Miracle Trees: Prey

Mom gasped, “Mikey, are you okay? You were just sitting there in front of that clock.” She pointed at the laptop.

It was then that I noticed daylight was filtering into the room. I reached over and folded the laptop screen down. My pulse thudded in my ears. I put the chair down and sat facing Mom. “You scared me. I had been working.”

“Maybe you’re working too much. You were asleep in front of that clock. What is that anyway?” She reached for the laptop.

I grabbed it, placing it on my lap. It was extremely warm from continuously running. “It’s a way to keep track of my time so I can properly bill my clients.”

“Oh.” She backed away looking confused. “I made you some breakfast and it’s getting cold.”

I tapped my phone. It was already past seven. “Thanks. I’ve got to see if my SUV is ready. I’d rather drive it than Betsy.” Mom’s eyebrow raised. “That’s what JJ calls the loaner truck.”

She shook her head as she walked away muttering, “You boys and naming your cars.”

Within five minutes, I pulled myself together and ran downstairs with the laptop in tow. Mom expected me to sit down and eat a plate full of eggs, sausage, and toast. Instead, I piled them together to make a sandwich, wrapped it in a paper towel, and then left.

First, I went to the library in hopes of spotting Alex. Every door was locked and the lights were off. There was no sign of him in the lobby or hanging out in the parking lot.

I was so deep in thought about where else I could find him, that I nearly ran a stoplight. Where does Cora live? Would he have gone there? Could he con her into letting him in for the night?

Did the man from last night find Alex? Did he get the money? Or, did he… I began watching all the mirrors for signs of being followed. This early in the day would be blatantly obvious. Nothing.

Would he go to the forest to hide? It’s a long walk from here and he couldn’t have gotten far. I shook the thought away. He likes technology too much.

As I neared Jansen’s, I could see flashing red and blue lights along the side of their lot. A police car without its lights running was parked by the office doors. Bear was talking and gesturing as he spoke to an officer.

A second officer walked towards Betsy and me. I stopped and rolled the window down. I explained why was there. He shook his head and told me to return this afternoon. Then he motioned for me to turn around and leave.

I decided to loop around the garage on the city streets to see what the flashing lights belonged to. It was from an ambulance sitting among the row of vehicles awaiting repairs. A paramedic was tending to a wound on JJ’s head.

With a clocking tick down, I needed to be productive and began searching for Alex.

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