A sequel to Lost and Found
Monday, June 26, 2001
"Hey dad!" Jenna Leigh Stetson ran into the house, dark
blond hair flying behind her. "You should see the watermelon that Mom
and I got at the state fair-it's huge. The best thing is that it's
seedless, so you don't have to worry about spitting out the seeds-"
her voice faltered when she saw that dad wasn't listening to her.
Instead he was sitting at the kitchen table, staring down at the sheet
of paper in his hands.
"Dad what is it?" Jenna said. "What's wrong?" Dad's hazel eyes looked
up into hers-his expression was grave.
"Nothing's wrong, Jenna," he said finally, indicating the chair next
to him. "Sit down- there's something we need to talk about." He handed
her a piece of paper. "This is for you-it was delivered to me while
you and your mother were out."
Jenna looked down at the paper she was holding. "A subpoena?" She
said. Dad nodded, and Jenna continued reading the paper. Finally Jenna
looked up at him. "This is saying that I have to testify in Gary
Johnston's trial." Again, Dad nodded. "Don't I have a choice?"
"Not in this case," Dad said "I received one too-I'm responsible for
making sure that you appear in court that day."
"What did you receive one of?" Mom came into the kitchen.
"A subpoena." Jenna stared hard at the paper in her
hands-not sure that she trusted herself to look at her parents.
"They're going to make me testify against Gary Johnston."
"You testified against him in the hearing, remember?" Dad reminded her.
"Yeah, but that was by television," Jenna said. "It wouldn't be by television this time--would it?"
"No, we've already discussed it with Mr. Dutton," Mom said. "This time they would need you in the courtroom.
In the courtroom. The thought
of being in the same room with that man, with his eyes looking right
at her, made Jenna feel cold inside. She felt Mom's arms wrap around her.
"Sweetheart, he can't hurt you anymore," Mom said. "You're safe
now-and your testimony could help to put him away for a long time. I
know you're scared, but it'll be all right."
"But it'll just be me and him." Jenna's own voice sounded very
small to her ears. "And I'll be all alone." She could still remember
his cold eyes, the feel of his hand squeezing the back of her
neck-cowering on the floor as he towered over her, a gun pointed
directly at her head…
"Jenna." her dad's voice snapped her out of her memories, his hands
wrapping around her own. "Look at me. You will not be all alone. Your
mother and I will be there the whole time. And after this trial is
over, Gary Johnston will never hurt you again. Okay?"
Jenna took a shaky breath. "Okay. I'll do it."
July 26, 2001
"Ladies and gentleman of the Jury have you reached a verdict on all
charges?" the Judge said.
"We have, your honor," the woman said.
"And was that verdict unanimous?' The Judge asked.
"It was, your honor," the woman said.
Jenna found it hard to breathe. One hand clutched at the Scarecrow
pendant she wore around her neck all of the time now, feeling its
comforting weight against her palm. She could feel her father holding
her other hand and her mother's hand on her back, but all of her
attention was focused on the jury.
"And on the charge of murder in the first degree," the Judge said,
"How do you find the defendant?"
"On the charge of murder in the first degree, we, the jury, find the
defendant guilty." The woman said.
"On the charge of attempted murder, how do you find the defendant?"
The Judge said.
"On the charge of attempted murder, we, the jury, find the defendant
"On the charge of kidnapping in the first degree," the Judge said,
"How do you find the defendant?"
"On the charge of kidnapping in the first degree, we, the jury, find
the defendant guilty,"
Jenna let out a sigh as a wave of relief washed over her.
"The accused will now stand," The Judge said. "Gary Michael Johnston,
you have been found guilty on all charges. Your sentencing hearing is
scheduled for August the second-you are to be imprisoned in the
Arlington County facility until that date. Court is adjourned."
As Johnston was being led from the courtroom, his eyes fell on Jenna.
He came to a full stop, resisting the Bailiff's efforts to budge him.
"This isn't over, little girl," he hissed. "Not by a long shot." His
icy blue eyes peered into her own and Jenna realized that she was
shaking. Seeing her visible fear, Gary smiled. She could feel her
mom's arms around her, holding her protectively. Slowly her dad stood
until he was nearly nose to nose with Johnston.
"Give me one reason, Johnston," Dad said. "Just one. Please." Dad's
fists were clenched. He wasn't even raising his voice, but Jenna
didn't think she'd ever seen her father look and sound so angry.
"Let's move, Johnston," The Bailiff said and after a moment Gary let
himself be led from the courtroom. Dad sat down beside Jenna,
grabbing her hands and holding them tightly in his own.
"Jenna, I don't care what that-what he said to you," Dad said. "It
really is over. At the very least he'll be going to prison for a very
long time. Your mom and I are so proud of you."
"It's over." For the first time Jenna actually believed what she was saying.
Friday, August 10, 2001
A hand brushed Gary Johnston's cheek gently. "Hey there," a female
voice said. Gary opened his eyes and looked up at the blurry image of
his sister standing over him.
"Didn't expect to see you in here, Katie," he croaked.
"You knew I'd come." Katie smiled. "My big brother was always there
for me before those social workers separated us."
"Yeah." Gary grinned, remembering. Then his smile faded. "Now your big brother's in the prison infirmary."
"Who put you here?" Katie said.
"You mean you don't know?" Gary Johnston coughed, pain shooting
through his cracked ribs. "They do things in prison to people who harm
children-even my fellow murderous psychopaths have scruples when it
comes to the kiddies."
Katie's face clouded. "If there's anything I can do, just name it."
Gary thought back to the humiliation he'd felt in that courtroom,
looking at the face of the girl who'd dared to testify. He'd taken
some satisfaction after the trial, knowing that he was still able to
make her afraid, but it wasn't good enough. He was in here for life
and Gary wouldn't be happy until he knew that Jenna Stetson was
suffering as much as he was. "That girl Jenna," he said slowly. "The
one who helped to put me away. I want you to make her pay, Katie. You
and Dennis. Make her hurt."
Katie hesitated, and then she slowly smiled, squeezing Gary's hand. "I
will," she said. "We will. I promise."
Monday, November 5, 2001
'Oh can't you see?
You belong to me'
Dennis sat at his desk, humming along to the song on the radio as he
arranged the photos on the desk. The song was an old one from The
Police, Every Breath You Take'. And given the current situation, the
song seemed so perfect.
He ran a hand over the photographs- they were mostly of her, of
course; though some of her family had been thrown in there for good
measure. Pictures of her walking with friends, trying out for the
dance team-and then there was the best photo of them all. If he could
only be there, he thought, to see the look in her face when she opened
You belong to me, Jenna Leigh Stetson, the man thought to himself with
a small smile-and I can get to you anytime and anywhere I want.