She held her palm to her forehead and sighed. “I’m sorry, Tom, it’s just…I read about what happened last night and…it’s been almost seven years since I left the Bureau. There have been other high-profile murders. But this one has just…crawled under my skin…and I don’t know why.”
“You don’t?” He sounded surprised. “How do you think I knew you’d call?”
“What do you mean?”
“The homeless man. As soon as I learned about him, how the killer used him as bait, I knew this case was going to stick to you like a bad dream. I almost called you.”
“The homeless man? Why would he…?”
“Because of your parents, Esme.”
Esme shrank down in her seat to a little girl.
Who’d lived on and off welfare all their life. Who falsified addresses to get their daughter into the best public schools. Who pushed her every day to rise above their situation and, when she did, when she got that scholarship letter to
There was a shelter in the south side, Coleman House. Lead paint on the walls but walls were better than the open air in December in
BE FREE, it said. BE FREE.
She spent the entire two weeks searching the city for her mom and dad but they didn’t want to be found, and when you didn’t want to be found in the cross-streets of
She almost didn’t go back to school, but her friends urged her. They insisted it’s what her parents would have wanted. Still, every break she returned to Coleman House, and the Congress Ave. YMCA, and searched every shelter and underpass in the whole city for her family. Until the day she got into
(Excerpted from While Galileo Preys, the first novel in the Esme Stuart series, reprinted here with the permission of the author, who was too lazy to type up something new for this week's assignment and decided instead to pull a copy/paste job)