Closing thoughts

December 29, 2008

Thank you for your patience. This was my first ever writing project (not including my thesis) to ever span multiple chapters. I hope you enjoyed it. As you can tell, I left the novel with some questions unanswered. After a little break, I might start working up a sequel to this story. In the mean time, I plan to restructure the website to make the story easier to read, as well as go back and address some of my grammar errors. I have two friends that are professional editors that said they were interested in reading/reviewing the novel as well. If they do, and I rework the story, I would publish a final draft on the site for download.

If you catch any errors in the novel, please feel free to point them out to me. I can take criticism quite well, since that only improves the writing style for next time. Thank you once again. Hope you have a great New Year!


Chapter 15: The long good-bye

December 28, 2008

When is a good-bye a good-bye?

Jackson jumped out of his chair, knocking over his beer on top of the pictures. “What the hell.” gasped Jackson as he turned around to see the silhouette of a person behind his chair. “Bill? Is that you?”

Watching Jackson look back at his table, “No, you haven’t had too much to drink. It is me, Jackson.”

“But how? How could you … you’re dead!”

“Not quite…” Chambers started to say.

“Yes, you are. We found your remains… at least… dust from your remains.” Jackson stuttered.

“Interesting. That’s must be what Father was talking about…” Chambers wondered aloud.

“Father? Are… are you an angel?” Jackson said surprised.

“Umm… no…” Chambers started to say before being interrupted by Jackson again.

“You’ve talked with God? What is heaven like,” Jackson continued to ramble excitedly, then turning to concern. “Are you here to take me with you?”

“No!” Chambers said, slightly agitated. “Jackson, I need you to stop for a moment and listen to me. I’m not sure how much time I have.”

“What are you saying…” Jackson started to say.

“Jackson, listen. It’s hard to explain, but I am ‘alive,’ just not … physically. A figure that calls himself ‘Father’ rescued me after I was thrown off the train…” Chambers said.

“Rescued? How?” Jackson interrogated.

“I don’t fully understand the process myself, but he released my biological energy from the physical body, and then transported it to his location.” Chambers tried to explain.

“So he took your soul?” Jackson responded. “Who else did he take?”

“That’s why I am here. Father saved young Barbara, Darren, and Chen, as well as a few others…” Chambers said.

“Chen? Chen … yes, we found similar dust with DNA traces in dust where they disappeared too.” Jackson chimed in.

Chambers, talking aloud to himself, “The dust must be the atoms left behind…”

“So I should assume any other case like yours that pop up we can attribute to this ‘Father’ figure you talk about?” Jackson said.

“I don’t know if there will be any more, but even if there are more cases, don’t assume that the person has been saved. Exhaust all options. That is your job as an investigator.” Chambers instructed.

“Well, I will still think this is the effect of the alcohol, but I do feel a bit better about losing the case to the unsolved mystery guys. How do I explain all of this to them?” Jackson said reaching for the photos.

“You can’t!” Chambers shouted. “You can’t talk about this to anyone. Think how it would look…”

“What? Crazy?” Jackson interrupted. “Which part… the fact that the missing people had their souls taken, or that I found this out from a glowing apparition in my home?”

Sighing, “Jackson, please…”

“No, Bill. Stop and listen to me for a moment!” Jackson continued. “You just think that you can pop in here, tell me all of this stuff, and expect me to remain quiet?”

“I THOUGHT you were the right person that I could tell this to. Obviously I’m mistaken.” Chambers grumbled.

“No, no, you’re right. It’s … it’s just this is all overwhelming.” Jackson retorted.

“I’m sorry, Jackson. I wish there was another way I could have told you…”

“I know.” Jackson mumbled.

“… However, I need to get back.”

“Where do you go from here?” Jackson asked?

“I’m not really sure. Father wants me to take care of Barbara until he figures out how to return her back to her normal self.” Chambers said as he began to fade away.

“WAIT! Will I ever see you again?” Jackson blurted…

Unfortunately, Jackson could not hear him.

He stood in the middle of his room for minutes… like a statue. Listening. Listening for Chambers’s voice, but hearing only the crackling of the fire and periodic drops of beer as it rolls off the edge of his table.

The end?


Chapter 14: Turning the page

December 28, 2008

There is always something to do…

Jackson accepted the change in status/transfer of the cases to the other department, but he still felt frustrated that he wasn’t able to solve the cases. All the clues were there, at least that is what he thought. People were missing from the crime scenes, leaving dust behind that contained their DNA. How are these people connected, and why were they killed?

All of his notes were sent out to the other department, giving him time to focus on something else – his thoughts. He was so looking forward to working with Chambers for the first time, not working to find where he disappeared to. Holding a letter he received from Chambers when he first joined the precinct, he remembered the promise enclosed: “I will be there when you solve your first case.” So much for that.

The silence was broken by the ringing phone. On the other end, the boss tells Jackson to take some time off to put the case behind him. Easier said than done, but a change of scenery would do him some good. On his desk were some photos of those who were missing. Gathering up his belongings, Jackson collected the photo’s and placed them into a folder, hoping to one day do right by them.

….

Father and Chambers continued to talk about the platform, leading to the obvious questions. Where are the others? Why does Babs remain? Father explained that his intentions were noble when he showed up to save those in trouble, but he couldn’t figure out how to return them in their original state. Babs stayed behind since the mystery of how she appeared to be an old woman baffled him, but Father sent the others on to a different place. With Chambers close involvement with Babs and his family, Father asks if Chambers would look after her while he went on to solve the mystery of her age.

“Father, is it possible for me to use the platform to go back and make contact with someone to inform them of my situation and those of the others you have rescued?” Chambers asked.

“That’s not very wise. The person won’t recognize you. Here you can take form of a person, but there you will be mostly light. Plus, you risk accidentally coming in contact with someone, causing you to bring them here as well. I wouldn’t recommend it.” Father said.

“I spent a lot of time investigating Barbara’s disappearance and visiting with her family. Someone needs to know the truth about what really happened to her as well as the others.” Chambers said.

“And who would you tell all this to? Do you think that they can just run to her parents and say ‘Hey, guess what? Your daughter isn’t dead. She’s in fact a ball of energy transported to another planet.’” Father replied.

“No …” Chambers started to say.

“AND that still doesn’t get past the problem of the person not being able to tell someone else without being viewed as being crazy.” Father said.

“Someone has to be told…” Chambers said.

Sitting in his chair facing the fireplace, Jackson was doing his best not to reflect back on the cases. The silence of the room, minus the crackling of the burning wood and the occasional tap of his ring against the glass of beer bottle, was a nice change of pace from all the phone calls and interviews. Yet that void of noise also had to be filled by something.

On the table next to the beer bottle laid the photographs from his office. He couldn’t help but not bring them home. The mystery was burned in the back of his mind and will stick with him forever. “What would Bill do now,” Jackson said to himself.

“Exactly what you are doing now,” Chambers replied.