The Angel of San Diego

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Chapter 16 - Brainstorm

Robin was falling. He could see a housing tract directly below. The ground was racing toward him at a frightening speed.

I’m going to fall through the roof of that house, he thought.

In the next second he was walking through the living room carrying a large plush rabbit. The baby sitter was sitting on the couch kissing her boyfriend. There was a music video playing on the TV. He walked around to the front of the couch and stood waiting. The baby-sitter noticed him staring at her.

“Jennifer Conroy… What are you doing out of bed? You’re not supposed to be up this late.” She chided him.

“But Mr. Tibbs is thirsty…” he heard a little voice say.

“Your mother told me not to give him any liquids after six O’clock.”

“Why?” asked the little voice.

“Because he wets the bed, now let’s get you back upstairs,” the sitter replied.

“Will you read us a story?”

“If you promise me you’ll go to sleep.”

“I promise, Cathy.”

“Okay. Come on chipmunk.”

He walked upstairs with Cathy. He liked Cathy. She wasn’t like the other sitters; she played games with her. I share this room with my big sister he thought as they entered the bedroom. Mary was asleep on the twin bed by the window. He climbed into bed. Cathy tucked her and Mr. Tibbs in.

Cathy took a book from the bookshelf and started to read. “Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…”

The room faded. When Jenny woke up the sitter was gone. It was still dark out, but the full moon shone through the window. Her sister was still asleep in the next bed. She got up and went downstairs to the living room. Cathy was asleep on the couch with the TV running. Her boyfriend had left some time ago.

I’ll get my own water she thought and went to the kitchen for a glass.

She could hear Bob the dog barking in the yard. She opened the door and stepped outside.

“Bob, be quiet! Shh!”

Bob came running up to her and almost knocked her over.

“Now you go in the house and go to bed.” Bob looked at her for a moment, looked at the house, and passed on through the doggie door. She was about to go back inside when she heard someone singing.

“Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.”

“Who’s singing? Who’s there?” she asked the disembodied voice. The singing stopped.

“Hello, little girl,” said the slithery, silky voice.

“Hello,” she said, trying to see where the voice was coming from.

“What is your name?” it said in a friendly tone.

“Jenny,” she said looking across the yard. “Where are you? I can’t see you.”

“That is all right,” said the voice kindly. “You will see me soon enough.”

“But I have to go in now.”

“Please do not go”, the voice cooed, “I need your help.”

“Where are you?”

“Follow my voice, Jenny.”

She began to move toward the woods at the back of the property.

“Twinkle, twinkle little bat, how I wonder what you are at.”

Robin reached the trees. There was a man standing in the shadows. He could not see his face. “I found you,” he heard himself say in Jennifer’s voice.

“On the contrary – I have found you,” the man replied as he grabbed her and chloroformed her.

Robin fell off the kitchen chair in convulsions. Mr. Tibbs flew across the room and landed in a heap in the corner by Amanda Potts’ feet. Robin went unconscious. Amanda Potts flew around the room three times and shot through the kitchen wall.

“Robin! Robin!” Nancy called.

When he came to, he was in bed. Amanda Potts was hovering by the ceiling in the corner looking frightened.

“What happened?” he asked in a daze.

“You were overwhelmed by what you experienced. It made you lose consciousness. I was wrong, Robin. You shouldn’t have tried this so soon. You weren’t ready.”

“I saw him! I heard him!” He struggled to get up.

“Okay, okay. Just rest now,” Nancy said soothingly pushing him down firmly but gently. “When you are ready we’ll ask you the details.”

“But I’m not tired. I need to touch that rabbit again so I can identify the guy”, he insisted trying to get up again.

“Not now, Robin. When you’re stronger we’ll try again,” said Nancy firmly.

“But that poor little girl…I….”

“Yes, Robin. You told us. Rest now… Hawk and I will be up later to ask you some questions.”

Nancy left the room. “But I’m not tired,” he insisted. Just before he fell asleep he mumbled, “I’m not tired” again, and dozed off.

“Twinkle, Twinkle little star…”

That voice! That syrupy voice. He enticed her to his van and drove off with her.

“How I wonder what you are…”

He drove to some kind of park where he took her into a cave… It was too awful to think about. He couldn’t stop the vision of what that man did to her. He tried to block it away, but it was as clear as if he were standing there watching. Her screams made his skin crawl. And when he was done with her, he threw her mangled naked body down a hole…

“Up above the sky so high….”

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP!! SHUT UP!!!” he screamed.

Sgt. Tinker awoke from his dream with a start and fell off of his chair. He jumped up in confusion, drew his pistol, and stared at the bed. Robin was sitting upright. His eyes wide open as in a trance. The room was full of flying things. Sgt. Tinker blinked twice and rubbed his eyes. He ducked in time to avoid being hit in the head by a flying vase of flowers. There was a whirlwind of objects flying in a circle around the bed. A teapot came dangerously close to his face and he headed for the door. Amanda Potts had been watching the whole thing from her ceiling corner. She said, “Oh, dear!” and disappeared through the wall.

Sgt. Tinker ran into the hall and shut the door. He stood with his back against it sweating profusely. He felt a little stupid for panicking. That was some dream I just had! Slowly turning around he listened at the door. He couldn’t hear anything. How stupid of me, letting a dream affect me like that. He opened the door and a flying crystal ashtray almost hit him between the eyes. He slammed the door. There was a loud thump on the door where he imagined the ash tray hit it.

He breathed a sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from his forehead. A second and louder thump on the door caused him to sprint down the hall in a panic heading for the stairs. His first thought was to head downstairs and out the front door without stopping, until he reached his apartment several miles away. He had just decided he’d better tell Lt. Hawk about it, when his foot got tangled in something.

The Lieutenant and Nancy were having tea at the kitchen table. She was knitting and he was smoking his cigar. Amanda Potts shot through the kitchen wall and flew around the room three times. Nancy looked up at her with concern. Amanda stopped just above the kitchen table and said, “Oh, Dear. Oh, Dear. Oh, Dear!” She pointed toward the wall she came from.

A loud yell came from the living room and something heavy seemed to be tumbling down the stairs. When it hit bottom, a gunshot rang through the house. Lieutenant Hawk jumped up from the table and pulled his pistol, “That sounded like a gunshot.”

Amanda Potts said, “Oh my!”

Nancy put her knitting on the table, “That was Sgt. Tinker coming down the stairs the wrong way, and if I’m not mistaken, he has brought the upstairs runner with him.” She sounded a little annoyed.

Hawk ran for the stairs. Nancy followed him. There on the hallway floor at the foot of the stairs Sgt. Tinker lay. He was entangled in himself and the upstairs runner. He still had his pistol in his hand.

“Tinker? Are you okay, partner? What happened?”

“I… I… I…” he stammered.

Hawk looked at Nancy.

“Don’t look at me, I’m a psychic, not a mind reader,” she said in reply to his silent query.

Sgt. Tinker was pointing his weapon up the stairs and stuttering, “It… It…. It…”

“What’s he on about, Nancy?”

“I think he wants us to go upstairs. Put your gun away, Hawk, you don’t need that.” She turned to Sgt. Tinker, “And as for you…didn’t your mother ever teach you not to run in the house with a loaded gun in your hand; especially one with polished wood floors and runners?”

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