CRUELTY TO INNOCENTS: PrologueI hear it beckoning me from the other room, the faint crackle of my scanner as it comes to life. Something is happening somewhere; a car wreck, a shooting, an emergency. She is there all alone. I know it. The ones who are supposed to love and protect her are busy trying to help complete strangers. They are trying to save the life of others, but they are neglecting the one they should be watching over. They have forgotten her, left her…forsaken her. I race to the scene, my mind tearing me in two directions. One side says, ‘Not again‘. But the other side screams, begs, ‘Please, just one more‘. That voice muffles out the cries of the other and wins again. It always wins. I have to be quick. I pan the crowd searching for her. The blood pounds in my ears, my breath is ragged and quick. All other sounds slip away. I search the crowd with starving eyes. Where is she? I can‘t find her. Wait…there…she is all alone and so beautiful. She needs me. I see the purity in her eyes, the longing. She is a good girl. I won't have to punish her like the others. She will be different. She is so beautiful. I promise myself she will be the last. I have to have her, just one more. I wait for the perfect moment to take her away from all this. No one is watching as I make my way through the crowd of gaping onlookers. Stealthily, quickly, I am beside her. She looks up with loving, innocent eyes and smiles just for me. ‘Now’! My mind screams. ‘Take her’. I turn to embrace her and she is mine.