Chapter 11. The Lake Grenada Horror

1K 92 18

It was the end of October. Don't worry, I'll fill you in.

The news quickly spread the head's name to the community. People went overboard talking about it, or, namely three aspects of the case. One: how gruesome the murder must have been, Two: where the rest of Johan's body was, and Three: whether or not Scottie was alive.

The Lake Grenada Horror was truly something for the locals to sink their teeth into, featuring grievances and an unsolved mystery mind-boggling enough to spice up anyone's life. Sadly, that's just about how far it went.

You see, October 1987 was the time we had all been waiting for: things happened.

Only days after Sam and I found Johan's head, a baby girl in Midland, Texas fell down a well. Rescue rangers spent three days trying to get her out. It was the headline of 1987, nothing even came close to the media attention around Jessica; a 14 month old superstar who now had a foundation in her name and could forever be safe and sound in her Texas home.

Without knowing it, little Jessica managed to steal all the attention away from Scottie Derrick, the child still portrayed on milk cartons as missing. But no one even noticed, anymore. 'He's gotta be dead' they said, 'that sicko probably took him'.

On October 19th the stock market crashed, sending everyone into a state of comatose shock. All of a sudden people cared for 'interest rates' and 'timeshares' like never before. Even the economy was more exciting than the question that only a few days earlier rested on everyone's lips: who killed Johan Derrick?

By the end of October we watched in awe as a snowstorm ruthlessly conquered Portland overnight. Streetlights painted the low-hanging grey clouds orange, the lighting stayed like so for days.

I parked my car up by Griswald Middle School, getting into my usual routine of throwing any explicit content into the glove compartment before Isaac came to sit down.

My parents weren't particularly skittish, nor were they overprotective. But the sun came down earlier for every day, and they didn't want Isaac walking home alone.

It was a small favor to ask. I liked the thought of Isaac being safe, of course I would also enjoy the thought of everyone feeling safe.

While no one in our family talked about the Derricks, anymore, there was a lignering uncertainty hanging in the air. Mom had Isaac go see a therapist in the office where she worked. She was a certified psychiatrist herself, but we were all a little scared of overstepping Isaac's boundaries.

He told us he was fine, though. He said he'd be ok.

The strange orange light illuminated the streets. Isaac had a big role in the fall musical, I had to pick him up at six three days a week.

"How was rehearsal, kiddo?" I asked.

Isaac pulled a white powdered wig off his head. I never quite understood what the musical was about.

"All the guys were too distracted 'cause they found out Emma Fredricksen finally got boobs."


"It's her own fault-" Isaac claimed, "-She wore a see-through top and a pink bra for a show set in the seventies."

Seventies? I thought it was about the American Revolution.

Oh well, I suppose there was little room for complaint. Boys fuzzing and girls showing off was how middle school usually was, not vigils and fundraisers for search parties, memorials, grief-stricken teachers and children discussing how they think their classmate was murdered. I owed Isaac the normal experience.

ShadrachWhere stories live. Discover now