Back in the living room, I hustled up the stairs two at a time. No sign of her upstairs either. My heart pounded and head began to throb. “Mom, can you hear me?” I shouted as I ran back downstairs and through the rooms on the first floor again. No response.
She never goes to the basement because she hates the steep stairs. My stomach hurt thinking about finding her unconscious on the basement floor. I flicked switch and the light came on. At least the power has been restored. “Mom?” I called out as I descended into the musty, dimly lit space. She wasn’t there.
The garage. I dashed up the stairs and out the kitchen door. Both garage doors were locked. I fumbled with my keys until I found the right one.
The flick of the light was met with a scuffling noise. “Mom?” I called out. The only reply was a chipmunk scurrying along the far wall. I locked it up. I walked back to the front yard.
The only person I saw was an elderly woman three houses down. “Mom, are you out here?” I yelled. The woman must have heard me because she quickly disappeared into her home. Rubbing my forehead, I tried to think of any place she might have gone.
Then I noticed a small object partially hidden under a leaf on the driveway. Normally, the SUV is parked there. I picked it up for a closer look. It was another SD card and case. The case had been cracked, but the card seemed fine. Two cards? Alex had only seemed concerned about one.
“Oh, there you are,” Mom called out. She was walking towards me with a couple containers plus a full plastic bag looped over her forearm. “Franny said there was some guy was out here shouting for his mom. You’re the only one she saw.”
Tires squealed. A car drove past as the driver quickly pulled up a pair of sunglasses. It was the same car that Mom was watching when I came home from meeting Cora and the thug.
“He’s a persistent one. He tried selling a new roof to Eddie and Ruth. Can you believe that? They just put a new on last year. He said their roof looked at least ten years old.”
Mom shoved the stack of containers at me. “Come on. Ruth gave me some hot dish for dinner and berries for dessert. They still don’t have power and Ruth was afraid it would go bad before they could eat it.”
Only half listening, I followed her up the walk towards the front door. Was there more info on the second SD card? That car reminds me of the ones the pseudo police drove in the BWCA.
“…I invited them for dinner, but they said they’d rather stay home,” Mom said as we stepped onto the porch. “Mikey, you left the house wide open. I sure hope that sales guy didn’t come in and look at the dirty house.”