Christopher waited impatiently for his parents to check into the Great Wolf Lodge. He hadn’t particularly wanted to come since he was still mad at his dad but his parents said he had to and at seventeen he had to listen. He couldn’t wait to be on his own and not have to deal with their rules anylonger. His father knew that boy at school was a prick, he deserved to have all his secrets spilled. He wouldn’t have revealed all those private things about a good person but his stupid father was immovable on the fact what he had done was wrong. He mocked his dad in his head again “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should” he scoffed again and rolled his eyes “I heard that Christopher” Eric said, tired of Chris’s attitude about the whole situation. Eric continued “Do you want to lose phone and internet privileges even longer?”
“I thought just because we can read people thoughts and see their memories doesn’t mean we should”
“Christopher, stop being a little ass or you wont even be allowed to leave the damned room for the vacation. The rest of the family will be here tomorrow, grow up.”
“I still stick by he deserved it”
“No he didn’t. How would you feel if somebody looked through your mind and posted on social media every single embarrassing secret you had?”
“I’m not an ass”
“You’re being one right now”
“Guys, not here. Please” Ivy said.
“We’ll talk later then.”
Christopher clenched his fists, but kept his mouth shut and Eric took their bags to their rooms. He hoped his son learned a thing or two during this trip. People who recklessly used power were no better than the people who had imprisoned he and Ivy. They were dangerous, not just to themselves, but to others. Eric made sure his son was in his room, then went back to be with Ivy. “You both need to breathe.” Ivy said when he flopped down on the edge of the bed.
“He doesn’t get it Ivy. I should have left him with one of his uncles, a little farm work would have taught him a thing or two.”
“I’m sorry, he just needs to understand. Sharing other people’s business just because you’re pissed it wrong. We’re supposed to help people, not hurt them.”
“I know, just try to stay calm.”
“I will or I’ll try at least.”
“He’s a teenager baby. I know we had our heads together more at his age but we grew up differently. We had to grow up fast. He’s a kid, a kid thats almost an adult but still a hormonal kid. Eventually he’ll understand what he did was wrong. I wanted him to still come because family is important. He will still stick to your punishment of no internet and phone” Eric sighed and kissed her “I just wish he was even a little sorry. Mocking me like he was says he’s far from it”
“If he keeps being a brat I’ll make him stay in his room but we’ve been planning this vacation for so long. I really want us to have it as a family”
“I know Ivy, I just wish he could see the things I’ve seen and know why it’s never okay.”
“I hope you know that no matter how angry he is, he still very much loves you.”
“I know, thank you baby.”
“Come on, let’s go get him and explore a little. We can unpack later.”
“Anything for you my love.”
Christopher was still pretty irritated when they came to his room, but he decided to try and play it cool, at least for him mom. His dad could be one thing, but his mom was very good at reprimanding him. She never raised her voice and didn’t have too. “Look chipmunks.” Ivy said as she pulled Eric along. “Oh their so cute, aren’t they cute Christopher?”
She smiled warmly at her son, really wanting this to be a nice vacation with their family. Before the day was over Luke, Adam, Hannah and their children were all there. Adam picked up on the tension right away and would ask Ivy about it when he could get a chance. For now they needed to check in and get situated. They agreed on where to eat for dinner and decided to meet there. At dinner Christophers cousin teased him, not knowing she was about to bring up a tense subject “It’s crazy not seeing you attached to a cellphone Chris. Did you break it?”
He clenched his jaw. “I got in trouble.” Was all he said.
“Oh, it must have been bad.”
“Eat your dinner sweetie.” Adam said and she went back to her food.
Christopher glanced at his parents, trying to probe his dad’s mind. There was a wall up and he quickly looked away. He was surprised they hadn’t said anything. He was sure they’d probably talk to at least his aunt and uncle later. “So how’s the farm?” Ivy asked.
“Good, one of the horses gave birth last week.” Hannah replied, wanting to keep the conversation off her nephew. “A little boy, we named him Trigger.”
“I kid you not, he was jumping around almost immediately.” Adam added. “Kicking the air, chasing his mom, just excited to be alive.”
“we need to come again soon” Ivy said and they both agreed. They managed to keep the conversation off why Christopher didn’t have his phone the rest of the evening. It had been a long drive here and they all needed some rest. Christopher was glad to finally be in his room though he felt he had nothing to do with no internet or phone. He sighed, thinking about that boy at school and his fathers long lectures about what he had done. Why did it matter? That boy was one of the biggest jerks at his school. He huffed again and began undressing to take a shower. His mom agreed with his dad and had looked at him with so much disappointment when she heard about what he did. His mom looking at him like that hurt way worse than anything his father could say.
Eric stepped outside for some fresh air and was surprised to find Adam out there too with a cup of tea. “Well I know what I’m doing out here.” Adam said as he held up his cup. “It doesn’t take a psychic to see you’re irritated.”
“It’s just Christopher.”
“What did he do anyway?”
Eric sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “He read some jerk kids mind then used some of his embarrassing memories against him. I mean the kid is an an ass, but what Christopher did was uncalled for. He should have just clocked him.”
“I take it he doesn’t see an issue with it.”
“He thinks he was justified.”
Adam looked out in the distance for a moment. “He’ll learn when he sees something that haunts him for the rest of his life.”
“I’m trying to remember he’s a teenager and they don’t typically think very clearly”
“Chris has always been a good kid, he’ll realize sooner or later you and Ivy are right” Christopher couldn’t sleep so he went to his parents room to ask if it was okay for him to go on a walk. His mother answered and told him it was fine so he went. He walked out of the Great Wolf Lodge and kept going until he was in town. He knew he might get in trouble but he only planned to walk and really didn’t feel like sleeping or thinking about how disappointed he knew his mom was with him. He had his mind closed to thought but a little girls was being projected so loud it pierced his mind without him even trying to hear ”
She was scared and he could tell she was a young child by how chaotic her mind was. He was already in trouble and honestly really worried about her based on what her mind was screaming so he went through her thoughts,this time it was out of worry for a child so he hoped his parents would understand. He went back through her memories until he saw it, a man coming to pick her up at school, he was the little girls father friend and told her that her parents had asked him to get her today so she went but from what he had seen that wasn’t the case atall, he was a pedophile who had come to her school to kidnap her. He pulled out, horrified for the poor child. He realized he was crying, he had seen too much in the poor little girls head. He didn’t know what to do, he didn’t have his cellphone so couldn’t text or call his parents.
He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself and think of what his parents would do. He knew they had been through this sort of thing before and he knew if he went back to the lodge, then the little girl might be taken further away. He took off down the street, searching for a 7 Eleven. He was relieved when he found one and he immediately borrowed the phone and called his mother. “Hello?” Ivy answered.
“Mom I’m in town, I need your help, I need dad.”
“You walked all the way to town?”
“Mom, please just listen, you can yell at me later, but please listen. You have to send dad and uncle Adam to town, tell them to head to…” he picked up details from the clerks mind, “to Henderson and 2nd.”
“Honey, what’s wrong?”
“Someone’s in trouble and I have to find her, tell dad to listen for my thoughts. I love you.” He hung up and ran from the 7 Eleven, ignoring the clerks confused looks. He knew he should wait, but he couldn’t, not when he saw what she had already been through.
“Eric, that was our son. I let him go on a walk and he went to town. Whatever you’re going to say about it can wait. He sounded so panicked. Somthing is terribly wrong, he told me to send you and Adam. He said find him by finding his thoughts. He said someone was in danger” Eric kissed Ivy and went to Adams room and pounded on the door “I don’t think I should waste time explaining so please just come with me. My son needs us” Adam looked at Hannah “Just go, I have the kids”
“I love you, we’ll be back as fast as we can”
“I love you too” Hannah said then Adam grabbed his shoes, tugged his shirt back on and left with Eric to help Christopher. Since Chris was in town they took Erics car. Eric scanned continuously for his son. He knew something had to really be wrong to admit he had gone so far. He would have known even with his mothers permission to walk she didn’t mean he could leave where the lodge was.
Christopher tried to keep a clear head as he extended his telepathic circle out, pushing it to its absolute limit as he listened for the little girl. Her consciousness skirted the edge of his and he slid, nearly falling over as he followed her panicked thoughts. They were too much, too painful and he wanted to pull away, but he couldn’t. Flinching from her pain meant losing his only line to her. Her thoughts started to drift further away and he found himself sprinting now. He was taking her away, probably speeding a bit to get out of sight. Christopher didn’t realize he was in the middle of the road until a horn blared behind him and he jumped out of the way, tripping over the curb and falling. “Shit!” He yelled as he pushed himself back up. He scanned for her thoughts, finding that she was gone.
Eric wrenched the steering wheel as he picked up on his son’s thoughts. He was distressed, angry, his mind whirling. Adam pointed at him when he spotted him and Eric honked as he pulled over. “Chris, thank god I found you.”
“Dad, I…I lost her, I lost her.”
“Get in.” Christopher climbed into the back seat. “Which way?” Christopher pointed and Eric sped up. “Explain what happened? Who is she?”
“I don’t know, a child, the man who has her, he…he’s a monster. He just took her. Her thoughts were so loud…I…” He dropped his face in his hands. “I tried, I really did.”
“Just listen for her Christopher.” Eric had much better control over his gift and it had a far greater range than his son’s so he reached out, touching the minds of everyone he could and filtering through them.
Eric was going over the speed limit and hoped some cop didn’t pull him over. Adam wished he could do more to help in this moment, he hated knowing a little girl was with someone who was hurting her. Eric found a scared little girls thoughts “he picked her up from school saying her parents sent him right Chris?”
“yeah dad! Yeah”
“I found her” he would have known anyway, he saw the same pain and anger on his fathers face. Eric now was looking for a memory of the car so Adam could call into the police station. Eric already had the little girls name and her parents names from her head so they could atleast let the police know who had her incase nobody knew anything at all yet.
“Are we going to stop him?” Christopher asked in a distressed tone.
Eric held up his hand to silence his son as he redirected his focus to the man he could sense with the child. He pushed through his memories, doing his best to ignore the sick things he had already done, not just to this child, but to other children. He could see the man kept trophies so it wouldn’t be hard for the police to put him away. He paused on the memory of the car and described it to Adam. “He’s slowing down.”
“Doesn’t that mean he’ll…he…” Christopher couldn’t bring himself to say it.
“It means we find him and keep him distracted long enough for the police to get to them. We don’t want him killing her or destroying any evidence and he has plenty of it. He’s familiar with guns so we need to be cautious.”
Adam called the cops, and impressively came up with a quick story on how they became aware the girl was a kidnap victim and who she was. If he said anything about telepathy he knew the cops wouldn’t take this seriously. Some might, but he wasn’t willing to take the chance. His mind kept drifting to his own girls, he couldn’t wait to go back home and see his kids safe with their mother. Christopher just sat in the back horrified, that poor little girl. He knew the world had sick people in it, sick, twisted people were why his parents, Aunt and Uncle had been through what they had and how they had their powers but he just never imagined he’d have to see things like that. That he’d actually come in contact with such a despicable human being.
Chris’s thoughts kept trying to flow into Erics head as he pushed things out to keep strong contact with the man and the girls minds but he still heard bits and pieces and would talk to his son when all this was sorted out. His son had done somthing he knew he wasn’t supposed to be walking so far away from the lodge but it had led to saving this girl. This man seemed to always kill the children when he was done so if it weren’t for Christopher she would have probably never seen her parents again or had the chance to heal from the misery she had been through with this man who had friended her father to get closer to her. He could only imagine the guilt the father would go through though he’d have no real reason to put any blame on himself.
This was one of the times Eric felt blessed to have his gift. He knew the hearts of the people he was friends with. Unlike other parents who had to go on their best judgement he had always known who was safe to keep around his family.
Christopher was confused when his father suddenly came to a stop and switched off the car. Before he could say a word his father interrupted, “He stopped, he’s close, we walk from here so he doesn’t hear us.”
“How do you want to do this?” Adam asked. “We can’t go in and just kill him, unfortunately.”
Eric listened to the man’s thoughts for a second, picking up the layout of his safe house. “There’s a basement, no window, he blocked it with plywood and padding. The house has been abandoned, but he makes sure it’s secure. There’s a trap door that leads to the basement from outside. Christopher, you go that way, you might have to pry it open so check the shed out back. Adam and I will lure him upstairs. Remember to stay safe.”
Christopher did as he was instructed.and went to shed. The best thing he could find to help him pry it open was a shovel. His options had been pretty limited since the man really didn’t keep much in here. Christopher already knew he didn’t want to see why he kept the shovel. Chris listened to his father and uncle to make sure the man was distracted before starting to try. The little girls thoughts were screaming at him again. She was so scared and it had him fighting off tears. He wished he could project back and tell her it was all going to be okay, that they wouldn’t leave without her. That she’d see her family and friends again.
Christopher got in and tried to walk down quietly. When he got to the girl instead of the comfort he wished he brought to her she began to shake, she was scared he was going to hurt her too like the man she had so trusted had. “I swear I’m trying to save you little one. We called the cops” He went over and began to untie her. She was naked again and he couldn’t find her clothes so he grabbed a nearby blanket. She deserved more dignity than him carrying her out without any clothes on.
“I…I want my mom.”
“I know and I promise to get you back to her.” He carried her outside, wanting desperately to get her away from the house, but not wanting the police to get the wrong idea. He carried her to the shed and sat with her, listening to his father and uncle’s thoughts.
When Eric knew his son was clear, he stopped jerking the monster around and faced him. He was pissed that his lair had been found and that Eric and Adam had busted out some of the windows. “Finally run out of steam assholes?” The man asked and both Eric and Adam glared at him.
“I’d watch my mouth if I was you, especially when you have no leverage and the police are on their way.” He wanted to rip the man’s throat out. “They’ll find all the bodies and every inmate is going to know what you are.”
“Believe that if you want scum bag” Adam seethed. The cops got there faster than they had expected but Eric already had him pinned and waiting. “My son is in the shed keeping her safe officer” Eric said as he handed the pedophile over. Two cops were questioning Adam and another cop walked back to the shed. The little girl ran to the police officer the second she came into view “sir another office is going to need to ask you some questions” She said to Christopher and he followed. While Adam and Christopher were talking to cops Eric helped them find all the mans trophies and every single other bit of evidence he had found in the mans mind.
It took hours to get everything sorted out but they all were happy they could help that little girl and prevent other children from being hurt by that man. “Chris, you did good calling us. You may have knowingly went into town knowing your mother thought you meant around the lodge but it saved a girls life”
“I see now why you’ve lectured me so much about looking into everybodies mind”
“With what you actually got in trouble for it was more than that though.I need you to understand you can’t just air peoples dirty laundry every time you’re mad. I do understand he was an ass but it doesn’t make it right.”
“I’m sorry dad”
“I love you Christopher” Chris didn’t answer, he just stared blankly at the window, that poor little girls memories depressing him.
Once they were back at the lodge, Adam headed quickly inside, wanting to check on everyone and Eric stopped his son. “Want to talk?”
He sighed. “Do you think…do you think she’ll be okay?”
Eric hugged his son. “Hopefully yes. I won’t lie and say it’s going to be easy for her, but I think with her parents being as loving as they are, she’ll get the help she needs.”
“It’s not fair she has to go through so much.”
Eric pulled back, squeezing his son’s shoulders. “No, but you see Hannah right? The same type of stuff happened to her, but with time and patience she was able to overcome her fears.”
Christopher nodded his understanding. “Thanks dad.”
“How about we let you off the hook for the rest of our time here.”
Christopher gave him a small smile. “Alright, love you dad.”
“Love you too, now get inside, I’m sure your mother is worried sick.”
Even though Christopher got his phone back he paid little mind to it over their vacation. He had had a wonderful childhood and had a really good family. He was lucky and had more appreciation for the life he led. Worst memories he had were fighting with his dad from time to time but while his dad was a pain in the ass he was never unfair with him. In the end Christopher always realized his dad had been right and things would always go back to being amazing. He loved his family beyond words and he hoped they all always stayed this happy and connected.
~ The End