"Well, I just need to know one thing", he said gently. "Then I believe that we can both move on with our lives, separately, of course". "Of
course", said Caitlin. "Separately. No offense, but at this point in my very confused life, I really need to start everything over, I mean really
over again. Now, what was it that you needed to know?"
Silas replied that finding the old man was the end of his mission, and that he only could have done it by following Catilin, because he believed that
she, and she alone might be able to accomplish what neither he nor the police had been able to so far. "What are you talking about?" she asked,
rather annoyed. "You don't even know me, or anything about me!...or do you?" She said accusingly. "Besides, if you are talking about bringing
the cops around, whatever it is, I want nothing to do with it. I would just as soon stay out of their way, and have them stay out of mine."
"Caitlin, please, could you calm down just for a minute and let me explain? I'm sure you will agree I owe you that, at least? Come on, let's sit
down, I'm confidant that once you hear me out, you may feel differently." "I highly doubt that", she retorted. But, she was also more than a
little curious, and by now, she honestly did not think that he was out to hurt her, so she agreed to at least hear what he had to say. They sat down
awkwardly on some really uncomfortable rocks, and Caitlin was about to hear a very shocking and incredible story.
Silas told her that he knew that he had gotten his break when she called the old woman from the pay phone in Las Vegas. "What! And how and why
would you, who don't even know me, happen to be listening to my call to her from a pay phone from another state?!" "Please", he said. You
promised to hear me out. And I promise you that I never did then, nor do I now mean you any harm at all. As a matter of fact, I wasn't going to
bring this up at this time, because I didn't want to to take it as a bribe, as when I'm through with my story, you will see that it isn't. But,
because you don't seem to be able to settle down and hold your temper long enough to hear what I have to say, maybe it will help if I let you know
now, that there is a good sum of money in this for you if all goes well. Enough for you to do just as you said you wanted - to go away somewhere and
start a new life for yourself." "You want to pay me? For what?", Catilin asked skeptically. She didn't want him to know just how broke she was,
and how badly she could use some money, any amount would sure help. But, at the same time, she had to make it clear that she was no prostitute, nor
would she ever be. Neither would she be any sort of narc for the pigs.
He laughed. "Caitlin, can I call you Caitlin?" She nodded. "You are a very beautiful girl, but I have a wonderful wife and three children of my
own at home. A prostitute is not on my agenda, believe me." He turned serious then. "My own children, all the more reason why this job I'm on is
so important to me." He then told her that he was a private investigator, currently working for the distrought parents of a six year old girl, who
had been recently abducted and were desperatel searching for her. Especially frightened, because not long before the disapearance of their daughter,
there had been another girl, about the same age, who was last seen alive with the same man in the pictures he was about to show her. That girl's
body had turned up a few days later with multiple stab wounds in a shallow grave in the Arizona desert. Caitlin gasped. "Are you really being
serious? Because if you aren't, that is a horrible thing to say, and if you're making any of this up, I won't help you at all!" He shook his
head, looking very grave. He pulled out his Identification, along with two very blurry photographs. However, blurry as they were, both of them,
showed the man that the old bag had introduced to her when she first arrived at their Godforsaken house, as Henry. In one of the photos, he appeared
to be at a carnival, smiling what appeared to be a very evil grin, and had a little girl on his shoulders. She appeared to be laughing. "Oh My
God!" exclaimed Caitlin. "Was....is....was that the girl who's parents you work for?" He shook his head slowly. "No, not this one's. It's
strange though", he said. "None of her family had ever seen him before, they were quite sure of it. But usually" he continued, "in these cases,
it turns out that the abductor either knows the victim in some way or another, and is trusted by her or him, or is actually a relative. But not in
this case." He said that made it all the more difficult to track him down. The parents had no idea how in just a few moments, while she was
supposed to be waiting in line for the pony rides, she had instead ended up on this man's shoulders, looking happy as could be. Of course they
didn't see her there personally. It happened that the photo was a frame from one of the thousands of video cameras which Caitlin despised, that had
been set up by the government. That explained why it was so blurry. The parents had seen her to the pony ride line, then gone to sit on a nearby
bench, and that was the last time they had seen their daughter alive.
Caitlin was horrified, but found herself quite captivated by this man's story. In the second photo, also quite blurry, and had been come by the same
way as the first, was also the unmistakable shape of the man called Henry. In this one, he had a different small girl by the hair, and appeared to be
shoving her into a truck......the same truck as the one the old witch had picked her up from the airport in!
"This girl", Silas said, "has
yet to be found. She has been missing for four days now, and it is her parents who have hired me to try to find her before it's too late." He
pointed out that the licence plate on the truck was completely in the photo, and amazingly, it was just readable enough to be able to trace it to the
old woman who Caitlen had called, and subsequently flown to Utah to meet. Caitlin was shocked, and almost defensive. She said that the woman was
pure evil, but never to her knowledge in the way that she would ever be directly or indirectly involved in something such as abducting and murdering
children. No, her evil came from deep within, and was always carried out in a phychological way. He quickly assured her that no one thought that she
was, but that for some reason, fear, perhaps, she was protecting him, because the three times he went out to the house, twice with the sherriff in
tow, she would come shuffling to the door with a large, growling dog held close to her side by his collar. She always claimed to have no idea of his
whereabouts. "Probably out in the field somewhere", she had told them once. Well, their "field" sprawled out for miles. It was covered with
tall grass, weeds, large shrubs, trees, a couple of huge junk piles and at least five or six growling, snapping unleashed dogs. There was no way they
could get to him, even if he was out there somewhere. Besides, they did not know the terrain at all.
He told her that they had managed to get a wire tap on her phone a couple of days ago, and how he had just gotten the best lead he could have imagined
when he had tapped into Caitlin's call. While Caitlin didn't exactly like the idea of her call being listened in on, she did understand why. "I
suppose that you want me to go back there, find Henry and bring him out in the open, since he wouldn't be suspecting me of helping you, so you can be
somewhere close by, probably calling the cops. Right?" "That's about exactly what I had in mind. Will you do it"? "Well, I'm not exactly
into turning people over to the pigs, but I suppose weighing what he's done, and with the possibility of rescuing that second girl, what choice do I
have? One thing though, I'm not in any trouble with the law, but I would like to keep it that way, so.....did you mention something about my being
paid for this?" "Oh, yes. How about $10,000.00 cash? Sound fair?" He pulled out his billfold and began counting stacks of $100.00 bills. "Now,
seeing that you would rather not be around when the police arrive, how about you take this $5,000.00 that's 1/2 of it now. Then I will give you a
ride to within about a block of the woman's home, you get out, find a reason to get the old perverted killer out front - I can tell that you're
resourceful. We will take it from there. Now, about the old woman. You don't sound as if you care much for her. I don't know if you will want to
stay with her after we have taken the killer away, or....." "No", Caitlin said quickly. I would just as soon walk away, out of her life once and
for all, and get on with my own, if there is a way that could be arranged." "Not a problem", said Silas. I will leave this blanket right here,
behind that tree over there, see which one I mean?" he asked, pointing. "Yes", Caitlin said, sounding a little suspicious again. But, she had the
$5,000.00 already tucked away in her pockets, so what did she have to lose if he didn't come up with the other 1/2, really. "How about if I leave
the other $5,000.00 and my cell phone under that blanket, there doesn't seem to be anyone around who could possibly see. That way, as soon as we
grab him, if you like, you can just walk away, pick up the rest of your well earned fee and use the phone to call yourself a cab, and be on your way
to the nearest airport, or wherever you choose. That's it. That simple".
Caitlin still wasn't sure how to react. In all of her strange adventures, none of them had ever turned out anything like this. Things like this
were for the movies, or at least other people who she would never meet in her lifetime. Then, there they were, a couple of houses down from their
destination. She got out, walking briskly toward the house. She could see in the distance, the old hag out there sweeping the front step. As she
neared, she heard a screech, "Hey! Where you been!?" "Oh, just out exploring. I got lost for a short while, but as you can see, I'm back
With that, she walked right on by the wretch, ducked into the bathroom for a minute, then headed out back. Henry was sitting on a tree stump,
drinking a beer. "Hey girl, got a smoke?" "Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. I just left them right inside. I'll get you a couple if you like.
You going to be here for a minute?" "Yeah, yeah," he muttered. As if that was her cue, she nodded at the car partially hidden behind the trees,
saw the arrival of the sherriff with two other cop cars in tow. She took one last glance at the old hag, said not a word, and slowly walked toward
the blanket with the rest of the money and the cell phone. The cab was on speed dial. She slowly pushed the button, as she heard the fading screams
of the nightmare who had claimed to be her mother, for the very last time. She was finally free. The whole world was ahead of her. She breathed a
sigh of relief as the taxi pulled up to her feet.
[edit on 5/27/2005 by CyberKat]
[edit on 5/27/2005 by CyberKat]