Category Archives: Finding Madison

FM 18


I paced up and down the sidewalk outside the precinct, trying desperately to gather my nerves. This was it. “I can do this!” I pepped myself up. I took a deep breath, squared my shoulders, and headed to the police chief’s office. I stood there awkwardly waiting for Chief James to notice I was there. “Sit down, Officer Casey. You’re early.” My eyes grew round. “I’m so sorry, mam.” She shook her head at me. “Stop apologizing. It gets you nowhere. Now, I hear you’re wanting to go into a different field. Homicide.” She glanced up from her files and gazed at me evenly. “It’s not a dog and pony show…are you sure this is what you want?” I cleared my throat. “Yes, mam. I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life.” She seemed satisfied with my answer. “You’ve got it. Congratulations on your promotion.” She extended her hand to me. “Detective Casey.” I smiled widely and shook her hand energetically. “Thank you, mam. I’ll do my best.” She sat back down and flipped through her files once more. “Right. Your partner is transferring in from San Myshuno. You’ll have to show him how things are done around here.” I nodded my head up and down. “I sure will, Chief.” She continued. “He’s to report to your office first thing Monday morning. The name is Gallagher.”

FM 17


I tossed and turned all night watching the minutes on the clock pass. By the time the first rays of morning sun peeked through my blinds, I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to close my eyes. But I had a meeting with the chief of police in four hours. We were going to be discussing my promotion. I jumped up and got dressed. It wasn’t even 6am yet but sleeping was out of the question. “Guess I’ll go for a jog” I muttered to myself, changing my clothes quickly. Fresh air was exactly what I needed. Feeling rejuvenated, I headed into the kitchen for something to drink and found Madison and Dad eating breakfast. “What are you guys doing up so early?” I asked suspiciously. Maddie smiled. “Today is the big day, right?” I grunted and took a big gulp of orange juice. “We just wanted to see you off. Moral support…and all that stuff.” She winked at me. “Much appreciated.” I stuck my tongue out at her. “Somebody sounds nervous.” Dad chimed in. “Maybe a little.” I admitted. “Honey, you have nothing to worry about. They would be crazy not to give you the promotion. You’re a hard worker and very dedicated to the job. You’re gonna be just fine.” I cocked my head to the side and grinned. “I hope you’re right.”

FM 16


I walked out onto the porch and the door slammed loudly behind me. “Oops.” I said to no one in particular. It was a warm and beautiful summer morning. I basked in the sunlight for a moment before gazing up at the sky. “Hey Mom.” It’s been almost seventeen years since she’s been gone, but most days I still feel her all around me. I sighed and strolled across the street to Dad’s law firm. It was my day off and I needed to find something to do. I peered into the large windows and could see my father and sister typing away at their desks. Guess I was going to sit around and watch them work. I plopped down in a chair in the waiting room and grabbed a magazine to help pass the time. I listened to Madison clack away at her keyboard and Dad argue on the phone with a client. I shook my head and read another sentence before flinging the magazine back onto the coffee table. Sitting at a desk and answering the phone all day seemed mighty boring to me. But the two of them looked perfectly happy. As for me…an office job just wasn’t in the cards. Tomorrow marks my third year on the police force…which means I’m up for a BIG promotion.

FM 15


The Creekside Strangler’s trail led Kolt Gallagher deep into the mountains. We all dared to hope that the sheriff was finally closing in on him…but in reality, it seemed the strangler was always a step ahead. I read in the newspaper that Kolt saved a woman from being abducted but in doing so, the strangler got away yet again. The very last thing I heard about Kolt was that he and his son moved into a cabin in Granite Falls. I think Kolt planned to chase the strangler to end of the world if he had to…

As for Maddie and I…we’re doing okay. Our father quit his job so he could take care of us. So much has changed in just one summer. We miss our mother…but sometimes it feels like she’s still with us. I feel like one good thing came from the tragedies we endured…I’ve decided what I want to be when I grow up. A police detective.

FM 14


We had a few weeks of peace after my mother’s funeral but unfortunately…it didn’t last. Another young woman’s body was found. This time it was nowhere near the creek, instead it was in the park behind Kolt’s house. Ever since Mary’s death, Kolt had been struggling with his guilt. He felt he was the blame. He’d provoked the strangler and brought this onto himself…or so he thought. Kolt could feel eyes burning into his skull as he examined the crime scene. He stood up and turned around making eye contact with a man dressed in black. He knew who the man was instantly. The man waved and chuckled before taking off. Kolt chased after him but once again, the strangler got away…

FM 13


On a quiet and sunny afternoon several days later, Sharon Casey was laid to rest. I put a red rose on her grave and spoke to her headstone. “I know you can’t come back. But I wish you could, I wish it with all my heart. I’ll miss you.” Then I sat on a bench by myself, waiting for Maddie and Dad to say their goodbyes. A few minutes later, Kolt came to sit beside me. “I’ll never understand why bad things happen to good people, kiddo. All we can do is hope they’re better off wherever they are now. And I bet they’re just peachy while the rest of us are milling around like ants.” He said quietly while wiping a lone tear from his cheek. “Do you really believe that?” I asked looking up at him curiously. “I want to.” He mumbled, lost in thought for a moment. Dad called to me, it was time to head home. While hugging Kolt goodbye, he whispered in my ear, “I’m going to find the bastard that did this to us, honey. Even if it takes me the rest of my life. I promise you that.” I squeezed him even tighter before letting go. “I know you will. I believe in you.”

FM 12


After what felt like the longest night in all time, the sun finally came up. And within minutes we heard footsteps on the porch. I grabbed Madison by the hand and we excitedly peered through the glass to see who was out there. It wad Dad and Sheriff Gallagher…and they were alone. When we saw the looks of despair on their faces…we knew. They came inside and stood awkwardly in front of us, not knowing how to break the news to us. Madison squeezed my hand and we prepared ourselves for what they needed to tell us, but still…it hit like a freight train. “She’s not ever coming back…is she?” I whispered, looking longingly at the door. “No, sweetie. She isn’t.” Dad said sadly. I could hear Maddie crying next to me while Kolt tried to comfort her. “We found her. She’s with Mary now…at least they have each other.” He was telling her. But I felt the same way Maddie did…there were absolutely no words to make this type of sadness go away.