Here it is, folks. Check dis:
A neighbor called the police. The police came out and looked at the damage, and were baffled. In the end, they told the news crews that it had been a microburst that had swept through the neighborhood. Oscar had never heard of the term microburst before in his life, but apparently it was something similar to a localized tornado. Nobody but Oscar saw it happen, and he wasn’t talking. So, they looked at the downed trees and other similar damage, and took an educated guess. Oscar didn’t know, but he confidently guessed that nobody suggested that it might have been a monster as big as a house conjured up from a baby’s dream that caused the damage.
Surprisingly, Oscar and Simi weren’t the only ones injured. Mrs. Ingersoll from across the street had been cooking in her kitchen when the creature had knocked the tree down on their house. Part of the wall came down on her hand and broke three fingers.
Oscar, however, was definitely the most injured survivor. he woke up in the hospital with a bandages on his head, and casts on his arm and leg. He told the cops that came to interview him that he couldn’t remember what had happened, although he could remember just fine. He just couldn’t explain it in a way that wouldn’t make him seem crazy. And they told him it had been a microburst. He asked the policeman about his wife.
“No one has seen her,” Officer Rutledge responded. “She wasn’t in your home, and hasn’t shown up since either. We contacted your mother, who drove out from Fresno to take care of your son.”
“She was with me when all this happened. No one found her?” Oscar pleaded.
“I’m sorry,” Rutledge said, hanging his head slightlly.
They filled out a missing person report. Oscar was unable to write with his arm in a cast, so Officer Rutledge played scribe for him.
“Simrita Balasaraswathi Lopez” Oscar said.
“Can you spell that for me please,” replied Rutledge.
And on they went. Oscar was sobbing long before they made it all the way through. He knew they wouldn’t be finding her. She was chewed up inside a dream monster’s belly, and wouldn’t be waking up disoriented in an alleyway downtown or anything like that. And worse yet, there would never be any remains to be found either. They’d never have anything to bury. Simi’s parents, brother, and sisters, would never have any satisfaction or closure as the headshrinkers liked to babble on about these days. The only one who would have that closure would be Oscar, because he saw it happen.
How the cops would explain her disappearance would be interesting to see. They didn’t seem to be interested in investigating or pressing charges or whatever it was that they would do. Would they say that the microburst blew her out to sea or something? That seemed pretty improbable, after all the ocean was miles west of their house, that’s a pretty strong wind. Oscar supposed time would tell. He did think he might be in for more visits from the police eventually as Simi continued to refuse to turn up.
When his mother came in with Trevon to visit him, he could do nothing but cry. His beautiful, sweet innocent baby perched on his mother’s hip was the cause of all this pain and destruction. It was as if he were a fuzzy little teddy bear robot, so cute and sweet, but within it there was a nuclear power cell that could become unstable and meltdown and vaporize a bunch of people at any time. But, all the same, he couldn’t look into that face and feel anything but love. He was his son. The fruit of his loins. He would carry on his family name into the future. He would grow up to have so much more joy and happiness than Oscar had ever had in his lifetime, because Oscar had so much more prosperity to share with him than his parents had had.
But would he? Would he grow up at all? Would Oscar, now alone as his parent, be able to keep him safe--and the world safe from him--until he got old enough that he could do something about his dream problem?
He cried as his mother placed the baby in the crook of his left arm so he could hug him. His mother squeezed in and hugged them both gently as he sobbed and whispered Simi’s name.
“She’s gone, Mom,” he said, “she’s just gone. Nobody knows where she is. She was with me when it happened, and now she’s gone.”
They discharged him from the hospital that day, giving him and his mother instructions on how to care for his wounds. He slept in his room that night, in his empty bed, with Trevon in the crib. His mother slept in the guest room down the hall.
“What’s with all the air horns everywhere,” she asked.
Oscar didn’t know quite how to respond to that. “Trevon has bad dreams,” he said, “and sometimes we use them to wake him up.”
She frowned at that. Apparently it wasn’t a good answer. But Oscar just changed the subject.
Trevon’s true dreams happened every night after they got home from the hospital. They weren’t physically destructive like the giant creature had been. Instead, they were emotionally destructive. Oscar kept waking up to find apparitions of Simi in their room. He always cried out when he saw her, his heart aching for her to be real, his mind knowing that she was not. Each appearance was a dagger in his soul. Trevon was surely trying to work out her disappearance in his mind, not understanding why his mom never came to take care of him anymore when he cried. It was hard for both of them, and Oscar couldn’t decide who had it worst.
His mom would come running when she heard the air horn, wondering what the hell was going on. She would find Oscar wallowing in uncontrollable tears, and have nothing better to offer than a shoulder to cry on.
Simi’s parents came out from New Jersey as soon as they could make it as well. It was so uncomfortable, because he had nothing he could say to them. No one knew where she was, and that was the best explanation he had. Her mother, who had always been so very sweet on him, looked at him with distrust and accusation. They took several trips to the police station while they were in town, and always came back frustrated and angry. They never felt satisfied with anything the police said. How could she have gone missing because of a wind storm? At last, the time for them to leave arrived, and even though he’d always really liked her parents, he was ecstatic to see them go.
Eventually, Oscar’s injuries healed enough that he could take care of himself, and even his son as well, and his mother returned to Fresno too. She went with great trepidation. She had wanted to at least hear news of Simi before she left, but, of course, they never did. Oscar didn’t know when they’d finally have a funeral for her, but he wasn’t ready for it yet, and there was no rush, since there was no body and no news.
He was glad to see his mother go. He loved her dearly, and was very grateful for her help, but it had become very difficult to keep her in the dark about Trevon’s gift...or maybe curse was more appropriate. She was growing less and less satisfied with Oscar’s lies when she asked what was going on. And sooner or later, she would see something, and he’d be unable to explain it away. Or worse yet, she’d see something, and end up like Simi, dead and vanished into the ether.
Once his mother was gone, Oscar got lazy, and started using the TV as a babysitter. Despite his misgivings, he let Trevon watch Yo Gabba Gabba again, as well as whatever else came on the TV after that. He was too depressed to care. He knew he shouldn’t allow it, because it would only come back to haunt him, but he couldn’t make himself care. After all, the kid was an American. He was going to see TV sooner or later, and a lot of it. There was no way around it. He soothed his conscience by telling himself he was just letting the inevitable happen.
It didn’t seem to make any difference, either. Each night, instead of giant, orange one-eyed cactus-like monsters, Simi appeared in his room and rubbed salt into the ever-widening wound. These new apparitions were so much more like the real thing too. The eyes weren’t off and the mouth huge like the first apparition of Simi had been so many weeks ago. These ones would have fooled even her own mother. Luckily, she’d not witnessed any of them when she had been in town.
END OF DAY FOURTEEN