The Dead Boy

She stares in horror at the sight of a young boy whose head is nearly severed. She notes that oddly, there was no blood or blood stains on his clothes which may not even be his (for the clothes looked a bit huge on him). She hears the door to the restroom opening, and her mother's voice, "Sweetie, sorry I was talking to the clerk...Oh my...come on, let's go."
"But mom, shouldn't you call the police?"
"I'll let the cashier do that." She grabs her hand and all but tears out her arm yanking her away. Rushing to the front, she explains to the clerk in three calm words: "Restroom, call police."
Then continuing, "I don't want to be here longer than necessary. We're on vacation."
"...I'll see what I can do to not involve you but I can't speak for the other customers."
"...Understood. Let me just speak to my husband at least, and take her back to the car..."
"But...I still need to go..."
"Ok, um use the women's restroom but try not to hurt yourself."
Having returned, she catches the end of the conversation: "...ok" the clerk was saying.
"Mom are we leaving? I saw the body first."
"I know dear, but you don't want to be involved with something like this." Very perplexed she demanded to know why and what would happen but was only silenced with that look. She reluctantly trudged to the car and sat in her seat but didn't cross her arms like she normally would have; she stares out the car window instead and wonders just what would've caused his head to be nearly severed and so cleanly at that. Once, she saw in one of the comic books at the library of a character being injured by laser which explains the clean line with little blood but it doesn't explain the fact that his (not the comic character) had no burn/cauterization at the initial entry...but the difference between a comic book and real life is that people hurt each other with guns and knives, not lasers although she wouldn't put it past humans to do so once the technology became available. Sometimes people are even hurt with words but that doesn't explain his physical wounds at all.
"I hope his parents didn't do it..."
Her father looks at her with bewilderment and asks, "Why would you say that?"
"Who else would murder a stranger like that?" She wonders, even curious herself why the thought of a parent killing their own child crossed her mind much less escaped her lips. There wasn't reason to think so, right...? Those clothes seemed like an attempt at blaming someone else for their own shortcomings. Before she could further muse, her mother quickly returns to them saying they could just leave, that the clerk will handle it. So they continue on their journey, just missing the arrival of two cops.
"Honey, you never should've seen something like that! If you need to talk about it, I'm right here."
"I can't, mommy. You don't have answers to the questions I have."
"...What would you like to do about it." What? She couldn't tell her mother's emotion at all from that. She hesitated a bit before replying, "I want to follow the case. I need to know if they will ever find his he can be at peace, mommy."
There was an eternity of silence but she could hear her mother nodding, "Okay."
...'Okay', that's it? No long line of reasoning followed by the famous 'When you're older, you'll understand' line? Was there to be no 'You're not allowed to know this because you're too young' lecture? None of that...really? Pressing her luck, she spoke, "I think his parents killed him."
"..." nothing. Not volunteering details of her assessment she continues to wait for mother's response while her father nervously drives on. After another eternity passes, all that was said was, "The truth can never remain hidden, there's no 'right' age to anything...I can't shelter you forever so...let's follow the news for now." She didn't know what any of that meant, only that she'd get a chance to participate in decision making for once. It was quite the pivotal point in her life, and it was exhilarating.
"Mom, can you get my notebook for me?"
"It's not in your backpack?"
"It is, but it's on the floor."
"Alright honey, I'll get it for you." She unbuckles her seatbelt to reach for the backpack. After sifting through its contents, she finds it and looks for a pen as well and hands them to her daughter while placing the backpack back on the floor.
"Thanks, mom."
"You're welcome."   

The End

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