ABBY’S MYSTERIOUS PLAN
As the song came to a close the crowd began to chant, “Living! Living! Living! Living!” Phoebe wished she were inside with her friends, but a different reality bore down upon her. The police were moving in. Soon they stood near the back steps of the coffee shop, and behind them other men lurked. As the crowd began to exit people noticed the police and alerted their friends. Someone screamed.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the central officer. “You are free to go. We’re here on an investigation.”
Phoebe darted inside. Ellie was screaming, “I can’t believe they did this!”
“Ellie,” Abby said calmly, “they’re not after you. I’m much more of a runaway than you are.” Ellie stared in disbelief.
The voices at the back door grew loud and angry. Sammy was blocking the doorway, and the captain was threatening to arrest him. Abby looked at Phoebe. “Here we go,” she said. “It’s time.” In a few quick steps the girls were at the back door. “Coming through!” yelled Abby. Phoebe saw the police exchanging glances. “We’re looking for a runaway girl,” said the captain. "Can I have your name?"
“I’m Abby Chapman.”
“And your name,” he said, looking at Phoebe.
Stephanie appeared behind Sammy and announced, “I’d like to introduce my uncle, Freddy Baez, the managing editor of the ‘Evansville Record’. He’d like to interview you all for a story.”
The police looked at each other. “Sorry Freddy,” said the captain. “We were just leaving. I think we’ve finished our investigation.”
Meanwhile Phoebe followed Abby down into the shadows away from the spotlight. In a moment they were at the back door of the toy store, and stepped inside into complete darkness. They felt their way to the tiny chairs in the children’s corner and sat in silence. Phoebe nudged Abby’s knee. “How long?” she whispered.
“Long enough for the crowd and our friends and the police to leave,” replied Abby.
“But the watchers will stay,” Phoebe pointed out.
“Of course they will,” returned Abby.
“Why give them what they want?”
“I want to trap them,” Abby went on. “And they’re so greedy they’ll fall right into it.”
“I just don’t see how you’re going to manage it,” Phoebe complained.
They sat in silence for what seemed to Phoebe like forever, when Abby picked up her head. “All right, it’s time. They’ll all be gone. We’re out the front door and down the sidewalk toward the river.” The street was deserted except for a few men lounging on the benches in front of the Middletown Standard office.
“Oh yes!” exulted Abby in a whisper. Her eyes gleamed. “That’s Bob Bentley standing there! We’ll just stroll along.”
On they walked. The Half Moon Bridge and the dim trees lining the river seemed to be a dividing line between the town and the wilderness. Beyond the river, the lights were few and then none at all. The stars shone with a vivid, colorful brightness that shocked Phoebe. But above the cliffs those stars were smothered in a thick black curtain, punctuated only by the lightning that lit up the landscape for brief moments. “They’re behind us,” came Abby’s low voice. “Don’t turn around. Don’t ever turn around. Just let them follow as if we don’t know. They’ve got their lights off.”
Phoebe was already aware of the noise following them. She’d heard it before. The fan belt or something made a click, audible in the deep quiet. A dog barked in the distance. Something howled far, far away.
Suddenly a bolt of lightning cracked close at hand, lighting up the landscape with a vivid power she had never seen before…
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
ABBY’S MYSTERIOUS PLAN illustration
by Gideon Chase
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!