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Grace on Ice Chapter One

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Lisa M

Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1844
Location: Rhode Island
Grace on Ice Chapter One  Reply with quote  

Chapter One

Grace was dead. Her helmet lay askew near her left hand, and her stick – in two pieces – had slid towards the goal. Her flaming red hair was frozen to the ice at the blue line, in a pool of now-solid blood.

The nine-year old boy stood absolutely still, not wavering on his skates. He had come onto the rink early, to warm up before the rest of the team arrived and to practice taking shots on goal. All thoughts of hockey vanished the minute he flipped on the lights and glided onto the ice.

Todd was a bright boy and he knew just what to do. He skated back to the rink entry, rummaged through his backpack and found the cell phone that was just for emergencies. He phoned home.

“Mum. It’s me. There’s a dead person on the ice. It’s Grace. I’m going to call the police, but maybe you’d better come back here?”

His mother gasped and squeaked, I’ll be right there! Are you sure it’s Grace? Is she really dead? Don’t touch anything!

“Yeah, it’s Grace. She’s, like, frozen to the ice. And, duh, no I didn’t touch anything. Gotta call 911.”

Todd pressed end and then 911. He gave his name and told the operator what he’d found. After the call he sat down on the bench, to wait for the police. Then he stood again, put guards on his skates and made his way to the lobby of the arena. He sat there, thinking. He was glad to see the police car arrive before any of the other skaters. Man, he was going to be so cool! But, Grace! It was Grace who was dead!

* * *

Todd unlocked the door to let the cops in. He politely answered their initial questions and said, follow me. He led the officers to the rink, took off his skate guards and stepped onto the ice. He turned, realizing the cops were not on skates. “Oh. This could be a problem. Just take really small steps.”

Fortunately for the police, the entry to the rink was close to where the body lay. Even so, the going was treacherous. The two officers eased their way towards the goal, stopping just a few feet away. They didn’t need to get closer to know that the woman was well and truly dead. The senior of the two, Jack Gibson, phoned it in. His partner, Angela Hollstrom, took a few small steps closer, then edged her way back to where Todd waited.

“Do you know who this is?” she asked.

Yes ma’am. It’s Grace. Grace Robertson.

Todd was beginning to feel funny. May I go sit down? I don’t feel so good.

Angela followed him to the bench area, marveling at the ease of his skating even while trying to remain upright herself. They sat on the bench and waited for Gibson to join them. When he arrived, Todd told them what he knew about Grace.

The young skater was relieved to hear his mother’s voice calling his name. “Out here, mum,” he shouted.

“Todd, Todd, are you okay?” She embraced him in a tight hug.

“Yeah, mum, sure.” Todd introduced the two officers. “They were just asking some questions about the rink and stuff.”

“Hello, I am Todd’s mother, Rebecca Yates.” She offered her hand.

The officers led Todd’s mother to the bench and resumed their questions. Todd sat with his mother, answering what seemed like the same questions over and over. Rebecca explained that she and her husband owned the skating rink, and that Todd had a key and free-run of the facility. “He’s a great kid,” she said, smiling proudly at her son. “And a terrific skater.”

The arena was a mess and packed with people. They had laid a roll of carpet on the ice so the cops and everyone could look at the body, takes pictures, and take it away. It was kind of fun to watch them all on the ice. More than one slipped and fell. But Todd felt really bad about Grace. She had been a really awesome skater.

“Todd, honey?”

He broke out of his thoughts. “Oh, sorry.”

Rebecca patted his hand. “Hang in there, kid.”

“Look,” she said to Angela, “can Todd go home? Surely you have no more questsions he has answered the same ones more than once.”

The detectives conferred and agreed they could follow up later.

“Go on home, Todd. I’ll be there in a few minutes. I will wait here until your dad arrives.”

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