Meet Colbie – The Protagonist in Faith’s new book

As many of you know, I am writing a fiction book.  This has been an interesting journey and one that has left me scratching my head on more than one occasion.  I have so much respect for those who write fiction often and find a way to make their characters come to life for their readers.  This has been a lot of fun and the book (The Accidental Audience) is due for release in early 2015.  However, I didn’t want you to wait that long to start to form a connection with the characters.  So…today…. I am sharing a wee story about Colbie (one that has not made the book cut as yet)

“The search for a missing 8 year old boy has been described as the largest since Operation Sky Hawk. The youngster was last seen…”

Another missing person, another mysterious disappearance needing to be solved. This was the third such incidence in as many weeks. Colbie flicked the TV remote control switch and walked over to the kitchen window. She watched as a bird circled lazily against the silent backdrop of a cloudless blue sky. The August sun beat down without mercy. It was on days like this that she wished that she could do something about cases like this. A knock on the door disrupted her thoughts and she went to answer it. A woman covered in blood stood there with a frightened look on her face. “Help me,” she whispered before collapsing on the porch. She appeared as if she had taken quite a beating. It was clear that her assailant had meant to do some serious damage. It was a wonder how she had made it to Colbie’s door.

Colbie immediately called emergency services. Only after the woman had been taken away did she give herself time to reflect on what had happened. Something inside of her told her that it was time. This time no-one was going to stop her. Jumping into her car she drove straight to her friend Peter’s house in the hope that she could convince him to help her carry out the plan that she had in mind.

“Colbie, you know I can’t help you in my official capacity,” he answered when she explained her idea.

“Could you at least come with me?” she pleaded.

This was not the first time Colbie had asked for such a big favour. The plan was so outrageous that anyone listening to the conversation would have thought the two of them were mad. But Peter knew better than to turn her down. He’d known Colbie since they were in primary school and was the only person who was willing to accommodate her requests. For that she was grateful.

Peter followed Colbie to her car as she explained her strategy in detail. Being a law enforcement officer, she knew that she was breaking all the rules that she had, herself, spelt out to others. They rode in silence for a while each one lost in their own thoughts. She thought back on the day she had first met him. She had recently moved to live with her aunt when one afternoon they heard a local boy had gone missing. The boy’s mother had burst into her aunt’s house, giving both Colbie and her aunt quite a fright.

“My little boy’s gone! He was out playing in the garden and the next minute he was gone,” the woman had said in between sobs as Colbie’s aunt ushered her into the living room. Colbie half-closed her eyes and stared at the woman. Narrowing her vision enabled her to sharpen her focus and she was able to dismiss the distractions in the room and pick up on the vibration.

“I know where the boy is,” she had piped up suddenly, surprising both her aunt and the woman. “Follow me.”

Her aunt had given her a puzzled look while the woman looked at her with eyes filled with the kind of hope born out of desperation.

“Oh, Colbie, don’t be silly. How could you possibly know something like that?” her aunt had chided. “You’re just a child anyway.”

“But I do auntie,” she had insisted.

Her aunt had ignored her and turned her attention back to the missing boy’s mother.

“You said the matter has been reported to the police and that the men are out searching for him. It’s better to let the professionals do their work. Why don’t you come in for a cup of tea and tell me exactly what happened,” Colbie’s aunt persuaded.

Colbie couldn’t stand it. With her hands on her hips she turned to her aunt and repeated loudly, “I said I know where the boy is.”

“What’s wrong with her?” The boy’s mother looked concerned. “Perhaps we should hear what she has to say. Maybe she knows something.”

Colbie had known that the only reason her aunt agreed to follow her suggestion was to shut her up. The two women had followed her as she walked out of the house and headed in the direction of the forest where the search was being conducted. The town’s kids normally went exploring in the forest and it wasn’t the first time a child had gone missing. As Colbie led the way, she seemed to follow a trail that only she could see, where none of the search parties had gone.

She stopped suddenly under a clump of trees. “Stop. I can see something,” she’d whispered motioning them to stop with her hand.

“Where?” the mother asked hopefully.

Colbie stooped down and picked up a sea shell. The mother’s eyes lit up at the sight of it. “That belongs to him. He must be here somewhere.”

Colbie closed her eyes once more. She knew then that the boy was dead but that his spirit was still lingering there.

“He is here, but we’re too late,” was all she could offer. “I tried to tell you earlier that I knew where he was but you wouldn’t listen to me and now he’s gone.”

“What do you mean he’s gone? Gone where?”

No response.

“You don’t mean he’s dead, do you? If he is then I want to see proof.”

Colbie pointed to a cluster of bushes where a limp boy’s body lay. Her aunt had to hold the woman who had once again become hysterical.

“Eight years with my boy and then he’s gone just like that? It can’t be true. I refuse to believe it.” The woman was screaming at the top of her voice.

Colbie’s aunt had scolded her but she couldn’t understand what she had done wrong. She had simply led them to the boy and told the truth. Not long after that, malicious rumours about her had begun to quickly spread in the town. Some called her a witch, others thought she was mad. Her aunt also treated her with caution, even trying to get the local priest to exorcise the evil spirit in her. That was the last time she had ever offered to help anyone using her gift. The children in the neighbourhood didn’t want to have anything to do with her either. They called her names except for one – the dead boy’s brother, Peter. He befriended her, not just because he liked her, but because he wanted to find out how she had known where to find his brother. Glad that she had found a friend, Colbie had opened up her heart and told him her story.

“I am a sleep walker,” she explained the day she told him her story. “My family lived near the sea so I would leave the house and wander out to the beach. It was there that I saw it for the first time.”

“What did you see?” Peter asked intrigued.

“I don’t really know how to describe what it was. It was just something that glowed in the dark so I stooped to pick it up. When I held it up and looked at it I was amazed at how it eclipsed my line of vision. I suddenly had this feeling that I had come into contact with something supernatural. I was able to see into the future. I guess that was when I also acquired my psychic ability. I didn’t understand what it was at first or what it meant but by the time I understood, it was too late.”

“Why, what happened?”

“Well,” she continued, “I saw my family in a car which was involved in a head-on collision. We were due to go on holiday. I tried to persuade my parents to cancel the whole trip, but of course they ignored me. In the end I refused to go on holiday with them. They ended up being killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. I wish I’d done more to stop them.”

“Had you used your abilities before then?”

“Yes. On a number of occasions and each time I was proved right. The problem was that nobody took it seriously, putting it all down to coincidence. After my parents’ death I came here to live with my aunt.”

Peter was in awe of her and their friendship flourished from that day.

Peter’s sudden cough brought her back to the present. He could see she was deep in thought but the silence was getting uncomfortable.

“By the way, you haven’t told me where we’re headed,” he asked.

“The warehouse.”

“The one at the edge of the town?” Peter was incredulous. It wasn’t a nice neighbourhood and he would have preferred not to go there but if it helped Colbie he was happy to go along with the plan.

“Should I expect to see dead bodies?” he asked half-jokingly.

Colbie smiled mischievously, “Are you scared?”

“Of course not!” He may have been a law enforcement officer but the truth was that Peter actually didn’t fancy seeing any dead bodies. Not in this way anyway. It just made matters complicated, but he wasn’t going to say that to Colbie.

“Well, if you are, you don’t have to worry about the dead – only the living can hurt us,” she teased.