Blank expression

“Little boy mysteriously disappeared in North Lake Park”, this was the headline of today’s local newspapers, still. And I mean still because this happened last week, on Thursday, and we are almost one week in since the disappearance. The local media is feeding on this and one can only imagine the despair of this poor boy’s parents.

The police themselves, as it was expected, only started looking for little Timothy two days after the missing person complain was filed. Nonetheless the boy’s father, gathered some of his hunting colleges to conduct a search for his missing son. They went on for three days straight, without success. The police reports state one boy who said Timmy’s friends thought he went home before them. Sheriff Hudson alleges that the little boy got lost in the far end of the park, where the Long Forest begins, while playing hide and seek with his friends. But he is lying. Hudson knows exactly what happened, just like I do. And he is frightened.

In 1976, I lost my license due to jeopardizing a closed investigation of the disappearance of four kids, just like Timothy’s. Back then there was only one witness, Jennifer. She was playing catch with her friend, Andrew, at the same exact place Timothy and his friends were, north of the wooden bridge of North Lake Park. I questioned little Jenny back then, and Hudson was my partner. The lifeless smile on her face became imprinted on the back of my head and still haunts my sleep, every night. I gently asked her what happened and what she saw, but she didn’t shed a single word. Jennifer was immediately interned in an asylum because she never spoke nor, strangely, blinked her eyes. In fact, her facial expression didn’t change for over eight full months, not even during night time. The only thing she would ever do was painting black circles anywhere possible, in the exact same hour when Andrew disappeared.

We carried our investigation for over six months, until the case got filed without any plausible reason to explain the mysterious disappearances, or worse, to settle the restless parents of those poor kids. Two months after I was still trying to get some answers. It was almost midnight, that day, and I was reviewing the files and then I got a sudden call. It was from little Jenny’s mother. She said Jennifer had been sent home because she wasn’t showing any signs of improvement with the psychiatric treatment. “She stopped drawing the black circles, though, so she might be improving, right?”, she asked, waiting for the confirmation I couldn’t give her. I called Hudson to tell him we should go see her and he reluctantly accepted.

When we arrived at Jennifer’s house, she was sitting on the couch with the same expression of that day. Hudson was definitely troubled to be there, not only because we had no superior authorization but also because Jenny’s expression was a frightening image to look at. I proceeded to ask the same question from eight months before. For about five to seven seconds the room was silent, but then little Jenny turned her head toward us:
”It will come back”, she said with a shallow and monotonous voice, “It feeds on both the flesh and the soul. It needs both and one’s still missing”. Jennifer’s mother started shaking out of fear. Me and Hudson obliviously looked at each other, we needed more. “Jenny, what is It?”, I asked. She took a black crayon from her pocket and started drawing on the wall.

When she finished she looked at us with that crooked smile and pointed to the wall. The drawing was not of a circle, like she used to do in the asylum, but of a slim figure, of about her height, with what it seemed to be a faceless head. “Is that its face?”, I asked. Jenny nodded and the lights started flashing. Me and Hudson rushed to our holsters to get our guns. Suddenly the lights went out, a deafening scream filled the room and we all fell to our knees. It lasted four long seconds before stopping. When the lights came up again we were still recovering our senses. We heard another scream, this time was from the mother. We looked at her, she pointed to the middle of the room. There was no sight of Jennifer, nor the slim dark figure she draw on the wall.

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