Charlie's Gone

The morning reluctance clamped to the activities of the waking house. Charlie’s mom and dad rolled out of bed. When showers were done and breakfast was eaten, when every sleepy excuse to not start the day had been used, a yell barraged Charlie’s bedroom.

But no one answered. Footsteps. Door creeks open gently. Soft. Whipser. “Charlie?
CHARLIE? CAMDEN! Charlie’s gone. Charlie’s gone.

“WHAT?” roared Charlie’s dad. He took the stairs three at a time, calling his child’s name. He flopped over the covers and looked in the closet. “Call the cops. Call 91-.” But his wife already had her cellphone out, “Yes, hello. I’d like to report a missing child. Yes, my address is…”

Camden’s eyes shut, blocking her voice out. Charlie had been angry. He came home and he was angry. We ate dinner. He was-

“…Buckington Drive, PA…”

-too quiet. He just ran away. He has to be in the woods. Not too far. “Honey, I’m going to look outside,” Camden said, but his wife was still on the phone.

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