f you look at anything long enough, say just that wall in front of you — it will come out of that wall.
– Anton Chekhov
Before proceeding with interviewing the story characters her twin brother Bast interviewed in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012), Dana Bowman has to tell her psychologically mute son David that his Uncle Bast is missing. She decides a neutral place, rather than their home, would be best.
Dana and David enter the boardroom of the Thurston Public Library. David has a small backpack on his back. He immediately becomes uneasy.
Dana: David, let’s sit down here. Do you want to sit at the head of the table or the side?
David seems to ignore his mother. He looks around the room and starts to rapidly move his head from side to side.
Dana: Are you all right David? Just nod for “yes” and turn you head sideways for “no.” You know the drill.
David keeps moving his head like he is in another world. He grasps the back of the chair at the head of the table, looks straight ahead, shudders, then with the backpack still on, sits in the chair. He starts tapping his foot.
Dana removes David’s backpack and places it on the table: Are you all right David?
David nods his head but continuous staring ahead.
Dana follows his eyes, but all she sees is the far wall with an abstract painting. She sits down to David’s right. Out of habit, she hauls out her sketch pad and charcoal.
Dana points to David’s backpack. Do you want to draw with your crayons?
David looks up at his mother and nods but makes no move to get out his crayons and sketch pad.
Dana leans over and opens the backpack: Here, let me get out your drawing materials.
David just sits staring at them. Dana begins sketching her brother – a comic representation of Bast with his tape recorder in front of him. Then her hands seem to take over, flipping the page and drawing David and her holding hands and Bast off somewhere up in the top. She takes a deep breath
Dana: David, I guess you are wondering where your Uncle Bast is as he hasn’t been around the past couple of days.
Dana: I know I mentioned he had some business to attend to in Toronto, but I didn’t tell you all…
David nods again.
Dana touches her son’s right arm: Actually, your Uncle Bast might be in Toronto and then again he might not. I’m sorry but he has disappeared and I am doing my best to find him. As you know he was interviewing the characters in the stories in Beyond the Tripping Point, well, you know that as he talked to you, too. Anyway, I talked to Detective Larry Hutchinson, the last person to see your Uncle Bast and I’m sorry to say he wasn’t very helpful. He did say that Detective Sergeant Fielding – you remember him?
Dana: Well, Detective Sergeant Fielding is in charge of looking for your Uncle Bast. I don’t know all the details here but…
Suddenly David’s chair starts vibrating causing David to shake. His face goes white. Dana gets out of her chair, crouches down beside David and puts her arms around him.
David: What’s the matter? David, are you all right?
David continues shaking. Dana grabs the back of his chair and feels a sharp current run through her hands. Then the chair stops rocking as suddenly as it started. David stops shaking, but the colour doesn’t return to his face. Dana is reluctant to remove her hand from the chair in case it starts up again. But the current has stopped, so she yanks her hand away. The chair and David stay still.
Dana: Whoo. That was strange. I wish you could tell me what that was all about. Anyway, back to your Uncle Bast. Do you understand what I said?
Dana: Good. Now, I have to decide if I’m going to work with Fielding or just ask him a few questions and look for your Uncle Bast on my own.
Dana’s hands start sketching something up beside Bast. Fielding’s face appears with a sarcastic grin. She turns to David. David grabs her hand and points to the caricature of Fielding.
David becomes excited, stamping his feet and hitting his finger against Fielding’s face.
Dana: David, do you want me to work with Fielding?
David nods his head up and down rapidly.
Dana hauls out her cell phone and hits some numbers: Detective Fielding, Dana Bowman here. Okay, Don…I need to talk to you about Bast.
Dana doesn’t notice her son staring at the abstract painting on the far wall.
You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html The next one is this Saturday, November 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. Sharon A. will host (and read) at another Crime Writers of Canada Murder and Mayhem session at Du Café.
Sharon A. Crawford