Deceptions (The Mystical Encounter Series Book 2) (9 page)

BOOK: Deceptions (The Mystical Encounter Series Book 2)
7.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” I said reassuringly. Truthfully, though, I was still a little shaken. The latter part of the vision had been excruciating. Even though I may not have been involved in Nick’s wreck, my head still had a lingering pain. All that pressure…‌

Pressure?

I gasped. That built–up pressure still lingering in my head, I knew what it was. “Detective, I think his truck overturned and he’s suspended upside down. We need to get to him, now!” I practically shrieked the last word.

His jaw twitched and his lips formed a tight line. “We’ll find him,” he said, placing the car in reverse. I wasn’t positive if his reassurance was for me or himself.

Fortunately, Jocelyn lived toward the outskirts of town on the west side. Within a few minutes, we were zipping along a country road that led away from the city limits. Not familiar with the area, I had to trust Tanner’s navigational skills. He’d lived here his entire life, so he should be familiar with these back roads. I sat back in my seat and watched the fields whip past us through the window. God, I hoped we’d find him in time.

“You said they argued, which meant he was angry when he left. If he were heading toward the cabin, this would’ve been the most likely route. There’s plenty of open road out here to blow off steam.” Tanner paused for a second before asking, “Was there more to the argument than what you admitted in there?”

With a slight smile, I wondered whether Tanner was extremely good at his job or whether he had gotten to know me that well. Perhaps a combination of both. Of course, it took a good detective to get to know me, considering I wasn’t an easy person to read.

“Yeah, I held some parts back for Jocelyn’s sake because her father was there. I didn’t want to rat her out,” I answered.

“I kind of thought so.” He chuckled. “Where you able to hear what they were arguing about?”

“Well, it was mainly about him selling drugs. It comes down to this, she wants him to stop, and he doesn’t want to. She’s afraid he’ll get caught, but man, his response was cocky.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning, I think he knows he has the police chief in his back pocket.”

“Huh.” He grunted.

“Yeah, but I wonder what he’d think about Bart blackmailing his own father?”

“Hmm…‌interesting. My opinion of Nicholas has diminished, thanks to you.” He joked.

I let out a humorless laugh.

Tanner decelerated when the terrain changed. The vastness of the open fields gave way to steeper ditches beside the shoulder, and he didn’t want to miss anything by driving too fast. In my vision, I’d seen Nick slide off the road and roll, which meant the embankment had to have been deep. I glanced out my window and realized the angle of the ditches was wrong.

“These aren’t the ditches he wrecked in. They were much steeper,” I said to Tanner.

“Just wait, the steeper ones are coming,” he said. He didn’t say anything else, so I let it go.

Approximately fifteen miles down the road, we approached a large tree line. When we entered the wooded area, the road changed drastically, bending into vicious s–curves and narrowing. The biggest change was the shoulder area. The several feet of gravel that had lined both sides of the road shrunk to a foot at best. It looked like the ravine plunged straight down, but tall weeds grew along the ravine’s edge, camouflaging the drop–off. Wow, this place was dangerous. If Nicholas had been traveling at a high–speed under those slick road conditions, he easily could’ve slid off the roadway. My heart raced driving at granny speeds, I couldn’t imagine navigating these roads going above the actual speed limit.

With no signs of tire tracks, I rubbed my hands over my face and continued searching in vain out my window. The further we drove, the more anxious I became. We needed to find him, and with all that brush blocking our view, I wondered if we needed a different tactic.

I kept searching out the window for any clue, and then I noticed loosened gravel and immediately yelled, “Stop!” Tanner stopped the car, and I practically jumped out. “I thought I saw something,” I blurted and ran to the disrupted gravel. Something had happened here. I moved the tall weeds aside and peered over the edge. My breath hitched.

“Tanner, come quick!” I squeaked out.

~9~

Adversity

Many thoughts swirled through my mind, throwing me off–balance. I closed my eyes, hoping the darkness would chase away the sudden dizziness. It was pointless, and the lightheadedness continued. I couldn’t stop visualizing that image.

It worried me that witnessing too many tragedies through my visions would leave me numb to pain and suffering. Considering the amount of anguish each vision brought me, I was nowhere near that point‌—‌witnessing people’s torments in my visions still hurt excruciatingly‌—‌but with each new vision, I felt the possibility of that numbness increasing. Indifference toward human life and human suffering was one emotion I never wanted to experience.

Today, standing at the edge of the embankment, my vision collided head–first with reality. The
reality
part bites. The validation of my vision was frightening. My other visions had been no picnic, but my ones about Nicholas seemed different somehow. Unlike Johnny and April, whose fates were known, it was unclear whether Nicholas was still alive. When I peered down the ravine, my hope of finding Nick alive was replaced with dread.
Were we too late?

Usually, my intuition steered me toward a certain direction as had been the case with Johnny’s killer. The underlying suspicion I felt surrounding Mr. Barton had made me believe he was guilty‌—‌the sensation overwhelmed me to the point of being altogether consuming. It was rather hard to explain to others how I had known he was guilty, because I didn’t understand it myself. But after opening my eyes and staring at the wreckage below, the only thing my intuition sensed was my own fear.

The relentless dizziness refused to go away. There were multiple things happening around me, but my dazed mind found it difficult to concentrate. The heavy sound of footsteps shuffling through weeds informed me that Tanner was close by, but I remained still. He sighed audibly, before beginning to talk nonstop. My eyes remained shut to dispel the lightheadedness. Words kept coming from Tanner, but they weren’t directed at me. The dizziness subsided somewhat, and my eyes reopened to view the wreckage below.

My shaky legs finally gave way, and I fell to my knees in the wet leaves of the ravine as I heard Tanner telling someone on the other end of the phone our location. Rocks bored into my knees, but the pain went unnoticed as numbness overtook me. I strongly wanted to back away so I wouldn’t have to see this anymore, but I coudn’t seem to drag myself away from that spot. For the first time in my life, I was at a complete loss as to what I should do.

It was a horrifying site. The undercarriage of the truck stuck straight up, confirming that he had rolled. But the most disheartening part to see was the cab. The passenger side of the cab was crumpled like an accordion, but thankfully the driver’s side did not look crushed. Knowing Nicholas lay suspended sickened me.
Could he possibly have survived something like that?

“Nicholas,” the detective called out. And louder. “Nicholas!” We could hear no response.

Without wasting anytime, he darted back to his car, opening the driver’s side door. That sudden movement pulled me out of my haze, and I watched him retrieve a small, metal object.
Could that help Nicholas somehow?
He breezed by me and climbed down the ravine. He repeatedly called Nick’s name, only to be greeted with silence. I leaned forward, placing my hands on my knees to get a better view.

As Tanner reached the truck, he tried opening the door. After a couple of attempts, he grunted and jerked the handle fiercely. Jammed too tightly, the door wouldn’t budge. Even with the window rolled up, it was obvious that Nicholas was in no condition to respond to anything Tanner was saying.

After a few moments of Tanner struggling to get the door open, he yanked off his tie and wrapped it around his hand. I shook my head, thinking he was going to punch the window.
That would never work
. But instead, he pulled out the metal object he had retrieved from the car and pressed it in the center of the glass. After holding it there for a second, a deafening pop echoed through the ravine, causing me to flinch. The window shattered into a thousand little pieces. The detective took his tie–covered hand and started removing the remaining glass.

Quickly un–wrapping the tie, Tanner tossed it to the ground and extended his arm into the cabin. I couldn’t breathe in anticipation. “Please, let him be alive,” I whispered.

“Nick’s unconscious, but he is breathing and I feel a pulse!” Tanner shouted victoriously. “His breathing is shallow and his pulse is weak, but they’re there.”

Tears welled in my eyes as I released my breath. Thank goodness Nicholas was alive! Now the only remaining question was how to get him out.

“He’s slouched in the cab, and I can’t get him out of this position, but Nick’s not suspended upside down anymore,” Tanner said.

I nodded, as if that would do any good, but I didn’t trust my voice. If he’d been hanging suspended all this time, the damage could’ve been even worse.

The faint wailing of sirens in the background made me want to do a happy dance. It was too soon to celebrate, but the joyous sounds gave me enough strength to stand back up.

Tanner’s head snapped toward the direction of the sirens before glancing up at me. “When they get here, direct them here to me. I think they’re going to need the Jaws of Life to get him out of this truck, the door is jammed shut and won’t budge.”

“All right,” I said.

The increasing pitch of the sirens brought relief with each closing mile. Detective Tanner kept an eye on Nicholas the whole time we waited, choosing to wait by the overturned truck. Although he was unresponsive, Tanner kept talking to him. I was too far away for his words to be coherent, but the words weren’t important‌—‌he was partly talking to calm himself down, but mostly in the hopes that Nicholas’s subconscious would somehow hear him and hold on until he could be extricated from the truck.

After a few minutes, a couple of state troopers flew down the road, kicking up dust behind them. Through the dusty haze, I could make out a couple more police cars and an ambulance lagging in the rear.
Where’s the fire truck?
My stomach churned. We needed that here first so the firemen could use the Jaws of Life; without them, Tanner and I were pretty useless.

The first trooper bolted out of his car, and I waved him over to where I stood.

As the trooper approached, Tanner yelled, “The door is jammed. We need to get the Jaws of Life here quickly. It’s the only way we’re going to get him out.”

“The fire department wasn’t too far behind us. I’ll call in to see what their ETA is.” The trooper hollered to Tanner and whipped his phone out.

While the state trooper was phoning dispatch, two paramedics rushed over to assess the situation. It didn’t take but a few seconds for them to start descending the slope into the ravine.

“The fire department’s ten minutes away,” the trooper yelled.

One of the first responders shouted something in response, but it became hard for me to pay attention. Unable to focus, I was overcome with helplessness as I watched the scene unfold around me.

A few minutes passed before the fire truck’s sirens wailed in the background, causing my adrenaline to spike, knowing that Nicholas’s life depended on their timely arrival. I sure could have used the powers of a real witch right now!

The fire truck came to a halt, and men streamed out of the doors. A few came over to where we stood while others started getting out the firehose components and connecting them together.
How many men fit in that truck?

As one fireman started unloading the Jaws of Life contraption (which I thought would be much bigger) another fireman came up beside me. “Miss, we need you to get back into your car. We’ve got it from here and we need to make sure you’re safe,” he said.

I drew my eyes together, analyzing him.
Was he for real?

His words replayed in my head, but I didn’t know what to make of them. No way would I go sit in the car like some child being disciplined. They were here because of what I’d seen. If it hadn’t been for me, Nicholas wouldn’t have been found for days. By then it would have been too late.

Of course, the last thing they needed was a delay from me arguing with a fireman, so I reluctantly nodded and walked over to the detective’s car. Instead of getting inside, I leaned against the trunk, rebelliously standing there as everyone scrambled around. It looked so perfectly orchestrated it mimicked a television drama as all emergency responders worked in sync. It would be rather entertaining if a human life hadn’t depended on their performance.

It became difficult to stand there feeling helpless. I wanted to help out, but knew I would just get in the way. But the want to help out and participate kept gnawing at me. Realistically, I’d already helped. I needed to understand that, especially if these types of situations were going to keep occurring.

A loud, shrill sound pierced the air, shutting down all my thought processes as I cringed against the noise. I assumed the awful racket came from the Jaws of Life. Although I had known the tool cuts through the metal, I had not given any thought to how riveting the sound would be. It made me glad I’d moved over to Tanner’s car because I couldn’t imagine how loud it would be if I was closer.

Shouts shot through the air as soon as the grinding halted. A firefighter and a paramedic ran to grab a backboard and carried it down the ravine. I stilled, waiting for what seemed like an eternity. My muscles relaxed at the sight of two men emerging over the top of the hill. In no time the rest of them made their way up, carrying Nicholas on the backboard.

The firemen placed the board on the ground, and I stared at Nick’s unresponsive body. His face was ruddy in color and severely swollen. Other than the rest of his body‌—‌especially the lower half‌—‌appearing ashen, Nick seemed remarkably at peace. The paramedics and firemen gathered around him and lifted the board onto the gurney cart, placing it carefully into the ambulance. I stared, mesmerized by their ability to stabilize him in that condition. The slam of the ambulance doors and wailing of the sirens jarred me out of my stupor.

BOOK: Deceptions (The Mystical Encounter Series Book 2)
7.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life by Richard J. Herrnstein, Charles A. Murray
Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
Sky of Stone by Homer Hickam
Boys of Life by Paul Russell
Tamaruq by E. J. Swift
A Summer Remade by Deese, Nicole
Cloak (YA Fantasy) by Gough, James