An extract from ‘Clara’s Diary’ by Angelique S.Anderson.
Clara. He picked up the photo and rubbed his finger over it gently. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Having been unable to solve his daughter’s murder, he felt like a two-bit yegg, a crook unworthy of the title Detective, anymore. Clara stared back at him from the photo as if she were about to tell him everything he needed to know.
“I wish you could, Clara. I wish you could tell me everything. Like what happened to you that night. I wish you could tell me who hurt you that way.” How often had he said that to her fading photo over the past six years? When he’d discovered her diary, he’d thought it might have the answers he needed, but all he found were more dead ends. He yearned for some version of her to jump from her photo and wrap her pale, thin arms around his waist. Some version of her that could explain everything, including the mystifying book he kept locked in his bottom drawer. Just then his office resounded with persistent knocking on the heavy oak door. Desmond put the photo back on his desk and tucked the key under his shirt. “Who is it?”
“Er, Detective Desmond. We need you. We have a situation.” The voice on the other side of the door sounded desperate.
“Arthur?” Detective Joseph called out, startled by the intrusion.
“Yeah, boss. It’s me.” Arthur’s voice was shaking like a weak tree in a gale force wind, and Joseph felt a shudder run through him. He hadn’t heard Arthur’s voice shake like that since… well since the day he refused to think about anymore. The day his whole world was ripped out from under him, and he was left drowning in grief, forever trying to catch his breath. It was only in the past year that he’d felt less like the waves were sucking him under, but the tone of Artie’s voice told him everything was about to be bad all over again.
“Well, come on in. What is it Arthur, what’s happened?” Detective Desmond put a firm hand on the gun at his side. A standard Smith and Wesson revolver, the cool metal provided him some comfort. Arthur began rambling, but making little if any sense, “Alright, Arthur. Slow down and tell me what’s up?”
“It’s happened again, Joe.” There it is, there were the words Detective Desmond was waiting for, and yet dreaded for years. At the same time, they were words he needed to hear. Even though the words were clear and concise, the sentence was like a punch in the gut. He didn’t need Arthur to say anything more to confirm his suspicions.
“How old?” Detective Desmond asked. Already knowing that Arthur was about to tell him another girl had been found in the same situation as his daughter, Clara. Dead.
“Around seventeen.” Arthur’s short answer confirmed the Detective’s worst fear. It had been six years since his daughter’s death, and though he hadn’t solved it, he’d finally begun to make peace with her death.
Angelique S. Anderson – is an award-winning author, who writes books aimed at young adults. As a fan of steampunk and fantasy, her recent releases The Dracosinum Tales featuring The Dragon Lady, The Phoenix Lord, and A Steampunk Christmas Carol are her favorites. Though you can find her personal story in the pages of Little Lost Girl: The Complete Series.
She has four children, and several rescue animals ranging in species. She is an advocate for foster children, and anti-bullying, and she tries to include bits and pieces of that in every story she writes.
Her hope is that through her writing, people will find help, healing, and great storytelling.