Missing for Christmas

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Missing for Christmas

Christmas Eve, 5:59 p.m.

Jane quickly but calmly pressed a series of buttons onto the keyboard. Suddenly, the noise shut off and the screen switched to that of a desktop. “It’s a virus.” She quickly explained. “Somehow, we got one on this thing, and Dad can’t seem to get it off. Thankfully, there’s a shortcut you can take around it.” She added, stepping away from the computer.

“Whew.” Daniel breathed. “For a second, I thought your computer was a bomb in the process of detonation.” He said, walking over to where Nate was now scanning the computer. “So…” He began, just as his phone started humming in his pocket. Normally, he would have just ignored the number, but the ringtone was that of his son’s and right now his son was home alone. “Hang on a second.” He said, answering the call and pacing out of the room.

“Hey, Dad. It’s Landon.” His son greeted him. “Sorry to bother you, but I can’t find Uno’s leash.”

Uno was Landon’s dog. The name had quite a story attached to it, but it had something to do with a crazy dog and a baby who could speak only a few syllables. Daniel grinned at the memory and then remembered Landon’s problem. “Um, I wouldn’t know where it would be. Did you check your room?”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t there.”

“What about the basement? Uno likes to drag it around down there.” Daniel reminded him.

There was a pause as if Landon was checking there right now, but the report came back negative. “Nope, it’s not down there either. You know, I just had an idea. Maybe it’s outside. I wonder if I left it out there last night. Give me a second.”

Another short pause and then Landon announced, “And I have successfully recovered the red leash of Uno the beagle.”

“Awesome.” Daniel responded. “Look, I got to go back to work, but first, how was Mom doing when she called?”

“Great! I guess a lot of her paintings have sold already. She’s thinking she might get to come home early like sometime the end of this week. Oh, and she mentioned that she’s worried about you, you know,” Landon hesitated. “Because you’re investigating all those missing people.”

Daniel sighed. “Yeah, it’s not exactly a picnic. But keep praying.”

“I have been.” Landon answered. “Well, go get ‘em, Dad.”

“Roger that. I’ll be home in a few hours.” Daniel told him.

“Looking forward to it. Uno says “hi”, from where’s he’s now eating the snow.” Landon mentioned. “Well…Dad?” A nervousness had crept up on Landon’s voice. “Dad, there’s something…” He began and then the rest of his sentence was ripped off.

“Landon!” Daniel shouted.

But the only response he heard was the barking of an aggravated dog and that of footsteps.

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