People always ask me what it’s like to be blind. I don’t like calling it blind though; I like to call it ‘living life on the edge by only using 4 of my senses’. It’s a rather long name that, I should probably think of something else…
My point is, I live in the darkness and it’s not all the bad. I think sight is overrated actually. I don’t need to see. I can smell, feel, hear, taste. So I just accept the darkness as my friend and learn to live with it. We’ve become quite close, to be honest, the way my subconscious is friends with my doubt.
Don’t get me wrong; it would be nice to see someday. See the grass that tickles my feet, the rain that falls on my fingertips, and the wind that runs through my brunette hair. Well I’ve been told it’s brown anyway.
My name is Eleele. That’s pronounced like ‘eh-lay-el’. It means ‘dark eyes’. What a coincidence.
I always knew I was different from the day I could speak. My parents would take me to the park and I would hear the other kids running around, their delighted laughs ringing through my ears as they jumped and played on anything they could find. Me, I sat in the swings in fear of touching anything abnormal. I loved the feeling of flying through the air, like I was a bird soaring through the clear, open sky. I could almost smell it, feel their breath on my neck and the clouds tickling my nose. But then gravity pulled me back down again. I wish I were a bird.
I almost felt sorry for my parents. I was an only child; the fear of having another must have been too overwhelming. You see, it was the genetics that made me this way, all that sciency stuff that I couldn’t quite fit in my brain no matter how much I listened. Because my condition isn’t the rarest thing on this planet, there was a 91% chance that if they had another child, the same genetics would match up and create another morphling like me. They hate it when I say that, but to be honest, it’s true.
On the other hand, I could not be more thankful for my parents. They are amazing, supportive and just downright beautiful, whether that’s on the outside or not I have learnt not to judge.
And so my journey continued. I was homeschooled, I still am, till I just felt lonely, the hunger for human interaction biting and eating at my insides. The only people I had ever known were my loving family and the specially trained teacher that they paid to come in 5 days a week (lets just say she wasn’t the nicest, most easy going person on this lump of dirt we live on). Her voice was gruff and her arms scabby. I could tell from her scent that she was at least in her late 50’s. I had the nose of a dog.
But only one thing was on my mind: I had to get out of this house.
So when the clock struck 10 and the nighttime goodbyes crept in, I crept out. That proved to be exceedingly difficult, though, as I could not locate the door.
I dragged my finger across the untroubled, pungently smelling wallpaper, feeling the ground sweep beneath me. This could only mean one thing: a doormat. Now was it the front door or the back?
I reached to the side, grasping onto what felt like a silk trench coat, tugging on the supple material. This was definitely the front door as the coat hanger was sat next to it. Success!
I grasped the cool, metal door handle in my cold, slender hands, dragging it downwards to hear the satisfying click. The door had opened, Eleele had left the building.
I skipped down the familiar road, recognizing the shapes and patterns of the abrasive concrete as my feet collided with the surface. I felt so free.
“Help…” I heard a voice screech from behind me. My eyes flew open, even though I couldn’t see anything, as I began to run in the opposite direction. “This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening.” I whispered to myself, crouched in a ball under a tree.
“No, NO! PLEASE! Not me! I have a child-“ the women’s screaming was cut off as the sound of a body hitting the floor echoed around the park.
Footsteps thudded in my direction, sounding from behind my tree. As they got closer and closer I held in a breath, not daring to make a noise. The noises suddenly stopped, as close as possible without the murderer being able to see me. Squeezing my eyes shut, I suddenly felt the overwhelming need to cough. Goddamn you throat.
I covered my mouth, the simple action causing a loud ruffling noise of moving clothes to catch the attention of Mister Criminal. I could almost hear his head snapping to the side in the direction of where I was sat.
“I guess this is the end,” I thought in my head, embracing the thought of the end as if it were an old memory. But just before it came, the sound of wailing sirens rang in my ears, like an angel pulling me out of hell. I could taste bittersweet death in my mouth as my living demon fled away, escaping the traumatizing crime scene.
I stood up, moving in the direction of the noise. My hands held in front of me like a zombie, I heard an officer shout “Look! Over there! It’s a young girl!”
I stumbled on a stray tree branch or a curb, I didn’t know, falling over and grazing my knee. The police were quick to act though, lifting me up off the ground and carrying me to what felt like a nearby bench. After cursing under his breath, he whispered cautiously in his fellow officers ear “I think she’s blind mate,”
I stood up, trying to escape, before I felt two arms wrap around my wrists and drag my in to a car. I don’t know what happened after that, but I think I blacked out. It felt just like sleeping but I couldn’t tell whether my eyes were open or not. Everything was just black.
I woke up to the smell of my own room. Was it all just a dream? It couldn’t be…
Using the walls as my guide, I made my way down the stairs of my own home. The sound of my parent’s warm voices hit my ears before I even entered the kitchen.
“Are you saying she witnessed a murder first hand?” my mum asked, with what smelt like a decaf Americano wrapped in her hands. A third, unfamiliar voice entered the conversation.
“Yes, ma’am, she was the only living witness of the crime.”
I walked into the room, holding onto the counter as I found a glass of water. “I want to help you find them,” I said.
“What do you mean, honey?” my dad asked, his soft voice filled with concern.
“The murderer. I want to find him.” I stated, determination evident.
“I’m afraid that that is not possible-“ the officer began.
“The woman said that she had a family. I want to find him.” I spun around and looked in the direction of the officer’s voice. He sucked in a breath. I could feel the shocked adults look at each other, which was not the most polite gesture in the world. I stormed out the room, finding my way out the door. I walked and walked until I reached the park where the accident had happened. The only thing keeping me back was a strip of police tap that was wrapped around the area. Stepping underneath, I ran to the tree, running my hands along the dried dirt. I could feel the lines of the sole of a shoe lying under my fingers. It was his footprints. I took a quick picture in what I hoped was the right direction. Crouching, I followed the trail of footsteps until I reached the pavement. He moved north.
Peeling the tape off the last bar I drew away from the fence, satisfied that I had got enough fingerprints. I had been outside for around an hour, collecting as much evidence as possible. Luckily I had worn gloves for this event as I could get my fingerprints literally anywhere and been framed!
From watching (well, listening) to several seasons of Pretty Little Liars and Sherlock, I knew just what to do when solving a crime. I knew that those shows were only fiction and that most of the events that happened in them were practically impossible for a blind girl to solve. But you don’t just have to SEE everything.
I had already placed the pieces of evidence in a bag on top of my wardrobe; several rolls of tape that revealed fingerprints of all that had touched; a picture of the footprint the murderer left behind; a sample of blood that was smothered on a leaf; a small blade hidden by the tree (he probably hid it whilst approaching me); a ripped piece of material that came from either the murderer or the victim.
It was not much, but it was enough.
As a child I learnt how to read and write in braille. It was a tricky skill, much harder than learning German in those useless language classes; again, I blame it on the teacher. This skill came in very handy when I decided it was a good idea to write down every single thing I could remember from what had happened that night. It was less than 24 hours ago, so it was quite fresh in my memory.
Location was first. Location was always key to murder, but I didn’t know why they chose the park. It was such a random, public, innocent place.
I hit myself on the forehead, or as popular kids would call it ‘face palmed’.
They chose the park because of every reason that I just named. God, I was so stupid.
Next was murder weapon. I pushed my rolling chair off of the desk over to the wardrobe and carefully stopped atop it, reaching up for the bag of stuff. Using gloves, I removed the blade from the bag and placed it on my- already covered- desk. Grabbing the tape up again, I wrapped it around the handle and ripped it off. I repeated this action several times in order to get a better result.
So after jotting down some notes about the blood stained weapon, I took a closer look at the amount of blood that had spilled.
The blood can loose up to 10-12 pints of blood before it stops functioning. From the looks of it, the victim did not loose enough blood to have died from blood loss. My guess was that she had been stabbed in the arteries.
This was all good and well, but then I began to ask myself: why did he do this? He must’ve had a motive, and if it was a caring mother that ended up as his victim she must’ve done something to trigger the attack. No one is that evil.
I really needed to go to the police for this. I didn’t have the right equipment, qualifications, anything to solve this case. But I was going to do it alone, no matter the stakes at hand.
I returned to the park later that day, hoping to follow the trail of footsteps. If I was correct, last time I visited I discovered that the murderer had headed north, in the direction of a huge block of flats and the local church. Not much happened around this area, so hopefully no one would take notice to a visually impaired girl wondering about freely. I entered the church first; approaching whom I hoped was the pastor. If anyone knew what happened, it must be him. Mum and Dad taught me about God as I grew up, so he must be in direct contact with him. He should know everything.
“Hello sir,” I spoke confidently, tapping him on the shoulder. A small gust of air shifted the position of my hair as he turned, looking down at the blind girl in front of him.
“Oh, hello child. What brings you here?”
“I came to ask about the incident that happened, just down the road from here. Do you know anything about it?” I switched on my voice-recording device, waiting anxiously for his answer.
“Well. Um…” he started, stuttering on his words.
“I know that he murdered Emma Stolkery, a 34 year old woman with a single child, married to Dave Stolkery. They were frequent visitors to the church. In fact, we were quite close.”
“He? You know the murderer was a man?” I asked bluntly.
“I just assumed really. Dave’s brother Paul, who lives in apartment 23 next to us, always had quite a grudge against them… I really shouldn’t be telling you this, why did I do that?” He rambled, waking away.
I ran as quickly as I could out of the stone cold building, hurriedly pushing open the doors of the apartment block. I heard someone walk in in front of me, so I proceeded to follow them inside. Stumbling up the stairs, I ran my hand along the doors until I could feel the number 23 under my fingertips.
I reached down and grabbed the handle, twisting it gingerly. It was unlocked. Tiptoeing inside the seemingly empty apartment, I tripped on a set of shoes lying in front of the door. I sat next to them, picking one up in my hand. The bottom of the shoe was crusted with mud and a familiar design decorated the underneath. This was the murders home, no doubt about it.
After taking many pictures, I gathered all the evidence from my house and entered the police station. By this point I was utterly exhausted. “Hello?” I called.
“Look who it is.” I heard the familiar officer say, “Your parents have been worried sick.” He led me into a room, the sound of my parents’ voices filling my ears.
“Stop!” I exclaimed, holding out my hand. I turned and dumped all the evidence in the policeman’s hands.
“What’s this?” he asked, poking it around.
“The murderer was Paul Stolkery, Emma Stolkery’s brother in law. He had a grudge against them for a while and I guess it triggered him to kill her.” I walked away, following my parent’s voices with my head held high.
One week later:
“Eleele Williams, a 12 year old, visually impaired girl, solved the murder of Emma Stolkery just one week ago. Citizens are calling her a hero, while doctors are calling her a medical wonder. It is unknown how she managed to solve the mystery, after being told repeatedly how she could never do it. We have yet to update you on the situation,”
I sat smug on the sofa, calling out to my parents “I told you so!”