The Reprisal – Part 2

The continuation of The Reprisal.

Ethan sat in the deck chair with his head leaned back. It got darker as the sun set, but he could still barely make out a freighter moving into the open ocean. He wished he was on that ship and imagined what his house would look like if he was standing on its deck. That would be perfect. He could run away again just like before. Except this time he would go alone. Ethan closed his eyes and imagined being on the ship. He imagined the rocking of the waves and the smell of the water.

Then he suddenly opened his eyes. He knew it was just a dream that would never work. If Ethan left his body would be free. But his mind wouldn’t.

As he looked toward the horizon he could hear noises come out of the kitchen behind him. When Sarah went back into the house she said that he had a surprise coming. Since the sounds were coming out of the kitchen Ethan could only assume that the surprise included dinner. Probably his favorite meal, Scotch Stew. Ground beef poured over mashed potatoes. He was not hungry and had not wanted food for weeks, but even in this state Ethan knew he could eat that.

Through the many sounds of cooking Ethan could hear Sarah singing as she worked. She often did that when she was happy, and Ethan knew that the words he had said to her a few minutes earlier had made her that way. Damn, he wished he hadn’t said that. He didn’t even know why he did. But looking down at her kneeling Ethan felt like he had to say something to make her feel better, but the problem was that this was no time to feel better. But he loved her. They had been through a lot. Sarah deserved to feel good if only for a little while.

As darkness settled over the ocean Ethan felt as if it was swallowing him up. It was the same feeling he had been getting for the last twenty-seven days. The same feeling since the night of the “Crossroads Massacre”. He thought about all of the doctors and psychiatrists and therapists who had talked to him and tested him. The tests and sessions were extensive. Some were so extensive that they didn’t tell Sarah about them. There were physical examinations where they poked and prodded him. There were mental tests that Ethan found to be totally stupid. He was glad though. The tests were the only comic relief he had had during this entire nightmare.

The wheel test really made his day. They spun a wheel in front of him and asked him if it was spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Any idiot could see which way it was spinning, but Ethan knew that realizing which way a wheel spun was not going to solve his problem. The doctor kept asking over and over, “Don’t you notice how the wheel goes round?” Yeah doc. I noticed. Who gives a fuck?

Then there was the light test. They moved this light in front of him and asked him if the light went side to side or up and down. Over and over they asked Ethan which way the light was going. If he wasn’t already crazy, then the light was going to make him that way. This was the one time Ethan gave in. He couldn’t worry about the stupid light anymore, so he gave an answer. Apparently, the doctor didn’t hear because he asked Ethan if he could repeat it. Unbelievable. All this time that had been trying to get Ethan to talk, and they missed it. Ethan finally screamed, “I told you the light goes up and down!” The doctor almost jumped out of his shoes. It was so scary they didn’t even tell Sarah that words came out of his mouth.

All those tests. All that wasted time. They had no idea what was wrong with Ethan. They talked about a “walking coma”. Then they mentioned shock. They had poor Sarah talking to him like he was a child. There was no way they would ever know what was wrong with Ethan or how to fix it. But Ethan knew what was wrong and knew when it began. Twenty-seven days ago Ethan lost his soul. Ironically, his job was to find lost souls, and he didn’t know how to find his own. He was doing it the only way he knew how. For the past twenty-seven days Ethan was silently looking over and over into history. His history.

He, Sarah and Jonas had done well since moving to the coast. Although the memories of Maddy’s death remained, each of them became refreshed by the new surroundings and the new life. Ethan wasn’t sure how Sarah would take his decision to change jobs, but she supported him throughout. Not only did she offer emotional support, but she also took a job and provided financial support. She also found spare time to paint.

It was something she had always wanted to do. It wasn’t long before galleries throughout the city were displaying her work, and the folks with disposable income were buying it. Together they were coming out of the shadows.

They even found success raising Jonas. At first both of them were overprotective, but they soon realized that Jonas could not be held captive by their fear. As they progressed Jonas grew into a young man and found a wonderful wife in Mabel. It was just like she had always been part of the family.

While Sarah painted and Jonas grew, Ethan became a detective. They were all so proud the day Ethan got his badge. Number 1125. Detective Ethan Cord. And he hit the ground running. Everyone in the police department knew Ethan’s story, and he had no problem getting cases involving missing persons. Nobody really knew how Ethan did it, but he had a phenomenal success rate. He was so good, in fact, that other police departments began to contact him to help with their cases, and Ethan solved most of those. He found some alive and some dead, but he found them nonetheless.

As Ethan’s success became known the story of his family’s tragedy became known too. He was a guest of various TV shows. Larry King. Oprah. 60 Minutes. They all wanted to know about Maddy, and they wanted to know how he was so successful at finding people. The question was asked so many times that Ethan decided to write a book about it. To him it was easy, but people really didn’t understand how looking at what happened before helped discover what was happening now.

By the time of the “Crossroads Massacre” Ethan was a nationally known detective and a best selling writer. There was even discussion of making a movie about the lives of the Cord’s and maybe a TV show with a character based on him. Eventually, he and Sarah decided not to agree to the movie and show. They didn’t want to make entertainment out of their lives and his work. They didn’t even want to profit from his work. Instead of buying a bigger house, they stayed in the same house that had helped them heal. Oh, there was one purchase. Ethan bought a vintage Camaro. Silver. Red racing stripes. T-tops. An exact replica of the one he had when he and Sarah met. The rest of the money made from appearances and book sales went to the foundation they created to assist families who lost loved ones to abductions. It was called Maddy’s Friends.

As Ethan sat on the deck thinking about the beginnings he couldn’t help but wonder how he had gotten to this point. Things were going so well. He had his job. Sarah had painting. They were an honest to God success story. When did it start going downhill? Ethan knew. He could tell you when and where. It was six months ago. It was 9 am. And it was in the office of Kat Porter, Chief of Detectives.

16 Responses to “The Reprisal – Part 2”

  1. Butterfly Joy Says:

    I can’t wait to read more, Ethan.

  2. Intrigued… More please.

  3. […] 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part […]

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