Chase, part three: Jack

(Start with Part One)

The Walker place was a nice little bungalow just off the 101. Easily within walking distance of the beach. I hated them a little for that. Rich suburbanites get under my skin.

It was street parking only, so it took me a good ten minutes to find an empty spot. The walk back to the house gave me time to think of the questions I wanted to ask little Justice.

Mrs. Walker answered the door, barefoot and wearing a light blouse and skirt. Small wrinkles around blue eyes.

She smiled when she saw me. “Detective Jack. Good to see you again. Please, come in.”

I did my best to smile back and followed her into the house. It felt bigger on the inside, with high ceilings and a mostly open floorplan.

I settled into an easy chair in the living room as Mrs. Walker went to fetch Justice, her bare feet brushing the hardwood floors.

They came back a short time later, hand-in-hand. Justice looked better than when I last saw him: less pale, eyes not as wide.

“Hello, Justice,” I said, offering my hand. “How have you been?”

He looked up at his mom, who nodded, before shaking my hand. “Okay,” he replied.

“Justice, could I ask you a few more questions about what happened three weeks ago?”

“I guess.” Mrs. Walker led him over to the couch, so they could sit facing me. Justice looked down at his toes, as if he’d been caught doing something bad.

“I know I asked you this last time, Justice, but do you remember anything from before you were knocked out? Anything you might have forgotten when I talked to you last time?”

He nodded.

“What’s that?”

“There was a motorcycle. A red one.”

“Ok, a red motorcycle. Was there anyone on it?”

He nodded.

“Do you know who it was?” He shook his head no. “Did you see their face?” No again.

“Justice, could you draw the motorcycle for me?”

He looked up at me then, thinking, then nodded.

I handed him my notepad and pen. He set the pad on the coffee table, then slipped off the couch onto the floor. Bending over the pad, he started sketching.

When he was satisfied, he hopped back on the couch and handed me the pad. “It looked like that.”

I checked the drawing over. The sketch was more blob than bike, but he’d tried to put indentations in certain spots, to give it some shape. It looked like it’d been a snub-nosed, compact bike, though - maybe Japanese? - not some long-necked Harley.

Again, not much. But more than I’d had before.

“Thank you, Justice. This is a good drawing; it’ll help us catch whoever hurt you.”

He nodded, looking down at his shoes again.

I stood up. “Well, thank you again, Mrs. Walker, Justice. I’d better be heading back to the station.”

Justice and I shook hands again, and he ran off back to his room.

Mrs. Walker stopped me at the door. “Do you have any more you can tell us, Detective?”

I hesitated. Could I tell her there’d been other kids? Would it make her feel better or worse?

“We have another witness that can confirm a red motorcycle and a helmeted rider in the area,” I admitted. “We’re tracking down traffic light footage to try to get a good photograph, maybe pull a license plate.”

She nodded slowly. “Okay,” she sighed. “Don’t hesitate to call if you need anything more from us.”

The door clicked shut behind me as I trudged back to my car. I hoped Lacey’d been more lucky than I had.

Ron Toland @mindbat