STEPHANIE AND ABBY ARRIVE
Suddenly the door burst open and Stephanie swept into the room, carrying two bulging grocery bags. The music came to a stop. “I hope,” she declared, “you all appreciate the effort I put into this dinner.” She pushed some clothes off the couch and took a seat with a sigh. “This was one of the longest days…”
Phoebe noticed the door slowly opening, and Abby stepped inside. Her long dark hair framed her pale face. Everyone came forward to welcome her. Stephanie cleared the rest of George’s belongings off the couch and pulled Abby down next to her.
“I hope you don’t mind me barging in like this,” said Abby in a soft voice.
“You don’t barge in anywhere,” said Jeremy.
“Don’t forget, you’re one of us,” Phoebe told her.
“You’re just in time for a little food!” added Stephanie. She shared out the contents of her bags with great fanfare. They were all ravenous. The food quickly disappeared.
“I need to talk,” announced Stephanie suddenly. “I heard some strange things at the coffee shop today. It’s like I’m supposed to know something, but nobody has told me anything. I mean, do we expect the police on Friday night? Not as our friends, but as our enemies?”
The room was silent. Finally Phoebe said, “Well… I guess we do. The rumor going ‘round is that police will raid the concert to investigate complaints and try to close down the coffee shop. Sammy insists on going ahead as planned, and I’ve promised security to hold the audience below ninety-five people and make sure there’s no trouble.”
“And Sammy’s got to hire another worker by tomorrow to help me,” said Stephanie. “I was swamped today – tomorrow will be twice as busy – and Friday will be off the hook! All my friends have dates for the concert. No one’s going to want to work.”
“I’d like to work,” said Abby quietly.
“Really?” replied Stephanie. “That’s great!”
Phoebe was at a loss for words. She felt like cheering Abby’s bold move, but her thoughts were staggered by the sheer impracticality of it.
Stephanie looked closely at Abby. “You know I was receptionist for Hickory Securities over the last month. I just quit yesterday. I’ve overheard these so-called adults refer to you as if you’ve got the Holy Grail or something. They’re obsessed with finding you.”
“I know all about it,” replied Abby. “I’ve been hiding for months.”
‘But what’s going to happen now?” asked Stephanie. As she spoke she was studying Abby’s face. “There’s something about you,” she said. “I have the feeling you could look a different way. You might like a few changes, and maybe confuse these… creepy people.” She pulled Abby’s hair back away from her face, and tied it in a tight ponytail. Then she took one of Jim’s old straw hats from a hook on the wall, adjusted it on Abby’s head, and held Jeremy’s thin red jacket for Abby to put on. “Now stand up straight,” Stephanie told her. “Walk to the door and back.”
It was a revelation. Jeremy and Eddie started to clap, and George was too overwhelmed to do anything but stare. Stephanie adjusted the angle of the brim over one eye. “Now,” she asked, “will people recognize Abby if she’s waitressing at Sammy’s looking this way?”
“Could we cut a bit of her hair,” asked Jeremy. “That black hair in the back is a dead give-away.”
“Well, Abby?” asked Stephanie. “It depends on how far you want to go.”
“Let’s do it,” Abby said.
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
Stephanie And Abby Arrive illustration
by Carlos Uribe
colored by Jean-Pierre Barthelemy
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!