Call Waiting-The Full Story

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Patricia and her daughter, Macy, have just finished moving into their new house. Well….it wasn’t new but it was new to them. The bank had foreclosed on the home they previously lived in. Times were tough, but they weren’t going to just give up.

She found a house in the local classified section of the newspaper. It was a fixer upper but the price could not be beat…rent to own at that.

They decided to start taking boxes out of the garage and distributing them to the rooms that they were supposed to go into.

Kitchen
Mom’s room
Macy’s room
Dining room
Den
Garage

After getting those done, they were left with 2 stacks of boxes.

Attic
Macy’s toys

There was not an issue with the attic boxes. The issue was with the mass amount of toys. Some she had outgrown, but refused to part with. Others were broken. Stuffed animals, board games. There just wasn’t room for all of them.

Patricia decided to have “the talk” with Macy about them.

“Macy, honey….”

“Yes, Momma.”

“We need to talk about this stuff before you unpack it all. I would like you to go through these 4 boxes of toys and decide what you really…really need to keep. Here is one big box. The ones that you absolutely have to keep, you can put in here. The rest we will put into the attic.”

“But Momma…..that’s my stuff….I NEED it all! I can’t just decide to not play with things any more….I never know when I might really…really want to play with something. Please don’t make me choose….” Nine year old Macy pleaded.

She hated to tell her daughter no, but there just wasn’t room for it all. Her plan was to put the unchosen toys in the attic and each month retrieve one of the boxes and take it to Goodwill or some place where they could do something with them.

“Nope. 1 box is all you get. They will be in the attic if you ever really need them, Macy. I just don’t want them all down here. You have one hour to fill your box. Hop to it little one.”

Macy opened all 4 boxes and stood over them. For the next hour she painstakingly worked on filling 1 “big box” from 4 bigger boxes. When the one box was full she had 2 1/2 boxes to go into the attic.
_______________

“Good job, sweetie! Now let’s take them up to the attic….you know what, I haven’t been in the attic yet. Are you ready for a new adventure?” Patricia asked.

“You know I am!” Macy replied.

They each grabbed a box and headed up to the top of the stairs. Patricia opened the door. Her nose immediately took notice of the stale air that escaped.

“Whew….no one has been up here in a while! Stinky!!”

“P-U!” Macy added as she waved her hand in front of her nose to attempt to rid herself of the smell.

Patricia flicked on the light switch and then proceeded into the room with Macy directly behind her.

“Momma?….What are those dusty boxes in the corner over there. I thought you said you hadn’t been up here…”

“I haven’t, honey. The people that used to live here probably forgot them.”

“Can I look through them?” Macy inquired.

“I suppose. You do that while I bring the rest of the boxes up, ok? Watch out for spiders….BOO!” She said as she poked Macy in the back, making her shriek.

“MOMMA…DON’T DO THAT!”

“Just stay up here I will be back in a minute.”

Patricia headed downstairs to get the rest of the boxes and Macy made her way over to the boxes that the past residents left.

The first box had picnic dishes in them.

The second box had old school books in them, some had torn off covers. Most were scribbled on.

RING RING

Macy heard what sounded like a phone but she knew her Momma had a cell phone and it didn’t sound like that.

“Macy…are you ok? You look lost in thought…” Patricia asked as she came up to drop off some boxes.

“Did you hear a phone ring, Momma?”

“No…mine is still in the car on the charger.” She replied a bit puzzled.

“I’m going to get the last boxes but before that I am going to make us some lunch. You wanna come help me?”

“Could I stay up here please?”

“Ok…you will have to come down to eat though.” She said and turned back down the stairs.

RING RING
RING RING

She knew she heard it that time…it seems to be coming from a box on the other side of the room. She followed the noise.

RING RING
RING RING

She opened up the box, and saw what looked like a phone from those old time movies Momma liked to watch. At the base it had a thing to turn for the number, a long cylinder with a thing to talk into at the top, and a cord with a thing in it to put to your ear.

RING RING
RING RING

She decided to answer the old ringing phone.

“Hello….Macy’s Attic.”
——–
“Uh-huh…we just moved in.”
——–
“Sure…I will be your friend.”
———
“How do you know my Momma is about to..”

“Macy…lunch is ready.” Patricia yelled from downstairs.

“Wow…are you magic or something.”
——–
“K…I won’t tell. It will be our secret. Bye!”

Macy put the earpiece back onto the receiver and headed downstairs for lunch.

As they were eating their grilled cheese sandwiches and chips, Patricia asked her daughter a question.

“So…Did you find anything interesting up there?…..”

“…..ummm….no not really…” She sheepishly replied as she swung her legs under her chair.

“That doesn’t sound too convincing…what did you find?”

“Well….I did find an old time phone…..can I keep it?” She excitedly replied.

“It’s not yours honey. They might come back for it.”

“I promise to not break it and and if they come back for it I will give it back…I will even put ALL My toys up there and leave them if I can play with the phone…PLEEEEAAAAASE, Momma….”

Patricia had a parental decision to make. Let her child trade all her toys for a left behind old phone that may make her happy or….

She thought about it for a minute.

They have both had a tough time in the last few months since Macy’s father died in the plane crash. Trying to adjust to being just the two of them has been hard and she really has not been able to afford to give her anything she really wanted.

What could it hurt for her to keep the phone? She hasn’t heard her plead for anything in a while. It was nice to see her so full of glee.

“Ok…you can keep the old phone but if someone comes back for it you will have to give it back to them.”

Macy smiled and pumped her fist.

“YES! Thank you Momma! Can I take it to my room now?”

“Your welcome, honey. Yes…but only after you help me take the that box of your toys to the attic.”

Macy jumped out her chair and ran to do what her Mom had told her.

After the toys were stored away she retrieved her old time phone and took it to her room and shut the door behind her.

She placed it on her desk and stared at it…..wishing for it to ring. She fell asleep waiting.

Patricia came into the room and tucked her little girl in, turned on her nightlight and gave her a kiss goodnight. Then went to bed herself.

Sometime during the dead of night Macy was awakened….

RING RING
RING RING
RING RING

She picked up the receiver,

“Hullo?”
———
“She will be mad if I wake her up…”
———
“I don’t understand….what fire….”
———
“Ok…ok…but she’s gonna be mad if I wake her up…”

CLICK

She exits her room and smells smoke. She runs into her mother’s room, jumps on the bed and yells,

“FIRE, MOMMA, FIRE!”

Patricia groggily opened her eyes and was about to scold her daughter for waking her up when she too smelled smoke.

She jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. In the den she saw a flame ignite the curtains. She grabbed the fire extinguisher, pulled the pin and sprayed it at the wall. The fire was extinguished fairly quickly. Only the smoke hung in the air.

She looked at Macy still stunned and perplexed and asked,

“How did you know there was a fire, baby? It had to have just barely started when you woke me.”

Macy scratched her head let out a sigh and replied,

“Umm….I had to go the bathroom…when I came out I saw smoke so I went to get you…..” Macy replied with a lie….but she promised to keep the secret.

“I’m so proud of you, honey!”

Patricia tucked her daughter back into bed and went to turn off the breaker that coincided with the plug that started the fire. She would call an electrician tomorrow to check all the circuits.

Macy pretended to sleep but was really waiting for the lady in the phone to call. She wasn’t waiting long.

RING RING

Macy picked up the receiver to the ringing phone and spoke to the voice on the other end,

“I don’t like to lie to my Momma…please don’t make me do that again.”

“————–”

“How did you know about the fire?….are you like an angel that watches over us? I’ve seen them in movies…do you have a halo and wings?”

“—————–”

“You are not an angel….but you are LIKE an angel? I don’t get it. I will ask my Momma about that.”

“—————–”

“What do you mean she won’t believe me. If I can hear you, than so can she….right?”

“————”

“Ok, ok I promise not to tell….what is your name so I know what to call you?”

“————”

Macy giggles, “Penny…that’s a cute name. I gotta go to sleep, Penny. Good night.”

“———-”

Macy hangs the receiver back onto its clip and drifts off to sleep.
_________________

The days and few weeks that followed were relatively normal. Patricia started working from home updating medical transcripts, and Macy continued building a relationship with her “not really an angel” friend, Penny, by answering her old phone when it rang.

The faulty wiring was fixed and the house was becoming a home.
____________

As Macy was busy finishing her artwork in the Winnie The Pooh coloring book, her Mother walked in,

“Macy, honey….I’m going to go take a shower and then we need to run into town and run some important errands, ok. Please get out of your jammie’s and be ready, ok.”

“Ok Momma”

Macy put up her coloring book and headed to her room to change.

RING RING
RING RING

“Hi, Penny. What’s up?”

“———–”

“But Momma says we have to go….”

“———–”

“But Momma will be mad….”

“———–”

“No, you haven’t lied to me before….I’m always the one who ends up lying….”
Macy said in her best pouty voice

“———–”

“No I don’t want anything to happen to Momma and me. Ok ok I’ll do it.”
_______________

Patricia got out of the shower and went to go check to be sure her daughter was getting ready like she asked. She walked into her room…..no Macy

She walked into the den where Macy was when she left to take a shower….no Macy

She began to call for her.

“Macy…come on honey. We have to go I don’t want to get caught in traffic.” She said as she walked into the kitchen. As she continued to look around, trying not to panic, she noticed the back door open.

She ran outside and caught a glimpse of her daughter running out the back gate holding the phone she got from the attic.

“Macy Ann! You better get back here!” She yelled as she pursued.

Macy hid behind an old discarded dog house that was in the alley and tried to catch her breath.

RING RING

“My Momma will find us if you keep calling!” Macy pleaded

“———-”

“Ok…about 5 more minutes then I will let her find me.”

CLICK

Macy had no idea how long 5 minutes was. She just stayed hidden until her Mother found her.

Patricia was out of breath….and patience when she saw her huddled behind the doghouse.

“Macy Ann you stay right there!” She frantically yelled.

She came up to her, put her hands on her hips and began to verbally scold her.

“Do you know how worried I get when I can’t find you?….I have already lost your father and I could not bear losing you! Why, Macy, Why? You never leave without asking! I told you we had something to do! Now I have to wait until later. Do you know how hard it is to make ends meet? Well…answer me!”

Macy’s eyes began to water as she knelt.

“I’m sorry Momma….I had to do it!”

“What is that supposed to mean? All you had to do was get into some clothes and wait. That was all you HAD to do!” She angrily stated as she took a hand off her hip, grabbed Macy’s little hand and lead her back to the house.
______________

Patricia sat Macy on the couch and expected answers.

“Why, Macy?” She asked sternly

Macy paused then threw caution to the wind and spoke the truth…

“Penny told me to stall you so we wouldn’t leave when you wanted to.”

Patricia looked at her daughter with a quizzed look.

“Who’s Penny, I don’t know a Penny.”

“She’s the lady who calls the phone from the attic. She told me about the fire before it happened and to stall today. I think she is from Heaven.”

Patricia slowly replied,

“Penny’s…..from…..Heaven?….look young lady I don’t know where you got this cockamamie story from but that old phone doesn’t even have a wall plug on it….it’s an old phone that doesn’t work. And because you refuse to tell me the truth to why you hid from me, you are grounded from playing with that phone. Leave it here with me and go to your room until I tell you to come out.”

Macy grudgingly gave the phone to her Momma and said as she sulkily went to her room,

“She said, you wouldn’t believe me.”
_________

Still upset about her daughter and having to wait to go into town, Patricia turned on the TV to calm her nerves.

—–BREAKING NEWS——

A multiple car pile up has occurred on the freeway. This footage was taken from our traffic can a few short moments ago. More news to come as details become available….

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Patricia turned off the TV, a bit shaken, and looked at the old phone that sat on the table next to her.

She got up and went to ask her daughter some more questions….it had to be a coincidence….didn’t it?

Macy was sound asleep on her bed.

Patricia went back to the couch and laid down herself.

After a short while….the dreams came.
__________

The world of sleep has not been kind to Patricia, since the death of her husband.

She was afraid to sleep.

You see..her husband called, right before he boarded the 4 seater Cessna to let her know that his buddy and he were going to test fly the craft before his friend decided whether or not to buy it.

She was napping and missed the call.

It was the last call he would ever make.

The plane had engine troubles at 10,000 feet. The cabin filled with smoke. The pilot panicked and became disoriented.

The plane slammed into the ground, killing both almost instantly.

Sleep was not her adversary.

But on this day, sleep won out and her world would change, once again.
___________

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In her dream, she was walking down a dimly lit hallway. At the end of the hallway, there was a door. The door to her bedroom at the home she and Macy recently moved into.

As she walked towards the door, she heard voices. The closer she got to the door, the louder the voices became.

She heard a man yelling and a woman begging him to stop.

A chair crashed against the door causing it to rattle on the hinges.

Followed by a scream.

Patricia reached the door and paused….

She reached for the knob and grabbed hold of it.

She took a deep breathe and began to turn when she heard an exclamation from the other side-

“GOD DAMN IT PENELOPE! I TOLD YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU EVER DEFIED ME AGAIN!”

The name “Penelope” sent a chill up her back. She thought in her dream state….

“Penelope….isn’t Penny short for Penelope? Is this the woman who talks to my daughter through that old phone?”

As she finished the thought, she turned the knob and flung open the door.

The room was silent. There was no broken furniture. No Penelope.

Only the man was there and he was sitting on the bed sobbing….holding a gun.

He was talking to Penny even though she wasn’t there.

“I’m sorry, honey. I can’t tell them what happened….and I can’t go on without you….I….just….can’t….”

Patricia watched as he raised the gun and placed it in his mouth.

She started to run towards him and reached out to grab the gun.

The closer she tried to get…the farther away he became.

She was suddenly outside the bedroom door that she flung open.

Simultaneously, the door slammed and the gun went off.

BOOM

The noise of the gunshot made her suddenly sit up in her bed and open her eyes as she yelled,

“NOOOOO!”

She awoke in a cold sweat and a panicked state of mind.

She would swear the smell of gunpowder was in the air.

She looked around and began to access not only her dream but the reality that she awoke to.

She got out of the bed and began to head into Macy’s room to check on her.

RING RING
RING RING

Her heart sped up.

She turned her head toward her nightstand and stared at the old time phone, with the severed cord, as it beckoned her to answer.

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____________

Patricia looked at the outdated phone, with the frayed ended cord hanging off the end, and was flooded with inner questions as it continued to ring.

RING RING

Was the woman she just dreamed about the same one who warned them about the potential disasters?

RING RING

What happened to her that caused the man in her dream to kill himself?

RING RING

Why was her daughter, Macy, drawn to the old phone from the attic in the first place?

RING RING

As she stumped herself with the questions, she failed to notice that Macy has woken up from her punishment nap and was standing beside her. She only noticed when the child startled her by asking a question.

“You gonna answer that, Momma?” She asked.

Patricia practically jumped out of her skin for a moment, then gathered her composure and looked down at her daughter to answer.

RING RING

“This is just weird, Baby…old phones with no end on the cord do not just ring….”

“But…it’s ringing Momma…and I talk to Penny….and she tells me about things that are going to happen to us…she has helped us….2 times…maybe….just maybe….she needs help.”

RING RING

She looked at her daughter with concerned eyes and wondered if her young child new more than what she was letting on..

She knelt down and looked at Macy in the eyes and asked,

“What exactly do you know about the lady in the phone you call Penny? Because, I get the feeling you haven’t told me everything.”

RING RING

Macy shuffled her feet and her eyes shifted toward the ground, sighed and then answered.

RING RING

“She tells me it’s dark and cold where she is…and…and…she needs help to be…free to move on…I don’t know what that means….but…but…she said she’s been waiting a REAL long time for someone to answer her call….”

As Macy finished the phone stopped after a half ring.

RI…..

Patricia let the wave of the chill that traveled up her spine dissipate and watched as her goosebumps rose and the hairs on her arms stand on end as she turned to look at the phone that suddenly stopped ringing.

The silence hung in the air like a fog.

It was broken by a question from the child.

“We have to help, Momma…..you always say that helping others will help us….”

“Honey…we don’t even know who she is….she is a voice in an old phone that shouldn’t even work…” Patricia replied.

Macy scratched her head and confidently replied,

“We know she is Penny….and that she’s from heaven……it’s a start…right?”

“Penny’s from heaven….yeah…it’s a start.”
_________________

After some thought about the situation, Patricia decided to give the realtor a call. She figured none of this started to happen until the phone was found in the attic of the house they had moved into a few short months ago.

She gave her a call on her cell phone and asked if she could tell her anything about the history of the house.

“Well…what would you like to know?” The realtor asked.

“…..anything like past occupants hearing….noises and such…” Patricia replied.

“Ummm…not to my knowledge…but the house was vacant for quite some time…and by quite some time I mean about 14 years. The owners who are selling to you just wanted to get out from under it. They fixed it up enough to be able for us to do something with it and moved out of state. You got quite the deal on it, that home is over 100 years old….”

“Yes, we know…we love the house…we just thought it would be fun to know some things about it…Macy is 9 you know….she kinda wishes it was haunted or something like that…” Patricia half heartedly chuckled as she spoke to try to make the statement as believe able as possible.

“Well,” the realtor replied, ” you could always go to the historical commission downtown…all homes as old as yours are are listed there. Maybe they could help. I gotta run…I have a showing at 2. Good luck!”

Patricia hung up the phone and looked at Macy and said,

“Get your shoes on…we are headed into town.”

Macy asked,

“Can I take the phone with us…in case Penny calls?”

“I guess so.” She hesitantly replied but prayed to herself that the phone did not ring in public.

They reached the towns historical commission in about 20 minutes. Patricia walked inside, with Macy and the phone in tow.

They walked up to the counter and greeted the old man who sat behind it.

“Hi, we were wondering if we could find out anything about the home we are living in. We are told it is over 100 years old.”

“Sure,” the man said, “just give me the address and I will get you what I can.”

He looked down at Macy and smiled. He caught a glance of the phone as he took the address from Patricia’s hand and asked,

“Hey young lady…that phone is quite different from the usual ones I see in here. May I see it?”

Macy looked at her Mom, who cautiously nodded.

She handed him the phone. He looked it over and said,

“You know…this type of phone came out in 1919. It was the first phone used to make a 2 way long distance call on. This one still has the date stamp in the bottom.
Looky here,” he said as he turned the phone over.

Sure enough, the date stamp, although covered with a rusty substance said 1919.

“You best be careful with this, dear. It is probably worth something. Give me a minute and I will see what I can find.” He said as he handed the phone back.

He came back after about 10 minutes.

He sat down with a folder and sighed. He then opened it up and spoke.

“Well…your home is over 100 years old….but it has not been in this county for that long.”

Patricia looked at him with surprise and replied,

“What do you mean?”

“I mean…it has been a part of this counties history for about 85 years….but it was built and moved from Haven before that. I even have a picture in the file of the house being moved. To get any real history you would have to go there. It is about 50 miles west of here.” He said as he looked up at a pale Patricia and handed her the picture.

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“….Haven?” She slowly replied as she looked at the black and white picture of her home.

“Yes, ma’am. I even have the name of the house movers who did the job. Very reputable and have been around since homes have needed to move.” He said with a smile as he wrote down the information and handed it to her.

She took the slip of paper, thanked him and returned to the car. She sat behind the wheel and opened the slip which read,

HAVEN HOME MOVERS-“Moving Haven and Earth since 1900”
___________

The trip to Haven was only about 50 miles, but the excitement of being amateur investigators had made Macy sleepy.

As Patricia turned onto the highway, Macy drifted off into a dream state while she clutched the 1919 telephone with the frayed cord.

She found herself in the same dimly lit hallway that her mother was in while in her own dream, facing the closed bedroom door.

She heard the voices of a man and woman arguing on the other side.

“I TOLD YOU THAT YOUR GIFT OF SEEING INTO THE FUTURE WAS ONLY FOR MY USE….NOT FOR EVERY WRETCH IN THE TOWN!!”
He screamed.

“But…but..I can help people with my gift of sight….save them…” She replied

Macy recognized the voice as Penny from the telephone. She reached for the handle and thought about opening the door….then reconsidered…she remembered what her Mother told her about privacy. Instead, she put her eye up to the skeleton keyhole to catch a peek.

20140112-220943.jpgWhat she saw was a man in old time clothes, red faced and yelling.

The argument continued….

“SAVE THEM?….TOO BAD YOU CANT SAVE YOURSELF…GOD DAMN IT PENELOPE I TOLD YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU EVER DEFIED ME AGAIN!”

Macy watched as she saw the man pick up a phone, that looked just like the one she found in the attic, that was on the desk beside him, ripped it from the wall, and began to swing it and move around the room.

As he went out of her sightline in the keyhole, the woman with the voice of Penny came into view, wearing an old time dress, ducking the swings with her arms out in front of her.

Macy saw the face that went with the voice that she knew as Penny…..

And awoke with a scream because the face…was that of her Mother.

Patricia was startled by the scream in the back seat of the car. She looked in the rear view mirror at her daughter, who was ghostly pale, pulled over to the side of the road and said,

“What happened, honey? Are you alright?”

Macy looked around the car, regained a little color in her face and replied,

“Bad dream, Momma…real bad.”

“You still want to finish this trip or should I turn around?”

Macy thought about it and replied,

“We gotta finish it Momma, now more than ever we have to free her from wherever she is…”

Patricia paused to try and read her daughters face. Unable to catch a bead on what she was thinking she said,

“Ok…..It’s back on the highway to Haven then.”

Macy half heartedly smiled and gazed out the window as her mother pulled back out onto the road.
_______

They drove another 10 miles and came across a sign right before they entered the town that read,

“Welcome to Haven- Where a Penny goes a long way!”

Patricia drove by the sign slowly and couldn’t help but get a chill.

They decided to drive down the main thoroughfare to look for a place to eat and to ask for directions to the home movers location.

Macy seemed to still be in a daze and did not notice what her Mother was noticing.

Each shop on the main strip was named after Penny. There was “The Penny Arcade”, “The Copper Penny” bar and grille, “The Penny Slots Storage”. “Penny Coat Junction” department store and soda fountain.

She decided to stop at the “Penny Counter Deli”.

Patricia gets out of the car and opens the back door so Macy can get out.

Macy gets out but leaves the phone in the car.

For it being late afternoon, the streets are deserted. The bell on the deli door goes off as they enter the establishment. There are no customers. One gentleman is wiping the counter next to the soda fountain.

The gentleman looks up and stops wiping and just stares at Patricia with his mouth open until her and Macy sit at the counter in front of him.

“This is some kind of joke right?” He says. “There is a hidden camera here somewhere for some Hollywood TV show…right?”

“What are you talking about?” Patricia asks, “we came in to get something to eat and to ask where the Haven house movers company is located.”

“But….you look just like her….” He says dryly.

“Like who?” She irritatingly asks.

“Like…Penny…the woman every shop in town is named after…look” he grabs the menu from the holder and puts the front cover in front of her. In the center of the cover is Penny, who, with the exception of the hairstyle and clothes is Patricia.

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Patricia looked at Macy, then back at the man and asked,

“So….what’s the story behind this woman and why all the fuss with her?”

The man’s eyes light up with the anticipation that he was about to tell the story of Penny to the mirror image of Penny.

He cleared his throat, took a deep breathe and began.
___________

“Penny was the daughter of a very wealthy stockbroker….” The man behind the restaurant counter said, then paused.

He stopped to gather his thoughts, rubbed his chin with the palm of his hand then looked at Patricia and Macy and said,

“Where are my manners? You all are at a restaurant. Why don’t you both look at the menu and order something…and then I will continue with the story while you eat. My name is Deacon, by the way. And what might you alls names be?”

He stuck out his hand for each to shake.

Patricia was a bit weirded out by his change in demeanor, but shook his hand and introduced herself.

“Marvelous. And who might this bright little peach, be?” He said as he looked at Macy.

Macy looked at her Mother, who reluctantly nodded, then back at him and stuck out her small hand.

As Macy gently took his hand, she felt a shudder than ran through him, into her…and straight to her mind.

The vision she saw was of a large man in a dark suit and sunglasses coming into the restaurant. He took off his glasses, had a few tense words with Deacon, then made a call from a cell phone and continued to block the door.

Deacon pulled his hand away and said,

“That’s quite a grip you have there, youngin’. How about I just make you 2 of my specialty dishes…they are loved all over Haven!”

“Sure..that will be fine..” Patricia said and looked at Macy who continued to stare at Deacon. “You ok honey?”

Macy dazingly looked at her Mother and said,

“Yeah…I have to go to the bathroom, Momma. Will you go with me?”

“Of course, honey. Deacon, where are your restrooms?”

Deacon pointed to the back of the restaurant and went to make his specialty dishes for them.

They both got up from their chairs and went to the restroom. After going in and closing the door behind them, Macy pulled her Mother down to her level and spoke quietly.

“Momma…..we gotta get out of here…something is gonna happen…I. Saw. It.”

Patricia looked concernedly at her daughter, and replied,

“You are just nervous because we are in a strange place. We are trying to help Penny…remember…Deacon is a little weird…but he is going to tell us about her. Don’t worry…I will protect you.”

Macy insisted,

“You don’t understand, Momma…if we don’t leave quick….we may not be able to….AT ALL!”

“Why would you say that, honey?”

“When I took his hand..I saw a really big man come in and block the door….I think someone else knows we are here and what we are doing…pleeeease…we gotta go!”

“Ok…ok..we will go.”

She stood up and reached for the door. Just as she was about to pull on the handle, the bell on the front door of the restaurant made its “someone is entering noise”

JINGLE
JINGLE

Patricia stopped and let the handle go and looked down at Macy who looked back with wide open eyes and said,

“Too late…he’s here….”
__________

The behemoth in the dark suit entered, maintained his intimidating stance and spoke-

“This better not be another false alarm, Deacon. She is tired of leaving the complex because of your itchy panic button finger…..”

He took off his sunglasses, looked around, and continued.

“Surprise…the place is empty. You must be a glutton for punishment…..”

Deacon interjected,

“No…no…no false alarm this time. I saw here…spoke to her…she is here…Penny…she’s here. I hit the button..as..as…soon as it knew it was her! She went to the ladies room. You’ll see….I did good this time…Deacon did good!”

The large man crossed his his large arms across his wide chest, cracked his neck, shut the swinging door behind him and stood right in front of it and replied,

“I will be the judge of that. For your sake…you better be right.”

He pulled out a cell phone, hit a button, waited for a second then said,

“Yes, ma’am. I’m here. He says she is in the bathroom. I will call you back once I have confirmation.”

He then ended the call, put his glasses back on and waited for the emergence of Penny.
__________

Patricia and Macy listened from behind the bathroom door. She looked around to see if there was another way out.

No windows. No other doors. One way in…one way out.

She looked down at her daughter and asked,

“How did you know, honey?”

Macy looked back at her and replied,

“I don’t know….when he took my hand…I just saw it happening.”

“Well….we can’t just stay in here…if he has to come get us, I don’t think he will be too happy.” She said as she grabbed the handle with sweaty palms.

She opened the door and walked out with her daughter behind her. She took a deep breathe and began walking back toward the front of the restaurant.

The large man in the suit uncrossed his arms and took off his sunglasses.

As the women got closer he exclaimed to no one in particular,

“Holy Crap….it is her. Penny has come back….”

Deacon heard the exclamation and started jumping up and down and clapping his hands while repeating over and over,

“DEACON DID GOOD! DEACON DID GOOD!”

He pulled out his cellphone and hit the button again and said after a moment,

“Ma’am….you aren’t…or maybe you will believe this….it’s her. Penny is back.”

He listened to the voice on the other end of the conversations reply then hit the button to end the call and approached the woman and her child and said,

“She’s been waiting for that call a very long time….Please take a seat. She will be here shortly….and don’t try to touch me. I’m not as susceptible to your gift as Deacon is.”

Patricia moved her daughter behind her and said,

“I am not who you think I am. I am just looking for answers for strange things that have been happening to my daughter and I. Please…just let us leave….we won’t ever come back…”

The large man unbuttoned the jacket in his suit, revealing a very large handgun in a shoulder holster and replied,

“She has been waiting for your return for over 80 years…there ain’t nothin stranger than that. You are her and you will sit….and wait for her to get here…just like she has waited for all this time for you to come back….like you said you would before you disappeared.”

He then unbuttoned the strap that held the gun in place, took it out and pointed it at her and said,

“SIT!”

Patricia tried to hide her fear and hold her composure. She pulled out the closest chair, pulled Macy beside her and sat. She pulled out the chair next to her and motioned Macy to sit next to her.

Macy just stood there and stared at the large man with the gun pointed at them. She was calm. She squinted her eyes a bit, cocked her head to the side…just a touch…and smiled.

She looked at her Mother and then back at the large man and giggled. Then got up into the chair and waited.

The large man shook off a shudder that went up his spine and tried to maintain his tough guy stance while they waited for her to arrive….but he couldn’t quite shake the feeling that the little girl knew everything there was to know.

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______________

The large man in the suit still had the gun pointed at Patricia and Macy as they were seated. He shook off the slight sense of fear he had for the little girl who just laughed at him. He cracked his neck, bulked up his frame and said,

“What’s so funny, kid. I have a gun pointed at you….and I’m not afraid to use it.”

Patricia interrupted,

“She is just a child. We are doing what you asked…”

Macy interrupted her Mother and squinted her eyes as she stared down the large man.

“Don’t worry, Momma….he can’t do anything without the lady telling him to….she needs us….he’s big and all but his gun isn’t even loaded….and it’s hard to be scared of a man who can’t even remember to zip his pants up after he goes to the bathroom.”

Patricia didn’t know how Macy knew the gun wasn’t loaded or how she knew about some lady who called the shots but instinct caused her to look at the mans crotch. She let out a giggle with her daughter as indeed his fly was down.

The large man holstered his gun as he looked down, red faced. He zipped up his trousers as he muttered,

“Stupid girl.”

He then pulled up a chair in front of the door, sat and crossed his arms and seemed to pout as he was bested by a child.

Patricia tried to break the tension of the waiting by asking a question.

“Why are the streets so deserted? It seems like a good sized town to be….empty.”

The large man changed his pout to a quizzical look and replied,

“You really don’t know…do you?”

Patricia shook her head in a no fashion and answered,

“Know….what?”

Before the large man could answer, his chair was struck from behind with the door which startled him and caused him to get up and turn around in a defensive fashion with his gun drawn.

An frail, old woman with a shawl around her torso, a bonnet on her head and a floor length dress pushed her way through the doorway, followed by 2 more large men. One of which, was carrying a medium sized bag.

She looked up at the man with the gun drawn and frustratingly said,

“Put that pea shooter away before you hurt yourself, Marion….and for Penny’s sake, get out of the way so I can see our visitors that you all got me out of the ceremony to see.”

Marion slumped his large shoulders, grabbed his chair and moved out of the way, clearing a sightline for the lady to see Patricia and Macy,

The old woman moved in closer to the pair and smiled. She then turned to the 3 large men and Deacon and spoke,

“I need you all to go to the ceremony and leave me with our guests. Please, leave the bag with me….”

Marion chimed in,

“But, ma’am….they may be dangerous….she has been gone a long time..”

“SILENCE! The only danger here is in not fulfilling the prophesy. Do as I ask. My driver will be outside if needed.” The lady replied.

The men grudgingly left the old woman with Patricia and Macy.

The old woman, bag in her lap, looked Patricia in the eyes, paused and then spoke,

“Although you bear a striking resemblance….you are not….my Mother…who left us to fend for ourselves so many years ago….but…I sense the gift of sight beyond sight is what has brought you here. What sights have you to reveal?”

Patricia looked at Macy who was about to speak. She stopped her and did her best to explain herself.

She told the woman of the one who called herself Penny who saved the house from burning down from faulty wiring and about delaying them from going into town avoiding a terrible accident that occurred on the freeway. She told her about the dream she had about seeing a man arguing with Penny from behind the bedroom door and the gunshot and silence. She finished by saying it all started by finding an old time phone with a frayed cord in the attic of the house.

The old woman’s face changed to a surprised look. She paused and asked,

“An old time phone?”

She opened the bag that sat in her lap and pulled something out, set it on the table and asked,

“Is it similar to this phone?”

Macy reached for the phone, turned it over and looked at the nameplate, which was identical to the phone from the attic. She replied to the old woman,

“Yes, ma’am it is exactly like this one. I have it in our car outside. Would you like to see it?”

“I very much would.” The woman replied.

Macy went out the car, with her Mother watching closely, retrieved the phone, brought it inside and placed it in front of the old woman.

The old woman stared at the phone and seemed to be reliving a memory from the past. After a few moments, she wiped a single tear from her eye, regained her composure and spoke,

“That was the phone that was in our home. She called me from it on the last day she was seen. I spoke to her on this phone,” she said as she picked up the phone she took out of the bag, then continued.

“During that call…she told me…that she may have to leave….but not to worry…as long as I stayed close to the phone, that she would call and come back. I just waited for the call. I was 10 then. I kept the phone…knowing that my Mother would call. I am now 105. She started to contact me through this phone a few weeks ago….saying she had found a way home….and for me to wait. The gift of sight beyond sight was always strong in her. I sense that gift is strong in you as well…..” She said as she turned her gaze from Patricia to Macy.

Patricia, being uncomfortable, with attention being placed on her young child, interrupted.

“Whoa whoa whoa. Hold on. I don’t know what this sight beyond sight is and what it has to do with my daughter….but we have a lot of questions with no answers…and unless we get some we are out of here!”

The old woman gave a stern look to Patricia and replied,

“I don’t think leaving would be in your best interest. Marion and the boys have gone to the ceremony…and I am quite certain that he has put the word out that Penny is back. You would cause quite the ruckus by going outside at this point.”

Patricia, who looked more confused than ever, countered,

“WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Ceremony…sight beyond sight…empty streets…old phones that ring without being plugged into anything….I wish we never would have moved into that old f@&(ing house!”

The old woman, who was a bit startled, asked,

“House….what house?”

“This house.” Patricia replied as she took the photo from the realtor file and placed it in front of her.

The old woman picked up the photo, gazed at it and paused before she spoke…..

“This is the house we lived in when I was a child….my grandfather told me he had it destroyed…..you live in it now?”

Patricia answered,

“Yes…the phone was in the attic….shortly after finding it, all of this started happening….which eventually led us here. Why has this Penny brought us here and what is going on?”

The frail, old woman sat in silence as the wheels of her mind turned and churned the newly learned information that spun around and around attempting to connect the new dots that were added to the puzzle of her families history. After a few moments, she looked up at Patricia and Macy, took in a deep breath, exhaled and spoke,

“Maybe, if I start at the beginning it would help. Possibly together we can make sense out of all of OUR confusion….for I am beginning to think that the entire existence of this town and it’s beliefs are a lie.”

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_______________

The frail old woman, sat up straight in her chair, cleared her throat and began the story of her family and the legacy of Haven.

My grandfather….the patriarch of not only my family but of this town and it’s inhabitants, was what is know today as a religious zealot. His spiritual leanings were only surpassed by his wealth.

He earned his riches in the stock market. His finger was always…ahead….of the pulse, I guess you could say. He believed he was given that gift by right of a higher being….and he had no qualms about telling everyone about that given right.

His penchant for picking the right stock at the right time was unmatched.

In the religion of money…he was a god.

In the religion of life….he was labeled a fool.

He was nobody’s fool….and one day he set out to prove it.

Desperate to find a place where his spiritual leanings would be more powerful than his sense of the money market.

On his journey, he came across a beautiful woman stranded on the roadside in the country. He stopped and asked if he could be of assistance.

She said that she had already turned away 4 persons who wished to assist her and her reason was because she had “sight beyond sight” and she had seen that their intensions were not pure…..but when she looked at my grandfather she could not read him…his mind…or see the future. Her people saw that as a sign of great fortune.

She accepted his invitation for assistance. He promised to take her wherever she wanted as long as she didn’t mind hearing of his spiritual leanings….where he warned he was quite enthusiastic about.

She gladly accepted, knowing that where she was going there happened to be a great need for someone with spiritual vigor.
___________

“Momma…I’m tired and this is boring.” Macy interrupted as she tugged at her Mother’s shirt.

Patricia looked at Macy and then at the old woman and spoke,

“I’m sorry ma’am, she is young and not much into history lessons..would you mind if she went over and lay down in the booth right over there?”

“Of course not,” she replied as she took the shawl from around her waist and handed it to Macy. “She may use this as a blanket if she wishes…”

“Say thank you.” Patricia said.

Macy looked at the old woman with sleepy eyes and replied,

“Thanks.” She looked back at her Mother and said, “I’m gonna take the phone with me…I sleep better with it close to me.”

The old woman showed a curious smile and they watched Macy saunter off over to the booth and lay down, holding the phone like a doll.

Patricia waited until the old woman returned her attention to her then asked,

“Ok…so I am guessing your grandfather was the Jim Jones or David Koresh type?…..I’m sorry…I don’t mean to jump ahead….but when do we get to the Penny part?”

The old woman replies,

“I know you are not her…but you not only have her looks but her impatience as well…..he possessed the charm and charisma of the two you spoke of but not the Armageddon tendencies or the desire to bed his followers…he was completely devoted to my grandmother. I will do my best to move the story along.”
____________

The place he took her was an encampment in the middle of nowhere consisting of tents and make shift dwellings. The inhabitants consisted of beggars, gypsies and misfits.

The beautiful woman, introduced him around. The people of the community had never been around a man such as my grandfather. They were drawn to him and hung on his every word.

He was drawn to them as well. He saw opportunity to convey his beliefs and utilize his wealth for something more than hobnobbing in top hats and suits.

He felt he had found his people…and his people needed him as a leader.

He used his influence in the market world to find a place that his people could call home. A few stock tips in exchange for land.

He was told of an abandoned town that was going for cheap….and he jumped on it.

He loaded up his caravan of followers and led them to their promised land.

He wanted to call the place “Heaven”, but in his excitement, he registered the land and misspelled it, calling it Haven.

They settled in and began their new life. My grandfather, the beautiful gypsy woman who became his wife,
and the rest of the misfits who followed because they believed.

My grandfather traded stock tips for companies to come in and help build a nice community during the day.

At night he would write his beliefs into text form and teach them to his enthusiastic followers.

All the while, my grandmother would encourage him.

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He would teach them of love, family, and perseverance. He would say that although he was a great leader…that another would be born…and that one would take them to higher ground and lead them to riches that even he could not imagine.

His people longed for that day.

A few years later….Penny was born.
_________

“So….Penny is the messiah?” Patricia asked.

The old woman sighed, and replied,

“It was a time….long…long ago, dear. May I continue?”

Patricia nodded and glanced over at Macy who had begun to twitch in her sleep.
_________________

Macy was walking down the dark hallway toward the bedroom door, carrying the shawl in the crook of her arm. She heard shuffling from the other side. Instead of looking through the hole of the skeleton lock she turned the knob and walked in.
_________________

A few years later, my grandfathers prophesy came to fruition. They had a child and they named her Penelope.

She had his eyes….and her Mothers sight beyond sight.

From the time she was born, she was treated as the second coming of her father.

In time, she used her sight to avert troubles of their people and strengthen their faith in her abilities, which in turn gave them the faith to better themselves.

With my grandfather on the throne and Penny at his side…he was….God in Haven
___________

“Of course, all this is town lore, part truth…part myth…part whatever has been passed on and down since it all began.” The old woman said.

Patricia asked with a confused look on her face-

“You sound a bit jaded on this history. Why?”

She replied,

“Time changes perception, my dear. All of that occurred before I was born. What is true and what is not is not for me to know, it is just for me to continue the doctrine. What is true now….is this whole town uses her name for profit….not for prophet. I just want to know what happened….which is why I kept the phone that she said she would call me on. I waited over 8 decades…..for the phone to ring. It did. Shortly after….you came here…and here we are.”

The 2 woman just stared at each other. Only Macy screaming broke their gaze-

“MOMMA! MOMMA!” Macy shrieked as she shot up from the booth and onto the floor clutching the shawl in the crook of one arm and the phone in the other.

Patricia went to her side and said,

“What is it, honey? I’m right here.”

Macy looked at her Mother, then over at the frail old woman, then back at her Mother and replied in a dry tone.

“I know where Penny is and I know what happened.”
_____________

Patricia stooped down to look her daughter in the eyes and said,

“Well honey….where is she and what happened….I’m sure her daughter would like to know….she has been waiting much longer than us….”

Macy looked away from her Mother and back at the frail old woman and said as she dropped the shawl to the floor,

“We gotta get outta here, Momma…..she has known all along what happened to her and wants to keep it a secret….”

Patricia felt that chill up her spine again and clutched Macy’s hand as she stood up and turned around to face the old woman.

She faced the supposed frail old woman to find her pointing a small revolver at the two of them. With a sniper steady hand, she stared the two down and said,

“You are not going anywhere. I have entertained you both long enough to find out that you are, indeed, a threat to our way of life. And rest assured young lady….my gun IS loaded.”

She moved her gun hand from being pointed at them and readjusted her sights to the picture on the wall to their right and pulled off 2 rounds shattering the glass and leaving bullet holes in the sheet rocked walls, an 1/8 of an inch away from each other.

BOOM BOOM

She then quickly returned her aim toward the child and spoke,

“You will take us to the house and reveal your vision from my Mother. I will then give you the choice to join us in our crusade or to perish like my Mother who tried to get out…..unsuccessfully.”

Patricia fired back with words of confidence-

“You can’t keep us here…the police surely heard the gunshots and will be here to investigate!”

The old woman chuckled and replied,

“Haven is a self contained society. We police ourselves and have since the beginning. Outsiders drive through and add to our economy but no one, and I can’t stress enough that no one is allowed to stay and reside without going through our purification ceremony, which, by the way is going on now.”

“Purification ceremony?” Patricia asked.

“You will learn of that once your choice is made. I must tell you, with your uncanny likeness to my Mother….you would make a powerful statement toward our promise of everlasting life…..with the proper attire you would pass for a mirror image of our messiah on the day she disappeared….or as we like to call it…journeyed to our promised land for the ultimate purification. CAN I GET A AMEN FOR THE RETURN OF PENNY!

The old woman waved her not gun pointing arm triumphantly as she spoke. Then brought it back down and leered at the 2 outsiders with a menacing grin and continued,

“Religion has a way of luring the lost like no other. The Penny Doctrine has lured a town full of believers for many years. Believers who gave all for the betterment of Haven. They give their past, present and future to our cause. All of the residents here were once outsiders to their respective families and communities. We made them part of ours. Their price…..everything that they once knew for a promise of belonging and immortality. The past few years has been trying on us. It is hard to keep pressing the belief in the doctrine..without proof. With you…we have our proof.”

Patricia looked at her with quizzical eyes and replied,

“This is crazy….You can’t do this to us….all we wanted was to find out about why this old phone kept ringing and about who she was…we don’t want any part of this lunacy about purification…”

“Then your choice is made….” The old woman said as she pulled the trigger

BOOM

hitting Patricia in the chest. She fell back against the booth and hit the floor.

“MOMMA!” Macy shrieked as she went to her side.

Patricia was breathing….shallowly.

Macy took her hand, leaned into her ear and whispered,

“I will do what she says Momma….don’t worry…everything will be alright.”

Macy turned to the old woman, tears streaming down her face, and said-

“What do I have to do to save her…she is all I got..”

The old woman smiled her wicked smile and replied just as Marion burst through the door with Deacon close behind.

“That’s the spirit. Take us to where my Mother is. If your Mother doesn’t make it….you will do just fine for our prophesy…you do bear a striking resemblance to me as a child….and as Penny knows…I won’t live forever. Someone has to carry on the doctrine when I die.”

Marion looked at the body on the floor and at the old woman holding the gun and then spoke,

“How is this gonna work with her dead? The immortal can’t get shot…”

Without missing a beat the old woman looked at her son and replied,

“The devil has tried to lead us down the wrong path, my son. Although she resembled our messiah, she was a false prophet…..the answers to our immortality are within the child. She has agreed to lead us to the misgivings of our past and into a GLORIOUS AND EVERLASTING FUTURE!”

Deacon, who had knelt next to Patricia and started crying, said,

“But…but….Penny….she was the one…we must…save her….I…I want to do good by her….please…let me…help her…”

The old woman, who had grown annoyed with Deacon months ago, hastily replied,

“Fine, Deacon…take her to the infirmary inside the main complex…but DO NOT…let any of the believers see her. I do not need a mass exodus on my hands right before I fulfill our prophesy. Just leave me the keys that are in her pocket.”

Deacon replied happily,

“Yes ma’am…yes ma’am…Deacon will do good….I promise….”

Deacon did as he was told and then picked up Patricia from the floor and carried her through the kitchen and out of sight.

The old woman looked at Marion and instructed him to grab the child and take her to their car. She did not want to take her own vehicle as to not look suspicious.

As Marion grabbed Macy and began to lead her out, the phone the old woman had kept for so many years, began to ring.

RING
RING

RING
RING

The old woman looked at Macy, then reached to answer the phone-

“Yes…momma…”

“……….”

“Yes momma we are coming to bring you home. The child has found me and will bring me to you.”

“……”

“I love you too momma. I will soon be bringing you back from the cold and dark and into the light….”

She hung up the receiver and left the phone where it was. She then walked over to Macy and grabbed the old phone she was contacted on and placed it next to the other phone.

They started to walk out to the vehicle Patricia drove to make the journey back to the house where it all began.

Before closing the restaurant door behind them. The old woman turned around and pointed her gun at the 2 phones and pulled the trigger, shattering each with a single bullet.

“Call Ended.”

she said as the pieces hit the floor.
_______________

Marion started up Patricia’s car. He looked at the child and said,

“Where are we going, you little ESP brat?”

Macy looked at him with her swollen eyes and tear stained cheeks and replied,

“Why don’t you ask her? She knows more than I do.”

Marion looked at the old woman and waited for a reply.

She looked at the child and replied,

“I told your Mother that I thought the house was destroyed…and that’s the truth. Where are we going?”

Macy shrugged her shoulders then replied,

“Why don’t you go look at the file my Mom brought with the picture in it…I’m sure it has the address in it. You just shot my Mom I ain’t telling you nothin’ until I’m ready.”

The old woman looked at Marion with a “well…go get it, look”. He made a smirk, sighed and went back into the restaurant to get the file.

While he was gone Macy made a statement-

“You know that Penny just wanted a better life for you….a life outside of this place.”

The old woman curled up her lip and replied,

“What she wanted….was to dismantle the doctrine and destroy my chance of being the true messiah….she was not the one…I am.”

“You’re crazy. It was hard for her to raise you alone…”

The old woman interrupted-

“SILENCE CHILD! Did you know that precious Penny got pregnant with me by an outsider??? The reason she had to raise me alone….was he could not pass the purification process. I was born out of blasphemy…and I have spent the rest of my life making amends for my impurities. She had to go….for me to be pure. The doctrine is very clear….and I have ALWAYS followed the doctrine!”

Macy stared at her in stunned silence.

Marion opened the drivers side door and got in. He felt the thick tension. He looked at the old woman…then Macy and asked,

“What did I miss?”

“Never mind.” The old woman stated, “Give me the file.”

He handed it to her. She quickly opened it up and flipped through it.

“Son of a bitch.” She exclaimed, “She lied. It was never destroyed, it was moved to outsider territory and sold.”

“Who lied?” Marion asked.

“For the love of sight beyond sight….it was my grandmother…..I remember….her telling me that the house had to be destroyed to rid Haven of the impurity of unnatural death that occurred inside it.”

Macy intervened,

“If she only knew that her husband….your grandfather and creator of the doctrine, killed himself because he couldn’t live with what he did to his daughter…..but….she fell for him because he was the one person she couldn’t read. Your family has A LOT of secrets….”

“SHUT UP, CHILD!!….before you end up like your mother….” The old woman yelled.

“Whatever….” Macy plainly replied, “you need me….without me, this whole religious charade will unravel….without me….you got nothin’…you may have the address..but that’s all you got….I know family secrets that you don’t even know….”

Frustrated beyond compare, the old woman gave Marion the address and instructed him to drive there.

For the entire 50 mile ride, the old woman would take quick glances into the back seat in attempt to get a read on what the child knew.

As for Macy…..

It was hard to get flustered by the gun toting old religious patriarch when she was comfortably sleeping….and dreaming.
______________

Marion pulled down the caliche driveway that was flanked by trees. He drove for 300 yards until the house came into view.

The old woman inhaled deeply and looked at the house that she had not seen in many decades. To her it looked the same now as it did then.

Marion turned off the engine and awaited instructions from her.

After a few moments,she turned to the back seat, looked at Macy and said,

“WAKE UP! Let’s get this over with.”

Macy slowly opened her eyes, stretched and yawned then replied with a smile,

“You wanna hear about my dream? It’s a doozy!”

The old woman replied,

“No…no I don’t. Get her Marion and lets go.”

They walk up the front steps. Marion puts the key in the lock and they walk in.

Macy looks around and then speaks,

“Did you know…..that your grandfather had this house built for his family…..he wanted the grandest home in Haven….one built for a God. He had a part in every room being built and had certain things put into the construction.”

The old woman looked down at her and replied,

“Who cares….where is she?”

“Let’s go the attic…that’s where I found the phone….maybe she is up there.”

They walk up the stairs and into the attic. Macy leads them over to the box of stuff the phone was in and says,

“This is where the phone was. She started calling me almost right after I found it. Do you know what any of this other stuff is?”

The old woman looked at her, then Marion, made a gesture to him and bent down to look in the box.

Marion pulled out his gun, which was now loaded, and cocked the hammer.

The old woman looked in the box.

“Nope, just junk….I am getting impatient…where is she?”

Macy smiled and said….”Ok….she’s downstairs….”

She led them downstairs and into the main bedroom of the house. She looked at Marion and said,

“He needs to get all this stuff off the bookcase.”

“Why? I remember when my grandfather put that in. It’s solid and part of the house….”

Macy replied,

“Like I said earlier……he had certain things built in….some before it was finished….some after….he was quite paranoid.”

“Lies…he was a Saint!”she retorted.

Marion removed the items. Macy looked at the large bookcase and spoke,

“You would think this wouldn’t move….but watch….”

At the base of the two sides of the bookcase that were not against joining walls were brass nameplates.

Macy knelt down and clicked one to the right, then slid it all the way to the wall on the left.

She went to the second one, clicked it to the left and slid it all the way to the wall in the right.

Marion and the old woman watched in amazement.

Macy then stood up and pushed on the middle shelf…..another click.

She then pulled on the bookcase. It slid effortlessly revealing a large space between the walls.

The light that came in through the window opposite of the bookcase allowed them to see inside.

The odor that emulated from the sealed room was foul and pungent.

There were boxes of files stacked to the roof on one side. 3 briefcases on the other.

In the center of the space was a 5 foot by 3 foot box standing upright.

Macy said with a frown….

“There she is.”

As the old woman began to enter the space that contained the remains of Penny the door that connected the bedroom to the hallway burst open.

Deacon stood there wearing a bulletproof vest and a firearm pointed at Marion and yelled,

“FREEZE! FBI!”

On instinct, Marion turned towards the voice and recognizes who is doing the yelling. He shouts back…gun aimed.

“YOU SON OF..”

BOOM
BOOM

Marion goes down in a heap.

The old woman spun around, gun drawn. She grabs Macy and points the gun at her head as she looks into the barrel of Deacon’s gun.

“I’ll shoot her, Deacon…” She exclaims.

Deacon pauses and begins to put his gun down.

“Ok…ok…please don’t shoot her…she is just a child….”

The old woman smiles a sly smile, cocks her gun and says,

“Even as an FBI agent…you are weak.”

And shifts her gun from the child up towards Deacon.

Before she can get her arm fully extended a sniper bullet comes through the window and penetrates her temple.

Her gun hits the floor. She hits the wall and then the floor with a thump.

Deacon looks at Macy and asks,

“Your Mother is going to be fine. She told me they were probably bringing you here. Are you ok?”

“Yes sir….just a little scared. When can I see my Momma?”

Deacon smiled and replied,

“Right now if you want.”

He then clicked his radio that was clipped to his shoulder and said,

“ALL CLEAR.”
_______________

FBI Agent John Deacon walked into the hospital room carrying a file folder.

He walked up to the bed and greeted Patricia who was in the bed and Macy who was by her side.

“Hello, ladies. How are you feeling?”

“Groggy, but better.” Patricia said.

“And you, kiddo?”

Macy just shrugged her shoulders.

Agent Deacon pulled up a chair and placed the file folder on his lap. He waited a moment and then filled them in with what he knew.

“Well…..That group in Haven is quite the fun bunch.”

Patricia turned to him and asked,

“How did the FBI get involved….without being noticed?”

“They had been under investigation for years. Too much money going in
And out for a religious affiliation. They are good about covering their tracks but not good enough to keep out of our suspicion. The case went cold around 1940. The old man who started it all had been dead since 1909 and whoever he taught to carry the reigns did a good job. I came into the cold case division about 15 years ago. This case had been dead the longest…..so we took it on. Technology has advanced so much since then that we thought we may have a shot at cracking it. I went undercover around 12 years ago and tried to gain entry.”

Macy interrupted,

“How was the purification ceremony?”

He laughed then replied,

“Very meticulous. The agency had to fabricate an airtight background and identity for me before I was allowed to even attempt to infiltrate their society. As it turns out….there is honor amongst thieves. Once you are in….you’re in.”

“But…you called yourself Deacon….and that’s your real name.” Patricia stated.

“Yeah….that was the title I worked my up to in their society. Just another odd coincidence to this strange case.”

“Anyway, without telling you information that I can’t…if it wasn’t for you 2….the case would still be cold. Sight beyond sight….ESP…whatever it was, we thank you. Penny has received a proper burial and the dismantling of the town resources and funds is ongoing. You all are free to go on with your lives.”

He got up to walk out and let Patricia rest, then stopped and turned around.

“I almost forgot….,we went through all the things that were in the compartment inside the wall. We found meticulous files that were the transactions of all the stocks and tips that made his fortune. No one is that good….insider trading helped quite a lot. There were also these particular stocks….” He handed the sheets to Patricia.

“They were in a folder mixed in with a bunch of files. Your name is on them. Along with them was a note with one word in it-

THANKS

the best our handwriting analyst can tell it was the grandmother who wrote it.

They are real and were purchased legally…..we checked it out. Congrats. You will be very wealthy if you choose to cash them in.”

Patricia opened the folder and gazed at the common stocks with her name on them.

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Before walking out, Agent Deacon turned back around and said,

“If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call. I will be waiting to hear from you. Get well.”

He left Patricia and Macy to gaze into the future about their new life and went back to work on his next cold file.

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