Haley's Comet | Teen Ink

Haley's Comet

December 11, 2013
By Tobirue SILVER, Centerville, Iowa
Tobirue SILVER, Centerville, Iowa
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Haley was only a little girl when she faced the most horrific moment of her life. The day of her birthday her parents were nowhere to be found, and little did they know that they would pay for that costly mistake.

Haley Marie McMurphy, the sweet little pigtailed girl, had never lived in the same house for more than a year. The daughter of a masculine, high ranking officer in the military, and a lovely, hard-working pediatrician, Haley never really had her parents at home that often. Usually some stuck-up high school girl was hired to babysit her for the day, while her mother worked at the nearest children’s hospital and her father fought for their liberty overseas. From the outside, Haley was just like any other girl her age, going to school during the day and playing around from the time school ended to the time supper began. However, if you took a closer look at the girl, you would realize that Haley was shy, and lonely, part in reason to the fact that she had never been able to spend a full year in whatever school she attended. Haley was always moving, always forced to tear up her old roots and begin to plant new ones, only to have them torn up once more. Little did she know that this time her roots weren’t only going to be torn up, but scarred forever.
Haley was only five years old when her entire life changed for the worse. It was a warm, sunny day in Austin, Texas when everything began. Today was August 13, Haley’s birthday, and as usual her mother was busy working at the hospital. What a great birthday. My mommy isn’t even here to celebrate it with me. Haley thought to herself, as she looked around her dim apartment. Haley and her mother had just moved to Austin last week and their “permanent” residence, a beautiful penthouse suite in downtown Austin, was still occupied until next Friday. In fact, Haley could still hear the raspy snores of Shannah, her sixteen year old babysitter, from the other side of the room. Squinting her eyes to see through the darkness, Haley saw that it was already noon, and her “babysitter” was still deep asleep. I’m really bored. Maybe I could play with one of my new presents! Haley thought to herself. As quiet as a mouse, she snuck over to where her mother kept her presents, grabbed the biggest, prettiest box she could find, and slowly, yet surely made her way out the door, her babysitter none the wiser. If only her babysitter knew what would happen to poor Haley as a result of her complacency.
As soon as Haley closed the door, she ran as quickly as she could through the musty apartment hallways and stairways until she finally opened the broken, glass doors to step outside into the beautiful afternoon. The sun cast a warm glow upon the raggedy apartment building, making the menacing place look innocent and sweet. Almost immediately the smell of freshly cut grass entered Haley’s nose as one of the residents mowed the large lawn surrounding the building. Laughing and giggling, Haley ran into the section of the lawn that had already been cut and plopped herself down. And then, in a rapid fury, she started away on opening her birthday present. At first, after taking all of the paper off it looked just like a plain old box, but she knew that there was more. With her nimble little fingers, Haley pulled off all of the tape that was holding the box together and opened it. With a shout of glee Haley unrolled the toy she had wanted for as long as she could remember, her very own hopscotch pad. Haley sang songs of joy as she brought the hopscotch pad over to the outdoor basketball court a little further down the road, as she looked back at the apartment building for what would be the very last time.
Haley felt lonely playing hopscotch alone, so she invited her imaginary friend Lucy to play with her. “Good job Lucy! That was better than me!” yelled Haley at her imaginary friend. Just as she was about to make her last jump to number ten and beat Lucy, Haley saw a strange car pull up to the curb next to the basketball court. Haley just stared at the vehicle until the creepy man inside the junky, little red car until he rolled down its rickety window. She could faintly see the man's wrinkly old face as she heard his croaking voice. “Hey honey, have you seen a cute, little puppy around here?” the old man asked his voice odd and slightly terrifying. Haley remembered that her mom had told her not to talk to strangers, but she could see from the way the graying old man looked at her with his forest green eyes that he really missed his dog. “I’m sorry! I don’t think I have! Maybe you should call the dog police!” she replied, feeling sorry for the old man.
“Well thanks sweetie. If you see him, just call for him. His name is Comet, and he’s a cute brown puppy.” the man replied in his old, raspy voice. The creepy old man drove away in his junker, staring at Lucy through his rearview mirror with a twisted smile upon his face.
Haley had only played a couple more rounds of hopscotch when she heard a rustling noise and saw a scurrying motion in some bushes far away. She slowly began to approach the bushes, afraid she would scare away the puppy. “Comet!.. Comet!..” called Haley as she began to near the bushes. Maybe he’s caught in the bush or something! she thought to herself as she began to open the bushes. There before her lay a poor little dying dog, with three stab wounds cutting into his abdomen. Haley was just about to scream for help when she felt a warm trickling behind her head. Unable to scream Haley turned around just enough to see the old man standing behind her with a large wrench in his hands, and then it all went black.
In a few hours Haley awoke, finding herself tied by all four limbs to a bed in some old musty cabin, and hearing the faint crashing of the waves in the distance she realized that she must be on a beach somewhere. Haley could not remember anything that had just happened. Where am I? What am I doing here? Where’s mommy?! she thought frantically as she began to panic. Within seconds Haley found herself heaving sobs, trying to wipe her own tears away but finding that she was still tied down, which made her sob even louder. Suddenly she heard an angry voice, “Be quiet Charolette! You knew this was going to happen to you!” Slowly, and with much effort Haley turned her head so that she could find the origin of the voice, and then she saw him, the hunchbacked old man rocking in chair. Suddenly all of the memories came flashing back, she remembered playing hopscotch, and then the man coming up to her and asking if she had seen his dog, and then finally finding the dog, and then… finding the corpse that lay. Piece by piece Haley put it together that it had been this physcopath who had killed the dog and who had knocked her out earlier. “Why are you doing this to me? Who’s Charolette?”screamed the frightened little girl.
“You. You were a bad bad girl Charolette and now I must punish you if you are to become a good girl again. You want to be a good girl don’t you?” replied the wretched old man, his dark green eyes glazed over.
“No! My name is Haley, not Charolette! I don’t know who you are and you are really scaring me really bad! I just want to go home!” Haley choked between sobs.
“We’ll be home soon dear, we’ll be home soon.” replied the old man in a soothing voice. Before Haley could realize what was happening a cloth was over her mouth and she was soon fast asleep.
Once again, Haley awoke, but this time she could see nothing. For a second, Haley thought that she was blind or that she had died or something, but after she felt the cramped space around her, heard the roaring of engines and the honking of horns, and smelled the fuel exhaust Haley knew that she was in a trunk. Even at the age of five, Haley understood that screaming would do her no good now, so she began to sob quietly in the back of the trunk. I miss my mommy. I miss my daddy. I miss being at home. Now I’ll never get to see mommy or daddy ever again. Haley began to break down in the back seat as she heard sirens blaring from behind the car. She felt the car pull over and immediately Haley knew what she was going to have to do. Mustering all of the strength she could find, Haley began to scream as loudly as she could and banged as hard as she could on the roof of the trunk. “Let me out! Let me out! Help me!” she screamed over and over and over again. However, after a couple of minutes with no reply Haley stopped and hear something that she had not expected to hear, silence.
She was sure that the man was going to come back for her and kill her just like he did that dog, but he never did. She just waited and waited in the trunk for what seemed like hours until she heard a strong, commanding voice from the outside. “Little girl! Little girl! Are you still in there?” screamed the police officer.
With tears of joy streaming down her face Haley replied, “Yes! Yes! I’m in here! Please help me!” she screamed as loud as she could.
“Okay! I’m coming to help you out! Everything will be alright sweetie, just wait for me!” yelled the officer as he ran back to his car to grab his handy, dandy crowbar. Running as fast as he could, the officer went back to the trunk of the old red car, and pried it open. Haley had never been so happy to see a stranger in her life time, and immediately without even thinking about it she hugged him and clung to him, beginning to cry. “It’s okay sweetie. It’s okay. Everything will be fine now.” he comforted her. “Now are you Haley Marie McMurphy from Austin, Texas?” the kind officer asked Haley. Haley nodded yes, unable to speak over her racks of sobs. “Okay honey, you’ll be alright. You’re safe now. Your mommy came home three days ago to find you missing and reported it immediately. We’ve been looking for you ever since.” explained the police officer to Haley. Haley cried happy tears at the thought of seeing her mother again. “Mommy? Where’s she at? Can I see her now?” asked Haley rapidly.
“You can soon honey. We just have to make sure that we get that bad bad man first. We know your mommy is good but we have to make sure that she didn’t help him or anything.” explained the police officer, sad knowing he was breaking the little girl’s heart.
“Oh. Alright. Well thank you for helping me. You’re a really good police officer by the way.” complemented Haley, and with a final thought she asked, “Can I stay with you until I get to see my mommy?”
“Sure sweetie. Whatever makes you happy.” reassured the young police officer.

The author's comments:
This is the second story I wrote, but the first installment in the Haley's Comet Trilogy. The order is Haley's Comet, The Willow Switch, and The Price of Blood.

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