CHAOS ON BRIDGE AVENUE
There was silence on the sidewalk as people surveyed the scene. The police were gone, but so were Patti, Peter, and Sammy. The sky darkened as a few clouds caught the sun low on the horizon. “What should we do now?” wondered Phoebe. “Should I be afraid for Mom and Dad?”
The crowd was not dispersing. Officer Harley came walking down the sidewalk. “All right, show’s over. Let’s go home.” But his presence attracted more people.
“What’s going on, Harley?” a man asked. “Is this even legal?”
Phoebe noticed a group of men moving up the sidewalk across the street, joining the crowd already forming on the benches in front of the Middletown Standard office. People were standing around reading what was probably a new edition of the newspaper. “You’d better walk over to the church and have a word with Tuck,” suggested Tom Winkle. “I’ll wait and drive you home.”
“No, please don’t wait,” Phoebe replied. “Jeremy’s coming for me.” She limped slowly up the sidewalk. Suddenly she could hear the voices from across the street.
“Looks like she had a little accident,” she heard someone sneer. “Too bad about that.” They laughed openly at her. The mockery stung her, and she began to limp toward them. They became silent, waiting to see what she would do.
“Can I have a paper?” she asked. “I just wanted to see how fair your coverage is, Mr. Peabody. And you probably own this newspaper, Mr. Morphy. We young kids are all counting on you to make this world a better place.”
Morphy stepped up to Phoebe and looked down on her with fierce disapproval. She struggled to meet his cold gaze. “You have no idea what this is all about, do you?” he asked, staring deep into her eyes. She could not keep a faint quiver of a smile off her lips, or the spark of understanding from her eyes. “Maybe you do!” he said in surprise. “So! Maybe you do!”
She tore herself away and limped toward the church. “He won that round,” she thought. “Now he knows that I know about dreamstone. It’s an advantage for him, and scary for me.”
Phoebe met Tuck and Geraldine in the churchyard. They were discussing the slander in the latest issue of the Middletown Standard. “I’m glad you’re here,” said Tuck. “We thought you might need some help.”
“I do need help! Very badly! In fact, this very night. They’re going to trap Abby in the forest.”
Suddenly they heard a crash from out on the street, and the sound of people yelling. Phoebe and Geraldine turned to look. “Wait!” exclaimed Tuck. “When do you need us? How will we know?”
“I’ll send for you,” she answered, shouting over the honking of car horns and noise from the crowd. Phoebe and Geraldine stepped out on the sidewalk. The sight was so peculiar that they continued on down Bridge Avenue in amazement, staring through the darkening air. An 18-wheeler had tried to make the tight turn from Hobart Avenue onto Bridge Avenue, and crashed into a double-parked car in front of Miracle’s Gift Shop. Both lanes and the entrance to Old Stone Road were blocked. And the traffic ahead was not moving either. The cars and trucks were just sitting there, and pedestrians walked everywhere. Motorists had abandoned their cars and stood in groups. Twilight had set in sooner than expected. A long bank of blue-black clouds was rolling forward from the Half Moon Cliffs, blocking the setting sun. The wind picked up. A siren wailed from down on Main street. Clearly something had happened to block that intersection too.
Loud voices rose and fell around Phoebe and Geraldine. “Look at that mob!” said Geraldine in amazement. A bolt of lightening flashed out over the forest, and thunder rolled.
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
The Mob On Bridge Avenue illustration
by Carlos Uribe
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!