Some of our authors were asked to write a story based on one of their characters from their stories and with a chosen prompt word. Check out Rick R. Reed today!
Characters: Cayce D’Amico & Dave Newton
By Rick R. Reed
(A missing scene from the psychic thriller, Third Eye)
Cayce stood at the door to his son Luke’s bedroom and watched the little boy sleep. Today had been his birthday and all the usual suspects had turned up—the birthday cake and its flickering candles, marking the passage of another year and the heap of colorfully wrapped and beribboned packages, larger-than-ever this year because this year the celebration of Luke’s life was more profound.
Cayce had almost lost that small but robust life. He closed his eyes, a wave of the panic that had gripped him when the boy had gone missing washed over him. Luke had been in a monster’s clutches only a few weeks ago.
Cayce sighed with—what?—gratitude? Relief? Perhaps with the contentment that only a parent knows while watching his child snuggled down into covers, lost in dreamland—safe.
Losing Luke this past year had almost killed Cayce. He hated to remember it, but he had to because he never wanted anything akin to it to happen ever again. And this birthday, and its party, marked not only the passage of time, but also a blessing and an opportunity for thanksgiving. In that spirit, in addition the birthday cake, Cayce had made a birthday lunch that included a turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and all the other holiday-meal trimmings. The kids loved it.
Here at the edge of his boy’s door, Cayce had to restrain himself from being selfish, from moving the few steps it would take to land him beside Luke’s bed. He wanted so much to touch the chubby, warm cheeks and to run his fingers through the silky soft hair. He’d be a little boy for such a brief time.
Yet he wanted Luke to sleep, to rest, to awaken to greet another day without the presence of monsters. So he stayed in his spot at the doorway, simply gazing in at his son’s face and small body, under a Superman comforter, illuminated by a sock monkey nightlight.
Cayce felt a pair of hands on his shoulders, strong, massaging. He turned and looked up into the grizzled face of the man he was falling more and more in love with every day. Dave Newton, his savior in a way. Without him, Cayce may have been gazing into an empty room tonight, mourning an empty twin bed and a birthday passing without celebration.
As he looked into Dave’s warm eyes, he felt emotions rushing up and tears spring to the corners of his eyes.
“What is it?” Dave asked, his gravelly voice rising just above a whisper.
“You.” Cayce took Dave’s hand and guided him away from Luke’s room. They covered the few steps, holding hands like teenage lovers, down the hall toward Cayce’s bedroom. They went inside and Cayce switched on a lamp next to the bed. He turned to Dave. “You. You helped me find my little boy. You helped me save him.” He cocked his head and then smiled at Dave, hoping the simple upturning of his lips would convey his feelings, his thanks, his love. “Because of you, that little boy is safe tonight, under, under—” Cayce’s voice trailed off, grasping for the right pronoun to use. He went with his gut and said, “Under our roof.”
Cayce pulled off his T-shirt. He kicked off the camouflage cargo shorts, sending them into the shadows gathered in the corner of the bedroom. Wearing little more than a grin, he held his arms out to Dave. “Come here, you, it’s our turn to celebrate.”
And Dave went to him.