FYI. Due to the annoying full moon and its hideous green glow I took it upon myself to edit some of the pictures myself. I am in no way a professional, but I think they turned out pretty good. Also some of the pictures that were taken in the dark were a little hard to see, so I lightened them up a bit.
Also, I think I have been watching way to much crime shows lately….
“Milo, what are you doing here?” Breelynn Gallagher said defensively holding her arms across her chest. She resisted the urge to pinch herself knowing this wasn’t a nightmare. Milo was here, she could smell the alcohol wafting off him.
“You can’t keep a father away from his boy.” Milo yelled loud enough to wake the neighbors.
In a small little town like Morreaux, people would be talking about this the next day, just what she needed, another town gossiping about her. Her heart sank.
“Yes, I damn well can Milo, and if you don’t get off my front porch right now, I’m going to call the cops.” Her eyes flashed angrily
Milo craned his neck to look past Breelynn. Cole was sitting on the floor playing with his favorite toy Patches.
“A boy shouldn’t play with a doll.” Milo scoffed. “I don’t want my son growing up to be a pansy.” He gave Breelynn an annoyed look as if she was a terrible mother for letting her son play with a doll.
She felt her face warm, she balled her hands into fists, and resisted the urge to deck him.
“Get the hell off my porch Milo, I’m calling the cops.” She screeched.
To show just how serious she was she took her phone out of the pocket of her jean skirt and dialed information and held it to her ear like she was calling the cops.
“Fine, I’m going…I’m going.” he stumbled down the steps turning back toward the house when he reached the bottom. “But don’t think that this is over, a boy needs his father.”
Breelynn gave him the finger.
She watched him stumble off down she street and went inside to lock the door. Once inside she felt her shoulders slump as if a crushing weight was now resting there. Her hands started to shake.
Breelynn had finally made a life for herself that she was proud of. Her paintings were actually selling, and she was now a homeowner. It wasn’t the glamorous life she had always dreamed of as a teenager, but it was her life, and she was proud of how far she had come. Now Milo was back, and the thought of him wrecking havoc on her new life filled her with dread.
Breelynn cradled Cole in her arms and tucked him in bed. She stood looking down at his sweet face for the longest time.
There was no way she was going to be able to sleep tonight. With eyes that were burning from exhaustion, she sat down on the couch and watched TV. Her miserable thoughts keeping her awake.
She knew what she had to do, go to the police station bright and early tomorrow morning, and file a complaint, and get a restraining order on Milo.
The next day bright and early Breelynn hurried down to the police station leaving Cole in the care of the trusted neighborhood boy who always baby sat Cole when she needed a break, or to go grocery shopping in peace. She sat out in the lobby watching the cops scurry around like rabbits.
I guess even a small town has its fair share of crime, she thought standing up as her name was called by the receptionist.
She was ushered into a small office where a police officer was waiting for her.
“Ms. Gallagher, I’m Detective White.” He said reaching out to shake her hand. “What can I help you with?”
Breelynn blurted out her story in one long breath, starting from the very beginning, and ending with Milo ending up on her front porch last night.
Detective White pulled up her custody info on the computer.
“I see you have full custody, and Milo was ordered to pay child support, but hasn’t made a single payment, I see that he has a bench warrant out for his arrest, due to back child support, and also for drunk driving in Legacy Island. Did he happen to mention where he was staying at in town?”
“I don’t know where he’s staying at.” Breelynn said. “I just don’t want him around my son.”
“This is what will happen next.” Detective White said his green eyes looking into hers. If Milo gets picked up for anything, he’ll be taking a trip to lock up. If he stops by your house again, don’t open the door.” He handed her a card after scribbling something across the back of it. “I wrote my home number on the back, please don’t hesitate to call me at home if he gives you any trouble.”
Breelynn felt her shoulders sag in relief.
“Thank you so much.” She resisted the urge to throw her arms around him.
“You are more than welcome Ms. Gallagher, remember. Don’t let him in, and call us immediately if he shows up again.”
Breelynn hurried home feeling hopeful. She no longer felt bad for Milo and this time would not give him the benefit of the doubt again. He had put her through too much, and like a tiger with her cub, she was going to protect her son!
“Pete.” Breelynn said from the doorway to Cole’s room. “I’m back now, thank you so much for coming over to stay with Cole so early,” she pulled out 30 dollars from her pocket and handed it to him. She distantly wondered if he got picked on at school, he was always wearing formal wear.
“Any time Ms. Gallagher.” He said politely. “Thanks.”
The rest of the night went by quietly. There wasn’t a single phone call, or unannounced knocks on her door.
Maybe he realized he doesn’t want to be a father, Breelynn thought hopefully laying down in her bed feeling her eyes start to drift shut. She was so tired, she yawned so loud her jaw cracked like a gunshot.
She was asleep in minutes….
She awoke the next morning. It was quiet from Cole’s room. Normally he was up banging on his bars to get up way before she was awake.
She pulled the blankets back and rubbed her sleep filled eyes. Nudging her feet into her soft worn slippers she padded into Cole’s bedroom and stood there staring into an empty crib.
With a quick panicked look around his room, and a quick check under the crib she dashed out into the living and dining area. Her eyes scanned the room desperately. Nothing. She ran to the bathroom, even checked the bath tub. Nothing.
Feeling like she was going to pass out from the stress she ran into her room and dropped down to the floor in her room to look under the bed.
Still in her pajama’s she dashed out on her porch noticing her front door was no longer locked. She ran around the yard with tears running down her cheeks. He was gone!
Feeling numb she went back inside and checked the crib again, hoping against all hope she was losing her mind and Cole was there sleeping in his crib, or just playing hide and seek! Of course the crib was empty. She felt her stomach drop to her toes and her eyes burn with tears. Her baby was gone!
“Cole!” She cried, her scream tearing out of her throat as she fumbled in her pajama pockets for her phone.
“911 emergency, please state the nature of your call.” Said a voice.
“My son is gone.” She said numbly feeling the tears run down her cheeks.
“Your son is missing?” The voice asked. “How old is your son.”
“Two.” She said staring at the wall. “His birthday is next week.”
With that thought she felt the grief hit like a speeding freight train. my baby is out there, what if he ages up alone and scared?
“Cops are on their way.” Said the voice. “Please stay on the line with me until they arrive. Has your son ever crawled out of his crib before?”
“Never.” She said in a wooden voice. “I already know what happened.” She said blankly. “His dad kidnapped him.”
She heard sirens in the distance….
She started to sob when she saw Detective White. He led her to the couch and gently helped her sit down. She told him her suspicions that Milo had kidnapped her son.
“I will find your son.” He promised looking into her eyes.
The next hour went by in a blur. Several different cops came in to take her statement. They were interviewing the neighbors, taking pictures, doing everything but searching. She wanted to scream!
Stop asking me questions, get out there and start looking! She wanted to scream at them. But she stood there broken and answered there questions for what felt like the millionth time.
When the questions finally stopped, she picked up the phone and with numb fingers called her mother.
“Mom…”She said brokenly into the phone feeling her voice lodge in her throat. “Cole’s been kidnapped!”
Lucy hurried over still dressed in her gardening clothes, and her wearing gardening gloves.
Breelynn fell into her mothers arms and sobbed, getting the shoulder of her mothers shirt wet.
The door flew open and Brennan ran in with tears running down her face. “Is it true?” She gasped. Her eyes stared into Breelynn’s as if expecting this all to be some big hoax. How she wished it was…
Breelynn started to feel sick and dizzy. She was trying to stay strong, but how could any mother stay strong when her baby was missing. It was like a piece of her was missing. She laid her head down in her hands and cried.
Lucy Gallagher walked over to the window and stared at the flashing lights of the cop cars stationed in the street. She couldn’t believe this was happening. How could something like this happen in such a quaint little town like Morreaux? She looked behind her and watched as her youngest daughter sobbed. Feeling hopeless she turned back to the window and continued looking out over the street hoping for little Cole to toddle by on his chubby little toddler legs. But he didn’t.
While the Gallagher’s waited anxiously for news at home, the cops were very busy searching for Milo and Cole. Detective White sent an officer to check out Milo’s hotel room.
Getting a key from the front desk, and a quick search of the hotel room showed nothing. Milo had checked out, and there was no trace of little Cole.
Concerned citizens of Morreaux gathered to search the fields to walk in a grid like pattern through the tall grasses, nobody was giving up hope, but no body wanted to admit that they could be searching for a body. This was the biggest news story that had hit Morreaux in decades, and the news vans were out in full force!
A dive team was called in, and the rivers and swamps were searched the next day. Thankfully nothing turned up.
Time seemed to freeze for Breelynn. She hadn’t left the house or had a bite to eat since Cole’s disappearance. Neighbors and even complete strangers had reached out to offer their support and her fridge was full of casserole dishes. That’s the way things went in a small town, but how could Breelynn eat when her little boy could be out there somewhere hungry and missing his mommy? She went and stood in front of a painting she had started before Cole’s kidnapping. She was painting this for his bedroom, as Cole loved to watch the squirrels play in the yard. She began to cry.
That night when exhaustion hit, Breelynn curled up on the floor of his room clutching one of Cole’s teddy bears.
Tips came flooding in on the hotline, and every lead was thoroughly investigated. One lead seemed extra promising, and Detective White was on his way to look into it.
Miles out-of-town deep in the swamps, was a little wooden shack. Detective White parked his car far from the shack and chose to walk the rest of the way, not wanting to Scare Milo off and give him warning. Pulling his gun out of his holster he looked into one of the shacks tiny dirty windows.
Milo was on the phone, except his hair was no longer long and dark, but short and very blonde.
“When can I expect you?” Milo was saying into his phone. “I’ve got the kid, and I need to get out of town asap.” He paused. “A van or a camper would be perfect.”
It sounded like Milo was planning on a way to get out of town without being seen.
A quick look through a different window showed that baby Cole was unharmed. Detective White sagged in relief against the rough wooden siding, as he really didn’t want to have to give bad news to the boys pretty young mama.
Milo froze for a split second as Detective White kicked the door down. Milo had quick reflexes and went for the gun, but Detective White was faster!
He wrestled Milo down onto the dirty floor, and twisted his arm behind his back to cuff him.
“Milo Aoki, you are under arrest for the kidnapping of Cole Gallagher.” He said pulling Milo to his feet roughly.
“He’s my son!” Cole spit blood on the carpet. “You can’t arrest me for taking what’s mine!”
He radioed for back up, and picked up little Cole.
“Hey little guy.” He said. “I know your mama is going to be so happy to see you.”
“Mama!” Cole said with interest his blue eyes lighting up.
Milo was arrested, and Detective White was more than excited to get Cole back to his eager mother. When Breelynn saw Cole safe in Detective White’s arms she burst into grateful tears!
“I’ve missed you so much Cole.” She sobbed into his soft black hair. She kissed his warm cheeks and cradled him tightly to her chest. She never wanted to let him go again! She rained kisses down on Cole’s cheeks making him squeal and giggle with delight.
“I don’t know how I can ever thank you.” Breelynn said simply to detective White. She felt her eyes fill with tears and emotion, grateful for her sons safe return and Detective White’s bravery.
His cheeks reddened. “I’m just glad I found him before Milo could flee the state.”
To his shock, and maybe a little to his delight if he was honest with himself, Breelynn launched herself across the small space between them and hugged him tightly.
“Thank you so much for bringing him home to me.” She said crying again.
The news crews showed up shortly after, descending on the house like vultures on a corpse. Detective White gave a statement, and asked them to respect Bree’s privacy and give her time alone to rejoice in her sons safe return.
Now alone at last, she tucked an exhausted Cole into his bed. She stood staring at him until he fell asleep.