Milton had wandered away from the house. Cindy had never admitted it, but she’d always been jealous of her little brother, had always envied how he had so thoroughly robbed her of the attention she rightfully deserved. She had had her parents for ten years all to herself, her grandparents too, and when he was born she went from six people who sang her praises to zero.
It wasn’t fair.
So when he’d somehow gotten outside and wandered away from the house she’d been the one to not only discover he was missing, but she’d led the charge to find him. In actuality, she had taken him to the clearing and told him to stay there. That they were playing a game of hide-me and she would come back for him really soon if he could be quiet and sit still for a whole hour.
He’d been hesitant because the clearing was so scary but Cindy had sealed the deal with the promise of a Tootsie pop if he could be a great big boy and stay right there. Milton had nodded vigorously, wanting that Tootsie pop. She’d given it to him and promised him another later once she came back for him.
After leading her parents all around the property once they’d done a complete search of the house, she had eventually led them to the clearing, all the while regaling them with horrific possibilities of his torture and death. She really hadn’t believed or wanted any of that to happen, it was more a venting of her frustration and a good punishment for how they’d been treating her over the last few years. She figured they would shower him with affection once again and that she would just have to get used to playing second fiddle, but she was hoping that if she were the hero who reunited the list child with its parents that she might actually get to be second place as opposed to being ignored altogether.
But what they’d found was every bit as horrible as what she’d been describing. Her intent, had she really had more than an inkling of forethought had been to raise their anxiety to the point that the flood of emotions at the sight of their son, safe and sound, would have washed over her too. However, Milton wasn’t there.
At least not all of him. And a lot more of him than any of them could have ever wanted to see. Something had carried the boy off and apparently made several trips to do it. It had left a significant portion behind but nowhere near enough for the Nostrands to describe what lay before them as their son.
Except for the Tootsie pop Cindy had left him with.
Make sure to check back for the next installment this week! In the meantime, Anything but Zombies is out now! Go download a copy.