As I walked home, my temples began to throb. Goddam this day! Why don’t I feel good about helping this girl?
“Give it time!”
It was my Gran’s voice. I was comforted to hear it. Gran who is this girl.? There was no reply. The phone rang as I walked through the front door. I ignored it. After taking a couple of aspirin, I lay down on the sofa and slept. My dreams were a troubled mess of sirens and anxiety. When I finally woke up it was dark and cold. I was disoriented. Where am I?
Looking around, I focused my eyes and thoughts. At home of course. I’d slept for six hours. It was almost time to meet up with Jack and Janie again. Was that really her name? I doubted it. More likely she’d done her research on a poor lonely old man and chosen the name to take advantage him. But why do I feel the presence of his dead wife and daughter?
I washed my face and changed my rumpled clothes. The phone came to life again.
It was Les, “where have you been? I’ve been calling you at work and at home.”
“I stayed home, had an awful nights sleep and just couldn’t face work. I heard the phone ring once here, but I didn’t answer because I was trying to sleep.”
“Once, I rang about six times.”
Maybe the sirens I heard in my dreams was the phone ringing.
“Well I never heard it.”
“Good news, I will be home this weekend after all. The system isn’t going live until next week.”
“Great,” I said, not sounding the least bit enthusiastic. “Look I’m not feeling well, I’ll call you later.”
I was becoming more agitated by the second. My heart was beating fifty to the dozen. I grabbed my coat, and jumped in the car, almost forgetting to open the garage door before I drove out. Something felt wrong!
Jack’s house was lit up like a beacon, porch light, bedroom lights, and the door stood wide open. As my car crunched along the driveway Jack appeared.
“She’s gone!” he said
“Is anything missing?” I asked without thinking.
He looked hurt. “I didn’t check and I don’t need to. We have to find her.”
“OK, jump in, we’ll go to the barn first.”
“No need, I already checked there, no sign of her.”
I closed my eyes and tried to collect my thoughts. Had she ever really existed? Was she something I’d conjured up? No, Jack has seen her too.
I started to speak, but my words were drowned by the noise of a truck passing by, music blaring from the windows.
Icy fingers closed around my heart. I looked at Jack.
“Did I imagine that?”
He shook his head and jumped in the passenger seat.
“Go!” He yelled.
Dead of July is my first novel and its available on Amazon for $0.99. It’s set in 1982 in Dortmund, Germany. If you’re enjoying my short blog stories, give it a try.