Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 15

            Caleb got out of the car and headed inside. The intense throbbing in his head had subsided a while ago, but a dull, persistent pain had replaced it. This pain was part of the reason that he hadn’t been able to be more help to his father. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t think through the incessant ache. Which was why he was going to bed right now. The sooner he got to sleep, the sooner he would feel better, and the sooner he would be able to remember something that his father could use. Finally the people who had kidnapped Kristy would be caught and prosecuted.

            Caleb climbed the stairs to his room. He pulled his shoes off and tossed them towards his closet before collapsing onto the bed. He closed his eyes and thought of nothing as much as possible, trying to get to sleep, but the kidnapping, such as he remembered it, kept entering his mind. Why was the dark van there? He didn’t think that it had anything to do with the actual abduction, but he couldn’t be sure. What if he was mistaken and that was actually the vehicle that the kidnapers had used? And what about the people who had committed the crime? What had they looked like? What had they sounded like? Why couldn’t he remember anything about them except that one was male and one was female? But most of all, what about the car? Why did it stick out in his mind? He could barely remember what it looked like, but for some reason his mind was making a big deal out of it.
            Without even really meaning to, Caleb fell asleep, but even in his dreams he couldn’t escape the event. Time and time again it flashed through his mind’s eye. Every time the dream started over, he was just about to get into his car when the struggling started. Now he remembered exactly how the thing had gone down, his dad would probably appreciate the details that he could now furnish, but parts of the dream were still fuzzy. The kidnappers were shadows rather than actual people, so he still couldn’t make out any features on them. The getaway car was also nondescript, appearing as a large grey blob in the dream.
            Suddenly the dream changed. The same thing happened again, the kidnappers were still shadows, and the car was still nondescript, but this time it wasn’t happening at the gas station. Caleb thought that he recognized the location, but it took him a moment to realize why it was familiar: this was right in front of his house. The dark van was parked directly across the street in a shadow, exactly as it had been last night. Its lights came on and it drove off, but as it did, the gray blob that was the getaway car drove up and parked where it had been. Two people wearing hoodies got out of the car and started walking towards where Kristy and another girl were standing by a mail box. So it was hoodies; that’s why Caleb hadn’t been able to remember any features of the kidnappers.
            The hooded figures grabbed the girls and dragged them towards the car. All four bodies disappeared inside the gray blob which moments later, drove away. It was followed down the street by a car, one that Caleb recognized. It was the one from the night before, he realized, and oddly enough, it was gray too. Was that a coincidence? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t.
            The dream changed again; this time, Caleb found himself in a scene from the day before. He was digging through boxes of Christmas decorations, or at least he was supposed to be. In reality, he was looking at Kristy Brown and she walked towards her house. A car appeared down the street and drove directly towards him. It was the same gray color as the getaway car, but this car he recognized. Behind the wheel sat one of the hooded figures from the kidnapping. Caleb still couldn’t make out any features, but he knew who the car belonged to. This couldn’t be right.
            Instantly the scene before him dissolved, and he found himself back at the gas station. He was about to get into his car again, and everything was as it had been in the previous dreams, but this time the whole scene was perfectly detailed. The car he recognized and the hooded figures were of the correct heights and builds. He knew these people; he knew who the kidnappers were!      Caleb sat straight up in bed. It was dark outside and his sheets were covered in sweat were the first two things that he noticed. For a moment he could remember nothing, then his dreams came flooding back to him in perfect detail. Ignoring the throbbing in his head, he jumped out of bed and printed towards his father’s bedroom. He knew who the kidnappers were, and something needed to be done while there was still time.

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