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Happy Holidays Readers! ! This issue is our annual Musea Christmas Story.� Take a rest from your busy schedule and find out "What Dawn Saw!".� I wish you all a great Christmas season and an even better New Year. See you in 2014 - Tom.
1. Day Before Christmas Eve
Megan: Look at this Dillon. Uncle Robert would love this!
Dillon: An old radio?
Megan:� He's told me many times how much he loved the old time radio mysteries. Mom says he even tried to write a screen play for one when he was younger. What do you think?
Dillon: Let's see:(Reading the tag) $75, late 40's, early 50's tube radio with Bakelite case... (Picks it up.)� Needs some cleaning,.... Let's get it.
While the clerk was boxing up the radio, Megan asked her if she new anything about the radio. "No. That dealer collects radios from all over - wherever he can find them: estate sales, flea markets,... Here you go. Thanks folks."
2. The Lid Comes Off
When they got back to Megan's Mom's house, they parked in the back and came in through the kitchen.
Megan (whispering): Mom, is Uncle around?
Dawn: No Honey, he's taking a nap.
Megan: We found the perfect Christmas gift that should cheer him up. You know how he loved radio mysteries. (By now Dillon had unboxed the radio and taken off the wrapping paper). An antique radio that still works!
Dillon: Ta da!
Megan:� What do you think?
They both waited with smiles on their faces for her mom's reaction. But Dawn said nothing. Her eyes squinted. She came closer, flicked the plug to straighten it out, and ... began screaming! Then she stopped and yelled at both, "Get that out of my house!"� Megan and Dillon froze in astonishment. Dawn repeated it louder, 'get THAT out of my house NOW!'� Dillon quickly shoved the radio back into the box, grabbed the wrapping paper, and ran with it out the door, knocking over a little decorative Christmas tree on the way.
Megan:� What's going on?
Megan (More quiet now): Mother, what's going on.... Are you OK?
Dawn had stopped screaming and was gasping for air and breathing quick and hard. Megan helped her sit down. Her eyes stopped glaring at the spot where the radio was, and began to scan the room, relax, and soften.� After a minute, with Megan holding and comforting her, Dillon came back into the room, picked up the fallen little tree, and quietly sat down across from the two. Megan and Dillon waited for her to explain...
Dawn: Kids, I'm alright. (She let out a deep lung full of air). It's that radio... When I saw it, I saw a murder as clear as day. The whole thing...
This skinny guy is strangling this girl with that radio chord. (She pointed out the door). Then I see him throw the radio in the corner of a camper on top of a messy pile of clothes. Then he's dragging her body across the ground - It looks like a desert somewhere. It's broad daylight, and sunny. The guy has a denim vest on but no t-shirt. I see 2 tattoos on his upper right arm. One is a sun, and below it is a mermaid. He drags the body behind a big tall black rock, the only one around. I turn around and nearby is a big sign that says, 'Welcome to Derryville".� Then the vision stops.
Dillon: Mrs. Barber? You think you saw a murder?
Dawn: I know I did. I wish I hadn't. It was horrible... That's why you've got to get rid of that radio!
Megan: You saw a real murder?� (Dawn shook her head yes.� Megan turned to Dillon) She's been able to do this before, but never this... concrete.
Dillon:� We've got to tell someone.
4. The Police Get Involved
The three left a note for Uncle Robert that they were on an errand and would be back for dinner.
At the police station, Dawn told her story to the woman at the front desk. She referred them to Detective Carter in a big open noisy room. They sat down around his desk and Dawn repeated her story. While she was telling it, the detective unwrapped the radio, looked at the chord, then brought it closer to his eyes, looked again, and then re boxed it.
When Dawn was finished, Megan and Dillon added what they knew. Officer Carter did not seem shocked or startled. Instead he got up, took the radio in his arms, and politely asked them to wait there.
It took what seemed to the three, a very long time before he came back. With him was another detective introduced as Detective Washington, a tall heavy set man, and Officer Ratcher, a tall, gangly, bushy-haired policeman in blue. Dillon also noticed that none of them had the radio.
Detective Washington: Ma'am, do you think you could find the place you saw?
Dawn: I think so, if there is a Derryville near here, and it's on a main road - Yes I'll try.
Detective: Derryville is a small town, west of here, off one of our major highways. Would you mind if Officer Ratcher and I took you out there? (Dawn said she wouldn't mind. Then the officer turned to Megan and Dillon). Would you both stay here? (Both looked surprised, turned to each other, and meekly nodded yes.)
5. Off the Main Road
The road west was straight and long. Ratcher was driving while Dawn and Washington were in the back. Detective Washington had a folded up road map in his hand.� The landscape started out as mostly clusters of pines - even a Christmas tree stand.� Then it turned to more scrubland and grass. Finally it became mostly rocks and sand.
Detective: Do you know if it happened driving into Derryville, or coming out of it? (Dawn shook her head no, as she kept her eyes on the side of the road.) According to this map, one main highway goes through the town east to west. (He folded it up without letting her see it and stopped talking)...
Seventeen minutes later Officer Ratcher turned to speak to Washington. "Three miles out, Sir."
Detective: Slow down... (Later)� Do you recognize anything yet? (She shook her head).
Then Dawn saw it. A sign was coming up on the left, 'Welcome to Derryville".
"Look, over there. See the sign? Slow down!"� Dawn thought it strange that she would see it before the two professionals!
Ratcher pulled to the shoulder of the road. The car crept up to the sign.
Dawn:� See the rock!� Look there it is!
Detective:� What do you mean?
Dawn:� Don't you see it. That big black rock over there. It's the only one around!
Officer Ratcher stopped the car, put it in park and turned off the engine. Dust from the side of the road surrounded them like a small cloud. They all got out. Dawn led the way toward the rock.
She carefully looked for 'tracks', but the officers behind her seemed careless. Finally she had to say something. "Wouldn't we find tracks in the sand?
Detective:� Oh sure, We'll walk behind you.
She came up to the rock, took a deep breath, and walked to the far side...
6. Behind the Rock
There was nothing there!
Dawn: She should be here. (She walked around the spot - got down on her knees to examine the sand and soil.) There are marks here but I don't know if that means anything... I guess I was wrong... But this is the place I saw. I'm sure of that. (Looking around). It wasn't anywhere else. (Dawn was confused).� We don't have to look further.
The 2 policemen looked at each other. Then Officer Ratcher took Dawn by the arm and said, "Let's go."
On the drive back all were silent. At the station she was taken into a small room and the questions began:
Where did you get the radio?
Which antiques store?
Do you have a receipt?
Did you touch the chord?
Why do you think that's blood?
Then Detective Washington left the room and interviewed Megan and Dillon waiting in the hall:
Who bought the radio?
Where did you get it? When?
Do you have a receipt?
Do you think the clerk will remember you?
Have either of you touched the chord?� Wait here.
Dillon waited till the detective had left the room. Then he turned to his wife, "Something's not right. We need a lawyer. Does your family have one?"
Megan: Uncle Robert will know. Call him.
Dillon reached Uncle Robert who referred them to his lawyer, David Booth.
Uncle Robert: What's going on Dillon? This sounds serious!
Dillon: I'm not sure yet. We'll know more soon.
Dillon called the lawyer. His secretary took the message, and within 5 minutes he had called back.
Lawyer David Booth:� Hello is this Dillon?
Lawyer: Related to Robert and Dawn?
Dillon: I'm married to Megan, Dawn's daughter.
Lawyer: OK, Now what's this all about, son?
At home Uncle Robert was wringing his hands. The more he waited, the more he imagined had gone wrong. 90 minutes later the phone rang.
7. Crime and Punishment
Lawyer: Hi Robert, this is David Booth. Well I think we got most of this sorted out.
Your sister and the kids are finally on their way home after a long afternoon at the police station. Don't worry she is free and not charged with anything. They only ask that she not leave town for the holidays till all the 'i's are dotted and the 't's are crossed. - and she agreed to that.
Robert: David, what's this all about?
Lawyer: How much do you know already?
Robert: Nothing so far.
Lawyer: Dillon called me and said Dawn needed a lawyer. I found out that she was being questioned for a murder of all things. It's quite a story I've never known anything like it in 40 years. Bare with me. This has some real twists and turns. Here goes:
The kids bought YOU an antique radio for Christmas. When they showed it to Dawn, she got hysterical. Claims that just seeing it, brought up a vision of a murder. Here's what she told them she saw:� Some small thin guy had just finished strangling a girl with the chord from that radio. Then he throws it onto a pile of clothes in the corner of a camper. Then he drags the body to the only big rock around. It's about 10 feet from a big city sign that says, "Welcome to Derryville". Dawn says she see's it all crystal clear. And there's more details.� The dead girl has long blond dyed hair, and the killer is wearing a denim vest that showed his bare upper right arm. And on it - this is my favorite part - were two blue tattoos. She describes them like they were 8 inches away from her eyes - There was� a sun with rays coming out of it, and below that a mermaid in a shallow sea.
The kids convince her to tell the police. They all go down there and she repeats her story. The police think she is either a kook or an accomplice to murder! So now they want to know if she can find the murder scene she saw in her vision?�
Well Dawn is still trying to be helpful and bring some justice to this, so she of course says she'll try.
They take her in a patrol car on the main highway to Derryville. Sure enough she not only finds the place, but it has the rock and the city sign - just like she saw it!� She goes to the rock, but there's nothing behind it.
Then they take her back to the station and begin to interrogate her.
Robert:� Why? They didn't find anything!
Lawyer:� Well there's more. What she HAD seen in her mind was a real murder. But it had happened 4 years ago. It happened just like she described it. Some punk kid murdered his girlfriend in a camper along the desert road. Then in broad daylight he drags the body behind this big black rock, and leaves it there. When the girl doesn't come home, her mother gets suspicious and calls the police. She tells them she suspects the boyfriend. The police check up on him and get him to confess. He was tried, convicted by a jury, and sentenced to life. Six months later he kills himself in jail. I ask them if the guy had any tattoos. They said you mean a sun with rays, and a mermaid in a shallow pool?� Yes on his upper right arm.
I have no idea how the radio got from the crime scene to your home, but it did. They're still trying to piece that together. But they DO know the kids bought the radio today. That fact has been confirmed.
Robert: That's a lot to take in.
Lawyer: You're right there. Dawn will be home soon and they can fill you in on anything I missed.
Robert: Thank you David. You're a life saver.
Lawyer: I do what I can.
What the lawyer didn't tell Robert was what the police said as he was leaving:
Detective Washington: She probably read about the murder in the paper or saw it on the news.
Officer Ratcher: No that wasn't it Wash. You know how she knew?� She read your mind in the car while we were driving there!
8. Say a Prayer
Dawn, Megan, and Dillon, were finally back home and safe, but they were also exhausted and hungry.
Dawn: ... And I wanted to cook a Christmas turkey for everyone today!
Just then there was a knock on the door. It was the neighbor woman, Mrs Hooper, with some Christmas cookies wrapped with cellophane.�� When Dillon told her� with a laugh that they had been busy all day down at the POLICE STATION, her eyes got big.
Mrs Hooper: I thought something was wrong over here. Just a hunch. How about sandwiches over at my place and you can tell me all the details. We've got too much food and it won't take but a minute to dish up?
They all agreed except Uncle Robert, who said he was going to bed early.
Over paper plates filled with sandwiches, pickles, chips, and apple slices, Dawn told Mrs Hooper what she saw and all about her day at the police station.
Dawn: I really wanted to help solve a murder. The girl deserved that. I never would have imagined the police would think I was involved.� What was MY motive?
At first they were so interested. Then when I found the place, they changed. That seemed really strange to me because we didn't find anything. Then all the questions began. The one detective finally said, 'You've confessed to being there yourself. Now give us the truth.' Then I got it.� They thought I was there during the murder!
Thank heavens, Dillon called our lawyer.� It was so good to see him. When he talked to the police, he kept coming back to the part about the radio over and over. "Did you call the antique store and check on their story? That should clear up this mess".�� Well after Mr Booth said that about 10 times, the police said that they had checked it out and Megan and Dillon had bought the radio earlier in the day, just as the two had claimed. That did it. That broke their case against me.
On our way out, one said to the other, "She probably read about it in the papers."� But I really didn't. I know the truth.
Mrs Hooper:� Dawn has this happened before?
Dawn: Some, but only in little ways. And sometimes I'm wrong. Seems the stronger the vision the more likely it'll come true. To be truthful, I'd just as not have it. What I see is mostly bad things.� My grandmother said she had an aunt that had 'powers'. That's the only person in my family that I've heard of.
The conversation dropped. Then the group began talking about Christmas plans and the upcoming colder weather. Dawn was still thinking about what had happened. In her mind she thought it was time to say a prayer.
Dear Lord, I pray that the young girl rest in peace, that justice come to all those who did her harm, and that you bless the rest, we the living. Amen.
Uncle Robert was still awake in the guest bedroom.
"It'll be so good to get back into my own bed. "
A small ceramic Christmas tree, night light, was on.
"What a day. Poor Dawn. She must be exhausted. Good kids, but� it's not the old radios I love, it's the old radio shows! And they're gone forever."
He turned on his side and clicked on his portable cassette radio. Then he turned the dial between two clear stations, and adjusted the volume just right...
The room filled with static.
4000 Hawthorne #5
Dallas Texas 75219
AACA Member #1
Musea Annual Christmas Story - Issue
Musea #190 Nov/Dec/Jan
(c) Tom Hendricks 2013
Photo Caption: She had an aunt that had 'powers'
Photographer - unknown
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