Please read parts 1-3 before this one. 

Sleep evaded him that night. His bed suffocated him. The comforter twisted around his limbs like knots that a sailor tied while showing off at the local bar. His sweat dewed the sheets contributing to his already constant shakes, and he didn’t dare to shut his eyes or risk the vision painted on their lids. Sleep became a lost cause, so Odin unwound himself and went down to the living room to watch T.V. The ‘boob tube’ always took his mind off of things but tonight he flicked it on, and the theme music for criminal minds blasted. His mother loved the show, and though he never understood her desire to learn about crazy people, he knew the general premise. On another night Netflix could have offered him loads of action packed adventures — tonight he hesitated. Who could have done that to the woman in the woods? The person must exude evil. However, no one in town fit that description. Even Ms. Ferrier, the worst teacher in the school wouldn’t count as evil. No one he knew committed the crime.

He found himself sucked into the story, feeling uncomfortable in the uncertainty. But at the end his anxiety lifted. The solution to the problem puzzled itself out, and a sense of closure comforted Odin. His life would retreat to normal once he had his story– not just any story– but the complete picture of the ‘killing tree murders.’ Making the decision allowed his brain to rest and so he did something he swore he never would again… he climbed into his mother’s bed and smelled the comforting mix of sweet pea and lavender.

At eight o’clock sharp Odin showed up at the station. His mother insisted on going with him, and though he feigned like he hated her presence, he thanked her. When before there had been three cop cars out front of the station, today there had to be a dozen. The news stations also loitered in the street, waiting for a victim to question. When they got out of the car, a young officer stopped them from continuing inside. “Ma’am, a situation occurred last evening which makes it impossible for you to go inside at the moment. Is this an emergency?”

Odin answered before his mother could, “I have a sentence to carry out by orders of Sheriff Frey.” The young cop looked down at him skeptically. “Go ahead and ask him. The name is Odin.” Only after speaking did Odin observe the look his mother gave him. In all of the excitement, he didn’t tell her about the air duct incident, and neither had the sheriff when he dropped Odin off last night.

“Stay here please.” The man left for ten minutes, and Odin busied himself watching all of the commotions. The officer returned with Megan Wright.

“Where is the Sheriff?”

“The sheriff is very busy. He says you don’t need to pay your sentence. However,” here she turned and started to address his mother, “he says to keep a good eye on Odin. He experienced a very traumatic thing. We sent for a psychologist last night, but he seems to be delayed.”

“A shrink!” Odin protested, “I don’t need a shrink. I’m fine, and I can’t waste my time in an office when there is so much to discover.”

Odin’s mother misunderstood his intention. “ Odin honey, I know you like to explore, but you did go through something very serious last night. Talking to a therapist doesn’t mean you are crazy or anything like that, its nice to have someone to talk to.”

“Well he isn’t here, so what I want to do is talk to Sheriff Frey.”

Megan frowned, “he doesn’t have the time today. How about we call you when the doctor arrives?” Again Megan talked to his mother and not to him. He agreed with the sheriff she was hoity-toity. Not that he knew what that meant. His mother and the traitor made a deal about the phone call, and Odin found his panic start to rise again. The story he needed to write wouldn’t get written if he didn’t ask any questions.

“Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“Can I go to Bad Bill’s? I asked Scott to get a burger there yesterday.” His mom paused and made a face she made when she wanted to say no, she had to figure out how. He needed to stop her. “Please don’t punish me because of some psychopath. I am sure that the doctor would say maintaining a normal routine is healthy. I heard that on TV once.” His mom smiled.

“Oh alright. But be back at the house in 2 hours, or when I text you.”

“Will do.”

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