Magnolia Chapter 1: Part 2

The blue and red lights flashed through the window and the front door opened.  “We’re in here!” Ali yelled as she kneeled next to Ms. Franklin.  

“Ma’am, are you okay? What happened?” his voice was unfamiliar. 

Thank goodness they’re here, but who’s this guy?” Ali thought. “I’m fine. But Ms. Franklin. There’s blood. She won’t answer. I found her like this.” she said as her voice shook. The paramedics came in and the police officer helped her to her feet and moved Ali to the side.

“She’s still alive, but unconscious.” the paramedics declared as they continued to do their check.  The police officer ushered Ali outside as the paramedics stabilized Ms. Franklin’s back before putting her onto the stretcher. 

Ali and the officer walked outside with tears streaming down her face. She made it to the front porch steps and sat down. 

“Everything will be okay.” the officer comforted as he sat down next to her and put his arm around her.

“Will it?” Ali mumbled as the paramedics quickly rolled Ms. Franklin out of her house on a stretcher onto the ambulance. What is even happening right now. Ali thought. None of this seems real. 

“I hope so,” he replied.

“Can I go with her?” She asked with the paramedics as she walked towards them. 

“We need your statement.” the officer stated.

“Please her family isn’t here.” She said standing up.

“Don’t worry we will make sure they are alerted,” he replied. The paramedics looked at her with pity as they shut the doors. 

“It’s a small town. You would know where to find me.” she pleaded and raised her voice.

“Please calm down. Let’s just sit.” The officer said. Ali walked back to the porch steps but refused to sit. She squinted her eyes to read his name patch. Officer McCallin. 

He must be new to town,” she thought. He had brown hair with kind blue eyes that peered just over her head. The other officers were checking the scene as the CSI team had just arrived.

“What is your name?” he asked. 

“Ali Marie Magnolia.”

Ali and the officer walked outside with tears streaming down her face. She made it to the front porch steps and sat down. 

“Ms. Magnolia – 

“Ali, you can call me Ali,” 

“Ali, could you tell me what happened.”

“Well, I had spoken to Harper, I mean, Ms. Franklin on the phone earlier today about dropping off the flowers for the winter ball. 

“The winter ball?” he asked as if he’d never heard of it before. 

“Yes, the one the town has every year.”

“Alright. Continue.” How could he not know this she thought.

“She had told me the front door would be unlocked like always and to just come on in. So when I got here, that’s what I did.”

“Did Ms. Franklin say she’d be home when you spoke with her earlier?” the police asked.

“Yes, she said she’d be here.”

“Okay, go ahead.”

“When I turned the lights on I saw a large shadow, heard the door slam, and ran after it.  Before I even made it to the back door I found Ms. Franklin unconscious on the floor.”

“Did you see who the person was?”

“Well, what happened?”

“No, I didn’t,” Ali replied.

“Ms. Magnolia, I mean Ali, if you do remember anything else please let me know.” the Officer McCallin said as he handed her his card.”

“Will do. Is she going to Brighten Medical?”

“Yeah, but you really should call your folks and go home and get some rest. You’ve been through enough today.” 

Obviously he doesn’t seem to know how anything works around here, Ali thought. “She’s a friend, I just can’t leave her,” Ali stated as she walked back to the flower truck and got in.  What just happened? Ali thought This doesn’t feel real. Who would want to hurt Harper? If only I had gotten there sooner” 

Ali got about halfway down the Franklin driveway before she pulled over to stop.  She searched her black hole of a purse for her cell phone and called her Papa. 

“Hey -“

“Ali are you okay? Officer McCallin called and said Harper was hurt and you found her.” Her Papa asked with concern in his voice.

“Word sure does get around fast, that’s small towns for yeah.  I’m surprised McCallin knew who to call,” she thought. “Yes, I’m fine,” she replied. “It was weird.”

 

“Well, what happened?”

“Short Version. I walked in to deliver the flowers. The lights were off. I called out for Harper and she didn’t answer.  I flipped the lights on and I saw a shadow of a person and chased it only to find Harper hurt and passed out on the floor.”

“I’m glad you are alright. Are you headed to the hospital?”

“Papa, how’d you know?”

“I had an idea. I also figured you wouldn’t let this rest. I’ll meet you down there.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“I know. I know.” He said placating her. “But I have to pick up the flowers anyway.”

“Okay. I’ll see you there. Love you mostest.”

“I love you first, most, last, and always.” He said. Ali’s family had a rule. The last thing you say to someone you love before you end a conversation is I love you. A small grin splayed across her face. She was happy her Papa was meeting her there even though she knew she could do it on her own. She hung up and started driving to Brighton Medical.

To Be Continued…

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