The Search

narrative Essay
4126 words
4126 words

The Search

I used to work for the F.B.I., in the Portland office. It was my

childhood dream to be the one who gets the bad guy.

My fiftieth birthday was in just three months. I had a wife and three

children, still do, and the same job I'd had since my graduation from Quantico.

We were living just outside Portland. My oldest son, John jr., was in his third

year at Washington. The twins were high school seniors at this time and my

pride and joy, daddy's little girls. Carolyn and I had celebrated our twenty-

fifth anniversary, that's the silver one I think, the previous Thursday night.

That warm July morning, I dressed for work as I had every other. Black

socks and slacks, a pin striped white dress shirt, and a black jacket. I

slipped on my loafers but was lost in the search for my tie. Coffee stained and

still unwashed, I found it laying on the laundry room floor. I swore to myself

to let Carolyn know about that. I walked into John's empty room, knowing he

owned some ties. It was just as he had left it, I guess, because I'd never

really gone in his room. I picked the red one he wore in his graduation

pictures and slipped it over my head. I stepped into the bathroom, combed back

my whitening hair, and left for the office.

The early morning sun shone in through the broken blinds that I noticed

hadn't been replaced as I asked. I looked over the pile of paperwork awaiting

me. “Why the hell do I gotta do all these damn reports?”

"Actually, you don't, not today." I turned to see a man much like myself,

but older and with his piece on. He was a little taller, but with the same

sagging features and large belly of my body. “I've come here to give you

something new.” With that, I was handed a thick manila folder. It felt like it

contained a video cassette. “All you need is in there, including my card. This

is top priority, Agent Caulsworth. You will report to me on the hour with your

progress. The paperwork here will wait.” The man turned and left. Outside, I

heard a jet-copter quietly lift off. Funny I hadn't heard it land.

I poured out the contents of the folder, the federal statement, a case

history, vid cassette, and a dossier. The card that fell to the floor read

'Federal Marshall Wilson R. Franklin'. He was from the Boise office.

"Must be real important for him to come all the way out here." Steve

Menschke was my oldest fr...

... middle of paper ...

...was the only thing that mattered to me, and he's all

that's left."

I reached into my pocket and withdrew the tie. Mud concealed the red

fabric. I tried to think of John. My mind strained to see his face, hear his

voice. A tear rolled down my cheek and fell off my chin onto the tie. I

loosened the knot and slipped it back over my head. With my sleeve, I wiped my


I lifted the flashlight, switched it off and tossed it to him. "Take it."

I turned away and started back into the world.

Hendricks' team found me a few miles west of the hole. They airlifted me

to the Olympia hospital. I was treated for a broken clavicle and shoulder blade,

along with my ribs. The tissue damage to my back and side was extensive and I

have little use of either. After two days they released me.

The next day, I received a call from Franklin, in Boise. I was commended

by him for putting myself on the line. He granted me early retirement, and a

bonus for being injured. He asked if I might know anything about the

disappearance of David Brown from his grandparents' house in the middle of the

night. I told him I did not. I bid him farewell, hung up, and dialed John's

number at school.

In this essay, the author

  • Narrates how they were living just outside portland. their oldest son, john jr., was in his third year.
  • Explains that he was older and with his piece on. he was a little taller, but with the same piece.
  • Narrates how they were handed a thick manila folder. it felt like it was something new.
  • Opines that agent caulsworth's priority is to report to him on the hour.
  • Analyzes how the man wore no expression, as if he were dead. he was still wet and unshaven.
  • Analyzes how the face of the small figure on the screen did not change.
  • Explains that he escaped unnoticed and was not chained.
  • Opines that the ball is in our court. as always, we get the clean up job.
  • Narrates how he overcame that, fixed his life, and had a standard wife.
  • Opines that the traffic violation didn't make sense, and they got an apology.
  • Opines that they don't know what he's doing. they want you to read this. he took the papers.
  • Opines that there's no way this guy is heading east. we've got him.
  • Opines that hendricks is nuts, but he won't find the guy.
  • Opines that if you're in a portland hotel or fishing boat, there's no way to know.
  • Narrates how they're on an hourly check-in.
  • Narrates how they dialed the number on the card and heard the ring.
  • Opines that they're heading up to see the parents, get some insight, and miss the next two.
  • Describes how they arrived at a homey, two-level house at the back of the cul-
  • Narrates how the boy ran inside and up the stairs to the small front room.
  • Narrates how hidden by a shadow, they saw the boy and pointed. "your boy let me in."
  • Narrates how the old man poked me with his cane. "get out my chair and i'll talk."
  • Opines that he's got to be in washington by now, so call back.
  • Narrates how they stumbled around the ground after they were toppled and had a wide gash in it.
  • Describes the scrap of material hanging from a treebranch.
  • Describes how they grabbed the size medium white tee, soiled with mud, and torn on it.
  • Describes how they had been heading up the slope almost an hour when their legs began to scream.
  • Narrates how they walked over the burrow to throw off followers. they returned to the mouth of the mouth.
  • Narrates how a man was curled up in the corner. the light woke him and he shot up.
  • Narrates how a young man lay in the hospital bed, bandaged and casted.
  • Opines that the back was torn on the top corners, a crease down the middle, and read 'my only summary:
  • Opines that their family was the only thing that mattered to them, and he's all.
  • Describes the extensive tissue damage to their back and side.
  • Describes the reasons why he granted them early retirement.
  • Narrates how they bid john farewell, hung up, and dialed john's number.
  • Recounts how they slipped on their loafers but lost in the search for their tie. coffee stained and still unwashed, they found it laying on the laundry room floor.
  • Narrates how they picked the red one he wore in his graduation.
  • Describes menschke as their oldest friend at the office, and a fine agent.
  • Analyzes how the portland mayor, and two of his security, were killed by s.o.b. dean brown, who worked for the mayor's office.
  • Narrates how a group of like-dressed men filed out, toward the waiting bus. a man jumps from one line to the other and boardes the bus
  • Opines that if you've got full j.d., just find this guy for them.
  • Describes how they hadn't been flown in a helicopter for over five years.
  • Describes how the sunlight created a glare as it passed through the plastic window of their door, but they could still see.
  • Narrates how the doorbell played a song, and the metallic click of the locks was undone. the boy looked like john jr. when he was seven.
  • Narrates how john caulsworth, a federal agent, asked him to get out of his house.
  • Analyzes how davey lost custody of his boy and we still haven't heard from him. he scratched his chin, then his neck.
  • Responds, but mr. brown cuts back in. "i can't talk about this, it hurts. please leave now."
  • Narrates how they shut off the phone after hearing hendricks' reply over the fury of the blades above them. they'd have to deal with him later.
  • Opines that hendricks doesn't do things like he likes, and that does not help the team or succeed.
  • Describes how they felt like they were laying face down. they kept their eyes closed and tried to feel all their body. the scent of pine overwhelmed their nose and tasted blood.
  • Describes how they tried to get up, but fell in pain. their left arm and side felt like they were on fire. they rolled over in the brush and did a situp.
  • Describes how their shirt and jacket barely clung to them, torn down the left side, and their tie twisted around their neck. they worked their way onto their knees, noted their legs were fine.
  • Describes how they saw the slumping form of hendricks, his back to them, and tried calling his name, but he didn't respond. they walked around to the other side, knelt to peer inside.
  • Narrates how they sat to think. all they wanted was to make it home. they knew the chopper had a first aid kit and crash kit.
  • Describes how they fell to the ground and leaned on the frame, winced in pain, and withdrew the gun from their side. the flare shot out bright orange and it was bright as day for a moment.
  • Narrates how a set of footprints too small to be their own led into the forest, up the slope, and the slide at the end of each step.
  • Describes how they tried a hot knife in their chest and found fresh blood still pumping. they removed the tie from their back pocket, tore it in two, and wrapped their body with it.
  • Describes how they struggled against the terrain and their body to go on for hours. the shirt had stopped their bleeding and the fog in their mind cleared.
  • Describes how they noticed a dark spot at the other end of the clearing. they followed the trail and knelt, trying to see inside.
  • Describes how their body grew warmer as they went deeper into the hole. their fingers felt thin, dry stalks of straw.
  • Describes how they backed themselves up to the mouth of the hole and held the flashlight at dean brown.
  • Narrates how they pulled out the flare gun with caution and kept it pointed at him, but relaxed.
  • Narrates how the mayor's security ran him over and fired him on the spot. brown let go of his tension and sat down.
  • Opines that davey is all they've got left. brown held out a picture from his pocket.
  • Narrates how they tried to think of john. they strained to see his face and hear his voice. a tear rolled down their cheek and fell off their chin onto the tie.
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