David had searched the cabin along with the surrounding wilderness high and low looking for Richard. What was supposed to be a fun getaway with his brother had quickly turned into a nightmare, only he could not wake up from this one. He dragged himself to bed at 11:30 p.m. Sleep was impossible, due to the gravity of the situation. David had actually lost his brother. David, the expert outdoors person and tracker had misplaced the only friend he truly enjoyed in this part of the world.
David fell into his bed, and the semi-conscious state of a man trying to get some sleep. He knew it was all in vain.
Then a voice entered David’s head, it was a voice David dreaded. It would show up every now and again when situations got extremely tough.
“Hey David!” said The Voice. “It’s me, your friend anxiety. I’m back!” proclaimed the voice.
“What do you want from me?” asked David rather perturbed.
“I want to have a conversation, David. You’ll never find your brother anyway, no matter how hard you try! Why not talk to me instead! It’s been several years since we last talked. You were the only person I’ve ever encountered in all my years in action who would actually talk to me. I must say you are one of my most interesting clients.”
“I’m not your client,” retorted David. “There you go again, talking so much that I can’t even get a word in edgewise!”
“My friends Jared and Eryn,* knew I was there, but they never paid me any mind. Same with that depressed kid Grant Slone.** He let me work in complete silence,” complained the voice. “So I came here, once again to find refuge in your mind.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know any of these people,” stated David.
“Can you blame me for wanting to talk about my achievements? I suppose it’s alright that I had to leave them. This gives me more time for me to hang out with you, and make you all tense over this new development in your life. You’ll never find Richard. He’s as good as dead to you. Also, don’t you know it’s all your fault?” smirked the voice
If David could see the voice it would most likely be smirking at him. However, all he could see was the absolute blackness of the night around him. He felt hopeless.
“That’s right David. There is not hope for you now. If only you had taken better care of Richard, you would not have lost him” said The Voice, almost gleefully. “You should just give up!”
“No!” David screamed at the voice “I won’t give up. I will do what is necessary to find my brother! I wish you would just leave me alone!”
“Very well,” said The Voice. “I’ll give you a break for now, I’ll be back later though!”
“Not if I can help it,” stated David as confidently as he could.
The conversation was over. David immediately got out of bed and checked the old digital alarm clock on the dresser. It read 4:03 a.m. David raced to find his cell phone, buried among his other belongings. Retrieving it, he quickly dialed the Nova Scotia Missing Person’s Hotline.
David waited through five rings until someone picked up.
“Hello,” said a gruff, overtired voice. “What on earth could you possibly need so early on a Sunday Morning.”
“I’d like to report a missing person. It’s my brother Richard Pringle,” said David, feeling both indignant and miserable.
“I’m sorry, It’s been a long night, what does Richard look like?”
David proceeded to give the man on the phone the address of the cabin and a full physical description of Richard, including what he had been wearing the last time David had seen him.
“We will send an investigator to your cabin later on this afternoon, and alert local authorities to keep a watchful eye for Richard. I’m sorry we got off on the wrong foot” the man on the phone said sincerely. “We will do whatever we can to help you find Richard. You must know that we will need your full cooperation in order to make this a success.”
“I understand,” said David.
“How does 12:30 p.m sound for the initial meeting?” The man asked.
“That will work just fine, I will wait expectantly for someone,” said David.
David repeated his current address to the man and hung up. He began to feel tense. The whole conversation had taken half an hour. After thirty seconds of silence Richard returned to his bed intent on sleeping. He had done everything he could think of to work toward solving this situation for the moment. Sleep came easy for David after staying up most of the night.
*To read the backstory about Jared, Eryn, and “The Voice / Anxiety” Feel free to read my short story One Day Left.
**To read the backstory of Grant Slone feel free to read my story Thoughts; Open Access.