They pulled up to the house a quarter after one.
The police lights flashed:
first red, then blue, across the all white house. It was the perfect place for a young child to grow up in.
Only he wouldn’t be . . .
. . . because he was missing.
“It’s going to be fine Quarmen, we’re all going with you. Just do what you do best.” Frank said.
He was the chief of police in Maine’s small town, and he’d been Quarmen’s grandmothers “friend” for as long as she could remember. He was the closest thing she had to a dad, and he’d kept her secret, always covering for her and protecting her from the prying eyes of the government since she was six and her family discovered her little “gift.”
Quarmen nodded, and satisfied that she wouldn’t break apart, he lead her up the cement steps and into the families dining room.
The brother of the missing child held out a pair of boy’s shorts stained with grime, grass, and dried blood. He passed them to Quarmen, barely touching them with two fingers, but wanting—more than anything—not to have to touch them at all. Quarmen reached for them, dread and foreboding twisting her stomach into knots.
She knew before she touched them that the boy was already dead.
Her fingers felt the soft fabric, rubbing along the denims intricately woven knots.
The sound of haggard breathing slammed into her, knocking her from the real world—the present—and tunneling her toward the past. She gasped for air, fear pounding through her body almost as fast as her blood.
“He was running,” Quarmen whispered, retelling the events as they revealed themselves to her. The boys imprint was so strong.
“He fell, hitting a patch of dirt hard; he choked as some made its way into his mouth. There’s fresh cement in the grass—only fragments—there’s reconstruction being done,” Quarmen continued, telling the events as they unfolded.
“He scraped his knee on the pavement,” she continued, fingering the dried patch of blood on the bottom of the shorts.
“He’s running again, screaming now and crying. There’s sweat and, and urine, running down his leg . . .”
Quarmen cried out in sudden pain and fell to the soft, rug-covered floor as the boy fell to the hard, unforgiving pavement; a wave of nausea slamming against her skull as she did so. She tried to open her eyes, to force her body back into the real world, to no avail. Instead, tears streamed down her face and pain thrummed against her stomach as blood slid between her fingers.
“There’s so much blood!” she whimpered.
Voices; there were voices now—back in the real world.
“What happened to him, where is my son!” a woman screamed.
“Someone get her up!” another voice roared, the two voices clamoring over one another in Quarmen’s mind until everything became static.
“You’re not bleeding Quarmen. Do you hear me! You are okay!” Frank yelled in her ear, calling Quarmen back to the realm of reality.
“Tell us what happened,” he cooed softly.
“Where is my SON!” the boy’s mother screamed again.
Quarmen’s eyes flew open, her fleeting belief now a certainty. “He was shot on the corner of Oak and Dale Drive, his body is in the woods behind the new apartment complex.”
-Short Story Written by Jae Lei Nyght
Excerpt from “The Dreamer.” Written by Jae Lei Nyght. The First Book in “The Dreamer Trilogy.” (Stay Tuned For More.)
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