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Mother Dearest

By:Michael Wright

Mother Dearest - A book by Michael Wright
Author:Michael Wright

MOTHER DEARESTBy Michael WrightPublishedby Michael Wright at SmashwordsCopyright2011 Michael WrightSmashwordsEdition, License Notes<H2  ><I>For my mother, thanks for not being like this one.</I>THE DAY that Trisha Pierson was engaged to be married to Tom Morrisonwas the most eventful day in her life—until the day that shedisappeared. It had started out as it usually did, a few hours gone by, and nobodymissed her. A few more hours went by, and people began to wonder whyshe was running so late. Trisha was usually punctual, to say theleast. More than that, she never missed a date; she was always readyearly, except for that single, fateful evening. Tom was in the living room that day, waiting for her. Where is she?He asked, looking at his watch. —<I>Must be stuck in traffic</I>. Her mother responded. She wasgoing shopping.

 

MOTHER DEARESTBy Michael WrightPublishedby Michael Wright at SmashwordsCopyright2011 Michael WrightSmashwordsEdition, License Notes<H2  ><I>For my mother, thanks for not being like this one.</I>THE DAY that Trisha Pierson was engaged to be married to Tom Morrisonwas the most eventful day in her life—until the day that shedisappeared. It had started out as it usually did, a few hours gone by, and nobodymissed her. A few more hours went by, and people began to wonder whyshe was running so late. Trisha was usually punctual, to say theleast. More than that, she never missed a date; she was always readyearly, except for that single, fateful evening. Tom was in the living room that day, waiting for her. Where is she?He asked, looking at his watch. —<I>Must be stuck in traffic</I>. Her mother responded. She wasgoing shopping.

 

—<I>Must have bought a lot of stuff.</I> —<I>You know Trisha.</I> He did know Trisha. And he knew that she would never have been thatlate unless something was very wrong. On the inside he had tried tosquelch any fears, but he knew that was impossible, just as hard asit was for him to put to silence that sick little voice in the backof his mind that whispered that something was wrong. Told him thathe’d never see her ever again. Sitting in that living room, waiting for her to arrive, waiting totake her to dinner only a few weeks before they were to be married.It was going to be their last big “date” before they tied theknot. He had planned it all—gotten great reservations into a verynice restaurant, picked a great table, planned a place to take her ona quick walk in the brisk but beautiful air, it was the works. She’sgone. That little voice whispered, that little voice mocked. Theterrible twist in his gut, like someone had tied his stomach withtwine and were slowly inching the knot tighter—that terriblefeeling that has no rational explanation, but you know exactly whatit means, it grew tighter and tighter inside of him. Somehow, heknew. He just knew. Hours passed. Mr. Pierson called her phone. No answer. —<I>She always answers.</I> They all knew she did. He called again. Still no pickup, just the same cute voicemailmessage, the one that she had put on right after their engagement: “Hi, you’ve reached Trish Pierson, I’m probably saving theworld one hug at a time or just not answering the phone now, so leavea message and I’ll see if I can call you back. Bye!” The same message over and over. They all heard it as they all calledher. They didn’t get an answer to their text messages—nothing.Slowly that trickling dread grew to a flood, and Mrs. Pierson beganto worry, really worry. The cops were called, but she had not beenmissing long enough, and Tom decided to go out looking for her. Hefound nothing. His older model Ford growled down the streets at asteady pace, the darkness surrounding him, the lights oozing into theblack, cutting away the road in front of him.

 

MOTHER DEARESTBy Michael WrightPublishedby Michael Wright at SmashwordsCopyright2011 Michael WrightSmashwordsEdition, License Notes<H2  ><I>For my mother, thanks for not being like this one.</I>THE DAY that Trisha Pierson was engaged to be married to Tom Morrisonwas the most eventful day in her life—until the day that shedisappeared. It had started out as it usually did, a few hours gone by, and nobodymissed her. A few more hours went by, and people began to wonder whyshe was running so late. Trisha was usually punctual, to say theleast. More than that, she never missed a date; she was always readyearly, except for that single, fateful evening. Tom was in the living room that day, waiting for her. Where is she?He asked, looking at his watch. —<I>Must be stuck in traffic</I>. Her mother responded. She wasgoing shopping.

 

—<I>Where are you, Trish?</I>But she was nowhere to be found. He would stay out all night,guzzling Mountain Dew and coffee just to stay awake, and he wouldfind nothing, nobody. There was no car on the side of the road, therewas no cell phone out in a field, there was no trace of her missinganywhere. It was like she was just gone, vanished in thin air. Theirhopes were sinking by the hour as their heart rates picked up, andtheir minds cobwebbed. The search went on for days, weeks. But there was nothing there to befound. Nothing at all, they were without the slightest lead. Thepolice were involved, but there was nothing that they did to help thesituation. Her phone was eventually found—in her bedroom upstairs,tucked under her pillow, on “vibrate”. No lead there, her car wasold and didn’t have one of the nice tracking systems in it and wasnowhere to be found. There was no clothing found, no shoes out ofplace, no strange appearances. Nothing. Blank as a fresh sheet ofpaper. —<I>There’s gotta be something.</I> —<I>There is nothing, Tom. Nothing.</I> —<I>How can there be nothing?</I> —<I>There just is! Don’t you think I’ve asked that question athousand times?</I> —<I>I’m sorry, Mr. Pierson, I really am.</I> —<I>You and me both, son. You and me both.</I> The search went on, but there was no publicity. It was just a smallblurb on the news, nothing much, not enough for anyone to see. It wasanother one of those cases. Just blown off to the side by the publicwho was more distracted by who was playing on Saturday in the collegegames then a young woman who might die if she wasn’t found verysoon. Weeks later, there was still nothing, and Tom was with hismother, who had taken ill only a day or two after Trisha’sdisappearance. He still lived at home; he and Trisha had been lookingat an apartment that Tom had been saving up for, just the day before,actually. Tom stayed home, went to work, but aside from that hestayed home, looked after his sick mother and worried. The newsbecame his life, and he lost himself in it, waiting forsomething—anything—to bring his beloved back.

 

But nothing came. Nothing ever does. TOM LOOKED at the computer in front of him, scanning over thecomments on the site had put up to look for her, and finding, asusual, that there was nothing new. The web was about as helpful asthe local news. No matter what he tried there was absolutely nothingand he was beginning to feel it all fading away, that glimmering hopethat maybe if he just got her name out there, let people know thatshe was missing, then she might turn up. But as usual, he wasdisappointed. She wasn’t there. He turned away from the laptop on the counter, connected to the Webwirelessly, and went back to fixing the chicken soup on the stovethat had just peaked in temperature to a boiling. The bubbling vegetables and poultry mixture sent small pieces ofvegetation and chicken dancing to the top, shuffling as theydisappeared back down to the bottom. Flecks of orange carrot, greenpeas and that bony white of chicken flowed around as he stirred itslowly with a spoon, gently swirling the contents around in awhirlpool effect. It was almost done, he knew that much, the chicken was probably verytender. Mother would be hungry very soon. She needed her dinner thatmuch was for certain, after she came down with that terrible bug shecould hardly get out of bed. He had taken to watching after her, evenwith all that was going on with Trisha. Mother hadn’t said muchabout Trisha, not much at all, she had plenty to say before shedisappeared. Perhaps she knew how Tom felt, maybe that was it. The wonderful smell of the soup mixed with the emotion that wasclouding Tom’s mind and he stared at the mixture for a moment, notcaring what was happening with it, he just felt a sudden, sharp stabin his ribs. It had been three weeks since she had been gone. Three weeks sinceshe had disappeared off of the face of earth, and he still felt it,that worry, sharp as a box cutter, slicing through his soul, just asclear as the night it happened. Every time he cared to remember, itclouded up out of it’s hiding place and fogged his mind, a pressurethat came from deep within his chest and reached high into his skull.He fought to push it back, shoving and fighting, and managed to getit behind a closed door. The worry, that tingling fear, slowlyreceded and he no longer felt light-headed.

 

The chicken soup boiled in front of him. He took the spoon and pulledout a small sample, holding it up in front of him. He smelled it acouple of times before sticking it in his mouth and slurping thelava-hot soup down his throat. It sizzled past his tongue andsimmered in his esophagus, leaving a trailing burn behind, but it wasgood. It was outright delicious, in fact. He turned to the counter and grabbed the glass bowl that was sittingthere, waiting to be filled. He grabbed the ladle that was off to the other side and carefullybegan extracting chicken soup and putting it into the bowl, keepingthe monster behind the closed door inside. The hot soup filled the bowl quickly, and he let the ladle remain inthe soup pot, and gently placed the soup bowl on a tray that hadn’tbeen used in years before Mother became ill. The dust was still therein some tiny spots where it was impossible to clean, but the oldmetal tray was flawless aside from that. Not even a scratch on itsshiny surface. He watched himself put the soup, spoon and glass oficed sweet tea on the tray in distorted detail. The tray was one of the few things that was to be his when he movedout, Mother had already specified that, but it had been packed awayso far he wondered if Mother ever thought he was going to move out.She was probably going to get it out in a few weeks as it was, beforeTrish disappeared. <I>Before the world ended</I>, he thought bitterly. <I>Beforeeverything fell apart.</I>He cast the thought aside and went to work with the tray, picking itup and setting it on the same counter as the laptop as he quicklywent and shut the Dell computer down, preferring to not leave itrunning the whole time. Tom closed the screen as well, and took up his tray again, theweighty soup pulling toward the ground. He carefully balanced itbecause of the tea, trying to keep it from spilling. The tray was atad awkward, but nothing that he couldn’t handle. The doorway was atight fit, not designed for a person to carry much through there bywhoever had designed the house. He scooted by on the tile floor inhis socks, and managed to make it to the stairway, a nineteen stetclimb that he managed to take two at a time usually, but due to thetray, managed at one at a time.

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