“Mr. Thompson,” said the reporter. “I have to let you know that I’m recording this phone call. Now, what can you tell me about Laney Yarrow’s disappearance?”
Carver kept her ear pressed to the phone as she fumbled for a pen. She’d received more than a few phone calls regarding the Yarrow case. Most had been cruel pranks, or well-intentioned-but-confused tipsters. This Thompson fellow seemed different. Carver wondered if she was talking to a kidnapper.
“The same thing is happening to me,” Thompson told her.
“You’ve been taken?” Carver asked.
“No,” said Thompson. “It was in her journal. I’m melting away somehow. Just like she did.”
Carver’s opinion changed. She wasn’t talking to a criminal, just another crazy obsessed with the missing girl. “I’m sorry, sir, I need this line,” she said abruptly. Then she hung up on the man’s frantic rambling.
She stopped the recording and sighed. The Yarrow case was still an open wound. Laney was her niece.
Laney had heard most of the conversation. Quite invisible, and unable to communicate with the rest of the world, she’d stayed around town after fading away. Most days she spent in her aunt’s office, skulking about and hoping to stumble across something that could turn her back.
She’d realized, for the first time, the moment Ray had started speaking, that there were others like her. Maybe he could see her, and maybe he could tell somebody else that she was still around.
She summoned all over her concentration and used all of her effort to complete one task. She focused her energy on hitting the button on her aunt’s phone to return the call.