The first lead - Det. Alder

The sofa in my living room beckoned, and I sank into it as my eyes fell closed. As I felt myself falling asleep, I forced my eyes open again and fumbled in my jacket pocket for the little notebook I’d used to take notes in at the school. Only one kid had come to see me, but I guess that was a miracle. Especially since he might have given me a lead.

I flicked though the notebook until I landed on the page filled with my most recent scrawls. As I studied the information, I remembered how drained the poor kid had looked. Teenagers should be out enjoying their lives, not mourning the loss of their friend’s. A smile threatened to curve my lips upwards as a farfetched thought occurred to me - what if he got to know the new girl better, the Ally look-a-like? Perhaps I shouldn’t be amused, but it really would be like something out of the Twilight Zone.

I continued to scan the page until a name jumped out at me. Ethan. Jerry seemed suspicious enough of this Ethan kid, even though his only motive seemed to have been a ruined science book. Mind you, his little ’threat’ to Ally was probably enough reason for me to talk to him.

“Go drown yourself,” he’d told her. Nice.

He’d got somebody to write notes on Ally and her friends. That was verging on abnormal behaviour for a teenager.

I made the decision right there to get this Ethan kid’s name as soon as I could, and fished my mobile phone out of my pocket, hoping that somebody would still be at the high school to answer my call.

“Good evening, it’s Detective Alder, we spoke this morning. I was wondering if you could get me some information on a student?” I said after the receptionist answered.

“Oh,” she sounded reluctant, “I’m afraid there’s only so much I can tell you over the phone, detective.”

“Just a surname, that’s all I need for now.”

She sighed. “Okay.”

“Thanks. I need to know about any boys named Ethan who were in the same classes as Ally Prior.”

There was silence as she tapped at her keyboard.

“Just one,” she said, “Ethan Madrago. He was in quite a few of her lessons, actually.”

Ethan Madrago. Where had I heard that name before? I thanked her again and hung up. I repeated the name to myself, hoping the mantra would spark something in my foggy memories. I ran over everything from my daughters friends to past cases until I hit my mark:

Laura Mallory.

Ethan Madrago was her boyfriend, the one I’d told about her accident over the phone.


The morning air was crisp as I trudged my way back to the school the following day. I exchanged the formalities with the receptionist again, then had a similar conversation with the principal, this time asking to see one student in particular.
I sat behind the desk, waiting for Ethan Madrago to answer his call to the Principal’s office.

The End

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