Alas! Inspiration has struck again. (I hope).

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Tulsa Police Department

Missing Persons Report for:

PONYBOY MICHAEL CURTIS

Last seen: August 23, 1967

Ponyboy Michael Curtis, 15 years old, of Caucasian descent, was last seen at Will Rogers High School at approximately 4:30 pm. Ponyboy had recently completed track practice and was seen leaving the school grounds. Fellow students reported no unusual activity in the area.

Ponyboy had planned on meeting his brother Sodapop, 18, at Soda's place of employment, the DX, at approximately 5:00 pm that same day. Ponyboy never showed and later that evening at 10:05 pm, his oldest brother Darrel Curtis called the police department.

On August 24, Officer Benjamin Miller found Ponyboy's backpack and jacket in the woods near Lake Elmo. After further search of the surrounding woods, a sign of a struggle has been noted See Appendix A for details. Darrel Curtis stated that the jacket is not his brother's.

Detective William Jessup

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August 24, 1967

1:30 am

I know when I'm in trouble and I know when I'm in deep shit. And as Two-Bit would say: I'm royally screwed.

Having just come to a few hours ago, even I know that things are not as they should be.

Currently, the two guys in front of me are arguing if I should be gagged and bound or just bound and I hate to break it to them but either way I'm not too comfortable.

My arms are splayed out behind me, the wrists tied together with a sharp twine. The chair that I'm tied to is perched in a corner of a dank room. I squint but find it hard to focus.

A freckle-faced kid leans over to the blonde guy next to him. "Alls I'm saying is that he could holler, cause commotion, get the fuzz down here."

"Nah," the blonde says. "We're too far underground. No one's gonna hear him. 'Sides he's a damn fool if he yells." His green eyes focus on me.

I shut my trap, just like Darry has taught me, instead choosing to glare at him.

"See," the blonde guy barks at his partner. "He ain't sayin' nothing. Are you boy?" He reaches out and grabs my chin, snapping me to attention.

Black spots fill my vision and the lump on the back of my head begins to throb again.

"Oh man," I groan. Yet, through my pain I think of something I'd like to say to and decide against it. The gun in the guys' right hand could do more damage than my mouth ever could.

"Yeah, but what if he does?" Freckle persists, his gray eyes darting back and forth suspiciously. He stands up and begins pacing. "What if he tries to escape?"

"He won't."

Freckle taps his foot. "But if he does…"

"Fine," Blonde sighs. "If it'll shut you up. I'll shut him up." The tall lanky form of Blonde stands up and exits stage right, down a dark hallway.

I wait ten seconds and then go for it. "I'm not gonna say a thing," I say in a hurried whisper to Freckle. "I just wanna go home."

"Yeah, that's what they all say." Freckle smiles maliciously, barring a mouthful of crooked teeth.

I feel my eyes widen. Close your eyes, close your ears, I will myself. I try hard to tune it all out, thinking of Sodapop, of Darry, of willing this disaster to disappear. But when I open my eyes, Blonde is in front of me.

"Takin' a nap?" he sneers.

"No," I reply stupidly.

"Well, I'll fix that." Squatting in front of me, Blonde reaches into a brown leather binder and draws out a syringe. He punches the needle into a vial of clear liquid and pulls back on the plunger. The syringe fills up with the unknown substance.

I try to pull back but am held fast by the chair and its ties. Then, without grace, Blonde stabs the needle into the crook of my elbow.

"Oh!" I say as the stinging sensation burns along my arm. A feeble gasp barely makes it past my lips and then my breath stills as I go limp, slumping in my chair.

Lights out.

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August 25, 1967

11:30 pm

I stumble in the dark. Grass wet beneath my feet, as I scour the field. The weeds are tall and blow in the nighttime breeze. He's here a voice whispers inside of me.

"Ponyboy?" I scream throughout the night and am met with silence. He's here, he's here, he's here…

Then, a mere 50 feet away is a body. I don't want to, but something pulls me toward it. I can't look, but I do.

There, in the grass is my brother. Still, silent, gone. "No." My voice resonates flatly throughout the field. But the objection is lost on the heels of the wind. "No," I say again, dropping to my knees.

I gather Ponyboy in my arms, his head bobbing loosely against my chest. "No."

And the field where he died howls in surprise.

"No!" I holler, waking myself up from the nightmare. I sit stiffly in the dark, my heart racing in my chest. "Pony?" I call out tentatively, making sure, hoping for a response.

But there is none. "God damn you," I curse the darkness.

It has really happened. I press my palms against wet eyes, trying to pull myself together.

I hear the TV going outside and know that Darry is up. I find my brother sitting at the kitchen table, pouring over the newspaper clippings of Ponyboy and maps of Lake Elmo.

"Soda, what're you doing up?" Darry frowns.

"I could ask you the same thing." I lean against the kitchen counter. "I had a nightmare," I admit.

Darry looks up sharply, his expression haunted. "Go back to bed, little buddy."

"Darry? Is he still gone?" I ask, the nightmare fresh in my mind. "Really gone?" It's stupid to ask, I know, but ever since he disappeared – more than 48 hours ago – things have been surreal.

It's worse than before too. When he left with Johnny. At least he chose to go. This time someone has taken him.

Pained, Darry doesn't meet my eyes. He stares at those damned clippings. "Yeah, Sodapop. He is."

I cover my mouth with a cupped hand, not trusting myself to speak. Then I swallow the lump in my throat. "Dar…we're gonna find him right? We have to."

"Yeah, Sodapop we are."

I'm less comforted by Darry's words than I thought I would be. Since Ponyboy has been labeled a 'Missing Person' Darry has not cracked. Instead, he has pulled himself together, cooperating with the police, pouring over the information.

I haven't been as helpful. The minute they told me blood had been found on the crime scene, I had run for the nearest bathroom, vomiting up what I had left to give.

Right now, I don't know how I'm keeping it together. But I'm a lot calmer than I was when Steve found me in that bathroom.

"It wasn't his jacket," Darry mutters suddenly. "I don't understand that. It was his backpack. But not his jacket." When he looks up at me, his eyes are bloodshot, his face drawn. "Where the hell is he?"

"Darry," I say, sick to my stomach. "I have no idea."

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Local Boy Missing

(Tulsa World)

August 26, 1967

Ponyboy Michael Curtis, grade 11 at Will Rogers High School, is still missing. Ponyboy disappeared on August 23 after a local track meet. After a thorough search of the woods around Lake Elmo, investigators are still coming up empty-handed.

Sources say the only evidence found have been Ponyboy's backpack and a small amount of blood at the scene.

However, according to head detective, William Jessup, the Tulsa Police Department is following a few leads. "We can't release much more information than that," the detective stated. "Only that we will find this boy. The investigation is far from over."

Ponyboy has two older brothers, Darrel and Sodapop Curtis, both refusing to comment on the case. His parents are deceased. Ponyboy Curtis is not stranger to publicity. Last year, Ponyboy was involved with the murder of Robert Sheldon and since acquitted of all charges. Investigators stated that this does not play a factor in their investigation. "We're looking at this as a separate incidence," Jessup said.

Classmates of Ponyboy describe him as a friendly, quiet boy who always had a nice word for everyone. Ponyboy's 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Syme said, "Ponyboy had a good head on his shoulders. He was such a polite student. I loved having him in class."

Sherri Valance, a friend of Ponyboy's said, "I never thought anything like this would happen to such a great kid."

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