After he opened his eyes, it took Daniel long seconds to remember what had happened to him. His head hurt. He ached all over. There was sand. Some reeds. What was on top of him?
Part of the passenger car, really, just a bunch of shattered boards and upholstery, but it formed a kind of shelter around him. Good thing none of the metal parts of the car landed on him.
When his thoughts were clearer, he started moving his fingers and toes, then slowly his arms and legs making sure everything still worked. Except for general aches and pains, he didn’t feel anything that said he had broken bones.
He looked up through the gaps in the boards above him. Gray, cloudy sky. He could hear thunder. The storm he saw before must be about to break.
He couldn’t see the roc and knew he couldn’t stay there forever.
“Got to chance it.”
Daniel pushed some of the debris aside so he could get out and stand up. He was on the beach at the base of a rise. He must have fallen quite a ways, far enough to where he couldn’t see the train tracks.
If he kept the ocean to his right, he should be able to walk in the same direction as the end of the line. The train must have been close before Gerald attacked.
Then he discovered his limp. His right leg ached a lot and it was hard to put weight on it at first. He managed and the pain lessened as he moved on.
Another clap of thunder acted as a herald for the rain storm. Daniel didn’t even have a jacket to hold over his head and was soaked almost immediately.
He limped on. He thought about Olivia. The image didn’t make him want to cry anymore, but his heart ached for her just as his body ached because of the crash. He had to see this through. Not only Olivia, but so many others had suffered for his sake. He couldn’t let them down. He had to reach the end of the line and find out how to end all this.
The boy figured he’d covered a mile or so when he saw the pier. There was nothing near it. Just a pier standing next to the shore and extending out over the sea. He saw a figure on it holding an umbrella. As he got closer, Daniel saw there were actually two figures, one holding the umbrella to shelter himself and someone else. The other person was doing something with her hands, holding something, moving something.
The rain drowned out any sounds they were making until he was quite close. Actually, he just wanted to get under the umbrella and hoped maybe they could get him to shelter.
Daniel got onto the pier and that’s when he heard it. The ten year old couldn’t know it, but if he paid attention, if he could make the connections, what he heard would be the key to answering everything.
This concept is loosely based on Iain Kelly’s recent A to Z Challenge 2017 story series. Every day, Iain crafted another puzzle piece to his murder mystery that had me and his other readers spellbound. I doubt I can create the suspense he conjured up, but when my wife got a giant A to Z jigsaw puzzle for our two-year-old granddaughter, I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I don’t have a lot of time, so I think each “letter” will be shorter and I’m not sure I can write one every day, but I’ll do my best. This one was particularly short because in a few seconds, from Daniel’s point of view, he’s about to find out what “V” stands for.
The previous story is T is for Train.
The next story is V is for Violin.
I’m back home now, and I have a little more time to write. I took photos of each of the remaining puzzle pieces, so I should be able to continue writing regularly. My schedule will be interrupted again next Thursday, but hopefully, I’ll have several other chapters published by then. Enjoy.