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4: Alan's Story - Truth and Lies

Esther Carson returned home in London after three days of investigation work for a case in Iceland which needed assistant from their department. She felt tired of all the socializing with people she was new to, not because she was not a good socializer - She loved talking to people, and getting to know how different persons would feel and respond to specific situations, but because she could hardly get the kind of response that she wanted from them. She massaged the bridge of her nose then turned on the television in the living room. A newscaster in the midnight news report was reporting about the case which she had took part of the investigation when she was in Iceland.

“...The owner of the house had discovered burnt remnants of a child in her house's basement. According to medical examiners, the corpse had been inside the basement for at least thirty years as of now...”

Esther didn't want to hear the news anymore so she turned off the television then went into the bathroom for a bath. Steaming hot water rushed into the bathtub. She lied down into the water in the tub then tilted her head back, trying to relax her mind, but images of the child's burnt corpse she saw in Iceland recurred in her mind as she tried. Back in the house in Iceland, light from the house shone into its basement like moonlight glowing into a black hole that swallowed any light that goes into it. The burnt corpse of a child lied beneath a stairway inside the basement. Its hands were stuck onto it ears because of the burning; its body crouched into a small circle lying on the ground. Flies were buzzing in the air and smell was indescribable.

Imitating the posture of the corpse, Esther placed her hands onto her ears, then sank herself into the water in the tub; overfilled water spilled onto the bathroom floor. She wanted to get a feel of what the corpse was possibly feeling right before it died. But she didn't get any insights except almost drowning herself from it and got back up into the air after a few seconds.

Esther got woken up by a phone call the next morning, she got up from her queen sized bed that she slept alone on and picked up the phone.

“Hello?”

“Looks like we've got a new angle on the case. Guess who we found who had a relation with the corpse?” the voice on the phone said.

“Thanks for waking me up, Trevor. Who is it?”

“Anytime. It's Stephen Myer,” the voice answered.

“Stephen Myer?”

“Yes. The Stephen Myer, author of bestselling memoirs on child abuse based on his own experience.”

“I see. I'm coming in a few minutes. See you later,” She hung up the phone and started getting herself ready for another day's work.

The next day, Esther was driving in her car with Stephen Myer's home address written on a sticky note in her hand. Specks of rain were sliding down on her car's rear windows so she couldn't see very well from them. She drove around looking for a signpost with the street name from Myer's home address. After a while of searching on the roadway, she stopped her car on the roadside near Stephen Myer's house. She looked out from her car windows and saw Stephen Myer on his front yard playing swing with his five-year old son in the rain. He looked just slightly different from his picture on the inside of the back of his book. His wife came out into the front yard and called them back into the house. His son groaned but followed his dad back into the house, then they shut the front door behind them. Esther stepped out of her car; she went to their front door and pressed on the door bell. Stephen Myer's wife answered the door. She was used to seeing strangers at their house's front steps, especially those looking for her husband. Several journalists and child abuse prevention groups had visited them after her husband's non-fiction book started selling out. Only this time the visitor's purpose was a bit different from the ones that came before.

Almost an hour later, Stephen Myer was in the police investigation department being questioned for the case of his sister's corpse that was found in the basement of the house that he had lived in in Iceland. According to what Trevor had investigated, they were the first family to live in that house.

“Your sister's news was on TV two nights ago. Why didn't you come here and report yourself?” Esther began questioning him.

“To speak the truth, I knew that was my sister there right when I saw the news clips on TV. I made up my mind to pick up her corpse tomorrow but you've reached me first.”

“Didn't you know what happened to your sister thirty years ago?”

“There was a time that I noticed my sister was missing in the house. I wanted to look for her but the woman who adopted us took me to London, where she was sued on child harm by neighbors who discovered her abuse on me, very shortly afterwards. She might knew at that time what happened to my sister, that would make an explanation why she moved away from the house afterwards, fearing that she would be responsible for it. But nobody really knows now.”

Esther understood what he meant. The woman who adopted the two children thirty years ago had went into an asylum after she was sued. Twelve years later, committed suicide in there. That was what Esther got after tracking down the first owner of the house. She was the woman that Stephen Myer mentioned in his book as the person who abused him in his childhood.

The case was about to close; the death was either an accident, a suicide, or even if it was a murder case, the murderer had passed away already. How would a seven-year old boy at that time possibly kill his own sister?

“I see. Do you have anything you would like add in to what happened in the house thirty years ago?” Esther asked.

“My sister, when she was alive, was a really sensitive person. There were times when she would cry just looking at the bruises on me when I was a child. I really regret her death,” he said.

Esther ended the questioning and thanked him for his time. She gave him a ride home afterwards, after that drove to a local restaurant herself. Then drove back to her house after finishing her dinner at the restaurant.


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