see her posters on telephone poles all over town. EULA JOHNSON,
MISSING. Some have been torn down, only the stapled corners remaining.
Others are blurred and warped from rain.
the black and white photo, not much bigger than a thumbprint, her limp
blonde hair falls to her shoulders. She's wearing a white blouse
buttoned to her chin and she's smiling at the camera. A tentative
smile, like maybe she knew something was going to happen. Or like she
was used to wanting things she knew she wasn't going to get.
of Birth: August 14, 1997
of Birth: Fresno, California
Blue jeans, green t-shirt, maroon windbreaker
seen walking alone on Jerrold Road in Modesto, California at 4pm on
Wednesday, November 17, 2011. If you have any information concerning
this person, please contact the San Joaquin County Sheriff's tip line
at 1-209-898-4032 or your local FBI office.
can see her in your mind's eye, perky smile dimming, fear dawning in
her eyes. Yes, you feel like you know this girl. Just the kind to go
missing. Awkward and shy. Inexperienced and eager. Tender, playing
brave. Dirt poor. You know. The kind of girl who'll step right into
your car if you call her pretty.
you're not so sure of. Cowboy hat and a Silverado pickup? Baseball cap
and a Mustang? Or a Tahoe, maybe, black and sprayed with mud. You can't
see his face. He could be anyone, after all. But you can feel the
tingle in his groin when he saw her, how his breath must have
quickened. You drive this way a lot, wondering where he picked her up,
where he took her, what he did, whether she liked it. Eula Johnson.
Road is empty today. Birds gather in one of the tall, bare trees by the
roadside, jabbering. Dead leaves whirl in the wake of a chilly gust of
wind. Yellow grass. Gray sky. Not a car in sight. Just a girl in a gray
sweatshirt, hood up against the cold, walking.
way down and hit the button for the passenger window.
ahead, say it. "Hey pretty girl, want a lift?"
as she buckles her seat belt (after all, she's not a reckless girl),
"So what's your name, sweetheart?"
Late," you say, sniggering a little. "Guess you probably heard that one
tucks a pale strand of hair behind her ear and looks down at her lap.
Her skin is very white, almost translucent. You can see a tracing of
light blue veins in her neck.
just bet a lot of boys have called you pretty, Early."
her blush as she turns wondering eyes to you. Take your foot off the
brake pedal and step on the accelerator. Don't speed. You'll want to
take this slow.