"Hey, babe. It's Jamie. Call me. Startin' to worry 'bout 'ya! Love 'ya. Bye."
With anxiety, I glance over at the clock. I almost wish that the hand would start going backwards. It's been twenty-four freaking hours since I heard from Tilda. To say I am worried--not saying enough. I dial her number again.
"Hey, hon...It's James. Give me a call, okay? Bye."
Two hours later, nothin. An hour after that-- same.
I get in my car and drive 'round for a bit. I slam my hand against the steering column again and again. How could I have been so dumb? Why'd I wait so long? Something is wrong. I can feel it. I had felt it. I'd ignored it. So freaking stupid!
Even Tilda's mother isn't answering her phone. Her brother--away at a conference. No tellin' when he'd be available. How could I have been so stupid?
The back roads. I'll travel the back roads for a bit. Maybe go 'bout forty or fifty miles each way? See what I can see. No accident, no wreckage-- I can rest easier. After that, maybe I'll pop in on Tilda's mom. No work in the morning. Nothing to stop me.
So that's what I do. I travel almost ninety miles up and down every road I see. I fill up my truck a couple times. I curse the day I was born. Wash and repeat. Then, I head to Tilda's mother's place.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
When I arrive at the house; there isn't a car in sight. I peek through the front windows. The house appears still and dark. I panic and reach inside the flower pot beside the porch swing. The spare key is gone. Where the hell is it?
I search through every pot on the porch and around the front stoop. A neighbor comes outside and stares at me with suspicious eyes. I offer a small wave and return to my task. No key. Not under the pots, the rug, the steps, or in the front porch mailbox.
My mind shifts into another gear. Had Tilda decided to leave me? Had she and her mother went somewhere to get away from me? To see a lawyer in the city, maybe? Maybe there had been no conference? Maybe she had just needed a reason to get away? If so, what had I done to deserve this?
Had I neglected her somehow? Too much work? Not enough money or bonding time? Was she angry that we had no children yet? Was I not man enough for her?
I plop down on the top step, my head between both hands. An hour passes before I climb to my feet, get in my truck, and head back home. Alone.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I abruptly sit up in bed. My mind racing with nightmarish thoughts and feverish images. Images of Tilda screaming my name.
Her face, and body, is covered in angry red welts; and her hair is nearly singed off. The skull underneath shows through in several places and the surrounding skin teems with blisters and oozing boils.
As she reaches out to me, the skin on her right forearm splits and begins to peel away. Blood erupts from the enlarging seam and splatters everything in the immediate area. Tilda's screams rise in pitch and she pulls back the injured arm. As she cradles it to her chest, blood pours down her front and splashes onto the floor.
I holler Tilda's name. And truly come awake. Sitting up in bed, I clutch at my pounding chest. I can feel it in my heart. My wife has not left me. Something is very very wrong.
- Healer Level One
I like to write things. Stories help me pass the time and banish the blues; when I'm feeling particularly in the dumps or just need to try something new.
I also dabble in other artistic stuff.
I thought about adding a donation page. As a way for people to show support.
As I said before, I also do other art. I have a Patreon page where I upload artwork and an ebay sellers page. I may offer links in the future.
No pressure, just a way to support me if you enjoy my work. And if you like what I have written so far, send me a message. Or leave a comment.
Link to 2 previous works: https://www.lulu.com/shop/k-aleita/inspiration-rising/paperback/product-1y8968gd.html?q=Inspiration+rising&page=1&pageSize=4
Also on Amazon:
Times are tough right now. This is the best way to support any ar-tiste. Fledgling or otherwise. Well, me...I guess.
And please rate and comment. Radio silence gives me the jitters.