Notions of darkness and shadows, violence and love, hardboiled.
Photography of Colorado and the American Southwest displaying nature and history.
All material on this blog is original creation by James Blatter unless otherwise noted
On a Saturday evening, a sixteen-year-old walked out of her house into a drizzling rain. She was headed to a Shakey’s Pizza, just three blocks from home, to meet her friend. She never made it back home.
That was 41 years ago.
I invited you over to hear my story, of that night and the Sunday morning after.
I delivered pizzas for that store and I drove past that girl just around the corner from the shop. I waved at her; we went to the same school and to classes together.
I figured she was headed to the restaurant, she and her friend liked to meet and grab a slice.
I had worked there for a year and noticed she and her friend met at least three times a week since both her parents worked and she had no one at home.
These details may not sound of real importance, but they will last a lifetime in my head.
I delivered my order and returned to the shop, she was still there but her friend was gone, she looked restless but the rain had started coming down harder. I went out on two more orders and was back in 20 minutes, it was my break so I asked her if I could give her a quick lift home.
We got in the car and she told me thank you, I told her it was my pleasure, and it was.
I got up some nerve and asked, “its Saturday night, why aren’t you out with your friends? Or on a date?”
She smiled, and then something hit us and I slammed my head against the glass, shattering it. The world went black and there were blue and white stars swimming in the darkness.
I vaguely heard a scream and saw something through a red haze, something was dragging her.
My vison cleared and I something dark and huge drag her into the trees, I passed out
A flashlight blinded me as I woke in the grass. I was soaking wet and could taste the saltiness of my blood.
I rolled over and got to my knees and looked around. In strobing light I saw her torn jeans and a shoe lying in the grass a few feet away.
The police and paramedics checked me and took me to the hospital.
They asked me questions I couldn’t answer
After they left I sat in the dark hospital room listening to laughter that was from nowhere and everywhere.
The police spent weeks asking me questions, my parents and teachers and pastor too.
They all looked at me with suspicious eyes, and though I was never charged with anything after I left the hospital those eyes became vacant and never looked at me again.
She never made it home, the truth is neither did I.
Words by James Blatter
Photo via toronto.ctvnews.ca