THE STORM BREAKS
As Phoebe and Jeremy stood in the back of the church they listened to the talk of people moving down the aisle. “I can’t believe this is happening,” an old man said. “It’s this strange new weather. There was nothing like it in the old days.”
Another voice added, “Did you see that thing in the sky? That weird dark thing…”
An angry man exclaimed, “It’s revenge for what they did to Sammy and the Hoods!”
“Where’s the police?” asked someone else. “Either they arrest her, or we’ll do something ourselves. We’ve got a right to protect this town, just like they did in the old days.”
“That’s crazy talk!” responded another man. “No one knows who’s doing anything!”
“Yeah? Think a bit,” said the angry man. “The dead end house!”
At the front of the church Reverend Tuck rose up and raised his open hands. “People of Middletown!” he exclaimed. The talk died down. “I am offering this church for a town meeting, in an effort to come together as a community. There are many problems that none of us can solve alone…”
“If you get punched, you punch back!” yelled a voice.
“I’ll ask you not to speak unless called upon,” returned Tuck. A number of hands shot up. “Officer Harley!”
The policeman, well known and respected, stood up and said, “Reverend Tuck, it seems to me that people are getting carried away over nothing, calling the clouds a witch and the storm a magic spell. I think everyone should calm down and go home.”
“We can’t go home,” yelled a man. “We’re trapped here!”
Another man stood up and said, “It’s revenge, I tell you! The police arrest Sammy and the Hoods, and what happens? This freak storm comes of the forest, all the traffic freezes, and something flies over the town laughing at us!”
“Yeah,” screamed another voice as many stood up to see. “And we know who she is, and where she is!”
“What are we waiting for?”
“Back on the dirt road. The dead end house!”
“Please, please, everyone,” yelled Tuck. “You’re not thinking straight. Listen to me.”
But many people were already standing, and some were moving toward the aisles.
Reverend Tuck was shouting, but a throng of people stormed from the church. As others saw they followed to check out the action. Phoebe realized that her moment to join Abby at the haunted house had come.
“Jeremy!” she said. “Get Tuck and follow to the haunted house as fast as you can.”
“This is it,” he nodded.
Phoebe limped out into the dim and strangely quiet street. The crowd was already half a block down Bridge Avenue. The cars and trucks were dark and still, as if the street were a parking lot. Frightened and angry people were hanging around hoping that this bizarre dream would soon come to an end. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Thick clouds raced across the sky.
Phoebe loped along with all the speed she could manage on her injured knee. Soon she crossed the bridge, gaining on the group ahead. Their numbers kept diminishing, as stragglers came walking back toward town. Phoebe moved up close, desperately looking for a way to arrive at the door of the haunted house before the crowd. The wind was rising, and made a roaring noise like a train in the distance.
Suddenly the open lawn and the house loomed up before them in the darkness. Phoebe slipped through to the right along the fringe of trees, and grabbed part of a branch along the way.
“We’ve gotta have some light for this work,” yelled a voice. “You weren’t here last night so you don’t know.” They began piling up the branches and sticks that covered the lawn. Soon the flames leaped up, swirling in a gust of wind. The thunder cracked again, very close by. Finally the lead man approached the broken porch with a burning branch like a torch.
“Where is Reverend Tuck,” thought Phoebe in a panic.
The wind whipped the bonfire into a frenzy. The flames danced and roared.
“We can’t wait all night,” howled the lead man. “Come out if you know what’s good for you! Last chance!”
Phoebe stepped out onto the broken porch, and stood there silently, ready to defend the half opened door. Abby’s urgent whisper hissed in the darkness behind her. “Phoebe! Come back through the door!”
But the man was already close by, with others behind him. “Aha!” he yelled.
Suddenly Reverend Tuck ran into the space between the crowd and the porch. He raised his hand and roared, “Go back, or you’ll regret it the rest of your lives!”
A bolt of lightening flashed, and the long-awaited rain poured down in sheets. The crowd turned and fled. Thunder shook the earth.
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
The Storm Breaks illustration
by Lawrence Tate
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!