Death Fire 16


“Okay so where do we start?”I asked Josh. “If we don’t find her there is no telling what will happen next. Even if she’s a ghost she’ll be at Ina’s funeral.”
I watched Jack and Debbie come in with the kids. Teeney was holding on to Jack’s hand. He picked the child up and put her in the booster seat. Teeney had on a birthday hat. I remembered Teeney used to play with Sammy.
“Be right back.” Stepping over to the other table.
“Excuse me I have a question for Teeney. Sweetie have you heard from Sammy lately?”
Teeney shook her head no “I won’t either he is going far away so the evil won’t find him.” She began coloring the place mat.
“When did he tell you this?” I asked looking at Debbie and Jack.
“Honey tell Doctor Ella.” Debbie said
“I can’t he asked me not too. Before he disappeared.” Teeney continued to color.
Jack stood up to talk to me. “Debbie
Is worried about Teeney. She is telling stories about some pretty outrageous things. Look at the picture she’s coloring.”
Looking down at the drawing was a little figure and the cyclones with red white and blue in it.
“Teeney, have you seen this someplace?”
“No Sammy told me about it. He thinks its started because of him. He thinks it wants him.”
“Will you do me a favor if you talk to Sammy, tell him to come talk to me. Tell him that we are working to make it stop okay?” Teeney smiled at me.
“I’ll tell him. If he comes back.”
“Debbie ,Jack I can’t tell you right now what’s going on but Teeney isn’t involved as far as we know other than she is a messenger. I don’t believe she’ll be involved otherwise. Happy Birthday Teeney.” Debbie smiled in relief.
Going back to the table we sat talking I caught the guys up on what I’d learned from Teeney.
“Okay I don’t believe Sammy is alive Teeney specifically he disappeared as if he faded out maybe an apparition. We need to go talk to Ronald’s wife. We need to know what Ronald’s involvement in this is.

Death Fire 15


I never got to answer the man’s question because Sheriff Whitey Story came in white faced. He sat down beside Josh. Leaning forward he said “Josh, Ella I need help or we are not going to have a town and county left.” His voice his voice cracked as he continued talking. “As I came back to town, I was driving past the cemetary out on the Wilson place. Ronald Wilson was hanging from the big ole oak at the edge of the road. His legs still kicking he had his hands in the noose around his neck. He was fighting with every breath in his body. I jumped out to see if I could help him. I almost got to him. When a woman told me, No you can’t help the devil. I won’t allow it. The next thing I know those crazy winds started again the lightening and the static charge enveloped his body and the fire started I saw it burn the noose but he never fell to the ground.”
The waitress came over bringing him coffee. He drank it down before she left with the pot. She poured him a second cup.
After she left his color was a litter better he was no longer clammy. He continued.
“Ronald hung suspended in the air. When those confounded winds started the bottom of the cyclone went up Ronald’s body and wrapped the tail around his neck. It held him there while it twisted his neck.I saw him strangled. That was when the fire and charge started he hung inside the fire and burnt to a pile of ash. Before the wind quit the woman’s voice said she would get rid of everyone that kept her from seeing her son.”
Staring at each other Josh and I said together, “Roberta.”
“Whitey, what did this woman look like?”
“Pastie white her hair was wild and dark. Her lips were blood red. She seemed to hover above the ground. She stepped out of the fire when she talked to me and then went back into it raising her arms as she stepped in the fire then she and Ronald were gone. A piece of chard rope was left. When I picked it up it went up in smoke in my hand.” The man was still shaking as he continued, “Mrs.Wilson, stood beside me and crossed herself saying the devil has come to our county. Ronald was a bad man he deserved what happened to him.” She turned and walked back to the house.

Death Fire 14


“During the summer I volunteered at the old mental hospital. My foster parents were happy I wasn’t in trouble like most my classmates. A woman was brought in by her father. He signed her in and insisted that the doctors keep her.”
I hesitated to continue because what I knew would hurt him. I didn’t want to do that.
“Her name was Roberta Davis. She kept saying you promised to let me have him back ,you lied. Where is my son? I must have been about sixteen at that time. I volunteered all through the year a day or two a week so that I could work with Roberta. She told me her father had kept her son and stuck her in the mental ward so she couldn’t see the child. When I left for college she still resided there. I met Ina after she came in and visited Roberta. I wasn’t allowed in of course, but as I was delivering lunch trays she left the room. I heard the last of the conversation. She said, “he is a grown man and I raised him like I promised so just forget about it. He doesn’t even know who you are. Dad made sure of that. He is in the military and a good man. You just either lay down and die or disappear because he will never know you.”
I took lunch to Roberta not long after she left. Roberta looked at me and said, no matter what you do in life don’t trust relatives they will turn on you. She rolled over and until I left for college she barely spoke another word.”
It was that summer they found the underground river. A bunch of us kids went down to see it. It was pretty neat there were fish that hadn’t been seen but one other time and that was over in Indiana when they found a under ground river. So it was a big deal. They brought in a bunch of scientific people. Mainly Archeologists so they could see how old the river was. Going back I told Roberta all about it. She showed interest for the first time in months. She started going on walks around the grounds with me. The doctor was very pleased.
Once I left for school I wrote her once a week. I never heard anything but I hoped it helped her. I got a letter inside another letter. A girl I had worked with caught me up on all the news from around here and she said that Roberta asked me to send you this.
The letter was just a few lines it said don’t write anymore. I have it figured out. Every thing is fine. Study hard. Love Roberta.”
I never heard from her again. Letters from the girl who included the letter to me later wrote saying that Roberta went for a walk and wandered off. She claimed part of the fence was down on the property. She was just gone.
“The whole time I knew Roberta she was either so depressed or so angry that she had to be restrained so she didn’t hurt herself or someone else. That’s why I never understood why with me she never showed signs of being depressed or angry. Because they wouldn’t let me take her for walks if she was dangerous.”
Josh motioned for the waitress and ordered us dessert and coffee.
He didn’t say anything for a long time. “Well what you have told me fits with everything Aunt Ina has told me right down to the fight. I was in the military for fifteen years starting at eighteen. Ina said Granddad found my mom living in a commune of hippies. She said it was a bunch of kids that dabbled in wiccan. But they sold Mom out for Granddad’s money.”
“Ella will you not think bad of me if I told you that I could feel Mom at that cabin today?”