Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #76 (18.3)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

A worried Ryan is determined to find Ben, who raced off into the night in Cameron's car. Luckily, he finds an ally in Aiden, and soon the whole band is determined to help.Can they find Ben before it's too late? See what's happening in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

In Pieces #76 (18.3)

Within minutes of Aiden sending a text, Deacon and Keanu were knocking at the door.

“Sorry to wake you,” Ryan apologized, out of habit, once they entered the room.

“Not a problem,” Deacon assured him. “This is way more important than sleep.”

“Not that we were asleep,” Keanu added with a knowing wink.

“Thanks for coming so quickly, guys,” Aiden said. He filled in the two men on what was happening, both the situation with Ben and the one with Abby and Cameron. “That’s why we need the van,” he finished. “We need to find Ben as soon as possible.”

Ryan had always considered Deacon to be the more calm and rational member of the pair, and he was proving Ryan to be correct in this instance. Deacon glanced between him and Aiden, then to Abby. “Why don’t I go with Ryan to find Ben?” he suggested. “Keanu can wait here with you and keep an eye out for Cameron, in case he decides to come back. Not that I think he will, but the man doesn’t always use his common sense.”

Ryan thought Aiden looked torn between his desire to find Ben and his need to keep Abby safe. He glanced at his twin, as if deciding where he was needed most, then nodded.

“Maybe we should go wait in your room?” Aiden said to Ryan. “In case Ben comes back first. Cameron won’t think to bother Abby there.”

That made sense. Ryan pulled the key card from his pocket and handed it to Aiden. “Thanks,” he said. “I appreciate this. If Ben should come back, please call me right away. You have my number, right?”

“I have everyone’s numbers,” Aiden said. “Go on now. We’ll be fine.”

Everyone exited the hotel room at the same time. Abby gave Ryan a hug as Keanu and Deacon exchanged a quick kiss. “Don’t worry, it’ll be okay,” she murmured. Then the three headed off toward Ryan and Ben’s room as Ryan followed Deacon to the van. Deacon unlocked the passenger door then rounded the front of the van and got in himself. The night was eerily still. Ryan’s heart was racing, fearful for Ben, worried for him. He must feel so lost and alone. What was he thinking?
Deacon started the van. “Any idea where he might have gone?”

“No, not a clue. I just know he was upset when he left. But he doesn’t know this town any better than we do, does he?”

“I wouldn’t think so,” Deacon replied, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel. “I’ll just choose a direction and start driving. While I do, you want to keep calling him, see if you can get him to pick up?” He made a right onto the road as he spoke, quickly leaving the motel lights behind them.

Good idea. Ryan pulled out his phone and tried again to reach Ben. His call went straight to voice mail this time. After trying three more times, he sighed and gave up.

“How upset would you say Ben is?” Deacon glanced at Ryan.

“On a scale of one to ten? Probably a hundred,” Ryan replied.

“He’s that upset with his mother? I’m not trying to be nosy, I just want to understand his mindset, you know? I didn’t know Liza very long or very well. Ben disbanded Primary Wisdom shortly after Keanu and I got there. And then he formed Salvation, and she wasn’t in the picture any more. But he never really gave any explanation for what happened and we never discussed it.  I got the impression, though, from the little that I saw of her and some of what went down back then, that she was pure poison. Very controlling and very demanding.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Ryan said.

“Then maybe… now, don’t take this the wrong way, but maybe we should head down to the river,” Deacon suggested.

Ryan gave him an alarmed look. “Why? You don’t think… he wouldn’t….”

“Better safe than sorry,” Deacon said. Ryan couldn’t argue with that.

That was as good a place as any to look. Not like there were a lot of places open at this time of night. He didn’t think Ben would be interesting in shopping.

Ryan stared morosely at the darkened buildings they passed, paying no real attention to where they were. Was Ben really so desperate… had she abused him so badly that he couldn’t stand to live anymore, knowing what had happened to him? Or was it the shame of having his secret revealed?

If they found him… no, scratch that. When they found him, Ryan would make Ben see that none of that mattered, he didn’t care. None of that was his fault, and he loved him, unconditionally, no matter what.

When Ryan looked up, he realized Deacon had found his way to a street that paralleled the river. No boats were moving at this time of night, and traffic on the road was sparse. The river was a lot longer than he’d imagined. Ben could be anywhere. Would they be able to find him, especially if he didn’t want to be found?

After maybe an hour of fruitless searching, Deacon pulled into an empty parking lot, underneath a light standard, and pulled out his phone.

“What’s the matter?” Ryan asked, alarmed. He hadn’t heard the phone ring, but maybe Deacon had it set on vibrate. Maybe Ben had come back… or something worse.

“Nothing,” Deacon assured him. “I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.” He began to fiddle with his phone. Ryan had no idea what he was doing, but he mentally crossed his fingers that whatever it was had to do with finding Ben.

“There’s a device manager on all our phones. I’ve never needed to use it before, but you can get the location of any of the others using this.”

“What if the phone’s not on?” Ryan fretted.

“Doesn’t matter. And bingo, there he is.”

to be continued

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