Elijah was coming back from the bathroom when he heard voices coming from the conference room. Deputy Rosie hadn’t let him look in the conference room earlier. He stopped just outside of the door. A tall man with graying hair was yelling at the Sheriff. The Sheriff looked really pissed. When the man stormed out of the conference room, Elijah scuttled back to the Sheriff’s office before the deputy noticed he was missing or the Sheriff saw him listening at the door.
Six murders? There had been five murders? He knew about the first lady at the flower shop. He’d had to sit by her body. He’d sat by her until he couldn’t stand to look at her anymore. Then he had drawn the tarp over her body. It had been hard. The tarp was thick and heavy and he’d had to grab it tightly between his thumbs and the sides of his fingers. He told himself that he was doing it for her, to give her peace from prying eyes, but the truth was he couldn’t stand to look at her, and face what he had done. What was his father doing? Why hadn’t he left town? He always left town after he gave into his impulses, but this time he had stayed in town and continued to kill. He never killed this often. It had only been a few days. Had he killed a person a day? He should have known that his father would never let him go. Now, Elijah was responsible for those people his father had killed. He was always responsible. Even though his father did the actual act, Elijah didn’t do anything to stop him. Now, Drake was missing as well. He was probably dead, too. His father never kept anyone alive. He’d kidnapped Drake to punish Elijah. Elijah would have to live with the knowledge that he had gotten Drake killed. If he had done as his father told him in the beginning, those other people would be alive. He wouldn’t be sitting here playing a stupid video game. He wanted to throw the video game at the wall, but he didn’t want the deputy to know how he was feeling.
He pushed his fists into the pockets of the brand new hoodie Drake had picked out for him. He looked at his new shoes. They were expensive and they would last a long time. He had two other pairs back at the Sheriff’s house. He’d never owned more than one pair of shoes at a time in his life. He’d never needed more than he could wear or carry. If his father had extra money, they spent it on food or a place to stay. The first thing Drake did was buy stuff for Elijah to make him happy. He didn’t need three pairs of shoes or more than one hoodie, but Drake wanted to make sure he had everything he needed. He didn’t need the video game, but Drake thought having one would make him happy. No one had ever cared if he were happy, or not. Maybe, his mother had, but his memories of her were fuzzy. He remembered that she had died, but how she died was a mystery to him. When he tried to remember that part of his life, his brain seemed to shut down. He began to sweat and tremble, and he found himself shying away from really remembering her. His father always kept him safe, but he never cared if he were happy or not. Drake was the first person to care about how Elijah felt about things. He had to help him.
There had to be something he could do. Rosie was sitting in a chair near the Sheriff’s desk. She was reading a magazine, and wasn’t paying much attention to him. Maybe, he could slip out. He could figure out a way to get to his father. He could convince him to leave. If Drake were alive, he would convince him to let Drake go. Then, they would leave town together, and continue traveling like they always had. As he prepared himself to sneak out of the office, he realized that he had no idea where his father was. It wasn’t like he could call him. What could he do? Wander around town until his father happened to come by? Someone would see him and probably report him to the Sheriff long before that. He realized there was absolutely nothing he could do.