Tales from Kilgour Forest

Part 6

IMG_7132.jpg

Come the late afternoon, Daniel’s mind set to the task the problem of how to house Elias for the night. He did not have enough in his account to pay for a hotel room for him, and was worried Elias might incur damages. To bring him home would stir up questions he could not answer. 

 

Unable to think of a better plan, and too polite to cast him back to the woods, Daniel told Elias he could stay in the outpost overnight. 

 

He explained there was a bathroom attached to the building, not to touch the hot plate if he wished to make more tea, and not to leave the refrigerator open if he wished to eat more pickles. 

Not knowing how else to safety proof a room from a time traveling man, he left with fears pressed to his tongue and prayers on his lips. 

 

That night Daniel tossed and turned. He caught fragments of dreams where his grandmother and Elias dueled with pots and pans. He awoke in a sweat, and questioned in the darkness how he had gotten to this situation. Not a week ago he had been a normal, if unemployed, Ph.D. graduate. 

In the morning Daniel snuck out of his home with two different breakfasts and lunches. 

 

In the way to the outpost his phone started to buzz in his pocket and would not stop. 

He pulled off to a driveway. 

 

“Hello?”

 

“Hello? Jim?”

 

“Oh, no sorry this is Daniel.”

 

“What happened to Jim?”

 

“He retired.”

 

“Well can you come here? There’s something you should probably take a look at…”

 

“Um, sure, first I need to get to the outpost and drop some things off….”

His phone beeped to show another caller on the other line. 

 

“Sorry, there’s another call coming through…,” Daniel switched over to the other line, “Hello?”

 

“My son is missing.”

 

At eight in the morning and without breakfast, Daniel was not prepared for this. 

 

“I’m sorry, but I think you need to contact the police….”

 

“They’re already here. They said to contact you.”

 

Daniel sighed. This community sure liked to handle situations quietly. 

 

“Where is your house?”

The woman gave him her address. When he went to put it into his navigation app, he found to his surprise that he was already there. 

 

Daniel consciously tried to explain away the coincidence, but a chill crept up his spine and he felt as if an invisible hand moved his actions. He knew not how, or to what aim. 

 

The parents were surprised when he showed up not two minutes after their call. But they kept their surprise to themselves and quickly ushered him to the back patio. 

There stood the two cops from the day before. The older one gave a nod in recognition. 

 

“Ma’m, can you tell us what happened?” The older police officer asked gently. 

 

The younger police officer took out a notepad. 

 

The mother nodded. She wrung her hands anxiously; “Arman was having a campfire with his friends,”

 

“Yash and Edgar, and that kid Zachary that just moved across the street,” the father cut in. 

 

“Then Yash and Edgar ran to our house and said a woman came over to the fire and bewitched Arman.”

 

“Can you tell us approximately how long they were gone for?”

“A little under two hours I think? We had just started a movie and weren’t finished when they came back.”

 

“The woman, did they give you a description?”

 

The parents looked at each other, “The boys said she looked “hot”.”

 

“We’ll need to sit down with the boys and ask for a better description,” the younger police officer said to the parents. 

 

“If he disappeared last night, why call the police department this morning?”

 

Both parents looked at each other. 

“I don’t want to get them in trouble…” the mother said nervously to her husband. 

 

“They were smoking pot. They said they hoped Arman would be back by morning, and got spooked when he wasn’t.”

 

“Tell them we aren’t worried about the pot, but we do need more details on this woman. Can we call them now?”

 

Each boy told a similar tale of a beautiful woman who came to the campfire. The woman spoke with them for a few minutes, and then left with Arman. 

As they walked back around to the front the cops nodded to him.  

 

“Detective Gibson,” the older black man said, “We never formally met.”

 

“I’m Byrnes,” the young white man said. He had the look of a man that had just stepped off his position as quarterback of his college team. 

 

“Daniel Nakamura,” Daniel said, “I’m not quite sure how I can be helpful to you though.”

Gibson shrugged, “We don’t know either. We’d just keep Jim in the loop, and half the time,”

 

“More than half,” Byrnes inserted with a snort. 

 

Gibson laughed, “Yes, probably most of the time, Jim would just know how to take care of it. We didn’t question how.”

 

“How’s Tree Man doing?” Byrnes asked. 

 

Daniel winced. He had to go and find out.