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Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 39

by Megan Clancy 2 months ago in Series · updated 2 months ago

Chapter 39

Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 39
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

I am back in the police interrogation room. Detective Singh sits across from me at the table while Officers Michaels and Evans stand behind her. I look down. My hands are cuffed to the edge of the table and my ankles are shackled to the chair.

“So,” I say as I sit, trying to convey a calmness that I definitely do not feel. “You found a video?”

“Yes,” Detective Singh says, drumming her fingers on the large file folder she has in front of her. There is a petrol station just north of Banff that has a security camera on their lot. We discovered that they had footage of Tucker on the day of his disappearance. Millie too.”

“Millie! Did she look okay?”

“She appeared to be well,” Officer Singh says. She’s okay! I want to scream and cry and dance all at the same time. Instead, my heart freezes in shock. Is this it? Could this all be over soon? I feel a bit dizzy. I suddenly feel raw and exposed. My body starts to shiver.

“The footage shows them arriving on the 29th at 2:03pm. The car pulls in and stops at a pump. Tucker takes Millie out of the back seat and into the shop. They are inside the building for four minutes at which point they both return to the car where Tucker fills the tank up with gas. The car then drives away, heading north, at 2:12pm.”

“Great,” I say. “So now we can find them?”

“You tell me,” Detective Singh says.

“Excuse me?”

“You do know where they are, don’t you?” She stares at me, her eyes glowing embers.

“What do you mean? Like I’ve told you, Tucker took Millie and left me. You just said you have a video of it. I don’t know where he went.”

“Yes, well there is just one problem with the story you’ve given us, Mrs. Logan.” Her face shifts. She is not happy about what she is about to say and I get the feeling I shouldn’t be either.

“What is it?” It’s getting quite hot again.

“There was someone else with them in the car.”

“There was?”

“Yes, a woman.”

“Who? What woman?” My mind races. A woman? Was Tucker with another woman? An affair. I knew it.

“Well, Mrs. Logan.” Officer Singh’s face is emotionless and her voice serious. “It was you.”

“Me?”

“Yes. You. We see you in the video get out of the car while Tucker is pumping the gas. You throw something away in a trash can, and then return to the car. It is very clearly you.” I can’t breathe. The room is getting smaller. “So, tell us, what have you done with your daughter?” Both officers behind her draw their guns and point them at me. “Tell us.”

With a bang, the floor beneath my chair opens and I fall into a black abyss.

Fall.

Fall.

Fall.

I jolt awake. My face is pressed to the padded wall next to my bed, my body is heaving, gasping for breath.

Frannie is gone for most of the morning. I don’t see her anywhere. They must have taken her somewhere. I don’t know where she would have gone though. Are there other rooms hidden in this facility? Secret rooms? I try and stop myself from thinking about possible therapies that I’ve heard can occur in these kinds of places. I begin to think she might have been released, or transferred, but then just after lunch, she returns to our room. She is silent. She crawls into bed and faces the wall.

“Are you okay?” I ask. She doesn’t answer. Before long, she is snoring again.

I slip out of the room and head to the lounge area. I recognize the two men I saw when I first arrived here. They are back on the couches in front of the television. Same spots, same vacant stares. But there is someone else here too. Another patient. She sits alone at the long table that runs along the side wall of the lounge. She is hunched over, her long dark hair covering her face, and she is coloring. As I get closer to her, I hear her whispering. The words are indecipherable but it sounds like some sort of song. The rhythm is eerie and it loops over and over. When she senses me nearby, she turns her head and glares.

“Personal space!” she shouts. “Personal space!” I jump back, staring at the girl and then over to the nurse who is once again on his stool in the corner. He is reading another magazine. He doesn’t respond. This is all normal to him.

I quickly retreat back to my room, desiring the confines of the padded walls for the first time since I arrived. Frannie has quieted and I decide to try and sleep. Hopefully, time will pass quicker if I’m not awake.

A car drives along a dark highway. It’s in a rush, something urgent pushing it forward. The driver knows his mission is crucial and he speeds through one red light and then another. Rain begins to fall, but the driver pushes on. He must get there. He must get there. He sees his destination in the distance. He focuses on the single light in the driving rain and presses his foot to the gas, faster and faster. He’s going to make it. He has to make it. And then, out of the blackness, a large truck crashes into him, through him, causing an explosion. There are screams. There are sirens. The night is ripped apart with noise.

I wake in a sweat.

I sit on my bed. Frannie is gone again. They bring me my dinner and the nurse offers me pills.

“No,” I say. “Dr. Rodgers said I wouldn’t have to take any pills.” I don’t even want the dinner.

“You do not have to take them,” the nurse agrees. “It was just suggested that they might help you rest.”

“I don’t need pills,” I say. “I just need to get out of here.”

“You will be able to speak with the doctor in the morning. For now, just let me know if you change your mind.”

“I won’t,” I say to the closed door after she leaves.

Frannie has not returned by the time the lights go out. The harder I try to sleep, the more alert I become. I watch shadows move in the hallway through the small window in the door. They dance. They fly. They spin through the window into the darkness of my room. They are here. The person who has been following me, watching me. They are here. Somewhere. Everywhere. I listen for the muffled noises coming from outside my padded walls. I press the pillow to the sides of my head, trying to block it out. Trying to block everything out. I begin to count the holes on the ceiling. I don’t know what number I make it to.

I am being rushed down a long hallway to the operating room. The bulge at my middle still holds my daughter. I can feel her. Her movements are no longer peaceful. She is struggling. She kicks and I feel a pain tear open inside of me.

Tucker is next to me, but he looks straight ahead. I say his name, but he doesn’t respond. He doesn’t hear me. In a flash, my baby is pulled from me and taken away. Tucker sits next to me, his body convulsing. The room is a hive of activity, doctors and nurses running in every direction.

“Where’s my baby?” I shout the words but no one hears me. “Where is she?” I shout again.

“Mrs. Logan,” says a voice through the chaos. I look around to see who it is. Hoping it’s a doctor that can tell me what is going on. Still no one looks at me.

“Where is my baby!” No longer a question. A demand from the very center of me that still lies open on the table. “My baby! My baby! My baby!”

“Mrs. Logan,” the voice calls again. This time echoing from a future distance. “Mrs. Logan. Mrs. Logan!” The voice is getting more frantic, more demanding.

“My baby!”

“Mrs. Logan!” I’m being shaken awake by the burly male nurse. I jerk upright. The door to the hall is open and two patients, who I haven’t seen before, are standing there, silhouetted by the hallway light like two ghosts. Frannie is sitting up in her bed, curled up against the wall. Her eyes are fixed on me and she is shaking.

I am taken to Dr. Rodger’s office. She welcomes me with a concerned face. It is the middle of the night and she has been called in specifically for me. I find this a bit over the top for what was simply a bad dream.

“Please, August, sit down.” She gestures to the seat opposite her desk. Even though she is clearly tired, she is still professional in appearance. Her pencil dress is ironed and her hair is neatly done. “Can I get you a water?”

“No, thank you.” I just want to get this over with. I don’t want to go back to sleep, don’t want to return to that nightmare, but I’d rather not be in her office either.

“I take it you had a rather awful dream. Please tell me what happened.” I sigh. Cooperation, I remind myself. It’s the key to getting out of here. The only way to get back to searching for Millie. I also want to get those images out of my head, so I tell her everything. The dream was so vivid, so real, that I can remember every last detail.

“And you truly feel this was all just a bad dream?”

“Yes. I was asleep. It was just a dream.”

“None of it feels more familiar than that to you?”

“What do you mean?”

“August, it seems as if reality is trying to break through to you in your dreams. The visions you are having, this dream and all the others, is your unconscious trying to remind you of the past. A past that you have been denying for quite some time now.”

“I don’t understand,” I say. “What have I been denying?” And so, she starts to explain.

Millie, gone.

Tucker, gone.

Suddenly, I can’t hear anything but my own screaming. A piercing ringing that stabs at my ears. No! No! No! Everything that I know to be true is gone and I fall. My world goes dark.

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Megan Clancy

Writer, wife, mother, adventure-seeker.

BA in English from Colorado College & MFA from the University of Melbourne

Fiction & Non-Fiction

www.meganaclancy.com

Find me on Twitter @mclancyauthor

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