her fathers office, “See ya' tonight, Dad!” she called, as she ran out the door.
She left the station sure of several things.
One, Darian Michaels was not missing.
Two, she had to find Hannah.
And three, she had just lied to her father for the first time.
Darian Michaels was not who he said was. In fact, he didin't go by Darian now. He went by Scott.
And Maddie was almost certain that wasn't a good thing.