Thursday, October 21, 2010

By Any Other Name - Episode 15

Episode 15: The Return

By Toni Walker

Nick Boyd changed his mind at the last minute. He had to honor what he told his mother. He had to find Emilie. Mal would just have to wait until later. He wasn’t sure what he’d find when he arrived at Rand’s ranch. But it wasn’t this. He fingered the handcuffs dangling from the front door handle. And attached to them was a 2x4 wedged against the lock. It was a pretty nifty trick, easy to assemble and effective.

“What are you looking at?” Rio Cruz said over the walkie-talkie? Rio was doing a walk-about around the property line to make sure Emilie hadn’t gotten away from them. Considering her horse was here at the cabin, she couldn’t be far away.

“Looks like someone is making sure people stay out or someone stays in. And I seriously doubt its Rand. He’s not big on locking his doors, especially like this.”

“You think we have an intruder?” Rio asked. 

“I think we have something,” Nick replied. “Keep this channel open in case I need back up.” He peered into a window. He knew Rand had built this cabin for privacy not security. There had to be more than one way inside.


Patrick Donovan inched forward as he scanned the darkened basement. He held Carrie behind him. If there was anything fishy going on down here, he didn’t want her to be hurt by it.

“You heard that noise earlier, right?” Patrick asked, trying to appear confident. Their earlier romantic liaison had been interrupted by a collapse of the porch circling around the house. The area beneath that section of deck was in line with the basement. That was where Patrick and Carrie were heading.

“Can’t you use your psychic mojo to feel out if this is a dangerous suspect?”

Carrie sighed. People who didn’t have psychic abilities didn’t quite understand how they worked. “My gift doesn’t work that way. And lately my ‘mojo’, as you call it, has been a bit off.”

“Hey, no pressure. Just wanting to feel out my options.” Patrick really wished he could feel his hands closing around the neck of a baseball bat. Or something he could use as a weapon.

Carrie Hawkins turned around, peering into the dark corner of the basement. Something niggled at her spider sense. Whomever it was, they were close and nearly as gifted as she was.

Patrick read the searching expression on Carrie’s face. “What’s wrong?”

“Someone’s here. Someone beside the thing/person that fell through the porch.” Carrie said.

“Good to know. Not sure what to do with the information, but good to know.”

He stepped forward and his foot came into contact with splintered pieces of rotten wood. They looked up and saw the night sky peeking through a large hole in the ceiling.

“I told Rand that this place was an accident waiting to happen,” Patrick said. “Where do you think the thing is that fell down here?”

Carrie already had a pretty good idea. She’d quickly honed in on the energy patterns of the room. And pointed toward a set of cabinets along the right wall. She held a finger to her lips and inched closer.

When she lunged forward and opened the nearest door, a surprise lay waiting for her behind door number one.

A little girl squealed. It was Emilie.

Patrick stepped back a few paces, the shock of her appearance quickly fading. “You just scared the living crap out of me, kid.”

Emilie mumbled a heartfelt apology and crawled from inside the cabinet.

“Someone’s out there,” she said. “Before I fell, I could feel them watching me.”

“You guys and your spider sense make quite a pair. Please tell me it’s not something you can catch, like the flu. I don’t want nor need other people’s emotions piggy back riding in my head. I have enough trouble dealing with my own issues.” 

Patrick didn’t appreciate the fine art of psychic intuition. He liked facts. Facts were easy to figure out, easy to relate. All Carrie and Emilie’s inner mumbo-jumbo just freaked him the hell out.

“Did you actually see someone out there?” Carrie asked the youth.

“Just shadows,” Emilie admitted. “I did see Patrick kissing you, though.”

A look of horrified realization filled Patrick’s eyes. “You can’t tell anyone about that. We just lost our heads for a moment.”

Emilie chuckled. “I think Carly would lose her head of she saw that too.” She turned to Carrie. “Carly scares me sometimes. Just the look in her eyes .. .” she shuddered. 

Carrie had to agree. The young girl had good instincts. She brushed the mussed hair out of her eyes and gave her a hug. “We’re going to get you home, okay?”

A rustling from above had them all looking up. “That might be a little difficult,” Nick Boyd said, peering down at them. “The tires on both cars have been slashed. Yours and Rand’s old pick up. But luckily, mine are perfectly in tact.”

“Perfect,” Patrick muttered. “The calvary has arrived.”

Out of their view, someone approached behind Nick. He didn’t suspect anyone might still be lurking around. The person held a large stone and brought it down hard on the back of Nick’s skull. 

He lost his balance and fell forward into the hole. He crashed at their feet after an amazingly awkward swan drive. It was almost sickening to watch. If he didn’t have broken bones, it would be a miracle. He laid sprawled out on his back. The fall had knocked him unconscious.

“What in the hell is going on?” Patrick said.

Carrie's eyes went blank a she felt herself slipping into an old memory. Sometimes things like this happened to her, but this was different. Someone was forcing her to remember.

“Oh, God. It’s starting again!” The hysteria in Carrie’s voice grew more insistent. “I should have never come back to work.”

“What are you talking about?” Patrick said, walking toward her. Nick stopped him. Carrie huddled next to the fireplace across the room.

“I think I know. Clay Garrison was a serial killer Carrie tracked for the police in Chicago. It was pretty bad. He targeted women who looked like Carrie, even kidnapped her daughter. She’s never gotten over it.”

“That’s horrible. I can’t imagine.”

“You don’t want to imagine. Trust me. I’ve seen the reports. Carrie’s been through hell.” Nick glanced back at her as she stared blankly at the roaring fire.

With Nick’s connection to the police department, he was able to get closer to Carrie in a way Patrick couldn’t. 

“Someone’s leaving her notes like last time. Just like Clay Garrison did.”

“But I thought he was dead.”

“So did we,” Nick said. “So did we.”

"You thought you were so smart, Kara."

It was the voice of Clayton Garrison, a voice she had thought she'd banished forever. She cringed at the nickname he'd given her. She didn't want to remember. She didn't want to relive the horror.

"You can't get rid of me that easily," he whispered. "You're a part of me. We're one."

"What have you done with my daughter?" Carrie had trouble getting the sentence out in one breath. The pain was closer to the surface tha she realized.

"She's quite a looker," he chuckled. "Growing up just like her mommy."

Carrie screamed but no one could hear her. She was trapped in her mind.

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