The Beginnings of an Investigation.

Edward Solsbury had his head in his hands, his mind swimming in confusion. His granddaughter, Sarah-Allen Freeman, six years old, had just committed suicide, and he had not a ghost of an idea why. She'd had family disputes going on around her all her life, with her mother getting anxious about everything she did, and her father not giving a care in the world about her. Apart from the occasional birthday visits and such.

Now, Sarah-Allen was dead, after willingly stabbing herself in the chest, causing internal bleeding and inflicting major damage to her heart. Something had caused a normal, perky little girl to do something so destructive and sad as to take her own life, and her granddad couldn't work out what. Neither, it seemed, could the police.

Chief Inspector Brian Able had been called out on an emergency call by his superiors to help in the case of a child's death. Suicide in fact. And it was that very point that raised many more questions than if it had been an adult. The mother had been informed, and was now returning from a course she was on by plane from Italy. She was very distressed, as expected, when she was told the terrible news, and asked about the health and safety of her father, the child's grandfather.

Brian had noted to himself that this was a very important point. Mrs. Freeman had insisted quite strongly on knowing whether her father was safe, almost demanding the information from the informer. The others had taken this as a motherly act, to ensure that no-one else had been hurt, but the Inspector had taken the time to make sure he would remember that, by writing it down in his little leather binder he always carried with him.

After looking around a little, and ensuring the medical team had transported the body and weapon for the rest of the team to check out, Brian wanted to check out the families history and how the family treated one another.

They had not been able to contact Mr. Freeman (of which the Inspector made another note), and it was still not known even to the Investigators why this was so. He did not run or work in any buisness as such, but had a track record of selling unsavoury items to previous offendors. These trading sessions didn't seem to be illegal on the surface, but Brian was confident that, with time, a little more of the truth would be known to them all.

                               *               *               *             *

Edward watched the many types of people that were there to help snooped and checked everything that they deemed to be useful in solving the 'mystery' that was now present. How he longed for his daughter to have been here, watching over Sarah as she always did with the eyes of a hawk, not letting the girl out of her sight, keeping her safe. Some of the neighbours often whispered about 'that Freeman girl's over-protective mother', but Edward knew his daughter had not always been like that.

Many years ago, when Sarah-Allen was only small, her unscrupulous father had been caught by the authorities aiding a couple of foreign smugglers into the country. Lorna had been ashamed and utterly disgusted, and refused to allow him in the house any more.

That evening, he had begged and begged, and Sarah had cried and cried, wailing all through the night, and many nights after. It had been a funny thing, at the time. Sarah was heartbroken at losing her daddy, but after some months it was as though it had never happened, and on occasion agreed with her mother that he wasn't worthy to live with them, smiling cheekily at the thought. Edward considered notifying the Inspector on this, but decided it wasn't worth bringing up. They would brush him off as an old fool.

Instead, he kept an eye on the Inspector, as he perused the house at his leisure, dusting off old albums and picture books. Then, he stopped. He placed an album on the desk he had brought it from, pulled out a knife, and pulled apart the back cover, with a crackle as the paper ripped. Then he pulled a picture from the flap.

"Mmm. Look's as if I've found something already." He mumbled. Then he noticed Edward was staring, curiously, so he walked over.

"Mr. Solsbury, may I ask, have you ever seen this picture before?" He queried.

It was a slightly out-of-focused image of a cute, grinning, happy girl, sitting and waving upon a tall man's shoulders. It was Sarah-Allen and her dad. The man she had so easily condemned, yet she was having fun with him. At a glance, it was probably taken a year after he had stopped living with them. Edward was horrified.

The End

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