Valley of Shadows (Novel)
Chapter 50: Fallout

Chapter 50: Fallout

The morning after the fire, Reverend Mother called home three times. Samentha avoided the calls. Now that the job was done, Reverend Mother was most likely attempting to get her to visit so she could use the spirit whistle to force Samentha back into the recesses of Harriet’s mind.

No good deed went unpunished. The reward for Samentha’s hard work was always banishment. Well, she had no intentions of going back this time. After successfully avoiding Reverend Mother all day, Joshua woke Samentha out of a sound sleep the next day by shoving his phone against her ear. She was still groggy. Reverend Mother’s shouting was jarring.

“What did you do to Nicole?”

“Huh? I didn’t do anything to her.”

“Don’t lie Samentha! She wouldn’t have sent someone to threaten me, if you hadn’t done something to her.”

“I’m not lying. I may have set some things into motion, but I didn’t directly do anything to her. There’s no way she can tie what happened to you. Look, you asked me to deal with the curse that was causing your festering wound and whoever or whatever was haunting you. Have they gone away?”

“I…yes, the wound is almost completely gone and my…visitor seems to have left.”

“On the news, they said they’d found some remains in her basement. I figured those bones had something to do with that entity that was haunting you. The police will see to it that they get returned to whatever grave she robbed. So what’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem? What’s the problem? Haven’t you been listening? Nicole sent someone in here to threaten me!”

“That’s impossible Rev. Nursing homes don’t just let anybody off the street into their locked units. Didn’t you see the news yesterday? Nicole is in jail right now.”

“I don’t care where she is, I’m telling you she sent someone in here after me. Nicole wanted me to know that she can still get to me. I didn’t sleep a wink last night. This place is even worse than the hospital. At least, I could walk out of that place. I’m trapped over here! It’s like being in prison. What if she sends someone in here to kill me?”

“Now you’re talking out of your head. Calm down Rev. You’ve gotten yourself all worked up, obsessing over Nicole. Now that they’ve arrested her, she probably isn’t even thinking about you. Joshua said they have a visitor’s list for your unit. The only people who are allowed to visit you are your children.”

“It was a staff person who threatened me.”

“What? Now, I know you’re confused. They must have you on some pretty strong meds.”

“Don’t you dare talk to me like I’m crazy! I know when I’m being threatened. The woman came in here, put her hand over my mouth so I couldn’t scream and…and…hurt me.”

“Did you tell the charge nurse?”

“It did no good. She didn’t believe me either.”

“Did they question the staff person?”

“It was some young woman I had never seen before and haven’t seen since. She probably came from some temp agency. I was asleep, when she came in, so I didn’t even get a good look at her. It all happened so fast.”

“No one saw this person going in or coming out of your room?”

“It happened at shift change. There was a lot of staff getting off duty, while other folks were arriving to start their shift and they don’t have security cameras on the unit.”

“Did the woman say anything to you?”

“She said that Nicole wanted her to let tell me that payback is a bitch. You’ve got to help me Samentha. I’m a sitting duck in here!”

“Actually Rev, I don’t have to do anything. You wanted me to break the curse and I did. Let Thomas take care of this little problem. Nicole is his girlfriend.”

“That’s exactly why he would be useless! You know he’s scared of her.”

“If you want me to help you, then you’ve got to do something for me first.”

“Help me out and then I’ll do whatever you ask…I promise.”

“Oh no you don’t Rev. I took you at your word the last time and got screwed over. This time, you’re gonna have to come across on what I’m asking for first. Then and only then, will I help you.”

“What do you want Samentha?”

“You know what I want Rev. What I’ve always wanted. I want to be free. You hand over that spirit whistle and I’ll make sure Nicole never bothers you again.”

Reverend Mother stubbornly declined the offer. Samentha stood her ground. They went back a few more times and Reverend Mother abruptly slammed down the receiver on the facility telephone. An hour later, she called back and reluctantly agreed. They made arrangements for Reverend Mother to hand it over during the next family visit to the nursing home. Samentha disconnected the call and gave Joshua his cell phone back, smiling from ear-to-ear. This was one time the genie wouldn’t be forced back into the bottle.

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