|Macie Fremont Timeline|
|Sept. 19, '88||-||Macie Fremont, 6, disappears|
|Sept. 20||-||Macie’s body is found in a field behind Westlake Primary School|
|Sept. 28||-||Acting on an anonymous tip, police question Georgia Williams, a seventh grader at Westlake Middle; Georgia confesses|
She’d lured Macie into the thick brush with the promise of a cupcake. Georgia pushed and kicked the small girl. When she started crying, Georgia punched her in the mouth. She hit Macie on the head repeatedly with a large rock until she fell silent. Afterward, with a stick, she carved an X into Macie’s cheek like some crude brand.
"Why?" The detective asked.
“I wanted to see what dying looks like,” the 12-year-old replied.
Georgia Williams served 14 years before being paroled at 26, changing her name and fleeing Tennessee.
It's taken me almost two years to track her down. The pretty woman in her late 30s bears little resemblance to the pudgy-faced blonde of her youth. Her dark hair falls in a neat bob. Her eyes are warm, not vacant like in the arrest photos.
She doesn’t flinch. She’s well-rehearsed.
“You have the wrong house.” She smiles politely through the narrowing doorway space. I gently catch the door.
“I’m not planning to expose you,” I assure her. “I just want an update for my crime blog. I won’t reveal your new name or location.”
“Sweetie, you have ...” Her drawl betrays her.
I hold up a photo of Macie’s battered corpse. Georgia breaks down, allows me inside.
“Please let me be,” she whispers. “I have a new life here.”
“Shut up,” I hiss, pulling out my handgun. Georgia freezes.
“My parents never recovered,” I begin.
“Who are you?”
“I was born after you murdered Macie. The ‘replacement baby.’ But Mom was too depressed. So, I got shipped to Grandma’s. Did you know my dad killed himself?”
“I'm sorry,” Georgia wails. “Please don’t!”
“I heard you wanted to see what dying looks like.”
I close my lips around the barrel.
This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "brand" as defined below:
3a (1) : a mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate ownership
(2) : a printed mark made for similar purposes : trademark
b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron
(2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma <the brand of poverty>
Word count: 333