As soon as Daedree felt ready she lied down on the couch and put her mind to meditation, breathing slow and calm. Her connection to Hunter was immediate. Before too long she found him sitting alone in a dark and filthy room. She quickly hid behind a beat up old couch. Mentally, Hunter was in a very dark place. Daedree peeked over the couch to spy out details that might help locate him.
Hunter was sitting in an old wooden chair rocking back and forth. He was playing with a handful of sand letting it fall from the palm of his hand. Only it swirled back up to his other hand before it could touch the floor. It would have seemed normal to Daedree as a scaper, but what she was witnessing was not a dream. She was reading into his thoughts so everything around him was happening in the real world.
She then noticed a grimy window that was too difficult to see through. She hoped to be able to make her way to the window as Hunter sat quietly in the dark, wallowing in his own disgust. However, the feelings that swelled within Daedree’s mind were too overwhelming to encourage action on her part. Escaping the dark scene, Daedree came-too in the triplet’s dorm room. She opened her eyes and took in a breath of relief, afraid to go on.
“It felt so empty and alone,” she said. “I don’t know if I can go back.” Holding an emotional tear, she took a drink of water. She then continued, “There’s not one good thought in that place. There’s nothing but waste and want; I can feel his selfish cravings and an abyss of secrets I hope to never know.”
“Maybe you already saw what you needed to see,” stated Matthew. “Do you remember seeing anything that might point out hunter’s location?”
“The floor and furniture were both caked with mud. There was a busted window but I couldn’t see any details from where I was hiding. I’m sorry. I don’t know if I can finish this.”
“You already found him,” encouraged Alex. “You’re so close. All you need to do is find something you can use to lead the agents to him and then we can go back to our normal lives.”
“I’ll be right here; I’m not going to leave you,” reassured Matthew. Embarrassed to have so intimately voiced his words of comfort, he quickly restated, “I mean we; we’ll be right here, I promise. Just talk us through what you see and if anything goes wrong we’ll be right here to wake you up.”
Daedree closed her eyes and was instantly in Hunter’s despicable presence. It was difficult for Daedree to escape the dark feelings creeping into her mind. The smell was horrific. Hunter was still rocking on the same chair. Luckily his mind was too caught up in the strange sand flowing in and out of his fingers to notice that she was there.
Speaking softly in mind, Daedree related everything that she saw to her friends as they sat intently listening in the triplet’s dorm room. “There’s no gas or electricity. I can tell that it’s really cold by Hunter’s breath.”
Still afraid, Daedree crept toward the east wall only yards away. She made her way beyond the tattered couch and across the rotting floor. A creek in the floorboards caused her to cringe and gasp. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. The rate of Daedree’s beating heart surged as she glanced back to find Hunter in the same indolent position as before, giving her a little relief. She continued on until she reached the busted window.
“All the other windows are boarded up,” she continued. “I think the house is abandoned. It’s really claustrophobic in here. I can’t think straight.”
Matthew took hold of Daedree’s hand and spoke a few comforting words which seemed to pacify her. Peering out the hole in the dirt-stained window, Daedree described what she could see outside the house.
“It’s kind of dim so I can’t see everything. There’s a chain-linked fence and a beat up old street sign on the corner but I can’t read it. There’s an old toilet in the middle of the yard; it looks like a planter. Gross. Who does that?”
“What else can you see?” asked Alex.
“I can see a warehouse about a block away.” Suddenly something didn’t feel quite right. She paused for a moment, afraid to speak.
When Daedree turned from the window she was surprised to see Hunter standing directly behind her. However, he was unable to see her transparent image in the shadows beneath the windowsill so long as she sat still. Daedree’s heart sank. But she was too scared to think clearly enough to wake up.
“I can feel you in my head,” stated Hunter. “I know you’re here; I can smell your fear.” He sniffed the air with decadent gratification. “You’ve made a bad mistake,” he whispered amid a hollow laugh.
“I want to be done now?” questioned Daedree desperately through her mind. “Can I please be done? I can’t do this anymore.”
Hunter began to squat down following the scent at his grubby feet. Sniffing closer and closer to Daedree like a wolf to its prey, he could see the outline of her flickering image beginning to take shape. Daedree started to breathe much heavier.
“Help me!” she shouted as she now looked Hunter eye to eye. He simply smiled with ravenous delight and reached out toward her neck.