Moon Island (Chapter Seventeen)

It was late.

Both Allison and Tara had drunk themselves into oblivion. Me, not so much. Other than a mild upset stomach, my two glasses of wine had had no effect.

I wasn't hungry yet, either. Two nights ago, I had drunk deeply from Allison's punctured wrist, as she'd looked away, winced, shuddered and broken out into a sweat. The wound had healed instantly, and by the time I had finished, she was no longer sweating. She had been grinning ghoulishly to herself. The act of me drinking from her gave her some sort of high.

Two sick puppies, I thought, as I pulled on a light jacket and flipped up the hood. My tennis shoes were already on, along with my jeans. I stood at the open door. The rain and wind had let up a little.

It also gave her more than a high, I knew. It sharpened her psychic abilities, of which she was already quite proficient.

The act of me drinking from her had now made her into a sort of super psychic.

It was in much the same way that my own daughter's telepathic powers had increased due to her connection and proximity to me. And, for that matter, perhaps anyone connected to me.

I exited the bungalow, and hung a left toward the big house. It was 3:00 a.m., and I was alone in the night.

I couldn't have been happier.

Today had been a bit overwhelming to me. Too many people, too many introductions, too many handshakes, too many times I had apologized for my cold hands, too many times I had pretended to be normal.

I continued along the stone path, through the manicured gardens, past the epic barbeque and headed toward the pool. I paused at the surrounding gate and took in the scene around me. Trees lined the far edge of the massive estate. The bungalows dotted the perimeter of the grass, near the trees. The massive edifice of the Thurman home rose high into the night sky, like something medieval and ominous. The pool fence itself was only about six feet high. Tall enough to keep the kids out. I unlatched the gate.

The pool itself wasn't overtly big, perhaps slightly bigger than the standard pools. In the winter, I suspected the pool was covered. It wasn't winter. It was the beginning of summer, so all the pool toys were near: floating inner tubes, floating killer whales, floating rubber deck chair.

The water rippled with the light rain and wind.

How could a grown man drown in his own pool?

I studied the area, noting the layout.

There was a balcony directly above the pool. A part of me had suspected that George Thurman might have accidentally fallen into the pool – or been pushed. The balcony suggested that the possibility was still there.

The autopsy had been thorough. No drugs or alcohol, no blunt force. Skin clear, no lesions or scrapes or bruises.

Blood tests came back negative, too. No poisoning. No sign of foul play.

Just a dead man in the water.

As I slowly circled the oval-shaped pool, my inner alarm began ringing a little louder. The sound was followed by footsteps, and then the appearance of a man.

A smiling man.