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Two years from the day, some in the city of Brownleaf still remember.


Two years from the day, as the recess bell rings a bloodburst flash of giddiness passes over his face and he can't help but snicker.


Everyone with a child remembers the day Wimberley Scot disappeared. Emilia remembers the friend with whom she would roll down the steep hill beside her house. Rubia remembers that sinking feeling (as though someone ran through a minefield in her chest carelessly) the day she saw her face on the news: two green apple eyes and haunting dimples. Alex remembers the little girl he helped to light sparklers every 4th of July. Reuben remembers carrying her home from the community swimming pool after she had been viciously stung by bees, how all he had to do was pretend to hit himself to make her laugh.


Maximilian remembers his hate for her father, their Presbyterian preacher and next door neighbor, convinced in his heart he did the deed.


Some questions remain, will always remain. Though Detective Blurhardt would never solve the case, he would never allow the investigation to be closed either, always holding himself personally responsible for letting Father Scot slip through his fingers, gone suspiciously missing in the night.


He’d never know it wasn't because the father was guilty as everyone in his congregation believed. How he had simply lost faith after his daughter was murdered, and no longer able to lie about the Kingdom of Heaven or live across from the park where his daughter once played, how he had moved to Africa where, while watching a baby zebra being born―once upon a time Wimberley's favorite animal―he would eventually make his peace with Jesus.


They would never find the body, the location of which only one man knows.


It’s underneath the slide, where he buried it.

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