Chapter 21 - The Lost is Found
“I love you, Robin.”
“I love you too, my Auburn Angel. I can’t tell you how happy you make me.”
He was holding the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He looked at her auburn hair and those emerald green eyes that sparkled. He kissed her beautiful, full lips. The scent of jasmine filled his nostrils. Her kiss was sweet and he felt as though her soul had passed through her mouth into his and down into his body.
“You know, my angel, I have never felt so…”
The hall phone ringing off the hook awakened him. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he sat up. He was still sitting on the front porch. As the fog lifted from his brain, he thought, I must have dozed off. Damn! Why is it that only the good dreams get interrupted?
He stood up and went inside. The hall clock chimed the quarter hour. Twelve fifteen? It feels like I was dreaming for hours not minutes.
“That was the boys. They’ll be here in fifteen minutes,” said Nancy hanging up the phone.
Shortly after twelve thirty am, the doorbell rang. On the porch were six large men wearing Levi and leather outfits. Robin wasn’t sure of whether to slam the door and call a cop or invite them in. They looked more like a biker gang than college men.
“May I help you?” he asked.
“Yes,” said the biggest, scariest one. “Nancy is expecting us. We’re the College Crew.”
This one looked like someone you would never want to meet alone in a dark alley. He had jet-black hair. The scar on his cheek that went from his left ear to the corner of his mouth made Robin wonder who lost that fight.
“Come on in,” he heard himself saying, “She’s waiting for you in the living room.”
After the last one passed through the door, Robin walked to the twenty-seventh stair and looked down to the street. There was a row of motorcycles parked there. By the light of the full moon he could see that they were all Harleys and all of them were chopped and dressed.
He walked back to the house and shut the door. They were sitting in the dining room. All of their jackets had the Hell’s Angels logo on the back.
It’s a good thing I didn’t make a wise crack about their looks.
“Yes, it is,” said Nancy. “Now sit down with my friends and I will introduce you.”
The Hell’s Angels were sitting around the dining room table with a cup of tea in front of them. In the center of the table were a large teapot and two metal tea biscuit tins.
“Robin, I’d like you to meet my college friends known as the College Crew. That guy with the handlebar mustache next to you is Kevin, Professor of Mathematics. Next to him with the blonde curly hair is Carl, Professor of Economics. Ray there with the red hair and freckle-face, is a Professor of Computer Science. James, his twin brother, is a Professor of English Literature. Frank, the skinny one, is Professor of Greek and Latin. Finally, there’s Mac here” – she was pointing to the first guy Robin had met at the door – “he is Professor of Physics. Don’t let the scar throw you; he got that in a friendly fencing match when his opponents foil snapped.”
“I wear all the protective gear when I fence now,” he explained.
Robin blinked. He took another look at the men. Their sinister appearance seemed to have vanished. The six “thugs” who came in the door were now, except for the outfits, looking more like “regular” guys.
“You can close your mouth now, Robin, and sit down,” Nancy said.
“That’s okay,” said Mac. “We get that a lot and to answer your questions: Yes, we really are a motorcycle club sanctioned by the Hell’s Angels and secondly, we really are college professors.”
“But I thought…”
“Everyone does. Not all Hell’s Angel’s clubs are unruly gangs of rowdy partiers anymore. Many of them are made up of professionals like us – business execs, entrepreneurs, artists, teachers, and in street clothes you wouldn’t know they were members.”
Robin was surprised that he could tell what he had been thinking. “Are you psychic too?” He asked.
“No – I’ve just been through this conversation about a billion times.”
“I’m a little embarrassed. I am psychic and I didn’t have a clue.”
“That’s because you allowed your eyes to override your instincts. A good lesson for you,” said Amanda Potts.
“So, what’s the plan, Nancy?” asked Mac.
“Yes,” Carl added. “Mac said you said something about digging up a body?”
“Yes, gentlemen, that’s exactly what I said.”
“Well, we’re here – let’s have it,” Frank asked.
Nancy started to tell them the story of little Jenny Conroy. The doorbell rang.
I hope that isn’t the Lieutenant, thought Robin.
“It isn’t Hawk, Robin. It’s my daughter Malissa. Would you let her in?”
Robin left the table and headed for the hall. Daughter? That’s right. She told me about her daughter months ago. Malissa – spelled with an “A” not the traditional “E”. Something about Nancy telling her husband, “They’ll only pronounce it as if it were an “A” so why not spell it that way.” She’s a professor of parapsychology. She married a college professor. A guy named David McIntyre…Mac! Of course! Nancy said her daughter just got home after working in Europe for a year looking for ghosts in Notre Dame. I guess she overlooked Amanda Potts.
When he opened the door, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen was standing there. In spite of the sweatshirt, sweat pants, and no makeup, she took his breath away for a moment. He just stood in the doorway and stared. She looked more like a fashion model right out of the pages of Vogue rather than a professor of paranormal science.
“You must be Robin Oracle,” she said smiling.
A man would die for that smile.
“Thank you, but shouldn’t we be going in?” she said.
Robin flushed. Like mother, like daughter?
“That’s right. I inherited my mother’s gifts.”
“I beg your pardon – I mean no disrespect – I…”
“That’s okay, Robin. Nobody should be blamed for their thoughts. “My name is Malissa. Spelled with an ‘A’ not an ‘E’.” She held out her hand.
Robin looked at the beautifully shaped hand. He really wanted to take it in his and never let it go. Then he remembered his gifts and thought better of it.
“I’d better not. I’ve had a lot of trouble touching things lately – there’s no telling how my system will react to shaking hands.”
“So Mom has told me. Did you really make the bric-a-brac fly around the room?”
“That’s the predominant theory. Come on in. They’re all in the dining room.”
She walked passed him and a hint of Jasmine filled the air. She passed through the hall into the dining room. As he shut the door he thought, she looks as good from the back as she does from the front.
A smiling auburn angel leaned out into the hall and said, “I heard that.”
The apparition disappeared. Robin blushed again and locked the front door. He heard a childish giggle. Amanda Potts was hovering near the doorway.
“Don’t you start now…” he scolded.
She giggled again and flew ahead of him into the dining room.
Everyone was sitting at the table listening to Nancy explain what was to be done. Robin couldn’t stop looking at Malissa. Every time she caught him looking he would suddenly look somewhere else and pretend he hadn’t been watching her. Malissa had brought an SUV to help transport the College Crew and the digging equipment. She was going to be the driver. Nancy, Robin, and Ray would lead them in the pacer. The two ladies and Robin would keep watch while the Crew was digging.
“So, that’s it. Are you all still in?” asked Nancy.
“We wouldn’t have come if we weren’t going to do the deed. We don’t care what it is – if it’s for you, that’s all we need to know.”
“Thanks, Mac. Well, let’s go,” said Nancy and they all stood up to leave.
Carl drained the last of his tea, “I’ve never robbed a grave before.”
“I’m glad there’s a full moon. It’ll make it easier to see what we’re doing,” Kevin said.
“It’ll also make it easier for someone to see what we’re up to,” Frank warned.
It turned out that Ray, the computer wizard, was also an electronics expert. He opened the electric gates easily with his automatic dialing opener.
“You see, these automatic gate devices all work on frequency and a digital code. My little bandit here scans through millions of possible codes. Sooner or later it hits the right one and the doors open.”
A whirring noise signaled the gates were opening.
“Like that,” he said with pride.
“Amazing, are you sure these guys are professors, Nancy? Our friend here would make a nifty burglar.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” Nancy said seriously.
“Do I want to?”
“No, but don’t get the wrong idea. He’s one of the good guys.”
They drove up the drive with their lights off.
“Well, I still have my wallet, so I’ll take your word for it.”
“Your wallet is perfectly safe, dear.”
“Yeah, I only take wallets that are worth stealing.”
“Smart man,” Robin said.
A short time later they were all standing around the grave. Robin moved off to the right and walked a few yards away. Nancy could see him talking with a man and a little blond girl. Amanda Potts was next to Robin saying something she could not hear.
“Let’s start digging, boys,” Mac said.
They were digging for a few minutes when suddenly, from out of the darkness, two Dobermans came running up snarling and snapping. Everyone froze in terror. The dogs slowed a few feet away and crept closer bearing their teeth to the men.
“What do we do now?” James asked.
“Try reading them a sonnet,” Ray quipped.
“Don’t you have a gadget of some sort, Ray?” Kevin looked at him hopefully.
“I wish I did.”
“Anybody got a bone?” Malissa asked.
“Yeah, but they’re all inside my skin at the moment,” Carl said.
“From the looks of those two I’d say it won’t be for much longer,” Ray quipped.
Robin walked out from behind them and headed toward the dogs.
“Is he nuts?” Mac asked.
“Robin! What are you doing?” Nancy said with concern in her voice.
Robin kept walking toward the dogs. Amanda Potts floated gently behind him. The dogs seemed puzzled at first and then they sat.
They began wagging their tails and whimpering like puppies. Robin walked over to them, pet them both and talked to them in a friendly way.
“How did he do that?” Carl asked.
“I don’t know, but maybe we should head for the car while he’s keeping them busy,” Kevin chimed.
“No,” Robin said firmly, “Finish the job. They understand now why we are here. They won’t harm us.”
“I beg your pardon?” Frank said in disbelief.
“It’s okay. Just finish what we’ve started.” Robin walked a little farther away. The Dobermans followed. They stopped a dozen yards away, the Dobermans sat down again, and Robin began talking to the air again only this time the dogs were participating in the fantasy. Nancy noticed that there were now four spirits with Robin and the dogs. A woman had joined the group.
“If I hadn’t seen that with my own eyes…” Carl began.
“Me too,” James agreed.
Mac interrupted their reverie: “The sooner this is done the better.”
They took turns in pairs. Even with six men, it took a couple of hours to unearth Mr. Johnson’s coffin. Malissa and Nancy kept a lookout.
Mac climbed into the hole. His voice rose from below, “Toss down the ropes, guys.”
Three long thick ropes were tied to the coffin rails. Dividing the coffin in thirds, they used one rope per third – one on the end, one in the middle and one on the other end. In this way, they were able to raise the coffin by having each man pulling an end of a rope.
It took a lot of effort, but the coffin was finally brought above ground.
“Now, who is going to go back down there and…?” Carl began.
“I’ll do it,” Mac said with determination. He put surgical gloves on his hands, slipped into the grave again, and began digging with his hands. A few minutes later they heard him say; “I’ve found something.” His voice was shaky, “Oh, God!”
“What’s wrong, Mac?” James asked. There was no answer. Only the sound of faint sobs could be heard.
“I’m going down there, guys. Give me a hand,” Frank insisted.
“No!” Mac said firmly. “Don’t come down. You don’t want to see this. Just… just get me out of here.”
He reached up. Carl and James grabbed his hands and pulled him out. Mac didn’t look well at all.
“You’re white as a sheet, pal. What in the world did you see down there?” Ray asked.
“You don’t want to know,” There were tears in his eyes. “Excuse me.” Mac walked away from the group and vomited under a tree.
“We were in Nam together. We saw some really gruesome stuff, but I’ve never seen Mac react like that before. I’m glad it wasn’t me down there just now,” Kevin remarked. “Whatever he saw – I want no part of it. Oh my God!” He said suddenly. He was looking at his hands.
“What is it?” Then James noticed Kevin’s hands. The surgical gloves he was wearing were covered in blood. “What happened to your hands?”
“Nothing, it must have transferred from Mac’s gloves to mine when I pulled him out of the grave.”
James quickly left the others and walked over to the tree.
“Are you okay, Mac?”
“Not really. Let’s get out of here and call the cops.”
They both returned to the group.
“We’ve done the deed,” said Mac. “Now let’s get out of here, okay? This place is giving me the creeps.”
“Wait a minute, Mac,” Malissa said. “Look at your gloves.”
“My God, I didn’t even notice…” He fell silent. He quickly pulled them off and dropped them in the dirt. His hands were shaking. Malissa retrieved a plastic trash bag from the SUV. Kevin reached down, picked up the discarded gloves, and put them in the bag. He then removed his own gloves and did the same.
“Come on guys,” Malissa commanded, “everyone put their gloves in the bag. We don’t want to leave anything behind.
When the last pair was in the bag, she put hers in and sealed it.
As the College Crew got into the SUV, Mac noticed that Robin was still several yards away with the dogs. It looked like he was talking to the dogs now. He heard him say “Goodbye” to them and then to the air.
James looked at Mac. He knew the sweat on his face wasn’t all from digging. “Are you sure you’re all right, Mac?”
“Let’s just say that the farther away from here I get the better I will feel.”