Wednesday, March 30, 2011

--Continued Short Story by Spotlighted Author...

scary phone callImage by kidicarus222 via Flickr
"I watch you all the time, but you never see me."

I Didn't Know... 

  By Linda Nance

Before Kara could answer, the phone rang again.  “Hello. Hello. Why do you keep calling?”  The phone was silent.  Kara became angry each time it occurred, but it also made her afraid as she wondered who it was and why they would keep calling.
            “ How often do you get those calls?”  Amanda looked concerned.
            “We get them all the time, and they never say anything.  Dad called and reported them, but we were told prank calls are common and to ignore them.  They don‘t care.”
            The phone rang again.  A deep raspy voice whispered, “Kara, I know you.  I really know you, so very, very well.  I watch you all the time, but you never see me.  I’m right here. Kara, do you hear me?  I watch you all the time.”
             Kara felt both anger and fear.  “I hear you just fine.  Who the Hell is this?” The silence on the phone seemed thick in the air.  She tried again.  “You call all the time and never have anything to say. Don’t you have a life of your own, or do you just get your kicks this way?”
            “I get my kicks all right.  I just never had this kind of opportunity before.  Mommy and Daddy are gone.  I have my beautiful Kara and she brought me a bonus of another girl that’s just as sweet and tasty.”
            Kara felt fear that causes her to tremble, but would not let him know it.  “Forget you.  Why don’t you go and get a life and leave me alone?”
            “Oh, sweet Kara, you are alone.  Your little friend is just a bonus.  You’re all alone, and you’re all
mine. I’m right here.  I watch you all the time.”

Kara slammed the phone down.  Her face had turned an ashen shade of gray, and her hand trembled.  “It’s that damned prank phone caller again.  Screw him.  We’ll watch our movies and still have fun.”  As he spoke, she closed the curtains. Kara needed to settle her nerves.  She went to the kitchen to check the pizza.  She had forgotten to turn on the oven.  She turned the knob to 425 degrees, and went back to her friend in the living room.
            “Before we get started with this movie, maybe you need to tell me what’s really going on.”  Amanda stared at the telephone in the living room.  When you were on the phone you actually went pale and I saw the way your hand shook. She seemed to have forgotten all about the boys.
            Kara told her friend all she knew of the phone calls.  Never before had the caller  spoken.
            Kara‘s stomach felt like it had a knot in it and her hands were clammy.  She thought it best to be honest with Amanda.  Maybe the phone calls were nothing and they would have fun like they planned.  Kara did not feel fun at all.  She felt cold.  The sound of his voice, and what he had said, left a fear like none she had ever known.
            She spoke honestly with Amanda about the calls, and what he said.  Amanda was petrified.  “What the hell are we supposed to do now.  Your parents want you safe and sound, but this ain’t it.  Even they’d want us to have help, if we needed it.  This ain’t no party situation.  This is down right weird.  Damn, I
hope the boys get here soon.  I hate to say it, but if I do get them on the phone, I’m not telling them not to come, I’m asking why they aren’t here now?”  What the hell is going on here, and how do you live like this?  This is supposed to be  a fun weekend, and now it’s scare the shit out of us time?”
            Kara felt like stone.  She had never felt like this.  She wanted to be all grown up, but what was all grown up?
Before she could answer, the phone rang again.  “Thought you had help coming, huh?  Maybe they were a surprise?  They were surprised all right.  One came up to the house.  He’s still by the house, in the pretty, pretty flowers.  The other is back in his car with all his favorite tunes still playing.  I watch you
all the time………I watch you all the time…….You’re mine….. .…  Only mine….…..   I’m right here…..  I watch you all the time…..”     
Kara hung up the phone with a trembling hand and a heart that pounded.  She tried to be brave but fear pulsed through her veins until she throbbed with it.  She had been determined not to let any prank phone caller dictate her life or stop her from being grown up, but her stubborn determination had begun to crack.  “This is different than any calls we’ve ever had.  He said... He said…In the flowers...  I’m calling the Sheriff.”  She picked up the phone and listened, but there was nothing there, not even a dial tone.
            Amanda could barely speak.  “What do you mean, in the flowers?”
            “That’s what he said.  He said, if we thought we had help coming, one came up and was in the pretty flowers and the other was listening to his favorite tunes.  Most of the flowers are out by the front porch.  We have to go and look.” 
            “What the hell are you talking about? Are you crazy?”    Amanda was on her feet staring at the front door.  “I’m not going out there for anything, or anybody.”
            Kara looked out the windows as best she could.  Not knowing what or who was out there, Kara decided she would not go out.  Her breath came in raspy, heaving sighs.  “We have to go now.  This is real.”  There was a crash of glass in the kitchen.  Kara grabbed her paralyzed friend and pulled her toward the stairs.  “That sound came from the kitchen.  He may be in the house with us even now.  Let’s go.”          
The two girls ran up the stairs in a blind panic.  Kara had always felt safe and protected in her bedroom, and that is where they ran.  She slammed the door and leaned against it.   Kara was gripped by fear remembering the sound of breaking glass in the kitchen, but motivated to stay away from whoever might be coming for them.  “Help me…Help me move this dresser.  Don’t just stand there.”
            The girls moved the dresser to block the door.  Kara looked around the room, and saw nothing she could use for self-defense as she realized that the bathroom connected to her parents room and was another route of access. 
            Amanda stood in the center of her room with tears streaming down her face.  “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.”  She would be no help to Kara.  The thought of her parents room brought to mind the beautiful glass gun cabinet in the corner.  She dashed through the bathroom, and into the adjoining room of her parents.  She opened the cabinet and withdrew an old shot gun of her father’s, and a box of shells from the bottom of the case.  Not waiting  to load the weapon, she ran back through the bathroom, to her bedroom.  Once in the bedroom, the fear that the intruder could follow the same route entered her mind.  She lay the gun and shells on the bed, and pushed at the antique desk with all her might.  It would move only inches at a time. 
            She ran to Amanda and shook her briskly.  “Help me move this desk or he’s going to come right in through that door.  Help me, now!”
            Together the girls moved the desk, and stood back listening and waiting.  They waited, and they listened.  They heard nothing.  Every heartbeat felt like a hammer striking the ribs of their chests.  Every minute seemed like an hour as the seconds slowly ticked by.  Kara quietly loaded the old gun and lay it back on the bed.
            Amanda stopped crying and began pacing back and forth in the room.  “It’s going to be all right.  I brought my cell phone.  I was so scared I just forgot it.  All we have to do is call the police.”
            Kara did not look impressed.  “Where is your cell phone?”
            “In my backpack, on the couch in the living room.”  As she said the words, it seemed all hope drained out of her.
            Amanda had never known true fear or faced situations that could be life or death.  Kara had not known anything like what she now went through, but was not ready to give up.  Neither of the girls knew
what to do.   They waited…and waited some more.  Not a sound came from the hall or below.

In the silence a squealing sound blared from below.  At first, neither of the girls knew what was happening.  Kara’s mouth fell open in shock and then panic as she realized what was making the sound.  “We left the pizza in the oven.  That’s the smoke alarm.  If it’s not on fire now, it will be shortly.  We have to do something.  We can’t sit here and burn up.”
            Amanda was beyond any ability to speak.  She nodded her head in agreement.
            Kara began to shove on the heavy dresser that blocked the door.  “Help me move this now.”        
Kara left the bedroom, with the now loaded gun in her hand and inched down the hall.  Every step she listened, until her ears felt like they would turn inside out.  She came to the stairs and looked as well as she could, as she crept down one step at a time.  At the bottom she peered intently around the living room but saw nothing out of the ordinary.  She ran into the kitchen and turned off the oven, not taking time to take the pizza out.  She ran back to the living room to get the cell phone.
            She heard a noise above her on the stairs and quickly turned with gun in hand.  She saw the stricken, white face of Amanda.  “You think you’ll be able to actually shoot him?”
            Kara did not feel overly brave.  “I don’t know what I’ll do.  We have to get help and call the sheriff.”
            Kara quickly dialed the number for help but hope turned to dread at the unenthusiastic response from the dispatcher.  “An officer will be out as soon as possible.  You say you two are alone?  Could you have imagined it, or are you sure there’s someone there?  We don’t come out for prank calls.”
Before Kara could answer she heard a slight noise behind her from the kitchen and saw a glimpse of movement coming straight for her.  She turned quickly.  A deafening roar sounded and Kara was rocked backward almost falling to the floor.  She did not realize she had even fired the gun, but there lay the body
of a man in the doorway.  Amanda was halfway down the steps screaming hysterically.  Kara heard nothing
and felt numb as she blankly stared at the body before her.
Amanda had  found the courage to join her friend, and they stared at the figure sprawled motionless on the floor in the house.  Both girls gazed in mute horror as they really saw the intruder Kara had shot.  He lay in a pool of glistening red blood with his head slightly turned.  He was so young.
Amanda ran to kneel beside the young man and in a screaming, sobbing cry repeated the same words over and over.  “No…. No….No…”
Kara had tears streaming down her stricken white face.  “I didn’t know…I thought he…”  Her body slumped to the floor.  Her head made a hollow sound as it smashed the floor and she lay motionless.
As she came to, another young man was there, sitting on the steps sobbing and shaking.  “Why the hell did you shoot him?  We were just playing a joke We found the back door unlocked. You didn‘t have to shoot him...  You really shot him... How could you…”

A mist rolled in with the cool night air.  The lights from the patrol car flashed, lighting the gruesome scene.  I need to know what all happened here tonight.”  The officer was talking to Kara. When he arrive he found her still on the floor of the living room struggling to get up. 
            Amanda had hysterically cradled her boyfriend in her arms and was talking to him.  “It’s gonna be O.K……  Every thing will be fine…...  We’ll get help……  It was a mistake……  I’ve got you …… it’s going to be all right…..You’ll be just fine….I‘ve got you now…..”
            Kara did not move or speak, then slowly as she blinked her eyes she seemed to come back from whatever far place the shock and terror had sent her. 
            His radio began in that squawking sound they have.  He held a brief conversation, then returned to the
girls.  Neither had moved or said a word.  “Where are your parents.  We need to get them here, now.“
            Amanda seemed to not hear him and continued her repeated phrases to the young man she held in her arms as she sat in the floor beside him.
            Kara spoke slowly and softly.  “My uncle lives a couple of miles down the road, and my parents are out of town.“  She gave him the phone number of the uncle and waited as he called from his cell phone.
            The officer gently led Kara out to the other officers that had arrived.  He gently convinced Amanda to come with him outside.  He promised they would take good care of her friend.  With every step she took, the reality of the situation seemed to become more and more real.  The sobs and gasping breaths Amanda took shook her violently.

Kara’s parents were called, as well as Amanda’s.   Kara’s Uncle John slid to a stop in the drive, jumped out and circled Kara in his arms.  She began again to cry clutching to the front of his shirt.  “I didn’t know.  I thought….Help him….Help me….” Her knees buckled and she sank sobbing to the soft and dewy grass at his feet.           
            It seemed like forever before the police had completed their questions and investigation, and removed the body of the young man named Steven.  Statements were taken from Kara, Amanda, and Mike as best they could, in the condition the young people were in.  When the house was being checked the officer saw the shards of broken glass from an iced tea pitcher in the floor of the kitchen with a big yellow cat sitting peacefully beside it cleaning one paw lazily.
            Mike adamantly maintained that neither he, nor his friend Steven had made any phone calls to scare
the girls.  The sheriff found no cell phone they could have used on them, or in the pickup truck they had driven.  The back door had signs of having been forced open, but Mike swore they had found it that way.  A lot of questions had no answers. 
Kara went to stay with her Uncle until her parents could return later that night.  Amanda left with her parents, still sobbing.  After everyone had left and the house stood empty, the only sound was the ringing of the phone.

The final determination of the shooting was accidental.  Legal problems may have been concluded, but the effects of that one day were just beginning for each of those involved.

 "I watch you all the time, but you never see me..."

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