The frozen ground (especially in the divots where the tire treads of weeks ago had been filled in with water and left to become those foggy white ice trails that, when stepped on, say “chlink” if they are solid, and sound off more of a “chlunk” if they happen to be hollow) didn’t leave much in the way of evidence. Any trace of green had been gone for months, and even though the chill had left the air, any organisms that may have held a trace of an answer were long gone. That did not mean, however, that all hope was gone.
Lysette was no stranger to reading the wind, as she had called it since childhood. The day she had been left for dead by her brother was the day that her senses had heightened…
Crying, underneath the oak, the child Lysette felt the skin just below her own begin to glow with ferocity. As the sun sank below the horizon, the burning intensified; sinewy tissues smoldering in the darkness. At the precise moment when, even at the age of 9, Lysette knew that if something did not happen to curb this anger inside of her that her physical body was going to expire, a light mist began to fall. Daedalon appeared as a foggy outline along the forest near the edge of the field. His sharply black wings were nearly invisible in the darkness, nicely illumined by the mist when caught by the moonlight. Daedalon’s job was to help souls that had been wronged within this plane to complete their existence without exacting revenge upon the individuals responsible for their change. Lysette had not noticed him yet, but when she did, no words were exchanged. She felt no fear at the sight of this dark angel; she somehow already knew him. He would help her throughout her change and see to it that she chose higher ground, as vengeance would come from High.
Nowadays, she was used to watching television shows and critiquing what writers and directors were getting wrong when they tried to illustrate people with her perception. Some came close, but they never quite nailed it. She was used to watching especially when the particular cop drama would elicit the assistance of a psychic or medium in their latest attempts to catch the bad guys. She would giggle at the way in which culture paints the laughable picture of someone who performs her duties. When the actor would put her hand to her head, pretending to be getting some type of mental picture of what had transpired at the location in question, and sometimes fainting when the premonitions were just “too strong.”
The sergeant was asking now, what did she see? Lysette’s methods of discernment were far different than what she would see on television. While standing there on the still-frozen ground, she closed her eyes. She felt what can only be described as roots coming from the ground, up into her feet, travelling up through her legs, into her torso, and becoming finer as they moved up into her chest and finer still as they finally took residence inside her mind. “The earth is an organism,” she had learned from Daedalon, “that never forgets anything. When you connect to the earth, you connect to all of her stored synaptic firings.” The roots that she felt when she would make a connection were nothing more than the earth’s dendrites; her means of tapping into the earth’s memory banks. As she searched through the endless memories from this particular location, she came upon this:
Josie Mendelsohn, age 38. Had left for the grocery store to pick up ice cream and cones for the play date she had scheduled for her son, Ethan, for that evening. Josie, standing in that location, had tried reaching her best friend, Jane, by cell phone, to double-check that her son, Dwight, would be okay with just some plain chocolate ice cream. Ethan wasn’t one of those kids that like the new types of ice cream with all the different ingredients; he just likes chocolate. For some reason, though, her phone kept connecting her to a lady’s answering machine; a lady that was not Jane. (recording) “You have reached the voicemail box of: (not Jane’s voice) ‘Jane Auerbach’. Please leave your message at the tone.” (Beeeeeeeep) Josie looked at her screen to double-check that she had in fact dialed Jane’s number. The phone’s screen showed a picture of Jane, the one with her and the family dog at the lake the previous summer, Jane’s phone number, and clicking back one time, the screen showed that the last four phone calls had been to this same number. Jane’s number. “Oh sheesh, Josie,” she said to herself, “snap out of it.” She pressed the send button to call Jane’s number again when-
Lysette’s focal point abruptly changed, and she was no longer scanning the area on which she stood, something that had never occurred before. Instead of seeing things from Josie’s perspective, she was now in a crowded coffee shop, somewhere on the other side of town, she thought. Physically, Lysette still stood in front of the officers at 1412 Alma Lane in Detroit, but in spirit she was now at a very busy coffee shop on Pine Avenue in Long Beach, California. Jane Auerbach was sitting at a table near the door, hands clenched together underneath the table, palms sweaty and forehead furrowed. She kept looking from her coffee, to the seating area outside the window, to the back of the shop where the bathrooms and a payphone were, and back again. Jane knew that the man she was told to wait here for would be here any minute. She would then have to tell him where to find Andres. How had she gotten involved in this? Where had they taken Dwight? Was it even possible to stand up and have enough time to get to the payphone in the back of the shop, call Josie, and get some type of help before they got to her, or-
Lysette’s connection, being strained from the physical distance, was beginning to wane. On Alma Lane, the officers witnessed what the reports would later omit. They saw Lysette, skin flaming, hair in coils above her head, get struck by lightning. After the flash, Lysette was no longer there; but a large, leafless tree was left in her place, still smoking in the light of the moon.