The headache had developed into a full-scale migraine by late afternoon. I collapsed on the couch and dug my fingers in my forehead, in an attempt to dull the pain. At some point, I fell asleep. When I woke, I was dizzy and it was dark outside. I started to get up but experienced the slow motion confusion I had the previous day. The dots of color returned and I even thought I saw a person. I started to scream at the sight of the thin, haggard looking figure but then he disappeared and faded away into nothing. My head still throbbed with pain. I should not have taken that expired Tylenol. I sank back into the sofa and waited for the odd sensations to pass. They had worn off last night. Surely, after a while, I would feel like my normal self again. Suddenly, I felt so tired I couldn’t hold my eyes open. I slipped into the darkness again.
When I woke up for the second time, my mouth had a funny taste and was so dry it felt like my tongue would crack. I rolled it around in my mouth and thought I would be sick for a moment. I went to my knees and struggled while the feeling passed. I slowly made my way to the kitchen and gulped a glass of water down. The nausea returned in full force and I sat on the floor until my stomach settled.
As I finally got to my feet, my eyes caught sight of a thin, crumpled piece of paper. My heart began to beat nervously and my stomach clenched. I walked slowly to the island and read the note. “Still having the blackouts and hallucinations?”
I gasped. The note looked like the same handwriting and paper as the previous one. How did they know? I hadn’t told anyone about the episodes where I’d lost time or seen odd things. The worst incidents had just happened. A cold shiver racked my body. They were watching me. They were probably watching me right now. Were they outside hiding in the darkness? But how could they know about the hallucinations? Was it obvious from the odd way I’d been acting? I looked around the room in horror. Had they put their own hidden cameras in my house to watch me? Had that been the main reason for the break-in and I’d just been attacked when I interrupted?
Then a worse thought surfaced. How had they gotten in? I hadn’t heard a thing but with the bad trip I’d been on, I’m not sure if I would have noticed anything or not. I remembered seeing the haggard man. He hadn’t been real though-or had he?
The new cameras-I had to check them now. However, I didn’t want to be obvious if they were still watching me. I grabbed a stack of mail and then casually tucked the manual underneath it. I sat down on the sofa and opened a magazine, slipping the manual toward the inside. I held it close to me. Unless their camera was directly overhead, hopefully it appeared I was reading a magazine. They’d probably think that odd after just receiving another note from them, but maybe they would believe I was still confused and not completely aware of my actions.
I still struggled to understand the manual but forced myself to repeat back in my head the words I was reading. I finally thought I could remember enough to try. I grabbed my laptop and angled the screen close to me as I went to the secure website. I brought up the footage and held my breath as it played.
A figure dressed all in black appeared on the screen. The camera caught a glint of something shiny and then the person turned the doorknob of the patio door and entered. My throat constricted and my heart thundered in my chest. They had a key. No wonder I hadn’t heard much. I wondered if they’d had it when they kidnapped Chris and Daniel.
I watched as the figure laid the note down and left. I tried to scan earlier in the day but it looked like the cameras had intermittently been off. Even right before the mysterious figure had appeared; the cameras looked to be down for over an hour. I was annoyed that the system wasn’t working right but at least it had functioned at the crucial moment. I now had proof for the FBI.
I was unsure of my next move. Should I stay in the house? The thought of someone watching me all night was unbearable. I didn’t want to scare them off. I needed to maintain contact. However, I didn’t want them to know I’d guessed they’d left hidden cameras. I finally decided to go to a hotel. It was the middle of the night now and if I was careful, I thought I could lose a tail if they tried to follow me.
I discreetly palmed my keys and wallet and hid them in my pockets. I pretended to go outside to rub the cat but slipped closer and closer to my car in the process as I continued to coax her to move toward the vehicle. Finally, I got in the car and drove off quickly. My heart raced as I looked in the rear view mirror. No sign of headlights. I hoped I hadn’t made a wrong move that they would take out on Chris and Daniel. They might think I was on my way to the FBI but at least they wouldn’t know for certain yet. They’d proved next page