Cayce was just about to put the paper aside when another article—and a familiar name in the byline—caught his eye. “Teenager Reported Missing,” by Dave Newton. It wasn’t so much the headline that got his attention but the picture of the young girl beneath it. Pretty. Long blonde hair. And disturbingly familiar.
Even though Fawcettville was a small town, the girl’s name, Lucy Plant, didn’t ring any bells. Perhaps Cayce had waited on her at the Elite, the diner where he worked. But still, no specific recollection came back. Cayce couldn’t visualize the girl sitting at the counter, nor at one of the booths.
And yet she looked so familiar, as if she were someone Cayce was friends with, or even a relative.
Cayce scanned the story. The girl had been reported missing by her mother yesterday afternoon, just before the storm that had caused such a turn in Cayce’s own life.
There were no clues. The girl, at least according to her mother, could not possibly have been a runaway. “Lucy’s a good girl,” Amy Plant had told Fawcettville police detective JT Simmons. “She wouldn’t even go down the block to visit a friend without telling us first.”
The last time anyone had seen Lucy Plant was when her mother looked outside the living room window. Lucy had been playing with her Barbie dolls on the front lawn.
Cayce closed his eyes. He remembered, suddenly, the storm coming, and not knowing where Luke was. He sympathized with the girl’s mother and the panic she must have felt when she couldn’t locate her daughter.
A ceiling fan. Beneath his closed lids, Cayce saw a ceiling fan. He didn’t know why. He didn’t own one himself, and the one in his parents’ living room was an entirely different model from this one, which was white, with a plain globe. His parents’ fan had four frosted-glass light fixtures and faux wood blades.
Cayce kept his eyes closed, watching the ceiling fan whirl, its blades blurring and becoming singular. There was something wrong with the fan. It didn’t work quite right.
Cayce felt nauseated and opened his eyes. His face was glazed with sweat. His stomach churned, and he was afraid he would vomit. Why was seeing a ceiling fan so disturbing? Or was this some sort of aftershock, an effect of his accident?
Cayce didn’t think so.
He glanced down at the face of Lucy Plant and sucked in some air. “Oh my God,” he whispered, “she’s dead.”
Rick R. Reed
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11/25/2014 01:36:26 pm
Congratulations to Rick R Reed on his first story with DSP imprint :) Quite a powerful cover on this book, thank you for a chance to win one of your books
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