Connect The Dots
"Willie, can you run out front and grab the mail for me?" Abigail yelled through the kitchen window to Willie as she put the last few pieces of raw cookie dough onto the baking sheet before tossing them in the oven.
"Yeah! Race you there?" Willie tickled Lydia and she jumped up like a spring and started a mad dash towards the front yard with Willie right behind her. She slapped the side of the mailbox with the palm of her hand and declared victory.
"I win! Gotchya again!" The little pig tailed girl beamed a smile, but before she could turn around Willie scooped her up in his arms and held her tight.
"You got me kiddo." He said as he moved back quickly and cautiously from the sidewalk, starring at a Taxi that was parked in front of the house.
"Who's that?" Lydie asked, pointing her little finger to the figure stepping slowly out of the car.
"Can't be…" Willie stared in disbelief as a woman and a young girl stepped out of the Taxi.
"Lydie the cookies are almost read-" Abigail didn't finish her sentence before she gasped when she saw the woman in the front yard. She recognized her from Willie's memories. "Willie is that who I think it is?" Abigail came out the front door and took Lydie from Willie's arms. "Come on, in the house, let's get some cookies and milk."
"I want to see who it is!" Lydie protested and squirmed in Abigail's arms as she brought her back in the house. "Later, we can see later. Willie are you good?"
The tousle haired young man simply nodded and stared in disbelief as Mrs. Cannon stood beside the cab.
"This one, it's this one right here I think." Ms. Cannon said anxiously from the back of the cab.
"Mom, it might not even be him."
"It's him." Just as she was about to get out of the car a little girl came darting from the back yard and slapped the mailbox, and right behind her was a face that she dreamed about too many times to count. "My William" she whispered.
"Mom, mom get out of the car." Hannah gently nudged her mother.
Ms. Cannon slowly got out of the car and stood frozen in front of it unable to take her eyes off the young man standing before her. Hannah followed and turned to pay the taxi driver.
"Is this the William Loomis you were looking for?" The mustached man asked with a quizzical look.
"It is. How much do we owe you?"
"Excellent. Thirty-five dollars, ma'am"
Hanna fished money out of her mother's purse and handed it to the driver. He was just about to leave when Mrs. Cannon made a request of him. "Can you wait, for just a moment." Mrs. Cannon looked at her daughter, and with tear rimmed eyes spoke quietly. "He may not want me here; I may be unwelcome. I can't bear to wait for another taxi if he wants me gone, and I wouldn't blame him if he does."
"Will you wait?" Hannah again asked the driver.
"Nicholas Blair at your service ma'am" the man said and put the Taxi in park.
Willie stood frozen to the ground beneath him as the woman took a few steps towards him, and then she suddenly stopped. He looked at her face and into her kind dark brown eyes, that looked as though a million tears were about to flood from them. After his parents died, this woman was the only woman that had ever cared about him, ever loved him or showed him an ounce of compassion of affection; until there was Abigail. This woman who he treated so poorly, who he abandoned one night knowing that she loved him and wanted to take care of him.
"Are you William? William Loomis?" The young girl approached him, snapping him out of his disbelief.
"I – I am." He looked at the girl; young, maybe seventeen with long straight brown hair and dark eyes just like her mothers. It was clear that she was Mrs. Cannon's daughter, the resemblance was remarkable. Then he looked back at her mother.
"Mrs. Cannon." He said, not questioning that fact. He knew who she was, and he was suddenly overtaken with regret and sadness at the fact that he ran away from her and never looked back. She clearly cared deeply for him, coming all this way to see if he was who Abigail said he was in her letter.
"My William," she began to cry, and Willie went to her and put his arms around her and hugged her tight, and she hugged him back tighter. "All these years I thought I'd lost you forever."
Willie pulled his head up to see the young girl talking with the Taxi driver. The two men made eye contact, and the driver tipped his hat towards him as he pulled away.
"Come, come in the house. Let me grab those." Willie grabbed the two small bags that they had, and they made their way into the small home, settling in at the kitchen table.
After an hour of small talk and introductions, Abigail tapped Lydia on the shoulder and informed the curious young girl of her nap time.
"No! We just found out we are a family! I want to stay here!" Lydia protested, but her mother won in the end by promising ice cream and play time when she woke up.
Once settled again, the sweet woman began to talk about the last time she saw Willie.
"When he left that night, I expected to see him in his bed the next morning. He had run off a few times over the years, but I always found him sleeping in the same clothes he wore the day before. This kid," she patted Willie's hand. "my gosh, he was always getting into something; dirt just stuck on him like he was a magnet for it." She chuckled at the memory.
Willie shifted uncomfortably in his chair and Abigail placed her hand on his knee to help calm him.
"Two days passed though, then two more, then a week." Mrs. Cannon paused and shook her head. "I searched everywhere. Got the police involved. I checked all of his favorite hiding places, even the library and museums." She looked up at Abigail smiling, "He loved books and art, even though he tried to hide it from the other kids. He had books hidden under his bed. So smart this one. He could fix anything too." She paused to take a sip of her coffee and then continued with a heavy sigh. "But I couldn't find him anywhere. When the adoption was finalized, he had been gone nearly a month."
"Finalized?" Willie looked at her confused.
"Yes, William. I adopted you, legally. We had your room all ready for you."
"Superman," Hanna chuckled and rolled her eyes. "My God it was Superman everything! Sheets, pillows, you name it."
"You adopted me?" Willie couldn't wrap his head around it.
"Of course, William. I wanted you to be mine to care for, since the first day you came to the orphanage and I saw those big blue eyes staring up at me and asking me about monsters." Mrs. Cannan said sweetly. "But three months later, after so much searching, I got a dreaded call. They had pulled a boy out of the river. He had a library card in his pocket. I went down to the morgue; I saw the young boy, lifeless on the table. Had your jacket on, couldn't mistake that old jacket for anything; and your library card in the pocket. It was difficult to look at, they said that you – er, um, the young boy – had been in the water for some time."
Willie shook his head, remembering a specific action that changed the course of everything. "I gave my coat to some kid. I met a guy that was willing to take me with him and get out of town, but he said no ties to anything that could identify me or my old life. I just gave it to some random kid on the street. Jesus." Willie shook his head, struggling to comprehend the mess he left in his wake. It was just another confirmation of all the things that Barnabas had told him. He was a poison to everyone he ever met. Dark thoughts started to creep into his mind when Hannah tried to unsuccessfully change the mood.
"Well I am so glad to finally meet you brother. Rebecca, my twin sister, will be absolutely delighted. We can finally lite all the candles!" Hanna exclaimed, not realizing the sadness to the story that would follow.
"The candles?" Abigail questioned her comment.
"Yes!" Hannah explained. "Every year on his birthday we would get a cake and celebrate and put all the candles on the cake. We only lit the ones that he was alive for." Her voice dropped with the last sentence, realizing the seriousness of that picture; 12 candles lit, and an extra candle added every year that would remain dark and represent a year that he was gone. Hannah saw the sadness wash over her newly found brother.
"Hannah, darling, please." Her mother's tone disapproving and apologetic of the memory being said out loud. "Sounds so depressing when told like that."
"I – I'm sorry, I shouldn't have told that story…"
Abigail cleared her throat and dashed a tear from her eye before she stood up. "Hannah, it's time for Lydie to get up from her nap. Would you like to come with me? We can take her out to play a bit and leave your mom and Willie to chat." Abigail thought it better to leave the two alone and give them some time to themselves.
Willie stared at the wood grain on the table after the others left, feeling ashamed for the way he left things and the pain he caused her.
"Have you had a good life so far, William?" She moved beside him and grabbed his hand in hers, brushing the sweeps of hair from his eyes. "Were you well taken care of? Were you happy?" the kind motherly woman asked, hoping with all her heart that he at least found some peace after he left her.
Willie shyly looked up at the woman and tears slid down his cheeks. "I'm so sorry. I'm just so, so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I should've stayed. I thought of you often, I missed you so much and so many times I wanted to come back. I was a shitty kid and I didn't think–"
The woman pulled him into her arms and held him, stopping him from going on. She held him just like she did the last time she saw him on that awful night in the alley behind the orphanage, and she loved him now as much as she did then; she could tell by the look in his sorrowful eyes that peace was not something he found. "You have no idea, William, how full my heart is holding you. I never stopped loving you, my sweet boy. Never. I want to be a part of your life if you'll have me."
Willie couldn't say the words out loud, but he loved her too.
"Why don't you stay here tonight. We can have dinner, and you can get to know Abigail and Lydie better." Willie stood up and washed his face to refresh it in the kitchen sink.
"We don't want to be a bother. We have a hotel for the evening."
"Nonsense" Abigail reentered the kitchen after hearing the water running, taking it as a sign that they had taken a break from their talk. "You can stay in the guest room; it isn't much but there will be a good dinner and a warm breakfast for you. Lydie would love it too." She glanced into the living room to see Lydie and Hannah playing games on the floor.
Dinner came and went and Lydie had already climbed into her parents' bed and was sound asleep.
"The taxi driver, he looked so familiar. The way he looked at me when he left, it was like he knew me somehow." Willie pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a long sleeve t-shirt as he got ready for bed.
"Willie you are going to roast in that." Abigail gestured at his sleeping attire with her toothbrush, "just put on the boxers."
"I can't take the chance of Mrs. Cannon seeing, ya know?" He was referring to the horrific scarring courtesy of Barnabas. "I mean, how would I ever explain that." Abigail nodded, and clicked the fan up on high.
They climbed into bed, Willie's mind spinning from the day. Memories from when he was a child with Mrs. Cannon flooding in. Good memories. Her reading to him, taking him for ice cream, sitting with him at night when he couldn't sleep. The two of them playing with little Rizzo at the park. Good memories, he thought. His dreams started out swirling in those good times, but all the while there was a face, a face in the shadows of his dreams and he tried to focus on it. Who is this? As the dream would shift and change, that face would again be there, distant, but there. He was so bothered by it that it woke him up. He sat in the darkness for a moment, closed his eyes again and tried to bring the face into focus. The taxi driver. Willie sat up slowly, careful not to wake up Abagail, and headed to the kitchen and out the back to the garage. He grabbed a ladder and climbed up to reach an envelope from the rafters. Sitting on the bottom rung he pulled out the pictures within it. It had been months since the visit from Barnabas, but he remembered his warning. Willie looked at the pictures, each one had the face of the man in his dreams. It looked exactly like the man driving the taxi. Couldn't be. He flipped through each one and the more he studied the face the more certain he was that the man he saw in the cab was indeed the same man in these pictures.
Willie took the photos into the house, sat at the kitchen table and spread them out. It was time to wake Abigail and tell her what had transpired between he and Barnabas. The timing was horrific, but his daughter's safety was more important than anything else ever could be. It would be better to show Abigail now before Mrs. Cannon and her daughter woke. They could quickly get them out of the house after they woke and then plan what they were going to do next.
"Abigail wake up, honey wake up okay? We need to talk." Willie was gently nudging his sleeping wife.
"Willie, not now. We have guests…" She waived him off and rolled over and started to fall back asleep.
"Abby, no – no I need to talk to you. It's important. It's Barnabas."
The mere sound of his name could wake her out of a dead sleep. She sat up and looked at their daughter, still fast asleep on their bed. "What are you doing?" Abigail asked as Willie picked Lydie up and carefully started walking towards the living room.
"We can see her from the kitchen." He said quickly as he laid the little one down and went to the kitchen table. Abigail was rubbing the sleep out of her eyes and attempting to focus on the pictures before her.
"What is this? What are all these?"
Willie began to explain to Abigail what Barnabas had explained to him. When he was through Abigail was fully awake and the images were clear.
"Why would you keep this from me?" Abigail whispered angrily, studying each clipping.
"I didn't believe him. I thought that he might be using it as a trick to get us to move back, to control us. But I know what I saw, and that man today looked just like the man in the photo. He knows where we are. We need to figure out what we are going to do."
Mrs. Cannon surprised both of them when she walked into the kitchen, and she was startled as well when she saw them. "Oh my, I'm so sorry. I was just getting up for a glass of water. Am I interrupting? I do apologize."
"No, no of course not." Abigail responded with a smile. "Here let me get it for you."
Willie discretely grabbed the clippings and slid them back into the envelope.
Mrs. Cannon bent down and picked up one of the clippings from the floor, a clipping they didn't realize they had dropped. She stared at it for a moment and then said curiously, "Tulrilon."
Willie looked at her confused.
"Here, in this photograph. This man here is Tulrilon, although he goes by many names." She pointed to the tall mustached man.
"You know who this is?" Abigail handed Mrs. Cannon the glass of water.
"Well, I don't know him in the physical sense. But I know of him. A demon of sorts, harnesses the power of children. A powerful entity himself, but once paired with the chosen child he is unstoppable."
"Wait… how do you know this?" Willie quickly asked, and Mrs. Cannon quickly fired an answer and question back to him.
"I found clippings of this man and entries about him in my sister Moira's diary. Why do you have this?" she held the picture up and stared at the two of them.
"Moira?" Abigail looked at her confused. "You have a sister named Moira?"
"Yes, well I had a sister, rest her soul. She was murdered in her shop, along with several teenagers several years ago on New Year's Eve. The only lead was the name Abigail written on the ceiling." The three stared at one another, connecting invisible dots between them. They didn't notice that Hannah had entered the room.
"What is everyone doing up? It's three am." Hannah stole a glance at the clipping in her mother's hand. "Hey! That looks just like our cab driver today."
Their attention was then snapped to the tiny girl asleep on the couch as she began to snore loudly, clutching a teddy bear in her hands.
A/N: Whew it has been a long while since we had an update to this story. Welcome back readers...I never forgot about you.