Pocono

Let’s Take a Walk

“Do you want to go for a walk? We can go to the lake, walk along the water, are you well enough to do that? What happened to your legs? Are you going to keep your Doctor’s appointment?”

“Whoa, that’s a lot of questions.”

“I’m not sure what happened, I was a walker when I was young. I rode my bicycle and did lots of hiking, cross-country skiing, and running. A few years ago, I separated my right quadricep-tendon, and a recently my left one. I’m not walking very well now.”

“You need to see about your walking. You can get physical therapy, work out at the gym, you can build up your strength again. You are getting older you know.”

“That’s not funny.”

“Oops, just trying to get you to lighten up. This whole thing about finding lost children is taking a toll on you. Life is a mix of good and bad. You may wish to find some balance in all of this, it would be good for both of us. When you are happy you are wonderful to be around. I am the happiest I have been in years, just knowing you.”

“I don’t want to go to the doctor. I don’t want strangers to touch me. I don’t want to have anyone touch the inside of my thighs. I don’t care for examination rooms or the exam tables. The doctor thinks the reason for my legs being painful is poor circulation.”

“It not unusual for people to fear medical procedures. I go through it every time I go to the GYN. You seem much more stressed out about it. Men get ultrasounds all the time, why is it so traumatic for you?”

“It is all about what went on there, there between my legs, when I was a child. I am not going back to those painful times again.”

“Would it help if I go with you, would my presence calm you? What happened in the past is over, you can’t be hurt again. If I am there, it will help ground you.”

“Okay, I’ll call and make an appointment for a week from now. I want you to go with me, you’ve seen my legs. I can’t be any more embarrassed than I am now. I haven’t been cutting, the old scars have healed, I look closely to find them. He knows I cut anyway.”

“Okay, it’s a promise, I’ll follow up with you to make sure you keep the appointment. You hardly talk about your work. Do you need to walk well to get your work done?”

“There have been a couple of times in tight situations where I had to run quickly to avoid being recognized. I’m concerned if another situation comes up I may not be able to get away, that will reduce my options to a few unpleasant ones.”

“What do you mean, unpleasant? Will you have to confront someone?”

“Live by the sword. Die by the sword!”

“You can’t be serious, I thought your work was tracking lost children, how could that be so dangerous?”

“There was a time when we could leave the apprehension of the abductors to the legal authorities. Recently things changed. The wealthy and the powerful are committing sex crimes and are getting away with them. The abused are afraid to testify against their abusers. The system has become corrupt. The abused are murdered to keep everything quiet. Big money stopped investigations, prosecutors are in fear of their lives. I decided there be would circumstances when I would have to take the law into my own hands.”

“You can’t take the law in to your own hands. The rule of law will break down if people became vigilantes. Can’t you find another way?”

“There are so many missing kids. Some run away, some are abducted, some parents are so troubled they can’t protect their children. The lucky kids have people concerned for them, they have a better chance. The of the older ones leave home to escape abuse at the hands of their families. Some of them get trafficked, they become money making commodities. They are all at risk.”

“Surely you are not alone thinking these thoughts, some others or groups must exist, you could join with them.”

“Initially I could get help from a group of men who have connections and can track some of the missing kids. Then that girl I told you about a few days ago, she turned up murdered. All the leads in the case went cold. I had a suspicion someone was holding up the investigation. I kept checking around, looking through newspapers to find news about her. She was a good kid, involved in her school work and sports. After she went missing I began to have visions of her in my dreams. I had a vision of an abandoned barn north of here, outside the city perimeter. That’s where they found her.”

“You mean you can see what those kids are seeing? How can that be?”

“It’s not a freak thing, it’s a gift, the universe wants me to apply it.  As I was going back through the photos of her in the newspapers I stumbled on to something.”

“What was that?”

“The same woman kept showing up in the background of the photos. At first, I thought she was a family member. I use facial recognition software in my work. I searched for her on social media. Sure enough, she turned up. She is a detective in the Metropolis Police. The same detective who was working on the case. I knew then I couldn’t involve the others in the search. It could be too dangerous for them. I continued the search for the missing girl on my own.”

“If what you say is true, you are putting yourself in jeopardy. Why would you do that?  Someone will pick up on the case again, let them find the killer.”

“I have a purpose. My purpose is to save them, to save the lost children. A power much greater than myself wants that to happen. My purpose is the most important thing in my life. I need to stay living to fulfill that purpose. If another case comes along like that one, I want to be able to track down the perpetrators. If I can save the kids before anything happens to them they may have chance for a better life. If I stumble onto the perps, I may have to run or fight.”

“What about us, what about me? Is your purpose more important than our relationship?”

“My purpose is what I am here for. I am prepared to give up my relationships, including our relationship, including my life, to fulfill my purpose. I am prepared to go. Unlike most, I know where I’m going when I leave this earthly life.”

“I am having trouble with all of this, I need time to think. If it was such an unsolvable crime, how did anyone find her body?”

“It wasn’t just anyone. I found her body.”

“Oh god. No wonder the police are looking for you, they think you killed her.”

“The police can’t connect me with being there. The property is outside the perimeter. I have a way of getting to those lands without detection. When I knew I had to go there I took some old shoes and hiked in from the upper trail head. Once I found her body, I left everything in the barn untouched. I followed a stream on my way back. I walked down the stream bed until I found the lower trail and back to my car. No other cars were there. Ordinary citizens are discouraged from traveling outside the perimeter. I changed my shoes after leaving the stream. I washed the old shoes and put them in a clothing drive box.”

“What if the authorities find those shoes?”

“Yes, that’s possible, they would have my DNA on them. You recall I am good at changing people’s identity. The DNA trace will come to a dead end.”

“How did the authorities eventually find her?”

“Before I got back into the metropolis I called the park ranger station and reported something bad going on in the abandoned barn. They asked what I was doing out there. I hung up. I used a prepaid cellphone under a factitious name. The call can be traced, but it won’t lead back to me. I destroyed the SIMM card and ditched the phone. One of the rangers stopped by the barn and found her.”

“I heard they are going to put check points along the routes leading to the outside. It’s supposed to happen next year. The President signed it into law. She said It was for our own safety.”

“Our own safety, that’s a crock of shit. The Government doesn’t want us to know what’s going on outside the perimeter. I’m working on a way to get around the checkpoints. I have made some special documents that the EZpass machines can scan. I will be able to drive right through the check points.”

“Let’s go for that walk, I need some air.”

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