I paced up and down in the restaurant. It had been three hours since I left Dave at the stream. I had not seen him since. The twins had left early; they had to attend some party. Damn those guys, I thought, they left me when I probably needed them the most.
I thought about going down and checking on Dave. But I was running the restaurant alone. There were some customers around. I couldn’t possibly desert the counter. It was time of sunset. I saw the sky turn from bright orange to faint purple.
I thought about announcing that the restaurant is closing for today. But what if I shut it down and Dave appears. He would be really pissed.
After waiting for another hour, I thought this was going too far. I shut down the restaurant and went down.
I saw the reflection of the moon in the stream. It was a full moon day. The moonlight seemed to give the leaves an eerie silver glow. But there was no one around. No Dave.
I called out his name several times. I heard a soft rustle behind me. Then something flew right beside my ear. I shrieked and dove to the ground and shielded my head with my hands. Later I realized it was an owl.
I tried hard to find Dave. I was growing very impatient and uncomfortable. “Not Dave,” I prayed. Dave wasn’t the first to disappear around here. But Cody and Miranda were eaten by a crocodile. I looked around but didn’t notice any crocodiles. Maybe Dave had gone to the other side of the stream. I dipped my toe in the water. The water was ice cold. I couldn’t risk crossing the stream at this point of time. Where in the world was Dave? He couldn’t have gone home without coming back to the restaurant. All his stuff was lying inside.
The worst thing was, the place was deserted now except for me. There was no help for miles around. The very thought sent chills down my spine. I finally decided to call in the cops.
The cops didn’t turn out to be much help either. Detective Jenkins turned up again.
I sat down inside the restaurant, shivering in fright. The cops tried to calm me down. They gave me some water to drink. To tell the truth, drinking water wasn’t the solution. Where was Dave? He was in which condition? Was he fine?
Detective Jenkins came back after his long investigation. He sat down and told me all the things he had noticed. He found a point on the ground where the grass is flattened. It seems Dave was standing there for a very long time. “And then,” Detective Jenkins continued “Dave ran towards the other side of the stream and disappeared.”
“What?” I asked in surprise “Dave ran away?”
“Don’t arrive to conclusions so soon,” Detective Jenkins said “Maybe he saw something on the other side.”
I couldn’t get it. Dave saw something looming at he other side and he ran TOWARDS it? Nothing was making sense. I knew on hearing Detective Jenkins’ voice that he was keeping Dave in his list of suspects. Had Dave done something to Cody and Miranda? Is this the reason he ran away?
There were many questions to be answered. I had one really good one for Detective Jenkins “Sir, why are you telling me everything about your investigation? Isn’t it supposed to be a secret?”
Detective Jenkins put his strong hands on my shaking shoulders and said “Because I trust you, and I think you might be help to us.”
His eyes twinkled as he spoke. He gave me a wink and left. The cops left too. They told me to go home. I can be help? I wondered.
I went to the backyard to take my stuff and go home. I didn’t dare look at the stream. I hated that place now. It gave me the creeps. As I was leaving, my conscious told me take a look at the stream.
I hate that place, I told my conscious mind. I sighed and stole a quick glance at the stream. The hair at the back of my neck stood up at the sight. It was a very strange sight indeed.