Chapter 2

Jacob was gone long enough to grab his IPod and return to the dining room. As he was returning, he brought up the video.

"Okay, Mom, here's the video," Jacob told her while holding out the IPod for her to take.

Bridget took the IPod and played the video, and it didn't take her long to see what she was looking for.

"Just as I thought," Bridget announced. "The dog is digging in a sink spot."

"After we eat, I'll call Darrel Snow and tell him what we suspect," Tony said.

Jacob shot Tony a confused look before saying, "I'm confused of what you are talking about."

"Mom and Dad…" Molly was only able to get out.

"Molly," Bridget and Tony both uttered.

"Don't tell Jacob," Tony continued.

"Don't tell me what?" Jacob questioned.

"Sweetie, the dog didn't get confused on where the squirrel had gone," Bridget told Jacob. "Something buried in the dirt had caught his attention."

"What caught his attention?" Jacob questioned.

"We don't know what caught his attention, and that is why your dad is going to call Detective Snow," Bridget replied. "Your dad is going to ask Detective Snow to find out what the dog was wanting to dig up. Anyway, let's change the subject."

"So, Abbie, do you have a boyfriend?" Tony asked.

Abbie frowned slightly before saying remorsefully, "No, I don't have a boyfriend."

"Have you had a boyfriend?" Molly quickly asked.

"I have had a boyfriend," Abbie replied remorsefully before taking a bite of her pizza.

"Was it a bad break up?" Bridget asked.

Abbie swallowed the bite she took before saying remorsefully, "Not… no. It wasn't a bad break up."

"The tone in your voice suggests otherwise," Tony pointed out.

Abbie pursed her lips before remorsefully sharing, "About fourteen months ago, Scott—my boyfriend—found a job as an apprentice roofer. Last September, he thought he was experience enough to take it upon himself to climb onto a roof to inspect it for weather damage after a thunderstorm had gone through. He fell off the roof and broke his neck."

"Oh my God," Molly uttered. "Were you there to see it?"

"No; I was actually in Kansas City, Missouri, for my mom's grandpa's funeral," Abbie began as tears rolled down her cheeks. "In fact, I didn't even get home in time to attend Scott's funeral."

"I'm sorry for your loss, Abbie, and I'm sorry for bringing up a sensitive subject for you," Tony told her.

"You didn't know that it was a sensitive subject," Abbie said as she wiped the tears from her eyes and cheeks.

"Regardless, let's move onto another subject," Bridget again urged.

After a few seconds of silence Molly took one of the breadsticks and asked, "So, Abbie, what kind of movies and shows do you like?"

Abbie shrugged slightly before saying, "I like most anything that has a decent plot."

"I like science fiction shows the best," Jacob replied.

"He owns all of the Star Trek and Star War movies," Molly began. "And he is slowly collecting the Star Trek series."

"That's a lot of shows," Abbie replied before taking a bite of her breadstick.

"Have you seen Star Trek and Star Wars?" Jacob asked Abbie.

"I've seen all of the Star Wars movies and only part of the Star Trek movies and shows," Abbie replied.

"Have you seen the Harry Potter movies?" Molly asked.

Abbie slightly grinned before saying, "I have, and I have started reading the Harry Potter books, but I only finished the first book."

The conversation as they ate remained casual and once everyone had their fill of pizza and breadsticks, Molly asked, "Are you ready, Abbie, for me to get the cards out and test your ESP."

"You do know that the only thing that those cards test is a person telepathic ability and there are a lot more psychic abilities than that," Abbie commented.

"Abbie, the cards can also test to see if you are clairvoyant as well," Bridget replied. "And in case you don't know, the definition to clairvoyant is the supernatural ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory perception."

"Okay," Abbie in an uncertain tone. "And I actually didn't know the actual definition of clairvoyant; although I do know the definitions of precognition, retrocognition, prophecy and what it is to be a medium."

"Okay, well, would you like to test your clairvoyant ability?" Bridget questioned.

Abbie slightly shrugged before saying, "Sure. I'll give it a try."

"Can I stay and watch?" Jacob questioned as Molly stood up.

"You will have to sit there and be quiet if you stay," Bridget told Jacob as Molly was moving towards the deck of cards.

"I will," Jacob replied.

Tony stood, and as he began picking up the used plates, he said, "I'll get the trash out of you guys' way."

"I'll help clean up," Abbie said while standing and grabbing the empty pizza box.

The other two pizza boxes had slices of pizza in them and Bridget began combining all of the slices into one box.

"What should I do with the empty box?" Abbie asked.

"Open the box, and I'll stuff the plates inside and then I'll take the box," Tony told her.

"Okay," Abbie replied in a tone as if she didn't know how else to answer.

Abbie opened the box, and after Tony stuffed the plates inside, he took the box.

"You can have this box too, honey," Bridget told Tony.

Tony took the empty box from Bridget and then carried the trash into the kitchen. Bridget followed Tony into the kitchen with the box of pizza and the remaining breadsticks.

Molly moved her drink glass out of the way before putting the deck of cards on the table and taking her seat.

As Molly began shuffling the cards, Bridget returned to the dining room with a damp rag.

"Let me wipe down the table before you start in with the cards," Bridget told Molly.

"Okay," Molly replied before pausing the shuffle and holding the cards.

Bridget thoroughly wiped the table off before carrying the rag and the empty glasses to the kitchen.

"Sit down and get comfortable," Molly told Abbie as she resumed shuffling the cards.

"Okay," Abbie nonchalantly replied before retaking her seat across from Molly.

Bridget and Tony were in the kitchen for over a minute, and when they returned to the dining room, Tony announced that he was going into the living room.

"Okay," Bridget replied before focusing on Molly as she was shuffling the cards. As Bridget was sitting down on the end seat between Abbie and Molly, she continued to say, "Molly, the cards should be shuffled enough."

"I'm just making sure," Molly replied before placing the deck down on the table.

"Since this is my first time here, I wouldn't know how well the deck had been shuffled anyway," Abbie commented.

Molly shrugged slightly while saying, "True."

"So how are we going to do this?" Abbie began. "Is Molly going to pick up the card and look at it until I read her thoughts... or try to, anyway?"

"Let's test your clairvoyant ability first," Bridget urged.

"And how do I do that?" Abbie questioned.

"Concentrate on the top card and try to imagine what that card is," Bridget instructed. "Oh, and in case Molly failed to tell you, the deck has five sets of five symbols. So there are twenty-five cards in all and the five symbols are a hollow circle, a plus sign or a cross—whichever you prefer—three vertical wavy lines, a hollow square and a hollow five-pointed star. So begin whenever you are ready."

"Okay," Abbie replied before taking a moment to contemplate what the top card might be. "A plus sign."

Molly turned over the top card and revealed a star.

"Try again," Molly urged.

Abbie again took a moment to contemplate what the next card might be before saying, "Wavy lines."

Molly turned over the next card and revealed a circle.

"Apparently I'm not a clairvoyant," Abbie commented.

"You just started," Jacob told Abbie.

"Jacob," Bridget said in a warning tone before putting her index finger to her lips for him to be quiet. When Jacob pursed his lips, Bridget continued, "Abbie, two misses in a row don't really mean anything. So keep going."

Abbie took a breath before closing her eyes and imagining what the current top card would be.

Bridget slightly grinned and when Abbie opened her eyes, she said, "A star."

Molly turned over the card and revealed a star.

"That's one," Molly replied.

"Yes," Jacob said under his breath.

Abbie had barely heard Jacob's comment, and as she glanced his way with a slight grin on her face, Molly urged, "Try again."

Abbie gave a quick nod before taking another breath and closing her eyes.

After taking slightly longer than the last time to imagine what the next card would be, she opened her eyes and said, "A square."

Molly turned over the card and revealed a square.

"Next," Molly said.

Abbie closed her eyes, and again imagined what the next card would be. When she opened her eyes, she said, "Another square."

Jacob slightly pursed his lips as if to expect a miss just before Molly could turn over the card and reveal another square.

"Yes," Jacob said a little louder than what he said before.

"Way to go," Molly praised at the same time Jacob spoke. "Keep going."

As Abbie and Molly continued, Abbie got the next one correct and then the next two wrong. As they continued, Abbie was getting three or four cards correct out of every five cards drawn, and once Molly turned over the last card, Abbie had gotten eighteen of the twenty-five cards correct.

"Wow," Molly began in an impressed tone. "The most that Mom and I have ever gotten correct was sixteen."

"So eighteen correct out of twenty-five is good?" Abbie questioned.

"Eighteen correct out of twenty-five is very good, and your results do indicate that you are a clairvoyant," Bridget replied.

Abbie grinned before saying, "I guess it's time to test if I'm telepathic as well."

"We can, but because of how well you had done on the clairvoyant test, testing your telepathic ability can't accurately be done with the cards," Bridget replied.

"Why not?" Abbie said.

"When someone scores high on the clairvoyant test as you did, it's actually difficult to determine if that someone is actually reading another person's thoughts during the telepathic test or is inadvertently using his or her clairvoyant ability," Bridget explained.

"Okay, so how can you test my telepathic ability if we can't use the cards?" Abbie asked.

"My grandpa—your great-grandpa—had created flashcards for this purpose," Bridget replied. "The cards are in the study. Molly, go grab them for me, please."

"Alright," Molly replied before standing up and moving towards the living room.

"So, what are on the flash cards that will test my telepathic ability?" Abbie asked.

"Each flash card will have four images on them," Bridget began. "The images could be four types of cars or four of the same cars, but each with a different color. If you can read thoughts, then you will be able to tell me which of the four cars that someone is thinking about, and if you inadvertently use your clairvoyant ability, then all you will see are the four cars."

"For that flashcard method to work, the person looking at the flashcard can't be someone like Bill Murray," Abbie jokingly commented. "Bill Murray sabotaged that man's results in the beginning of Ghost Busters."

Bridget grinned before saying, "I swear, no one here will sabotage your results."

Abbie grinned before saying, "I believe you."

"Oh and if you feel that someone is attempting to sabotage your results, you can always insist that the person write out his or her answer prior to you attempting to read his or her thoughts," Bridget instructed. "And of course the person has to make sure that you can't see the answer prior to you attempting to read his or her thoughts."

"Makes sense," Abbie replied. "Anyway, was reading ESP cards a hobby for... for Great-Grandpa?"

Bridget slightly smiled before saying, "Your great-grandpa was a college professor who taught parapsychology at Franklin Pierce University. So studying and learning all he could about ESP was his job and a passionate hobby of his."

"Cool," Abbie replied. "Is he still living?"

"No, sweetie," Bridget remorsefully replied. "He died in May of 2020… but not from the Coronavirus. He died of stage-four lung cancer."

Abbie frowned slightly before saying, "I would have liked to have met him."

"My dad—your grandpa—has a large collection of videos that your great-grandpa had made during his time as a parapsychologist," Bridget began. "Would you like to come back in a few days and watch...?"

"Yes," Abbie quickly said without letting Bridget finish her question.

"What is Abbie going to come back to watch?" Molly questioned as she reentered the dining room. She carried the flashcards in her left hand.

"She wants to see your great-grandpa's videos," Bridget replied.

"Oh, I want to see those too," Molly said.

"Me too," Jacob added.

"Okay, well, I'll talk to your grandpa and see what I can do about getting those videos within the next few days," Bridget replied as Molly was retaking her seat. "Meanwhile, let's see if Abbie can read our thoughts."

"I'm ready," Abbie replied.

Molly selected a flashcard and then put the rest on the table.

As Molly stared at the flashcard, she said, "Okay, I'm thinking about something on the flashcard. What am I thinking?"

Jacob got out of his seat and moved behind Molly.

"Jacob, sit down," Bridget ordered. "By you thinking about the flashcard too could confuse Abbie, if Abbie has the ability to read thoughts."

Jacob took a hard breath before taking the seat next to Molly.

Abbie focused on Molly and when Abbie didn't say anything for almost a minute, Bridget said, "Abbie, reading someone's thoughts could be so subtle that you might think that stray or random thoughts that pop in your head are your own when they are in fact not. So you should share any stray thoughts you might have while trying to read Molly's thoughts."

"I did have a stray thought moments ago, but it was about a cute pair of brown boots that I was going to buy the next time I got paid," Abbie replied.

Molly grinned before flipping the flashcard over and showing four cartoon drawings of black, gray, brown and red boots.

"I was concentrating on the brown boots," Molly replied.

"Okay, well, my thoughts weren't about sketches of boots; it was on the boots that I saw in the store," Abbie replied.

Bridget amusingly grinned before saying, "That doesn't matter, Abbie. Molly was thinking about boots and when your mind picked up on her thought, you just simply substituted what you knew for what you didn't know and what you didn't know, … or more precisely, what you couldn't pick up from Molly was the image that Molly was looking at. In fact, Molly, choose another card and let's see if Abbie can do it again."

"Alright," Molly replied before picking up another flashcard. "Okay, I'm thinking about something on the flashcard. What am I thinking?"

Again Abbie focused on Molly and after several seconds, she said, "Another stray thought came to me, and it was about my dog that we had to put to sleep last year."

Bridget glanced at the flashcard that Molly held before instructing, "Describe your dog. There might be something about your dog that you are associating to what Molly is thinking about."

"He was a black Labrador and his named was Pepper," Abbie replied.

Molly grinned before showing Abbie the flashcard, and the items on the flashcard were images and words that represented salt, pepper, sugar and creamer.

"I was thinking of the pepper," Molly informed as she held her grin.

"So it's true," Abbie said. "I'm picking up Molly's thoughts, but then I'm substituting what I know for what I can't see or pick up."

"I believe so," Bridget said with a grin. "And with a little practice, your telepathic ability could be strong enough to pick up someone's complete thoughts. So your mind won't have to substitute the things you know for what you don't pick up?"

"I'm really not interested in reading someone's thoughts," Abbie replied.

"Like it or not, Abbie, you do have the ability to read people's thoughts, and most likely you are doing it without realizing it every time you are in a crowded place like a theater or a mall or even a restaurant," Bridget replied.

"Yes, well, I was happy to believe that all those stray thoughts I would get when I'm among a crowd of people were my own thoughts," Abbie told Bridget.

"And if serial killers, child molesters and thieves weren't a part of that crowd I would more than happy to let you live your life while believing that those stray thoughts were your own," Bridget replied.

"What do serial killers, child molesters and thieves have to do with me getting stray thoughts?" Abbie quickly questioned.

"Hypothetical let's say that you have a co-worker named John Doe. Also let's say that he's a serial killer and you work very closely with him," Bridget told Abbie.

"Okay," Abbie said in a tone as if she didn't know how else to answer.

"Let's assume that John Doe is a new employee and you and he had only been working closely for a few days, and during those days every time a certain type of person walks in, John Doe imagines how he would like to dismember that person. Being the telepath that you are, Abbie, you will most likely think about your favorite slasher movie or possibly the most recent slasher movie that you had just seen. As you and John Doe continue to work together, your thoughts shift from the slasher movies that you like to the real thing and after a few months of working alongside John Doe, you now think about who you would like to dismember."

"So you're telling me that I will become either a serial killer or a child molester or even a thief if I don't improve my telepathic ability?" Abbie questioned.

"I'm not saying that you will become one; however, I am saying that the potential of you becoming one is there," Bridget clarified. "And the best way for you not to become one is to learn how to distinguish thoughts that are truly yours from other people's thoughts."

"Fine," Abbie replied. "How do I improve my telepathic ability?"

"The simplest way I know of, is the way that you and Molly are doing it," Bridget replied. "It will take time, but eventually your telepathic ability will improve."

"Okay, well, I don't know how often I will be able to come here and practice?" Abbie replied.

"In order to practice your ESP, you won't need to come up here, Abbie; although you are welcome to do so as often as you want," Bridget replied. Abbie pleasantly grinned. "Anyway, just figure out which of your friends are interested in ESP and offer to run ESP experiments with them. Or you can go to your closest New Age bookstore and inquire about any classes that the store owner or manager might have. If the owner or manager offers a class that can help you to increase your telepathic ability, then that's great. Just sign up for it, but if there aren't any classes on increasing your telepathic ability, then the owner or manager might be able to steer you in the right direction to find a class or a group of people that are willing to help you."

"That sounds simple enough," Abbie replied.

"It is simple," Bridget replied. "Anyway, it's seven-thirty-five. How long did you tell your parents that you will be gone?"

"I didn't actually say how long I would be gone for," Abbie replied.

"But they do know that you are here, right?" Bridget questioned.

"They should," Abbie replied. "I left them a note on the kitchen table."

"So you never verbally told your parents that you were driving here today?" Bridget questioned.

"They were both at work at the time I left," Abbie replied.

"Abigail Matthews, you should have talked to your parents before coming here," Bridget quickly told her.

"We have already discussed me coming here," Abbie claimed. "In fact, mom and I had planned to come up here this coming Saturday, but earlier today my work schedule was changed. I was supposed to have been working today and be off Saturday, but about three hours before I rang your doorbell, my time off had gotten switched for today and I will be working this Saturday."

"Abbie, I am very glad that we met and I hope that we can form a friendship-relationship with each other..." Bridget was only able to get out.

"Yes, I want to form a friendship-relationship with you too," Abbie quickly said, which brought a pleasant grin across Bridget's face. "I can give you my address and cellphone number so we can stay in touch with each other."

Bridget held her pleasant grin as she replied, "I would like that, and once you give me your information, you need to go home so your parents will stop worrying about you. In fact, you should turn your cellphone back on and let them know that you're safe."

"How do you know that my cellphone is off?" Abbie questioned.

"Because you came here today on a whim, and given the fact that you had already planned to come here at some point, you weren't about to let your parents talk you out of it once they read your note," Bridget replied. "Am I right?"

Abbie grinned slightly before saying, "Pretty much."

"I thought so," Bridget replied before standing. "Anyway, I'll go get you a pen and paper so you can give me your address and phone number."

"Okay," Abbie replied before Bridget could walk away.

"Abbie, I'm glad we met too," Molly told her when Bridget left the room.

"I'm glad we met too," Jacob added.

Abbie pleasantly grinned before saying, "I'm also glad we met, and I don't know when, but I will be back."

"When you do come back, maybe we can do something," Molly suggested. "Like go to the show or something."

"I would like that," Abbie replied before glancing at Jacob. "I know Jacob likes science fiction shows. But what kinds of shows do you like, Molly?"

Molly began listing the shows that she liked while starting with the Harry Potter movies, but before she could finish her list, Bridget returned to the dining room with a pen and paper.

Abbie wrote down her contact information for Bridget to keep and then ripped the paper in half and wrote down Bridget's cellphone number for her to keep.

As Abbie was handing the paper that had her contact information on it to Bridget, she said, "Before I go, there's something that my mom will want me to ask you."

"Okay," Bridget began cautiously. "Ask."

"Are there any health problems or genetic disorders that I should be concern about getting?" Abigail questioned.

Bridget slightly grinned before saying, "The only major health issue that the Galloway's family line and the McNally's family line are cursed with is cancer, and so far, the youngest person in our family to have been diagnosed with cancer was your great-grandpa Frank McNally—my mom's dad. He was sixty-nine when he was diagnosed with stage-two lung cancer."

"Okay," Abbie replied in an accepting tone. "You wouldn't know about any health issue that my biological dad has? Richard Lowry, I believe you said that his name was, right?"

"Yes, his name is Richard Lowry," Bridget replied. "And sorry, I don't know of any health issues or genetic disorders that would run in his family."

"Would you know where I could find Richard Lowry?" Abigail asked.

"I don't," Bridget replied. "It's been more than eighteen years, Abbie, since the last time I saw your biological dad. Your biological dad and your paternal grandparents had left Rindge soon after I told them that I was pregnant with you; however, your dad told me once that his dad's dad owns Leo's Auto Repair Shop in Boston, Massachusetts. I don't know if the shop is still there though."

"It's still there," Abbie replied. "I've never been inside, but the shop is located about a mile from my work."

Bridget nodded before saying, "Abbie, I'm glad you came, but it's time for you to go home. Your parents are most likely pacing the floor while wondering where you are."

"Right," Abbie said while standing.

Molly and Jacob stood as well.

"Oh, and since I have your phone number, I'll call you and see when is the best time you can come back after I get those videos from my dad," Bridget replied.

"Alright," Abbie replied.

"Anyway, I would like a hug from you before you go, though," Bridget informed.

Abbie pleasantly grinned before moving into Bridget's arms, and before the hug could end, Molly and Jacob turned the hug into a group hug with Abbie in the center.

Once the hug ended, Abbie, Molly, Jacob and Bridget respectively stepped into the hallway.

Tony was on the couch while watching TV and when Abbie and Tony locked eyes with each other, Abbie—as if it was an afterthought—said, "Oh, uh, I'm supposed to spit into a cup before I leave."

Tony stood up while saying, "That won't be necessary. Molly told me how well you had done on the clairvoyant test as she was going after the flashcards." As Tony was stepping up to the entryway that separated the living room from the hallway, he continued to say, "So I now believe that you are Bridget's biological daughter. Oh, and I contacted Detective Snow. Tomorrow, he and I and a group of dogs will be going out to the camp grounds."

"I hope things work out," Abbie replied.

"Me too," Tony replied.

"Thanks for the pizza and the breadsticks, Mr. and Mrs. Blake," Abbie told them.

"You're welcome," Bridget and Tony replied.

"And you don't have to call me Mrs. Blake," Bridget continued.

Abbie pursed her lips before saying, "Calling you Bridget doesn't sound respectful enough and calling you mom—even though you are my biological mom—doesn't seem right either..."

"Okay. Okay. I get it," Bridget replied. "You can continue to call me Mrs. Blake. Anyway, drive safe."

"Thanks," Abbie replied before grabbing her purse from the hook. "Bye."

"Bye," Bridget, Tony, Molly and Jacob echoed.

Abbie opened the door and as she left out, she closed the door behind her.

To Be Continued