Blood Sport:The McKays 02

By: A.J. Carella

One



It looked like a pile of rags by the side of the road and she would have driven past were it not for a slight movement that caught her eye as she drew alongside. It was getting dark. It was the end of a long day and she thought maybe her eyes were playing tricks on her. Best check it out, Kat told herself as she stopped the car, put it in reverse and backed up.

There wasn’t much along this road, being several miles out from Brecon Point. She was only on it as the storm that had been raging most of the day had brought down a tree across the road she would normally have taken home. Unfortunately, around here if a road was blocked and unless you were prepared to drive across fields, you usually had to travel several miles out of your way to get to where you wanted to go.

As she pulled the car alongside and stopped, the pile moved again. Don’t be an idiot, Kat, she told herself. You’re on an empty road, after dark with no one around for miles. Although she had a permit to carry a firearm, she rarely did these days but she did carry pepper spray, which she now got out of her purse and gripped tightly in her hand before opening the car door.

She was getting a bad feeling as she drew closer to the pile and it started to take shape. That feeling turned to shock as the reality of what she was looking at hit her like a punch to the gut. He was so filthy that at first it had been hard to see where his dirty clothes ended and his torn and bloodied skin began, but now there was no mistaking that she was looking at a severely beaten human being.

Having been a police officer for many years for the LAPD, she had seen more than her fair share of beaten and broken bodies, usually on a Friday or Saturday night outside various bars. But this was different. Much different. This victim couldn’t have been much older than twelve years old.

He was lying on his back with his eyes closed. Dropping to her knees in the dirt next to him, Kat reached out and gently touched his cheek. At the touch, the boy’s eyes flickered open and he looked straight at her. The desperation and fear she saw in them took her breath away. “You’re safe now. I’m going to get help.” The boy just closed his eyes again with a sigh.

Shit! The nearest hospital was in the next town and she knew that if she called for an ambulance, it would take forever to get there. From the condition he was in, she didn’t know how much time the boy had and if she could afford to wait that long.

Brecon point was a small town but it was much closer and there was a town doctor. Decision made, Kat stood up, went to her car and opened the back door. Returning to the boy, she gently lifted him into her arms. He was much lighter than she’d expected and she could feel through his rags that he was nothing but skin and bone. Gently carrying him to her car, she laid him on the back seat. He moaned slightly as she did, but he didn’t open his eyes again.

Getting into the driver’s seat, she grabbed her phone from her purse and quickly called the police station in town and told them what she’d found. As it was after hours the doctor’s office would be closed, but they assured her that they would make sure the doctor would be there waiting for her.





Two



Kat stood in a corner of the room, not wanting to get in the way, as Dr. Crichton examined the child. She watched her as she carefully peeled away his dirty and torn clothes to look for injuries. Kat couldn’t help but flinch as every wound was revealed.

When she’d arrived at the clinic the light had been on and the doctor had been there waiting for them. Taking one look at the child cradled in Kat’s arms, she had ushered them into an examination room before immediately telling Kat to call an ambulance.

“Where did you find him?” She jumped at the sound of the voice behind her. She hadn’t heard him come in. Chief Finlay had been chief when she’d first left town twenty years ago and now, pushing sixty-five, he showed no sign of slowing down.

“Hi, Chief,” she said, acknowledging his arrival. “I found him by the side of the road on the way back from work.” She shook her head. “If he hadn’t moved, I would have driven right past him.”

“It’s a good thing you didn’t.” It was Doctor Crichton who spoke, drawing their attention. “This poor kid has suffered a severe beating. He has a broken arm, a concussion and severe lacerations all over his body. I’ll need to get him to the hospital immediately to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on internally. If he’d been there all night, there’s no knowing if he would have survived.”

“I’ll go with you,” Kat said immediately. She didn’t want to leave this poor boy’s side.

“Sorry, Kat, but we’ll take it from here.” The chief put his hand on her shoulder gently. “It’s a police matter now.”

Kat opened her mouth to argue but then closed it again. She knew he was right. She wasn’t a police officer anymore. This had nothing to do with her, but the thought of leaving him all alone was killing her. But she had no choice. Though he probably couldn’t hear her, she wanted to say goodbye, to tell him it was going to be okay, so she walked over to him. Leaning down, she whispered in his ear, “it’s okay, you’re safe now.” He moved slightly then, inching his hand over to grip hers where it rested on the side of the examination table. She tried to gently pull it away, but he gripped it harder still. With tears in her eyes, she looked at the chief. “I can’t leave him.”

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