Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 32

“Yes! We’re saved!” I rejoiced. Aidan and I cheered as we hugged each other in celebration of this discovery.

“What’s that?” Willow inquired as half the household peeked inside of my hidey closet out of intrigue of our suddenly festive demeanors.

Aidan reacted in aghast, “You don’t know what a landline is?” The younger kids stared at us blankly, so Aidan somewhat irritatedly educated them, “It’s a phone!”

Mason presumed, “Oh good! We can go on the FBI’s FriendBook page and get help!”

“No, you dummy! It’s too old for that!” Harper upbraided her little brother. “All it can probably do is text!”

“Uh, no! It-!” Aidan couldn’t finish that sentence due to how flabbergasted he became from their ignorance on the subject.

I deduced, “This closet must have been a phone booth in the past! It costs fifty cents. Hmm… who collects the money from here? Oh well! Someone hand me my purse!”

Laraleigh used her wand to magick my handbag to me, and after gazing at it for a second, I sighed, “This just isn’t as pretty as the purple one in that shop!”

“Focus!” Aidan reminded me.

“Right!” I dug out a couple of quarters, and my pulse quickened at the prospect of calling Agent Hearne and getting out of this abyss! I joyfully envisioned the expression of shock and defeat on “Mother’s” face when the federal government raided her illicitly acquired home, and I hoped we could get our mobile devices back prior to that glorious moment so I could get a picture and savor it forever! I put the change up to the slot with a huge grin on my face, but it rapidly got erased when something occurred to me. “Crap! We can’t do this!”

Mom asked, “Why not?”

I answered, “I don’t know Agent Hearne’s phone number! I don’t know anyone’s phone number! All of my contacts are on my cellphone!”

“Can we call information and get them to transfer us to him?” Laraleigh probed. “Is that still a thing?”

“They’re not likely to connect us to anyone who’s under top secret protection,” Aidan pointed out. “And it’s not like we can call 911 and make them send a SWAT team either! We’re lowly farmers to them, they won’t simply take our word for it that we need that sort of service! And if we told them an evil cult bought our shoddy land to hold us captive in order to assist them with ending the world! They’ll think we’re nuts!”

From a distance, Minna brought up, “To be fair, it doesn’t seem like they have a solid plan for that! They really want it to happen, but they… Hold on, why am I being fair to those jerks?”

Kinsey suggested, “We could call 911 and tell them we’ve been kidnapped as our real identities. If Wade hears that, he’d come here, and the police could round him up and we could take care of both problems at once! I know it’s risky, but Wade couldn’t take on the entire organization singlehandedly, right?”

“Wade almost took our entire apartment building in his attempt to kill us,” I countered. “He’d burn this entire estate to the ground if had to! But, more than likely, he’d befriend ‘Mother’ and hide somewhere on the property to ambush us. Plus, if the entire law enforcement community in Hawaii knew the truth and they didn’t catch him, we’d have to get whole new aliases and move again! This time it could be somewhere even further from home too! What was next on your list, Aidan? Wasn’t it in southern Mexico?”

“I’m pretty sure it was Tahiti,” Aidan conjectured. “Maybe in the next round, we could at least get better names than Swetinbedde!”

After clicking my tongue in annoyance, I insisted, “We’re not going through this drama again! I don’t wanna run anymore! Except for running away from The End Is My Friend! We have to find someone trustworthy to contact Agent Hearne! But no one could just look him up in yellow pages or anything! Ugh! Too bad we aren’t expecting a visit from the Department of Agriculture soon! We know we can trust Clifton to talk to Agent Hearne for us!”

Jackson conveyed to Minna, “It sucks that you were never able to flirt with those Night Marcher dudes! It would’ve been nice to have a friend deliver a message for us!”

In that instance, I got struck with a jolt of inspiration! “That’s it!”

“No, it’s not!” Aidan disagreed. “Minna never saw those mythological men! And who’s to say they’d do us any favors like that?”

“How do you know I never succeeded?” Minna challenged him.

Aidan responded, “Oh, please! If you did, you’d never shut up about it!” Minna indicated that his assessment was valid.

Mom queried, “How did that give you an idea?”

“It didn’t.” As I dug through my purse, I explained, “The friend part did though!”

“But we don’t have any friends out here!” Laraleigh balked. “If we did, I wouldn’t have sent that coconut to myself! Oof, ‘Mother’ ain’t likely to give that to us, is she?”

Prior to anyone reacting to that, I finally found it! I held the business card up in the air, and I declared, “We’re gonna call Samena!”

Aidan objected, “But she’s not our friend! In fact, I’m pretty certain she hates us!”

“But she’s a detective!” I argued. “She’s a fellow in law enforcement, we can trust her to deliver a message to Clifton!”

“Won’t that be kinda confusing for her as to why we’re trying to talk about a hostage situation with someone from the Department of Agriculture?” Kinsey questioned.

I assured her, “No! Not when we give her the real story of what’s going on!”

Jackson fretted, “Didn’t you say it was bad to tell cops who we really are? Aren’t we gonna get in trouble for doing that?”

“We’re in trouble now!” I retorted. “If we don’t, she’ll get the impression we’re drunk or crazy! Or both! Besides, we were ordered not to reveal our names to anyone who would put it into the police system, but this is her personal cellphone, so she can keep it secret.”

“But will she?” Aidan wondered. “What if she believes we’re pranking her and turns us in? I mean, we’d get some officers over here, but then Wade may go after us in whatever sanitarium they inevitably throw us in because we stuck to our outlandish account!”

I considered this notion, but instead of debating her trustworthiness further, I decided to pose to him, “Do we have any other choice but to take the chance? What else are we supposed to do? Dial a random number and hope the person on the other end calls for help?”

Harper remarked, “Hey! That sounds like fun!”

“We’re not doing that!” Laraleigh informed her, which prompted Harper to pout. I was almost positive Aidan’s reference to pranks caused this backlash and not her desire to desperately plead to strangers for assistance.

“Oh, there’s a phone number on the old pizza boxes!” Mom recalled.

Minna delighted in that possibility, “Ooh! We can call my romeo, and he’ll come to our rescue because he loves me too much to let me carry on with such a terrible fate!”

Mom surmised, “Oh, I gave a stupid suggestion, didn’t I?”

“Let me get you that box!” Minna did a spell and sent the trajectory towards the closet. Her overenthusiasm caused her to miss, and after it bounced off of the wall, it hit Mason. “Oh gosh! Mason…” Mason glanced up in expectation of an apology, but instead, Minna requested, “Can you hand that over to Shannon?”

I appealed to Mason, “Please don’t! We’re not contacting her quote en quote romeo!”

Laraleigh instructed Mason, “Put it back in the recycling.”

“Okay…!” Mason agreed with a devious smile and stance that clearly demonstrated his objective of “accidentally” missing the bin. Laraleigh snatched the box away prior to that occurring though!

“So, we’re all agreed on calling Samena?” I petitioned the group. In unison, Minna made another bid for the pizza guy and Harper advocated for calling the randoms, and once I had enough of that cacophony, I cut them off, “I wasn’t mandating a unanimous decision! Samena it is!”

Their antics had pushed my patience close enough to the limits that I no longer felt anxious about the call. I put the coins in the slot, dialed the number on the card, and held the receiver so that Aidan could hear the conversation too. It rang on the other end, and my anticipation went through the roof! I couldn’t wait to speak to someone who could put the wheels of rescue into motion! All of a sudden, Samena’s voice stoically articulated, “Hi. You’ve reached Detective Samena Tajana with the Kalahala Police Department’s Investigation Bureau…”

Once I perceived a pause, I took a deep breath and introduced myself, “Hello, this is-!”

“I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now,” the outgoing message continued. “Please leave a detailed description of why you called, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!”

“Son of a-!” I didn’t complete my vexed venting since the voicemail indicated that it was about to beep and allow me to record a communication for that number, and I had to swiftly forget my grievances for this momentous task! With a firm, professional tone, I verbalized, “Hey, Detective Tajana! This is Sophia, and I’m with Kennedy. You know us as the Swetinbeddes, but that’s an alias issued to us by the FBI. Kennedy is Aiddan Maddox of the Anaknock Undercover Unit, and I”m Detective Shannon Vidette of the Slygow County P.D. We’ve been kidnapped and forced to remain in Lani Noni against our will! We need to you to relay this  to Clifton Bartlett in the Department of Agriculture so he can contact Agent Hearne and take action against a hostile-.”

The automated service attached to her number interrupted, “Thank you for calling! Goodbye!”

It stunned me to have gotten dropped at such a critical juncture, and following my full process of what transpired, I huffed, “She said to leave a detailed message! They don’t give you much time to do that!”

“I think you got the important info out,” Aidan determined.

“So, now what?” Kinsey pondered.

I shrugged. “Now, we wait! Either she’ll use the number this showed up as on her Caller ID and return our call, or she’ll research our claims, see it’s legit, and we’ll get reinforcements.”

Jackson catechized, “Okay, but what do we do ‘til then?”

For a minute, we all stood in silence from the uncertainty of how to proceed. I expected Aidan to pipe up with another one of his famous motivational speeches, but instead, Mom asserted, “Now, we eat! What does everyone want for dinner?”

“I’m kinda craving pizza again actually…” Laraleigh admitted.

“Great! Let’s call my romeo!” Minna chirped.

Aidan commented, “There’s no way we can afford a tip large enough for the delivery person who braves a dangerous cult to give us our food!”

That night, I didn’t expect to get any sleep, but I previously thought that this eventuality would have stemmed from angst over my surgery the next day, but right then, I grew fearful from not having the opportunity to do that! My senses stayed on high alert in hopes of hearing the telephone ringing, but everything was unusually quiet! I glimpsed at a nearby clock, and I saw that we were due to report to the field in mere hours! I couldn’t stand the notion of forgoing a vital procedure in order to do unwilling labor for that conniving witch, and Samena was taking too long to respond, so I decreed that we needed to tackle this dilemma ourselves immediately! 

As soon as I flipped up my blanket, Aidan warned me, “Don’t you dare!”

“What? I was just going to the bathroom…” I feigned innocence. Aidan didn’t buy that at all, so I contended, “I can’t sit by and do nothing! What if no one is coming?”

“They’re expecting you to act out,” Aidan opined. “If you behave too rashly, you’re playing right into the enemy’s hands!”

I quarreled, “But if we don’t do something, we-!” Preceding my completion of that dispute, a huge thump banged against the side of the building! It was a blow of enough strength that it forced everyone to wake up in alarm! Aidan and I felt our peace enforcement instincts brimming, so we grabbed our wands and raced to investigate!

We tiptoed along the side of the dwelling with our weapons out as the cold wind carried an eerie echo! We discerned movement on the lawn, so I figuratively crossed my fingers that we’d stumble across something as innocuous as Anela again! When we rounded the corner, we beheld something that was a much bigger problem than a pesky goat…

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