Last week I started a new story and introduced you to a young girl in a panic because she cannot find her little sister. We don’t know much about these two girls yet except they appear to be on their own without parents. The setting is a small amusement park. Let’s check in and they have found Emily.
A rough callused hand grabbed my arm. “Hey! Slow down there, girlie. Where’s the fire?” Mr. Simpson had been the grounds caretaker since the amusement park opened, and that must have been at least fifty years ago. He’d always spoken kindly to me. But, right now, I didn’t trust anyone. Rheumy eyes stared down at me.
My breath came in ragged gasps. “It’s my little sister, Mr. Simpson. I can’t find her.”
“There, there.” He patted the top of my head. “She has to be here somewhere. Maybe she fell asleep.”
“I’m afraid something happened to her. Maybe she fell out of a ride and hit her head or what if someone took her?” I choked back tears.
“No need to think the worst, Jenny girl. Let’s go talk to Mr. Parker.”
“Come on now,” he prodded me. “Runnin’ around here helter skelter ain’t gonna do you or her any good.”
The old man moved like cold molasses and I resisted the urge to scream. Time was wasting. My gut told me Emmy was in trouble. I always trusted my gut.
But, I matched my steps with his shuffling feet while my eyes darted right and left looking for any tell-tale sign of Emmy.
We finally reached the office and I rushed inside. Cool air relieved my flushed face.
Mr. Parker sat behind his computer pinching the bridge of his nose. He looked up with kindly blue eyes. “What is it, Jennifer? Is something wrong.”
“Oh, Mr. Parker,” I blurted. “I brought Emily to work with me today and kept an eye on her until right before closing when it got busy. Now I can find her anywhere.” I brushed tears away with the back of my hand.
He pushed his chair back and stood. “Otis, who’s still here?”
“I saw Darren, Tom, Mickey, and Bart a few minutes ago,” Mr. Simpson replied.
“Go gather them up. No one leaves until we find the girl.”
Mr. Simpson nodded and shuffled away.
“Don’t worry, honey. ” Mr. Parker put a hand on my shoulder and steered me toward the door. “Now, where was the last place anyone saw her?”
I quickly told him everything I knew.
“No one goes home today until we find her,” he declared. “We’ll search every inch of this place.”
Nothing would stop my heart from pounding until we found Emmy safe and sound. I’d never considered any of the guys that worked there dangerous or possibly pedophiles.
Had I been wrong? What had I done to jeopardize the only blood kin I had left in the world? Oh, God! What had I let happen to Emmy?