Sargent Chris Faulkner, sat in the sargents office, pouring over paperwork. The lamp on the desk, the only light in the room kept flickering, casting shadows over what he was trying to read. He rubbed his tired eyes, trying to remember when a part of job had still excited him, got him out bed raring to go! Seemed like a life time ago now. Since his promotion, paper work and custody duties took up most of him time, sending younger officers out on the beat, while he pushed papers each and everyday. It was driving him mad!
He was just considering actually getting up and turning the main light on, when the phone on the desk began to ring, he picked up the receiver,
"Sargent's office!", he stated to the caller, then, "Yes?.....your kidding??!!",
A young male police officer rushed into the room frantically, Faulkner put his hand for silence, the officer seemed frustrated by this, he flopped in the doorway,
"where?", Faulkner continued, "Right!, I'm on my way!", he hung up and turned to the young officer,
"I have to go out to an incident, apparently a house just exploded in......", the young officer interrupted,
"Beggin ya pardon, Sarge, but we just took the calls from 999, it isn't one house!!", Faulkner fround
"What are you talking about, Jones?",
"Accord to the calls were getting in the C.A.D room, its three houses!", Faulkner shot up,
"Three??!!", the young officer nodded
"Thats right sarge, three, all completely destroyed, Fire and Paramedics are on route, all available unit are already there, CID are already trying to get witness statements!",
"Right, show me as on route, tell units at scene I'm on my way!",
He grabbed his hat and jacket from the back of the office door, then ran through the custody area, ignoring jeers by drunken brawlers, being processed by the custody Sargent, and out, into the parking lot.
His patrol car pulled into Eclipses road, ten minutes later, working his way though the mass of police cars, ambulances and fire engines. Once out and dressed in his bright, reflective green jacket, Faulkner ran around the parked vehicles and stopped dead in his tracks. Until now, he hadn't been see the destruction caused by the explosion, his mouth fell open as he took in the devastation.
Eclipses house, and both on either side of it, had been complete obliterated, nothing stood anymore, all three houses seemed to have just collapsed in on themselves, nothing but rubble remained, Faulkner knew this street, he knew the people who had lived in all the houses, this was unbelievable! He found a CID officer, making notes in his little book,
"Got here as soon as I could!", he announced,
"Your guys are already taking witness statements", the CID officer began, "Problem is, they span for a half a mile!", Faulkner looked back at the houses, the explosion must have been huge!
"Are there ANY survivors??!!", he asked in vein,
"We found her", he pointed to a police panda car that Faulkner had already assumed was empty, then he saw to top of a tiny, dark haired head, sticking up, just below the back seat window,
"We can't get a word out of her", he continued,
"Mind if i try?", Faulkner asked,
"Go for it!", the CID office replied, "we think she's in shock, found her, like that, curled up in a ball in the park, funny thing, took us twenty minutes just to get her to open her eyes! She just kept holding her hands over them, refusing to open them!",
"She's probably in shock!", Faulkner responded, "has a paramedic looked at her??!!",
"Of course they have, they can't find a damn thing wrong with her!",
Faulkner nodded to the the CID officer, then walked towards the patrol car, narrowly missing treading on something, red and sticky that looked as though it had once been a small dog.
He reached the car, but before looking inside, he looked over the top, at the park, his mouth fell open, he hadn't had a clear view on the way in to the cul-de-sac, it looked as though a house had exploded in mid-air, and that the debris had come crashing down over the grass and playground! Cement, glass, wood, furnishings! All spread over the two by six or seven hundred foot park. He turned to look at the other six houses located on the road. As you drove in, the road was a horse shoe shape, three houses on either side of the horse shoe and three at the top, or bottom, depending on your point of view. Eclipses house had been the centre house on the 'U', it and its teo neighbors had been completely blow to pieces, the pieces now being all over the park. The other six houses had been hit by shrapnal from the blast, but a few broken windows and a broken front door was nothing in comparison.
Faulkner turned back to the car, then bent down to look in side. Curled up in a ball, only her little pink nightie and dark hair actually visible, Eclipse had her back pressed up against the door Faulkner was standing in front of, he tapped on the glass, she didn't move, he hadn't honesly expected her too, instead of trying again, he walked around the car to the other door. He'd alerted her to his presence, so he shouldn't scare her to much if he just opened the door and sat down. Faulkner opened the patrol car door very slowly, he bent down at first, looking at her for a moment.
Eclipse had lifted her head a little, staring at the new man, he was wearing a uniform, another policemen, he should be OK, but then, daddy was supposed to be OK, she'd heard the other girls at school tell how their daddy was their best friend, that he always said he'd protect them, and that they could hit any boys who picked on them! Had she done something wrong? Did daddy blame her for mummy's dying? The new policemen got into the car, he sat on the very edge of the seat, leaving the door open, not quite getting in, Eclipse liked that, she didn't feel trapped.
"Hello, I know you don't I?",
Eclipse looked up at him properly, he did look familiar, she knew him from school, he'd come to talk to them about talking to the naughty kids from the estates, who liked hanging round the gates after school. Eclipse had put her hand up when he had asked if any of the estate kids had talked to any of them,
"A boy asked me to carry something for him!", she had said,
"Did you take it?", the policemen had asked,
"NO!", she had stated, very clearly so it was clearly understood, she was a good girl!
"Did you tell someone?"
"I told Miss Hazel!", her years teacher.
Eclipse let her knees fall away from her face, she didn't stretch out, but she didn't feel the need to protect herself anymore,
"Its....Eclipse? Isn't it?",
"So, we're friends already, well thats good, my names, Sargent Faulkner, but as we're friends, you can call me Chris, OK!",
She nodded again, the nods were slight, uneasy jerks,
"Eclipse...do you know what happened?", she didn't move, just stared into his eyes with her amazingly dazzling blues, they were so bright, he'd noticed when they'd first met, but had utterly forgotten! He was actually finding it very hard to stop staring!
"Eclipse, I know a lot has happened, and your being very, very brave, but we need to know what happened, in case it might happen again, you don't want anyone to get hurt, do you?",
"ITS NO MY FAULT!", she suddenly screamed at him, he looked through the window she was leaning against, a couple of female police officers had actually stopped and looked rather concerned, he put a hand up to reassure them,
"OK, its OK, theres no rush, and no ones blaming you, Eclipse, how could it have been your fault?",
She did not respond,
"Eclipses, if you did know anything, you would tell me, wouldn't you?",
Again she didn't respond,
"How did you get into the park?", nothing.
Faulkner was starting wondering if she really DID know something about the explosion? If she did, he needed to know! Faulkner felt terrible about even contemplating pressing this terrified kid for information, but if there was any danger of it happening again, he had to try, before the social services got their hands on her, once she was in a home, locked away with people she didn't know, who weren't friends or parents, she would clam up, probably for the rest of her life, her dad had been killed, his name was among one of the confirmed killed,
"You, know", he began, one last attempt, "If you do know anything, honey, you should tell me, thats what you daddy would have wanted, isn't it?", the effect of these words was instant!
Eclipses eyes suddenly, but only for a split second, flashed brilliant white, she closed them tight, pulling her knees up and pushing her head into them, covering her whole face from view, as she pulled her legs in, her nightie carried up her leg, and there, on her thin white thigh, was a man sized hand print bruise, Faulkner felt instantly sick,
"I'll be right back, Eclipse, your safe here, I promise!", with those last words he stood up, the second his face was out of her view, his eyes began to water. The two female officers who looked at him earlier stopped talking, he beckoned one over,
"Take her to hospital, tell them...", he swallowed hard, "tell them to check her over properly, I'm fairly sure shes been sexually assaulted, and I'm even more sure, it was her father", the female officers mouth fell open, her eyes turning sad and sympathetic,
"Oh the poor kid!",
"When you get there, make sure she is not left alone with a man, and for god's sake, do not let anyone mention her father!", the female officer nodded, beckoned her partner over, and they climbed in to the car with Eclipse, Faulkner watched them drive away, somehow he knew already, he'd see her again!