XxX Disclaimer, rating, summary and all that fun junk listed in part 1.  This is ALL story

Ps:  There's a mention of the Barenaked Ladies song, "One Week," and a character named after my favorite phile friend.  If ever she gets around to reading this, she'll know which character it is.

Sorry this chapter is so late in coming guys. I'm trying to speed it up. I swear that I am!!!

A Simple Kiss
by Jaime Lyn
Chapter 11: Strange Goings On

Close to 9am in
the town of Guinisville

When he woke up, disoriented and sleepy as hell, all Mulder could think of was how goddamned dizzy he was.  It was almost as if he’d been hit on the head with a giant hammer that smashed him repeatedly.  Throbbing, aching…

He was almost positive that if he raised an arm to his poor, throbbing skull, it would most certainly crack under the weight.  Or—and he wasn’t sure if this was a worse possibility---he would just find a giant, gaping hole where his brain should have been.  Yeah.  Now there was a possibility he wanted to entertain.
He cleared his throat and looked around.


Well, it wasn’t the most intelligent of phrases, but it would suffice in a pinch.

“Umm… hello?”

This time when he said it he blinked, first to clear his head and then to get his bearings,  and the world seemed slightly clearer.  The walls were stark, white, sterile, a small shiny blue tile border going around the open area on the wall in front of his bed.  A quick glance around him displayed four beds set in succession to his, all neatly arranged with the heads set back against the wall.  Next to him was a monitor that beeped every few minutes or so—an EKG he assumed, from his accumulated experience with this type of thing.  Directly across from him was a large, white and blue tiled station, files piled to the hilt.  A few pudgy women in white—nurses, he gathered, sat there perusing through Cosmo while a few other men in similar white passed them, waving indifferently as they went.

A hospital, he thought gravely, obviously.

“Ah, Mr. Mulder…”

Mulder quickly whipped his head around at the sound of his name and strained to see.  His vision blurred slightly for a moment, then clicked into focus.

“I see you’re awake now…..”

Ah, Mulder thought.  Good.  A Doctor.  Finally.  A Doc--

He blinked again and frowned.

It was a burly guy—almost 6 ft 4 and heavy, with lots of bushy brown hair, plain, heavy features: eyes too close together, hair too thick, fingers too big.  The only thing that made him seem even remotely harmless were the black framed glasses he wore—almost out of place on the football-player-esque doctor whatever his name was.  Oh God, Mulder thought, staring up at him. My Doctor is Andre the Giant.
Mulder licked his lips and began, in a low, raspy voice, “how long was I out?”

The football player doctor frowned.  “You passed out.  Almost 4 hours we think, give or take.”  He forced a smile. “So I’m glad to see you awake. I’m Doctor Logan, by the way.  I saw you when you were first brought in early this morning.”

Another frown from Mulder.  Early morning? He wondered.  He couldn’t seem to remember the early morning…. Or anything past about 4:30am, for that matter.  The events of the early morning were starting to fade fast, his vague recollections only including a fight with Scully, a run to the store and then… nothing.  Absolutely nothing. It was black—as if he’d blocked it out. And exactly why he’d passed out… well, that was up for debate as well.

“What happened?” Mulder asked, stating his first concern bluntly. Something was very wrong here, even if he couldn’t exactly put his finger on what it was.

“Well,” the doctor---or Logan—replied, “We’re not really sure. You were unconscious when you were brought in. We ran a couple of scans although…” he paused, forced a small smile and continued, “I’m afraid the equipment we’ve got here isn’t at all as sophisticated as you city types have.  Well—not to say we don’t have what we need… We do.  I assure you.  But we turned up nothing when we ran a CAT scan, nothing when we checked for contusions, concussions… and we weren’t sure what else we could do for you, other than wait to see when you’d wake up…” The burly doctor shrugged, glanced down at his worn clipboard.  “We figured maybe you got dehydrated when you were running… or you had asthma or something…”

Mulder licked his lips and strained to sit up, squeezing his eyes shut for the moment against the blaring pain in the side of his head.   When it dulled slightly, he licked his lips again to wet them.  His mouth was dry and rough as sandpaper. His eyes felt hot.  And his mind was still trying to wrap around the situation.  What could he have possibly done to make him faint?  The answer alluded him.    He hadn’t fainted from running since high school.  Not once since.

“Where---“ Mulder closed his eyes for a moment and started again.  “I’m sorry…Where did you say I was found?”

The doctor shrugged.  “I um, didn’t.”

Mulder sighed.  “Well, then.”  He blinked, expressionless.  “Now would be your big chance to tell me, wouldn’t it?”

Doctor Logan cleared his throat uncomfortably.  His eyes fixated on something Mulder couldn’t see beyond what he assumed was the nurses’ station.

“Your friend—ah, your partner found you and brought you in.”

Mulder’s brow furrowed at that.  “Scully?” he questioned, confused. The doctor stared at him.  “Where, exactly?  And when?”

“In the woods…”  The doctor paused.  Mulder processed that information and Logan asked, confused, “Scully?”

Mulder took a deep breath, played with the folds of his comforter.

“Yes, Scully.  My partner.” He stopped and stared at the man, looking for recognition of the name.  There was none.  “The woman who brought me in?  Dana Scully?  Special Agent---“

“Oh!” the doctor smiled, then a new look came over his face.  It was a half smile, half wistful expression of longing.  Mulder wasn’t entirely sure he liked this new look.

“I’m sorry Mr.  Mulder—“ he apologized, “she introduced herself as Dana, your partner. She never mentioned her full name----“

“Last name,” Mulder interrupted annoyed.  “Scully. Special Agent Dana  Katherine Scully. My partner.”

He strained his neck and tried to look around, to see behind the doctor or around the cockamamie nurses’ station, but his neck was stiff and sore and as a result, he couldn’t see a damned thing.  Just the bed, the doctor and the walls.  The white, white, sterile white walls.  It was starting to drive him crazy. Too much white and nowhere to move in the bed.  Damn.   Just where were in the heck were those stupid bed-raising levers on these things anyhow?  How in the hell did anyone expect him to see anything or interact with anyone if he couldn’t even sit up in bed?

“Speaking of which,” Mulder tried moving one more time and found he was still immobile. “Where is she---Scu—Dana. My partner.  Have you seen her?”

Doctor Logan grinned, blushing.  Mulder stared at him funny.  Just what in the hell was wrong with this guy anyhow?  Why did he get that look on his face whenever  Scully’s name was mentioned?

“You’re thinking she might be able to shed some light on this?”

Mulder nodded.

Logan cleared his throat and the smile disappeared.  He was still blushing though. “Well,” he said, looking down at the clipboard once more, “before I tell her you’re awake, why don’t you answer some questions for me.”

Mulder just stared.  He didn’t want to answer any damned questions.  He just wanted to know where Scully was.

“Like for instance, “ the doctor went on, “What is it you remember doing before you passed out?  Are you experiencing any missing time, black outs, anything to that effect?”

Mulder rolled his eyes, still craning his neck.  “I don’t know,” he answered, bluntly.

The doctor frowned. “What do you mean you don’t know?”

In his left hand, Mulder tightly clenched the edge of the comforter, fighting with all his strength to keep from getting angry at the doctor.  And it wasn’t even as if it were the doctor’s fault, it was just that he didn’t want to talk about this now—at least, not to anyone but Scully. And damn it, where the hell was she anyways?  She would certainly know what had happened—or at the very least, she would be able to fill him in on the condition in which he was found.  And besides, she had more medical know how than this whole town or any of these doctors put together in a box.  If there was something seriously wrong, she would pick up on it like a dog on a hot trail.  She would know and she would be all over the doctor’s ass to see his chart, to fix the problem.

Unfortunately, Scully wasn’t anywhere in the vicinity of the large, circular care room.  That, for whatever reason, worried him.  Immensely.

“I mean I don’t know,” Mulder sighed, then, “I don’t remember any of what happened.  Look, just get my partner over here and I’m sure this can be cleared up.  You said she was the one who brought me in----“
Mulder paused and something didn’t sit right.  He thought it over.  Then he swallowed hard, wringing his fingers around the bedsheets.  “But what was my partner doing out in the middle of the woods?  In the middle of the night?” he asked.

The doctor blushed again, but this time there was something else behind the blush. It was the echo of an idea, something that the doctor knew that Mulder didn’t, something the doctor was afraid of Mulder knowing, maybe.

Mulder raised his eyebrows and stared pointedly at Doctor Logan.

“Well,” the man started.  “There was a small fire… well, ok, a little bigger than a small fire maybe…it caught on the wing where Miss Dana was staying in…”

“Scully,” Mulder gasped, quietly. “God…”

Then his eyes bulged, horrified at this shocking revelation, and the doctor quickly added, “she got out ok and all.  No bruises or anything, just a little shaken up.  She must’ve stumbled on you in the woods, I’m assuming, while going to get help.  But I guess someone already had because then the fire trucks came and spotted her and you were both brought in…”  Logan shrugged.  “Guess I’ll let her tell you the rest, though I think that’s the short of it.”

Mulder nodded and clenched his teeth for a moment, sudddenly angry and managed, “alright.  Fine.”

He shifted positions and struggled to see better. It was working a little more efficiently, now that he could move his head, but his skull still throbbed with an increasingly dull ache and his body was fairly listeless.

“Look Doctor Logan, this leaves us at square one,” he said.  “Like I was saying, where is she? Where is Scully?”

“You mean Dana?”

Mulder rolled his eyes.  “Yeah, sure.  Scully. Dana.  The red-head with the badge.  Whatever you want to call her.  Where is she?”

The doctor opened his mouth----

And that was when Mulder heard it:

An unearthly, bubbly, completely foreign giggling coming from behind the nurses’ station.  It floated on the air and made its way through the drab white hospital walls, permeating the sterile silence that echoed on the beeping monitors.  On the heels of it was more laughter, low, tenor, male laughter.  More than one voice.  Mulder’s eyes narrowed.  More than one man.  His pulse began to thunder in his ears.
From the corner of his eye, Muler could see Doctor Logan smiling.

He wanted to wipe it off with the back of his hand.

“Very lovely woman, that Dana,” he said wistfully. “So… vivacious.  Cheerful, bright…”

Mulder cocked his head to the side as if the man had spoken in gibberish.

“Come again?”


Little Jenna Sparrow was used to getting up early in the morning.  She loved it.   She had even once told her parents that if she was going to have a last name like ‘Sparrow,’ then she should at least get up early like the bird did.  Maybe she would even run around and sing.  Pretend to fly.  Like the bird.  That was something she loved to do, especially in the early morning when her parents would still be sleeping, never suspecting she was not really flying, but just jumping on her bed.

Of course though, discussions about waking her parents up early like a Sparrow never ended well.   Jenna’s parents would always try to convince her that Sparrows kept tidy nests, like good little birds, and thus, Jenna could never be a real Sparrow, meaning she should not wake Mommy and Daddy up so early in the weekend mornings.  That, in parent language, always meant ‘clean your room Jenna. Let us sleep.’  And if there was something Jenna hated, it was cleaning her room.  Sparrows never cleaned, she thought.  Her parents were making it up.  Lying. Why was it her parents always got to lie and she got in trouble for doing the self same thing?

Parents.  They must have a special lying license, she thought.

Today, however, Jenna would not think bad thoughts.   For, she had much to do this morning. There were mud pies to be baked for her cat, Mr.  Jingles, before 9:30.  There were tea parties she had to set up for her three bears, Flopsy, Mopsie and Pooh that had been meticulously planned weeks ago.  That, by the way, was to be done before 10 am.  And all of it, she thought, before she had even sang her first morning song or said her prayers.

Standing in the center of her pink and yellow, heart splattered room, the tiny, blonde haired six year old
spread her chubby arms wide.

“So much to DO today,” she said, with a large, dramatic sigh. “How EVER will I do it all?”  Another sigh later, and she pounced from the middle of the room, her blue stocking clad feet clambering up the side of her bed.  She pushed up the arms of her blue, ‘PowerPuff Girl” pyjamas and took a deep breath.

“I’m a Sparrow!” she called, happily.

And she began to jump, singing a song she had heard on the radio a few days earlier.
“It’s been one beak since you wokked at me…”

She paused to bounce,

“Put a hand to a side and said be hazy—“

She bounced twice more.

“One beak since I waffed at you and says get back inside an—“

She paused, baffled, hunting for words.


Finally, she smiled and bounced.

“Make a shoe….”

She hummed without words after that, taking deep breaths, and soon she bounced so high that she could see out her window.  Her long blonde hair flapped in her face and she giggled, feeling like a bird.
Suddenly, her eyes went wide.

For, that’s when she saw it.

She saw it and abruptly stopped bouncing.

Jenna frowned and shook her head.

“Naw,” she said.

She resumed her early morning bouncing and started humming again, but found she had to stop when she was greeted with that same strange sight as before. The same startling, baffling sight.

“Naw Aw,” she said to herself, halting her jumps to lumber crookedly onto the bar that held her bed against the wall.  Slowly but steadily, and with the graceless clatter only a six year old could manage, Jenna found her way atop the bar, pausing to grab the window ledge and look out.

“Mommy and Daddy are never going to believe this,” she said in awe, starting out the window.
She shook her head.

Because just beyond her window, past the large oak swing, past her mommy’s flower garden was a humungous weeping willow.

With five huge pigs in it.  Mr. Haley’s pigs from down the road.

Still stunned, remembering a portion of something she had only yesterday overheard her mother say on the phone to her father, she gaped and cried, “I knew it!  They can TOO fly!”


“Scully?” Mulder asked cautiously, as soon as the male laughter died down enough for him to be overheard.

Five doctors turned to regard him.

Then the crowd of blushing men in white coats suddenly parted to reveal his scantily dressed partner, copper hair curling into her face, skin slightly soiled from what he assumed to be ash, her diminuitive form decked out in only a white nightgown, white lab coat draped unceremoniously over it.

“Oh Mulder!” she gushed, rushing quickly to his side, kneeling beside the bed.  She glanced up briefly to regard Dr.  Logan, shooting him a stunning smile. Mulder simply watched her, mouth agape.

“What happened?” he asked, still staring strangely at her.  “I heard something about a fire?…”

She didn’t stop smiling once.

“Oh, that,” she waved an errant hand at him, answering, “The fire was nothing, Mulder. The motel’s not in too good a hape, but I’m fine. As for you, I think you passed out while you were running Mulder. I found you in the woods…”

Mulder watched her, his shock dulling into disbelief mixed with something else he couldn’t identify.  His head still throbbed.

“You… think?” he asked, disbelief painted all over his face, his eyes hardening.  “You think??  What is that, Scully? I don’t want ‘I think.’  I want your opinion. Your medical opinion. This makes no sense.  None. I don’t just pass out.  You KNOW that.”

She sighed and frowned. “Well… you did.”

He mimicked her voice. “Well…tell me why.”

She sighed again, as if he had just put the weight of the world on her shoulders.  “Mulder, I think that what you need is some sleep.  You need to rest or---“

“No!” he banged his fist on the bed, angrily.  “I don’t need sleep!  I don’t need to rest!  I need to know just what the hell happened to me!  I need—“

She silenced him by putting an index finger to his lips, tenderly.  She ran it down his chin with a look in her eyes he had never seen in her before. Something about that look made his entire body recoil and shudder.
Something was very wrong here.

“I want you to sleep,” she repeated, as if she hadn’t heard him, as if he hadn’t raised his voice at all.

He shook his head.

“No, Scully.  I don’t want to sleep.  Are you—are you even listening to me?  I want to know what happened. I want to remember what I did after going to the store.  I think I remember talking to a man—an older guy.  Did you by any chance---“

“No,” she responded, curtly, her face clouding over for a moment.

“No?  No what?” Mulder asked.

“No, there was noone else when I found you.”

Mulder’s eyebrows raised about two feet at that, and he eyed his trusted partner of nearly 7 years with barely concealed suspicion.  His hazel eyes narrowed.

“That’s not what I asked, Scully.”

She chewed her lower lip, nervously.

“I know,” she replied, indignantly.  “I was just… letting you know, that’s all.”

“Letting me know?”

Mulder licked his lips again and struggled to get more comfortable, eyeing Scully the way he would an unruly suspect.  The thought of her betraying him left an icy cavern in the place where his heart should be, but even so, he knew something was off.  He knew her better than his own soul.  And even if he hadn’t, he could still tell that she was lying.  “Why is it important?”

She looked away.



“Scully, answer me.”

She eyed the doctor sympathetically but said nothing.


“Dana,” she finally replied.

Mulder’s face crumpled into a mask of confusion and he shook his head, asking, “what?”

Scully’s hair fell like a coppery gold halo around her head as she jutted her chin outwards, lowered her eyelids slightly and bent in close.  He could feel her breath on his cheek and he shuddered. For whatever reason, it felt cold instead of warm.

“You never call me Dana,” she whispered, as if they were the only two in the room.  “Always so formal… so… unfriendly.  It would mean the world to me if you just called me Dana.”

Mulder clenched the side of the white, sterile bed sheets so hard that his knuckles turned white.

“Fine,” he answered, barely concealing the hostility that had risen in him in response to this “new Scully” that seemed to have emerged out of nowhere.  She smiled contentedly.

He didn’t.

“But first answer my question,” he ordered coldly, in a low tone adding, “Dana…”



Tina Sparrow groaned and rolled over in her large, king sized, four poster oak bed, pulling the covers up over her head as far as they would go.  The mattress springs groaned and shook as she moved.  Damn it, she thought to herself, angrily.

“Mommy, come on! Come on Mommy!  Wake UP!”

Tina rolled over again and her husband, Tom, shoved his head under a pillow, burrowing deeper into the bedspread.  Today was their day off from work—not that they got too many.   And repeatedly, they had warned Jenna about just barging in, coming and waking them up on their “off days.”  It was a “no, no” and Tina was sick of reminding her.  Why couldn’t Jenna just sit and watch TV, not barrel around the house like a wild animal, waking the entire family?  Tina groaned as Jenna shook her again, imagining that any moment the baby would wake from this racket, and then she’d never get back to sleep.

“Jen, honey,” she muttered, voice sleep heavy, “what did mommy tell you about waking everyone up when Daddy is off from work?”

More pouncing and then a deep six year old sigh, “But Mommy---“

“Go back to bed, Jen.”

Tom groaned from beneath his pillow.

“No, Mommy, you have to come see----“
“I said NOW, Jennifer Michelle.”

Jenna sighed and pouted, sticking one finger in her mouth as she backed away.   It wasn’t FAIR, she thought, unhappily. No one ever listened to her.  And this was SUPER important, too.

“But the PIGS flew into the TREE!” Jenna cried, tears forming at the corner of her eyes. “Please, Mommy, come see!”

Tina rolled over onto her back and sighed.  Just last week, Jenna had gone on and on about a purple spotted zebra running around in the backyard, and the week before that, she had claimed that a dinosaur named Zippy lived under the bed and threatened to eat Mr.  Jingles, Jenna’s cat. Of course, there was no dinosaur under the bed and there was no zebra, but Jenna saw it and there was no convincing her otherwise.

“I’ll see it later,” Tina mumbled.

“Later,” her husband Tom chimed in, removing the pillow from his face, opening one blue eye to regard his tiny daughter.  He sighed and rolled onto his back, forcing a half smile. “Go back to bed, Knuckle-Head,” he said, sleepily. “I promise we’ll come see the pigs later.”

Jenna frowned and huffed, folding her arms across her chest indignantly.  She jutted her chin and flipped her head, stalking out of the room angrily, muttering, “Fine, don’t believe me.  Don’t see the pigs.  I don’t care.”

Tom shook his head as he watched her go and smiled softly, wondering at the inner workings of her child imagination.  Oh, he thought.  To be that young again...

Then he moved to flip over, reaching towards Tina when he caught a glimpse of the far wall’s window. The one that faced the backyard and the swing and the weeping willow.

His mouth dropped open.

“Holy shit…”


Scully’s soft auburn head angled innocently to the side.

“What are you talking about?”  she asked, licking her lips and biting her lip again.  Mulder noticed that last strange thing.  Scully biting her lip. He had never, not in nearly 7  years, ever known Scully to bite on her lower lip like that.

“I’m talking about this person that, apparently was ‘not’ with me when you found me.”  Mulder put his fingers up in quotes when he said the word “not.”  His face was grim.  “What are you trying to protect me from?”

At that, Scully looked annoyed. “I’m not PROTECTING you from anything,” she snapped. “I’m looking out for your best interests.”

Mulder folded his arms.

“My best interests would be served by you telling me the truth.”

“Your best interests would be served with some rest.”

Scully leaned her hands on the bed and brought herself up, stretching her back to get the kinks out from kneeling. Mulder watched and couldn’t help but think about how much like an old lady she resembled when she did that; when she pulled herself up.  His eyes glazed over and he literally shook his head to erase the strange thought that had run through it.

“Please give him something to help him sleep,” Scully ordered the large Dr.  Logan who, until now, had silently watched the exchange between the two partners.  She stretched her neck and ignored Mulder completely, smiling bedazzlingly at the oversized gorilla of a doctor.  She put a loose arm to her hip and leaned to the side.

Flirting, Mulder thought horrified, mortified.  I’m lying in a hospital bed and she’s flirting with that son of a bitch!

“Give me what?” Mulder suddenly asked, not even understanding why he would ask it.

Scully turned to face him, startled.

“Excuse me?” she asked.

“I said…” he forced a cold grin.  “What are you going to give me?”

Her mouth opened but no sound came out.  She looked utterly baffled by the question.
“Come on.  You’re a doctor, Scully. You can prescribe me something that won’t make me too debilitated. So what’s your diagnosis?”

Scully bit her lower lip again.

“Mulder,” she started, “I ah, I don’t—“

“Oh,” he waved a hand, still smiling that cold smile. “call me Fox, please.”

His eyes darted to her hands as they began to fidgit nervously and she nodded, smiling, licking her lips.

“Right, Fox,” she said, apprehension cracking her forced smile.

Mulder stared at her harder and his stomach began to turn.  He felt clammy.  Afraid…His heart began to speed. Something was very wrong here.  Something was very wrong with Scully.  Scully was just not being Scully.  Scully was being…  someone else?  No, that was impossible.

hen he thought about that for a moment and a chill swept through him.  He recalled the strange events of the last evening, of the fight they had had, of Scully’s blackouts, and now his.   Something just wasn’t sitting right.

“I have to go,” Scully suddenly managed, her face white, legs quickly darting away from the bed.  She licked her lips and turned back for a moment, watching him, then quickly headed off towards the elevator, just past the white and blue tiled nurses’ station.

“Wait!”  Mulder called.  “What about my prescription, Doc?”

She walked away even faster.  Mulder watched her with a lump in his heart thunder in his head.   This is bad, he thought.  Very bad.
Suddenly, though, he remembered something. Something from the night before, out of the blue. He couldn’t place where or when he had heard it but it was there, in his head.

‘Help Me Mulder,’ said the voice. ‘Oh god, help me please.’

It was Scully’s voice.  His Scully’s voice.

Mulder shuddered.

“Hey, Dr.  Logan,” he suddenly called amiably, an idea shaping, a hunch forming in his mind, “I need you to do me a big favor…”


Sarah Casper hated her job sometimes.

“Fifth Precinct, please hold…. Hello, fifth precinct, please hold….”

Usually, being the switchboard operator of the Guinisville Fifth Precinct Police Department was a no brain operation.  It was a perfectly reasonably paying job, a quiet place where she could bring YM to work and read it as she filed down her finger nails and perfected the art of origami paper folding.  Sometimes, her boyfriend would bring her lunch from ‘Tony’s Crab and Craw,’ ( home of the world’s best waffle fries) and sometimes she’d make long distance phone calls to her best friend Jill in Louisville, seeing as how she had the switchboard from 8-5pm.  It was a nice, peaceful, relatively boring existence, but she thrived on it.  After all, where else could she sit and do nothing and still get paid?

“Fifth precinct, please hold… Hello?  Yes Mr. Sparrow, please go ahead…”

Today however, there seemed to be pandemonium about.  Massive chaos.  It was like World War Three in the land of the Village Idiots and she was at the helm.

“No, I’m sorry Mrs.  Applebee.  Yes, I realize that…”

All the police men in the area----and there weren’t all that many to speak of--- had been dispatched to the old Purple Moon Motor Court Motel when a fire had broken out sometime early this morning.  The ones that weren’t still there, filing reports and collecting possible arson evidence, were now out on various calls in the local neighborhood, trying to quell what seemed to be a rising hysteria. If the phone calls she had received this morning weren’t proof enough that the whole town was going crazy, then the rock from out of nowhere through the window at Sal’s Dry Cleaners was plenty to start from.

Violence in Guinisville, after all, was almost unheard of.

Sarah sighed and stared at the ringing switchboard.  ‘4 calls waiting,’ it said.

“Fifth Precinct, please hold…”

From out of his office door, a stuffy alcove of a room situated next to an old artificial plant and a large picture window, sauntered Big Pete Raskin, the county sheriff.  He was a balding man in his thirties, stout, and generally known for his love of surf and turf over at ‘Tony’s.’

Sarah watched from the corner of her eye as he lumbered over towards the switchboard desk and reached into the plastic box on the shelf that held all his messages.  He ended up pulling out nearly 12 sheets of pink message paper.  Sarah shook her head and leaned to the side, cradling the receiver under her ear.

“Fifth precinct, yes, please hold…”

She cracked her neck and leaned forward. Pete let out a snort.

“What in the hell is this?” he demanded, scowl evident on his face.  “Pigs in trees?”  He flipped to another message. “Ghosts in the woods?”  and then another.  “Bats in the… what in the sam hell does this say, Sarah?”

“Belfry, sir.”

Big Pete’s eyes scrunched together and he shook his head, making his way back into his office. “Whole goddamned town’s gone mad,” he muttered, as if to himself.

“Uh, sir,” Sarah called out, just as Pete had gotten to the doorway. She cupped her hand over the phone.  The switchboard rang and rang and rang.  Pete turned.

Sarah swallowed.  “I, ah,” she played with the phone cord.  “I think you’ll want to take this one, sir.  It’s an Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI on line 3.  He sounds anxious.”

“That weird ass agent from Washington?  Great.  What now?” Pete grumbled sarcastically.  “More bats in the belfry?”

Sarah shook her head.

“I don’t think so, sir,” she said, grimly.
to be continued in chapter 12.....