Chapter 4: Missing person

In which curiosity tempts Schroedinger's cat and makes the mice go hunting.

It was Saturday, and near closing time. Anne-Linn adjusted her braid while looking toward the door once again. Marianne shrugged. "Doesn't look like he is coming."

"It's hard to imagine he really disappeared."

"Well, he did. That doesn't mean he is dead, though."

"How could he simply disappear?"

"If I knew, I would get the Nobel Prize in physics, you know?"

"I guess it would sound strange if we went to the police."

"They would just send us to the nearest nuthouse."


"White coats. Padded cells. Sedatives."

"OK, I get it already!"

"But perhaps there is another way to find out about him."

"You mean a private investigator?"

"A very private investigator, so to speak. I have friends, lots of friends. Someone is bound to know something when this guy has lived here for more than half a year."

"But they would wonder what our part in this was..."

"Well, perhaps it's time someone wondered about that."

At the same time, in a small, worn house, someone else was also wondering. Pondering the eternal question of all sinners: How can something so wrong feel so good? Those few dizzying seconds kept playing over and over in his brain. And some of those memories were not even his. He had picked the thoughts and feelings that were uppermost on her mind. And they had been about him. Or about that other Jon, who had lived in this timeline before. His mind still had trouble wrapping around these ideas. Yet the fact remained, she knew a bit of his past that he did not know. How much? The two girls knew his name, or at least this one did, the shy one with the thick red braid. They knew his job, or at least the other one did, the flirty one in fashion clothes. She would hardly have acted the way she did if she had known more about him ... but he does not know how much they know. Do they know where he lives?

More surprising, however, was the way she thought about him. Or the other him. She seemed to like him. She seemed to wish that she could know him better. But of course, that just meant that she did not know him at all. Did not know that his lightest touch would drain a part of her very soul. Did not know that his eyes could look through her clothes, or her skin, or her muscles for that matter. Although he generally preferred to stop with the clothes. The sight of blood had disturbed him for a long time ... since the bad dreams began, probably, if not longer. So hard to remember. Oh yes. She should have known about his dreams. Let's see if you still like me then. Let's see if you still want to learn to know me better ...

Jon got up and picked one of the CDs he had bought the day after he arrived. "Enya – Watermark." He smiled as he popped it into the CD player. Then he sat down on the floor and let the music begin to wash the anger and bitterness off him, like layers of old dry grime off the soul. Angelic music for a demonspawn. Darkness fell softly, like a water flows into a pool. At the end, only the eerie blue light of his second sight remained. And then, when he closed his eyes, not even that.

"A programmer?" The blond young man scratched his head with the hand not holding the phone. "Do you have any idea who he works for?"

"I believe he works for himself. Freelance."

"Hmm, not too many of those. Have you looked in Yellow Pages?"

"No. You know how clumsy I am with such things." The voice in the phone giggled. "I did not even know programmers were in Yellow Pages."

"Well, it is not certain. But it is somewhere to start."

"That's good then. You look into that and I'll hear on Monday what you've found out."


"Well, I guess you need some time, sweetheart. Just in case."

"Heh. Does your boyfriend know you're calling other guys 'sweetheart'?"

"Oh, my boyfriend is satisfied. Quite satisfied. As for me ..." Giggle.

The blond man swallowed. "I'll do my best."

"Monday, then. You got the details?"

"Jon something, ca 20 years, lived on east side of town at least half a year. Pitch black short hair, but European looks, and deep blue eyes. Slender, wiry. Programmer, probably self-employed."

"Boring clothes. He has some sense of matching colors, but no fashion sense."

"Uhm, OK."

"Happy hunting, sweetheart."

"So long, Marianne."