FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN
by Catherine C. Straub
The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness has never put it out.
— John 1:5
The sky darkened like the moods of the seasons. The heavens
became a part of the whole not likened to the iniquity earth.
Cunning Eugene followed Kieran and Beth by a few spaces. He
hurried home, rubbing his hands; happy he could use what he saw — to further
his gain? By the time, Eugene entered the kitchen plotting; the neighbor
kids were staring at the frogs? It overjoyed the kids to see the polliwogs
unfamiliar, as a new frog, hopping around, happy with their new life. Flo
stirred the beef stew, irritated at her son, Eugene. He passed her with a
devious scorn filling his face. She felt regretful; she bred him, raising
her eyes to Heaven.
Eugene never taunted Emmy’s mornings like Kieran… She loathed seeing
Job give him the strap for fighting with Kieran….
Her aunt came in later toward bedtime. She embraced her
propped up in bed. Emmy never heard a word about her loving parents. What
would she have done without her aunt these sorrowful lonely years with her
missing parents’ fate? She felt sure they were not alive. They both were
punished. Something was going to worsen here, before it got better. I do
hope matters will improve. She held her nieces hand — I aspired finding a
clue about your parents (her brother and sister in law) when they
disappeared, but none occurred? They never appeared at the resort.
Emmy listened to the first investigative words her aunt
mentioned in years. She too wondered what in the God’s name happened to
“Aunt Flo, they have to be dead; otherwise, they’d never do this to
us.” Her aunt held her, and they cried together and when it was time to
sleep, she had a fitful night dreaming of them. When she was older, she
would look for the answers. The next day — hardly sleeping, she felt like
a car ran over her.
“Cousin, you look terrible what happened to your pretty face.”
Kieran smiled and it transformed his plain face. She was shocked;
he never beamed….
Flo (in a forward mood) spoke softly peering toward them….
“Last evening, ‘Emmy and I concluded,’ her parents have to be
dead. They’d gotten in touch many years ago? We should have a Mass
said. It’s not quite seven years?” She let that statement sink in… It’d be
nice to see they had a heart.
“Why can’t you have a service anyway? We can go, said Joyce. How
horrible … what ever did they run into?”
For once, Janice showed sympathy, and covered Emmy’s hand.
“I’ve trouble thinking, they’re murdered? We must get some answers
this is gruesome?” Somehow she realized, how ghastly it had to be
for Emmy, to live knowing, she misses them, and they weren’t coming for
“I agree, said Grace. They ought a give us answers. We could be in
danger from a drug case.”
“Who cares about your opinion, said Eugene. He was too nice
to be crooked. He turned grinning at Emmy; you’re lucky to have two good
parents. Our old man never showed us any love, and I wish he’d died
instead. Aunt Mirth and Uncle Roger make good parents.” He gave Grace a
“Mom… why don’t you and Emmy go to the police station tomorrow
after school, said Joyce. Were the cops ever around?”
Flo blew on steaming coffee“I did receive ‘one visit’ — but
nothing conclusive was found. They ‘never checked’ the motel
employees what laggards — the police department? We could try to see them
today if it works out?” She peered at them, seemingly a more human
family — a goal of hers.
“I consider I can make it Aunt Flo.” She smiled brightly at her aunt
“the peach” of the world. She owed her aunt, so she resolved to help her
daily with food fixing and the chores? What more could she do to help?
“Whose turn was it to take Cherie out for her walk today?” Flo asked
feeling the job wasn’t done?
“I’ll take care of her, Joyce jumped up. She probably emptied her
bladder on our rug instead of the bushes. Wait for me Emmy? I’ll hurry as
fast as I can?” She raced from the kitchen. Out the window; you could see
the dog managing her…
The table laughed! Flo felt happier — what a trial.
Nobody better hurt Emmy, or they’d answer to her? Kieran stood to get his
school bag with that pleasant look on his face gaining Beth through his
aims. Anyway — why fight Emmy. She’s a good kid, probably helping his mother
not like his other siblings.
Now Flo was telling… why the police never were around….
“I talked — to cops at the station (back then) rather then ‘plague you
kids,’ but now you are older.”
“Are you two going to see the police, if so I’d like to go and find
out how they could have disappeared? Or did they do a good act for the police and
are being hid?” Grace was curious… he’s a friendly uncle.
“They can’t be hid when they dropped Emmy here?” Joyce asserted,
she’d returned with the dog.
Marcy hearing Flo’s Kieran wants to advance too fast with her
daughter had a serious talk with her kin, ever since the women had to
bare the worst. Beth’s face turned beet red, before she bawled her
heart out trying to tame her unruly hair. Marcy’s Aunt Gen would
take her on — to avoid this neighbor, and Beth agrees.
In a half hour, they’re ready to leave. Marcy ran across the street
to see Flo. Flo stared at her harried face, and anxious demeanor. What was
“Should we ‘pray together’ on the way or now?”
“I’ll be over as soon as I get back. Better still, why not come
along with us? Possibly the two of us can convince Beth, ‘she’s not alone’
in the world.”
In due time, Marcy pulled in the driveway of her Aunt’s house.
Bubbly Aunt Gen neared with a smile, “What a beautiful day!” She hugged
them including Marcy’s friend. “The school is about 1,500 students. We
dine at five and prior or after she can do her homework.”
In a half hour, they waved goodbye. Flo had driven to the
bus stop with Beth to learn the bus route. They waited as Beth boarded
giving confidence they’re pulling for her.
On the way back home, they said a rosary for Beth and them.
After three o’clock, the edgy apprehensive atmosphere in the
house was obvious with the non appearance of Flo’s favorite boy,
Kieran. Flo first prayed
“Where’s Kieran? Why isn’t he home?” Flo felt she was “talking to
the wall!” Janice and Grace secretly decided to give their opinion. They
hated Eugene? Kieran could be nice with his charming smile.
“We think, Janice, turned to her mother…. This morning we
eyed Eugene’s cunning face secretly murmuring an exchange to Beth’s two
kin. Somehow, Eugene with his devious mind had to get back at Kieran. He
has to be lying up in the weeds on the way home, probably hurt, but will
be home for dinner.”
Flo stared at her girls like they were lunatics.
Outdoors, Marcy peering at her lawn heard Flo holler for her. Marcy
eyed her frantic face and hurried along, yelling for Kieran, her long
blonde hair flying as she ran. Marcy held her staid short hair — extending
the summer climate.
Emmy eyed — the whole scene unfolds outside her door. She observed
her aunt hasten out the door. She hurried to the window. Emmy knew the
dinner meal was probably simmering, so she took care of that for her.
The two approached the tall blood spattered weeds — dreading the
“HOW SADISTIC,” they gawked at Kieran’s gory head, and blood
stained slacks. You stay here with him, while I call for help? We must
hurry him to the hospital?” She hastened across the street to use their
phone… praying he’d be okay, and heal from the experience. The neighbors
across the street let her in watching, their eyes helpful, as she
called for an ambulance. “Thank You!” Flo lavished accolades — returning to
the outside, wringing the end of her shirt, a sign of her anxiety.
In minutes, the ambulance arrived; tensely they watched the
hefty white clad men bring out their contraption (for a bed) hefting it in
the ambulance. Flo and Marcy jumping inside, and the attendant slammed the
Flo took his hand rubbing it. He was always a favorite
of hers with his ready smile as a toddler. The ambulance zoomed along… the woman trying to
soothe Kieran. Soon it pulled into the ambulance entrance of Hinsdale
Hospital, The Koplin Emergency and Trauma Center. From there, he was
checked out by a surgical doctor, who pronounced to the worried women:
“He’d stitch him up.” In an hour and a half, he’d be taken to a room.
Kieran opened his eyes — staring at the white ceiling…? He didn’t know
where he was, but his body hurt like hell. He was lying in a stark
white painted place and it must be a hospital. He’s attacked half the way
home from school. At least, no one would see him limping home. He’d be
darned if he ever would sleep in the same room, as his creep brother? Why
might Emmy move in with Joyce and then he would have his own room?
“How are you feeling, Hon?” His mother and neighbor stood by his
bed, in good spirits, if there was any reason to grin? He barely could
move his body.
“Three men set upon me, and kept hitting my crotch, and finally
done, I’m conked on the head,” he whispered….
“Would you recognize these men from mug shots, the police have?” Flo
peered hopefully at him… Who ever did this grotesque thing… must be
“I’d surely try, but ‘crooks didn’t plan this.’ I’m aware, who’d,
gets back at me. Are the cops around, so I can at least get this over?”
Flo had called — not letting the fact go what happened, even if the creep
was a relative. The act was criminal. Flo and Marcy went out of the room
when the cops went in to talk to him?
“Eugene admitted it too me with his smirk when he came home. Our men
had to be in jail (at times) or just barely stayed out of it? The acts
done by our children are criminal. Let’s pray they improve.”
Emmy kept the dinner meal going… Her mind wandered about the worst
one to her, Kieran. In a way, the devil tempted her; Kieran deserved the
Growing up that boy sarcastic and mockery attitude was a lot. Did
Eugene consider being tied up was crooked? She heard her aunt question
the girls, and why did she even have to question them. Were they
ignorant to check, he was not injured? Her aunt should be back soon,
and if it were up to her, she’d not feed the two in their room not
checking if the meal burned? She set the stew on low…
“Say Kieran does not tell on Eugene, I’m talking to the cop when he
comes out of his room, said Flo. Eugene really laid it on good.” In due
time, two officers exited the room. Flo took the young man’s arm and moved
to a corner…
“ — Eugene, my other son, plotted this horrifying deed — jealous of
Kieran. I believe Eugene had hit men type hoodlums carry it out. I’m only
being truthful sir. I don’t need war in the neighborhood?” He
nodded understanding. At the moment, she told Kieran; he pretended
ignorance of Eugene setting vengeance on him. Darn. He never reported
Eugene to the cops? Blindly, she never ignored how he tormented Emmy at
home. She wasn’t letting this go… She and Marcy nodded; arrest her
other son, and the two neighbors.”
They returned to the room acting innocent? “Were the crooks in the
mug shots or not?” Flo prompted…
“I found them… ‘They had’ a record; they will be arrested. I wanted
to talk to you about another matter? I cannot sleep in the same room
Can Emmy sleep in Joyce’s room?”
“Don’t worry about it…. ‘It will be worked out’ when you get home?
Not the way he thought. You did have surgery on your injured areas.”
“How long do I have to stay here,” he looked worried — over his
“I suppose… in ‘a couple days’ you’ll come home.” Flo said, as they
went out the door — giving him a smile of reassurance.
Approaching home… they saw the police cars in front of their
houses. The boys led out… and waited in a driveway down the street. Shortly,
they drove by and Flo pulled in her garage. The neighbor boys could tell
what they knew…
“I’m thinking our husbands killed already. Who knows, we must
“I forgot to call Beth with everything that happened?” She got out
of the car and rushed across the street, “come over in awhile? Where are
those husbands when you need them?”
Beth heard from Kieran in the hospital prior to her mother’s
call, but she pretended otherwise? The plotter Eugene had to carry it
out. She was glad to hear, he was in jail and arraigned. “Mom, I wasn’t
aware Carl and Thomas knew hit men. Eugene carried out the plot making
sure it was handled the way, he wanted. Call the police station and find
out what is going on…?
“Don’t worry? How is school?”
“The girl — you met at the office… sits right by me? We became friends
and other girls met me? It is a friendlier place than the school at home?”
“I’m happy for you. I will let you know what happens in the saga of
Elm Street?” She hoped no war occurred there. They must pray more…
“You are funny Mom, it reminds me of a Soap opera. I don’t think
I want to marry Kieran.”
Marcy strolled over to Flo’s house and came upon her and Emmy
in the kitchen (being patted on the shoulder) sitting around the table…
“What’s up?” Flo asked noticing the concern on Marcy’s face? “When
you are finished, let’s go to the police station in favor of checking on
Emmy’s family and my two boys. Beth thinks Eugene plotted the matter?”
Emmy gaped at them… feeling edgy for Eugene. “I’m all set with a
“It is damp out and looks like rain?”
They waited. Soon, Flo pulled into the parking space at the police
She told the desk they wanted to see the Chief of Police? “Take a
seat and will be with you shortly.” Minutes slipped by… finally they
followed the clerk to a door down the hall. They entered and gawked at the
young Chief of Police. He looked up. “What can I do for you ladies?” Flo
stared, he was handsome and single it appeared?
“Six years ago, the relatives disappeared. I used to be in touch
with the police on the case. My private investigator then never
found a clue. What was the last point, they were seen at? Do you still
have the record or is it considered a Cold Case file?”
“Do you remembers anything about that night, Ms.?”
“I’m awoken during the dark of night, and informed by my mother,
I’m going to my Aunt Flo’s to stay for a week’s time, and they never
returned. We had a wonderful relationship, and they’re probably dead. Is
“It reminds me they were running away from someone, unless they are
hiding out somewhere, all this time. There is a chance they could be
alive. Is anyone aware of facts about the couple?” He turned to the first
woman who spoke.
“He was a naïve person. He always looked for the best in people.
It looks like he trusted the wrong kind? I’m Flo Stuart, my niece
Emmy, she gestured, and Marcy Nelson”
“What did he do for a living?”
“He’s a pharmaceutical salesman, and travels a lot. Flo answered
since they were often in touch. The private investigator, I hired is still
alive. He’s a young stripling starting out… He would only be six years
older; she smiled at him. Here is his card; his name as you can see is
Dern Halter. He traced them to a certain motel, and the trail went cold? I
did not feel like paying a young kid with no ambition. He never reported
to me, about the employers being questioned, like they should be?” She
reflected for a minute….
Marcy held up her hand? “My two sons, were brought in. I’m not
aware they hired hoodlums to attack Kieran. My daughter thinks Eugene
plotted the matter. They are claiming they hired hoodlums because of their
duty to protect her.” Emmy flinched; Eugene was her only friend…?
“Their appearance says only — one male attacked Kieran Stuart. We will
keep them over night for hindering an investigation, the duds?” He stared
at Emmy, stood, and shook her hand! “You’re sure a brave girl. I’ll do my
own checking and see what I can find out, okay?”