The Young and the Dramatic
Episode 2: Hatchet Launches an Investigation
The Wawanakwa Police Station was extremely busy that afternoon. Reporters and concerned citizens alike were coming and going, each trying to get a bit of information of the day's findings.
In his office, Sheriff Hatchet removed his glasses to massage his temples. He had been spending the morning gathering notes and information to prepare him for the inevitable press conference that would take place that afternoon.
"You okay, Chief?"
Hatchet looked up to see Jo, his blonde detective, standing in the doorway. He shook his head, pointing down to the papers in front of him.
"No matter what I say, it's not going to be enough for them. None of the pieces are adding up," Hatchet said.
"You don't need to have all the answers. You just need to inform them that we're looking into it," Jo said, shutting the door behind her.
"How do we go for eight years with no leads whatsoever, and then all of a sudden, we get a body?"
Jo shrugged, walking over to the window. She glanced outside to see that a crowd was beginning to form outside. The local news station was setting up their cameras and journalists were gossiping with one another.
"Whatever you're going to say, think of it fast. We've got company," Jo said, "I'm going to head down to the hospital afterwards to see where we are in terms of getting an autopsy down,"
Hatchet nodded, standing from his desk. He grabbed his notes and placed his glasses back on.
"I'm going to speak with the Robertson's this evening. They deserve to know what's going on," he said.
"Are you sure you want to do that? Edith is—"
"I'm not seeing her anymore. This is strictly business," Hatchet cut Jo off, rather irritated at the very thought.
"Alright, good luck with the press conference," Jo said, opening the office door.
"He's dead?" Katie blinked, looking up at the TV screen. She looked back over to Gwen and Bridgette, who both sat in a stunned silence as well.
"After all this time. He was here in town," Gwen said, shaking her head.
Bridgette looked at her two new friends, unable to think of the words to say. She shifted her coffee cup in an uncomfortable manner.
"Did you two know him?" she asked.
"He was my boyfriend in high school," Katie blurted out. Her eyes were beginning to tear up at the very thought, "We broke up two weeks before he disappeared. It was right after Prom,"
"I'm so sorry," Bridgette said.
"I knew him from school too," Gwen said, "It was a little thing. Real smart too,"
Katie stood from the chair, dabbing her eyes with a napkin.
"Excuse me," she said, "I think I'm going to head home,"
"They dated all of high school," Gwen said, once Katie was out of earshot, "They were inseparable. When Cameron disappeared, she always felt guilty, like she was somehow responsible. He ended it,"
"That's so sad," Bridgette shook her head, "What happened to him?"
Gwen paused for a moment, as if to think of how to best explain it to Bridgette. She looked up at the TV screen where the words AWAITING PRESS CONFERENCE WITH SHERIFF HATCHET came across the screen, and then looked back to Bridgette.
"No one is really sure. The rumors were that Cameron got himself involved in something bad. He disappeared the night before high school graduation. He was our class valedictorian, so when he didn't show up to graduation, we noticed," Gwen explained.
"The police never did anything about it?" Bridgette asked.
"If you ask me, I think the police covered it up," Gwen said, "I never trusted Sheriff Hatchet. I wouldn't put it past him,"
Soon, Sheriff Hatchet appeared on the TV screen.
"Here we go," Gwen said with a roll of her eyes. She quickly turned up the volume as Hatchet started to speak.
"Good afternoon," Hatchet said, walking up to the podium, "I will be brief. Save your questions until after I have said all I need to say,"
"This morning at precisely 11:34am, one of my officers was dispatched to the Wawanakwa Town Park, after a call to 911 was placed. A dog had sniffed out something unusual in a section of the park that was undergoing renovations. Our officers were immediately on the scene to discover the remains of a body. Dental records can confirm that this is the body of Cameron Robertson, the high school student who disappeared eight years ago on the eve of his high school graduation,"
Hatchet flipped the page on his notes before continuing.
"Please be assured that we are ruling this homicide and are officially reopening the Cameron Robertson case. We will find out who has done this and bring them to justice," Hatchet finished.
At McLean Tower, Chris slammed his laptop shut after finishing watching Hatchet's press conference.
"It won't be that easy," he mused.
"Are you sure about that?"
Chris looked up in the doorway to see a figure standing there. He wore a green toque as well as a green sweatshirt. The man quickly closed the door and stepped closer to the desk. The dim light from the fire quickly revealed the man's face to Chris.
"Ezekiel," Chris said, shocked, "What are you doing here?"
"We need to talk, eh," Ezekiel said, pulling up a chair, and then placing himself in it.
After the press conference was over, Hatchet returned to his office with Jo following.
"I have no leads," Hatchet said, throwing his papers down onto the desk, "I've had a dead end for eight years. Now we have a body, and I still have no suspects,"
"Calm down," Jo said, "We'll figure something out,"
"I can't mess this one up again. The commissioners board is already talking about forcing me into retirement," Hatchet shook his head in disgust, "That Walker has been after my job for years,"
Hatchet walked over to the shelf lining the wall, and pulled a box off it. He set it on his desk, removing the lid.
"I've kept the case files in here all this time. Maybe looking at it again will spark something new," Hatchet mused.
"I can do that for you," Jo said, moving quickly to Hatchet's side.
"No, don't worry. I'll do it," Hatchet said, "Besides; you need to get down to the hospital. See where we are on that autopsy,"
Jo nodded, somewhat annoyed.
"You can't do everything yourself," Jo said, "You promoted me to detective for a reason,"
"I know. Go see about the autopsy," Hatchet replied.
Once Jo was gone, Hatchet looked back to the box, and returned the lid. He then grabbed his keys and headed out the door.
"That guy seems like a real joy," Bridgette said as Gwen refilled her coffee cup.
"You should see him in person," Gwen snickered, "He just stares at you, waiting for you to say something stupid,"
"I know a few people like that," the surfer girl replied.
"So what brings you to Wawanakwa City?" Gwen asked.
"I just got my first teaching job at Wawanakwa High. Senior English," Bridgette replied, "I graduated from Manhunt University this past May,"
Gwen's eyes widened.
"So you're Blaineley's replacement?"
"Sorry," Gwen said, shaking her head as if to forget she had said anything, "Ms. O'Halloran. She was my English teacher my senior year. I heard she quit unexpectedly and skipped town,"
"I hadn't heard anything about that," she admitted.
"This is a small town, despite being called a city," Gwen smirked, "Everyone knows everyone's business,"
"Oh," Bridgette said with noticeable disappointment in her voice, "Good,"
"What are you doing here?" Chris demanded, obviously upset at the appearance of Ezekiel.
"Did you see the news? They found his body,"
"Of course I saw it. It's all over the news," Chris snapped, "That doesn't explain why you're here. Do you know how risky that is?"
Ezekiel shrugged, as if to say "I don't care".
"I've been in town. I'm staying with a buddy from high school, eh. I saw on the news that they found him," Ezekiel explained.
"You've been in town?" Chris said, alarmed, "I thought I told you to never come back,"
"I ran out of money,"
"Of course you did," Chris groaned.
Hatchet knocked on the front door of 2006 Woodrow Drive, then took a step back with a deep breath. A few seconds passed, and the door creaked open. A large, African-American man peered outside.
"Oh, it's you," the man said, with a hint of disgust in his voice.
"Is your mother home, DJ?" Hatchet asked.
DJ shook his head as if to say no, but then came a voice from behind him.
"Who is it, DJ?"
"I need to speak with her. You too,"
DJ opened the door for Hatchet to enter. He led him down a hallway into an open living room where a large woman was sitting. The muted TV played in the corner; the channel was still on the news. The news anchor Josh was currently discussing his theory for who killed Cameron Robertson.
"Hatchet," the woman said upon seeing the sheriff, "To what do I owe this visit?"
"I wanted to pay you both a visit," Hatchet said, "May I have a seat?"
The woman nodded, although she looked annoyed at the very presence of Hatchet in her home.
"We are launching an investigation into Cameron's murder—er, passing," Hatchet revealed.
"We know. We saw the news," DJ broke in.
Hatchet looked at DJ, unsure of how to respond to that. He turned back to Momma DJ, sighing.
"I'm very sorry about what happened. I want you to know that we are going to do everything in our power down at the station to figure out what happened to your son," Hatchet said.
"You've had eight years," Momma DJ finally said after a lengthy silence, "Why now? You couldn't find the body till now? You had to rely on a dog to find my son?"
"The part of the park where Cameron's body was found was under construction. The cement casing that Cameron's body was found in hadn't been touched since 2009. We speculate that Cameron has been dead since then," Hatchet said.
Momma DJ let out a frustrated cry.
"My baby," she said, "All alone, and no one there to care for him,"
"I'm very sorry Edith," Hatchet said, "I promise you—"
"Promise me what?" Edith Robertson cried out, "You turned your back on us years ago. Why should I believe you know?"
"Because I am promising you that I will handle this case as if Cameron were my own son," Hatchet said.
And with that, he stood.
"If there's anything else you need, give me a call," Hatchet said. He then saw himself out. A few seconds after they were sure he was gone, DJ looked to his mother.
"My baby," Edith began to weep again for what felt like the hundredth time that night. DJ walked over to her, wrapping his arms around her.
Back at the coffee shop, Bridgette and Gwen were still having an in depth conversation. The sun began to set on Wawanakwa City outside, but that didn't stop the two from talking.
"So besides the whole murder case, what else does Wawanakwa City have to offer?" Bridgette asked.
"Not a whole lot," Gwen said with a laugh, "Every now and then someone will come to perform at the Wawanakwa Theatre downtown. We had The Drama Brothers here a few weeks ago,"
Bridgette's eyes lit up.
"That's amazing! I love their music," Bridgette said.
"Oh, and they had casting for a reality TV show here a few years ago. It was supposed to be called Total Drama something. No one really tried out for it, so it was cancelled," Gwen said.
"Interesting," Bridgette mused, "So what do you do with yourself?"
"I work," Gwen said, "When I graduated high school, I didn't have much money to go to school. My parents didn't want to help me out at all,"
"That's so sad," Bridgette commented.
"Are you close with your parents?" the Goth asked.
"It's been my mom and I for years. My dad passed away when I was really little," the blonde girl answered, "It was really hard to leave her. But I had to start my own life,"
Bridgette handed Gwen her empty mug, and started to look for a new conversation topic.
"What about you? Any love interests?"
Gwen, surprised at the question, dropped the mug in her hand. It was the mug she had dropped earlier, but had survived with only a crack down the center. This time, the mug shattered into several pieces.
"When that boy disappeared, I told you I'd help you out. I gave you enough money and told you to get out of town," Chris said, "Most people would be thankful for what I did,"
"I was. But not anymore," Ezekiel said.
"Do you realize what would happen to me if people found out that I helped you out?"
Ezekiel shook his head in disgust.
"I'm done running, eh," he declared, "I want my life back. I haven't had a normal life since high school,"
"Then maybe you shouldn't have done what you did to that boy," Chris said.
"What I did? Have you forgotten your role in all of this?" Ezekiel snapped.
Realizing that Chris wasn't going to own up, Ezekiel shook his head once more. He turned and exited out the office door.
"Get back here!" Chris cried after him.
Within seconds, Courtney appeared in the office.
"Is everything okay, Mr. McLean?" she asked, "Who was that man?"
"That was my son," Chris said.
In his office, Hatchet returned to looking at the box of files. He quickly found an old yearbook from 2009 of Wawanakwa High. He began to flip through pages when he came across the clubs and activities.
One picture stuck out to him. It was a picture of the English club.
Several of the people in the picture surprised Hatchet. Standing in the center of the picture was Cameron Robertson, surrounded by several other students. Hatchet recognized the majority of them.
"Time to start investigating," Hatchet said, and then picked up his phone to dial a number.
"Shit," Gwen said, realizing that she had broken another mug.
"Are you okay?" Bridgette asked, "Did I say something wrong?"
"No, it's fine. I just wasn't expecting you to ask me that. I haven't had a boyfriend since high school," Gwen admitted.
Bridgette nodded, and then looked up at the clock.
"Oh my gosh, it's getting late," she said, "I should get out of your hair. It was nice meeting you Gwen,"
"Same," Gwen said, and then reached down to start picking up the shattered mug.
Once Bridgette was gone, Gwen found herself starting to tear up for some reason. The question about the boyfriend had bothered her more then it usually did. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing.
"Hello?" Gwen asked, regaining her composure.
"Gwen Carmichael? This is Sheriff Hatchet," the gruff man's voice came through from the other line.
"What do you want?"
"I'm going to need you to come down to the station. I've got a few questions to ask you,"
A/N – I'm a little surprised that I managed to get this one written as quickly as I did, but here is episode 2! Don't expect all chapters to be written and posted this quickly. I'm just trying to get this new story planned out. I have a basic outline, but it might change 20 times before I actually write it!