It’s a normal balmy morning as I walk up the dilapidated porch steps to a poorly painted red door with chips of paint flaking off. This is the house of the Dodson’s. The new case file handed to me by my boss as I was walking into work. I had opened it at my desk to scan over the situation I would be walking into. Though, really, you never know what you’re going to find. Jasmine “Jazzy” Dodson was just shy of 7 and her eyes already revealed that of a lost soul. Most of the photos in the case files, the children are already numb and lifeless. In this case abuse is suspected, but the extent is unknown. That’s where I come in. Interviewing and assessing the situation. Saving a child, if I can. Hoping and doing my damnedest to make sure they do not slip through the cracks. I am the best at my job so I get some of the toughest cases. No child of mine becomes left for dead.
I make a few quick raps on the door and a heavy sigh escapes as I wait. You don’t know what kind of smells lurk behind that door so it’s in your best interest to get one last good breath before you find out. The door slowly opens, but only ajar. I see one cold blue-green eye, a prominent cheekbone, and stern lips looking out at me. They don’t like it when I come to their doors. I am now the enemy no matter how objective or cordial I am. The trust is obsolete. But that’s no matter, no matter at all because the only trust I need is that of the child’s. They are my whole reason as a CPS Agent.
The cold woman reluctantly lets me in and calls for her husband. As I look around I see thin, ripped, and stained carpet coming up at the corners. The padding beneath, if there is any, worn to nothing so all I feel under my simple grey heels is concrete. It’s hot and humid as if walking into a sauna. There are big spots of missing paint on the walls and no pictures. No art, or family photos anywhere to be seen. They have a large TV mounted to the far wall and one soiled yellow couch with one rickety wooden chair.
Mrs. Dodson’s husband enters wearing a soiled wife beater and a pair of dirty khakis that probably haven’t seen a washer in over a month. He tells me there isn’t anything to see here and I should get on out — I’m only just wasting my time. I get them to sit down and have a conversation with me. Mrs. Dodson barely looks at me, her husband doing most of the talking. He smacks his fat mouth when he talks which personally irks me, but you wouldn’t catch it. I have dealt with many families and you learn to wear a mask pretty well. Each mask a little different depending on the situation. You have to play your cards right in this game, and as best you can because a child’s life and wellbeing are on the line.
He’s slimy and already I know how it’s going down. I have noted and jotted down as much information I am going to get from them and I need to see the child. Too quickly Mr. Dodson makes desperate attempts to tell me his baby girl isn’t home. He doesn’t know I saw her small face take a quick peek at me from an upstairs window, so instead I tell him that I’ll need to see the bedrooms and the rest of the house. It’s two stories, but very small and the last room I am shown to is the girl’s. There is a lock that is only accessible from the outside. When the door opens the room is empty. As the parents stand in the doorway I look around. There are no toys, no drawings, nothing but a child size mattress on the floor. I go and open the closet spying an all too skinny little girl with tangled straight brown hair and a sallow complexion. Sad, dead blue eyes look up at me. She is curled up in fetal position as she slowly brings her small index finger to her lips. She has bruising along her arms, legs and even the side of her neck. The bruising is deepest along her inner thighs.
Now, she is mine.
I know, I know. I never do any creative writing. At least not since my junior year in High School. Anyway. This is for the DPchallenge for this week and I think YOU should take a gander at it and attempt it yourself. Just click the link to be directed to the challenge.
I am open for critiques, just be gentle as it has been about 11-12 years since I wrote creatively. I’m sensitive.