Hands push me through the veil and into sight
Is this footlight
just a little too bright?
No? You say just a light?
Then surely my dress is a little too tight?
There is no white knight
to save me from my plight tonight
or to protect me with his holy smite
The many eyes stare, waiting for a fight
or a fiery smite to set me alight
Maybe they will at the stroke of midnight
Can I argue legal right?
Infringement of copyright?
Perhaps ready to indict tonight?
Is my plight too trite
for protection from the might
of the light?
I came to suddenly, the blackness seeping away from my vision as adrenaline started to race through my veins. My hands were bound behind my back, handcuffs digging into my wrists, but the pain barely even registered past the panic. I couldn’t move from where I sat, bound to the pole at my back with a light shining directly down on me. Everything outside the ring of light was lost to the darkness.
The air was thick with the smells of hay and manure. Cicadas chirped beyond the walls in the still night air and I heard the gentle scuffing of someone, or something, moving not far away.
I heard large doors open somewhere behind me before they swung shut yet again. Heavy footsteps came ever closer until they stood before me.
It was Ryan, my new stepdad. He’d married my mother nearly a month ago, but I didn’t really know him very well. He was a tall man, with salt and pepper hair and average build. He liked to laugh and overall seemed friendly, which was a pleasant surprise. I was told he was an attorney, but at this moment I wasn’t entirely sure which side of the law he was on. He looked down at me with calm, knowing eyes and a solemn expression.
“Ryan?” I asked in disbelief, “What’s going on?”
He shrugged, so slight a motion that I nearly missed it entirely.
“This isn’t how I wanted to do this, but you gave me no choice when you walked in on me and Vanessa. I couldn’t have you spoiling things, so I had to resort to…extreme measures.”
His words brought back a fuzzy memory. I’d come home early and walked in on Ryan talking with a young woman I’d never seen before. I remember being outraged, thinking he was cheating on my mother already. Before I’d been able to say anything, I’d felt a sharp pain in my neck, and everything had gone black. Had he drugged me? Was he going to kill me to keep his dirty little secret? Where was my mom?
“Where’s my mom?” I asked, my mind locking on the singular question.
“Your mother is around here somewhere. I’m sure you’ll see her soon.”
A knowing smile touched Ryan’s features as he made a ‘come here’ motion at the shadows behind me. It only took a second for another figure to appear, a tall, blonde woman in a police uniform. My heart sank into my stomach at the sight of her. Presented with a lawyer and an officer in this old barn, likely in the middle of nowhere…what on earth were they going to do to me?
“Do you know why you’re here, Jacob?” the woman asked sternly, her gaze locking on my own and holding steady. I shook my head, a cold sweat breaking out on my palms. What did they find?
She made an unhappy sound, frowning slightly, and bent to my level, her eyes still locked on my own.
“I’ve heard things about you, Mr. Reeves,” she said slowly as an unseen figure behind me unlocked my cuffs, “I’ve heard you have the uncanny ability to get yourself into lots of trouble. That you are a naughty boy.”
The purr at her last words made me freeze, uncertain. My brow furrowed as somewhere in the area, music began to play.
“SURPRISE!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!!”
People swarmed in from every direction. All of them friends and coworkers I was close with. It seemed, in everything going on, I had completely forgotten about my own 21st birthday. My stepfather winked at me conspiratorially as the officer began to strip. I lost him in the crowd shortly thereafter.
The party was a blast, going on late into the night, but nothing would top the relief I had felt when I realized they hadn’t found the bodies.
When gods rejoice, the sky will clear,
When they cry, rain is near,
Where fire was believed to call,
When rage comes, snow will fall.