One Step Behind

This little scene was inspired by the phrase prompt, “I have seen the future.” from the WriYe DreamWidth.


Jennifer settled down at the table with a cup of coffee.  Her two strange guests had tea instead.  Shawn was convinced that coffee couldn’t possibly be good for them.  Jennifer had to wonder if tea was any better.  “So,” she said, looking from one to the other, “Shawn’s an investigator.  That explains why they sent him.  Why send you with him?”

“Well,” Trey said, flushing.  He glanced over at Shawn and then turned back to Jennifer with a shrug.  “I have some kind of connection with the person we’re pursuing.”

“He sees the killer in his dreams,” Shawn said, his voice faint.  When Trey winced, he added, “Actually, he sees the attacks – but through the killer’s eyes.”

“You saw him attack me?” Jennifer said, her eyes going wide.  She leaned closer to him and shook her head.  “I don’t remember the attack…”

“…which isn’t uncommon with head injuries such as you suffered.”

Nodding, Jennifer said, “If you saw it happen…” She stopped when Shawn shook his head quickly.

“No good,” the taciturn man murmured.

“The problem is… I see if through his eyes, so I don’t know what he looks like,” Trey said, shrugging.  He sipped his tea and then sighed.  “It’s also… silent, so I don’t know why you let him near you, so that he could shove you down the stairs.  I just saw it before it happened, so we were on our way here.”

“This is the first time we’re reached a scene where the victim was still alive, though,” Shawn added.  “The only reason we could this time was that I recognized the place he was describing.”  In a softer voice, he added, “I’ve been here before.”

“Here… as in Earth?” Jennifer said, blinking.

Shawn grimaced and shook his head.  “Here… as in this town – this house,” he said.  In a voice that was so soft Jennifer could barely make out the words, he added, “I had a human wife, once… a long time ago.  She died.”

“I’m sorry,” Jennifer said, her voice soft.  She chewed at her lip.  The house where she currently lived had been in her family for a long time.  She’d grown up there, as had her father.  It made her wonder just how old Shawn was and… could she possibly be related to him?  Was something like that even possible?  Shaking the thought away, she said, “So… you see the future, but not far enough ahead to do much good.”

“Not so much,” Trey said, nodding.  “We’re always just one step behind the man we’re pursuing.”  In a faint voice, he added, “It’s been… frustrating.”

“To say the least,” Shawn grumbled.


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