She stared hard at the picture, she admired Jennifer’s beauty. Her hair wasn’t wet with debris, but with long brown silky ringlets. Her smile was wide and bright with eyes that shined with reflection of a happy childhood.
Jane: Why weren’t we out looking for her when we were searching for Rebecca?
Sheriff John: Because she is out of our jurisdiction.
Jane: How far?
She could tell he was annoyed with the information he was about to give her.
Sheriff John: Thirty minutes… we’re close to the next county and Jennifer Conway lived near that line– approximately fifteen minutes.
Jane: So it’s possible it’s the same killer?
He didn’t say a word, but nodded.
Jane: We need to call the sheriff of that county!
Helen: We’ve already done that honey. Sheriff cutie here vouched for you too.
The Sheriff stood quiet and serious. Jane knew it was because he had to openly admit he allowed a psychic to help him with investigations. In the justice system, psychics are considered an act of desperation and foolish to those who accept. But there are those special ones; the ones who believe in saving a life and finding the truth was worth more than their reputation—Sheriff John was one of those special cops.
Jane: Let’s go!
Helen: (stopping Jane) Honey, you might want to get dress.
Jane sat in the front passenger seat, still holding Jennifer’s picture and thinking about her dream. She thought about where she could be. They passed a brown oak sign with gold lettering: Welcome to Oak Red County: Fallen leaves and beauty. Jane remembered the leaves that dressed Jennifer’s soaked hair and knew they were heading in the right direction.
Sheriff John: (looking through the back view mirror) Look I must warn you, the Sheriff in this county does not like psychics and only considered, because we’re old friends.
Helen: (speaking joyfully) Oh honey, we’re use to those nay sayers and skeptics, remember honey you were one of those too—No hard feelings.
Jane smiled at Helen’s response and looked back at her approvingly. They drove on until Jane saw someone standing in the middle of the road. As they approached, Jane realized it was Jennifer. When she went to speak out the Sheriff hit Jennifer with his patrol car and suddenly Jennifer stood sitting next to Jane.
Jennifer: (whispering) Find me.
Jane stared at the vision, shocked and at a loss for words when she bursts into a swamp of black beetles. Jane screamed, waving her arms around.
Sheriff John: What?! What’s wrong?!
He tried to keep his patrol car under control.
Jane: Stop the car! Stop the car!
Jane opened the door and didn’t make it far before she vomited. Helen patted her on the back.
Helen: You okay honey?
Jane: (wiping her mouth) I saw her. I-I keep seeing her.
The Sheriff stepped out and stood in front of his car.
Sheriff: I’m not even going to ask.
Jane felt sick to her stomach and was bent forward, looking at the grass. She breathed in to help relieve her nausea. She stood up and looked at the trees and tried to relax, when something caught her attention. She looked, not sure what she was looking for, but suddenly saw a dark brown creäture come up from the ground. Deformed and molded like mud, its paws and legs clawed itself out of the ground. Jane couldn’t speak and felt paralyzed with shock. The creature with the shape of a large mutilated Doberman opened its mouth; split vertically showing its teeth and snarled. Jane didn’t move, but grabbed Helen’s forearm.
Helen: (sounding worried) What is it honey? What do ya see? Tell me so I can help you.
Jane couldn’t say a word, but watched the rancid beast foul and gruesome stare back at her with pale-yellow eyes. It snarled and darted itself into the woods. Jane felt this overwhelming feeling and chased after it.
She could hear Helen yelling after her. The creature ran as fast as a dog and she was close enough to see where it was going. She ran as fast as her heart would allow. She felt it pounding her chest; hard like a war drum. She saw the creature stop. She stopped abruptly digging her feet into the Earth. She walked towards it slowly, cautiously, not sure what it was doing. She slipped into a big pond of mud, splashing in like a stone in a river. She tried to get to her feet and slowly lifted her head when she heard a deep growl that made her eardrums vibrate. She looked and met eyes with the creature. She could feel its hot breath against her skin. Jane felt a rock in her throat, suffocating her attempts to scream.
The creature jolted its head up when it heard Helen, and ran. Jane quickly pulled herself together and got up. She could feel the heaviness of the mud on her clothing. Wet, it clung to her body, a feeling of cold moisture. She started to chase the creature again and felt the weight of the mud on her body. She ran, but she couldn’t see where the creature had went. Jane felt scared and nervous that it was going to ambush her. She slowly walked forward, slightly crouched looking around. She saw a river with a muddy bank. It was wet and reminded her of a swamp. Heavy with green foliage and leaves of brown, orange, and red, the trees were tall enough to block the sun. A few beams of light shone through like headlights piercing through a window. She walked towards the bank of the river and saw what looked like an arm.
She heard from a distance Helen’s voice. It echoed and Jane saw the birds react to the sound of Helen calling out for her. Jane approached the arm, and as she got closer she saw a body, half buried into the mud. It was faced up, but the head was covered with hair, mud, and leaves. She knelt beside it and with trembling hands pushed back the hair and saw that it was Jennifer. Jane felt an overwhelming emotion of sadness. Her tears cleaned the path it took down her face. As she wiped her tears and looked back to call out to Helen, Jennifer grabbed her arm coughing violently. Jane jumped up and screamed.
Jane: She’s alive! She’s alive!