Sebastian’s Story – Part 28 – The Picture and Device

“I see things, that’s all. Write enough stories and every shadow on the floor looks like a footprint; every line in the dirt like a secret message.”

― Stephen King, Bag of Bones

Brooke had seen enough “things” that it tarnished her view of her family and most people, in general. After seeing her mother on TV, she wept from the embarrassment. Her friends and colleagues would see the news. She thought they would judge her, and it had her frazzled and flustered. Still, she had to get back right. She had to put her chin up and suck up her pride to help Finn and the investigators with the mechanism. When Brooke collected herself and pulled it together, she joined the team of criminal investigators in her bedroom. She wanted to watch and make sure that they did not botch the collection of evidence for that gadget in her closet. Finn was standing attentive with them and looking over their shoulders with the same intent that Brooke had. It was the only evidence they had that could add charges and time to Megan and whoever else was involved in planting the spying equipment. Brooke had become a girl with a grudge when it came to her family, especially her mother. Nothing would make her happier to see all of them behind bars, and chances were that she would get her wish…eventually.

“Mr. Marlow…Could you come closer and look at this?” The investigator was waving for Finn to check something out. “This is very peculiar, and it’s something you should see.”

Finn stopped peeking over their shoulders and joined the scientist in the closet. “Can I get some gloves? I don’t want to compromise any evidence.”

The forensic scientist reached into his case and pulled out a pair of latex gloves for Finn to put on, “Of course…thank you for being so professional. This is strange though. Lift the device up.”

Finn did what the man said and grabbed the device and lifted it. “Ok. What am I looking for?”

“Look on the bottom of the device.” The man helped him lift the bulky, awkward piece of equipment. “Do you see it, there towards the back? Don’t quote me, but it looks like a picture of a dead woman.”

Finn focused his eyes on the photograph and adrenaline filled his body with rage. “Oh my God…is that my mother?”

Finn’s tears began welling up in his eyes. Brooke tried to get closer, but she was held back by the other investigator. His stomach was sick, and his body was feeling weak. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life.

“That dead woman is my mother, Georgia Marlow,” he said as he removed the photo and took it into his gloved hand.

The photo had been taped to the bottom of the device, and it was of a woman badly beaten and shot in the head. The woman had been brutalized, and the first thing Finn noticed was his mother’s blonde hair matted with blood and pond moss, and you could see the deadness setting in her clouded eyes. Whoever planted this device in the closet meant for Finn to find it, and they wanted to deliver a message. It was a jeer from whoever planted the photo to Finn, a warning of sorts with a taunting gesture. It had to be Jericho Flannery, he thought.

“I’m sorry…this is too much. What’s your name, Sir?” Finn asked the investigator.

“Ishmael…Call me Ishmael.” He hung his head because he felt bad for the detective seeing his mother in that state of morbidity.

“Thank you, Ishmael. I am in shock a little bit. Is it okay if I step away from this?” Finn was trying to keep his composure.

“Of course, I completely understand. We will collect this and wrap it up. You guys can step away.” The tall, red-headed expert was very kind and sensitive to the situation.

Finn stepped back from the crime scene and had to catch his breath. This was more than just the mischief of putting a snooping device in their home. This act was grisly and morose. He put his hands on his legs and bent down to breathe in some fresh air. Brooke was watching intensely, and she was curious about what the forensic specialist had found.

“Finn, what is it?” Brooke questioned while trying to get a better look. She kept getting pushed back by the detectives and the CSI team.

“Brooke, you don’t want to see this. Go ahead and head back into the living room.” Finn had already backed away from the evidence, and he helped lead Brooke out of the room. “It was a picture of my mother. After she died…she was dead, Brooke. My momma was tortured and mutilated. There was no carjacking. My mom was murdered in cold blood.”

“Oh Finn, my love, I am so sorry you had to see that.” Her puffy eyes from crying earlier became red and filled with tears again. “Are you sure it was Georgia?”

“Yeah…she had the barrette I got her for her birthday in her hair. It was in the evidence that Detective West had me go through at the station.”

Brooke was as shocked as Finn was. She had no idea how the device got in her closet, and she did not know who to trust anymore, except Finn, after finding that nonsense in their bedroom closet.

“Wow, I’m so sorry babe. This had to be by order of my mother. I cannot apologize enough.” Finn could tell that she felt guilty. “I’ll go start the kettle and make everyone some tea. I think it’s going to be a long night.” Brooke took off into the kitchen, grabbed the kettle from the stove, put water in it, and grabbed some lemon from the refrigerator.

Little did she know that the night would get worse, and she would never see her wish for the family come true. The verity of the situation would become perfectly clear in just a few hours.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. I use several prompts to build on my novel, and their word prompts and challenges are linked, bolded, or italicized. Please be sure to visit them and show some love because without them I would not have nearly 40K words written in this novel.

Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Part 27

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 15 – The Seedy Man (#WDYS 108)

This post is for Sadje’s What Do You See? I said that I wouldn’t be posting any more of my book, but I couldn’t resist any longer. Plus, I was inspired to start Brooke’s connection with Flannery on this post with the photo that Sadje provided. I put the links at the bottom for the other stories if you are new to my blog and story. Have a great day, and thank you for an awesome prompt Sadje.

Image credit: Photomix company @ Pixabay

Brooke rushed up to the front door with her keys jumbled in her fists. She was trying her hardest to get to the door before he could catch up with her. She had to sort her keys into one hand and put her groceries and the curve of her arm as she fumbled to get the key in the door. As she quickened her pace from the driveway up to the door, she realized that he had caught up with her just as she got her house key into the lock to turn it.

Her face flushed with red from the frustration, and she turned around in an about-face. Her face filled with grit as she asked the man, “What do you want?”

He stopped in his tracks behind her as she flipped her body around in anger and fear. His jaw was clenched so tight that you could hear the grit of his teeth against each other. He was so tall and sturdy that Brooke was in shock at how burley he was. She let out a mewl from the fear she was feeling from being in his close proximity. He said nothing back to her. He just stood there. Still…like a tree that was missing the wind. She kind of thought that he had been following her for days, but she did not want to seem like she was paranoid. He was the man that she had written about in her diary years ago after seeing him at the family’s house. It was Jericho Flannery, and he was nothing but bad news.

Brooke stood there for a moment feeling her body shake within itself. “Look…I don’t want any problems. Finn should be home anytime now. Please go.”

“That’s the problem.” Flannery inched closer to Brooke while speaking. His voice was as rough as his appearance.

“You’re the problem…I am not in love with you, Jericho. I love Finn, and we are going to be together. You need to accept that!” Brooke finished turning the key in her door and pushed it open.

The light from the outside shined into the entryway of her and Finn’s home, and she got one foot in the door when she felt Flannery’s hand on her shoulder. It sent chills down her spine because he was just so cold and sinister. She had always been afraid of him, and he had always looked at her like she was a piece of lunch on his plate.

“Brooke, he’s going to get you killed. I want to be with you.” The scruffy whiskers above his top lip curled up with his scour. “You’re mine, and you will always be mine.”

Brooke winced inside herself. She had never been interested in him, mostly because he was her father’s best friend and much older than she was. He was old enough to be her father, literally. She did not want to entertain any idea of being with him, nor did she want to give him any sort of confirmation that she would never be with him. He was one of those dangerous types, and she didn’t want to be the person that threw him into a rage.

“Look, Jericho…you can come in and have some coffee, but then you need to be on your way.

Jericho’s face turned away from her gaze as he heard a car approaching on the nearby street. “I better be going…see you soon, Brooke. I’ll be seeing you real soon…” He walked away from her down the sidewalk of the house and disappeared into the alley beside her house.

Brooke breathed out a gasp of air she had been holding in the entire time he was standing before her. He had always been so scary in her eyes. If only she would have known then that he had every intention of having her one way or another, she might have disappeared that day.

Just as she finished her shudder over Flannery’s visit, Finn pulled into her driveway, and Brooke felt safe again.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 13 – Brooke Deville

The oldest sister, Brooke, was best friends with Davina through school and it continued after she married Cole until her sudden death. She was a free spirit, and the popular girl who associated with everyone, regardless of what social class that a person belonged to. She and Finn were the model high school couple, and everyone strived to find what they had. Clara and Emily were the younger two girls of the family, and Clara was the brainiac activist, while Emily was an absolute mess. Eight kids and three families were all intertwined together, but no one knew how the Devilles became the people that Finn and Davina’s families would learn to fear.

“Be a dear, Brooke…head across the street and introduce yourself to the Marlow boy,” Megan said in an order to her daughter. “He’s quite handsome, and you need to meet some new people.”

Brooke rolled her green eyes at her pushy mother and flipped her hair to show Megan that she did not appreciate her butting into her social life. “I will when I am ready. I’m not one of your sluts, Mother.  You cannot just order me to go meet boys.”

Megan’s face turned bright red with anger. “Just do it. I need to know who these people are, and you are going to take your ass over there and do what I say!”

Brooke huffed at her mother. She was only fifteen years old, and her mother was basically trying to pimp her out to the boy next door, even though it was across the street. “Whatever!” Brooke responded as she gathered up her coach purse she got for her birthday. “I really do hate you.”

She slammed the front door of the big house as she left, and Davina was in her front yard writing in a leather notebook while swinging on the porch swing. Brooke waved to her and smiled. Davina returned the smile as she looked up from her book and waved with the few fingers that were not gripping the journal.

Brooke continued walking toward the front door of the Marlow house, and Davina put down her book watching the beautiful red-haired girl. She wondered who she was and what she was doing, so she got up and followed her across the street.

“Hey, what’s up?” Davina playfully tapped upon Brooke on her shoulder, startling her a bit.

“Oh…it’s you. Hi.” Brooke’s facial expression told Davina that she was not expecting anyone to be behind her.

“I’m Davina. Your mom met my mom the other day.”

“I’m Brooke. I don’t want to be here, but my mom sent me over here. Are they nice?” Brooke was referring to the Marlow family, of course.

“Yeah, Finn is pretty cool. He’s good people. How come you are doing something you do not wanna do?” Davina probed for more information. She was a curious girl.

“She is just annoying. It’s a long story, but we don’t get along very well. I’m not what she wants me to be.” Brooke flips her red hair behind her shoulder. “Will you come up to the door with me?”

“Of course! I don’t mind. I need to talk to Finn anyway.” Davina said as she escorted the new girl to the solid red door and rang the doorbell.

The door opened with a tall, dark-haired boy standing before them. It was Finn. “Hey, Davina. Who’s this?” He looks at Brooke with a pleasant grin.

The was the first time Brooke had ever been happy about her mother meddling in her life because in her eyes he was the most handsome boy she had ever come by. His eyes were a beautiful amber color, and he was in great shape…muscles formed a six-pack along the waist of his pants. They were just kids, but she felt like she had just met her forever when he opened the door.

Davina giggled to herself. “Finn is your mom around? My mom wanted me to ask you if she would be going to your game on Friday. She’s off, so she wanted to hang out.”

“Come on in.” He gestured. Brooke was not sure the invitation was directed at her too, so she stood there blushing for the moment. “You too…” he paused because he did not know her name.

“Brooke. I am Brooke.” She was stumbling over her words a little.

“Okay, Brooke.” He winked. “It’s nice to meet you. Come in.”

She smiled up at him and followed him in the red door. He was wearing his football jersey, and the number “12” hugged his strong back. He looked back at her with a grin that reached from ear to ear, and it was from that moment that the two of them were inseparable. They spent a large majority of their time together, especially after cheerleading tryouts. It did not take her long to find her way, and Finn helped her find her place as one of the new girls.

Finn was the star athlete on the football team, and Brooke became the queen of the pep squad. They were the usual prom king and queen for their high school roles, but they were nice to everyone. Brooke was not the typical mean girl cheerleader. She loved people and had a great heart. Their relationship broke the mold of what most people see as the jock that dated the head cheerleader. No one could contain their benevolent desires to help people, regardless of status.

Brooke and Davina would share time at both houses, and Megan loved both her daughter and Davina, at least it seemed…for the most part. Megan was very opinionated, and she did not have a filter…which could possibly be why she and Davina clicked so well back in the early days. Fiona was welcoming to Brooke, and she took up the slack for Megan’s poor parenting skills when it came to Brooke. She was worrisome when it came to Davina spending time around Megan later on in the friendship.

“So, Davina…how’s your mom doing? It must be hard for her since your father is not around to help out.” Megan was being her normal mean self.

“My mom is always good,” Davina replies condescendingly.

Megan’s eyes lit up. “A little fire in that soul…hmm. Who would have thought? Brooke, you should take lessons from your new friend.”

Brooke ignored her. “C’mon Davina…it’s not so crowded in my room.” She put emphasis on her mother being the crowd.

“See ya later, Ms. Deville.” Davina smiled as she was drug away from Megan by Brooke.

Brooke despised that her mother would always try to stick her nose in their business when they were talking about boys or things they wanted to do on the weekends. Brooke and Megan’s relationship was not good and was full of turmoil, and Fiona always thought that Megan saw Davina as the daughter she wished that Brooke would have been. Davina was very outspoken and bold, while Brooke was more relaxed and caring. Davina had a dark side about her. By the time graduation came along, Brooke had completely detached from her mother’s grips, but the disdain that she felt for her mother is what got her killed.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 11 – Scrabble

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Finn had not spent any amount of time with Sebastian after he was born because of school and pursuing his career as a detective. His mother’s untimely passing drove him to change his major from engineering to criminal justice, and he was away from Roland for quite a long while. When he graduated college and got into the police academy, everyone and everything had changed.

With the thought in the back of his mind, he chose a car that looked like his mother’s station wagon to begin playing with the blonde-haired boy.

“Good jobs, Mr. Finn!” Sebastian spoke excitedly and playfully to his new friend.

“Thank you! Do you like it?” Finn rolled the car around the homemade track that Sebastian’s momma had built him.

“Yeah…I like mine better though.” He flashed a blue truck like his Gammy’s pickup truck.

As they rolled the car and truck around the track, Finn began asking little questions to get Sebastian talking and feeling comfortable. He felt bad interrogating such a little fella, but he needed to hear those secrets.

“You and your mommy…did you play cars together?” Finn hoped he did not make Sebastian sad with his question, but he was a tough little boy.

“Mhm. She likes playing wif me.” He looked across the room to the board games. “But hers liked playing that game more.” Sebastian pointed to the box that said “Scrabble” on the side.

“Oh, I love that game too! Do you wanna play it sometime?”

Sebastian shrugged his shoulders without deciding about the word game and continued rolling his truck around the track. He got quiet and looked a bit sad. Finn figured he would have to build a little bit more trust before asking questions.

“I lost my momma too. She was my best friend. She loved your mommy and Auntie Brooke.” Finn opened up to Sebastian to relate to his pain. “I never thought I would be without my mommy, so I bet it is really hard for you too.”

“Mommy told me she may have to see Auntie one day.  My dad is bad.”

“He is, but your mommy tried very hard to protect you from him.” Finn patted Sebastian on his shoulder. “She would be very proud of how strong you are for such a young fella.” Finn smiled into the little boy’s eyes.

“Yeah, she teaches me.” The sweet boy stood up and ran over to the bookshelf with all the games as he finished speaking. “We can play this now.” He grabbed the Scrabble game.

“Sure! Whatever you want to do…I am here for you, okay?”

“I know. Mommy told me you would play with me. She showed me what to spell.” 

Finn watched as he spelled out letters inside of the board. Sebastian first spelled “C O L E.” From there, he spelled MEGAN on the E in Cole. He put AND on the A in Megan, and the little boy spelled MURDER on the M of Megan. Last, he spelled BROOKE on the E of murder. Finn’s heart dropped.

“Is that one of Mommy’s secrets?” Finn questioned what he was seeing on the board.

“Yeah, I dunno what it says though.” Sebastian pouted.

“It’s okay, Sebastian. I can understand it.”

“Wait there’s more, Mr. Finn.” He spelled out FINN MARLOW, and he then spelled IN on the N of Finn and TROUBLE from the O in Marlow. Then a new name popped up. From the F in Finn, Sebastian spelled out FLANNERY. “This one is new. She said to show you.”

“Thank you, Sebastian. You are really an amazing little person, you know that?” Finn knew the name, and he knew to be thankful to see it on the game board. Jericho Flannery was a bad person, and he was in contact with Brooke before her death.

Sebastian began picking up all the letters from the board to put them away, and he looked at Finn with a sad face, “Daddy made Mommy go, right Mr. Finn.”

“I’m not sure, but I am going to find out. We are all going to be okay.  I promise.”

Just as they finished putting away the game Fiona calls them to dinner.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 10 – The Secrets

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Fiona came back from her shower with puffy eyes from bawling as the warm water smacked her face, but she felt a little better. So much had happened that she did not remember the last time that she had a good, long shower.  Sebastian was happy to see her, and Klaus greeted her at the couch with a puppy kiss on her cheek as she sat down.  She had been crying in the shower, and she stayed in there long enough to gather herself better.  She had to be strong for Sebastian. 

“Gammy, are you sad like Mr. Finn?”

“I am baby…I miss your mommy.” Fiona’s eyes filled with tears yet again.

“Me too, Gammy.” Sebastian tried to console Fiona by patting softly on her leg. “We be okay.  Mommy looks down like Auntie Brooke.”  He smiled so sweetly that Fiona could have sworn she felt her heart break a little.

She ached for his loss, and she wished she could forget Cole and his family.  So much had changed since their lives became intertwined with them. Finn caught a tear with his finger. Hearing Brooke’s name spoken again brought back more memories of Deville despair.

She looked over at a grim face from Finn and felt bad that he could see her sadness and mourning. She could tell those memories were flooding the detective’s mind. His memories were frozen in the past. He had lost so much, and this had to be hard on him like it was for her and Sebastian.  Sebastian was managing things in his own way, and she supposed that Finn also had his own way of dealing with losing his friend. The loss of Davina took another jab at the heart of the tall, dark-haired, sturdy detective. There was no way in hell he could ever be content with the things that the Devilles had always gotten away with, and this was going to be the last straw.

Finn spoke to Sebastian about his aunt, and said, “I loved your Auntie Brook the whole moon and the stars, Sebastian. I know she is watching over you. She and your mommy are more than likely having an absolute blast in heaven. They were best friends. Did you know that?”

“Mhm, Mommy told me all their secrets…” He giggled aloud, and Fiona and Finn could just return the laughs to one another at Sebastian’s amusement at being the secret keeper.

“Is that right?” Finn said playfully, “I wish I knew all their secrets.  You should feel incredibly special to know them.” 

He hoped that Sebastian would spill all the beans and tell them these secrets. He thought for a moment that Davina might have told him everything for that purpose…but he did not want to assume.  He just continued laughing with Sebastian for the moment, but Fiona must have had the same idea.

Fiona asked, “What kind of secrets sweetie?  We promise not to tell anyone.  Mommy may have told you something that we need to know now that she and Auntie Brooke aren’t here anymore.”

“Nope! I cannot tell anyone.  We pinky swear.” Sebastian giggled yet again. “Klaus, tell Gammy the rule. Secrets saves lives.”

It was an odd thing for a little boy to say. It only made Fiona and the detective more curious about these secrets. It was possible that Davina speculated inside her mind that he would not be able to keep the secrets forever, so she prepared him.  She would have wanted to arm him with information, especially after she declined an invitation from Megan to join the family business.

Fiona sat down with Sebastian on the floor, and Klaus jumped on her lap.  Finn followed and sat with his legs crossed next to Fiona. This was going to be one of the hardest interrogations that I’ve ever conducted, Finn thought to himself.  He felt bad for thinking the thought of interrogating a three-year-old, but he needed to know those secrets.

“Miss Fiona…if it’s okay…do you mind if I talk to him for a little bit.”

“I think that would be okay…how about you Sebastian? Do you want to play with Detective Marlow for a little bit?”

Sebastian smiled at his Gammy. “Sure. We can play with the cars since he’s a boy. Momma would think it’s fun for me to play wif Mr. Finn.”

“Okay then, you boys have fun playing cars, and I will go make us some food.” Fiona stood up and exited the living room flashing Finn a thumbs up. 

Finn gave a friendly nod and picked his favorite car.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 8 – Detective Marlow

“Thank you for being here, Finn.  I know Davina would feel better knowing you are here with me.” Fiona spoke sincerely with a regretful sadness in her voice. “I wish we could have talked to you sooner.”

“I’m sorry that I did not get wind of Cole’s activities sooner, Fiona.  I am so damn sorry.  I loved her like a sister, you know?”

“I know.  She loved you too.  It’s something that we always knew could happen, him finding us, but I never thought he would kill her.”

“She got too close to the business and rejected Megan’s proposal.  Plus, Cole is a complete psychopath.  Brooke suffered the same fate, but I feel stupid that I never saw the hatred between the family and my Brooke.”

“Brooke was a great girl and great friend to Davina.  I think she kept Davina focused on the good aspects of their lives rather than the mess they were stuck in.  I still do not think it was a suicide…Megan had something to do with it.  Conniving bitch…”

“Yeah…that part.” He noticed Fiona getting agitated.

With her anger building thinking about Megan again after so long, Fiona decided to step away for a moment.  She raised up from the couch and went to the kitchen to grab them some more coffee, patting Sebastian on the head as she wandered past him.  He was playing with Klaus and his ball on the floor.  She looked back at Finn and noticed the bewildering look upon his face.  He was fighting demons inside of himself, especially when it came to dealing with the Devilles.

Finn Marlow was not a stranger to loss, and now Fiona had lost the only daughter she had.  Thank goodness for Sebastian, she mused. She had no idea how she was going to get through losing her, but she knew investing her time with Sebastian was the answer. 

“Finn, how did you do it?  Cope with losing them…”, Fiona asked as she walked back to the room with coffee in hand for both of them.

“Honestly, I became obsessed with stopping them.  I used my anger to fuel my desire to bring them down.  Brooke would have been so disappointed with how much I tried to hurt them.”

Fiona looked at the clock as it chimed seven times just when he finished speaking. Finn shook his head and frowned at himself for letting so many bad things happen.  It made him begin to think about the beginning of it all when life was much easier because he did not know how one family could cause so much turmoil. 

“Fiona, I meant to thank you for the flowers when Mom passed on.  I was afraid if I reached out that he would find you.  A lot of good that did, huh?”

“Hey, we got away because of you.  We were always thankful for you getting the Marshalls involved to get us relocated.  When Brooke died, we knew it was only a matter of time before Cole escalated.  I was the last to know that he had already been abusing her for years.”

“They found Aurora a few weeks ago.  She had been missing since right after we moved you, Davina, and Sebastian away from Cole.”

The fear shook Fiona inside her bones.  Poor Aurora, she thought with a tear rolling down her blushed cheek.  “She died for us? How terrible…”

“It was gruesome…I’ll spare you the details.” He tapped on his coffee cup.

“Thanks for that…she was a sweet lady.  She reminded me of Brooke.  They were a lot alike in how she handled our families.” She patted Finn on the leg.  “I think I will go have a shower.  Sebastian is okay with you for a little bit?”

“Sure, I got you.  Take care of yourself.” He smiled at Sebastian who was looking at him as he answered Gammy.

As Detective Marlow kept an eye on Sebastian, Finn began reflecting back to the beginning of how he became a detective.  He had lost two people that he loved very much because of the seedy life that the Deville family lived with their children.  In retrospect, he should have seen that they were bad people, but it was hard to see past the blinders that they put out for the world to see.  Even though everyone was close in the early stages of friendship and comradery, it was hard to accept that the Devilles would be capable of ruining so many lives with their evil doings.

It was in the Fall semester of his freshman year at the University of Arkansas that Finn got the gut-wrenching phone call that changed his life forever. 

“Mr. Marlow, I am looking to speak to Finn Marlow.” It was an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line.  A female…she sounded sad, and Finn would never forget that voice.

“This is Finn.  Who is this?”

“Um yes.  My name is Sarah West.  I wanted to have this conversation in person, but I realize that is not…Mr. Marlow…we have found your mother.”

“Found her…she’s not missing.  What do you mean, Ms. West.”

This was the first time Detective Sarah West did a notification call as a homicide detective.  She was very nervous and hated talking to him over the phone to tell him that his mother was gone.

“She was found outside of town, and she is gone, Mr. Marlow.  She’s passed.”

“What?  No…what are you saying?  My mother is dead?” He could feel a lump building in his throat and his chest tightened with despair.  “You called and are telling me over the phone that my mother has died…what happened?”

“I’m sorry for your loss and for the way I had to notify you.  We need you to come in to get her personal belongings.  Will you be able to make it back to Roland?  I know you are away at school, but maybe you can make sense of what we found on her.”

The detective sounded sincere, but Finn had no idea what was going on.  His mother was found dead about 10 miles outside of town by Lake Maumelle.  She was cryptic and was not telling him much. She had spared him the details that day, but later in his career, he found out she had been shot execution-style in her head, beaten severely, and sexually assaulted.  The murderer did not even attempt to hide the body.  It was laying in plain sight.  They thought it was a carjacking gone wrong, but her car was never found.  Still, to this day, Finn looks for his mother’s grocery getter with tips that come every so often, and she had been gone for 5 years now. 

“Sure.  I will come back tonight.”

When he spoke, his voice was full of pain.  He was having a hard time keeping it together.  He thought about his brothers and about how to tell them. 

He packed up an overnight bag with a few outfits and essentials and headed back home.  It was going to be a long drive home.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston