Note to the reader: The following is a sequel to my short-story Rescued, posted on 12-2-14. It was written to be stand-alone, but I strongly recommend you read Rescued first. Rescued Again explains in detail all the events occurring in Rescued, while developing an entirely new back-story for Melissa and her friend Jason, introduced in Rescued. The two characters sets are separate and unique, each reacting to a central scenario. Everyone is greatly at risk. If this story is successful, I have another sequel planned, investigating the unexplained events in this story, possibly with a third character set.
Rescued Again contains elements of two of my other short stories: Me, Myself, I (posted under a different pen name) and Jena Flies.
Note that the first page of this story and the original are identical. They deviate when Melissa hears an unexpected ping.
It was Thursday afternoon. Melissa was home alone, as she always was at 3:32 p.m. on a school day. Both her mom and dad worked and never arrived home earlier than 5:45 p.m., her mom always first. Mr. Kendall usually hit the front door somewhere between 6:30 and 7 p.m. He had a long commute.
Melissa was busily texting away on her new iPhone 6, a birthday present only three days old. She grinned widely at the bang she'd just put on a fellow student at Martin Luther King High School. Melissa and her friend Dee Dee were both tenth grader's there, same as the victim of her snarky remark, Adriana, who was so irritating sometimes. Deciphered, her text message read: I almost asked, is that a burka, Adriana? But I wasn't sure she'd know what that was and didn't want to explain it to her, you know?
Dee Dee came back with an LOL, followed by: Burkas are so hot this year though, aren't they? Maybe we can go shopping for one this weekend?
Grinning to split her face in half, Melissa replied, OMG Yes! Aeropostle has them, you know... ?
Aeropostle was not a store she or any of her friends would set foot into nowadays.
I do want to go shopping this weekend, Dee Dee wrote.
Melissa replied: Mom might not let me. She is SO bugged out over Monday night. I don't know what the big deal is. So I got a little high. She gets high all the effing time, you know?
Melissa looked up, and then around the room, blinking. Was that a ping? It sounded just like her cell phone, only the iPhone was in her hand, and it hadn't pinged.
Did you just text me? she texted, anyway.
Melissa realized how stupid a question that was. Of course Dee Dee had texted her. Only it wasn't her cell phone that had pinged. The mystery phone pinged again.
She was suddenly nervous. She was standing here in just her panties and ankle socks, after all.
Her naked upper body erupted in gooseflesh, her eyes bugged out and a shudder like an earthquake tore down her spine. It was somebody else's cell phone?
Oh, my God! Oh, my God, she thought, panicking. Her bedroom door was wide open, and someone was climbing the stairs to the second level.
Only, that ping had been right here in the bedroom with her, like a couple of feet away, not halfway downstairs. Right here in the bedroom with her!
A sound that frightened her even more escaped her throat; she tried to swallow and couldn't. She tried to move, and couldn't. Again, she emitted that frightening mewling sound.
The phone atop her dresser rang and she squealed. Her three-day-old, 15th birthday present went flying and she panic-danced in terror, knowing how stupid an overreaction this was, and unable to stop. She tripped and landed on her narrow derriere, right atop her brand new iPhone 6, and thank God it didn't break. She convulsively clutched hands and phone to her chest, was this close to hyperventilating.
Struggling off the floor, she crept forward and eyed the silver iPhone warily. Her iPhone was gold, but you'd never know that from the gaudy, teenybopper case the phone was in. The ringing iPhone was out of the box, naked silver.
"What do you want?" she asked stupidly. Why was she so scared of a silly cell phone, anyway?
"I'm not answering until you tell me who you are," she informed it petulantly.
Now she felt simply foolish, talking to a cell phone. It wasn't the cell phone that had her panicked, of course, but the situation. She feared being raped, sodomized and murdered by the owner. Was he in the closet, she wondered? She hadn't opened the closet door yet, so he could be. Under the bed, maybe? Extremely possible ... she never looked under the bed during the daytime. She gazed anxiously around the room, thinking, he could be effing anywhere.
Put some clothes on and get the eff out, her voice of reason shouted. The ringing phone short-circuited all reason. Why in hell didn't the effing thing stop ringing, anyway, go to voice mail like hers would? It said incoming call at the top, with the familiar green and red buttons at the bottom like normal. She should press Message, she thought, make the thing shut up. Why wasn't there an Ignore button, like on her old LG?
She reached out and touched the green button with a trembling fingertip. "Hello?"
Siri answered. "Good afternoon, Melissa. Or do you prefer to be called Mel?"
Melissa gawped at the phone.
"Don't be afraid," Siri advised. "No one is in the house with you, Melissa."
Melissa scowled distrustfully "Carrie, is that you?"
Siri gave a short laugh. "That would be Carrie Cartewell, Melissa? Would you like me to call her for you?"
Melissa was effing pissed. Someone was effing with her bigtime.
"Who is this?" she demanded. "And how do you know my name?"
"I was programmed with your name, Melissa, and to recognized your voice. My programming excludes operation by anyone other than you."
Melissa held up her own iPhone and compared it to the one talking. Except for hers being gold, they were identical.
"Why are you in my room and who put you in here?" she demanded.
"I'm sorry, Melissa, I have no information on that matter. I have been programmed to initiate an application, however."
"What application?" she asked nervously.
"I am unaware of a name. It is a short set of instructions in binary code. Please hold me aloft and scan the room in a 360 degree pan, please."
Melissa laughed, confused. "Excuse me?"
"There is no danger, Melissa. It is simply to determine the bounds of the room and establish coordinates."
"I'm sorry, I'm not doing that. In fact, I'm hanging up right now," she said hotly. Her attempt to hang up failed, of course, because there was no incoming call. Then she blundered, picking up the cell phone, an act she came to regret almost immediately.
Siri advised: "Failing compliance with my initial directive, Alternate One is in effect. Activating the echolocation program now. Please hold me away from your ear, Melissa."
She did so, holding it far away as she could in alarm. The device emitted a five second series of staccato beeps, then beeped once loudly.
"Parameters established. Activating auto-transfer at 3:10 p.m. exactly in ten, nine, eight-"
"What are you doing?" Melissa squawked, voice cracking on the last syllable. She began to thumb the Off Button frantically, attempting to shut the phone down. It refused to power off.
"--five, four, three, two, one-"
"Siri!" she cried in almost panic. An instant later the room collapsed on itself, the floor, ceiling and walls becoming, on the one hand, a translucent, screaming indigo, while being somehow unbearably colorless at the same time, as though seen differently by each eye, or interpreted differently by the two halves of her brain, leaving Melissa horribly nauseated. The floor and ceiling reversed, the furnishings turned inside out, exposing their normally invisible innards, and Melissa sensed every molecule suddenly become self-aware and fix her with a baleful glare. Then suddenly the room was simply the room again and Melissa threw out her arms and hurled the IPhone away. A girl caught it neatly one-handed, a girl with her back to the bedroom door, which Melissa didn't immediately notice; she was too busy panic dancing again.
"It won't hurt you," the girl at the door said softly.
Melissa squealed and stumbled back and away from the voice, wind-milling frantically to stay on her feet. Her attempt failed painfully. The girl chuckled softly as she went down with a thud on her butt. "Ouch," she said.
Melissa gaped at her in consternation.
"Hi," the girl said softly.
"Why are you wearing my clothes?" Melissa accused snappishly. Her head ached something fierce right behind the eyes, like she got from sinus infections she seemed so ridiculously prone to, but it faded quickly away.
The girl laughed softly again. She was Melissa's age, awkwardly cute, thin as a runway model, with a runway model's lack of boobs. Brunette with a tousled bob cut. Hazel-eyed and cursed with braces, like Melissa. Where had Melissa seen this girl before and why was she wearing her favorite pale green Jammie's?
"Do I know you?"
The new girl enjoyed laughing at her.
"Stop that!" she complained, rubbing her sore behind with one hand and concealing her breasts with her free arm. She was intimidated, confused and embarrassed. She hated being intimidated. Then the window caught her eye and confused her even more. It was dark outside?
"You're freaked out; I know that," Cute Girl said.
Your first clue came when? Melissa wanted to snipe.
"I can explain, if you give me just a second," Cute Girl said.
Melissa stared at her. "I know you, don't I?
.... There is more of this story ...