The Gifted Child

Chapter 3 - The Living Nightmare Returns

The next morning Mr. Hanson came into the kitchen thinking that since it was so early that he would be the only one up. He was wrong. He saw Taylor sitting at the kitchen counter eating some cereal, or rather, he was just moving it around with his spoon. Mr. Hanson walked to the refridgerator.
"Morning Taylor." Taylor looked up and then back to his breakfast.
"Morning Dad."
Mr. Hanson pulled out some orange juice and a glass. He put both of them on the counter and stood for a moment. Taylor never looked up. His head was hanging so low that if it was any lower he may drown in his cereal. Mr. Hanson decided to try and talk to his son.
"So how do you feel this morning Taylor?"
Mr. Hanson leaned from the counter across from Taylor and crossed his arms.
"That's good to hear. Now why don't you tell me the truth?"
Taylor looked at him with a confused look and then realised something.
"Quit reading my thoughts Dad. You know I don't like it when you do that."
"Well, you won't talk to me so how else am I supposed to know these things?"
Taylor rolled his eyes and went back to his cereal. A few moments later Mr. Hanson tried again.
"Talk to me Taylor. Tell me how you feel."
"You should know!"
"Don't get an attitude with me Taylor! Yes I do know but I want to hear it from you."
He saw Taylor set his spoon down as his head went lower. He waited a few moments and still didn't get any response.
Taylor looked up with tears in his eyes.
"I'm scared Dad. I'm so scared. I can feel something, but I don't know what. What if it's them? I don't want to go through that anymore. I don't want them to hurt us anymore!"
"Taylor," he said as he put his hand on Taylor's.
Taylor jerked his hand away roughly, not wanting to be touched. Mr. Hanson sighed, feeling Taylor's pain. "Listen to me son. No matter what happens I won't let them hurt you anymore. That is a promise and I don't break promises."
"Then don't make promises you can't keep," Taylor said sadly.
Mr. Hanson looked at his son, wishing so hard that he could make Taylor feel safe again. He felt such pain and fear in his son. He wished that he could just make it all go away. He thought about what Taylor said. His son was feeling something bad and in his heart, he had a bad feeling that it was something more than when Taylor had the feeling about his little brother Mackenzie falling off of is bicycle and cutting his leg. This was something much worse. He said a silent prayer for his pained son.


At the local store in town, an expensive looking car pulled into the parking lot. Three men in business suits got out of the car and went inside. They saw two men at the counter. The one behind the counter looked at them with a surprised look.
"Whoa! You gentlemen must be lost. Your not from around here are you?"
"Ah no. We're looking for someone actually," one of the strange men said.
"Lost child?"
"Something like that." The man pulled out a picture.
"This was taken about seven years ago. The boy was ten. He would be about seventeen now. Have you seen him?" He asked showing the men in the store the picture. The man behind the counter gave them a bewildered look.
"You're looking for a kid that has been missing for seven years? Man! Give it up. The kid obviously ain't coming back."
"It's not like that. You see, he is a very special child. We need his help with something." He pulled out another picture.
"This is his father. We're also looking for him."
The other man at the counter looked at it.
"Hey I know him! That's Walker Hanson. I think I know who the kid is now. I think it's his son Isaac. No wait! Sorry, Isaac is nineteen. This is Taylor."
The men in suits smiled. Taylor. The name was golden. Priceless. A name that meant fame and fortune. A name that would make them the most renowned scientists the world has ever seen.
"So you know them?" The one with the pictures asked.
"Yeah, Walker and his boys come into my store all the time. Especially now with all this rain we've been having."
"And what is your name sir?" A suited man asked.
"Leroy," the man said.
"Well, it's nice to meet you. My name is Danny," the suited man said, shaking Leroy's hand.
"What kind of store do you own?" One of the other suited men asked.
"Oh I mainly have survival equipment. Sand bags, candles, lanterns. We've have some nasty weather sometimes. I also have lots of plants. A lot of people around here like to do gardening."
"That's wonderful! Do you know where they live?" Danny asked.
"No sorry."
The suited men thought and then one spoke.
"Would you mind if we came to your store for a while. We need to set up a post there."
"A post? For what? I don't want you chasing away my business now!"
"No. It's just us sitting in a car outside your store. No one will even know that we are there."
The man behind the counter spoke.
"Hey. I know these people. They come in here sometimes. Are they in somekind of trouble?"
"Um no..."
"Peter. But they will be if we don't find them soon. You see, we are here because we have a very important message for them." The man behind the counter looked skeptical. Then the man with the picture thought for a moment about setting up a post here, but thought against it seeing how suspicious Peter looked. He snapped back to attention as someone spoke.
"Well," Leroy started, "Anything to help some of my friends."
"Great!" Danny said with an evil grin. He turned to Peter.
"Do you have a phone I could use?" Peter pointed to a payphone to the right of the counter.
"Thank you."
Danny went to the phone and called the main office of the institution thay had set up to research unexplained things, like telekinesis and telepathy for example. Those were their main focus.


Jacob Grant sat at his desk. All he could think of were the Hansons. His men had to find them. They needed to continue the testing they had started years ago when Taylor was only five. He smiled when he remembered the range of the little boy's power. He smiled even more when he thought of the things he could be capable of now. His phone rang. He answered it with anticipation and hope.
"Grant speaking."
"Jake, it's Danny. I have great news! We found them!"
"What!?" Jake said, sitting straight up. "Where are they?"
"Well, we're not sure of their precise location, but we spoke with some locals and seem to have found the town where they now live. We are setting up a post at a store that they frequently visit, and thanks to the information these people gave us, they're as good as ours," Danny said with an evil grin.
"Danny, I don't want to hear that! I want to hear that they are on their way here! Now you make sure you get them back here soon! That boy is dangerous! God only knows what he's capable of doing now! And we must find out how much his power has grown! He's been away from us for too long! And his Father! God only know what he has been using his for! He could be using it to spy on people!"
"But I thought that's what we wanted him to do," Danny answered back.
"Not without proper supervision! We must make sure he is using it to help us! Heck, for all we know he could have learned how to use his Telepathy against us! Now you go, and I want news of their capture within the next twenty-four hours! We can't take any chances!"
"Twenty-four hours? Sir, I don't think..."
"One day Daniel!" And with that, Danny heard heard Jake hang up. He sighed and hung up the phone. "Great!" He said as he slammed the phone down, exasperated. He then went back to the counter.
"So Leroy, where is this store of yours?"
"Follow me. I was just about to leave anyways. See ya 'round Pete!" Leroy yelled as he and the men walked out of the store.
"Yeah, see ya Leroy." Peter said, still feeling suspicious. Something wasn't right. Why were these men looking for the Hansons? Why are they here in this small town? What was so important that these men have to set up a post to find them? He decided to tell Mr. Hanson the next time he saw him, if it wasn't to late.


Mr. Hanson sat at the kitchen table helping his third oldest son, Zac, with some math work. Mrs. Hanson came in.
Mr. Hanson looked up, "Yes?"
"I need you to run to the store for me. Can you?"
"Sure. I'll help you later okay Zac?"
"Ok, but can I come with you?"
"Sure. Go see if your brothers want to come too."
"Alright," and with that, Zac was off in search of his brothers while Mrs. Hanson told her husband what she needed.
"Alright, will do!" Mr. Hanson said with a smile when he noticed his wife wasn't smiling. "Honey are you alright?"
"I'm just worry about Taylor. I hope getting out of the house for a little while will take his mind off of things."
Mr. Hanson set the list down and put his hands on her shoulders,
"Listen. He'll be alright. He's a tough kid, he'll make it!"
"I hope your right."
He kissed her on the cheek as she smiled. That was about the time all four of the boys came bounding down the stairs and began to put their coats on. Mr. Hanson turned around to his sons.
"All right men, let's head 'em up and move 'em out!" The boys all looked at him like he was nuts.
"What?" he asked with an innocent grin and a slight laugh.
Isaac, Taylor, and Zac laughed and headed for the car.
The youngest tugged at his daddy's shirt, "Daddy, what's that mean?"
Mr. Hanson picked up his son.
"That is just a fun way of saying 'let's go.'"
"Oh, neat!" The six year old said wth a smile as they too headed for the car, with little Mackenzie waving to his Mommy.


Mr. Hanson and his four boys pulled into the store parking lot.
"Geez," Isaac said, "If this rain doesn't let up soon we're gonna need to go back to Leroy's for some more sand bags."
"Yeah well, we don't need them yet. But what we do need are some groceries so let's go." Mr. Hanson said as they all got out of the car. They went inside the store and each boy went to get his assigned purchases. Mr. Hanson went to the counter.
"Hey Pete how's it going? Business been good?"
"Uh yeah, listen..." He was about to tell him of the day's earlier events when all the boys came to the counter.
"Whoa!" Mr. Hanson said, "That was fast."
He looked at what they put on the counter.
"Yeah well when you come here enough times you learn where everything is at," Taylor said.
"Plus this place isn't really all that big either," Zac added.
"True," Mr. Hanson said, "Wait! Something's missing."
"It's the milk," Zac said.
"I thought we had plenty of milk. I think it's orange juice," Taylor said.
"All I know is that it is something liquid," Isaac said. Mr. Hanson sighed, wishing he hadn't left the list on the table. He reached into his pocket pulling out some change.
"Taylor do me a favor. Go call your mother and ask her what it was."
"Sure," Taylor said taking the money. He walked over to the payphone and picked up the reciever. As he did that, he gasped as an image flashed in front of him. He saw the face of who he considered the most evil human on the face of the earth. The manacing glare. The chilling grin. It was all there on the face of the man he feared most. There right in front of him. So close. So real. So horrifying. Mr. Hanson heard him gasp. He ran to him and noticed that he looked to be in some sort of trance and was shaking. He looked so scared. He'd seen that look on Taylor's face before and feared for him. He grabbed his son's shoulders and shook him.
"Taylor? Taylor answer me! Taylor what is it? Taylor!?" Finally Taylor came out of it, dropping the reciever.
Taylor looked into his father's eyes with tears in his own.
"Tay what is it? Did you see something?" Taylor nodded.
"They're here. Those men. They found us Dad. They've come for us," he said in a shaky whisper.
Mr. Hanson's eyes widened, "What!? Taylor, are you sure?"
Taylor nodded as tears began to roll down his cheeks.
"I saw him! I saw Danny!" he took a deep breath, "Dad, I'm scared. What are we gonna do?"
"Show me Tay. Show me what you saw!" He said, placing his hand on his son's head. Taylor thought of the image he saw and Mr. Hanson saw as well.
"Oh dear God!" he said. He grabbed Taylor's arm and pulled him to the counter.
"Come on boys let's go!"
"But Dad, what about what Mom wanted?" Zac asked.
"I said now! Go get in the car!" he yelled, not really meaning to. Isaac, Zac, and Mackenizie all went to the car. Mr. Hanson saw Taylor still standing there, too afraid to move. Mr. Hanson gave him a sympathetic look.
"Go on Tay. Go get in the car. I'll be right there, I promise."
Slowly, Taylor began to walk away. Mr. Hanson looked to Peter and noticed he was recieving a strange look from him.
"Hey, is everything okay?" Peter asked, noticing the fear on Taylor's face.
"Fine. Uh, we're in a hurry so how much is it?"
Mr. Hanson paid for the groceries and waited for Peter to bag them. Peter quickly added the total and bagged the food. Mr. Hanson then paid him and ran out of the store. In the car, Taylor was sitting in the front seat with his arms crossed and head down, gently rocking. Issac and Zac noticed that he was crying and slightly rocking. Their youngest brother, Mackenzie noticed to.
"Taylor are you okay?" he asked so innocently.
"Leave me alone Mac. Just go away." he said in a hushed voiced.
Little Mackenzie frowned and sat back down as Zac helped him buckle up. Isaac leaned forward.
"Tay that wasn't nice! He is your little brother you know. You could be a little nicer to him considering he was just trying to be nice to you."
"Leave me alone!" Taylor shouted making Isaac jump. Mr. Hanson opened the door and got in, having heard Taylor yell. He put the groceries down.
"Taylor, listen to me. Calm down! There is no need for you to be yelling at your brothers. It will be alright."
"No it won't Dad, just leave me alone!"
"Dad, what's going on?" Isaac asked.
"I'll explain later Ike." With that, they drove home.
Pete watched through the window as they drove away. Suddenly, he remembered something.
"Oh no! I forgot to tell them about those men! Real smart Pete!" he yelled at himself. In all the confusion it had totally slipped his mind. He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. He was worried about his friends.
"Oh I hope they are okay." He said as he watched the rain, saying a silent prayer for them.

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