Scene Eleven

Melody awoke to the sound of rumbling machinery.

After a yawn and stretch, she placed her glasses on her face and found that she was unable to see out of one eye.

In a panic, she sat up, flipped on the lamp and discovered that one side of her vision had strangely turned a solid yellow.

"What the rubber duck!" she said. It was her way of keeping the swears at bay, unlike her potty-mouthed father who had to be continuously edited. Her first fear was that something had broken in her brain, likely stress-induced over current events. However, Melody soon discovered the source of the hindrance: a sticky note stuck to the lens.

She returned her glasses to her face.

“Dig,” read the note.

She didn't recognize the handwriting. It certainly wasn't hers – also she would just make a note on a pad next to her bed like a sensible person. It appeared more like someone was trying to disguise their style of script by writing in his or her opposite hand.

“Hmm. Strange,” she thought to herself. She hadn't told anyone about her conversation with the Lieutenant yet, and her parents had been dead set against digging in the field across the street.

But here was a note with that word, and the rumbling of machinery.

She got out of bed and walked to the hall to her parents room. It was Saturday at nine in the morning so she expected them both in bed. She did find her mother still snoring away, but her father was absent from his post.

“Stranger still."

A search of her father's household haunts, the bathroom and the refrigerator, revealed nothing. The only clue to his whereabouts was the front door, which was slightly ajar. She peeked through the curtain and found Bernie standing across the street along with Mr. Rogers and another man with his face turned away from her. The mystery man was tall, balding and imposing. He was currently descending from a large scoop-shovel.

Melody turned to call for her mother, but suddenly found herself confronted with Lonnie's dour morning face inches from her own. She screamed, clutching her heart.

“What are you yelling about,” Lonnie said through a half-yawn. Her eyes were droopy and barely open.

“You were asleep a minute ago. And now you’re creepily behind me, nearly giving me a heart attack."

“Well, I heard some noise,” Lonnie explained. “And I don't think pre-teens have cardiac arrests because their mothers sneak up on them. Where's your father?”

“That's the interesting bit,” Melody said, and opened the door a little farther, exposing the scene.

“What am I looking at?” Lonnie said, confused. Under her breath, she added, “I think I need some coffee. Everything’s a bright blur. Is that what morning’s like around here?”

Melody turned back to the street and saw that there was no longer anyone there. The digger sat there dormant, so at least she hadn't imagined that part of it. She began to explain what she saw, and found that her mother had begun towards the kitchen. “I'm talking to you,” she shouted.

“I can hear you,” Lonnie assured her daughter. “I just need some of that Devil's brew.”

“Just say coffee like a normal person,” Melody shouted back. “There's way too much hellish symbolism around here lately.”

There came a laugh from behind the now still swinging kitchen door. “I didn't know you were superstitious.”

“I'm not,” the girl said. “It's just annoying.”

Lonnie came back through the door, and sat down at the dining room table. Melody did likewise.

“You said your father is out talking to some men? What's that all about? He's never gone off to talk to people since I've known him.”

“I have no idea,” Melody said. “Where's your coffee?”

“It's brewing,” she said, yawning. “It's not magic, you know.”

“Why aren't you more concerned about this?”

Lonnie cupped her hand over her open mouth. “About the coffee? It always takes a few minutes. I've been around long enough to...”


“I'm sure it's fine, Melody,” she said. “Did it look like a kidnapping? Or was he just standing around talking.”

Melody stammered and seemed to struggle for words. “Looks can be deceiving,” she said, finally.

Lonnie ran her hand through her hair, and for a moment it continued to maintain the wavy shape she had just made. She sighed. “Fine! Let me grab my mug and we'll go out there.”

“Thank you,” Melody said. “Although he could be dead three times over at this point.”

Lonnie excused herself from the table, and crept into the kitchen. After a few moments, the swinging kitchen door stopped mid-motion with a loud thump as though Lonnie had been unable to time the swinging more precisely. “Son of a...,” she said, rubbing her shoulder. "Biscuit?" she finished, holding out a plate of cookies.

Melody who had already made her way to the living room and was waiting by the front door, missed all of this.

“At least I didn't spill my drink,” Lonnie said.

“Huh?” Melody mouthed the words L-e-t-'s G-o!

“Never mind.” Lonnie put the plate on the dinning room table, and walked quickly toward her daughter. Once at the door, she seemed to wake up. “Wait,” she said. “I’m not dressed to go outside!”

"Everyone wears pajama bottoms and t-shirts when they go anywhere these days. For once, you're completely in style.

Lonnie grunted and ran her fingers through her hair again, and then patted it down into a more sensible shape. “Fine,” she said. "Let's do this." She took a large swig of the hot, brown liquid, tilting her head all the way back. The action seemed to both invigorate and aggravate her. “Oh,” she said, with a grimace. “That hurt all the way down.” She shook her head and handed the mug to her daughter (who looked at it disapprovingly and then set it on the porch railing). Lonnie straightened her shirt, and then dashed across the street where the scoop shovel was parked.

She turned back to Melody (who was still taking sentry on the porch) cupped her hand to her ear, and pointed behind the weather station. She then turned and tiptoed along the side of the structure.

Melody nodded as though she understood, and was just about to leave the porch when suddenly a jeep quickly pulled up in front of the house next door.

The emerging man quickly ran across the street. He was wearing khakis and sandals and had fury in his eyes. At his side was a leathery satchel which flopped around comically as he moved.

Melody recognized the man as “Donald something” from the restaurant. She began to panic. What should she do, call the police? No, there was no way to explain all of this. Her mind raced. What could possibly be going on here? Some sort of land grab? She scanned Donald’s projected path and found a second man holding a gun on her mother briefly before disappearing behind the weather station. She stopped and held her breath.

Her next course of action became clear. With single-minded determinedness she raced towards the War Room, and hoped the Lieutenant was up this early.

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode Four

Melody Jackson

vs. The Creeping Terror

by BMB Johnson

Scene Eleven

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