A child is missing…taken in the night, and that’s how Spiritual Intervention begins as depicted in this first chapter sample:
A sharp, but dull bang jolted Carter’s eyes open, and he thought for a moment about whether or not there really was a noise. He continued to lie in bed next to his wife, Brenda, who softly snored beside him. Glancing at the clock on his nightstand, he saw that it was 5:42 a.m., but darkness still consumed the world around him. He heard nothing more, so his eyes gently shut. He opened his eyes a second time. The first time he opened them for his wife, Brenda. The second time was for his six-year-old son, Adam.
There was no strong reason for concern. In fact, Carter may have heard nothing at all. Perhaps he was startled by a dream. You can never be too cautious was the motto he chose to live by. He gently lifted the covers off his shoulders and slid his legs out to the floor, which was chilly against his bare feet on this cool April morning.
There was no reason to alarm Brenda at this time. He slowly tiptoed away from the bed with his hands out in front of him, trying not to bump into anything. As he made his way into the hallway, he noticed that Adam’s bedroom door was ajar, and they always closed their son’s door after putting him to bed at night.
Suddenly, there was a sense of urgency within Carter as he briskly walked down the hallway to Adam’s bedroom, which was separated by his own bedroom by a single wall. When he looked in, he saw covers over his son, and breathed a sigh of relief. The urgency that quickly consumed him for that short walk down the hallway subsided just as swiftly as its onset.
He flipped the light switch on and smiled as he strolled over to his son’s bed to tuck him in. However, he noticed that his son’s bedroom window had been opened and the screen was up. This was odd because he would not get any more air with the screen raised. Carter’s eyes then jolted open wide and he jerked his head to his son’s bed and saw nothing more than a crumpled blanket. Adam was not in his bed.
It was still too soon to wake Brenda. Adam was probably in the bathroom. Carter moved out of the bedroom, but the whole house was dark as Adam’s room was the only one with lights on. Adam was not in the bathroom as he had assumed. Carter then whipped through the two-story house room by room, flicking on the lights and quickly checking every spot. Each time he cleared a room, his adrenaline would rise.
Carter returned to his bedroom to make sure that Adam had not been in there the whole time or even slipped in after he left. He even checked the closet, and the door made a creaking noise when he opened it, prompting Brenda to ask, “Honey, what are you doing?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “Just go back to sleep. Everything’s fine.”
Brenda sat up quickly in bed. She knew that whenever Carter said that everything was fine, it was not fine. “What’s going on, Carter? What’s wrong?” She jumped out of bed and met him at the closet.
“I’m just…Adam’s not in his bed. I don’t know…”
“What?” Brenda turned in a panic and ran down the hallway and into his room. “Oh…oh…Adam? Adam honey, where are you? Adam? This isn’t a joke. Where are you?” Brenda was frantically screaming out to her son and hyperventilating.
Carter appeared beside her in Adam’s room. “I checked the upstairs. Maybe he went downsta…”
Brenda terminated his sentence by running past him and down the stairs. She went so hard down the stairs that she slipped and caught the bottom step in-between and tumbled hard to the floor, twisting her ankle in the process.
“Ahhhh…son of a bitch!” she screamed out in pain as she clutched her ankle and rocked back and forth on the floor.
“Are you all right?” Carter asked. He flew down the stairs to get to her, which was a dangerous maneuver in the dark. He had done it countless times during daylight, and the light of the moon through a front window together with the onset of dawn had given him the courage to leap to her rescue.
“Oh, it hurts,” she screeched. “It really hurts!”
“Let me get some ice.” Carter jumped up and raced to the kitchen. He grabbed a soft ice pack from the freezer, which had been in there since his ankle injury years ago. As he broke for the bottom of the staircase, he could hear Brenda moaning in pain and calling out for Adam. There could not have been a worse time to get injured, but there really is no good time.
When Carter arrived with the ice pack, he placed it on Brenda’s ankle. It was a shooting pain and they could only hope it was a simple twist or sprain.
“Go now,” she said. “Go find Adam and I’ll stay here.”
Brenda was in tears, which made it all the more difficult for Carter to leave her alone, but their son was missing, and that was the greater fire.
“Stay here,” Carter said quickly, realizing after he said it how stupid it sounded. He got up and ran into the living room. That was a quick check. There were no closets or good hiding places. He ran into the kitchen. Nothing. His panic level continued to heighten as he moved through the rooms. Where the hell could he have gone? he wondered. He’s six years old! He wouldn’t just take off. He…
This is when Carter’s panic shifted into an even higher gear. He could still hear the beckoning calls of Brenda. She was frantic and could do nothing but yell for her son. There was a sudden rush of worst-case scenarios surging like a runaway freight train through the logical part of his brain, which was desperately trying to probe his whereabouts. When he cleared the downstairs, he remembered Adam’s bedroom, and the window that had been opened.
There was no point in sugar coating anything. He remembered how angry and relieved his parents were when he took off on them when he was just about Adam’s age. In fact, it was such a traumatic event for them that it remained one of his earliest memories ever. He thought it was a good idea to take a stroll through some cornfields near his house one day while his mother was in the laundry room and his father was at work. Oh sure, he could eventually hear his mother’s panicked screams, but he could also hear his father’s panicked screams.
This was when he knew he was in big trouble because daddy had to come home early from work because of what he did, so he thought it best to stay put. It was only shortly thereafter when his parents heard the commotion of some farmers who caught a little boy stomping around in their crops. Normally a commotion amongst these farmers would not produce a second look, but with a child missing, they went running. Carter heard about that incident for the rest of their time together.
He did not think Adam would go outside in the dark. He was afraid of the dark, but with every nook and cranny of the house checked out, the opened window in his room flashed through his mind. He ran and leaped over Brenda’s leg and ran up the stairs to Adam’s bedroom. He looked at the window and decided to open it some more. The screen had been opened about the same height as the window, but Carter thought it would be very unlikely that Adam would have…he couldn’t even bring himself to finish the thought.
He slowly stuck his head out the window and looked down from the second story window of his house. It wasn’t light enough to decipher what he saw straight down on the ground, but it was enough to sink his heart into his chest. He then felt an agonizing pain in the pit of his stomach and a sadness as if he already knew what had happened. He continued to look straight down at a dark ground and his mind began playing tricks on him as it made him believe his son was lying there. He called out for his son, but he did so softly. He did not want to let on to Brenda that the worse moment ever in a parent’s life was possibly upon them.
“Adam,” he called out in a heavy whisper. “Adam is that you?”
Again, he received no reply. Fearful, he pulled his head back inside the window and prepared for that worst day of his life, which could never be challenged. He grabbed the flashlight in his son’s desk drawer and rushed out of his room, down the stairs, over Brenda, and out the front door.
“Where are you going, hon?” Brenda called out as he leaped over her.
“Be right back,” he answered. “Checkin’ the yard.”
Carter was out the door in a flash and ran around to the side of the house to the window, where he had seen something on the ground. He flashed the light on the object, and spotted a crumpled white sheet. He was relieved and scared at the same time.
“Damn it,” he cursed aloud. “If I didn’t shut my God damn eyes that first time!”
Although dawn was on the horizon, it wasn’t heading west fast enough. He shined the flashlight around the area. He detected nothing in the yard, nor in the wooded area on the side of the house. He made his way around the house to Mr. Jenkins’ old place. All he could see was the abandoned house and overgrowth that old Mr. Jenkins had left when he checked out of this world years ago. He could not imagine his son ever wandering off under such conditions. He was only six years old. He was afraid of the dark. He was also afraid of the wildlife lurking, especially at night.
He ended up checking out all four sides of the house and came up empty. The only thing he found was the white sheet once he came full circle. He bent down and picked it up. He noticed the fancy stitching around the sheet, and there was no doubt in his mind that it was Adam’s sheet off his bed. He slammed it down on the ground and screamed, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” He then crumpled into a pile on the ground, much like his son’s white sheet had moments before him
. . . .
Sirens were blaring through the early dawn hour as strobe lights from the police cruisers blasted the neighborhood houses and trees and everything else in sight. This rural area in the outskirts of Boston held Mr. Jenkins’ house to the left and new neighbors to the right. The Fordes were not the originals, and had only been there for a few years, but they were retired and did not come out of their house much.
Two cruisers skidded to a stop along the front of Carter’s house. He was still crumpled into a pile below the window, and the ice pack that had been on Brenda’s ankle was now on his forehead. He just then realized the gravity of the situation because he blacked out for a bit. He then heard Brenda say “Oh, thank God they’re here!”
Carter was lying on his back and turned to look at the approaching officers and the ice pack slid off of his forehead and onto the ground. He was a bit confused, but suddenly sat up when he saw the white sheet and remembered that his son really was missing. He could only hope that this was just a case of a scared child who had gotten in too deep and was watching them panic from a distance, much like he had done to his parents when he was a child. He realized that scenario was unlikely, and watched as Brenda was limping toward the officers who had just arrived. A third squad car filled the scene just as Carter had made it to his feet.
Carter felt the cool air filled with morning dew settling on his skin. He could see a little better now that the sun had lifted a bit. It was still hiding behind the earth, but it began marking its presence. He was groggy, and felt like he had just returned from the other side of a sucker punch. He looked up to the window above him and saw that it was open. Part of the curtain was flickering out and the shade was intermittently slapping the window. He was in such a fog that it wasn’t until his focus returned to the flashing lights of the patrol cars that he remembered what was happening around him. His son was gone.
Before he was able to return to reality, the scene came to him. It was upon him in a flash as two uniformed officers approached asking if he was okay, and if he could tell them what had happened. Carter was in a daze as he looked around the neighborhood and then circled back to the cops. It felt as if a laser beam travelled along the path of his glance. He could almost see the aural connection as he did a panoramic scan of the area. Once back to the police, he was again fully aware of all the goings on, and was ready to report his son missing.
“Sir, what’s your name?” asked Officer Hallisey, who asked the questions as Officer Akerlind took the notes into a small notepad.
“Is this your residence?”
“Yes it is.”
“Who is this young lady over here?”
“And who is Brenda to you?”
“She’s my wife. Why are you asking me these questions?”
Officer Hallisey had his hands on his hips and looked straight into Carter’s eyes. “Just making sure you know what time it is?”
“What time it is?”
“Yeah…the report said that you got your bell rung pretty hard after the tragedy of finding your son missing. But we have a bigger issue on our hands now. Let’s talk about your son.”
“Sure. What would you like to know?”
“When did you first notice that he was missing?”
Carter thought for a moment before he spoke. He looked over and saw another officer with a note pad speaking with Brenda, and the lights continued to flash through the neighborhood. It was early, but neighbors began to accumulate around his property. It wasn’t loud with sirens, but the blue and red flashing lights were enough to wake up anybody considered a light sleeper. A light sleeper will alert the others in the house, and then there’s a crowd. That seemed to be the formula that accumulated the current crowd of neighbors.
“I was sleeping and there was a bang that woke me up. I closed my eyes for a second and opened them shortly after when I suddenly thought about my son.” Carter cleared his throat and wiped his brow. “You have to find my son!” he screamed out when the direness of the situation really hit him. He began to hyperventilate and looked over at Brenda across the yard. Her arms were flailing about and Carter could also hear her voice as she was getting loud from her frustration.
He saw Brenda coming his way and she was visibly upset. “Can you believe this shit?” she said. “I feel like they’re putting us on trial here! Our fucking son is missing…taken from our home in the middle of the fucking night!” Brenda then turned to the neighborhood watch and yelled, “And all they can do is have us convince them that we did not take our kid. Why the fuck would we take our own kid? We already have our kid. Why would we take him and then report him missing?” Brenda was now crying and screaming.
The cops continued to pry the two of them in order to get answers. They received their individual answers, but now they wanted to see if Carter and Brenda’s answers matched. Brenda again told the story of how she slid down the stairs because she was so upset about her missing son, and the police again asked her if Carter helped her descend the stairs. He asked the question like he would ask a question about his hobbies.
Carter and Brenda paused and looked at each other in disbelief. They were ready to explode. However, since wasted time would not serve Carter and Brenda well, they answered the questions matter-of-factly, and moved on to the next phase of the investigation.
(Available on Amazon)