Quiet Morning

Saturday morning and sunny, but where is everybody? As I pass the new and used car lots with their acres of multicolored chunks of metal, I hear disembodied, loudspeaker voices relaying directives to invisible employees. All the lots seem abandoned. The blandishments to purchase are all but obscured behind the misted windscreens. All except for one poor van, that is. Banished to the far corner of a lot, for what misbehavior one can scarcely imagine, she makes a plea for help to escape with a large sign crying ‘Rent Me’ in her windscreen. But I can’t oblige.

At last I see another person. A woman in a dark red jacket and cap is jogging with small steps on the opposite side of the road. Attached by leads were two Yorkshire terriers dressed in matching red jackets with blue trim. One was running in front and the other was following the jogger. Their legs were just a blur below the fringes of hair hanging below their coats as they kept pace with their mistress.

Past the pet store with their robo-doors opening to let cool fresh air in and warm pet-smelling air out, I reach my goal, the bookstore. The shop was busy as I picked up my latte, but as I sat down, the place emptied. Strange, the soles of my shoes were clean, I checked. Then my glasses broke and I had to stop writing.

Larry and the Bear  cont’d.
Blue Falls, July 28

Moira and Bill were up early and taking the opportunity to finish their packing while Larry was still asleep. They then turned to wrapping his birthday presents. The two picture books were easy to wrap but Bill was struggling with the Buzz Lightyear toy.
         “Haven’t we any thicker paper,” he asked Moira, “this stuff keeps tearing?”
          “No, that’s all we’ve got. Take Buzz out of the packaging, that’ll make it easier. I must say, I’ll be glad to see the back of that scrungy old bear that he keeps dragging about. He’s too old to be carrying a bear around!” She turned back to wrapping up the Erector Set they had got him along with the Lego pirates ship. A few more minutes and everything was ready,
        “I’ll go wake him, can you help carry in his presents?” said Moira and they went quietly into Larry’s room.

They stared at the empty bed, looked at each other and Bill said
            “I didn’t hear him get up, is he in the kitchen?”
Moira went over to the bed and put her hand under the covers; the bed was cold,
            “He’s been up some time, his bed’s not warm.” She hurried to the kitchen, followed by Bill. Bill rushed out to check the garage and garden while Moira checked the house, looking under beds and behind the couch in case he was playing some game. Her puzzlement turned to anger and then to anxiety. She and Bill met back in the kitchen,
            “No sign out there,” he said, struggling to keep calm.
            “Not anywhere in the house.” Moira was getting breathless as the panic started to take over. “Call 911, somebody might have grabbed him.”
            “Stay calm, he’s probably playing in the wood across the road, I’ll check that out,” and Bill was out of the door as he finished speaking.
Moira stood at the door and watched Bill as he ran across the road and into the wood. She could hear him calling at first and then the sound got fainter as he got deeper into the wood. She sat on the step with her arms wrapped tight round, hugging herself and started to cry.

Bill came back fifteen minutes later, extremely anxious and out of breath,
            “No sign, I’ll call 911, something’s happened.”

Blue Falls was only a small community and boasted two officers, Police Chief George Kennedy and P.O. Walt Robinson. Both were on the Pritchard’s doorstep five minutes after Bill’s call. They made notes as Bill, with his arm around Moira to comfort her, explained that Larry had just disappeared and that they hadn’t heard anything. They had searched the house and he had been over to the woods and shouted and searched there.
           “Any sign of a break-in?” asked George.
           “No.” said Bill, “Nothing strange at all.”
           “Anything missing?”
           “We didn’t notice anything, I’ll go and look again,” said Moira and went off to the boy’s bedroom. She was back almost immediately, “His ratty old bear and his backpack are gone.”
           “What color pack?” asked Walt as he made notes.
           “It was supposed to look like a monkey, you know, the straps looked like arms and its legs and tail dangled from the back. Its sort of brownish,” said Bill and Moira buried her face in his shoulder and sobbed.
           “Okay, we’ll get the call out,” said George, “try not to worry, I’m sure we’ll find him pretty damn quick. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything at all. You’ve got my number, call me if you hear anything or if you just want to talk. We’re not going to let anything bad happen to our kids around here.” He nodded his head at Walt as a signal to get moving and left with “now don’t you worry Mrs. Pritchard, we’ll find him.”

The rest of the day Bill and Moira sat around their living room, not daring to get far away from the phone but wanting to go out and look or do something, ANYTHING. They were in limbo in their room like two figures in a snow globe, just waiting, waiting, waiting….

One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great you just made me sad for used cars. Glad you enjoyed the latte, sorry about the glasses. Life sure is tough sometimes.

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