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Chapter 4 (v.2) - Lost in thought

Submitted: September 09, 2017

Reads: 63

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 09, 2017




Esper Chapter 3: Lost in thought


Part 1

Nicolaus Thompson halted outside of his own front door; the reason being that confrontation with a known issue, for him, needed to be handled like ripping off a Band-Aid. First, mental preparation, then deep breaths, and finally, clench your teeth and take the plunge. He paced back and forth on the landing outside of his dwelling for a minute, wondering what could be awaiting him on the other side of the door. This went on for a bit until a rather tall, Hispanic man walked up to him.

“Excuse me sir, are you okay?” The man spoke with a pretty thick accent.

“Oh…uh…” Nicolaus observed the man for a minute before answering him. He was taller, more muscular and more handsome than the young misanthrope. The man was dressed cleanly, in a gray khaki jacket, slim fitting brown pants and lace up business shoes. The thick black hair on his head was gelled back with a sheen. “I’m fine. I’m sorry; do you live in this complex?”

“No. I’m just visiting. Wait, are you Nicolaus?”

“Yes. Why…?”

“I thought so! I could tell by the way you ball your fist up underneath your chin like…‘The Thinker’ while pacing; Dani does the same thing.”

“Oh god…you’re Dani’s boyfriend, aren’t you?”

“Yes! You picked up on that fast.”

The door to the apartment swung open. Dani came halfway out and locked eyes with Nicolaus, and then the large Hispanic man. “Okay, so…this happened faster than I thought it would. Nick, Alonso, can we take this inside?” Both men entered the flat at the behest of the frowning young woman.

After taking a seat on a chair in the kitchen Nicolaus sighed, ran his fingers through his hair and then started to talk. “This can’t be the only thing you had to tell me. I know you Dani, and I know a boyfriend isn’t so problematic that you would hide it from Mom and Laurence. Get on with it.”

“…” Dani looked away. She clearly wanted to say something, but there was a pit in her stomach.

“Dani, it’s alright. I’ll tell him if you want.” Alonso chimed in.

“No! No…I’ll do it.” She took a deep breath and then exhaled. “I’m pregnant. Surprise…!”

“Ah…fuck!” He exclaimed in response. “Why did you have to tell me this? I’m going to assume you want me to keep this a secret.”

“Yeah. Please!”

“Damnit! Agh…” The normally reserved pessimist fussed violently with his own hair.

“Wow!” The suave and cool headed Alonso said. “You two are so much alike.”

“Not now, Alonso.” Dani shushed him.

“I’m even more confused than before. I’ve got so many questions. Why are you here? Why tell me? Is this guy the reason that you've not been home in so long? No offense, Alonso. And most of all, why in God’s name are you still smoking?!”

“Hang on, Nick. I did stop smoking. I just put a cigarette in my mouth by mistake now and again.”

“Okay, what about everything else?”

“I came here to check on you; that part is legit. And…I’m telling you so maybe you can help me and Alonso tell Mom and Laurence. Also, no; it’s not because of Alonso that I’ve been away all this time. That, I’ll get into at another time.”

Just then Nicolaus’s phone began to ring. Despite the fact that it was an unknown number he had a feeling it was the police. He exited the room and sat in the bathroom with the door closed; leaving his sister and her soon to be baby-daddy alone. On the other side of the phone an officer spoke to him and asked him to come down to the station as soon as possible. He agreed and once he’d hung up the phone he attempted to call Vernon. He forwarded Nicolaus’s call to voice mail so Nicolaus sent him a text message instead. Once finished he exited the bathroom and relayed the message to the two who’d he left waiting.

“I’ll drive you there.” Dani offered.

“No. I’m fine. I’ll be back soon.”

“No you don’t.” Dani got up from her seat and grabbed Nicolaus by the arm. “You’ve still got my keys, so I’m going to assume you’re going to try and take my car. That’s not happening again. Last time, I had no idea where you were all night. You want to go without taking a bus, then Alonso and I are going to drive you.”


“We need to pick up some things from the hardware store anyway. Alonso is really good with his hands and he’s really strong, right babe?”

“She’s up-selling me, I’m just average.” Alonso replied modestly.

Nicolaus gave in seeing that he was fighting a losing battle. They all piled into Dani’s car and drove downtown towards the police station. Along the way Alonso and Dani started playing music and singing along. This was an activity that Nicolaus, as a modern-day hermit, couldn’t stand. He tried to block them out until he heard his sister start singing in Spanish. It was a skill he’d never known she possessed. (I guess all the time away really has taught her some new things. Can’t treat her like the same brat from when we were kids. Have I changed at all since then, I wonder?)

“Hey Nick, what’s going on? You’re awfully quiet back there.” Dani turned all the way around in her seat to ask that question. Nicolaus slumped down in his seat with the hood on his hooded sweatshirt pulled up over his head.

“I was thinking about back when we were kids is all.”

“Ah, that explains why you’re dressing like an edgy teenager again.”

“What? Shut up.”

“You’re wearing that same black hoodie you’ve had since high school.” Dani referred to the hooded jacket that Nicolaus grabbed before exiting the apartment, since it was cold outside.

“I like this hoodie! Also, it’s not the same one. You don’t remember, but you borrowed it back in your senior year when I’d left for college. Then you texted me and told me that you lost it at a concert.”

“Haha…was that what happened?”

“Yes. That’s what happened.” The hoodie Nicolaus wore was a black one with red trimmings and an image of a white silhouetted skeleton.

“Well, you’re an adult now. You shouldn’t be wearing that anyway.”

“Screw off! I’ll wear whatever I want. I don’t care what people think.” Upon reaching the police station Nicolaus noticed the friendly waitress, Katie Vang walking into the station. He quickly ducked out of his ‘favorite’ hoodie, leaving it behind in the car.

“Hey, you’re forgetting something!”

“D-Don’t worry about it. I’m not actually that cold.” Despite his grandstanding, the thin red tee-shirt Nicolaus wore wasn’t enough for the sub sixty degrees temperature. He rushed into the station leaving Dani chuckling in the passenger seat.

“You and your brother have a good relationship.”

“I guess so. Now, let’s hurry before the store closes, Alonso.”

Part 2

People hastily scurried back and forth between rooms in the police station, carrying papers and talking on cellphones. There was a rather long and imposing line at the front desk. The station was filled with a multitude of people, from criminals being arrested to the average-joe in need of help. Being around large crowds made Nicolaus feel uneasy as he wasn’t a ‘people person’. A few officers rushed past not giving him a chance to ask anything which only furthered his frustration. He wanted to know where to stand or if there was someone he needed to talk to, but an answer wasn’t coming.

“Kid! You, over there!” An old police officer called out to Nicolaus. “Come here!” The officer wrapped his arm around the young man’s neck and pulled him to the side.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“What? No. You don’t remember me?” The spiky haired misanthrope quizzically tilted his head at that question. The officer was a rugged old white man with graying black hair. He exaggeratedly sighed at the young man’s obvious confusion. “Tobias Bennet, I’m the detective, we met in the hospital… Raquel is going to get on me for forgetting to lead with that.” It hit Nicolaus suddenly. The Officer did in fact leave his name with Nicolaus, but upon hearing that people from the incident were dying everything that followed had went over his head.

“You really should’ve led with your name. Sorry, all the same.”

“No reason to apologize. It’s my fault for not being on my game. Anyway, you’re trying to find out where to go, right? Follow me. You’re scheduled to meet with me and my partner.” Detective Bennet walked Nicolaus through the police station. Tobias Bennet, despite having the looks of a man in his fifties did not have any of the mannerisms associated with the age. His posture was good; he didn’t grumble when he spoke and he was generally pleasant. “Alright kid, wait here. We’ve got one of your friends in there.” The old Detective left his nervous guest outside of what appeared to be an interrogation room. As he opened the door to enter the room Nicolaus heard an unfamiliar woman’s voice.

The young, spiky haired man looked around as he hadn’t seen Katie since entering the station, so he assumed she was in the room. Nicolaus pulled out his phone and started texting everyone to let them know that he was waiting to speak with the police. Time passed as Nicolaus waited, until the door opened, and Katie exited. When she laid eyes on him, she smiled.

“Spike, thank God! I thought they were just bringing me in.”

“What did they say to you?” Before Katie could reply a young woman around their age interjected.

“Mr. Thompson, you can talk with her later. If you would…this way, please.” She pulled Nicolaus away from Katie leaving his question unanswered. He was sat down at a table in the interrogation room. It was at this point that Nicolaus became more anxious.

(Dammit. My stomach is doing flips. Do they know about what happened last night? Are they going to question me? That would make sense since they wouldn’t let me talk to Katie. They don’t want us to collaborate our stories.) His mind continued to race until Officer Bennet entered the room followed by the female officer from before. The young woman’s gray eyes contrasted with her light brown skin which were almost as gray as Detective Bennet’s hair. Her physical build betrayed the common female cop stereotype. She wasn’t very tall and didn’t look muscular at all. Sporting an all-burgundy pants suit with black boots, and neatly cut shoulder length black curls, made her look more like a normal girl in Nicolaus’s eyes.

“I’m Raquel Childs - Detective Raquel Childs. I believe you know my partner Tobias Bennet…” The lady detective introduced herself as she took a seat alongside her much older looking partner.

“He knows my name now, Raquel.” Tobias said with a smile.

“Well, thank goodness for that. One part of being a detective is being thorough. Forgetting to give out your name would be a huge mistake.” Her words obviously cut deep into the aging man as he began to cough incessantly.

“Um…” Nicolaus drew the conversation back in his direction. “Can I ask why I was brought in?”

“Right, well…here’s the thing…we’ve finished our initial investigations at the site of the incident, yesterday.”

“Oh…” Nicolaus’s heart sunk in his chest. (What do I say? I can’t think of anything! Should I just come clean? No, no, no! If they had anything on me, they’d be way more in my face about it.) Even though Nicolaus was thinking this way, any expertise on police procedure he touted came from television.

“We were told that you and your friends from the incident are being cleared to return to work and school.”

“Oh…oh! Oh! Okay! Hahaha!” Nicolaus started laughing uncontrollably. Both detectives looked at each other confused about that unexpectedly odd reaction. The pessimistic Nicolaus often had a grim outlook. When he learned of his actual fate, the tension left his body in the form of laughter.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes! I’m fine! I’m totally fine!” He continued to laugh.

“Uh, okay. We’re sorry to have…frightened you? We’re just very busy right now, so this is the only room we could bring you to.”

“Why are you busy? Is something going on?”

“That’s police business. I’m sorry, I can’t tell you. Here, take this.” Detective Childs pushed a small business card across the table. On it were written directions. “These are directions to a clinic close by. It’s recommended that you go there today. If you drop by, the doctor will clear you to go back to work as soon as possible after a checkup.”

“T-Thanks.” Nicolaus was holding his stomach from cramps caused by laughing off the stress that had built up. “Um…that’s all, right? I can go?”

“Yup, that’s all kid. We actually need to see the other kids too.” Detective Bennet said getting up from his seat. They opened the door and let Nicolaus walk out towards the exit. On his way out, Nicolaus took notice of the young chubby Asian boy, Harper Wolf, who he’d been acquainted with seemingly lost in the station as he was before. He was walking with a very young looking man that Nicolaus had never seen before. Harper stopped the man telling him something, then left him to wait while they conversed.

“Hey Nick…what’s going on, man?”

“Nothing, don’t worry. They just want us to go to the doctor’s and then they’ll let us go back to work and school.” They spoke in a hushed tone to avoid any possible eavesdroppers.

“No, I don’t mean that. I meant with them talking about the officers.”

“Huh…?” The color drained from Nicolaus’s face once more. “What…do you mean?”

“I was listening in on some people talking on the way in, and I heard that the two officers from last night…are supposedly AWOL.”


“They said something about ‘Kevin’ and ‘Niles’ missing. What’s going on?”

“…” Nicolaus was speechless. It didn’t make any sense to him that the bodies weren’t found. Once again the feeling of impending doom began to creep its way into Nicolaus’s mind.

Officer Bennet walked up and placed his hand on Nicolaus’s shoulder snapping him back to his senses. “What are you still doing here, kid? You should get going before it gets too late. As for you…”

“Harper Wolf, sir!”

“You come with me. Hmm…?” Officer Bennet’s attention was drawn to the mysterious, good looking man who’d accompanied Harper. “Uh…are you Harper Wolf’s guardian?”

“I’m actually his father. My name is Calvin Wolf.” Calvin Wolf was a slender, tall, handsome white man, dressed in a brown suit wearing designer glasses. The idea that this was Harper’s father baffled Nicolaus and Tobias. “If it’s okay, I’d like to join him.” He spoke in a somber, yet confident tone.

“That’s fine. Come on, we’re busy, so we’ve got to get this done quick! Take care, kid!” Officer Bennet said as he led both Harper and his father through the police station.

Exiting the building, Nicolaus took a seat on a nearby bench. He started to ponder his next move. (…So, they didn’t find them… What does that mean? Did they even look for them? Something just isn’t right here.) Nicolaus was so wrapped up in thought that he didn’t notice the person sitting right next to him trying to get his attention. (Could Harper have lied about calling the police? Even if he did, the police should’ve found them by tracking the patrol car. Or those two officers should have reported following us to the ridge. Nothing is adding up!) Once again Nicolaus started running his fingers through his spiky, black hair. (I’ve still got to go and get this checkup done, but before that I’m going to text the others.) Upon pulling his cell phone out Nicolaus noticed that Katie was calling him. It made him shutter a bit, but he answered with a relaxed “Hello” all the same, only to be greeted with a “Hello” at the same exact time. A sudden tap at the shoulder caused the befuddled young man to turn and see Katie leaning in close with her face barely an inch away from him. “BUWAA!!”

That exaggerated reaction made Katie laugh hysterically. “Hahahaha! Sp-Spike, that was great! Haha…”

Nicolaus wasn’t happy, in fact he was embarrassed. He tried to play it off coolly. “O-Oh, Katie. You surprised me. Heh.” Trying to brush away none existent bangs from his face made Katie only laugh harder.

“Pfft!! Stop, stop! You’re killing me!”

“That wasn’t the plan…” Mortified, the young computer technician tried to get back to a vertical base as he’d nearly fallen from his seat. “At least thing you’re in a good mood. I’ve got something to tell you.” After explaining what had happened to the two officers, Katie let loose a big sigh and slumped down on the bench.

“That’s good though. I don’t see any problem.”

“It’s a huge problem! We’ll keep talking, but for now we should move. Getting too in-depth out in front of the police station would be a bad idea.”


Part 3

Katie and Nicolaus walked through downtown Trenton, headed towards the small doctor's office known as ‘The Anderson family’s Clinic’. It was sandwiched in between a much larger condominium and a general store. Nicolaus texted Dani, telling her that he’d be busy for a while and that she shouldn’t worry about him.

“Who you texting?” The plucky, young red head inquired.

“Uh - oh, just…my sister. She’s in town.”

“You have a sister, huh? Must be nice. I was an only child. Are you older or younger?”

“Older; by three years.”

“Really? Hmm…” Katie rubbed her chin quizzically.

“What, you don’t believe me?”

“Nope. You seem more like the stereotypical little brother. You’re shy - a bit of a loner, very sarcastic, pretty dorky…”

“Is this just a thing that all women do with me?” He retorted under his breath. “Okay, okay, okay! Whatever. Let’s just get this over with.” Nicolaus reached out for the door to the clinic, but then it suddenly swung open just short of hitting his nose. A very tall, balding, older black man stood in the doorway. He stared daggers through Nicolaus and Katie.

“May I…help you?” His deep voice sent a chill up Nicolaus’s spine.

“U-Uh…” Katie stammered.

“We’re here because the police told us…uh…” Before Nicolaus could finish his sentence, the man stopped him by raising his hand.

“…Come this way.” The man turned about-face and walked into the building. A quick nod from Katie signaled to Nicolaus she was ready to follow him inside.

The two youngsters entered the building and were greeted with a surprise. The front lobby was unexpectedly pleasant. It was filled with toys for children, the lighting was very warm and inviting, everything from the floors to the walls were spotless and even the receptionist was a very happy looking young man who waved to them with a smile.

“…” Neither Nicolaus nor Katie could think of anything to say. The clinic’s interior clashed with the old man’s exterior to such a degree they expected to walk into something more akin to a torture chamber.

“Oh, Doctor!” The receptionist called out to the large black man who’d led Katie and Nicolaus inside. “Your Daughter called. She said that the next patients are on their way over.”

“…I see. Thank you.” The man, who was apparently the doctor, reached his long arms behind the counter and grabbed a face mask and white cap. “…My name is…Doctor Daryl Childs…now then. Please, follow me, one at a time. Which one of you…is going first?”

Nicolaus looked at Katie, then extended his arm gentlemanly and allowed her to go first. “Ladies first.”

Katie didn’t even want to go with the frightening man but relented quickly. “Fine…” She said while pouting at Nicolaus, who turned his head with a mischievous smirk. The two walked back towards an office that was just out of sight.

A phone call came in on the clinics’ line. The receptionist answered it, giving Nicolaus a minute to use his cellphone and call Vernon. Despite them being on much better terms lately, calling Vernon was still a bit annoying for Nicolaus. There was no answer, so the young man left a voice mail message and then sent a text to everyone in the group telling them that Katie was being seen by the doctor with him next in line. After that he sat down and just watched the television in the front lobby.

The news was on which reminded Nicolaus of the ‘missing’ cops. He turned to the receptionist who’d just finished with his call.

“Hey, buddy! A-Anything interesting happen in the world today? I’m kind of out of the loop.” Nicolaus was bad at pretending to be calm, and even worse at acquiring information inconspicuously.

“No, I don’t remember anything big. Oh, wait! That one guy running for president said he’d be coming to town soon!”

“Really, that’s it?”

“Yup! Why?”

“Oh…nothing, nothing at all!” Nicolaus started fussing with his hair. (This is messed up. We’re so in the dark right now. I still have no idea of how to control that power from before; we don’t know why the others died, and now those police officers’ bodies are missing. Maybe getting a checkup is a good thing. If there’s anything wrong with me, then the doctor should be able to find it. I hope.)

The waiting continued for around a half an hour. Once the examination was finished, Katie was led out of the office by the Doctor. The young lady didn’t appear upset to Nicolaus, helping him calm down. She walked up to him to talk.

“Seems like some regular old tests, nothing to worry about.” Katie kept her voice low to avoid being heard.

“Good. I’ll be right back, but if you want, you can leave without me.” Nicolaus said with a smile as he walked off with Doctor Childs. He was led to a regular examination room.

“…Okay, young man…”

“Nicolaus! Uh…sir.”

“…Right…” He replied flipping through papers on the clipboard in his hand. “…Nicolaus…Thompson. I see that you’ve had no serious…health issues before, correct?”

“Yeah, always been pretty healthy.”

“Do you…workout…?”

“Not as much as I probably should. Heheh…”

“…I see. Are you…sexually active?”

“Haha, well…you know…” The unchanging expression on the Doctor’s face made Nicolaus feel uncomfortable. “N-No…”

“…Have you ever…been?”

“Yes!! Yes, that much is true!” Nicolaus jumped at the opportunity to answer that question. “Uh…I mean, Yes. I have.”


(Man…this guy is hard to deal with…)

“…Here. Get changed into this…and I’ll be right back.” Nicolaus was handed a hospital gown by Doctor Childs. As he was changing clothes though, his phone sounded off alerting him to a message that was sent.

The message came from Vernon. It read: We need to meet up at my place ASAP! I’ve got something huge to show you guys!

(I hope it’s something good.) Nicolaus thought.

A message came across from Harper saying: Just tell us what it is now, dude!

Vernon replied with: Can’t. It’s something that needs to be seen, not told.

Katie joined in with: a (>_<) emoticon. Which made Nicolaus chuckle.

(That girl is way too cute.)

The Doctor reentered the room to find Nicolaus still not finished changing.

“Uh…hang on, sorry!”

“…” Doctor Childs said nothing and simply waited quietly outside of the room. Nicolaus finished and the Doctor entered the room again. He ran through all the normal tests. Checking his pulse, looking at tonsils, getting urine, a swab from his mouth, getting blood, etcetera. “…You seem to be fine… I don’t see anything out of the ordinary with my initial diagnosis. Once we get the tests back from the lab…we’ll have a much better picture, but for now…you seem just fine.”

Nicolaus let out a sigh of relief. In a way, this was the best news that he’d received in a long while. “Guess I can go then, right?”

“Just one last thing before you leave…” Nicolaus had already started putting on his clothes until the doctor spoke again. “Have you been…feeling different since the event, sorry I meant incident.”

“What do you mean by ‘different’?”

“Any…changes in diet, or needs, or have you started to feel sluggish, or more tense?”

“Sh-shouldn’t you had asked that earlier?” The line of questioning made Nicolaus feel uncomfortable.

“…I apologize. But, have you felt different…?”


“…I see…”

Nicolaus and the Doctor locked eyes for what felt like minutes. Neither blinking nor averting their gazes. This went on for a few seconds in fact, until the Doctor let out a very loud yawn. Nicolaus stumbled at the sudden relief of tension in the room.

“Alright…you can leave now. I’ve still got…another two patients….”

“Okay…” Nicolaus left the room feeling a bit confused about the outcome of the checkup. When he returned to the front room of the clinic he was surprised to see Katie waiting for him. “Oh!”

“What? Did you really think I’d leave without you?”

“I mean, you know…kind of.”

“Wow, jerk!” She said playfully while giving Nicolaus a light shove. “Did you see Vernon’s message?”

“Yeah; guess we know our next stop.”

“Sucks though…I don’t have a car. Are we…going to take the train…?”

“I guess so.”

“That’s really far though…and I’m in heels, too.” Nicolaus looked down and noted Katie was wearing a pair of white strap heels.

“I guess walking around in those would be a pain.” (I can’t get Dani to just drive us there. I need to keep this on a need to know basis.) Nicolaus pondered for a second until Katie forced her phone in his face. A taxi service was shown on the phone screen. “Guess that’s the only choice.”

“Cool! I’ll order it…oh damn. I don’t have an account. Do you?”


“Geez!” Katie sighed. “Guess I could call Antonio.”

Nicolaus shuttered at the thought of having to ride in the same car as the girl he’d been turned down by and her boyfriend. “D-Don’t worry about it. Here, hand me your phone. I’ll make one really quick and then we can go!” Nicolaus grabbed Katie’s phone and started filling out all the needed information, even paid. “See; quick!”

“Oh ho…I’d expect no less from a computer guy. Oh, you paid?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Aw…I feel bad.”

“No, no, no. It’s a man’s place! Hehehe…” Nicolaus laughed while puffing out his chest.


Part 4

Nicolaus sat next to Katie in the back seat of the car. He would’ve preferred to sit up front, if not for the intimidating driver. The terms skinhead or biker were the best way to describe the man’s appearance. Nicolaus looked akin to a frightened sheep, Katie however, seemed totally calm.

“Hey, Spike, what do you think Vernon wants to talk about?” Katie leaned in close to avoid the driver hearing them; the radio blaring with some rather loud rock music aided in their secrecy.

“I’ve got no idea, really…heheh…” Nicolaus leaned away and tried to avert his eyes as Katie’s moderately low-cut shirt displayed her sizeable cleavage. The redhead’s pale skin had freckles, Nicolaus knew that, but now he was aware of the freckles extending down onto her chest as well to some degree. (Just back up a little, please. Everything from her looks, her attitude and even her scent are pleasant. I’ve got to keep myself under control.) Nicolaus scooted away unable to go far as the car door blocked him.

“I guess we’ll have to wait until we get there.”

“You two together?” The driver said as he lowered the volume of the radio. His voice sounded as menacing as he looked.

“Oh no, we’re just friends.” Even though Nicolaus knew that already it didn’t save him from the impact of having Katie state it so bluntly.

“I see. Just wondering, because you two seem close.”

“Really? We’ve only known each other for a little while now. Chemistry, maybe?” Katie giggled.

“You don’t see people get that close, that fast now-a-days.”

“I just really enjoy teasing him, which helps. Everybody has that one special person.”

“Me and my boyfriend were the same way when we first met.” The biker looking car driver’s openness to express himself surprised Nicolaus.

“Ah…” Katie fell into an odd momentary silence, and then continued. “I already have a boyfriend. Though; Spike here is a good guy. I appreciate him more than he probably knows.”

Nicolaus wasn’t used to being the center of attention. He started planning a dramatic escape in which he’d jump from the car. (…I sure do think of jumping from cars a lot, don’t I?)

“Hey, we’re almost there.” The ridge near Vernon’s house was coming into view.

“Okay, you can drop us here.” Katie said as she started to get herself together.

“Here?” The driver called back to his two passengers. “You guys sure you don’t want me to take you farther up? I can, it’s no problem.”

“No, this is fine.” They both exited the car. Nicolaus turned back and thanked the driver. “Thanks man. I appreciate it. I don’t use the app too much, but I’ll make sure to give you a good review.”

“Really? That’s always good to hear…” The driver gestured for Nicolaus to come in close. “Listen buddy, may want to keep her close. She seems like a good girl. Don’t give up, trust me!” He then gave Nicolaus a thumbs’ up as he drove off down the road.

(Mind your own business.) Nicolaus sighed then joined up with Katie who’d already started walking up towards Vernon’s house. “Now I’m getting nervous.”

“Same here. You don’t think that something really bad happened, do you?”

“…Well, this time I can tell you the truth without having a downer outlook. I’m pretty sure if it were bad, he would have told us beforehand.”

“That’s good. My nerves are absolutely shot. Even with this time off, all I’ve been doing was jogging every chance I got to try and get my mind off all this.”

“Is that helping any?”

“A little, but…after…that…” Katie looked off in the distance.

(She must be thinking about having that officer blown up on her.) “You and Amala probably had it the hardest amongst us, and I’m sorry I can’t really console you. With all the shit that’s been happening you’ve been dealing with it pretty well.”

“I’ve got my ways of coping.”

“Which are?”

“That’s a lady’s secret. Can’t tell you. You mentioned that girl, Amala, right? I thought you two weren’t very friendly.”

“We’ve just been talking some lately.”

“Hmm…” Katie turned back to Nicolaus. “Guess I was a second priority in terms of being checked on.”

“Huh? No!” Nicolaus was confused at Katie’s remark. (Is she…jealous?) “No, it was just that we met up, and things moved along without my control…”

“That’s fine. I'll believe you.”

“C-Cool…” (I thought she had a boyfriend. Does this mean…I’ve still got a chance?) He didn’t want to get his hopes up, However Nicolaus couldn’t help but smile.

They returned to walking and finally reached Vernon’s house. Upon doing so, Nicolaus rang the doorbell. No one answered, so he rang it again.

Katie looked up at the windows to the second floor, but couldn’t see anyone. “Spike, are you sure he’s still here?”

“He said to come by. I’ll give him a call.” The young man pulled out his phone and attempted to call his co-worker. “Hello?” He said into the phone’s receiver, clearly a bit annoyed.

“You’re here?”

“Yeah. I’m here with Katie waiting outside of your front door. Where are you?” Nicolaus changed the call to speakerphone so Katie could hear.

“Don’t worry, I can see you from up here.”

“Up where?” Nicolaus looked up at the second floor as did Katie.

“Where is he? I don’t see him.” Katie strained her eyes, but couldn’t find their illusive acquaintance.

“Alright, this is getting really annoying. Where the hell are you?” The normally reserved Nicolaus was getting more irritated by what he saw as Vernon playing a trick on them.

“Relax! Just…turn around. Wh-whoa!” Just as he said this both Katie and Nicolaus turned around to see Vernon fall to the ground with a light thud. “Ow!”

“Oh my God! Are you okay?” Katie ran over to check and see if the often-cocky man had bruised anything other than his ego.

“What the hell, Vernon? Were you waiting up in a tree just to scare us?” Even though Nicolaus made this statement he quickly noticed there were no trees close enough for Vernon to crash land at the point that he did. “Hang on…where were you?”

“Heheh…ow! I’m not that good yet. I guess I was asking for trouble by straying too far from my crutch. Though…she’s great, already got it mastered.” Vernon pointed up directing Nicolaus and Katie’s view toward the sky. Both were struck with awe at what they were seeing.

More than forty feet in the air, surrounded by nothing but the winter’s gray sky and murky clouds, a single, small figure levitated motionless. The figure’s long black hair and unblemished brown skin distinguished themselves in the bleak skyline, but not nearly as much as the wafting purple haze emanating from the young woman who was floating in midair…from Amala who was flying.


End of Chapter 3



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