I was there, watching, when the woman’s mother verified the body was her daughter, missing for twenty-three days. I was there to see her hands shake, hear her voice whisper, “Yes,” and see the loss in her eyes.
A mother should not see her daughter’s remains on a cold, unfeeling, sterile steel table. A mother should see her daughter grow, get married, start a family.
All I could do was watch. I didn’t have to be there, and according to all the procedures of the Armor Corps, I wasn’t supposed to be there. Nothing was to be personal, everything was to be objective. But, I never followed the rules, which was how I got things done. How I knew what to do, what needed to be done. I was still human.
And I watched Mrs. Theresa Whitson stand beside that cold, hard table, as she looked at what was left of her only child.
I knew from the DNA results, who the victim was. I knew from a records check, how old she was, where she’d worked, what church she’d attended on Sundays, where she’d lived. I’d visited that church, visited her workplace, found her car, visited her apartment. I told myself I was looking for anything to help track down who’d murdered her, and that was partly true. It was also true, as I searched, I became more determined to keep my promise to her soul.
I would find those responsible.
I remembered another woman from years before. When I was… Different. When I was… Normal. I remembered how she died. How my heart broke in half when she did. It broke in half, and never healed. Then the pieces died. All that was left were scars. I’ve got scars that can’t be. Scars where my heart once was.
No one should have to feel their heart break that way. No one should have to feel their heart die, and leave them nothing but a shell. And empty, dead soul.
I knew Mrs. Theresa Whitson’s heart died in those moments she stood beside that table. I felt it happen. And I couldn’t stop it.
But I could tear the hearts from those who’d caused such pain. And I would. I would find them.
And not even God could help them when I did.
I wrote a second story for #FlashMobWrites 1×43, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites 1×43. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?