Kurt stopped on his way to the shelter’s kitchen, turning to see which kid was calling him. "Yes, Jackie?"
"Did you see the news?"
"They found the body of some girl. She was here last week." Jackie looked both excited and scared.
Kurt shook his head, his mouth tightening. "Which girl and where did they find her?"
"Aw hell, Father, I didn’t catch the name. I just recognized the sketch they showed. She’s short with sorta blah brown hair. She and Scooter were hanging together."
"Minnie. Damn it!"
Jackie looked at him in surprise. "Father, you shouldn’t be swearing."
"Sorry, but sometimes even priests get pissed off." Kurt thanked Jackie for letting him know about the news story then hurried back the way he’d come, going into the community room where the television sat on a table along one wall. Over the protests of the kids watching it, he flipped through the channels looking for the all-news one.
"You trying to find out about Minnie?" one of the kids asked when Kurt finally found the right channel. When Kurt nodded the kid told him, "She was found in a pond outside the city, just like that other girl a few weeks back."
"What other girl?"
"Damn, Father, don’t you listen to the news? A girl who used to crash at one of the squats was found beaten to death two, three weeks ago, and now Minnie. Same thing almost."
"Any boys or just girls?"
"Just girls that I heard about."
Another kid spoke up then. "There was a guy ‘bout a month ago. Maybe not connected but he was beaten too and left in the duck pond, and the news said he’d been messed with, like you know…" The kid glanced around and lowered his voice. "Like someone fucked his ass."
Kurt frowned. "That was in the news report?"
"Yeah. Well not like that. They have some fancy way of putting it but for sure I got what they were meaning."
"Okay. Thanks. You all can go back to your regularly scheduled programming now. Which had better not be something…"
"Yeah, yeah, Father, we know. PG all the way ‘til the littles are in bed."