David woke early to the sound of his cellphone ringing. He was instantly filled with dread as he remembered the situation in which he was trapped.
“Pick up the phone, David!” The voice said menacingly .
“Can’t you see I’m trying to get to it?” replied David.
“If I were you, I’d move faster. It could be your wife on the line, or your mother, or perhaps Richard. Oh, no wait, he’s dead and it’s all your fault.” Chirped the voice.
David let out an angry scream and lunged for the phone.
“David Pringle,” he said, as professionally as he could muster.
“David, it’s your mother! Your father and I did some talking last night and we want you to come stay with us in the city. Together we may be able to help each other find our dear Richard!”
“That’s what I will do. I’ll be there in half an hour or so,” said David.
“You may need longer than that. Drive safely!” His mother nagged. She always did this, she never liked to see either of her boys get hurt. Richard’s disappearance must be driving her nuts.
David abruptly said good bye and ended the call. Quickly packing his belongings, he scarfed down a granola bar and headed for his truck. There was no time to lose. David eased his truck into early morning commute traffic. His mother was right. There was no way he was going to make it to his parents’ condo in the amount of time he had imagined.
“Drive faster!” The voice said. “Come on! Punch it! Save your silly brother!”
“You again,” muttered David. He felt tense. This was no time to worry about his body though.
David lightly accelerated past the car in front of him. Then he pushed his truck to go as fast as he could manage in the turns. David was passing cars left and right. The sooner he got to his parents’ place, the sooner they could collaborate on finding Richard. The road and trees became a blur. David had never driven so fast. However, he did not feel as alive as he had hoped to be.
“You’re not going fast enough! Push it, man!” Screamed the voice
“I’m doing the best I can!” David screamed back.
Suddenly, though under the circumstances it was predictable, David saw the unmistakable red and blue lights of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser. Dejectedly, David pulled over to the side of the road and waited for his punishment.
“Now you’ve done it! You’ve gotten us pulled over by the cops! You idiot! I”m going to make you incredibly tense now, and I’m going to enjoy it.” The voice said.
“Shut up,” said David. He wished his wife Helena had been here. She could always flirt her way out of a ticket. How on earth did she ever manage to get into so much trouble with the law? David wondered silently to himself.
The officer approached David’s truck, he was a tall skinny man, dressed in uniform and, for the last two weeks at least, as far as David could tell, the officer had been sporting a mustache. The officer was ready to speak. It was time to pay attention.
“License and registration, please.” The officer stated.
David handed the requested documents over as quickly as he could.
“Sir, do you realize you were somehow going 120 kilometers per hour in a school zone?” The officer asked.
“To tell you the truth, I haven’t looked at my speedometer much this entire ride.” David said, immediately regretting his answer. He felt his anxiety shoot through his entire body.
“That’s not helping you, buddy.” The officer said shortly. “There must have been a reason.”
David couldn’t take it anymore. He broke down in front of the officer. He explained that his brother was missing and because of that he was racing to his parents’ place so they could help in the efforts to find him. David gave the officer a complete physical description of Richard, down to the clothes he had been wearing when David had last seen him.
Noting that David was distressed, and that his monologue was getting rather long, the officer broke in.
“Listen, David. I promise that I’ll tell the boys in the Missing Person Unit about Richard and we will do whatever we can to help you and your family find him. I’m still going to give you the ticket though. Otherwise you’ll never learn to slow down!”
David thanked the officer and continued on his way, within the legal limit. Within the hour he was at his parents’ condo. He knocked at the door. His mother answered, he could tell she had been crying.
“I can’t imagine what this situation has been like for you,” David said. “Where is the old man?”
“He went off to work. He wanted to keep as normal of a routine as he could,” she answered.
“May I borrow your most recent picture of Richard, and your computer?” asked David.
His mother disappeared briefly a photo album. Even with all the advances in digital photo sharing technology, his parents still enjoyed displaying their photos the old fashioned way. David proceeded to start up the computer, and was immediately confronted with the lock screen. He guessed the pin number, 2034, the year his parents had been married. He was granted access. He scanned the photo of Richard and proceeded to make a poster. it seemed juvenile, but David had yet to use this option in advertising his search for his brother.
Once he was finished, David loaded the printer with paper. Three hundred copies printed in under ten seconds.
“I’m going to go back to the cabin and put these up on telephone poles in the area,” announced David. “I will be back for supper, if you’ll have me.”
“Of course, David, We’d love to have you. It’s been so long,” his mother replied. “Your father has scheduled a meeting with a local news crew this evening, it would be good if you stayed for that too.”
David left his mother so she could finish her morning routine and returned to the cabin and began putting up the posters.
“Posters? He’s not a dog! You’re never going to find him!” The voice interrupted.
“It’s worth a try. Please, leave me alone!” David instructed.
“You’re not interested in talking right now,” said the voice.
“You’ve done enough for today,” David said.
“Just remember, everything that happened this morning was actually your fault,” said the voice.
“Go away,” said David.
He continued to put up posters. It was a small gesture, but every little bit of effort helped.
Horace Honeysuckle grinned with glee. He was in a very good mood as he entered HaliCore on this grey Monday morning. Though he had not wagered any money, he was right in his assumption that Richard would not make it back to work after the weekend. Horace loved being right. He was morbidly enjoying imagining Richard, dead under a tree as a bear tore him apart.
He sat at his desk cataloguing a pile of new graphic novels. He looked across the room at Richard’s empty desk. A smile crept across his lips. If Richard didn’t come back soon, the library would have to fill his vacancy. Horace, being a union member could be in line for a nice promotion. Horace liked that idea very much.
He laughed maniacally to himself. Or so he thought.
“What are you going on about, Horace?” It was Neil the intern, beginning his day by sweeping the floor of the office which the two shared with the rest of the staff.
“It was nothing, Neil.” Horace replied in a cool manner. In reality Neil had startled him, but Horace could not let the University kid know that. “Go back to whatever it is that you do. You strange little man.”
Neil looked at Horace with suspicion. “You’re always up to no good.” After this remark, Neil continued sweeping.
Horace continued cataloguing. He would not be telling Neil his future plans any time soon.