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Bobby

4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5    4.75/5
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July 10th 2013  |  0  |  Category: Drama , Fiction , Suspense , Tragedy  |  Author: vincenttobia  |  1330 views

Today is the seventh day.

My mother and father are beyond sick. My uncle and his wife have been a big help. Many neighbors and people, some whom we don’t even know, are helping us search. But today is almost over and the sky has already begun to turn orange. As I look up I see a cloudless twilight. Soon it will be pitch black again and I am fearful that my little brother will to have spend another night alone; yet another night alone out in these woods.
Seven days ago my little brother and I were playing wiffle ball in our backyard. We had wrote out the lineups of our favorite teams. As usual, we were playing out fantasy scenarios of a world-series game 7. Most of those games start out were I run the score up and I really beat his butt early on. But in the fifth inning I start to ease off and let Bobby make a miraculous comeback. He would end up winning and I would call him the “Comeback-Kid“. But over the past week I’ve been giving a lot of thought to those wiffle ball games. I wonder if Bobby knew I was intentionally letting him win? This summer alone we’ve played probably two or three games a day.
I wonder if we will ever be able to play that game again.
During our last game which was a week ago, in the sixth inning, I went inside the house to go to the bathroom. Bobby had waited outside, he was due up to hit. I remember seeing him tossing the ball up to himself then swinging the bat at the ball. He was doing his own little practice at-bats. He told me to hurry up as I ran inside. But I had also gone up to my room to check my email. I was awaiting a response from this girl in my geometry class about things that now seem so incredibly meaningless. I wasn’t gone for more than ten minutes. But when I went back outside, Bobby was gone. I called out his name a few times. We live out in the country; so our backyard is fairly large. I walked around outside looking for him. I went back inside and checked the living room; he wasn’t watching TV. My mom asked how we were doing and that was when I finally started to panic. I told her we were doing fine; hoping I’d find Bobby in the basement or up in one of the bedrooms. Nope, he just simply wasn’t there. I kept Bobby’s disappearance a secret for almost half an hour. It took me that long to finally search inside and outside. It took me that long to work up the nerve to admit that he was gone. At first when I told my mom about Bobby’s disappearance she didn’t believe me. It took her only ten minutes of searching to finally go full-blown hysterical. She called my father at work and he was home within fifteen minutes; even though he works a half hour away from home. They just kept asking me the same questions; over and over again.
“How long did you leave him alone?”
“Did he say anything to you before you went inside?”
“Did you see anyone anywhere, anyone suspicious?”
“How could he just disappear?”
We went back outside to where we had been playing wiffle ball. It was then that I discovered that the bat was still there, but the ball was nowhere to be seen.
I wanted to find Bobby so incredibly bad. I was, after all, the last person to see him.
The police had warned us that the first 48 hours after a abduction were the most crucial. During the first few days of the search for Bobby; no one slept. We combed the woods around our house. My uncle called his friends to help look, my dad had his co-workers come to help look, my mother had her friends from the library come over to search too. Police had come in from four different counties; each with their own dog. They let the K-9s sniff around in Bobby’s room. They sniffed Bobby’s clothing, sniffed Bobby’s shoes, and they even sniffed Bobby’s pillow in order to pick up his scent. Each morning at the crack of dawn our massive group of searchers, wonderers, and high-hopefuls would setout; all in different directions. My father had purchased 3 boxes of walkie-talkies, flashlights and compasses. We were all connected. Assuring none of us were to be left out of the loop. Assuring that none of us would get lost. Those first two days flew by rather fast. We would all search the full woods, the deep woods, the ever-growing dark woods until twilight time. The police insisted that we do not search at night, the risks were too high to have another major setback.
On the third day some of my Uncle’s friends had not shown to help search.
On the fourth day all of my father’s co-workers hadn’t shown up.
On the fifth day the police had dwindled down to just the local jurisdiction.
On the sixth day my father held my mother on the floor of Bobby’s room while she cried and carried on hysterically for 3 hours. They slept that night in Bobby’s room; right there on the floor. I don’t understand how they could even be in his room. Since his disappearance I can’t even look inside Bobby’s room. It has such a tragic and strange glow to it. The absence of Bobby makes the room seem empty; even though all of his things are still in there. My parents had come to the unsettling decision that someone had taken Bobby from us. But how? And who? We heard no cars that day and our driveway is long and lined with dirt. The dust that would have been kicked up from a vehicle could have been easily viewable; given how short of a time Bobby was left alone.


Soon though, this seventh day was to be done. I walked long this morning in the direction of east for a few hours. After an unsatisfying lunch/supper I started out again; this time going west. My mother insisted that I do not search long today. My father didn’t seem to care either way. For all I know I was now the only one searching. The depression that had settled onto my mother and father had the invisible weight of a dozen tons.
I continued to trek through the woods. I was too far out to get home by dark. If I turned back now I might still have only a slight chance to get home before the night fell. So I gave up on today and turned around.
But that was when I heard something. I stood perfectly still, not breathing, as I listened to hear the sound again. And there it was.
A solitary nightingale began to sing.
How old do you think it’s song was? When you hear such a thing, coming from an animal that dates back so far in time, do you ever wonder how you came to be? How have we all come to be? And how we are all so very little and insignificant; on a planet so big? In a universe unfathomably large?
I quickly snapped out of my surge of sudden thoughts.
I had to follow the nightingale’s voice, it was so sweet and welcoming. So I walked through the woods in the direction of the bird’s song; back in the direction of west. There was still plenty of light to guide the way; peering in and around the trees. But I know soon that won’t hold true. It took me about 25 paces to finally see the bird. She was a little fat bird with a robust and yellow tummy. But I did not find her high up on a tree branch; like I had thought I would. I had found her sitting on top of a large fallen tree.
As I approached the nightingale took off; flying away fast into the dark woods. As I followed the bird’s flight path an unmistakable color had caught my eye.
White. Bone White.
On the ground, at the end of the fallen tree, I could see a semi-circle of white. The floor of these woods did not have such a color; my mind went racing. This was a foreign object. I quickly went to the end of tree; confused with the need to inspect such a sight that seemed to be so very out of place.
My heart stopped and my knee’s turned into thin air.
It was the wiffle ball.
We had opened a new one that day. I had forgotten about all of this. We had to use a new wiffle ball because the one we had been using was cracked and ready to literally fall apart with the next big hit. I was excited now; my searching had finally paid off. I had to run back and tell my parents that this was the direction to be in. West, a very long ways away, but west it was! How could all the searchers have missed this clue? Bobby had to have gone this way!
Quickly I bent over to pick up the evidence of my findings and I saw something that had startled and confused me; causing me to stop.
3 cigarette buds were lying near the ball.
Was Bobby smoking?
Where would he even get cigarettes? Myself, mom, and dad do not smoke.
Was there someone else here with him?
Then the smell hit me.
A pungent, gamey, half-rotten odor struck my senses. I had to take a step back; covering my nose with my t-shirt. I looked at the large fallen tree again because the smell seemed to be coming from it; then I realized it must be a very old tree. Because I saw that erosion and woodland creatures must have hollowed it out over time. It took only a few seconds to process but I began to fear the worst. And unfortunately I was right.
As I slowly walked sideways, turning my gaze to the inside of the tree while peering into it’s hollow core, I saw the pale light-blue and dirty hand of my younger brother.
Bobby was inside that tree.
I woke up and it was dark. I clicked on my flashlight and noticed that I had vomited all over my face and shirt. I couldn’t have been out too long; it looked like the sun had only just settled. I decided to finally make my way back home.
My mind was mostly void. Shock and exhaustion had me thinking more robotically than necessary. Still, what do I do now?
Questions of the deepest nature and most profound moral absurdity plagued me:
What do I tell my parents?
I do not believe he was alone; how did he die and who could do such a thing?
What were his last thoughts?
Did he enjoy his final day alive playing wiffle ball with his older brother?
Should I even tell anyone about this?
I could keep this all a secret and spare everyone the horrors of this reality. Yes, a lie would suffice. This truth is too much to handle. Let us numb our lives and minds from this pain of a lost son.
A lost brother.
A lost nephew.
A lost child.
This will be our final and forever secret. Goodbye Bobby.

THE END

By

Vincent S. Tobia

 

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