The cops in ParaDice Point were as useless as the cheesy misspelled signs dotting every street corner. They all pointed one direction – the casino – but none of them would lead Farrah to the kids.
They had gone missing one night after their grandparents went to sleep. The old folks were the spry, active type, so it was well after 11 when they headed up to their beds and left their teenage grandchildren alone watching a movie downstairs. The kids said they would follow as soon as the flick was over. They didn’t.
Instead, they grabbed the keys to Pappy’s 1937 Bugatti and headed down to the beach.
“I would have let them drive it during the day if only they’d asked,” the old man said, tears dripping down deep crevices time had carved into his face. “I didn’t know they were interested.”
The last time anyone other than their grandparents saw them, they were turning onto the beach. A couple intent on surfing under the full moon were the last to put eyes on them.
“They were driving too fast,” the woman said. “They should have been watching where they were going.”
The man added, “We’re just glad we didn’t have our kids with us.”
Farrah walked along the beach between the tire impressions left by the old car until they turned sharply and appeared to drive into the water. She knew better. If they had driven into the water, the kids would have gotten out and called for help. Instinct.
The cops were sure the kids – and the car – had drowned together.
A glint of something caught her eye. She squatted, sifted the sand with her fingers, and came out with it. A girl’s necklace. It was broken on one side, not at the clasp, and that meant foul play.
No, these kids and their grandfather’s prized possession hadn’t been lost to the sea. They had been stolen by the Carros Fuegos, and if Farrah’s experience was any indicator, they would never be seen again.
She started the long trudge back to the grandparents’ house. Telling the family was always the hardest part of her job.