dr. Reid Oliver

As The World Keeps Turning

The life and love of Dr. Reid Oliver

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
163 Intrusion
dr. Reid Oliver
sylnl

 

Word Soap: As The World Keeps Turning
Author:
SYLnl
Title:  #163 Intrusion
Rating: PG
Summary:  “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” - William James
Big Thanks To: ltklo, for brushing up my grammar

Previously on As The World Keeps Turning: click here for chapters 1 - 162



It had been the major talk of the town, these last weeks, and even in Oakdale this was something else. Kidnapping, murder, people returning from the dead... that didn't startle the average Oakdalian anymore. But child abuse? That had their blood pumping and the courtroom was packed.

There had been rumors and the WOAK van outside the courthouse suggested they were true...today one of the victims would tell his story and although disgusted, they all wanted to hear.

What is it in human nature that makes us feel attracted to the horror of others?

Emily Stewart looked around. She could sniff out the sensationalists in the room like bad apples in a basket. She could see it in their eyes. They were here to relish the pain of a young boy. So they could judge. Tell themselves and others that they were better than the abusers. But were they?

Don't we all hold the responsibility to look after all our children, even the ones we didn't give birth to?

Her hand stopped writing when she saw them enter. The buzzing crowd held their breath and only the sound of footsteps and the soft squeaking of a wheelchair filled the air.

She felt for them. The doctor looked like his aloof, cold and arrogant self, but whoever bothered to really connect with his energy - and she did - could see his pain. His concern. His need to be strong for his family. He was holding the boy close to his chest. The way the child had buried his blond head in his father's neck was telling.

He was obviously very scared, but he'd found safety in the strong arms around him.

His other father was pushing the wheelchair. Oakdale's Golden Boy didn't shine today. No radiant smile, no friendly greeting, no sympathetic ear. Emily bit her pen. She'd always liked Luke Snyder, but lately she'd added admiration and respect. She  wished she could hug him. He looked like he needed one.

She had heard about the little girl, but nothing had prepared her for this confrontation. Her Eliza was beautiful, but this girl took her breath away. Not just because of the reddish curls or the remarkable blue eyes, but because of the strong energy of this child in a cast. Like she could fight the world and come out a winner. The way she looked up to the boy in Reid's arms told the whole story. She was part of this family.

Instinctively Emily started writing down her thoughts and when she looked up again the family was passing her. The girl looked at her and frowned. The blue eyes were penetrating and hypnotizing and for a moment Emily felt scrutinized. As if the girl was challenging her. Daring her. To write the truth. To tell the story as best as she could. Emily gave her a quick nod. She would.

The Clerk of the Court guided the family to chairs and after some whispered instructions, they stood until the judge entered and then took a seat.

“I need to state for the record that I already had a conversation with our young witness about WOAK being present. It is his wish that his story will be available for everyone who wants to hear. On the screen behind me you will be able to witness the proceedings, but the identity of the two defendants will be protected.”

Judge Jessup’s telling look at Danny and his family told the hidden meaning of his words. Not that I think they deserve any consideration.

“I’d like to invite the members of the jury, the Clerk of the Court, the Court Reporter and the Oliver Snyder family to join me in my chamber now.”

Emily Stewart quickly scribbled down her findings. The way Reid and Luke grabbed each other’s hand and squeezed it. The way Judge Jessup softly said something to Danny – the boy even managed a small smile – and gave Reid and Luke a pat on the back. The way the jury looked at Danny. The compassion and the endearment for this young victim was evident. The way the whole Snyder clan was clinging together when they watched their family members leave the room. Their supportive love was tangible.

“I don’t envy them,” Paul whispered next to her and she smiled at him.

“Me neither,” she caressed the man’s knee. “We’ve done and encountered some crazy stuff in our lives, but I’m grateful we never had to deal with anything like this.”

“Don’t even want to think about it,” Paul groaned and Emily nodded. She knew about Paul’s encounter with the male defendant and she heard rumors about Reid’s attack on the female one. It was a small miracle he hadn’t lynched her on the spot. Emily knew she would have.

Before her mind could wander off some more, the activities in the judge’s chamber were shown on the screen and all her attention was fixated again. She swallowed as she watched Danny on the chair. His eyes and attention were on the stuffed panda on his lap. Obviously the toy offered some comfort. He didn’t look too worried. But then she realized the defendants weren’t there yet. The boy’s demeanor changed dramatically when she heard people entering the chamber.

Judge Jessup’s face was neutral, but the way his eyes flashed to Danny showed her that the man would protect this little boy and she made a note on her pad about that. He had been Oakdale’s judge for a long time, but today would be the day that The Intruder would blow his horn. She wasn’t sure, but that could be a first. She never thought much of the Oakdale Court System, but today she saw integrity. And liked it.

“Danny…” Judge Jessup gave the boy a encouraging smile, “Can you tell me why we are here?”

When his eyes pinned on the judge, Danny nodded.

“Yes sir…” for a moment his eyes flashed to his dads and he quickly shook his head. “I mean Your honor.”

Curt Jessup smiled and after a nod, Danny continued: “I’m here to tell you what happened to me.”

“Exactly. And how will you tell that?”

Danny frowned and then seem to understand the question. “I will tell you how I feel, not what I think you want to hear.”

Emily Stewart smiled and she felt the energy in the room soften. The boy’s answer was both disarming and telling. Everybody present now knew how communication in the Oliver Snyder household was handled. Tell me how you feel, not what you think I want to hear.

Judge Jessup was visibly impressed and he gave Reid and Luke a quick smile.

“That’s very good, Danny. And will it be the truth?”

“Of course it will,” Danny said with some indignation, but then remembered the line he was supposed to say and lowered his head a little, “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

“Good boy,” Jessup nodded. “Let’s start at the beginning.”

And they did. Seemingly emotionless Danny answered questions about his past. He explained how the first week had been okay. There had been two other boys in the house, both older, and Danny shared how he didn’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to spend time with them.

“We always had to go to our own room and stay there. I didn’t understand.”

“Did you ask?” the judge asked and Danny shook his head.

“I wanted my foster… you know… to like me, so I didn’t ask. But the two boys went to the same school, so sometimes we had a chance to talk. But they were always angry. At everybody. At me too. And I didn’t do anything wrong. Honestly.”

Emily heard some sniffing, but she blocked it out and kept watching the screen. The camera caught a shot of Luke and Reid. Still holding hands. Zoë had been lifted on Luke’s lap and the girl only had eyes for Danny.

“I believe you,” Curt Jessup assured him, “please go on.”

“Then one day…I think I was there for two weeks…Vincent…one of them…told me he wasn’t going back there. Where we lived, I mean. And he said he couldn’t take me with him, but that I should get out of there too. But I didn’t understand. It wasn’t a good home, but it was okay enough. They hadn’t done anything…bad…yet.”

He lowered his head and quickly looked at the spot where his ‘monsters’ sat. Emily wished she could see their faces. Were they moved, liked everybody around her was?

“So Vincent ran away,” Jessup concluded and Danny nodded, focusing on the judge again.

“He did. And that night I heard Eddy, the other boy, yell at…them…How he hoped that Vincent would call the police. And I didn’t understand why.”

Danny had a ‘how-could-I’ve-been-so-dumb’ expression on his face, but when the judge gave him an understanding nod, he raised his head a little more.

“And then they screamed that they would tell the police this was all Eddy’s set up and how the police would believe the adults and stuff like that…”

Danny started to get upset.

“And I could hear Eddy go to his room. I heard some noise, but I thought he was just smashing stuff because he was angry. A few hours later I heard one of them come up, going into Eddy’s room. And then I heard cursing and my foster…he…banged at my door, telling me to stay inside and I heard him hurrying down the stairs. So I stayed in bed. The next day they told me Eddy was dead. He’d killed himself.”

“That must have been difficult,” the judge said in a friendly tone and Danny nodded.

“I didn’t know Eddy very well and he hadn’t been very nice to me, but we were in there together, so he was sort of my brother. I would have liked a big brother.”

The boy gripped his panda for a moment. Obviously seeking support. Then he looked at his dads and the way they both smiled at him, gave him strength. He looked at his Foster Monsters again and said in a cold tone:

“And then it happened. I was the only one there and now it was my turn to receive all the beating and all that other…stuff. And then I understood.”

“Can you tell us about that other stuff, Danny?”

Panic and tears filled the boy’s eyes. “Do I have to?”

“It would help, but it’s okay if you don’t want to…” the calm voice of the judge filled Emily Stewart with respect again and she made a special note of his remark. The Intruder would be very complimentary for a change.

Danny took a deep breath and lowered his head.

“They had a room downstairs…I’d never been there before and the first time…I don’t know…it felt kinda nice. It was clean and it smelled nice. Unlike the rest of the house…”

Was that a female snort she heard? Emily grinned. Apparently the foster mother resented her lack of cleaning skills to be out there. As if that was her biggest crime. Emily had been in court for the last few days and the picture that was painted by the prosecutor had been very clear. She had done a lot of stuff to be really ashamed of. Not cleaning the house wasn’t one of them.

“He told me to go along with whatever happened and to keep my mouth shut. He went behind some wooden wall with a hole in it and then another man came in.” Danny made a sobbing sound, but kept talking. “But I couldn’t look up. I was not allowed to see his face. I could only see his hands. And when he…came down, I had to close my eyes. And he touched my…”

Some tears started dropping down, but Danny didn’t seem to notice. He was back there. In the room. But not for long.

“Danny,” Judge Jessup sounded friendly but firm, “Danny, listen to me. You’re not there. You’re here. You’re safe.”

The last word made the boy look up and then his eyes found Reid’s and Luke’s. He nodded. He was safe.

“Was it always the same man?”

Danny shook his head. Looking sad. “No, there were many different men.”

“Do you know how many?”

Again the boy shook his head.

“A lot.”

“More than ten?”

Danny looked at the judge and gave him a ‘are you kidding me?’ look. “Much more.”

Even in the closed chamber the reaction in the courtroom could be heard. Disgust and outrage. Apparently the Evil Foster Dad didn’t think he deserved that and snorted: “Cut the crap, boy. You liked it.”

For a moment everybody was too shocked to move. It was a little girl who first snapped out of it. She leaned on the table in front of her, looking as if she would crawl her way to the speaker. She lifted herself up and looked absolutely fierce.

“Stop…hurting…him!”


  • 1
Brava Zoé. The strength of this girl, although maybe a little too much for her own good, will be good for Danny. I admit, I needed some time to adjust to the idea of extending their family, but -as I do believe things, persons, come into your life for a reason, you can act upon that or you don't- Zoë came at the right time.
Liked Emily! A journalist's point of view is a good choice for this story.

I agree... I was a little cautious when Zoë showed up in my head, but you're right...she came at the right time. It all fits.

And yeah, Emily gave me the opportunity to write this story 'for a distance' and I needed that. The story line is pretty intense to write.

. Her Eliza was beautiful,

first I want to say, This is the first time I like Emily, never liked her on the show and I'll never be able to see Emily as Eliza's mom, hated the way the writers took Eliza away from Meg, but that said, the way she's acting in your story is great.

WOW Zoë!!!!!! As sad this whole ordeal is for all 4 of them in a way, Danny telling his story seems to prove healing for both him and Zoë and the way she stood up for Danny is proof that she feels like she belongs to their family

I'm glad I made Emily more human for you. I did like her with Paul during those last few months. Then again, I never liked Meg, so that helps, hahaha

Yeah, Zoë is a special little girl!

Wow! Very powerful! I love that Zoe found her voice to "protect" her brother.

Yeah, me too. I could just see her coming to his rescue. Fierce one. Mini Lucinda:-)

Amazing! What a way for Zoe to find her voice!

OMG!!!! Brilliant!!!!!! You made me not hate Emily!!! Those kids are so brave. Zoe found her voice. You are good!!!!!

Hahaha, well... me not making you hate Emily makes this a very good day:-) Thanks!!!

Go Zoe! She found her voice defending her brother. I can't wait for part 2 tomorrow.

I'm glad you liked!!! xxx thanks!

Edited at 2012-06-28 02:14 pm (UTC)

Poor Danny! I know we all know what he's been through but every time he talks about it, it becomes real again and it's horrible. Hopefully this will be it once he says the whole truth so he never has to talk about it again.

And I hope Zoe continues to talk; Danny and her need each other to get through what they've been through. So happy they have Luke and Reid on their team as well.

Great chapter.

Thanks. Yeah, I know what you mean about Danny. I'm hoping this whole court thing will give some closure. It's hard to write.


It's almost impossible to comment today. So I try to concentrate on the good that happens to Danny and Zoe - this picture reminds me of Luke - Reid's surely not far:)))
http://cantinhodoceu.org.br/media/accordion/cantinho-project-school-class01.jpg

Edited at 2012-06-28 06:39 pm (UTC)

Yeah, their Daddies are there! Thanks for the great picture! <3

fantastic chapter. I really enjoyed seeing the story from Emily's POV. I actually really loved Emily and Hal together. Of course, I loved Hal with everyone except Carly. emotional way to get Zoe to speak!

Thanks! Yeah, Hal... what a loss that was. I loved Ben. So sad he needed this exit.

I like how you describe Danny during his testimony, and the photo that you made.

Interesting how many people commented on getting this from Emily's POV. I didn't ascribe it that much significance when I first read it but I now realize how clever it was.

Hehehehe, thanks! To me it was a way to step back from the story a little. I'm glad it worked out so well.

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account