"David!" His wife's voice sparkled like the ocean surrounding him. "I have spectacular news! I want to tell you face-to-face, so please bring the boat in early." Her pitch swelled, implying a question.
"Beth, I don't think..." the words drifted away. He stood up with the vague hope that assuming the posture of a strong sea captain would help him take command of the situation, but the unsteady roll of the deck only echoed the uneasiness that had tormented him for days.
"I won't be coming home tonight." His voice was as cold and bitter as seawater.
“What did Sarah say?” I asked.
I knew what the answer was before the call. She had been his only girlfriend since freshman year, and I was Sarah’s best friend.
As we sat in the car with the windows rolled down, the breeze blew through his hair, and I watched a tear slide out of his eye.
Telling Sarah’s dad she was getting a pacifier before an engagement ring was going to go over well especially since he was our preacher.
An anchor of dread settled in the pit of his stomach. He swallowed—hard. “Who is this?”
“Don’t you know?” The voice chuckled softly, tickling Jason’s ear. “You used to call me your worst nightmare.”
Nightmare. The word triggered vivid, brutal memories he’d nearly forgotten after twenty years. The familiar palate of fear settled in his mouth as his vision blurred. “Dad? You’re supposed to be dead.”
“Hello, James,” the voice said. Controlled. Hard. Cruel.
James couldn’t speak. His mouth was dry; his head spinning. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He had done everything he was supposed to. This was supposed to be over.
“James? I have my next request.”
James swallowed the lump in his throat and forced himself to speak. “What now? I did everything you wanted.” He flinched at the sudden assault of memories. Dirt. White powder. Cold triggers. And blood. Everywhere, blood.
“Oh, not everything, dear boy. There is one more thing.”
“What?” James asked, his voice tight.
“Bring me…your sister.”