[Jimmy Rockford, not missing…yet]
The twin’s room looks like a skeleton, a shell of the lives they left behind. Bill’s welding helmet sits beside his work boots in the corner and Doug’s letterman jacket hangs on his bedpost. There’s even a half-empty glass of water still waiting on his nightstand.
Mom and Aunt Shelly keep saying they’ve just run off, that they’re alive somewhere just being rotten teenagers. I’m not sure what they think their motivation could have been. Neither of those big dopes had any reason to leave. Bill even had a date planned with a cheerleader. He wouldn’t bail on that, not on a short skirt.
And then there’s Doug. He was so jumpy the day before they vanished, kept talking about the men in black suits watching their house from the woods. A stack of newspapers on his desk confirms how paranoid he had become. He has every article written on Betty since she went missing.
I know Doug was onto something. Betty’s best friend caught me this morning, asked what I know about this mess. She said Betty’s last conversation with her had been “bizarre”. I asked what she meant but she just shook her head and clasped her pearl necklace. She said Betty mentioned “suits” followed her home after that night with Jay and that they were trying to “shut her up”, even though Betty swore on the cross she hadn’t seen anything.
Maybe it’s a coincidence. Jay’s still here, still shuffling about and going through the motions. Sad as it may be, I think he’s safe because his brain is pile of sludge now. No one can make sense of anything he’s babbling.
All I know is, three kids are gone and there’s only one common denominator. It has red glowing eyes and someone important wants to cover it up. As long as someone is talking about the thing in the woods, they’ll be hanging around to shut it down.
I poke around in Bill’s dresser, looking for any sign he was worried about being watched. He was always the more practical of the two. A handful of condoms and spare change sit at the back of his sock drawer, but nothing out of the ordinary. The orange glow of the outdoor light flashes on as evening rolls in.
Their room overlooks the treeline where Doug claimed to see the winged creature. As the sun sets, I watch the darkness of the canopy cast stretching shadows onto the lawn, like the evil lurking there is reaching out to catch someone. I move closer to the glass, almost willing the creature to show itself.
Instead, I hear the crinkle of paper as I move the curtains over. On the backside of the panel, a piece of folded notebook paper is taped to the fabric. A letter…
“If anyone is reading this, Doug was right and I’m a dumbass. He’s been as jumpy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs for days. I told him to quit acting crazy and I thought he was crazy. But one of those guys came up to me after school yesterday. The guys in suits, just like he said. They told me they had their eyes on me because they knew I saw the creature. They kept saying their eyes ‘will not waver’ before walking around the corner and disappearing. Either I’m crazy too, or something bad is going on in Point Pleasant. If we end up like Betty, I hope someone finds this and brings it to the police.
“Well, shit. I guess that leaves me to do something about it,” I say out loud as the night fills the bedroom with darkness.
Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla.