Chapter 24: When Your Strange
Stunned Trevor lurched down the street towards the shop. In a state of fugue, he found it hard to concentrate. The cacophony of noise and movement enhanced his lost grasp of reality. Why did he ever come to this little town in the middle of nowhere? Trying to pinpoint the place he lost all touch with reality, his head swimming. How could the feds believe that crap story Crystal told them? What happened to Barney? What is with all the tie-dye clothes? What is this fecking song that keeps playing in my head, I can’t get rid of! Who are these people?
Thanks to the Sheriff closing traffic on the street between the Bank and the Hotel. Trevor had not been run over as he stumbled off the curb and to the other side. Maybe I am still in that cave. I’ve had a brain tumor and I am in a coma, stuck in some natty hospital. His reality stretched to the breaking point. Now I know what Sergei must feel. Trevor almost made it to the shop.
Shannon wanting to talk further after the tiff, had been searching for him in the shop. Coming out she saw him wandering down the street as if suffering a head injury.
Running up to him, “Trevor, are you all right? Were you attacked?”
Trevor, ran his fingertips over her face, “You have a pretty face, you look like Shannon, do you know Shannon, she’s pretty.”
Gripping his arm, she half carried half guided him into the shop, “Come on hun, let’s get you inside.”
“That’s neat, I like inside,” mumbling as she led him.
Once inside, “Kids grab some water and those chairs for me,” Shannon barked at Ellie and Billy.
With Trevor, acting like walking wounded the two young adults didn’t argue but did as they were told.
“Billy give me that water, Ellie give me your bandana,” Shannon had no idea what caused this reaction in him, but her motherly instinct took over. “Trevor, sit down. Please tell me what happened to you.” She led him to an office chair at the first desk inside the door, laying his head down. Doing a quick check over what was visible, inspecting him for a head injury.
With the cup of water, Shannon made a cool compress and laid it over the back of his neck.
Standing hugging herself, “Is he going to be okay?” Ellie repeatedly asked.
Finding no damage that explained the strange behavior. Shannon decided observation might be best.
“Maybe we should call the Sheriff or an ambulance?” Billy suggested.
Sitting up straight, Trevor implored, “No don’t call anybody!” then laid his head back down. “Just lock the doors and don’t let anybody in.”
Startled, Shannon faced Billy, “Hun I don’t know what’s wrong with him. Let’s let him rest a bit before we call anybody,” Trevor nodded his head.
“Leave the lights off I need a few moments to think. You should all stay here for now,” Trevor head down, speaking into his arm but he sounded saner. Shannon pulled a chair next to his, and sat with him, stroking his hair as he rested. Ellie and Billy went to the back of the room. Huddling in a corner on the floor.
They sat there like that until the sun went down, Shannon thought Trevor slept, but wide awake, he ran over events of the past several days.
Shannon had no idea what to do. She wanted to leave, thinking Trevor had suffered some sort of breakdown. Afraid he might become violent, she did not want the kids around. On the other hand, she’d never seen any indication of violence. If he saw something that affected him like this, she was not sure she wanted to run into it as well.
Head still cradled in his arms he whispered, “Shannon, how can you tell if something is real?”
Considering the question before answering, “I guess you need to examine all the evidence. In your mind, you have to make that determination.”
“If you see something unexplainable, something you know can’t be true; How do you tell what is real or if you are losing your mind?” trying to convince himself he wasn’t insane.
“Tell me what you’ve seen, since you left my office?” Shannon stressed.
“I think I’ve seen an alien,” he blurted out.
Shannon, surprised by his confession but worried all the same. She probed him trying to dig to the bottom of his statement, “Were you abducted off the street?” Hoping against the fact he might be having some sort of psychotic breakdown.
“I knew you would think me daft. No, I was not abducted. No, I was not probed, and no I was not mutilated. I am not mental,” motioning towards the two hiding in the back of the shop, “They know what I am talking about.”
Shannon glanced back at Ellie and Billy bunched in the back corner, “They are just kids. They don’t know anything.”
“I will show you,” she let him rise. Thinking he might be crazy, but he was lucid, she wanted to help him, even if he scared her. He left to go to his office for a moment.
He came, with the clipping from a newspaper. He took it to the window and put the picture where Shannon could compare Ellie’s art with the photo of the lights from months passed, “Can you explain this?”
Shannon went and compared the two, a questioning gape thrown towards the kids in the corner, “Billy?”
“Bill help a brother out here. I know you were filling your white pickup at the petrol station that night at one a m. I know you saw Old Sits tearing through town and into Junior’s. I know you saw the lights in the sky, and I know you took the film and sold it. I hired the two of you to paint this so we could document it all.” Increasing in volume as he ticked off each point.
“Trevor, that’s enough. I am worried about you, but I will not let you drag these kids into your madness,” Shannon positioned herself between Trevor and the two teens. Searching for something heavy just in case.
Appealing to them “Please Ellie, Bill tell your mum the truth. She thinks I’m a nutter.”
Standing, Bill hedged to stand behind his mother, placing his hand on her arm, “Trevor is telling the truth mom. Everything he has said, we saw.”
Ellie came up to stand next to Shannon, “It’s true. It has been driving us crazy since it happened, but we were afraid to tell anyone. We are just kids after all.”
The three of them share a moment of understanding, as Trevor sank to the floor. I’m not crazy! “You know Sherlock Holmes once said, ‘Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.’”
Shannon glanced over her shoulder, at the once shattered Trevor, “Yeah, Sherlock Holmes wasn’t real, so what do we do now?”
“I have no idea,” Trevor admitted. “Let me tell you what I know so far,” he laid out everything he knew and experienced. Including his part in escalating the events. Confession cleanses the soul. He wanted them all working with the same information.