Prologue: A Despairing EventA Chapter by Sarah J Dhue
"Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names." -Proverb
David ran his hand through his short white hair. His pink eyes were vexed as he stared at the calculus honors problems in front of him. His pale face twisted in frustration as he slammed the book shut. This was usually Jack’s case with his trig homework. And David would smile slyly to himself before helping his twin with his homework. He could hear loud music through the wall between he and his brother’s rooms. Jack claimed the music helped his “artistic flow.”
Things had always been like this. David was mathematical and an albino. Jack was artistic and anything but pale. He heard the music go off and Jack heading downstairs. He figured he should probably head down too. Dad would be expecting dinner when he got home and Mom was away on a business trip.
He passed Jack lying across the couch, his dark green eyes glued to the TV. His black hair was straightened. His tanned tone made David sick; he’d burn if he was in the sun long enough for a normal person to get that tan.
He stuck out his leg as David passed. “Dude!” David exclaimed, “Why you trying to trip me?”
Jack shrugged, “I don’t know, because you’re my brother?”
David rolled his eyes as he headed into the kitchen. H was making tacos, so he started simmering the beef. He heard the phone ring. Once. Twice.
“Hello,” Jack said. Probably Janice calling about prom plans.
He continued to move the meat around the pan so it wouldn’t burn.
“Ok…bye,” Jack hung up the phone, and then stood in the doorway, flushed.
“What?” David asked, “Thought you liked tacos…”
“It’s Dad…,” Jack said, swallowing. “He’s been in an accident.”
David felt what little color he had drain from his cheeks. He switched off the stove, and he and Jack ran out the door. David jumped on his motorcycle; Jack into his sport car, and they were gone.
“He was hit by a black Magnum, no plates. His truck’s totaled. Do either of you know the car?” the officer said, showing them a photo.
“No,” David replied. Jack shook his head.
“Ok, now,” the officer started.
“How’s Dad?” Jack asked, cutting in.
“He’s in the ER right now.”
“I wanna see him.”
“It’d be best if you didn’t,” the officer said, trying to block his way.
“I want to see him!” Jack yelled, fighting with the officer.
“He’s dead!” he yelled back.
Jack quit fighting. His knees grew weak, and he fell to the ground. Tears were building up in his eyes.
“Dad…,” he whispered.
David just stood there, taking it all in. Dad gone? He could tell by the look on Jack’s face that he was calling Mom. He took his cell pone out of his pocket and dialed the number.
“Yes?” he heard his mother’s voice through the phone.
“Uh, hey Mom,” David said awkwardly, “I’m calling from the hospital and, well, there’s been an accident…with Dad.”
“Well, what happened, is he all right?” she asked anxiously.
“He’s dead, Mom,” he replied, looking at Jack on his knees sobbing. “He’s dead.” David felt himself beginning to cry.
“Honey, slow down. What happened?” she asked again, though he heard her voice waver.
“A car accident…a car with no plates hit him on
“Do they know who hit him?”
“No, there was no one in the car and no plates. They’ll have to check for fingerprints.” He could hear sniffing on the other end, “Mom?”
“Uh, I gotta go, David…tell Jack I love him. I love you, bye.” She hung up abruptly.
He stood for a moment then put on his sunglasses. The bright lights in the hospital were agitating his eyes, and it also helped him look a little more normal. People tended to stare when you looked back at them with pink eyes.
He sat down on a bench. He didn’t know what else to do. A movement outside the door caught his attention. It was his dad’s boss, Lee McCormick’s, car. He got out and headed for the door. His daughter, Red McCormick, also climbed out of the car.
Red wasn’t her real name, but everyone had called her that for so long, it’d stuck. Her flowing red hair fell past her shoulders and blue eyes were filled with worry.
“Sir,” Mr. McCormick said to the office, “how is Jeff?” The officer approached them and talked in a hushed tone. Lee covered his mouth and looked ready to puke. Red looked appalled.
She turned in David’s direction, her eyes rimmed with tears.
“Oh, David,” she said, reaching up to wrap her arms around his neck. “I’m so sorry.” She had to reach up since he was so much taller, though there were both seniors.
“I know,” he replied, holding her around her waist.
“How’s Jack?” she asked, looking around him.
“He’s … very upset.” David could still hear Jack crying behind him.
“Do you want me to stay with you a while?” she asked, grabbing his hand.
“Sure,” he replied, smiling. Oddly, the smile wasn’t forced, but not for the reasons others might think. They’d never been in a relationship. Red was in love with him, but he just saw her as a very close friend.
They walked over to Jack and Red hugged him. They all sat on a bench together, in silence, thinking about what had just happened.
David walked into the house. It had to be about three in the morning. The house stunk; he figured it was because of the forgotten half-cooked meat in the kitchen. He groaned when he walked into the kitchen and saw the dried grease in the pan. He scraped the meat into the trash can, then filled the pan with water and left it in the sink to soak.
He headed upstairs and fell on his bed, fully dressed. He wasn’t awake when Jack got home.
“Still nothing,” Jack said, hanging up the phone from calling the police station for the umpteenth time.
“They’ll find him,” David replied distractedly from across the room, reading.
“It’s been two weeks! Two weeks since Dad died, and they’ve go nothing to go on! No leads!” Jack yelled, walking over to where David sat.
David sat down his book and stood up. “They’ll find something. There’s always something! You just have to be patient.”
“Patient!? Dad is dead; we can never have him back. Mom came home four days early from a business trip because of this.”
“Put some faith in the police. They’ll find something!”
“You put way too much trust and hope in them,” Jack said, breathing hard, his jaw clenched. “You’ve been too damn calm about this whole thing.”
“Well, somebody’s got to be levelheaded! Mom’s falling apart, and just look at you. You can’t go ten minutes without calling the police station!”
“You didn’t have the times me and Dad had!” Jack yelled back, tears forming in his eyes.
“No, I didn’t. But we all had times with Dad; times no one else had. And none of us can have times like that with him again.”
“I can’t wait to get away from here,” Jack said. “It’s straight to NYC after graduation. All that’s here is hurt. And you,” he pointed at David angrily, “I can’t wait to get away from your bleached a*s.”
David tightened his jaw. He walked until he and Jack’s faces were mere inches apart.
“What’s going on?” their mom asked, coming through the door.
“Nothing,” David said, turning from Jack slowly, not breaking eye contact until his back was completely turned to him then headed upstairs.
Jack looked utterly bewildered for a moment, then turned to her and said, “Here, Mom, I’ll help you with the groceries.”
© 2009 Sarah J Dhue
Added on June 10, 2009
Last Updated on June 10, 2009
Sarah J Dhue
In the author's lair, IL
AboutI am Sarah J Dhue. I am an author. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I live in Illinois. My favorite genres are horror/suspense, paranormal, sci-fi, action thrillers, and comedy. My .. more..
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