The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 27

the man who wasnt thereBrian uses his powers to help Noel and Trista, stuck under debris when the shed collapses. He and a couple of other boys help get them out so that the EMTs can transport them to the hospital.

He nodded. Once they were all well clear of the building, he let it settle to the ground. He lost control the last six inches, dropping it. A puff of dust and a soft thud were the only indication that the wall had fallen.

Exhausted, he wandered toward the front of the school. Stumbling over his feet, he went around the building rather than through it. He found Jordan sitting on the front steps next to Chase, Marissa and Mrs. Finley.

When she saw him, Jordan hopped up and ran to him. “What was all that?” she asked, as if he were somehow the odd occurrence expert.

“No idea.”

“It felt very specific,” Mrs. Finley said.

“What do you mean, Mom?”

“I mean, it might as well have had a name written on it. It passed over the school, swung around and came back—directly at the music room.”

“It was after me?” Marissa screeched. “Why would anyone want to hurt me?”

“I don’t know,” Dora Finley replied. “I can’t be sure it was specifically after you, just a feeling.”

“Jordan was back there too,” Marissa protested.

“True, but it turned at the football field and came back. Like it was looking for someone. Why would it do that?” Chase said.

“I don’t know,” she whimpered. “I don’t know!”

“But the music room was damaged, not the theatre,” Brian pointed out.

Dora reached out, tugging on a string around Marissa’s neck. “What’s this?”

“Something Dad made for me,” she replied. “He said it would protect me.”

Snapping the string, Mrs. Finley opened it and sniffed the contents. Wrinkling her nose, she dumped the ingredients and tossed it aside with disgust. “Harold never was any good at charms. Idiot!”

“What? What did he do?” Marissa asked.

“He tried to make a charm,” Dora replied. “Instead, he made the equivalent of a hex bag. Anyone wearing that would be the target for an attack rather than safe from it. It didn’t cause the whirlwind, but it certainly didn’t deter it either. If he’s that worried, he should have asked your mother do it for him. I never met anyone better at that than she—not even Cliff.”

“I think he felt bad because he’s been so mean,” Marissa said quietly.

“I know, darling. He should know better. We’ll get something else for you. In fact, we need to make something for each of you.”

“Cliff made us each a charm last year,” Brian said.

“Yes, but this is different. It isn’t Mr. D, though it’s certainly evil.” Dora shook her head, pressing her lips in a tight line. “I don’t know what or who, but you can be sure I’m going to figure it out. No one comes against my son and his friends!” Herding them all to the parking lot, she sent them all home with Brian. “I’ll meet you at Mamie’s house,” she said. “Go. Now.”

The teenagers didn’t argue. They got in Brian’s car and went went to his house. There were some downed trees, but most of the destruction was isolated to the high school grounds. He was able to get them home in good time.

Maribelle Casey met them at the door, trying to hug and kiss them all at once. “Dora called. There’s coffee and soft drinks. Go to the kitchen.”

“Yes, ma’am,” they chorused.

Dora arrived a few minutes later. “There are reports of freak incidents all over the county. No one knows what caused it. Suddenly, there was a black cloud and it rushed in quickly, did some damage and left. Luckily, no fatalities.”

“If they want to intimidate us with unpredictability,” Maribelle said. “They’re well on their way.”

“It could have been a lot worse, Mom,” Brian pointed out.

“Don’t tell me that. I almost lost you last year. If it hadn’t been for Jordan’s quick thinking, you would have died. That settles it. No school until this is over.”

“Mom, I have to go to school. People would have died today if we hadn’t been there to help them.”

“We stopped the wind together, Mrs. Casey. And Brian held up a wall and helped clear rubble with his mind,” Chase’s voice held awe.

“Jordan helped with the wall too,” Brian added. “And you opened the door to the supply room.”

“No, that was Marissa,” Chase replied. “I didn’t do that much.”

“You made it easier for me to stop the wind,” Brian said. “I’d have had a hard time without you.”

“And I’d been trying to get that stupid door open for five minutes,” Marissa said. “You walked in the room and it popped open.”

“Having a receiver on your side in a fight is a plus,” Dora said proudly.

“What caused it?” Maribelle asked.

“No idea,” Dora replied. “I couldn’t get a sense of origin at all. Did any of you kids?”

They shook their heads.

“Maybe one of the men will know. Chase, text your father and tell him where we are, would you? I need a bathroom. Mamie, I need something stronger than tea.”

“Got ya covered, Sis. Whiskey or brandy?”

“Whiskey. Ice.”

“Coming right up.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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