There was a car accident. Sirens and angry shouts came from every direction. Someone was hurt and someone was crying, but neither person was her. It was hard to see and there was a funny smell in the air that stung her nose.

Tanith sighed and looked down at the piece of paper in front of her. This wasn't the first unfamiliar event that she had remembered recently. It had started two weeks ago when the accident site had triggered a memory of a fire.

So, she started keeping a list. The car accident was the first interesting thing she had remembered other than the fire. Everything else was fairly insignificant, other than being strangely unfamiliar. There was a memory of arguing with someone about who had longer hair and one about playing with a frisbee. They were all childhood memories.

She liked lists. They were a great way to keep track of things with a six-year-old and a somewhat forgetful husband around. The daily to-do list still hung on the fridge, even though it hadn't been updated since the accident. It still had the tasks from that Tuesday.

Dad - 5:30: Take Casey to Gymnastics

Mom – 7:00: Call your mother

Casey – 7:30: Go over spelling list

Jack always complained about the list. She sighed and looked at the clock. He didn't usually work on Saturdays, but in the past three weeks he'd been working late at the office as much as possible. She didn't want to admit that he was avoiding her, but even when he was home they spoke very little.

The car accident disturbed her. Although it was full of holes, the memory itself was very vivid. The smell, the haze, and the fear had all been very distinctive. She pulled up her parents' number on her cell phone. What could she ask them? Have I ever been in a car accident or a fire? Do I have a history of forgetting things?

Deciding that conversation would be too strange, she opened her lap-top and ran a search for car accidents along with Havington, the town where she was raised. She tried several variations of the search, but the only thing that came up was a few run-ins with local cows and some teenagers that had flipped their car after having too much to drink. There were plenty of articles about fires, but nothing anywhere near her home.

She leaned back in her chair. There had to be something she was missing, something to explain why she had forgotten these events in the first place.

Unless they weren't her memories at all. She had never heard of anyone else having a connection to their children like she had with Casey. Was it possible these weren't memories at all, but images of what was currently happening to her daughter? It was a frightening thought, but if she ignored the absurdity of it, it explained everything. The memories were from when she was very young, possibly around Casey's age. She had first 'remembered' the fire when visiting the site of the explosion.

The doorbell rang, making her jump in her seat and breaking her train of thought. Pushing away thoughts of psychic connections, she quickly closed her lap-top and hid her list underneath.

Sheriff Greene was standing on her porch next to a tall, younger man in an expensive suit. She paused, looking through the peephole, to think whether or not she knew him. It was a small town, so there weren't many people around she could get away with not knowing the name of.

She opened the door with a forced smile, even though she was still uncomfortable around the sheriff. "Gentlemen. To what do I owe this visit?"

She beckoned them inside as he took off his hat. "Just wanted to see how you were holding up. Is Jack around?"

"He's working today. Can I get you boys some coffee?"

"That would be great."

She busied herself measuring out the coffee grind while the two men sat down and the sheriff spoke. "I don't know if you two have met. This is my friend Jared."

"Mhmmm." She responded, hoping to neither confirm nor deny that she knew this man.

"He's a lawyer."

"I thought you hate lawyers, sheriff. No offense, Jared."

"They have their advantages." He shifted uneasily. "Listen, I brought Jared by because I thought you and Jack might want to consider legal action."

"About what?"

He lowered his voice. "You know—"

She sighed and poured the coffee into three mugs. "You don't have to be careful around me, sheriff. I'm not going to fall to pieces if you mention the explosion. And, no, we haven't talked about legal action. I thought they were still investigating."

"Well, they are ... Jared's a great lawyer. I thought maybe you two should at least talk to him. See what's possible."

She set the mugs down in front of the men and watched Jared. He didn't even seem to be paying attention to their conversation.

"Thank you." He said distantly as he started to down his coffee. She turned around to get the cream and sugar from the counter. He certainly wasn't how she would have pictured a 'great' lawyer to be. Shouldn't he be trying to tell her all the ways she could get heaps of money from the gas company or the city and then explaining why he was the only one who could get it for her?

When she turned back around, Jared was staring at her. She decided she didn't like this man. She understood that there would be people who would try to benefit from Casey's death, but this man wasn't even going to do a good job of it. He was also downright creepy.

Tanith stopped cold. Casey's death. It was the first time the words ran through her head like that. For a moment, she really had believed Casey was dead. The certainty she had had since Jack had told her about the explosion was gone. She felt as if her heart had stopped. What else could it mean except that Casey really was dead now?

She felt a sudden desire to refill Jared's coffee. But I don't want to give him more coffee, she argued with herself, I want him to leave.

No you don't. You want to refill his coffee and listen to the sheriff.


Jared dropped his mug and it crashed on the kitchen tiles. Tanith found herself gasping for breath.

"I'm sorry—" Jared began. "Are you okay?" He creased his eyebrows.

"I apologize, gentlemen. This is all just a little soon for me. Maybe you could come back some other time?"

Sheriff Greene hastily rose from the kitchen table. "Oh my god, I didn't realize ... I'm so sorry."

She felt bad playing the grief card, but then again, it really was a little early for this sort of thing. She didn't think Jack would be very open to the idea of talking to a lawyer yet either. "Please ... could you please just leave." She added a choked sob and complimented herself on her acting ability. Jack would have been proud ... had he understood any of it.

The sheriff nearly tripped over himself trying to get out of her cramped kitchen, but Jared took his time with it. She watched him through narrowed eyes as he turned around at the door and told her "That was excellent coffee ma'am."

As soon as they were on the porch she slammed the door closed behind them and bolted it. She leaned her forehead against the frame, trying to catch her breath. She slowly started to feel better, certain once again that Casey was alive, and having no strange urges to get anyone more coffee.

Jared's a controller.

The word slipped easily into her mind like the other memories. What the hell was a controller? Someone who could make her think things that weren't true. That fit the title, though it was a terrifying possibility. She had never been one to believe in psychics and mind readers, but the past few weeks had definitely made her begin to consider the possibility that they existed. Knowing things about her daughter was one thing, however. Someone being able to control her mind was something on a completely different level of strangeness.

What did Casey have to do with all of this? There was no doubt left in her mind that this Jared person had something to do with whoever rigged the explosion and took her daughter.

It was late when Jack finally returned home, but the front porch and kitchen lights were both on. He sighed, unintentionally. He hated himself for trying to avoid his wife, but their conversations had been so disturbing. The woman he married didn't go on about conspiracy theories. She didn't have trouble accepting the truth, no matter how horrible it was.

He looked through the window in the front door. Tanith was asleep at the kitchen table, her laptop open and a half-full cup of coffee next to her. The door creaked when he opened it, but she didn't even stir. As quietly as possible he sat down across from her and turned the computer to face him. The browser window showed an article with the title "Havington teenager dies in drunk driving accident". Havington ... that was Tanith's hometown.

"What are you doing?"

Jack instinctively slammed the laptop closed, although it was obviously too late to hide that he was looking at it. Tanith was staring at him from across the table, looking sleepy and very annoyed.

"Just ... checking my e-mail."

"On my computer?" She shook her head at shoved the computer back into its bag. It was then that he saw the suitcase sitting next to her on the floor.

"Are you going somewhere?"

"Yes. I'm going to visit my parents." She stood and picked up her coat from the back of the chair.

"That's it? No explanation? No telling me when you're going to be back?"

"My explanation will upset you and I don't know when I'll be back. So, no."

He watched her, shocked by the bitterness in her voice. "Did I do something wrong?"

She sighed and turned around. "No. Nothing at all. You just think I'm crazy."

"I think you're upset."

"Of course I'm upset. Someone took my daughter and everyone but me refuses to believe it."

"We had a funeral for crying out loud." He was trying very hard not to be angry with her, but she wasn't making any sense. This wasn't at all like his Tanith. She was picking up her bags, ignoring him. "Please, Tanith ... I don't understand where you're going."

"I told you. I'm going to my parents'."

"That's not what I meant. What's happening to you?"

She set her bag down and walked over to him. She pulled him towards her by his jacket and kissed him. "Once I figure it out, I'll let you know. I know it's hard just ... try to believe in me, will you?" She smiled. "I promise you, I'm not crazy."

He was at a loss for words as she picked up her bag again and left. He sat down at the chair she had been asleep in, dumbfounded by her assertiveness. She definitely hadn't sounded crazy. He only realized when he heard the car pulling out of the driveway that he should have gone with her.