Dark Dealings: You can read the opening in an earlier Sunday Sample post to the right of this.
We are now in Chapter 2, Micaela has confirmed that Reece is missing and, given her earlier vision, she knows time is slipping away. Peggy (mentioned below) is now Reece’s wife, but was a key player in the events years ago that drove Micaela away from her gifts and the Druid community. Adam is Reece’s brother and next in line of shaman/wise man of the local Pokanoket community, which has close relations to Druids and Micaela’s family.
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Adam stood over the sink washing dishes and strategizing with the other searchers. She crooked her finger at him to follow her outside.
“What’s up, Micaela?” he eased the screen door closed behind him.
“I’m not sure how to start this conversation without sounding like a lunatic. I worked years to avoid what I’m about to say and do.”
“Spit it out. Our families have known each other for generations, you can trust us…you can trust me.”
Micaela stared out into the oaks. “Things were said about me when I was a teenager… I was different, I saw things.”
“I was little, but I kind of remember. Is that what Peg was talking about?”
“I thought it was gone. That I’d out grown it or exorcised it. That I could be like everyone else.”
“But something happened in there.” Adam made it sound more like a statement than a question.
“I've opened Pandora’s Box. But if I can help find Reece, I can’t close it now.”
Adam leaned on the porch railing. She watched the emotions play across his face. His eyes lost focus and he seemed to go somewhere inside.
“Micaela, I understand, more than you know, what we’re asking of you. We’ve looked for Reece for hours. Times running out.” His eyes were haunted. His voice was barely a whisper. “It was my idea to go out tonight. I said it would be easy to hunt by the light of the full moon. Reece didn’t think we should ignore the Elders.”
“I can’t guarantee anything, Adam.”
“But you’ll try, it’s all that matters.” He pushed off the porch rail and faced her. “Tell me what you need.”
“I’m not entirely sure. For starters, I think we should sit, in case someone passes out.” She moved to the bottom step. After the dizziness brought on by her brief contact with Peggy’s mind, she didn’t want too far to go if she went down.
“Now what?” Adam sat beside her.
“Take my hands.” They faced each other. His large hands swallowed hers in their grip.
At first nothing happened. Micaela struggled for a way into the vision. What happened in the kitchen had been so sudden and violent. She had been overwhelmed by the emotions. That was it---Peggy’s strong feelings acted as a trigger. It must have been Reece’s own emotions that brought the vision on the highway. Micaela would have to ask Adam to relive the event and the sensations. She wished she could protect him from it, but she didn’t know how.
“Adam, I need you to think about the last time you saw Reece, about what happened up on the mountain.” And I need to stop resisting, she thought, for now.
He chewed his lower lip, his dark eyebrows knit together. Micaela exhaled and focused on releasing the stress in her shoulder. She opened herself to the magic. Images slammed into her. She could see through Adam’s eyes. She was Adam. Reece and the other four men headed into the woods. The temperature dropped as the sun set. She reached beyond their muted voices. The forest air filled with the hoot of an owl, the skitter of small feet, the final screech of a small rodent, and the snap of branches as larger things moved.
Adam/Micaela signaled to Reece that Henry had spotted a six point buck. She felt Adam’s confusion turn to concern when Reece wasn’t bringing up the rear as usual. Adam retraced his steps. At first he scanned the path, then whispered Reece’s name, no reason to spook the buck. But another noise and a different scent drove the buck deeper into the woods. Silence was no longer necessary.