By Shannon O’Keeffe
1: Tales of the town
One icy cold winter morning, Betty was awoken by a shake on her shoulder from her mum. “Morning Betty! I made you an omelette, your favourite.”
Betty was surprised, she only ever got breakfast in bed on her birthday.
“Thanks, but I‘m not that hungry yet,”Betty replied.
“Come on Betts eat up!”
With that, her mum walked out of Betty’s pink, floral room. As Betty ate her breakfast she decided to turn on the T.V and watch the Saturday morning news.
“ ….And now back to Mary with some breaking news,” read the weatherman.
“Thank you Jeremy. Breaking news, this morning at approximately 5.00am, a girl by the name Madelaine Malcolms, age sixteen, has reportedly gone missing. Chief of police, Sheriff Rhodes, is still unsure of any suspects on the case and…”
Betty turned off the TV in shock.
“Madelaine..?” Betty thought to herself, “But I was only texting her last night…”
“Betty are you ready?” asked her mum as she charged into the room.
“Mom! What have I told you about knocking!” Betty shouted.
“Oh sorry, I completely forgot. Well hurry up anyway the Malcolm’s will be here any minute now!” Her mum said , in a nervous tone.
“But mum I just watched the news, their daughter, Madelaine? She’s missing.” Betty’s eyes filled with tears but she sniffed in to stop it.
“Oh Betty, are you ok? This is just terrible.”
Madelaine was Betty’s best friend ever since they were crawling on the floor. The Mulroys were very close to the Malcolms.
“You don’t have to come to the village with Molly and I if you don’t want to. There’s always another day to shop.” Her mum told her trying to comfort her.
“Actually, when you’re out, can I invite Jessica over? She’d be really comforting in situations like this” explained Betty.
“Of course, Betts. Whatever makes you happy,” her mom replied. She then gave Betty a gentle kiss on the forehead, got Molly from the other room and walked downstairs.
“There’s Lasagne in the fridge if you want to stick it in the oven for lunch, I’ll be back soon. Bye!” she called from the hallway.
“Bye!” Betty cried back.
Tears rolling down her porcelain cheeks, she sat, quietly, sadly.
2:And so the search begins…
“Hey Betts, I brought some snacks!”announced Jessica as Betty opened the door in her old fashioned hallway. “Oh Betty, you look as if you were crying your heart out. Come here!”Jessica gave her a great big hug.
“I was. I-I just can’t believe it. Why Maddie? She doesn’t deserve this. I can’t stop thinking about it, Jessica. We need to find her.”
“Well, just don’t think about it. Don’t worry Betty. I’ll make you some ice cream and hot cocoa, ok?”
As Jessica was walking into the rose scented hallway, the home telephone began to ring as loud as a drill to a wall.
“Hello? Mulroy household, who’s speaking?” spoke Jessica on the phone.
The sounds she heard were horrifying, Like a
man’s deep breathing.
Then there was movement heard on the phone.
“Hello?” Jessica decided to break the silence.
“Betty? Is that you? Please…” Came a girls shaky voice from the phone.
“This is Jessica, her friend. Who is this?” Asked Jessica, her voice trembling herself.
“Jessica! Please, i’m trapped in a bas-”
The call was then ended, with a long beep at the end.
Betty tiptoed out to the hall to check on Jess.
“Who was it, Jess? My mom?”Questioned Betty, confusedly.
Jessica dropped the telephone and burst into a fit of tears.
“Jessica! What happened, who was it? Are you Ok?”
Asked Betty, questions circling round her head.
“Betty, I, I think it was M, M…” Jessica tried to speak but her voice was so shaky Betty could hardly understand.
Betty scampered to the phone and cried out Madelaine’s name, she knew that was what Jessica was saying.
“Betty we need to find her,” cried Jessica.
“I think I know how,” Betty replied, with confidence in every word.
3: A message from the darkside…..
“Did you find anything yet about creepy basements in Ferntown or something to help?” Jessica asked coming in Betty’s dad’s office, with two cups of hot cocoa.
“ Well I know that there’s at least seven well known basements but he wouldn’t be that stupid to hide her somewhere well known, would he?” Betty replied.
Suddenly, Betty received a message on her laptop.
When she clicked into her messages, what they both saw left their mouths hanging open; it was horrifying. What they saw was a picture of Madelaine, on a rickety chair in a dark, gloomy room still in her school uniform. That left both Betty and Jessica in shock. Then Betty noticed, the smallest thing that could stop the whole search. An award hung on the wall with pride. It was an award that read; `Congratulations, Officer R-” and that was all she could see.
“Jessica look at this,”Betty summoned Jessica towards the laptop, pointing at it.
“Officer R? There’s only four officers who have `R` at the start of their last name who are Ricks, Reynolds, Runt and my dad Rhodes, who’s Chief.
“Well let’s take it to your dad,” suggested Betty, who then took a photo of it and they both left for Fernstown station.
4: To cover your tracks
Down in the police station, Jessica asked the receptionist where she could find her dad who was the Chief.
“Oh Jessica how are you?”Asked the receptionist.
“Your dad is down in his investigation basement. I would bring you there, but it’s very private and stuff like that.” she explained, with a certain tone on private.
“Oh, Ok. Thanks Sarah,” replied Jessica.
“Uh Jessica?” Mumbled Betty.
“Don’t you see? Basement.”
“That’s where Madelaine was trying to say she was trapped! And I can only imagine this being a thriller movie and we end up finding out the most unexpected person in town could be the wrongdoer.”
“But Betty you don’t understand! Your life isn’t just some crazy movie! Madelaine is missing, and there’s nothing you can do about it! Now just stop acting up and go home,” Jessica was now getting annoyed at Betty but she wasn’t so sure why.
“Why are you so mad all of a sudden. If you don’t wanna do this that’s fine and if you don’t wanna be my friend then that’s also fine! Now stop pretending you like me and go,” Betty replied towards Jessica’s hateful comments.
“Oh, shut up , you’re the perfect girl next door,”
Jessica told her in envy.
Betty then ran towards the basement stairs filled with rage, to be disgusted at what she seen down there, who was stupid enough to unlock the door?
5: The not so happy hereafter….
“Mom?!” shouted Betty.
“Betty!” cried Madelaine.
“Maddie?!” screamed Betty, shocked to see her here.
“Betty it’s not what it looks like,” explained her mom.
“Really? Cause’ it looks like you and Chief Rhodes just kidnapped my best friend!”
“Stay out of it!” shouted Chief.
“Get down!” cried officer Reynolds who had seen Betty running down to the basement, and knew something was wrong.
Betty ran towards Madelaine to untie her from her chair while police came in and cuffed Betty’s mom and Chief Rhodes.
Who would’ve thought Betty was right, these kidnappers were unexpected.
“Thank you so much Betty, how long have I been down here?” Madelaine said to her, thankfully.
“Only two days, thank god! Come with me,” she replied.
“But Betty, what did I do? ” screamed her mom.
“Not this time mom, don’t act so surprised.
I knew about your affair with Rhodes, but I didn’t think you’d take it this far? Becoming like him?” Betty said beginning to cry with sadness and fury.
“Oh please, shove it Betty!”
And those were Joan Mulroys last words before a sentence of twenty five years.
“You shouldn’t have worked on this case! Leave the detective work to the police!” Spoke the previous Chief furiously to Betty before leaving the basement and heading to the interrogation room upstairs.
Tears were now falling down Bettys already distraught face at all this anger. When will this nightmare be over?
After leaving the police station, after a horrible day, the Malcolms decided to take Betty into their care while her mom was in prison serving twenty-five years.
Betty and Madelaine have become a lot closer and were now sitting on the couch still flabbergasted and scarred, flicking through all channels on the television, when the news headlines came up.
“…And now, news of the night. Eighteen year old, Jessica Rhodes, daughter of the former police Chief who had been arrested today, for kidnapping the D.A’s daughter Madelaine, and who had spoken on yesterday morning’s news has been shot in her own home. They’re still t-,” the T.V was then switched off.
“Betty? Are you Ok? ” Madelaine knew Jess well too.
To be continued..