Scene 12

The four of them made an encampment in the living room. Not because it was the best tactical location – in fact it was the poorest in that regard as it was the room with the most exits and windows to defend– but it had the advantage of being the most comfortable. Lonnie found enough sleeping bags and cushions for everyone, including Jimmy. They microwaved s'mores, popped popcorn, and made a night of it.

The front door was locked and dead-bolted, and a chair had been propped up against the knob.

Bernie looked around the room nervously. “Do you think we should board up the windows?”

Lonnie, who had some binoculars in hand, shook her head. “I will be on point most of the night,” she said. She then turned to Melody. “General,” she said to her. “What about those troops 2 of yours?”

Melody shrugged her shoulders. “I don't really have any means of direct communication with them,” she said. “Usually I just happen to be outside, they see me and stealthily move to my location and pass me a coded note.”

Bernie raised his eyebrow. “Code? What if you can't figure it out?”

Melody snorted. “Please,” she said. “It's usually pretty easy. It's either simple backwards writing, or if they're really trying to be stealthy, the words are anagrams.”

Bernie snorted back, but made no further comments.

Lonnie, sitting on her knees in front of the window, stared across the street watching for any movement.

“So,” Melody asked. “Any addition to your hypothesis on the source of that noise?”

“Nope,” said Lonnie.

Melody's eyes grew wide with realization. “But we all agree that it sounded as though it was coming from inside a building?”

“Yes!” Bernie agreed. “That makes more sense. And yet it totally makes NO sense.” He then noted. “There's no other building over there. Also, the sound clearly came from the sky.”

“There’s no building, anymore, you mean,” Lonnie said. “Once the Sun comes up, I'm going over there with a shovel.”

“A shovel?” Bernie displayed a look of confusion. “I don't think we have the proper permits...”

“Dad, it's not like we're going to rent a backhoe and dig up the entire lot. It's just a shovel, and we'll put the dirt back.”

Bernie didn’t like where this was going. Digging on government property under the auspices that something mechanical might still work working in an underground bunker seemed foolhardy. It was the government after all. They might very well know exactly what was going on and didn’t really want a couple of bumpkins from the neighborhood prowling around. He supposed it wasn’t like they were breaking into Area 51 or anything, but still…there could be power lines or something equally unsafe.

“Well,” he said. “I just want to make my dissent known on the subject.”

“So noted,” she said. “Just know, however, that I'm going to get to the bottom of this mystery even if I have to dig to it myself.” Lonnie bumped Melody's shoulder with her own. “Get it?”

Melody closed her eyes and wished the corny away. “You turning into Dad now?”

“Why,” Lonnie said, straight-faced. “Am I freezing up at the sight of danger?” She and Melody slapped their hands together over their heads at this.

Bernie seemed crestfallen, although he managed to clarify. “It was just a couple of seconds. And seriously it was more that I stood steady in the face of danger. There’s something to be said for taking a global view of the situation. It doesn’t do to just have everyone running around willy nilly!”

Melody opened her mouth to spit out a hilarious send up, but stopped. She knew her father felt badly for his inability to act, earlier. And she knew also that if he were certain she was in real danger, he would give up his own life to save her. Instead, she smiled and said “thanks for keeping it together, Dad.”

She then looked over to Jimmy who was currently lying on his back in the center of the living room. His tongue was sticking out of his mouth, giving him the appearance of a dead possum on the side of the road.

“Little hellion,” she thought to herself, and smiled. She was very thankful, however, that he wasn't her little brother. Having him in the house for two days was enough. She was just glad that he wasn't sleeping in her bed, contaminating it with who knew what all.

“Melody!” came the voice of her Mother. By her tone, this hadn't been the first time she had spoken.

Melody turned and shrugged at her.

“It'll be dawn in a few hours so we should try to catch some shut eye,” Lonnie said. She turned back to the window, binoculars over her face. “But first, go and get the yard tools.”

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Hound from Hell

by BMB Johnson

Scene 12

Please support our efforts

Please support our efforts

Support the author -- buy him a coffee to keep him awake and writing

Read Bark, the first of the Bill Swagger stories, free on our site.

Tales of Fastlegreive

Our new ongoing series of stories in the Fastlegrieve realm.

Read the "Tales of Fastlegrieve" for free on our site.

[2: The “troops” in question are three boys who wander around the neighborhood as though the military guard of Lafayette Street. See last episode for more details.