Time of Death


 angry waves churned against the shore    “You’re drawing again.” Isobel picked up one of the loose pages and examined it. “Are the visions coming back?”
     The charcoal stick gripped in Alex’s hand darted across the sheet in front of her as if driven by its own will. “Umm, maybe,” she mumbled, barely aware of the question. Under her fingers, angry waves churned against the shore. Like flotsam rising to the surface of the sea, a dark figure emerged in the wake of the flying charcoal. She grabbed a scarlet pastel, smeared it through the water around the body.
     As suddenly as it had come, the tension drained from her. She dropped the chalk and leaned back, rubbing her temples. “Blood. A man in the water.”
     “You haven’t done this since the boy in Asheville, have you?”
     Isobel massaged her shoulders, and Alex arched her back, leaning into her aunt’s hands. “This is the first time.”
     “Any idea where this one is?”
     “No. Only a man in water. Ocean, judging from the waves, but I don’t know where.” Alex focused on the sketch, trying to see more, find something to locate the scene, but nothing else came to her. She yawned. “It’s gone now.”
     Nearly a year had passed since the last visions rendered themselves through her hands. It happened shortly after Ty’s death, when she was more vulnerable, maybe more open to the spiritual world. She hoped that was the end of the unwelcome drawings, but she’d known they’d return if violence came near. Dirty boy in cave
     “Is he dead?”
     “Yes, I’m sure of it.” Alex couldn’t help this man. In Asheville, the boy had been alive. The police, convinced she was a nut case, ignored her until one of the searchers recognized the cave entrance from her sketch. He led the police to the place, where they found the child, terrified and suffering from exposure, tethered to a stake in the cold floor. Exactly as her drawings showed.


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