The Cat Lady
Tammy sat in her van as she waited for the bus. Her kids had a play date and she had a coffee date to make across town. She closed her eyes and listened to the music. It helped distract her even as she noted the bus was late again. The bus was always having trouble, but she wouldn't let it ruin her evening. She turned up the music and leaned back with her eyes closed. Without warning there was a small boy with deep brown eyes started to beat on one of the windows and she bolted up tall.
“Moma, Moma,” Kyle called as Tammy opened the door for him. “Open the door, mommy.”
“Is Marielle going to be there?” Rachel excitedly demanded as she ran in and buckled up.
“Probably,” she waited for the bus to turn the corner and started out. “Guess we'll find out when we get there.”
The traffic was just starting to back up as they turned off to a side road. It was another twenty minutes before she parked the van in front of a pale blue house with a brick fireplace. She watched the kids run out of the car and into the house as a short, dark haired woman opened the door.
“Bus running late again?” she asked and shook her head as she watched Tammy walked up to the door.
“Yep,” she sighed, “Lindsay, seems like that bus is always running late.”
“The kids should be good,” Lindsay offered as they started back towards the kitchen. The sounds of kids playing in the background made it somehow better, “how about some coffee?”
“Sounds good to me,” Tammy watched as five kids ran past them and into the large backyard. “I wished I could have some of their energy, though.”
“Sure would save on the electric bill,” joked Lindsay as she poured a cup and handed it to Tammy, “if we could just find a way to bottle it.
“We'd be millionaires,” Tammy took a gulp of the steaming fluid, “I just wished we lived closer.”
“I know,” Lindsay leaned forward and pulled out a binder. “So how's the book coming along?”
“Pretty good,” she took the binder from Lindsay and opened it. “I can't pay for these.”
“I never ask for money,” she coolly stated. “Just give me the credit. That's all I ask.”
“You know I do,” she grinned. “It doesn't feel right, though. You are good.”
“But it helps get my name out there,” Lindsay simply stated. “I may have a book cover thanks to you.”
“That's great,” Tammy leaned forward and demanded gently. “And who is the lucky author?”
“I can't say right now,” Lindsay looked out the glass door and watched the kids for a moment. “All I know is he liked the cover I did for your first book.”
“Moma,” Rachel came running in with a doll in her hands. “Moma looked at what Marielle just gave me.”
“Sweetie,” Tammy paused as Lindsay started to blanched. “Maybe you should-”
“It's fine,” Lindsay straightened and grinned, “She can have the doll.”
“Are you sure?” Tammy moved a stray red hair from her face. “It looks pretty old.”
“I'm sure,” Lindsay reassured and smiled sadly, “Marielle hasn't played with that doll for a while.”
“Just be careful,” Tammy sighed. “Thanks Lindsay.”
“What are aunts for?” she grinned and returned to her cup.
Pfft, pfft, pfft....Tammy looked up the stairs as the sounds continued to echo through the house. Putting down her basket and picking up a nearby Nerf gun she boldly charged up the stairs and started to shoot around the corner. Rachel and Kyle screamed with delight as the Nerf darts struck them. They turned and started to shoot back at their mother. Fifteen minutes later and they started to look for the missing Nerf darts, Tammy glanced down at her watch and ran down the stairs.
“Rachel,” she called, “Kyle, do you want broccoli or kale tonight?”
“Broccolli,” a girl's voice called.
“Kale,” came a boy's voice.
She should have known better. She quickly arranged the chicken on the pan and sprinkled salt and pepper over the chicken before putting it into the oven. Next she pulled out the broccoli and kale and left them on the counter. Remembering the laundry basket still at the foot of the stairs, she went to pick up her basket. She froze and looked up the stairs.
“Kyle, Rachel,” she called as she realized the basket had been moved, “Did you take my basket?”
“What basket, mom?” they called as they ran down the stairs and handed her their box filled with darts.
“The one I left right here,” she simply stated. The kids merely shrugged her shoulder and she sighed. “Go play upstairs. I'll call you when I'm done.”
The kids eagerly ran up the stairs and Tammy walked into the living room down the hall. Clothes and towels were everywhere. She took a step back and felt a chill as something grabbed her shoulder. She screamed and went to strike, but there wasn't anything or anyone there. How could she let those old horror movies get her so anxious about a doll? Shaking her head and lightly chuckling, she checked the doors and started to pick up the clothes. She would have to talk with the kids later.
“Moma,” Rachel called as she ran down the stairs, “Moma, there's something in my room.”
“This isn't funny,” Tammy frowned and placed her hands on her hips before motioning Rachel to take a seat. “You can't keep messing up the house.”
“It wasn't me,” she exasperated. “It's that cat lady in my room!”
For the last few weeks, she had been talking about the lady with catlike features. It was cute until objects were moving and glasses were breaking. Tammy just wanted it to end.
“Help me fold these clothes,” she hesitantly stated, “and I'll check your room again.”
“You've got to check now!” she tugged on her mother's arm. “She's there. Please you have to see for yourself.”
“Not before we pick up this mess!” Tammy looked back at the front door and clock. “Your father will kill us if he finds this mess.”
“Just don't put anything in the closet.” Rachel pulled her golden hair back and her shoulders slumped. “She hates that.”
She merely nodded and they made quick work of refolding what they could and placing the rest in the laundry room. Tammy checked on dinner and put on two pans of water. Holding the basket, she looked about her as she started to put up the laundry. Rachel's constant reports of the so called woman chilled her. She made quick work with putting up the laundry and started to examine Rachel's room. A pounding came from one wall and then a screeching. She merely shook her head as she realized it was the neighbor working on his condo.
Walking out, she paused and spun around. A baby doll sat in the middle of the floor where it hadn't been before. “Moma,” it called, “moma.” She slowly backed out of the room and ran down to the kitchen. Had she missed the doll? She shook her head. No, she had thrown that doll away four times and yet it would make it's way back to her daughter's room.
Picking up her phone as she headed back to the kitchen, “Hey Lindsay,” she paused as she looked about her. “I know this is going to sound crazy...”
“The doll is making strange noises,” Lindsay simply stated.
“No,” Tammy sighed as she hesitantly added. “I don't know.”
“Look,” she quietly stated. “I've tried several times to get rid of that doll, but it seems the only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to another girl.”
“And you gave it to Rachel,” Tammy took a seat on a nearby stool as she quietly continued. “Why would you do this to me?”
“It sounds crazy,” Lindsay sighed, “but I think that doll has a mind of it's own. So she doesn't go unless she wants to. My grandmother gave the doll to one of my cousins. I wouldn't let Marielle have the doll and so the next day my cousin was in a car accident. After that, everything just went downhill for her. Only when Marielle took the doll did she get better.”
“Are you saying the doll is cursed?” Tammy choked back a chuckle. “We really need to start watching something besides scary movies.”
“I don't know,” Lindsay cautioned, “but that doll has been in my family for a very long time and there are stories...”
“I get it,” Tammy thought for a moment and froze as she felt a shiver run down her spine. Rachel stood behind her holding the doll. “Yes, sweetheart?”
“I'm hungry,” she stated firmly, “when's dinner?”
“Soon, darling,” Tammy coolly stated as the doll blinked, “soon.”
“Tammy?” Lindsay asked, “why do you ask?”
She waited for Rachel to head back up the stairs. “I'm just being silly.”
“Sorry,” Lindsay sighed, “I didn't know what else to do.”
“Snikeys!” she spun around as the water in pot boiled over. “I've got to let you go. Dinner is starting to burn.”
“K, Tam,” Lindsay coolly stated, “give me a call if anything else happens.”
“You know I will,” Tammy hung up and returned to her cooking.
She had to be paranoid, but she couldn't shake the feeling of being watched. Sighing, she returned her focus back to dinner. It seemed the rest of the evening was quiet even with the occasional moma, mama coming from Rachel's room.
The next day, Tammy washed up some clothes and started to hang them up in her closet. The closet was cold, but the whole house was cold. It was just the feeling of being watched. She looked away as the sound of the doll saying mama made her flinched. Without warning, a clawed hand from behind the bar reached out and grabbed her hand. She cried out as she tried to pull her hand free. The clawed hand tightened and pulled that much harder. Not knowing what else to do, she called out to God. Immediately, the figure fled from her sight. Tammy looked down at her hand and felt a numbing pain. Her wedding band had been squished into a flattened shape on her ring finger. For a moment, she didn't seem to care about her purple finger, but stared back at where the human figure with the cat-like features had fiercely tried to grab her. The next she cried out as the pain finally hit her like a tsunami. Running to the toolbox, she used a screwdriver and pliers to get the ring off. Looking at her swollen finger, she thought for a moment. Maybe it was was just her. No one would ever believe her, but in the end, she knew what had to happen. That doll had to go.
Walking into her daughter's room, she found it missing. Leaning back for a moment, she shook her head. Rachel had left it on her bed before she left for school, but she had heard it in her bedroom. She started into her room when she heard a noise downstairs and ran to see what was happening. The doll sat on the couch as it stared blankly at her.
“Mama, no go!” it cried as it blinked.
Tammy just swallowed and backed up to the wall. Another crash came from the kitchen. She ran into the kitchen and saw a shadowy cat knocking over her wineglasses. She just stood there as she found herself frozen. An icy blade ran up her spine before she turned and ran out of the house. The noises stopped and she just stared at the window, daring for something to happen, but nothing did. She turned and walked away, not knowing what else to do.
The house was quiet by the time she got back. She walked into the kitchen and found only three broken wineglasses on the counters and floor. The doll, though, was back on Rachel's bed. It just sat there with it's eyes closed. She simply cleaned up the broken glass and made some coffee. The events from the morning still rolling through her mind.
The next day, Tammy boldly grabbed the doll and threw it into a suitcase. She had to know. She started her car and started out. She swerved as a car nearly struck her. Just what was going on. She parked in a nearby parking lot and grabbed the bag. The bag wouldn't budge. It was as though it was glued to the seat. She heard a swish and ducked as a stone went sailing past her head and broke the other window. Looking up, she once more saw the cat lady. Her outreaching claw trying to pull her into the bag as it started to open.
“Are you alright?” a hand gently grasped her shoulder.
She turned and froze. It was a man in a black suit with a white collar. “No,” she inhaled raggedly and begun to cry.
“Here, folks around here call me Peter.” he gently led her into the Gothic, brick building, “it appears you need some help.”
She let him guide her into his office. “I don't know,” she looked away and cover her finger, “I'm just trying to figure out if I'm going mad.”
“Tell me your story,” he gently assured her as he poured some coffee and offered it to her, “and we can figure it out together.”
She looked away and sighed, “It all started about two months ago when I took my kids to a play date.” she started and told the man her story.
After she had finished the man merely shook his head and gave her a sympathetic smile. “I will have to see this doll myself, but I would like to help you.”
She smiled, “the doll is in the car.”
They walked back to her car. The window wasn't broken anymore and the bag was as she had left it. Slumped over the steering wheel was a young man. Scratches covered half of his face and part of his hand was missing. She covered her mouth and fell to her knees. Peter just sighed as he helped her up and made a phone call.
An hour later, an angry, dark haired man stormed up to Tammy and wrapped his arms around her. “What the hell were you doing here?”
“I needed answers,” she numbly mumbled
“It's that damned doll, isn't it?” he shook his head and let her go. “There is nothing wrong about that doll.”
“What about my hand or the broken glasses, Ted?” she demanded.
“You need to get that imagination under control,” he hissed quietly and turned to a nearby officer. “What happened?”
“We don't know all the facts yet,” The officer ran his hand through his red, wavy hair and shook his head, “but it appears that someone was in the process of stealing your wife's car when he was mauled by some sort of wild cat. Poor bastard, no one should go out like that.”
Another man walked up to them and handed them a business card, “Sorry folks,” he gave her a sympathetic smile, “but we need to finish processing your car before we go.”
“How long will that be?” Ted demanded.
“Maybe another hour or so,” he motioned to the church, “but the good priest over there says we can use his church while we wait. My name is Detective Morris and I just have a few more questions to ask you, Miss Smythe.”
“Am I under arrest?” she hesitantly asked.
“No, no,” he coolly stated. “There's no way you could have had a hand in this. I just need some more information to figure what happened.”
She simply nodded and stared as she realized the bag was missing. “Where's the doll?”
“What doll, miss?” a man in a gray t shirt and blue jeans asked.
“There was a doll in the bag,” she demanded. “Where is it?”
“I'm sorry,” he simply stated, “but we didn't find any bag besides your purse in your car.”
Without warning, “Mama, no go!” started to softly come from her trunk. She stepped back even as Ted grabbed her arm. Reluctantly, she opened the trunk. Inside, she found the bag. Ted opened the bag. It had it's eyes opened as it continued to cry “Mama no go.”
He dropped it. “When did it start saying that!”
“That's what I was trying to tell you,” she wrapped her arms about her and refused to pick up the doll.
Peter looked at the doll and picked it up, “That's no way to treat a doll.”
He frowned and handed it to the man possessing the car. The man sprayed the doll and took a picture before handing it back. Without anymore words, they walked back to the church. The doll's cries growing louder.
“I know that you were in here when the man broke into your car,” the detective started. “but how did the doll move to the trunk of your car.”
“I don't know,” she sighed. “I left it on my back seat.”
“Who was the dark haired woman in the back of your car?” he coolly asked.
“I wasn't driving anyone,” she lied. “I was taking the doll out to have it repaired before my daughter got home from school.”
“We have witnesses stating a dark haired woman was trying to pull you back into the car before the good priest, here, helped you get out,” He stated harshly. “Some of them was concerned for your safety.”
“That can't be.” She shook her head, the color draining that much faster, “I was the only one in the car, detective.”
“I need you to calm down,” he quietly stated as he saw tears start to form. “I just want to know about the attack.”
Ted watched as his wife broke into tears and growled, “Hasn't my wife has been through enough.”
The detective place his hand on her wrist and pulled it back, “You're freezing.”
“I drove myself here,” she numbly stated as she blinked away the tears, “I don't remember being attacked.”
He nodded and sighed, “If you should remember anything that could help,” he handed her his business card and stood, “just give me a call, ok?”
She nodded and closed her eyes. The sounds of the world fading to silence. She awoke in a white room. Looking about her, she frowned. What had happened?
Peter was talking to Ted in hushed tones. Looking at her arms, she tried to make sense of what she was seeing. There was a bandage on one arm and her hand was wrapped.
“Where am I?” she demanded as the two men looked up.
“You're in the baptism room,” Ted took her hand and gave her a gentle squeeze.
“What happened?” she quietly demanded.
“What do you remember?” Ted gently asked.
“I was trying to answer questions but I was getting tired,” she stopped and thought for a moment. “You stood up for me and then...”
“Don't worry about it,” he kissed her on the forehead and tried to smile. “All that matters is that you're alright now.”
“How are the kids?” she asked.
“They're fine,” Ted answered. “Lindsay has them.”
She nodded, “and the doll?”
“Gone,” Peter frowned. “but we have to get her to give up the doll.”
“That shouldn't be hard.” She leaned back, “We can get her that doll she's been wanting.”
“She was upset when she found out you took the doll,” Ted frowned. “She was worried about you.”
“Ok,” she looked back at them and froze as she looked out the window, “but you know Rachel, she can be a drama queen.”
A gray large cat perched on her window sill. It's great, dark eyes sending chills down her spine. She couldn't move, couldn't speak as she felt it's gaze cut through her.
“Tam!” Ted shook her and followed her gaze. “Tammy, what is it?”
“In the name of God,” the priest declared sprinkling holy water on her, “leave this woman be!”
She blinked and frowned. “We have to get rid of that doll.”
“And how are we to do that?” Ted demanded as a small team rushed into the room.
“I just want to get home,” she demanded, “and get this thing out of my house.”
“Here,” Peter handed her a dark green rosary. “Keep this with you.”
She nodded and started to stand, “How soon can we get this taken care of?”
“As soon as we can get the doll back,” he gave her a sympathetic smile as he gently grasped her hand. “God be with you, Tammy.”
She nodded and let Ted lead the way out. She hesitated as she looked at her car. In truth, she didn't want to touch the car, let alone drive it.
“Leave it,” he merely stated as he opened the door to his light blue sedan. “We can pick it up tomorrow.”
Sighing, she merely opened the door and stepped into her own car, “I can't just leave it here.”
“You don't look so good,” he offered. “I can come back with Tim and pick up the car.”
She looked up into those hard blue eyes and chewed her lip. Reaching over, she picked up her purse. The car suddenly became cold and without warning, a hand grabbed her from behind. She shrieked as it started to pull her further into the car. Just as quick, something pulled her out. Father Peter had turned white as the helped pull her out. Tammy just stared at the car as she finally saw the dark haired woman in the back of her car.
“Know what,” she just stared into those catlike eyes and frowned before it faded away, “maybe we should spend the night at a motel.”
Peter frowned, “It won't work,” he thought for a moment and offered, “Let me go with you so I may bless you and your home. That thing is getting attached to you.”
Ted studied him for a moment, “Why?”
Peter sighed, “I can't let history repeat.” he turned and called back as he headed back to the church, “I just need to get some gear and I'll be right back.”
The trip back to Lindsay's house was long. The day had taken a lot out of her as she kept nodding off. Ted just covered her with his jacket. She felt so cold to his touch. He frowned and shook her as he parked the car. Tammy jolted up and looked up at the house. Running up to the front door, she started to knock, only to get knocked down by her kids.
“Mama, mama,” Rachel eagerly demanded, “I want to stay here tonight.”
“I don't know sweetheart,” Tammy started as she dusted herself off, “What about Lindsay?”
“I said it was up to-” Lindsay grabbed Tammy's arm and sighed, “you're bleeding.”
“I'm fine,” she let Lindsay pull her into the kitchen and before she knew it, stared at a long, jagged scratches running down her arm.
“That is not fine,” Lindsay quietly demanded as she checked to see if Ted was nearby. “Who did this to you?”
“I really don't know,” Tammy washed her arm as Lindsay grabbed the med kit she kept in the pantry. “and it wasn't Ted.”
“It's that damn doll, isn't it?” she demanded. “What have you done?”
“Nothing,” she looked away, “the doll was doing strange things.”
“I told you to find another little girl to pass it to,” she quietly stated. “I didn't believe my grandmother until after my cousin was found mauled.”
“Don't let the kids find out,” Tammy winced as Lindsay applied the alcohol. “I have to see this to the end. I just wished I knew why.”
“That's what my cousin said before she was hit by that car,” Lindsay scoffed and sighed, “Just be careful.”
She nodded, “Thanks.”
“You just get some rest,” Lindsay offered. “If you want you could always sleep on the couch.”
“I've got to get some clothes for the kids,” Tammy rolled up her sleeve and tried to give a reassuring grin.
“I've got enough clothes to share with them,” Lindsay dryly stated. “You don't need to be coming back to the house.”
“I really hate to say this,” Ted walked in and helped himself to some coffee, “but it looks like Father Peter won't be able to get to the house til morning.”
“Then it's settled,” Lindsay stood and started down the hall, “You can sleep here and take off in the morning.”
Father Peter honestly did feel for them, but last rites was a matter of life or death for the soul. He had gotten the call that a young man had been involved in an accident and needed last rites. Although Father John was already in his way, he was still closer. The road turned abruptly as a large, dark animal ran across the road. He started to hit the brakes and just missed the animal. Moments later,something struck him from behind. He looked back into his rear view mirror and hit the gas. Its glaring red eyes and large horns made him shiver with fear as it continued to chase him down. Seeing the bend in the road, he wretched the steering wheel over and started to pray. Headlights were coming his way as he crossed over the line to make the turn. Without a second to spare, he managed to pull the car back onto the right side and looked behind him. The truck whizzed by him taking out the enraged animal. He shook his head and started to laugh in disbelief. The hospital's parking lot was just a few more blocks. Turning on the radio, he realized his mistake as Highway to Hell started to play. Looking up, the last thing he saw was the headlights of a cherry red convertible.
Ted and Tammy stared up at their home. She took another sip from her cup and frowned. Father Peter had told Ted he would come in the morning and it was almost noon. Somehow it felt so silly sitting outside when your front door was just a few feet away. Ted looked over at her and gave her a reassuring smile.
“You look better,” he hesitantly looked up at the front door and for a moment, thought he saw the curtain moved.
“I feel a little better,” she admitted. “So do you think we should try calling him again?”
“Sure,” he picked up Father Peter's card and stopped as a deep blue wrangler parked next to them. Its back window had been smashed in. “What on Earth happened to him?”
“My phone got broken last night,” Father Peter hastily picked up his bag and got out of the car, “Or else I would have called.”
“What happened to you?” Ted stared in disbelief as he looked at the back of the wrangler. Something had taken a bite from the metal bumper.
“All that matter's is I'm here,” he straightened up and frowned. “Let's go inside and see what can be done.”
They nodded and slowly opened the door. The doll sat in the middle of the hall. It blinked and for a moment, it looked as though it was smiling. Then it frowned. “Father no enter!” it cried as the air became stifling. “No Father.”
“We must stay strong. For once I start it will do anything to make us stop.” Father Peter simply pulled out a worn, black book and started to read from its passages and looked up, “Tammy?”
Tammy had started towards the doll. Its cries filling her mind as her pupils became large. Ted pulled her back as a great clawed hand sliced through the air. Holding her tightly, he pulled her away from the doll. All too soon, the room became still and quiet. Tammy blinked and looked about her. The doll was gone.
“What happened?” she looked about her in confusion. The air felt cooler and looked up the stairs. She swallowed and hardened her gaze as she looked into the inky darkness. “What happened to the doll?”
Ted stopped and studied her as Peter opened his bag and pulled out a small, clear bottle. “It's still....there?” he frowned as he only saw a black smudge where it once sat.
“I bless you in the name of the holy spirit,” Peter bent over Tammy and frowned as he applied the holy oil to her forehead, “Be strong, my child, for God is with us this day.”
She nodded, but kept her eyes on the stairs, “Let's just get that doll and end this.”
“You can see it.” He noted a strange shape reflecting in her eyes, “What does it look like?”
“It's just the same figure I told you about,” she shrugged, “Besides, I can't really make her shape out in the darkness.”
“Keep these close to you,” He frowned and handed her a set of prayer beads, “I can't let her take another victim.”
Father Peter simply started to cleanse the rest of the downstairs before starting on the staircase. The temperature started to drop as the holy oil hissed as it struck the darkness. With every step and every prayer, they cornered it in Rachel's room. The doll just watched them as it cried, “Mama, mama.” She just stood there as the window shuddered open and the wind blew hard, knocking the figurines off the shelves, but found her gaze held by the large gray cat on the bed. It grinned as it straightened and started to hiss as the holy water struck the bed. Father Peter was screaming into the wind as he started to banish the creature from the house. Tammy stepped back and stopped. The doll was right there next to the cat. All she had to do was throw the doll out the window and it would never come back. She didn't know why, but that's what she knew. The cat bared its fangs as it started to change from a large house cat to a tall woman with catlike features. It just grinned at her and bared its claws. Tammy hesitated for only a moment before she lounged for the doll and was knocked out the window. She clung to window as she looked down. The doll landed on the rocks that bordered her small garden. She nearly cried out as hands grabbed her and pulled her back in.
The room was quiet and still as they looked about the now quiet room. The house seemed to brighten as warmth returned to the place. Ted closed the window and wrapped his arm around Tammy. Father finished the blessing and grinned.
“I called a friend,” he clasped their hands and coolly continued. “Her name is Samantha Williams. Please do as she says. It's important that you do this. OK?”
“Of course,” Tammy hugged him, “Thank you so much. I don't know what we would have done.”
“I better get back,” He nodded, “I need to get back before evening prayers.”
“Yes,” Ted warmly shook Peter's hand, “Thank you. You don't know how much you've helped us out.”
“God be with you,” he simply turned around and left.
They watched as the jeep turned the corner. Looking at the top of the stairs, they froze. Peter had left his bag at the top of the stairs. Ted ran up and picked it up as Tammy looked out the back glass door. The doll was gone.
“Looks like Father Peter forgot his bag,” he grabbed his keys and started towards the door. “We still need to get your car.”
She simply nodded her head and they drove to the church. Carrying the bag into the building, they looked about for Father Peter. A large man in a white collar frowned sadly and froze as he looked down at the bag. Crossing the room quickly, he nearly wretched the bag from her hands.
“Where did you get this?” he demanded. “This belonged to Father Peter.”
“He left it at our house,” Tammy stated softly.
“So he took your case against protocol?” he scoffed and shook his head. “That's just like Peter. At least they can't make him stand before the court on this one.”
“What do you mean?” Ted demanded. “He was fine when he left this afternoon.”
“That can't be,” the man scoffed. “Father Peter was killed in an accident last night. They say it's another senseless drunk driver hitting another car.”
“I saw his car when he pulled in,” Ted insisted. “It looked like his jeep had been struck by a large animal. His bumper had a piece missing from it.”
“His car had been attacked by a rogue elk,” he hesitantly stated, “before he was hit by the drunken bastard.” he crossed himself and continued. “Good men like Father Peter will be hard to replace. He was a strange one, though. Like I said, I'm going to miss him.”
“If Father Peter died last night,” Ted demanded, “Then who cleansed and blessed my house?”
“Maybe it was Peter,” he chuckled darkly, “He was always a stubborn one. If he made a promise, well, he said he would keep it at any price.”
He walked away with Peter's bag. The man still shook his head as he entered an office and stopped. He turned around and walked back.
Placing a small bundle in Tammy's hands, He simply stated, “I have a strange feeling this was meant for you,” and walked away.
Tammy slowly opened the small pouch and saw a small cross with a note. She pulled out the necklace and put it on. The pouch with its note, she placed it in her pocket. Somehow, it just didn't feel right to read it with so many people around.
“What is it?” Ted asked.
“Protection,” she wrapped her arm around him and kissed him. “Let's go get the kids, k?”
He nodded, “How about we pick up a few pizzas before we pick them up.”
“You can get the pizzas,” Tammy grinned, “and I'll go to Lindsay's house.”
He shook his head as they parted ways. For once, he would let her go and he would get some pizzas.
“Hey daddy,” a small girl cried as she held up an old fashioned baby doll. It's lacy dress was dirty, but so was everything else the girl touched. “Look at what I found. Grandma said I could have it.”
He shook his head and sighed, “We better clean her up before your mom sees it,” and they headed out.
The girl squealed in delight as the doll opened her eyes and called out mama. She didn't know why, but she loved that doll. She was unlike any doll she had ever had and couldn't wait for it to meet the rest of her dolls.
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