|Mystery and Crime Fiction posted November 30, 2022||Chapters:||...21 22 -23-|
Sarah's story related to Ike, Ana, Keisha & Francois
A chapter in the book To Be Titled 3d novel
Sarah's story part 1
by Patrick Astre
A serial killer uses new technology to choose his victims
Some of her earliest memories were also the happiest, harking back to a time of a carefree life with endless summers and adults who took care of all problems. She’d been born in Brooklyn, her mother waitressing and doing any odd jobs while her father pursued endless studies at NYU. First a Masters, then a Doctorate, majoring in such technical issues that she still didn’t understand them. At a precocious ten she was old enough to know that she was a “whoops” baby. Money had always been tight, but she didn’t realize that until she reached her teens, and it didn’t matter, not even then. She’d always had enough to eat, a clean place to sleep in, and parents who loved her. At least it seemed that way until the troubles of the world caught up to them in the form of a second pregnancy that brought her little brother, Tim. She remembered the arguments that would come as frequently as spring rain and hurt her ears like summer thunder. She supposed her attitude and blatant toughness came from those days filled with uncertainty and trouble. She remembered slipping grades, behavior problems, threatened to be left back in the sixth grade and visits to what her mother called the “welfare clinic.”
She’d even ran away one May, just as her school year drew to an end. She wasn’t too worried about Tim, back then. After all he was just a baby. With the narrow minded selfishness of children who’d been thrust into the adult world too early, she worried just about herself. A year or two away from puberty, she was seeking a new world, one where fighting parents and strife didn’t exist, a world where she could come into her own like some kind of Alice in Wonderland.
She managed to hide enough money for a bus trip to Penn Station where she faced a bewildering array of travel choices. She never thought it would be this hard until a kind stranger offered to help.
“Where you off to, young princess?” the man had asked her.
At eleven she wasn’t wise to the ways of the world and the inherent evil residing in its bowels, which she’d unknowingly entered. The stranger seemed nice enough, offering her a travel route to a place called “Newark.” He tried to lead her off into a dark recess of the platform, toward a dark opening in the concrete walls. At eleven, she may not have known the ways of the world, but you didn’t live all those years in Brooklyn without developing certain senses. Nothing mystical or psychic, just enough exposure to dark city corners to craft a mental warning. The stranger tried to grab her, dragging her into the dark recess, but she managed to break away, running right into the arms of a cop. The officer was part of a classic law enforcement team. One experienced gray-haired cop teamed up with an aggressive young partner. It didn’t take too many questions for the older cop to figure out what was happening. He sent his young partner after the offending stranger, catching him pretty quick, and brought both to the station. The offender, who turned out to be repeat, soon found himself on his way to Rikers Island and Sarah on her way home to her parents.
Things seemed to improve after that. Her dad was hired by a place called Brookhaven National Laboratory, out in a tree-filled place called Upton, Long Island. As a newly hired scientist combining physics and electronics, the family’s fortunes took a turn for the better, at least financially.
Sarah attended middle school in something called Longwood School District while her brother attended kindergarten in the same district.
By the time Sarah entered Junior high school in the seventh grade, she’d become her young brother’s full time keeper. There wasn’t a particular time or event where life had changed and her mother fell into a mental funk where Gilbey’s gin and Stolichnaya’s vodka pretty much ruled her life.
Sarah would come home to find her brother playing by himself in the yard or inside the house. She never bothered calling for her mother, knew what the story would be. Lying down on a sofa in the Florida room, empty martini glasses and potato chips bag on the coffee table, sometimes beers, but never actual coffee cups. Her mother would mumble something about taking care of her brother, and she would.
“What time will dad by home?” she’d always ask. The question would usually roust her mother to get up from the couch, not to prepare any dinner, but use the shiny steel martini mixer for another concoction.
“Mom? What time…”
“How should I know? He’ll either be buried in his lab experiment or one of the sluts he’s hanging out with.”
At least her mother would keep the fridge packed with easy to make stuff. She always shopped early in the morning at the local King Kullen supermarket, open 24 hours. This allowed her to get shopping done and be home by ten for the first magic mix.
© Copyright 2023. Patrick Astre All rights reserved.
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