After work, Phoebe went next door for some dinner at the coffee shop. People were standing two of three deep at the counter, and all the tables looked full. She squeezed around the counter, and saw Sammy and Abby hard at work slicing ingredients and throwing sandwiches together. Sammy slid a plate onto the counter and yelled, “Turkey Special!” Stephanie appeared, the crowd parted, and she grabbed the plate and vanished.
“How’s it going, Sammy?” Phoebe yelled. The noise level was high.
“Best night in history,” he shouted back. “Order food with Stephanie or Ellie, I just make sandwiches. And by the way, Slick over there is a godsend. You know – our new employee.” He nodded his head toward Abby.
“How’d she get that name?”
“Someone yelled, ‘Hey Slick,’ leave off the dressing.’ And it stuck.”
“Amazing,” commented Phoebe. “You never know how things will go. By the way, I think I’m ready for tomorrow.”
“I’m glad someone is,” said Sammy, still working a mile a minute. Phoebe slipped over to where Abby – wearing her hat and jacket and latex gloves, was putting turkey pieces and sliced tomato on half a dozen slices of bread.
“Looks good,” Phoebe said.
Abby beamed a smile at her. “This is fun!” she said, not loud enough to be heard, but Phoebe could read her lips. She darted forward and gave Abby a kiss on the cheek.
Phoebe found a seat at a table out back with players from her soccer team, Jasmin and Shannon, and father Terrence. Phoebe explained the problems they might encounter at tomorrow’s concert, and her commitment to Sammy to hold the audience to the legal maximum of 95. They promised to come early the following evening, and gave Phoebe a ride home. On the way, Shannon asked, “So how are we going to count all the people tomorrow?”
“Yeah,” said Jasmin. “They move around, and go in and out.”
Thunderstruck, Phoebe realized that she had imagined a line of people entering a concert. But of course the coffee shop was nothing like that.
“I vote for tickets,” said Shannon. “Give the first 95 a ticket, and then they can go out back and someone will check tickets at the door.”
“Thank you, thank you!” cried Phoebe as she jumped out of the car and waved.
Standing on the grass by the darkened houses, Phoebe was struck by the stars in the moonless sky. Countless stars – dizzying swirls of stars – wrapped themselves around the place where she stood. She recalled hearing somewhere that each star was an angel, and protected someone on the long journey through life and death. “Like Guardians,” she thought. “Surely we do need them. The colossal scope of this adventure is way beyond us. Something, someone, must be helping us.”
She recalled Abby’s talk in the forest garden about angels, and her own dream of the Green Man, and her vision of the Old Woman. “Could the Green Man and the Old Woman be angels?” she asked herself. “Yet they are not far away like the stars. They seem to be with us on earth. They are earth angels.”
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
Earth Angels illustration
by Carlos Uribe
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!