Desert Rose Part 4

Detective Sebastian Branston pulls up to the other teenager’s house. There was a silver minivan in the driveway. He gets out and heads towards the front door. Just as he was about to knock on the door, it opens. A woman with long black hair, dress in a nice peach color dress opens the door before he could knock.

“Who are you?” Carol wanted to know who this person was.

“I’m Detective Sebastian Branston with the Mesquite Police Department.”

“Why are you here?” Carol was curious why a detective from the Mesquite police department was at her home.

“I’m here to speak to your daughter, Cindy.” Detective Branston watched Carol’s. He notices her expression changed.

“That would be kind of hard detective. My daughter and her friends are in the hospital either unconscious or in a coma.” Tears leak from Carol’s eyes.

“I’m sorry to hear that. Can you tell me what happened? Also, could we take this conversion inside please?” Detective Branston was a little warm outside.

“Yes, please come in.” She steps aside to let Detective Branston inside her home.

Once they are inside, they head for the living room. Detective Branston sits near Carol on the end piece of the L shape sofa. He takes his book out and pens out to take notes.

"Mrs. Rasmussen, can you tell me anything about what happened to your daughter and her friends?”

“I can tell you what the police have learned already. A couple of nights ago, my daughter and her friends went out with a friend of theirs to have some fun. They had just won some money from one of those scratch tickets and wanted to celebrate. It was the next day when I received a phone call from Highway Patrol saying that my daughter and her friends had been in an accident. The trooper that found them, said the car looked pretty beat-up and that all the kids inside were seriously injured.” Carol breaks into tears as the words of what the trooper said echoed in her mind.

“Did you get the trooper name, Mrs. Rasmussen?” As Detective Branston hands her a handkerchief from his pocket.

“Thank you.” As she accepts the handkerchief. She wipes her eyes and blows her nose.

Detective Branston was wondering why didn’t his department know about this? Why didn’t the officers they sent out to locate these kids talk with the parents? This was something he was going to investigate.

“Yes, let me get the name for you.” Mrs. Rasmussen gets up and heads into the kitchen to get the piece of paper she wrote the trooper name on and the hospital the kids were in.

Detective Branston was wondering what was going on? Also, how much money did the kids win or were they paid the money?

“Here it is Detective.” As Mrs. Rasmussen hands the notepaper to Detective Branston.

Detective Branston accepts it “thank you.” As he glances at the name and the hospital she was given.

He notices that the kids had been taken to Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas. The name of the Trooper that had been written down was trooper Charlie Williams. He looks towards Mrs. Rasmussen.

“You said the kids won some money from a scratch ticket? Do you recall how much they won?” Detective Branston wonders if Belka parents
paid them.

“I don’t recall. All Cindy said was they won a lot of money and split it between them.” Carol remembered Cindy being so happy about the money.

“Did all her friends share into this fortune?”

“I believe so. I think the only one that didn’t was a girl named Belka Karlen. She wasn’t with them when they bought the scratch-off.” Carol didn’t care for Carol at all.

When she found out that Belka was a biological male pretending to be a girl. She wanted her daughter not to associate herself with him. She didn’t want Cindy or herself become excommunicated from the Mormon church.

The detective thought he detected a little disgust in Mrs. Rasmussen’s tone when she said Belka’s name. Does he wonder if she had anything to do about her being left out in the desert?

“Mrs. Rasmussen, do you have a problem with Belka Karlen?”

“I have problems with people who have a mental illness. The boy dresses and acts like a girl when he wasn’t born one. It goes against gods word and is a sin.” Carol believed strongly in what the Mormon church preached about homosexuality.

“So, you're saying you know Belka is a transgender person?” Detective Branston dislikes people who let religion or their misunderstanding of things cloud their judgment.

“Yes, I know that Belka is really a boy pretending to be a girl. I didn’t like it when my daughter was around him.” Mrs. Rasmussen had a disgusted look on her face.

Detective Branston studies Mrs. Rasmussen’s facial expression to see if she would go to the extreme to kill Belka. He doesn’t think she was the type that would kill someone, because she hated them. Yes, she was disgusted with the fact Belka dressed and pretended that she was a girl, but there wasn’t murder in her eyes.

Detective Branston closes his notepad and stands up as he puts it and his pen away.

“It’s been informative talking to you, Mrs. Rasmussen. By the way, did the trooper report say what might have damaged the car your daughter was in?”

“He didn’t tell me. All I know was the kids were close to death by the time they were taken to the hospital. According to the doctor that operated on my daughter. If they hadn’t gotten to the hospital when they did. I would be planning a funeral right now.” Mrs. Rasmussen escorts Detective Branston to the door.

“I’ll be in touch with you, Mrs. Rasmussen.” Detective Branston heads towards his car and gets in.

He wanted to see the car the kids had been in for himself. He knew which impound the car would have been towed to. Drives towards the impound.

It takes him thirty minutes to arrive at the impound. He pulls up to the office and turns his car off. When he gets out, he heads inside. He spots a heavy Mexican guy behind the counter. The man looked like he needed to go on a diet.

Detective Branston walks up to the counter. He watches as the man puts something down on the counter behind the counter.

“What can I do for you, señor?”

“I would like to examine a car that got towed in here two days ago by the State Police.”

“Let me get someone to escort you out to the car, señor.” Francisco picks up a walkie-talkie and starts speaking Spanish into it.

A few minutes later a skinny looking teenage girl with short greasy hair comes walking into the office. The jumpsuit she had on was covered in grease and dirt. It didn’t look like it had been washed in a couple of days. In the middle of her neck, looked to be a nasty scar that went across her neck.

Francisco looks at the girl and in Spanish “ Hazte útil y acompaña a este gringo hasta el naufragio al que vamos hace dos días.”

Alejandra looks at Detective Branston and motions for him to follow her. She doesn’t know if he was understanding her.

“Do you want me to follow you?”

Alejandra nods her head yes. As she turns and leads Detective Branston out into the yard. She takes her time because her leg was bothering her.

Detective Branston follows the young girl. He saw how she favored one leg. He wonders how she got the scar on her throat. It was ragged and looked old.

It takes them a few minutes to come to a black 2017 GMC Acadia. The thing looked beaten to hell. Whatever ram it off the road, had to be just as big or then it.

All the glass and front windshield were broken. The roof was caved in as well. He could see where the rescuers had to use the jaws of life to pry open the doors to pull the people out. He spots the girl that brought him to it, standing nearby and was watching him.

He looks inside and saw blood on the seat and the headliner of the roof. He keeps going over the vehicle and finds a cellphone the state police missed, wedged up and under the passenger seat. He takes a pair of gloves out and fishes the cellphone out.

He tries to power it up, but the battery was dead. He places it in an evidence bag. He’s hoping one of the techs back at headquarters might be able to turn it on. He takes a few pictures of the vehicle. He makes sure he takes pictures of the license plate.

As he stands there looking at the SUV, he wonders if this wasn’t on purpose? Something about it just wasn’t right. He looks at the girl that escorted him out to the vehicle. There were sadness and desperation in her eyes. He spotted a fading bruise on the left side of her face. It was partially covered up by the grease smear on her cheek.

He walks up to her and pulls out a business card “here take this card. If you need help, call me.”

Alejandra tentatively takes it and slip it into her pocket. She slips it into the waistband of her panties, through a hole in her pocket. She escorts the man back up to the front office.

Once he walks inside, she turns around and goes back to what she was doing before she was told to come to the office. She was tired and hungry, but if she wanted to eat tonight. She needed to finish pulling the parts Francisco told her to pull. If not, it will be the third night in the row she will go without food.

Francisco watches as the man leaves. He wonder, if his niece told him anything? If she knew what was good for her, she had better not.



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This story is 1723 words long.