Updated: Aug 21, 2020
by Marina Montenegro
She was sitting on the grass with three friends, pointing up to the clouds as they passed
overhead. They laughed together, her laugh light and free spirited. Her imagination and
innocence captivated me, and I found myself unable to leave without, at the very least, saying hello.
It was bright pink with a white wicker basket and silver tassels hanging from the
handlebars. The bike was Marcy’s favorite of all her birthday gifts. Weeks passed, but it sat in the Brighton family driveway, unridden.
The door was not locked and the hairy faced stranger was asleep on the big couch in a
dirty room that smelled like cigarettes. I sneaked past him and pushed open the front door super quietly so that I could squeeze outside and run towards the pine trees. I forgot my shoes, but I remembered Teddy.
Only my headlights illuminated the pine trees that surrounded us. We drove silently until a figure caught my eye: a small pale girl, with long brown curls in a white dress, no shoes, and hugging a teddy bear, just standing in the middle of the road. “Oh fuck no,” I said, steering around her and slamming on the gas petal.
A teddy bear lay behind the trees next to a yellow #3 crime scene marker. Eight weeks
and four days of searching and the closest we could get to finding Marcy Brighton, age six, was an old teddy bear and the remains of boot prints before last night’s rainstorm. Our
dogs circled around trees, but even they couldn’t pick up a scent.