Whispers of Time

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Chapter 2: On Top of Her Priority List.

Chapter 2. On the Top of Her Priority List.

“That was so weird! Will?” Jennifer shivered before viewing her surroundings. This wasn’t the warehouse. Everything seemed grainy and old. As she passed a window of a store, she glimpsed her outfit. Baggy jeans and a light blouse tucked in. Her hair was still the same dark brown, but it was short and fluffy. She moved back and forth.

“Not bad. I kinda like this look.”

“When you are done admiring yourself, we have a case to solve. In less than a day.” A familiar voice sounded. She looked around trying to decipher where it came from. Then burst out laughing when she saw him.

Long hair with wispy bangs met her eyes. A thin t-shirt also tucked into some modest jeans. He did not look pleased with his appearance or her reaction to it.

“Where are we? What is this place?” Jennifer tried to change the subject.

“1984. I’m guessing just after she disappeared.” He said through gritted teeth.

“Ok, so let’s go find out where exactly she disappeared. That could help us.”

It wasn’t too hard to find. Police cars and people flocked to the site. Sherry Lynn's step-father was surrounded by officers. Looking distraught.

“She wanted to buy something to drink. I don’t know what happened. I told her to be back at the truck in 15 minutes. She’s never late. I waited a couple more minutes. I think about 25. I went to call her mother. I thought she might have gone to the restaurant to visit her. Betty told me she hadn’t seen her since leaving for work.”

“When did you feel something was wrong?” One officer asked.

“When I checked everywhere she could have been. The feed and tractor stores. We nicknamed her “Little Farmer” because she loves it. Farming. All her life.” He straightened and looked the officer in the eyes.

“What could have happened to her? You read stuff like this but never think that it would happen to you. Please, find her.”

“We will do our best.”

Jennifer saw her opportunity when the officers left him alone. She nudged Will before heading towards him.

“Mr. Stringfellow? May we ask some questions?”

“I’m sorry, who are you?”

Her mind blanked.

“Private investigators. We like to solve cases like this.”

“But the police are already handling this. They will find her. We cannot afford any investigators. If you will excuse me.”

“Wait, we are a free organization. You don’t have to pay us. Just answer some questions. Please, let us help.” Jennifer stepped in.

After he answered all their questions, Jennifer asked if she could have the address. Just in case. He gave it, somewhat reservedly.

“Ok, so now what?” Jennifer voiced.

“I don’t know. I think we should go to the police station. Gleen any clues there and then go to the next step.”

She agreed and they made their way to the station.

“Raymond Strongfellow refused a polygraph test. Highly suspicious, sir.”

Jennifer shushed Will next to her as they eavesdropped on the conversation.

“Take a look into it. Talk to his wife, see if she knows anything.”

The two decided to reveal themselves.

“Hello. My name is Jennifer Colington. This is my partner, Will Scott. We are private investigators. Could you answer some questions for us?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not at liberty to reveal anything to the likes of private investigators. Look, all we know is some kid is missing. We don’t know anything yet. This is a fresh case.”

“I’m well aware of that, but if you have any leads-”

“Then I will make it known. Now, I am very busy.” He pointed to the door.

“Well, that gave us a lot.” Will sighed.

“Ok, let’s take a look at Raymond Strongfellow. Isn’t it just slightly suspicious that he seems so concerned for his step-daughter, yet refuses a polygraph test? If someone you know is missing, wouldn’t you do anything to make sure you aren’t a suspect. So the police could focus on someone who could be the culprit?”

Will shrugged. “He might be hiding something or just doesn’t believe in the test. But we have to start somewhere. You still have the address?”

Jennifer tried her best to comfort the grieving mother.

“I don’t understand what is going on. My baby is gone.”

“Ma’am, I will never fully feel your pain but we are here to help in any way we can. Is there anything you can think of? Was she seeing someone? Did she seem unhappy? Anything at all?”

“No, nothing. Sherry was a very happy girl. She never had time for boys. She’s only 13 years old. I don’t know what happened. Why was she kidnapped? Why would someone do something like that?”

“We don’t know. But we will find out what happened to your daughter.” Will said.

They left the house with nothing but a grieving family.

“Ok, plan B. How much time do we have left?” Jennifer asked.

“22 hours. We are nowhere close to closing this case. We don’t even know where to start.”

“Ok, ok, let’s think,” she closed her eyes, trying to remember the case details, “she was last seen with a man she called B.J. But that would be after a week or so, we’ll be gone by then.”

“Let’s see, B.J. This is a small town, we’ll see if there is anyone known as B.J or those initials.”

“Seems like a stretch but sure, might as well.”

“Wait, we don’t have that much time. You try that connection and I will try asking around about Sherry.”

Will shrugged and nodded. “Whatever works. Meet you at the gas station.”

Jennifer nodded and they split up to cover more ground.

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