General Fiction posted January 10, 2019 Chapters: 3 4 -5- 6... 

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Luke hopes he can live with grandma

A chapter in the book The Project

The Phone Call

by Rhonda Skinner

Luke has been orphaned and is in a foster home but hoping to reach his grandma on the phone. The anti-drug task force has kidnapped police Lt Max Brady so he can't give away their secret plan.
Chapter 5
The phone finally rang at 10:30 am. Luke grabbed it after the first ring.
"Is this Sarah?" he said.

"No. This is Rose. Is Evelyn there?"

"She's not home. Phone back later. 'Bye" Luke hung up.

Mrs. Williams walked into the living room. "Who was on the phone, Luke?"

"Wrong number," he said. The last thing he needed was two old ladies yakking on the phone while he was waiting for a call from his Social Worker. Fifteen minutes later the phone rang again. Luke picked it up, but Mrs. Williams took the receiver from his hand.

"Hello? Yes, Sarah. Thanks for returning my call. Luke would like you to call his grandmother. No, he doesn't have her number. Her name is Agnes Martin and she lives in Grenville. Thank you, Sarah. We'll wait to hear back from you. 'Bye now."

Luke jumped up from the sofa. "What did she say? Is she going to call right away?"

"Take it easy, Luke. She'll get back to us when she can."

Sarah googled Grenville's directory and dialed Agnes Martin's number.
"Hello. Is this Agnes?"

"No. This is Phillipa. Agnes can't speak with you."

"This is quite urgent. It's about her daughter and grandson. Please..."

"I'm afraid you don't understand. Agnes can't talk. She has ALS."

"Oh. I'm sorry. I didn't know."

"It has progressed very rapidly. I'm her caregiver. May I ask who's calling?"
Sarah explained about the accident and Luke's situation.

"Oh my God, that's awful. Let me talk to Agnes. Call back in an hour."
When Agnes heard about her daughter and son-in-law, a high-pitched, guttural sound escaped from her mouth. Phillipa held her hand while Agnes wept. Fifteen minutes later, Agnes glanced to her right. Phillipa picked up the computer and handed it to her.

Agnes slowly typed, tell luke i love him. get copy of will- second desk drawer.

When Sarah called back, Phillipa gave her the name of the executor of the Montgomery's estate. The sad news was they hadn't changed the will since Alice's diagnosis, and she was listed as the person who would take Luke in should his parents pass away. There was no way she could take care of him now. Luke had no legal guardian.

Later that afternoon Sarah called Bill Dodsworth. As executor of the estate he was apt to know more about the Montgomery family and may even be a family member himself.

"But they were just here on Saturday night," Bill said, when Sarah introduced herself and told him about Tom and Julia. "Little Luke must be devastated."

"We're looking for a family member that can become Luke's guardian. His maternal grandmother is listed in the will, but she has serious health issues. Do you know of anyone else?"

"Julia was an only child and her father left them when she was eight years old. Tom's father died young of pancreatic cancer, and Tom's mother is in a psychiatric hospital. He has a brother, Dean. He's single. A marine deployed somewhere in the Middle East. I'll have to call the base to get a message to him.

Sarah sighed. "Thanks for your help. We'll have to put him in foster care for now." Just what I need. Another kid on my caseload, she thought. "The court will appoint a trustee for him."

"Yes. Of course. I still can't believe they're gone. Please, give Luke a hug from us."

"I will. Thank you again. And I'm sorry for your loss."

"Thank you. I'll let you know when I hear from Dean."

Luke felt like he'd been punched in the gut when he got the news about his grandma. He was already packed and ready to go. He slinked back to his room and slammed his clothes back into his dresser drawers. Then he lay down on his bed and curled into the fetal position. What will happen to me now? he wondered. He had never felt so scared.

The first few chapters toggle back and forth between Luke and Max, and then the two story lines converge.
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© Copyright 2019. Rhonda Skinner All rights reserved.
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