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.