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Uno and Fog: The Last Place You Look

August 27, 2019

The Fog considered the home carefully.   While there were plenty of signs that a young woman had lived in the home, it had been a remarkable dearth of evidence of anything that would set her apart from any other middle-class teenager.   Winter sports, camping trips, a couple of posters of possible teenage crushes, but nothing more.

No collections, no series of fantasy books, or books of any kind other than a few that didn’t look read.  Other than the posters, nothing indicated a deep an abiding interest in music or an instrument.  No real keepsakes other than a couple stuffed animals.

Nothing that made her strand out.  It was bland.  Boring.  Nondescript.

The way someone would want to appear and not give rise to suspicion or draw any kind of attention.

He went to the master bedroom.  Her parents had art of pale colors and muted tones reminiscent of the impressionist painters, but of modern settings.  One especially looked like someone painted a setting through a rainy window, all the light distorted and running in places.  He considered it carefully.

There was a picture of their daughter on the dresser, a careful smile on her face, probably senior pictures.  The drawers were mostly clothes.  He found a half filled bottle of an old prescription for a male enhancement medication.  The father’s nightstand had history books in it, and historical fiction.  The wife’s had garish romance novels with bare chested men.

Bodice rippers were what his mother had called books like them.

The memory was bittersweet.

There were boxes in the closet filled with photos and knickknacks.  He sifted through them carefully.  Birthday parties, school photos, family gatherings and vacations.  Nothing stood out.

He head around the house looking for anything.  For a moment he con sider leaving without looking in the basement, but he forced the thought away.  Being thorough without results was better than being sloppy without results.  He headed down the narrow stairs into the basement.  The washer and dryer were down there.  It must have been a pain to get the washer down the stairwell.

It was down there, among the laundry and boxes that he felt something.  It was a sense that there wasn’t anything down here.  He considered the thought carefully and walked around the basement slowly.  The farther into the musty reaches of the basement he got the stronger the thought got.

It took some effort to actually continue and not just turn around and leave.

There in the darkest corner of the basement was a small table, and on it was a small doll that looked like April.   There were dark stains on the wood around it.  He looked at it carefully.  There were symbols painted on the floor.  He took a picture of them, making sure he got all of them.

After a moment he stepped past the symbols and looked down at the doll.  He carefully scraped a small sample of the stained wood and put it into a baggy.

He hesitated for a moment then slowly reached out and took the doll.

He half expected something to happen, but nothing seemed to change.





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