A murder brings a Detective and a Chinese Psychologist together to help little Ju.
|Ju clung to the snowglobe and sat in the corner of the room. From there she could watch all that was going on without having to talk to anyone. She heard the men across the room discussing her. She had spoken only Chinese to the Detective, which he had not understood, so it seems he had assumed she spoke no English.
"So what can you tell me about her?" Dr. Yang asked looking directly at Ju. Ju continued to watch even after he looked back at the Detective who reeled off what he knew.
"Eleven-year-old Chinese girl, 5 foot tall, 85 lbs, appears to speak no English, found at the scene of the murder. She was clinging to that snowglobe, in her hands right now, at the scene of the crime. We tried to take it from her to catalog it as evidence but she almost screamed the place down when we did. The poor kid looks like she is probably traumatized by whatever she saw. She might be the only surviving witness to whatever went down but she needs a shrink to get that information out of her."
"So you called the mind-detective, Detective?"
"Ha, is that what you guys are calling yourself these days? Direct questioning did not work and I cannot exactly torture the kid for information. She seems to only speak Chinese. We called you because you are the only shrink we know that also speaks Mandarin."
"So what can you tell me about the snowglobe?"
"Technically it is not actually a snowglobe as it does not do snow. I did examine it before the screams forced me to give it back to her. It is quite odd. It's a heavy, old design made of thick glass. They are all plastic these days for obvious reasons. This must be quite old because the glass is really thick like they made them before they could refine the techniques. It is also quite unusual because it has a multiracial set of dancers inside it. Basically, if you think about it, we were all racists before the sixties so a snowglobe with a multiracial theme that dates back before that time is likely to be expensive and a sort of collector's item."
"How do you know it is pre-sixties?"
"It has a date stamped on the underside metal base, 1924."
"Were there other antiques in the room or did this item stand out?"
"Everything else in the victim's flat was quite modern, the victim had a minimalist taste in furniture, nothing fussy, very functional, quite boring and nondescript really."
"Except for this snowglobe?"
"Yes, obviously it looks like a clue but we have no idea why or what it might point to."
Both men looked over at Ju at that point and her eyes ducked back to the floor.
"So what was Ju's relationship to the deceased?"
"Noone really knows. She has no papers and there were no major clues in the flat. He was Caucasian in his mid-forties, ex-military special forces, distinguished service record, but now a job in banking and as far as we know he spoke no Chinese and yet there is this eleven-year-old Chinese girl in his flat. She is not like a half cast and so perhaps his daughter, she is all Chinese."
"No it does not look like that and we have no evidence to that effect. He had a room for her, with her own bed, pink alarm clock, pink walls with rainbows and stars on. A poster of a unicorn. She had a bookshelf with children's Chinese books and even some English ones and we found a violin and music sheets were scattered around her room. We found her in her room in a hiding space behind her cupboard wall. We heard her sob. She must have hidden there when the murderers came. She was hugging the globe when we pulled her out. The bedroom seemed like it was a safe space for her and there were no locks on the door. The victim was in the main room having bled out in front of the TV. It was a violent end and it is clear he put up a fight, we have found blood from his assailants also but have not identified it. It looks like he treated her like she was his own daughter. Our working theory is that he was some kind of long-term bodyguard with an affection for the child he was protecting."
Ju sobbed at that, she would miss Frank and yes he had been the only Daddy she had ever really known. As Dr. Yang turned around at the sound he smiled at her. He has kindly eyes for a Chinese man, she thought and he is not one of them. She watched him as he walked over to her and addressed her in English. He was a tall man, as tall as Daddy had been but not as tough looking. He had dark hair and a rounded face. He looked fit but not military fit.
"Hi Ju, it is good to meet you. my name is Dr. Yang. I know you speak English, but if you like we can talk Chinese?"
"How did you know I spoke English?"
"Because I was watching you listen to our conversation and you have very expressive eyes, beautiful eyes but they do not keep secrets very well."
Ju liked that she had beautiful eyes but wondered if she needed to learn how to hide the things she knew better. She shrugged.
Dr. Yang smiled again.
"So Ju, was Mr. Godfried like a Daddy to you?"
Ju nodded, tears coming into her eyes.
"We really want to catch the people who did this, can you help us find them?"
A look of terror passed across Ju's face and her mind went blank. She clutched the snow globe close and started singing in Chinese. She kept repeating the verse like a mantra, more and more oblivious to all around her.
Sarah's black and dances high
Sue is white and full of grace
Little Ju can't tell you why
The Sisters vanished without trace.
It was a while before she came around and back to the real world. When she did she found Dr. Yang hugging her while seated next to her. The Detective was seated on the other side.
She hugged Dr. Yang back feeling safe for the first time since Daddy was killed.
"It is OK," he said, "We will keep you safe from now on."
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