Scene 13

The Jacksons stood in the center of the field behind the tiny weather station. Bernie had summoned Mr. Rogers from his garage, who now looked on with skeptical fascination.

Melody's face was scrunched. “This isn't quite what I expected,” she said. On the small screen were the flashing words:

Valdulta Transentry

“What does it say, girly,” Mr. Roger shouted through his cupped hands.

Melody turned to her father. “I think he's talking to you, dad.”

Without missing a beat, Bernie said to his daughter, “funny,” and yelled out the message on the screen to his neighbor.

The old man returned only a dead-eyed stare, and for a moment Bernie was afraid that he may have been shot by a sniper. “No,” Rogers said, finally. He leaned against his car, which was luckily still parked in the driveway, as if in near collapse.

“What is it, Rogers?”

“That name,” he whispered. “Dondra told me that name...over the radio.” His eyes became distant.

Bernie turned to his daughter. “Smart comments?”

Melody shook her head. “None. Mom?”

“I'm uh, good over here,” said Lonnie.

“Clearly, though,” Melody continued, gathering her parents into a huddle. “There was some sort of miscommunication – I mean, if one were even to entertain that Mr. Rogers was in communication with his dead wife in the first place. I mean, I guess it could sound a little like some long Indian god name, but this looks more like some sort of map terminology. Valdulta being a possible place name, and Transentry being a sort of doorway for travel?”

“Agreed,” Lonnie said, sounding almost relieved. “Although unless someone convinces Mr. Roger's of that, we might be talking him to the hospital.”

Melody began with swiping gestures, and tapping her finger on various points of the screen. “This phone, or whatever it is, is very weird. It's like there's no other apps. It just seems to do whatever it's meant to do when it's meant to do it.”

“What's it saying to do now?”

“The same thing. I don't know if there's anything to do here. It's not presenting me with a shovel icon or anything. I think it just wants us to know that this is the Valdulta Transentry.” She turned to her father. “Dad,” she shouted. “Ask Mr. Rogers what exactly his wife told him.”

“Bernie,” Lonnie shouted next. “Ask Mr. Rogers if he's okay?”

Panting, Mr. Rogers held up a palm in the air to her, signaling that he wasn't having a stroke.

“Okay, good,” Melody said. “Now ask him what I told you to ask him.”

“He can hear you,” Bernie yelled back.

“Mr. Rogers,” Melody called. “What were your wife's exact words.”

“I am not deaf, nor am I without my faculties,” Rogers returned through his cupped hands. “Why don't we all step into my parlor so we can talk like civilized adults.”

Melody and Lonnie both looked at each other. Practically in unison the both said, “Said the spider to the fly.”

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Message from Space

by BMB Johnson

Scene 8

<= scene two Scene four =>

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