The Phone Rings

The caller ID says Jupiter.  Third call in two hours from Jupiter.  No one leaves a message.  This morning i got two calls from Venus.  Not from the Goddess.. i’m guessing from the planet.  There are rumors going around town that something is up.  I saw Grace Jenkins this morning getting coffee at Jolie’s, and she said that yesterday, she got two calls from Venus.  People are talking about a repeat of what happened to Barry Snell twenty eight years ago.  He disappeared into a neon purple light, and left a pile of purple dust on his front porch swing.  Some thought he was abducted by aliens; some thought it was an elaborate ruse to make it seem that way.  That in truth, he ran off with his mistress.  No one had seen or heard from Barry since, and his wife Connie remarried.  Grace said her daughter went parking last night with her boyfriend out on Greystone Road.. stayed out way after curfew no less, and that both Sarah and Will swore they saw a blonde woman in the sky.  Just like Barry saw.

The phone rings again.  Venus calling.  Phone number 406-538-3477.  It seems Venus has a Montana area code.  My anxiety kicks in.  I don’t answer the phone, and i take a Xanax.  My MD gave me six Ativan.  I’m only supposed to take one if i have extreme anxiety though.  This isn’t extreme, only mildly scary.  I can calm down.  Likely all kinds of build up to small town excitement and nothing will come of it.  I, for one, am hoping for aliens.  I think of driving to the beach, but remember the Xanax.  A few minutes later, i think of maybe having a glass of Merlot.. then i remember the Xanax.  So.. a movie it is.  Or maybe some X-Files reruns on Netflix to put me in the mood.  I have my kitty, Rex and my poodle, Andrew to keep me company.  Husband Jim, still in San Diego at that conference.  I think of calling Dawn.  We’ve been best friends forever, but she probably has a date.  Just us three animals to wait it out.  I turn out the lights and put in an X-Files episode.  The one called Pusher.  I think back to the spring i turned twelve and to the Barry Snell incident.  That’s what everyone calls it.  The Incident.  Why did they.. whoever they are.. wait twenty eight years to come back.. if they come?

The phone rings again.  It’s 11:15 pm.  I run to check.  Andrew and Rex follow me to my desk and the phone.  I don’t pick up, but this time there’s a voice.  ID says Venus again.  The robotic voice says.. ‘We’re coming to get you Ro-sann-a.. Ro-sann-a.. we’re coming to get you!  I pick up the phone, but the voice is gone.  This doesn’t feel fun anymore.  I just wanted a little excitement while Jim is gone.  He’ll be back in two days.  Maybe i’ll have that glass of wine after all.  But i’m not supposed to have wine with that medication.   I’m not a rule breaker.  I rationalize that it’s only Xanax and not Ativan.  But i decide against it, because i have too much anxiety.   Which means that the Xanax isn’t working.. which means that i might take an Ativan after all.  Then i think, yes, this is the kind of thinking that goes with anxiety.  So i choose another Xanax, and think maybe i’ll talk to someone about getting some marijuana.  After all, it’s legal now.  Then I decide to go to bed and let Rex and Andrew take Jim’s side.  I’ll be safe and sleep well.  I think.

As far as i know, i sleep for four hours.  A sound healthy sleep.  But i wake up.  And what makes me wake up is a cold breeze.  It’s April, and i have the windows closed.  The air conditioner certainly isn’t on.  Then it happens.  I see neon purple light fill the room.  Rex heads under the bed.  Andrew and I head downstairs.  The light only lasts about forty seconds.  Darkness.  I hold my breath.  I want to open the door to look, but i resist.  Then a knock.  I will not open the door.  I will not.  But i hear a voice.  A friendly voice.  Rosanna?  Please open the door!  Andrew, who normally barks at the knock of the door, is silent and stares at the door.   Rosanna?  So i open the door, and i see a familiar looking man, but i can’t place where i’ve seen him before.  He holds out his hand to shake mine, and he says.. hello Rosanna.  I’m Barry.  Barry Snell.  I knew your parents when i lived here before.. quite a few years ago.  I feel weak in my knees and see purple spots.  And he says.. i’m here for you, Rosanna.  Your husband found God, and he’s gone.  Venus sent me to replace him….

By M. Raynes



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