“One year ago, on September 4th, 2004, Stephanie Childress went missing. She stopped her car alongside I-83, crawled out the passenger door, and vanished. Today, after 365 days of searching, we officially declare her deceased.”
Stephanie turned off the dated motel room television. She thought, just for a moment, that she’d be able to hold it together, but she found herself collapsed and sobbing on the stained carpet. She’d been fine until the broadcast had cut to a shot of her little girl, her Jamie. The same little girl she couldn’t contact for four more years.
A sudden, heavy knock on the door startled her. “Let’s go, Char,” came a smoke-destroyed voice from the other side. “Missions don’t accomplish themselves, lass.”
Steph grabbed the GLOCK from the bedside table. Beside it was a locket, with Jamie’s photo inside. These were her only two possessions now. She holstered the handgun, threw on her jacket, and carefully hid the locket.
“I’m driving this time,” she called out. “You merge like an old woman.”