Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)
TITLE: The Clock Hair
By c clemons
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“Marta, please come eat something.” her husband James pleaded. “You have to eat, or you will make yourself sick if you don’t.”
“I’m not hungry, you go ahead, I’ll come join you later.” How can I eat, when I don’t know if my baby is hungry, cold or sick.” she thought.
Before this nightmare started the Jones’ had been one happy family. James was about to make partner in his law firm and she was the happy homemaker with a darling baby girl of two years old. Life was good, they both had wanted to start a family soon after the honeymoon and Junie had come along about a year and half after they were married. Marta did not know the deep well of love she could feel for another human being until she was a mother. Junie was truly a bundle of joy. Her bouncy curls, dimple cheeks and big grin could disarm even the hardest of hearts.
She got up and went into the family room where James was eating his dinner. “James did the detective call today?” The police had questioned her and James until they were satisfied that they had not harmed their child. Recently they said that they were looking at a person of interest, but would not say anything more.
“No honey.” James replied. Marta asked the same question everyday.
“Okay”, she moved about the room straightening it as in a trance. James noticed her weight lost but did not mention it. Marta had always been a bit of a clean freak, so she seemed to find comfort in cleaning the house. All but Junie’s room, which she could not bear to go into.
“Honey, I’m going to do a thorough cleaning, so I’ll start in the kitchen.” Marta said as she opened the cabinet to get her cleaning supplies.
“Alright, do you want any help?” James offered.
“No thanks, it occupies my mind.”
It broke James’ heart to see his wife in such turmoil, he himself had had little sleep and there was a knot in his gut that would not loosen. Dear Lord, I pray for my little daughter’s safe return and wherever she is I pray that she is in your keeping.”
“James! Come here quick!” Marta cried.
“What is it?” James said as he ran into the kitchen.
Marta had been cleaning a white pendulum clock in the kitchen.
“See, look here. I took the back off and I noticed a black coarse hair inside the face of clock. At first I didn’t think much about it. But my hair’s not black, and neither is yours or Junie’s. So whose is this?”
“I don’t know, so many people have been in here the past few weeks it could be anyone’s.”
“I don’t think so, I’m calling Detective Gardocki”
Marta noticed for the first time in a long time what a nice day it was when the phone rang.
“Mrs. Jones this is Detective Gardocki, I have good news for you. We have arrested that person of interest that we mentioned before. After sending that hair strand to the lab it was a positive DNA match to the one we got from the suspect. Turns out he was a neighbor. He told us where Junie was and the best part is she is alive and well. If it hadn’t been for you finding that hair I’m not sure of the outcome of this case, he was about to leave town. Now I know you will want Junie to have a thorough examination…”
Marta was not sure what Detective Gardocki said after he said Junie was alive! Marta and James raced to the hospital and there charming the doctors and nurses was their baby girl! The doctor assured them that Junie was fine, and because of her age she would have no lingering effects of her ordeal.
Right there in the emergency room they gave thanks to God for the miracle and the safe return of their daughter.
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