Thursday, March 15, 2007

Story 13

[NOTE: This is part of a progressive story. The first entry is here. Check the blog label 2007Story for all entries]

     Daniel Call arrived for his second day as acting vice principal only five minutes before the first bell rang. Fortunately he wasn't late, but he promised himself that he'd try harder to be there earlier in the future. Especially when confronted with Principal John York sitting in the vice principal office waiting for him.

     "Glad you could make it Daniel. Cutting it a little close, aren't we?"

     John grinned and stepped aside so Daniel could set down his bag beside the desk. Daniel was impressed by the professional air John kept about him. His suit was immaculate. His hair perfectly arranged with a very businesslike appearance, cut short and parted perfectly straight. His red power tie contrasted against his brilliant white shirt and his silver watch glinted little winks of playfulness teasing in and out from under his cuff. Daniel had known John for many years. John had worked as an executive for some big company on the east coast before deciding to slow life down and move into a smaller town. His business degree and background, when coupled with his child development degree, made him a perfect fit when the previous principal had decided to retire. John had come to the sleepy town with no determination for any career. He had thought about playing the stock market over the Internet or doing some other type of investing. He'd even toyed with the idea of writing a book. It seemed like the cool thing for CEOs to do these days.

     "I suppose you haven't heard about the arrest yet?"

     Daniel was pulled back from thinking about John. He hadn't heard of any arrest and he said so, although the look on his face revealed this sooner than his words did.

     "It seems Sam Spears was arrested last night for breaking and entering."

     Daniel scoured his memory trying to think of Sam Spears. He quickly placed the name with the face of the tall boy who came into his library last spring frantic for books on World War II for a research paper he had procrastinated. The paper was a significant portion of the grade and if he failed it meant athletic suspension. Fortunately he passed the class with flying colors (thanks in no small part, Daniel thought, to the efforts of a certain librarian).

     "Arrested? Breaking and entering? Some kids prank? Vandalism or something? Or something more vicious? Where did he break into?"

     "He broke into Steve Johnson's home."

     John paused for emphasis to let the name sink in.

     "He claims he was trying to get in touch with Meg. The police let him go on bail, but they have a detective ready to interview him and his friends today. They are willing to look back at the possibility of a missing persons case. Or a missing family case, in this situation."

     Daniel shook his head slowly as he listened to the principal. He wasn't sure what to think. He tried to think back on his memories of Meg. He didn’t remember her having a boyfriend and he certainly didn’t see her as the type to hook up with the stereotypical jock. He vaguely remembered someone sitting with her at the funeral. He couldn’t put a face to the boy, but he was sure he would’ve remembered a six foot something basketball player.

     "I want you and Dr. Samuelson to talk with Sam before the police get another shot at him. I also want you sitting in on the interviews with the detectives this afternoon. I told them they could use your office."

     Daniel nodded in agreement and got the details for the police interviews. Then he dug out a copy of Sam's class schedule and called him down for a chat.

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