Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TWELVE: WHERE'S OLIVER?




“WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?” Elyse Jordan said, still standing at the open front door as the two Detectives, Pryor and Dwonch, remained out on the stoop. “How can you not know what happened to my husband?”

“Mrs. Jordan,” Detective Dwonch said. “Please, if we could just come inside.”

“Yes, please, Mrs. Jordan,” said Detective Pryor. “You’d be much more comfortable inside. We can explain what we know, and your neighbors can go back to minding their own business.”

“Okay,” Elyse said, standing back to let the detectives into the house. “Okay, sure. Sorry. Please, come in.”

She showed Pryor and Dwonch to the kitchen and motioned to the table.

“Please sit and I’ll make some coffee.”

The detectives thanked her, and she bustled about with the coffee pot; pouring bottled water into the reservoir, scooping the grounds into the filter basket, and grabbing a pair of mugs as the machine puffed and spit on the counter. She placed the mugs next to the coffee maker, and turned to face the detectives.

“Where is my husband?”

The two detectives shared a look, similar to the look they had shared on the stoop.

“As we said, Mrs. Jordan,” Detective Pryor began. “We just simply don’t know.”

“Then how do you know something even happened to him? Why are you here?” Elyse had to fight with herself to avoid becoming hysterical.

“We were called in after officers responded to a call involving two Mighties engaged in some sort of altercation at a restaurant called the Pizza Dude in Waynestown,” Detective Dwonch said.

“The Pizza Dude?” the hysteria was becoming harder to keep at bay. “That’s where Oliver works. That’s where he was tonight.”

“When was the last time you spoke to your husband, Mrs. Jordan?” Detective Pryor asked.

“Two hours ago, maybe.”

“Do you know where Mr. Jordan was when you spoke last?”

“He called from his cell and said he was coming home. I assumed he was still at the Pizza Dude,” Elyse said.

“Are there any stops he might normally make on the way home, Mrs. Jordan?” asked Detective Dwonch.

“No. Look, what’s going on?” Elyse said. “Where is my husband?”

“Mrs. Jordan,” Detective Pryor said. “The Pizza Dude has been destroyed.”

“What?” Elyse said.

“There appears to be no casualties,” Detective Dwonch said. “No sign of anyone among the rubble. Only a car in the lot with its driver’s side door missing. A car registered to your husband. The car door seems to have been ripped off by something powerful. We just...”

Detectives Pryor and Dwonch shared another look.

“Mrs. Jordan,” Detective Pryor said. “Your husband seems to have disappeared.”

“No, that’s not possible. I talked to him just a couple of hours ago. I’m sure he’s just stuck at a drive-thru or something.”

“Would you mind trying his phone again, Mrs. Jordan?” Detective Dwonch said.

“Yeah, sure,” Elyse said.

She switched to speaker phone, dialed Oliver’s number, and set the phone on the table so that the detectives could listen in.

“Sorry, I’m either not available, or I just don’t feel like taking your call,” Oliver’s recorded voice warbled through the phone on the table. “Leave your name and all that other stuff and when I have a moment next year, I’ll shoot you a line or something.” Elyse disconnected before the beep sounded.

“See, it just goes to voicemail like he has his phone off or something,” Elyse said.

Detectives Pryor and Dwonch shared a quick look.

“What?” She could see something in that look. “What aren’t you telling me?”

“Mrs. Jordan,” Detective Pryor said. “When officers arrived at the Pizza Dude, they found Power Surge already on the scene.” She paused, sharing another look with her partner. “He informed the officers that he had arrived to find a large Mighty assaulting a Normal. He attempted to intervene but the Mighty disappeared with the Normal.”

“In fact,” Detective Pryor said. “Power Surge described it as some sort of energy beam that shot down from the sky in which the unsub disappeared into.”

“Unsub is short for ‘Unknown Subject’,” Detective Dwonch said.

“Yes, I know,” Elyse said. “I watch TV.”

“Of course,” Detective Dwonch said. “Sorry.”

“Okay, so what are you saying? Are you saying the Normal was my husband? Are you saying that Oliver was abducted?”

“Honestly, Mrs. Jordan, we don’t know,” Detective Dwonch said. “But Oliver is the only employee who is currently unaccounted for.”

Elyse paced the kitchen, dozens of horrible thoughts running through her head.

“What about the Mighties?” Elyse said. “What are they doing about this?”

“We spoke to Power Surge ourselves,” Detective Pryor said. “Frankly, he claims that—” She stopped and sighed. “We aren’t quite sure at this point that he’s in his right mind, but everything appears to point at something alien in origin.”

“Alien? Okay, so what does that mean?”

The two detectives shared another look.

“Would you two stop that,” Elyse snapped. “Just talk to me.”

“Well, Mrs. Jordan,” Detective Pryor said. “We feel that if your husband was the Normal the Mighty abducted then he may very well be off planet.”





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