The Innocent Pedophile

Written in response to: Start your story with a vehicle pulling over for a hitchhiker.... view prompt


Mystery Thriller Suspense

CW: murder

I open the door cautiously to the little girl as she slips into the passenger's seat beside me. As subtle as I can manage, I glimpse at her from the corner of my eye, endeavoring not to make it awkward given that I was a middle aged man of forty, and she couldn’t have been older than fourteen. 

The last thing I wanted right now was to be reported as a pedophile. Both my grandfather and father had fallen down that rabbit hole, and I was determined to end that legacy with me.

 And you’d think that if I was trying to avoid pedophilia, I would stayed as far away from innocent children like her, but I wasn’t sure what was worse: Picking her up with the risk of being called a pedophile or not picking her up and being a complete asshole that ignored a poor lost kid on the road. 

Either way, I’d be putting my reputation and pride at risk...and that’s why I’m now sitting in my obsolete looking pick up truck with a fourteen year old. 

My eyes skim over her briefly as I start the engine. Her auburn brown hair is disheveled, scattered all over her face. She’s wearing blue denim overalls that are ripped on all sides (and not for the purpose of being fashionable). I can hardly see her face, but I swear she has green amber eyes that dart over to me as I scan her.

“Thanks for pulling over, sir.” she tells me, “Five cars before you didn’t even blink.”

I nod, “Sure thing. I’m glad to help someone in need.” I put my foot on the gas, and we pull away from the side of the road onto the main street. “What’s your name? Where are your parents?” I ask.

She shrugs and pulls her legs tight to her chest, placing her tattered sneakers onto the car seat, “They’re dead.” the girl replies, “And my name, well, you can just call me Chip.” 

The girl juts her chin towards her shoes which had left a dusty imprint on my car seat, “I’m sorry.” she says, putting her feet down, “It’s a habit.”

“It’s alright.” I respond, “The seat wasn’t clean in the first place anyways.”

In the next second, I find myself doing a quick double take at what “Chip” had said before that.

“Wait...did you say that your parents were...dead?” I ask, my eyes growing wide as I resist the temptation to look at her. 

Chip tugs her legs even closer to her body, “Yeah…”. I’m not sure if I should ask her more or leave it be, so I’m thankful when she continues, “They died last night...and I ran away. I had to.”

I raise my eyebrows as she speaks, taking a sharp left turn on the gravel road, “They died, and you ran away? Do you want me to send you to the police station? There’s one a few miles down, and I’m sure they’d be glad to help you.” 

Dust from the road rises up and blocks my view of what’s in front of me. I curse under my breath as I click on the window wipers in a vain attempt to clear my vision. 

From the corner of my eye, Chip shakes her head in dissent, “No!” she cradles her head between her knees, and I’m afraid she’ll hit her chin as my truck travels down the bumpy road in the middle of nowhere.

“Why not? The policemen there are good people, and I’m sure they will know what to do.”

Chip shakes her head vigorously, “I can’t go there. They’ll lock me up. They’ll kill me!” she cries, although it sounds more like a whisper.

I listen to her in disbelief, “They won’t do that, Chip. The police are good men. They want and will help you.” I pull over to the side of the road and turn my head to look at her firmly, “I’m going to take you there right now.” I say.

Chip looks at me pleadingly, her green amber eyes staring as if to look right through me, “I can’t go there. The police won’t help me. They’ll take me to prison. They might even kill me.”

I’m about to reassure her that they won’t, but she continues speaking, “They think I killed my parents. They think it was me.” 

My jaw drops, and I thank god that I had stopped the car earlier because if I hadn’t, I probably would’ve steered off the road.

“They think I killed them.” she whispers softly, sounding so fragile I’m afraid she’ll break. 

I can’t help but stare at her with horror, “I’m sure you don’t mean that Chip. I think it may just be that aftershock that’s messing with your head.” I start the engine again, “Come on, I’ll take you to the station.”

Chip recoils back as I reach out to pat her shoulder, “I’m not in shock.” she retorts in a tone I hadn’t expected her to talk in. “It’s the truth. Last night, the police came to our house, barged in without notice, and found both my parents dead in their bedroom with a slit across their throat. Naturally, they found my sister and I, but I guess she had decided to frame me because I was the one with the knife under my pillow.” 

Her face is expressionless, “And now, they think that I killed my own parents in their sleep…” Chip looks away from me and stares out the car window, “with the knife that I hid under my bed.”

I shake my head, but her face is so stern and serious that I start to believe her , “Are you implying that your sister killed them then?” I ask, hardly believing the words coming out of my mouth, “You think that she killed them and framed you?”

“I don’t think...I know.” Chip corrects me as she puts booths hands into her overall pockets. “She was crazy. She is crazy.”

I rub the back of my neck with my right palm, “Why would she do that though?” I ask, although I feel stupid when Chip replies, 

“I just told you why.” she pauses in thought, “Well, I guess that’s not a very good explanation.” 

I nod in agreement.

Chip continues, “Let’s just say that she’s always been jealous of me. I was born first, so I’m older which gives me some superiority over her-or at least that’s what she thought.” she looks back out the window, “Also, our parents just liked me more. I was more open, approachable, and smart. I was the “better” daughter, and I guess my sister didn’t like that.”

I nod again, “Okay. So there was a bit of tension between the two of you, a rivalry almost.” I lean further back in my seat, “but I don’t see how that sort of thing would entice her to commit murder. I mean, you can’t be older than fourteen, so she was even younger. I just don’t see how someone that young could do something like their parents especially.”

Chip shrugs, “I honestly don’t think it was her fault though. I mean, my parents often mistreated her. They didn’t care about her at all. The only thing important to them was their other daughter. It was like I didn’t even exist.” she exclaimed, realizing too late that she’d exposed herself.

“Did you say “I”?” a bead of warm sweat slides down my brow as I stare at her. 

Chip’s lips twist into an apologetic smile, “I was hoping you hadn’t heard that.” she fiddles with something in her pocket, “It’s a shame really. I honestly liked your company, and that’s more than I can say for most everyone.”

Before I’m able to register what she said, I see a silver blade emerge from her pocket, drenched in colors of dry blood. 

“Goodbye, sir. I never did learn your name.”

September 05, 2021 23:30

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Kate Reynolds
16:43 Dec 04, 2021

OH DANG THAT'S A NICE TWIST I really liked that!!! I love how Chip accidentally revealed herself at the end; I would be absolutely terrified if something like this happened to me. A small suggestion though: at the beginning, it's shown how the man didn't want to follow the same footsteps as his parents and grandparents, maybe show what his ancestors did that makes them such bad people. Other than that, great job! :)


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13:37 Sep 19, 2021

Hi Eve, You asked me for some feedback a while ago, I'm sorry I have only just got round to this, but here goes... I open the door cautiously to the little girl as she slips into the passenger's seat beside me. As subtle as I can manage, I glimpse at her from the corner of my eye, endeavoring not to make it awkward given that I was a middle aged man of forty, and she couldn’t have been older than fourteen. - This is a very long sentence and could easily be cut in two. Also it changes tense half way through. I'd suggest: I open the door c...


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