ZeusMature

"Welcome home, honey.  How was school?" Ashley's mother greets her as she walks in.

"It was fine," Ash replies with a melancholy expression.

"Ashley, this is Detective Waverly. He is here to ask you a few questions," her mother adds as she gives her a hug.

"Am I in trouble?" Ashley asks.

"No, kiddo. I'm here to help find your friend. But, I'm going to need your help. You think you can do that?" Ben asks.

"Yeah, sure," she answers in a sad tone.

"I'm going to do my best to make sure I find Shauna. Let's have faith, ok?" Ben holds out his hand to shake Ashley's.

Ash stands there and sheepishly shakes his after she sets down her back pack.

"Ma'am. If you don't mind, I need your daughter to show me where the Warren's live and where at the park she last saw Shauna," Ben states.

"Sure," She nods.

"Okay. Let's go miss Ashley. We can't waste any time. I really need your help, okay?"

"Yes, sir," she says as she follows Ben out the door. They get in his car and she leads him to the park a few city blocks away. Ben and Ashley get out of the car once they're at the park and she leads them to a trail going through the park. It goes past a playground a little ways to an area with trees and bushes.

"This is where we talked last. It was getting dark and we both had to get home.  She had her beagle Zeus with her. I guess her dog is missing, too,"

"Okay. I'm going to try my best, Ashley. Thank you very much for your help. I need you to show me where the Warren's live so I can investigate her home route and see if there are any clues and then I'll get you back home to your mother, alright?"

"Okay," Ashley says as they walk back to Ben's car.

Before Ben got into the driver's seat he hears a dog barking. It sounds as if the dog is close by but as he looks around he can't see anything. He didn't think anything of it at the time and got in and started driving.

As he drove to the Warren's with Ashley's aid Ashley asks: "Detective, where do you think people go when they die?"

"Well, now, uh.. Ashley, I want you to stay positive. I'm going to find your friend. Don't start thinking like that. It's going to be alright, I promise," Ben says a little nervously.

"Sir, you don't need to sugar coat anything. Shauna has a phone and I know she would have called someone if she has the chance. I hope she is okay, but I am ready for the worst. I'm not a child, anymore. I know there are a lot of evil people in this world," She explains.

"You're right, Ash. But, for your friend's sake and yours, I need you to promise me that you'll have faith. Bad things happen and I've been affected by them myself. I've lost someone very close to me. But, if that's the case, heaven forbid, it's okay to keep loved ones alive in your heart. I don't believe anyone is ever truly gone," Ben tells her.

Ashley looks to Ben and smiles. "I hope she's okay."

"Me too, kiddo," Ben drives to the Warren's and tries to get an understand of the route she may have walked home with her dog. She talks briefly to the Warren family to get a better description of Shauna and her dog Zeus. After dropping Ashley off at her home about an hour later from when they left her house he goes back to the park.

"I can't find anything, Karen.  I don't know what to do!" Ben says worried.

"We will find something. Just keep looking," she says as she helps look around the park. They checked for size six shoes prints with the nike logo imprinted in the snow. They looked around the playground and the trail leading through. Suddenly, something finally turned up.

Faintly with the sound of vehicles driving through the streets just outside the park they could hear a dog barking. It slowly became louder.

"Huh?  I wonder..." Ben says to himself and looks at Karen.

"Zeus?" Karen mutters.

"Could be," Ben replies.

"Zeus!!" Karen calls out. A short moment after you could hear the pat-pat-pat of little feet in the snow getting louder as it came closer until they could finally see what seemed to be the ghost of a small dog. It fit the description of Shauna's beagle.

"Zeus, come here, boy!" Karen calls out again the dog runs over to them.

The End

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