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2013 High School Writers’ Competition, Honorable Mention

No More Lies, by Whitney Killoran

I paced back and forth in the small confined space of the police department. Detective
Maria Rose, along with FBI agent McTweety, stood there discussing the best way to question
me. I wished they would just be straight forward and ask. I’m not fragile! I’ve been telling them
this for over an hour and they wouldn’t listen. I knew that was what stumped them the most.
How could the victim of repeated rapes and beatings still be stable?

I sat down and said with the strongest voice I could muster, “I can tell you my story of
how I’m the first girl ever to escape the Bruce Brothers.” I could imagine the look of shock on
their faces. They didn’t yet know I was abducted when I was nine, but they did know that every
girl abducted by the Bruce Brothers was killed no more than one year after. I knew they were
thinking that I was a more recent abduction. I had about thirty seconds before they came through that door thinking I was in league with the Bruce Brothers. Where to start? Fifteen seconds passed. I decided the beginning, the very beginning. Thirty seconds. They entered and I knew the war was about to start. Their faces were rock solid, but were still easy enough to read.

Before either of them could say a word, I started in, “Obviously you both think that I am
in league with them, but right now I’m telling you I’m not. I would rather see them behind bars
than to have them roam the streets any longer. If you want to know my story I will tell you, but
not until I can see that you will believe me. I can tell you their plans and their criteria for the
girls they choose.” I stopped long enough to look at them, to watch them, to see what would
happen next. Rose sat down and looked me in the eye. Her face had softened and I realized that
she did believe me, that it was McTweety that didn’t.

“I know that you don’t believe me but it’s the truth. I’ll do anything I can to make you believe
me. I’ll be honest with you, in front of the video camera. When I first arrived here, you looked
in the system for me, there was nothing. I don’t have any family, none. I’m prepared to tell you
my story from beginning to end, from watching my parents die to this very point. Every little
thing that has been drilled over and over into my mind, the things I’ve had nightmares about
for years.” I paused and looked down at my hands. I was used to constantly moving. The Bruce
Brothers always had me doing things; I was like their house wife. I was trying to break that
habit but it hasn’t even been twenty four hours since my escape. I sat there for two minutes
before I finally broke. I stood up abruptly, startling them both, and began pacing. This bothered McTweety more than everything I had said or done.

“Stop! Stop it already. Sit down and start talking.” He startled me so I only walked faster.
This just made him more frustrated. He raised his hand and instincts took over. I stopped and
looked him straight in the eye waiting for the hand to make contact, but the only thing he hit was the cold, hard metal table. I just stood there, probably looking like an idiot, but I didn’t know what else to do. Detective Rose got up and whispered something into McTweety’s ear. Whatever she said worked because he left. She looked at me then she too left, I began pacing once more. Detective Rose was the first to come back carrying several bottles. Three bottles were of water, two of them were Gatorade and two others were soda. She smiled, than exited again. I sat down grabbing a bottle of water in the process and gulped it down, followed by the last two. I had just reached for the Gatorade when they walked in; I pulled it back toward me and started drinking it, only this time slower.

She sat down and started right in, “I believe you. Some part of me wishes that I didn’t but there
is no way around it. It’s just amazing that you are the only one to have ever escaped.”

“Well I’m sorry to say this but it’s amazing you haven’t caught the brothers yet. You don’t know
how many times you were so close. To saving us just to have them slip through your fingers.
Do you to want know why I requested you and not just any cop? It’s because I know you, I
know you lost your husband eight years ago. I know you were devastated when your best friend
died and her daughter, your god daughter was nowhere to be found. I know you want the Band
Brother’s locked up in prison.”

I was on the verge of tears, but that didn’t matter. She looked confused. “How do you know all
that?”

“Like I said, I know you. Probably better than anyone else here.”

“But how? How do you know all that?”

“All in due time Detective Rose.”

McTweety finally re-entered with three more bottles of water. He sat down next to Detective
Rose and looked at me. I still don’t know what to think of him but sometimes some people aren’t as easy to trust as others. I knew I could with Rose, and for now that would have to do.

Rose’s soft voice intruded my thoughts, “Can you start by telling us your name and age? From
the beginning?”

I took a deep breath. The time had come to finally stop lying and come clean about
everything. I paused, suddenly nervous. I took a deep breath and began my story, “My real name is Claire Battman, I am sixteen years old. I was kidnapped almost eight years ago…..

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