The punch to her cheekbone had opened a cut on Phoebe’s face that dripped blood, and the bruise began to swell. Stephanie and Abby walked her to a chair near the band and washed the cut. Sammy appeared with the house first aide kit, applied ointment and a bandage, and advised her to go to the hospital for stitches. Phoebe refused. Sammy threatened to call 911, but Police Chief Santiago said he was already on the scene and would drive Phoebe to the hospital once he took her statement. Phoebe told the band to get started ASAP, and asked if she could speak to Chief Santiago outside.
They moved a couple of folding chairs out onto the soccer field and sat down for a talk. The music was loud enough to cover their voices, but distant enough to make conversation possible. “There’s an awful lot to say,” began Phoebe.
Nico and Geo suddenly appeared next to them as if they had sprouted from the grass. In the shadowy darkness they resembled elves more than 12 year old boys.
“Ready to report,” said Nico, and saluted.
The Chief started. “What the…?”
“Maybe she’s busy,” whispered Geo.
“Not too busy for what we got,” retorted Nico.
“Nico and Geo,” said Phoebe, “meet Daniel Santiago, Middletown’s chief of police.”
“Hi Chief,” replied Nico. “We met before, but no need to go into that. “ He turned to Phoebe. “We got business. Should we report here?”
“Yes, give us all the details.” Phoebe turned to the Chief and said as an aside, “Scouts. The best.”
Nico saw that his audience was ready, and began: “Well, we were watching the watchers, keeping track of all of them, when we noticed the new watcher move over to the white van, and look through the fence.”
“The watchers?” asked the Chief.
“Men watching the coffee shop,” explained Nico. “They been there since it was light. Five of them, now six. They moved back across the street when you came out.”
“I see. Very interesting. Continue.”
“We kept an eye on the tall thin one that gave the kid the bag. After the kid punched you the tall guy started cursing, and then knocked on the window of the van.” Nico tossed his head to indicate the nearby van past the hole in the fence. “A guy in uniform stepped out and they started talking.”
“What kind of uniform?” asked the Chief.
“Like brownish gray with stiff hats like Parks Police, but light colored.”
“I see,” said the Chief. “Go on.”
“The tall guy wanted them to stop the concert, empty the place, and search for something.” Nico began to imitate the tall guy’s voice, loud and angry. “I told the governor I want action! Do you hear me! Action! And what are you doing? Nothing! I’ll have a word with the governor…”
Geo laughed. The Chief and Phoebe looked at each other, and they both mouthed the word, ‘Morphy’.
“So the other guy says, ‘I have my orders. We’ll close in as people leave, and search the place afterward. You’ll find the girl…’”
“You boys deserve a medal!” exclaimed the Chief. “But that will have to wait. Now go watch the concert, we won’t forget you.”
The Chief walked back inside to talk to the lawyers, and Phoebe took a moment to lean against the back wall of the coffee shop and let the time go by. Her head swam. The wound had begun to throb… but it didn’t matter. She knew that whatever Abby had planned, she would accompany her. It was her fate, Phoebe thought. She was on the way, come what may. There was no stopping it now. Everything was at stake, and she would have her chance to be someone, and make a difference.
Her eyes had been looking at nothing for some time. The music had stopped. Suddenly she noticed a movement in the shadows. There were men in uniform moving forward to the edge of the backyard. The music began again, and she recognized the tune. It was Jeremy’s song, the one they used to close the concert. The chords and the cowbell started out clean and simple, one strum to a line. The audience reacted with scattered whoops and cheers. The guitar ripped into the melody, and Jeremy’s high, thin voice rang out…
Something’s happening I can see
Didn’t used to feel like this to be me
I’m living, living
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
by Carlos Uribe
Living Music By The Protectors of The Wood Band
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!