Subject: Who will catch my fall?
Chapter 3: (M/b, abusive situations, no sex)
WARNING: This story contains descriptions of abusive acts, both physical and sexual in nature, involving MINOR boys. I wish to explain that this story is not true! Further, it is not intended to promote illegal acts against minors, but to educate people as to what a minor child has to do in order to survive in a severely abusive environment they are trapped. One of the most famous examples of this was Steven Stayner, who was kidnapped at age 7 and severely abused for 7 years both physically, sexually, and mentally. I have had the privilege of working with a number of boys like him, and I consider all of them to be extremely brave. Many people still believe that children who stay with an abuser/captor do so because they want to. This is utterly untrue, and is proven through numerous interviews, and psychological studies conducted with these victims. A young child does not have the same ability to cope with stressful situations as an adult would because they have not had the privilege of time and experience that an adult has. Therefore, they rely more on their basic instincts, and learn quickly what they need to do in order to survive. Thus, when they are removed from that abusive situation they also have an extremely hard time adjusting to their new environment because they are not familiar with trust, caring, and compassion. These are the emotions that the abused child has to learn once they are put into a new non-abusive environment. People assume that these emotions are natural. Many do not realize that most of our human emotions are learned.
The following story is a work of fiction; however, it does incorporate actual events that I learned from victims I counseled over the years. I also do not encourage others to perform any kind of abusive or sexual act with minors. If the subject of Man/boy sex, abuse, and/or rape of minors offends you, or this material is illegal to possess material of this nature in your place of residence, or if you are under the legal age to possess such material, do not read further!
By downloading this story: "You implicitly declare and affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to material intended for mature, responsible members of society capable of making decisions about the content of documents they wish to read." The story is copyrighted under my pseudonym, Snwdemon. A copy has been placed in these archives for your enjoyment. The story cannot be used to derive monetary gain. However, if you want to place a copy of this story in your free access archives please email me for my permission. The story cannot be placed in archives that require payment for access, or be printed and distributed in any form that requires payment either directly or indirectly. Any similarity to individuals, living, or dead, is completely accidental. Reference is also made in context to some locations, businesses, characters, and people to define the story line. No other implication about the true sexuality or actions of the people, businesses, or places mentioned is intended.
Recap from Chapter 2:
"Jefferies? You mean to tell me that this is Jefferies kid?" Tyrone asked John in a surprised tone.
"I don't think so Ty. He said that Jefferies was not his father, and I believe him. However, he cannot remember what his real name is, or where he lived. Well he said he lived somewhere called the `kiss me cloud'. Does that ring any bells for you?" John asked him. Tyrone thought for a moment before answering his friend.
"Um...yeah...yeah John, it does. Hang on a second ok," Tyrone said before walking out to the ramp outside while John followed him. Ty went over to the female paramedic who had followed in his official car.
"Kim, come here for a moment. Last year when you went on vacation, you called the place the `kiss me cloud' when you were telling us about your vacation. Where did you go and where is that place at?" Tyrone asked her.
"We took the kids to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, why?" Kim asked him.
"The boy that we just brought in here is the kid seen running away from Jefferies yesterday before the shooting. I thought he might be Jefferies son, but he insisted that Jefferies was not his father or related to him. However, he cannot remember his real name, or where he used to live other than the place was called the `kiss me cloud'. So where is this `kiss me cloud' place he is talking about?" John asked her.
"It's Kissimmee St. Cloud, Florida. We got Sheila a t-shirt that said "welcome to the kiss me cloud" on it." She said to John, but he was looking down and away and mumbling something when she looked at him. When he looked up at them, he had a shocked look on his face.
"What is it John," they asked him simultaneously.
"Dear God, I think it's him. But he can't be because he isn't old enough." John said more to himself than to anyone else.
"Who John; who are you talking about?" Tyrone asked him while putting his hand on John's shoulder.
"Ten years ago it was all over the news. 5-year-old Alex Rivera was kidnapped from a shopping mall in Kissimmee St. Cloud. They searched for months for him but could find no trace. They even accused his mother of kidnapping him just to keep her husband from getting custody. It pushed her over the edge and she committed suicide. It was later revealed that the police had a videotape that showed little Alex being carried away by a man while he struggled to get free. His father sued the police for causing his wife's death, and for botching the entire investigation and he won millions. Today he is one of the most well known public speakers on child safety and crimes against kids. But this kid is not even a preteen so he couldn't be Alex Rivera because Alex would be almost 16 years old today." John explained to them. Kim agreed with John but Ty was shaking his head when John looked at him.
"What? You think it's possible that he is Alex Rivera?" John asked Tyrone.
"Yeah I do," Ty responded.
"Come on Ty. You saw the kid damn near naked. He isn't even close to puberty yet." John told his friend as if pointing out the obvious. However, Tyrone continued to shake his head disagreeing with John. "Ok, then tell me why you think he could be Alex Rivera then."
"It's simple John. The Billy Lupoc case last year," was all Ty said to his friend.
"Shit! That is right. Damn you Ty, you should have become a cop." John told his friend with a smile. He then excused himself and went inside to call the Captain. Kim looked at Tyrone with a confused expression on her face.
"The Billy Lupoc case was a kid who was severely abused and neglected. He looked like an 11 or 12-year-old boy physically and was only 4' 10" tall, but it turned out that he was really 18. Once he was put into a rehabilitation hospital where he was given good food every day, and not being beaten all the time, the boy sprouted like a weed. He went through puberty in seven months and grew eleven inches in the same amount of time. Today he is 5' 11" and weighs 160 lbs. It was explained by an expert that when young prepubescent kids are severely abused and deprived of food that their bodies kind of stops growing because it is too busy trying to heal itself from the abuse being inflicted on the kid." Tyrone explained to her.
"So, that boy in there could really be 15 years old and be Alex Rivera." Kim said in response.
"Yes he could be, and if he is Alex, then I cannot imagine what kind of hell he has lived through these last ten years." Tyrone said in a saddened voice.
End of Chapter 2
Who will catch my fall?
Chapter 3 -- November 18, 1995
John was tired of sitting and waiting for some news about Devon. He had been in surgery for 6 hours now, so John decided to go get something to eat. When he got to main lobby, he could see that it was dark already. He could also see the throng of reporters along with the police officers who barred them from entering the hospital. The news vans from a dozen different stations were lined up in the parking lot with their dish antennas providing the live feeds to the respective news organization. John looked around for a moment until he spotted Sgt. O'Malley outside beside a police cruiser and headed in that direction.
"Hey Jerry," John said as he walked up the police cruiser.
"Aye, how you holding up John, any word yet about the lad?" Sgt. O'Malley asked him.
"It's tedious, but I'm managing alright. No word yet about Devon's condition. I spoke with one of the nurses when she came out of the surgery center about an hour ago. She said that he was still in surgery, and as long as I do not hear anything, then it means that Devon is still fighting. So I guess no news is good news for right now." John told his friend.
John had worked under O'Malley when he was still a patrol cop five years earlier. O'Malley had been offered various promotions over the years, but he always turned them down. John knew why he had done that, it was because O'Malley enjoyed the Metro Division. If anyone asked O'Malley about it, he would just say that some cops were destine to be detectives, while he was destined to be a Beat cop. John has always respected this man, and was thankful to have him as a friend as well as a fellow officer.
His friendship was proven six years ago when John's pregnant wife, and 9-yrs-old daughter died in an auto accident. His wife died instantly, but his daughter held on for 28 hours before she passed away in his arms. John had almost quit the force, but Jerry convinced him to request a transfer into the Homicide division after a 6-month leave of absence. John was able to submerge himself into the investigations when he returned, so he would not have to think about his loss. He worked late every night and the harder the case, the better for him. Within 3 years, John became one of the youngest cops to attain the rank of Detective in the department's history. He also had finally come to terms with losing his wife and daughter, so he did not have to work so hard. However, hard work had become second nature to him by then. At the same time, even though he technically outranked Sgt. O'Malley, he respected the man whom he called a friend.
O'Malley had a soft spot for John in his heart. He had a son, along with his five daughters, four of whom were grown and married now, and had given him plenty of grandkids. Nevertheless, he thought of John like a son. Therefore, he was a little worried about him now. He could see that this young boy had managed to touch John the same way that his daughter Katie had done. It was hard enough for John to lose Lori, but the way Katie passed away; it was as if John's soul had been ripped out. He was thinking about saying something to him about it when he saw a reporter and camera operator slip past the barricade while the officer was distracted by another news crew.
"And just where do you think you are going Missy!" O'Malley said in a menacing voice as he blocked the entrance to the lobby. John had followed him over to assist him if needed.
"This is a public hospital, and we have the right to go inside if we choose to do so! You have no right to stop us!" The female reporter stated in a huffy tone.
"That is a right that you do have Missy, if you be injured or ill. So what be your problem Lassie...a sprained ankle, broken arm, or maybe something more delicate, such as too much cottage cheese in your butter maker, hmm?" O'Malley said in his best sarcastic tone of voice. The female reporter looked mortally offended while her camera operator tried to stifle a laugh. She started to raise her hand as if to slap O'Malley when he spoke to her again in a very menacing tone.
"Me thinks it would be wise for ye to rethink your decision to chastise me for my unsavory disposition, Lass. Nevertheless, me must warn ye that ye will be spendin' the night with all of the low life scullions, harlots, and scallywags at me jail if ye does. Now be a good lass and move back beyond the line there. Oh, and don't forget these toadies here while ye's at it." O'Malley said with a smirk while the reporter stormed away followed by her camera crew.
"I can see that the sharks are hungry tonight. Thanks for keeping them out of my hair today. It is hard enough just sitting around waiting for news about Devon, and they will only compound my problems." John told O'Malley, and then he said with a smirk.
"Too much cottage cheese in your butter maker; where in the hell did you hear that? In addition, aren't you laying on the Irish accent a little thick? Your family is from Scotland if I remember correctly." John said as he grinned at O'Malley.
"Aye, ye got me thar me laddie," O'Malley answered with a heavy Irish accent, and then they both burst into laughter. O'Malley waved to one of the officers who was standing near the barricade, and told him to stand guard at the entrance. He instructed him to check everyone's ID before allowing them into the hospital. Then John followed O'Malley back to the cruiser.
"Sorry about that John, you know the accent is my part of my public image. With a name like mine, it is rather expected to have an accent. And you know that I can't let all my adoring fans down, now can I?" Jerry said as he got into the driver's seat of the cruiser while John climbed into the passenger seat. "You look like shit, John. When was the last time you had a decent meal?"
"I had half of a day old bagel this morning," John replied sincerely.
"What did you do with the other half? Use it for a paperweight?" O'Malley asked sarcastically. "Let's go get some real food, I'll treat tonight."
"Deal my friend," John replied with a grin. O'Malley started up the cruiser and turned the lights on. Then as he threaded his way through the throng of reporters, he kept punching the siren switch just as a reporter started to ask a question. In a moment, they were through the crowd and O'Malley turned out of the hospital parking lot onto the road. He navigated through the evening traffic for a few miles until he reached the freeway. He took the on ramp south towards SeaTac and pushed the cruiser up to 80. After 5 minutes of driving, he took an exit down into a quiet housing district located just north of SeaTac Airport. He negotiated his way through the side streets before stopping in front of a nice brick rambler house. O'Malley and John got out and headed inside where O'Malley's wife Jeanne, of 25 years greeted them.
"Hello honey, I see you brought some company for dinner." Jeanne O'Malley said as they entered. Jerry kissed his wife before removing his coat. "Oh John, it's been so long since I've seen you. Come here, and give me a hug," she said with her arms open.
"Hello Jeanne, I've missed you too. How's the family?" John asked her while she gave him a warm hug.
"We've been good. Junior scored 1200 on his SAT's and he is going to apply to Washington State in the spring. He is going to attend school this summer so he can graduate this year and start college in the fall. Liz is over at her friend's house working on their Senior Homecoming dresses tonight. Now, how have you been? Is everything going ok for you John?" She asked him with a worried expression.
"Things are fine, but thanks for asking. You act like my own mother, God rest her soul, and I love you for that Jeanne." John said with a smile along with an honest and sincere expression. "It's been a busy day, and I've been at the hospital for most of the day though."
"So I've heard; how is the boy doing?" She asked him while she got the pot roast out of the oven.
"I don't know Jeanne...I don't know. The last I heard, he was still in surgery. Did Jerry tell you that he had four gunshot wounds when he came in this morning? Poor kid, that bastard Jefferies must have put him through hell. I cannot even begin to imagine what that monster Jefferies did to him, but whatever it was; it was bad. It was really five bullet wounds instead of four. The bullet wound in his chest was actually two bullet wounds. One bullet hit his ribcage and passed through leaving a large gash, and the second bullet tore through the kid's lung and nicked his liver. He still managed to walk into the department, and talk to me for almost 15 minutes before he passed out. He's one brave little boy..." John told her with his voice trailing off as he stared out the window lost in his thoughts about Devon.
"John, are you ok?" Jeanne asked him while gently putting her hand on his shoulder. Her touch brought him out of his thoughts, and he felt a warm wetness on his cheek. He is surprised to discover he is crying.
"Yeah...I'm ok Jeanne. It is just that Devon reminds me of Katie is all. He looked so small and helpless lying there on the table this morning. He was so defenseless...and innocent. I should have realized that he was hurt sooner, but I do not know where my mind was. He may die because I did not hear him crying out for help until it was almost too late." John said in a soft thick voice.
"No, it's not your fault. And you did hear his cry for help, because he would be dead right now if you had not." Jeanne told him as she put her arms around him and gave him a hug. "Look, you can stand here and `what if' things till your blue in the face. The fact of the matter is that he is alive, and still fighting. From what Jerry has told me about him at lunch, I know he will come through surgery fine. What you need to do right now is to sit down and have a good dinner. Then get you butt back up to the hospital, and be there for him when he wakes up. He still has a long road to travel for him to recover. Therefore, you need to be strong for him, and help him be strong. Up until now, he has relied only on his instincts to survive, but you need to give him the willpower to recover because I know that this Jefferies fellow has beaten every ounce of willpower out of him. Now come sit down and eat, then go take care of your boy." Jeanne told him with the gentle firmness that only a mother could wield.
John knew she was right, and he wiped the tears off his cheek with a dishtowel he swiped from the counter. He was about to protest her last comment of Devon being his boy but she shooed him out of the kitchen and to the dining room table where he sat down. He was not embarrassed about his show of emotions in front of Jerry or Jeanne. Both of them had took him in after Lori and Katie died and made him part of their family and he was grateful for that. Truthfully, he did wonder what his life would be like if Devon could live with him, but he quickly pushed those thoughts aside. Whoever Devon was, he had family somewhere who were out there looking for him, and it was his job to find them for Devon. Jeanne finished setting out dinner and called Jerry Jr. to dinner before sitting down herself. It was one of John's favorite meals, Pot Roast with carrots, celery, and potatoes with gravy. In a few moments, his worries were forgotten as the feelings of family took over as they ate.
All too soon though, it was time to get back to work. Jerry kissed Jeanne goodnight and told her not to wait up for him. Then she kissed John goodbye and made him promise to come by more often. Then they were back in the cruiser heading towards the hospital in the darkness.
"Oh God that was good Jerry," John groaned as he patted his now full stomach.
"Glad you liked it, and I thought it was about time you had a real home cooked meal." Jerry told him as they pulled back onto the freeway.
"I cook!" John said in protest.
"Pouring corn flakes into a bowl and adding milk doesn't count as cooking!" Jerry told him.
"It does to me," John answered with a grin. They both laughed then fell into silence for the remaining drive back to the hospital. It did not take as long for the drive back because traffic had thinned considerable. Even the throng of reporters had thinned down to just a few. John knew that they were not gone, but probably getting dinner and warming up right now. The wind was brisk tonight as the temperature fell as night came on. John still wondered at how Devon managed to get through last night in the cold wind and rain while also being wounded. Maybe Devon would tell him one day, but for now, he just wanted to get inside to see if Devon had come out of surgery yet. Jerry dropped him off at the main doors, and then he went and parked before he called his men together to inform them how the transfer to the night shift would work.
John came up to the nurses' counter at the surgery center, and asked the nurse if Devon was out of surgery yet. The nurse checked the board and informed him that Devon had been taken into recovery about 15 minutes earlier. She then paged the doctor to inform him that John had returned while he sat down and waited. In a few minutes, the doctor came into the waiting room and John rose to greet him.
"Hello, I'm Dr. Stevens; I am the pediatric trauma surgeon who took care of Devon. You must be Detective Roberts correct?" The somewhat shorter man said to John as he shook his hand.
"Yes, I'm Detective Roberts, but call me John, please." John told the man who gestured that they should sit. Once they were comfortable, the doctor opened up the medical chart that was marked `Devon Doe' on the front.
"Well John, first I just want to say that Devon is one incredible young man. He came though the surgery pretty well, but he had us scared for a little while when his vital signs crashed, and he flat-lined. However, we were able to stabilize him, and continue the surgery though. That boy is definitely a fighter, and when he grows up he will draw the girls to him like bees are drawn to a flower in bloom." The doctor told John. John was a little confused by this because he really had not noticed Devon's looks, but then Devon had been covered in mud at the time.
"Anyway, we were able to repair most of the damage from his gunshot wounds. I had to remove part of his right lung because it was damaged beyond repair by the bullet that penetrated his chest cavity. I also had to remove his gall bladder and repair the tear in his liver. The second wound to his chest did not penetrate his chest cavity, but it broke three of his ribs in four different places. I had to put some Teflon strips mounted with some screws to hold them together so they can heal properly, and he will have to wear a protective brace until they do. The wound to his right shoulder was quite severe. The bullet entered his upper back in the shoulder blade area, going through the shoulder blade, which must have deflected it because it traveled upwards breaking his collarbone before exiting out the front of his shoulder. The bullet fragmented when it struck his clavicle, and we were able to remove most of the fragments. In addition, it does not appear that the bullet or fragments damaged any critical nerves or arteries for his right arm. His third gunshot wound was to his right thigh, but it was mainly a through and through flesh wound. It did not damage any major tendons, blood vessels, or nerves, so I cleaned the tract and stitched it closed. However, it is the last gunshot wound to his lower spine that I am worried about though. The entrance of the bullet was very close to the sciatic nerve for his left leg. I cannot be sure what damage it has caused until he wakes up. He must have stumbled before the bullet struck him. It entered his lower back and struck his pelvis, breaking it. Then, the bullet was deflected upwards where it pierced his small intestine and bladder. I had to remove about a foot of his small intestine that was damaged by the bullet as well as repairing his bladder. The pediatric Neurosurgeon assisted me during this part surgery. He explained to me that sometimes when the tissue around the nerve is damaged like that, it shocks the nerve, rendering it inactive for a few months. He will need some extensive physical therapy before he will be able to walk normally again." The doctor explained to him. He then flipped through a few pages in the chart before continuing.
"There are a few other injuries I need to note also. His left Femur has been broken recently, and it was set poorly where it has been healing incorrectly. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon decided to re-break the bone and set it properly, and then he inserted a pin through Devon's lower left leg. The pin is for the traction apparatus that will properly align his pelvis and femur for proper healing. I also found numerous fissures in his rectum as well as a tear to his sphincter or anus that is consistent with forcible sodomy. It is apparent that Devon has been raped, or sexually abused a number of times recently, and I had a rape kit done for you as well. Devon was also beaten quite severely before being wounded, and he has had a number of old rib fractures as well as a couple of arm fractures as well as arm dislocations too. The orthopedic surgeon decided not to re-break his right arm due to his fractured ribs, shoulder blade, and clavicle on his right side. However, he recommends that Devon's right arm be reevaluated once he has recovered. The pediatric neurosurgeon also discovered that Devon has a fracture to his skull, left eye socket, and left cheekbone, and a skull fracture behind his left ear. Someone really beat this kid to a pulp before shooting him. Devon has moderate bruising and scarring to his upper body, lower back, and legs as well. However, it appears that most of those bruises are a week or two old. Finally, he had quite a bit of scarring on the foreskin portion of his penis as well as on his penis and scrotum areas. The scar tissue prevented the foreskin from retracting to allow us to insert the Foley tube into his bladder. I called in the Urologist, and he performed a circumcision on Devon. That should alleviate any future problems and pain for him."
"Otherwise, I think that with a couple of months of bed rest he should heal up pretty good. He will be in a lot of pain for the next few weeks, and the pain will be quite severe when he wakes up so I have ordered morphine shots to be administered every 6 hours and 15 mgs of Demerol with 5 mgs of Visteril to be given to him every 2-4 hours for break through pain. He should be coming out of recovery in 20 minutes, but if you would like, I can allow you to go stay with him until he wakes up. So, do you have any questions?" Dr. Stevens asked him once he was finished.
"Uh, yes I have a few. First, I need to get the bullets you recovered from him for evidence. I will also need documentation pictures of the bruising, scars, as well as copies of the x-rays showing all of his old fractures. Next, I need someone to do a complete dental exam on him, including dental molds made of his teeth for comparisons while we search for his identity and parents. If you could provide us with a blood sample for a DNA profile, it would help also, as well as allowing one of our techs to get his fingerprints and footprints for comparisons later. Last, were you able to determine his exact age at all from any of your tests?" John asked the doctor.
"Well, I am not an expert so my opinion would just be a guess, but I would say that he was between the ages of 10 to 12 years old. I can have his x-rays sent over to our anthropology Department here at the university. We have a forensics expert who can give you a better answer than I could. As for the bullets, I have them right here already bagged for you, and I will have a nurse take a blood sample when your person comes in to do the fingerprints. As for the dental exam, I see no problem with that, but I recommend that it wait a couple of weeks to allow him to get some of his strength back. Now is there anything else I can do for you?" The doctor asked him as both he and John stood up. John took the plastic bag that contained the two bullets and a number of fragments removed from Devon when the doctor handed it to him.
"No, thank you, you all have done quite enough already. I appreciate everything you have done to save Devon's life. If you could leave word for your billing department here to send all bills for his medical treatment to the police department, we will make sure that it is taken care of. Again, thank you to you and the staff here, I was sure that Devon was not going to make it. Not with the wounds that he had when he came into the department this morning." John said as he shook the doctor's hand again.
"No problem Detective Roberts, it always makes my day brighter when we are able to save a young life. Now if you will follow Sara here, she will take you to Devon, ok." Dr. Stevens said as he acknowledged the plump little nurse that came up beside him.
John followed her into the Surgery Center, to the recovery room where they had Devon's bed in a room that was separate from the other cubicles. Devon's right arm and shoulder were in a cast and propped up by pillows. His bare left shoulder and part of his chest were visible from under the sheet and blanket that covered him. He was bandaged from just under his armpits down, so that only part of his left nipple was visible. His entire left leg and foot was in a cast and there was a steel pin running through his cast and leg just above his ankle. The pin was attached to a traction device that kept his leg elevated at the proper angle for comfort and healing. The covers had slipped to the side of his elevated leg and exposed most of his scrotum and penis to anyone who came into the room. His sac was small and flaccid clearly showing the outline of the two small testes inside it as well as revealing quite a few old scars the doctor had spoken to him about earlier. His testicles were no larger than a couple of kidney beans were. Devon's small penis lay pointing upwards towards his belly while a small tube disappeared into the small-inflamed head of his penis. His penis was short nub that was maybe an inch long, with a black ring that was sutured to the skin from his circumcision. The tube went to the urine bag attached to the side of the bed. It had about an inch and a half of red tinted urine in it. John straightened the covers so that Devon's privates were no longer exposed to everyone's view.
John then asked one of the nurses if there was a reason for blood to be in Devon's urine. The nurse first checked the bag, then went and checked his chart. She then explained to him that the bullet to his lower back had pierced Devon's bladder but that the doctors were able to repair the damage. She said that it was expected for him to have a small amount of blood in his urine but that it should clear up in a day or so. John thanked her, and she left the room. John looked down at Devon's face and noticed that his eyes were still taped closed. He gently removed the tape from Devon's eyelids then brushed his light brown hair out of his face. For the first time since meeting him, John could clearly see Devon's facial features. A couple of the nurses had bathed Devon after surgery, and John was surprised to see his skin was a pale milky white. There were no signs at all that he had ever spent a long period in the sun. Devon's left eye was swollen with a large purple bruise that covered half of his cheek, which was also swollen. However, John could see that Devon was strikingly beautiful even with all of the bruises on his face. Nor could John deny the uncanny resemblance that Devon had to his daughter Katie, so much so that they could have been twins. John saw that Devon was the kind of child that people noticed as they were walking down the street or shopping in a store, and he thought to himself, "no wonder Jefferies grabbed you kid."
As he thought about this, Devon moaned softly, and that got John's attention. He listened for a moment before sitting down beside his bed and taking hold of Devon's left hand. Devon started to stir slightly, with small soft moans and movements of his head and left hand. After a few minutes, Devon managed to crack open his eyes, but he winced in pain as he sucked air in through his gritted teeth.
"Its ok son, I know it hurts, but you have to relax. You were hurt very bad, and I brought you to the hospital. The doctors had to operate on you to make you better. You are just waking up from the surgery, and I know you are in pain. I will get the nurse so she can check you, then she will give you something for the pain." John said gently to Devon as he gently squeezed his left hand and lightly rubbed his left shoulder. He watched him as Devon struggled to adjust to his surroundings as his awareness increased. At the same time, he watched Devon try to gain control over the pain and relax as he had told him to do. After a few long seconds, Devon appeared to adjust and get enough control over his pain to relax a little.
John was about to go get the nurse when he heard Devon whimper softly. When he looked back down at Devon, John could see the tears as they welled up in Devon's eyes before slipping down the side of his small face. Instead of moving, John just hollered loudly for the nurse to come. John's heart was breaking as he watched Devon begin to cry harder as his pain became unbearable. John had thought his heart had died six years ago with his daughter, so it shocked him to feel this pain as he watched Devon cry. He then thought back to the time after the accident when Katie had woke up briefly in the hospital. She was in so much pain, but the doctors knew that she was dying, and that they could do nothing for her. She was hurting so much, and they could not give her enough pain medicine to dull the pain without killing her. All she could do was cry as her life slowly slipped away, and John was dying inside with her. He could not let her go in so much pain though, and he knew that she had to relax so her soul could escape. Therefore, he had taken her pain away as his heart died in the process. She died peacefully in his arms fifteen minutes later while he cried as a part of him died with Katie, leaving him empty inside. He had shown her how to catch a rainbow that took her to heaven to be with her mother, and as he remembered how he did it, the emptiness inside him returned. Now he looked down at Devon, all he could see was Katie and the pain, and he knew what he needed to do as his memory of that terrible day took over.
"Don't cry honey, I know it hurts, but I'm going to help take it all away ok?" John told him as he gently wiped his tears away. Devon gave a little nod and whimpered, and John leaned over until his forehead was touching Devon's forehead.
"Ok, you ready. Now listen to me, and close your eyes." John said softly and he saw Devon close his eyes even though his tears still streamed down the sides his face.
"You and I are going to take a special trip to a place where there is not any pain. It is a good place...a happy place. So you have to listen carefully to my voice in order to go on this special trip because we have to catch a rainbow." John whispered softly to him. At the same time, John pulled his handkerchief out from his pocket and shook it until it was unfolded. "Now I want you to think of a big beautiful rainbow as it is arcing across the sky. Do you see the rainbow honey?" John asked him in the same soft whisper, and he felt Devon nod slightly.
"Good, now we have to catch it, and we run towards it as fast as we can, but no matter how fast we run towards it, we can never get close to it. I know! Let's jump up into the air, jump up really, really high into the sky. So high that we land on a soft, white, puffy cloud high in the sky," John said in a little louder tone of voice. He can see that Devon's tears have almost stopped now as he hung onto each word John spoke.
"Now the rainbow can't see us, so let's sneak closer so we can catch it. We are almost there, but we have to be very quiet or it will hear us and run away again. So you cannot cry, or you will scare it away. Shh, it's getting closer, just a little bit more so be very, very quiet now honey." John told him with his voice down to a very soft whisper again. Devon's sniffles and whimpers had stopped now as he let John's voice take his mind away from the pain. John could still feel the tension though in Devon's face from the pain though, and he knew that it would overwhelm him again as soon as he stopped talking.
"We are almost there now; if you reach out your hand, you can almost touch it." He whispered quietly as he just barely brushed Devon's outstretched fingers of his left hand with the handkerchief. He watched as Devon's fingers closed on empty air as he felt the rainbow brush his fingertips.
"Just a little bit further, we are so close. Stretch out your hand now honey," he whispered to him again, and Devon reached his left hand out as far as he could reach with his fingers splayed open ready to grasp the rainbow. John held the handkerchief just beyond Devon's grasp for only a moment and then let him grasp it and said. "Wow, you caught it Devon. Now, you hold on real tight honey."
"Hold on to it really tight because it will try to get away." John told him as he tugged the handkerchief this way and that way. However, Devon had a death grip on the handkerchief, and he let out a small gasp when he felt the rainbow trying to escape.
"Ok, the rainbow knows it cannot get away now, so it will take us across the rainbow bridge to the place where there is no pain, and everyone is happy. So hold on tight because our trip is about to begin." John said in the same soft whisper, and he could feel it as Devon's small body began to relax more while he concentrated on his voice and words. John also heard the nurse enter the room and he held up his free hand, motioning for her to stop, and not to interrupt them.
"Here we go now honey; the rainbow starts pulling us towards the sun on the horizon. We are starting to move faster now as the rainbow pulls us along behind it because it is very strong, and it can fly very, very fast. It keeps pulling us faster and faster towards the sun, and we can now see the rainbow bridge as it goes up high into the sky and even over the sun itself. So hold on tight and do not let go because the rainbow is really flying up off the ground now. We are approaching the rainbow bridge now, and we can see it far off in the distance. It is coming closer and closer really fast now letting us know that we are almost there. Now we are here at the rainbow bridge, and it is so big and beautiful honey. You can see it going way up into the sky, up so high that it even goes past the moon, sun, and stars. The rainbow is heading straight for the bridge to take us across, and then it jumps up high in the air and lands on the rainbow bridge. It is pulling us up high into the sky with it, and we are flying up, up, up into the starry sky as the rainbow pulls us behind it. You can feel the wind blowing in your hair, and as we pass each cloud now, and you can hear the soft whoosh, whoosh, whoosh as they go by us. If you look down, you can see the ground getting smaller and smaller as the rainbow carries you higher and higher along the rainbow bridge. Now we are up so high that you cannot see the ground at all anymore, and all you can see is just the clouds and the water of the oceans below us." John said in the soft voice that was helping Devon to escape from his pain.
"Now you can see the end of the rainbow bridge as it goes into the big beautiful starry nebula that has all of the colors of the rainbow in it, and as you get closer to the end of the bridge, the rainbow you caught is getting brighter and brighter. When you reach the end of the rainbow bridge, the rainbow pulls you into the beautiful nebula and becomes a bright light that you are no longer able to hold. The light is so bright that you have to shield your eyes from it." John says softly and Devon let go of the handkerchief and raised his left hand as if he was shielding his eyes from the intense bright light.
"The light is so bright now that you can't see anything except the bright white light all around you, and you cover your eyes because the light is so bright. Then you hear the most peaceful, and comforting voice telling you to open your eyes," John said to him, and Devon's eyes flew open, but he could not see anything except the light in his mind. Then John told him softly, "the bright light is gone now, and you see the Arch Angel Gabriel in front of you. He has six wings, and you see that his wings are all the different colors of the rainbow. When he wraps his six beautiful wings around you honey, you feel no more pain, no more sadness, or sorrow. All you feel is the warmth of his love as he holds you with all six of his rainbow colored wings. You are safe, and warm, and you feel so peaceful now. There is no more pain, no more sadness, my darling child, just the warmth from Gabriel's wings as he holds you, and protects you from all the bad things. Now relax, and close your eyes honey. Take a slow deep breath, and hold it...now let it out slowly. You are just floating in Gabriel's warm embrace, with no pain, or sorrow, so relax and float honey...relax and float." John told him softly as he kissed him gently on his forehead.
He watched as Devon's face smoothed out, and his body relaxed as the tension and pain drained out of his body as he floated along in Gabriel's warm embrace within his mind. John watched as he took slow shallow breaths while his heart rate returned to normal. Then John straightened up and motioned for the nurse to be quiet and to give Devon the shot before the pain returned. She injected the morphine into the IV line, and Devon drifted off to sleep again. Once he was asleep, John leaned over and kissed him once more on the forehead.
"Sleep well, my baby," John said before leaving. When he came out of Devon's room, all of the nurses were all staring at him. The plump nurse named Sara, who had escorted him in, finally spoke.
"That was the most remarkable thing I have ever seen. Where did you learn to do that," she asked him. John just looked at her for a moment, and then a tear slid down his cheek quickly followed by another.
"I learned how to do it when my daughter was dying after a car accident. She was in so much pain, and none of the medicine had any affect. She could not leave because she was in so much pain. Therefore, I showed her how to get to heaven by catching a rainbow and going across the rainbow bridge. She died in my arms a few minutes later looking just as Devon looks right now." John said in a soft voiced filled with unbearable sorrow.
"I am so sorry; I had no right to ask you about that. Please forgive me," Sara said to him sincerely.
"It is all right, just take care of Devon, and make sure he is not in pain please. Will you be taking him to his room now?" John asked her.
"Yes, he will be in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. It's on the 3rd floor, and he will be in Room 303." Sara told him as she walked him to the entrance leading out of the Surgery Center. "I still think you are a remarkable man, and that little boy is lucky to have found you."
"Thank you Sara; how long before he is transferred to his room?" John asked her as he used his handkerchief to wipe his eyes.
"In just a few minutes, I will make sure that he is disturbed a little as possible so he will not wake up." She said to him.
"Thank you again Sara, I will be back in about an hour. Do not allow anyone to see him except the doctor or nursing staff please. If anyone tries to see him, send someone to get police Sgt. O'Malley downstairs in the main lobby and he will deal with them. Devon is under police protection right now." John instructed her, and then he turned and left. Once he was outside, it took him a few minutes to regain his composure as he tried to bury the pain he felt inside him where the emptiness had been. Once he was able to move on, he went looking for O'Malley. He found him just inside the main lobby with the other officers who were screening the people as they came in.
"Jerry, I need a vehicle for a little while. I rode in the ambulance with Devon on the way over here. I need to go by the station, speak with the Captain, and get a few things. I should be back in about an hour." John told him. Sgt. O'Malley reached into his pocket and tossed him the keys to his cruiser.
"Take your time laddie, `cause we've got a long night ahead of us." O'Malley said to him in that lilting Irish brogue. John just chuckled at his friend as he caught the keys. Then he turned and went out the main entrance, pausing only long enough to locate O'Malley's cruiser. He got in, and drove back to the station where the night shift was on duty. He asked the sergeant running the night duty desk if the Captain was still there. The sergeant said he was but that he was in a meeting with an important visitor. John was about to go on to his desk when the sergeant stopped him and told him that the Captain was expecting him, and he escorted John upstairs. John followed the sergeant as he lead him to the conference room, where the sergeant knocked, then opened the door and telling the Captain that John had arrived. The Captain called John into the room and dismissed the sergeant who closed the door behind him.
"You wanted to see me Captain?" John asked while standing in front of the desk where the Captain was sitting.
"Yes I did, John I believe you know the Mayor Lou Edwards here, and you should know our guest here." The captain said as he indicated towards another man who stood and held out his hand towards John.
"Why yes...yes I do, it is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Rivera. I did not know you were in town. I was planning to call and speak with you tomorrow, but I have been at the hospital all day," John said as he shook Juan Rivera's hand then the Mayor's.
"The pleasure is mine, and no I was not in town, but when the Captain called me in Sacramento this morning I flew here as soon as I could." Juan explained to John as the Captain came over to the conference table and indicated they should all sit down. Once they were seated, the Captain started things off.
"John, when you called me earlier, I contacted the Mayor to ask how I would be able to get in touch with Mr. Rivera. That was when he informed me that Mr. Rivera was in Sacramento. After I spoke with Mr. Rivera, he convinced me to have this little meeting. As I told you earlier Juan, we are investigating this incident involving a man named Bill Jefferies. This morning a young boy came to the department asking for help. Detective Roberts talked to him when the poor child passed out from blood loss from his numerous wounds he received as he was fleeing Jefferies yesterday. I will let him explain what transpired after that." The Captain told Mr. Rivera and the Mayor.
"Yes sir. The Captain has pretty much told you what transpired. However, during my interview with Devon, he has been using that name while Jefferies has had him. He said that he could not remember where he used to live other than he thinks he lived in the `kiss me cloud.' It did not make any sense to me, but once we got him to the hospital, one of the paramedics said that a co-worker of his knew this place. It is Kissimmee St. Cloud, Florida. That is when I remembered that you lived there and that your son had been abducted from there 10 years ago. I figured it was a long shot but thought I should call you just to be sure that Devon is not your missing son." John explained to him. He then went on to explain how kids who are in severe abusive environments that their normal development stops because the child's body was to busy trying to heal itself from the abuse instead of growing. Mr. Rivera listened intently to John until he was finished.
"I appreciate your efforts, and you are correct about these children who are abused that their physical development is delayed. However, the child Devon cannot be my son. My son's body was discovered four years ago. I did not want the same media circus as before, so I kept everything quiet. The man who murdered my son has confessed and recanted his confession a dozen times, and he passed away in prison last year. So while there is no direct physical evidence linking him to my son Alex's abduction and murder, I believe that he was the one who kidnapped, and murdered my son." Juan said to John, who just nodded with a look of disappointment on his face.
"However, I still may be able to help you. Another young boy, whose name is Joshua Keating, was abducted seven years ago from Kissimmee St. Cloud; he was only 4 years old at the time. This may explain why he can only remember that he lived in the `kiss me cloud'. I think there is a good chance that Devon may be Joshua Keating. All though, there is some problems if it turns out that he is indeed Joshua. Both of Joshua's parents are not around anymore. His father blamed himself for Joshua's disappearance and it eventually drove him to commit suicide 4 years ago, the same as my first wife did. His mother is still alive, but she is dying from ovarian cancer. The doctors have only given her a few more weeks to live. I was able to get a copy of his birth certificate as well as his toe and footprints with her permission. I did not say that we had located Joshua; I only told her that we had some new leads in his abduction that we were following up on is all. Now, she believes that we may have located his body. I have given the documents to your Captain. If he is Joshua, he will still be an orphan once his identity is confirmed. However, he will at least be able to see his mother and say goodbye before she dies." Juan Rivera told them with a slight catch in his voice. John could tell that this man was much like himself.
"Well at least we will know who he really is, and I guess we can figure out where to place him after that since his mother is too ill to make the arraignments for him herself. He is a survivor though, he somehow managed to get through the surgery, but he has months or maybe even years of therapy ahead of him. Only I don't know if he will be well enough to see her before she dies, but we will have to deal with that problem later after his identity is confirmed." John explained to them.
"Poor kid," was all the others could say in response.
"Do you happen to know if he has any other relatives if he is Joshua?" John asked Juan.
"I think he has an aunt in Florida, but from what I understand, she has a drug dependency problem. Both of Joshua's maternal and paternal grandparents are deceased. That is why I said that if this boy is Joshua, then he will be an orphan." Juan told everyone at the table.
"Well, for the time being we don't know who he is. We will decide what to do once we confirm his identity as Joshua Keating. Until then, let us keep this information between us. We don't need the press saying he is the long lost Keating kid only for us to discover that he isn't later." The Mayor said to them all, and they nodded in agreement. The meeting ended with that, and the Mayor left the room with the Captain followed by Juan Rivera and then John. Juan stopped in the hallway and looked at John.
"I appreciate your efforts to help this boy. I understand that you lost your daughter and wife a few years ago. So take this from one father to another who has lost their child. I see children who have been abducted, then reunited with their families' years later or put into foster care only to end up dead or in prison shortly after that. Do not let Joshua, if that is who he really is, do not let him slip through the cracks or be swallowed up by the system. You can help him because you understand what it is like to lose something as precious as a child." Juan told him, and John understood completely. Like himself, John knew that a part of Juan had died when his son Alex was taken and later found dead.
"I won't let that happen to him. I promise you that Juan. Devon has suffered enough pain and loss for 10 lifetimes. I will make sure that he doesn't have to suffer anymore." John said seriously, as he looked into Juan Rivera's eyes. They each saw understanding in the other's eyes, and Juan gave a slight nod and patted John on the shoulder. They both then followed the Captain and Mayor, but once they got downstairs John said goodbye and headed for his desk. When he got there, he took the bag with the bullet fragments and put it on his partner's desk. He then took the evidence bags left by O'Malley and put them on his partner's desk too. He then wrote a note to his partner regarding the evidence, and attached it to the evidence bags. As an afterthought, John picked up the hard half eaten bagel and tossed it into the garbage. He laughed when he saw that it was holding down some notes he had written that morning.
John then went to his locker where he had a fresh change of clothes. When he looked into the mirror, he was surprised to see his shirt speckled with small bloodstains. When he stripped off his shirt, he could see smears of dried blood on his arms.
"I look like an axe murderer," John mused as he shucked off his clothes before grabbing a towel and stepping into the shower. He quickly showered then wrapped the towel around his waist before stepping out and heading to his locker. He dried himself and put on the clean clothes before running a brush through his short hair. He finished dressing then went back to his desk and grabbed his wallet and watch. He stopped by the armory and collected his gun before leaving to go back to the hospital.
End of Chapter 3
Endnote: As you can see, this is not intended to be an erotic story. I hope this story will be more of an education tool, besides the enjoyment of a good read. The following statistics were obtained from the Washington, DC CPS Department. They are based upon studies done in 2000.
One out of every five children suffers some form of abuse; it is either physical abuse, mental abuse, or sexual abuse. If you include abuse from other children, such as bullying, harassment, and hazing, then the number increases to one out of every three children. Of the children who are being abused, one-third of those victims are sexually abused.
When a child is abducted, whether it is a non-custodial relative or a stranger, 90% of those children suffer from two of the three forms of abuse. When a child is a runaway, 100% of those children suffer all three forms of abuse. Many of the runaway children are being abused at home, so they elect to run and take their chances in the adult world. Many of these children turn to prostitution as a way to survive, and to drug use as a way to escape their pain. To them, prostitution is still abuse, but at least they are being paid for their sexual acts, where as at home they are just suffering the abuse.
When I work with these victims, I see that every one of them is acutely aware of their surroundings as well as the people around them. They can detect the slightest change in a person's voice, mood, or attitude. This is because, for them, it is the only warning they get to protect themselves. Their entire existence consists of constant fear, mistrust, and pain. They learn how to minimize these things so they are able to survive. However, they are never entirely free from them.
When adults are put into an abusive situation, we have choices that allow us to escape from those situations because we have the advantage of time, experience, and physical maturity. However, a child does not have those same choices. Children are the most vulnerable members in our society because they are completely dependant on the adults around them. So when a child is abducted, their dependence switches from their parents to their abductor. If they want to eat, or have a place to sleep, they have to do as their abductor says. Their abductor understands this very clearly, and they exploit this by connecting the abuse with the child's dependence. They know that the child will endure the abuse, as well as keeping their abuse a secret. People in my profession describe these victims as "suffering in silence."
So bear these facts in mind as you continue with this story. I have tried to create the same situations that an abducted child has to endure with the hope that it will increase people's awareness to these problems. Thank you again for your many responses to my stories, and God Bless, my friends. Damion
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