“One particularly challenging afternoon as Jericho had worn on her absolute last nerve Julia did what most exasperated parents do and sent Jericho outside with strict instructions not to come back in until Hannah arrived home from school; then she pulled out her newest mystery novel before settling in to read and relax her nerves. She occasionally glanced over her book through the sliding door into the back yard and watched Jericho playing gleefully with his army of action figures.
“At least it’s quiet in here. Thank God for that.” She mumbled to herself before polishing off her third glass of wine and returning to her book.
Jericho entertained himself for quite a while in the warm California sun, pausing to dig in the dirt and rocks, and build forts for his action figures. Soon he grew bored with forts and dirt and decided that his action figures could fly.
“I’ll race you Crash Jordan. I can fly, higher than all the planes in the world!” Jericho yelled bringing life to a robot from a popular television show. “No way, Dinobot. That’s impossible! No one can fly faster than me!” He yelped animating the second figurine.
“Oh yeah? Let’s see! Here I go! WHOOSH!” Jericho yelled throwing Dinobot as far into the sky and desert as his small arm would allow him to before running to find him. “That was pretty good, Dinobot, but Crash Jordan can fly fasterer than that!”
Again Jericho threw one of his toys as high and as far as his small arm would allow him to chasing after it with reckless abandon. He continued his game until the heat of the sun began to wear on him.
“I thirsty, guys. Let’s go get some juice.” Jericho said scooping up his toys and turning around to head back into the house. Much to his surprise the house was nowhere to be seen as he turned around in a complete circle.
“Oh.” He muttered to himself as he clutched his toys a little tighter. “I must have flied them farther than I thought.”
He turned in a complete circle once again, before picking a direction and beginning to walk. Surely the house was just over the next small hill. He couldn’t have gone that far.
Back at the house Julia finished her novel, stretched and peered outside once again, fully expecting to see Jericho playing right where she left him in the back yard. When she didn’t immediately see him, she let out an exasperated sigh as she stood and made her way to the back yard. She opened the sliding door and surveyed the entire yard.
“Jericho? Jericho! Where are you?” Julia yelled, annoyed, as she shielded the hot summer sun from her eyes. “Jericho, this isn’t funny. Come inside. It’s getting hot out.”
When she was met with silence, she stepped out into the back yard and checked all of Jericho’s usual hiding spots. As she checked each one of the spots Jericho had been known to hide in with no results, suddenly panic began to rise in her throat.
“Jericho! Jericho William! Jericho this isn’t funny! Come out this instant!” She yelled desperately. “Oh my God, Jericho please!”
Now frantic, Julia ran next door to see if the neighbors had noticed Jericho wander off. She went door to door on the entire block to no avail.
“My baby boy! My baby is gone!” She wept, defeated, as she returned home to call Will and the police. “What have I done? My God, what have I done!?”
Her hands shook as she picked up the phone and dialed the number to Will’s office. It rang several times until Rebecca, his secretary, answered the phone. “Captain Foster’s office, how may I direct your call?”
“Rebecca, this is Julia. Is he able to take calls right now? It’s urgent. I… I’ve lost Jericho. He was playing outside. I looked up and he was there, the next moment he was gone.” Julia choked, trying to remain calm and control the emotion in her voice.” -R. MacCeile
Look for Jericho Kindle and paperback versions Summer 2021.
Copyright R. MacCeile 2019