Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Story 21

[NOTE: This is part of a progressive story. The first entry is here. Check the blog label 2007Story for all entries]

     Blake was glad he slept well the night before, because he was sure tonight would be a fitful one. His fears had been confirmed. Something bad had happened to the Johnson family. Something had happened to his friends. He rolled the words of Arnold’s message over and over in his head again and again, but couldn’t place any significance on next Monday or any reason why Daniel Call might be involved.

     He had sent James off with the stamps to check with his uncle who apparently was an avid stamp collector. Blake wanted to get back into the Johnson house and try to look at their calendars for any indication of why Monday might be special, but he couldn’t risk it with the renewed police activity after last night. Even if the note from Mr. Johnson was given to the police, they might still keep a patrol car around the Johnson home for another night or too just in case.

     More troubling though was that he hadn’t heard from Tony yet. Tony’s note this morning indicated that he would be meeting with a member of the Commander’s organization after school. The sun had set a few hours ago and Blake still hadn’t had any contact with his friend. Blake tried to shrug it off, acknowledging that there was probably no reason to fear for his friend’s safety. The Commander and his organization, however secretive and dastardly they try to be, are still just a group of kids playing at spy games, much like Blake and his friends. Still, with Sam’s arrest last night and the confirmation of underhanded activity surrounding the Johnson disappearance, Blake was understandably on edge.

     Paul, Tami, and Sam had invited him off to a movie with them but he declined, needing to settle his thoughts. He researched the stamps on the Internet but found nothing about the small purple stamp with Thomas Jefferson’s face, the red 6 cent air mail stamp, or the red Cuban stamp with an image of a cigar in front of a globe. Whatever Arnold suggested by the stamps made no sense to Blake. He found that they were all produced within a few years of each other from 1937 to 1941. Blake toiled through potential sites related to World War II relations with Cuba and Cuban points of interest associated with Jefferson. Nothing stood out with any significance and finally Blake decided to distract himself with his homework for the day.


     Blake was pulled from his sleep by his phone ringing across the room. He didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep, but he knew he must have because in his sleep he was talking with Arnold about Homecoming plans. Rubbing his eyes, he looked at the clock as he walked to the phone. It was only ten o'clock. Not terribly late, but still later than your average 'school night' call. Glancing at the caller ID, he was suddenly pulled out of his daze with a new sense of excitement.


     On the other end of the line, there was a moment of silence and then a female voice spoke.

     “Blake. This is Anthony’s mom. Do you know where Anthony is?”

     Blake’s heart suddenly sank. His mind whirled trying to come up with an explanation both for himself and for Tony’s mother.

     “Tony was just here Mrs. Jacobs. We’ve been working on a research project for History. After he left I realized he forgot his backpack, so I thought you were him calling to let me know. I guess he’s not home yet, huh?”

     “No. I haven’t seen him since this morning.”

     “Yeah. It’s a pretty big project. We went to the library right after school and have been working all afternoon. We didn’t realize it had gotten so late.”

     “Alright. Well, I wish he would have told me. I guess he’ll be home soon. Thanks Blake. Good night.”

     “Good night Mrs. Jacobs.”

     Blake set the phone down. He felt bad lying to Tony’s mom. He had quickly decided that he would find Tony immediately and get him home safe. And that would be a lot easier to do without the police scouring the streets looking for him. He debated whether or not to call the others. He didn’t want them worrying. But then again, maybe Tony had run into them and gone to the movies with them. He sent a quick text message to Tami asking if Tony had gone to the movies with them. A simple enough question and not likely to draw any suspicion.

     And then, Blake set out to find his friend.

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