1366 Allentyne

Working as a 911 Operator can be a harrowing, and at times thankless profession. With each shift those who take the calls are confronted with the worst of human nature, and sometimes the most bizarre. Consider here the account of Mavis Beagle, a woman of diminutive stature and a member of Brown County's new 911 Text Services unit. She is about to take a call that is not completely as it seems.
 

911 10.46pm
Brown County 911 Text Services. State your emergency.

Ravena
My name is Ravena Umtele. I am in my home and I can hear somebody downstairs.

911
Are you alone?

Ravena
No, my sister Jessica is somewhere else in the house. I don't know where.

911
Where is the rest of your family?

Ravena
My parents are on holiday in Florida.

911
What can you hear?

Ravena
Two voices, one man and one woman.

911
A unit has been dispatched. Are you armed?

Ravena
No.

911
Where are you now?

Ravena
I am hiding in a cupbard in the main bedroom.

911
And is that upstairs?

Ravena
Yes. Please hurry. I can hear them in the kitchen.

911
Don't worry Ma'am. ETA should be less than seven minutes.

911
Ma'am. Can I confirm your address as 1366 Allentyne?

Ravena
Yes. Please hurry.

Ravena
Somebody is on the stairs.

911
Can you lock the cupboard?

Ravena
No.

911
Do you have anywhere else you can hide.

Ravena
In the attic I guess. There's a door in the bedroom that leads to a set of stairs.

911
Can you lock that door from the stairs?

Ravena
Yes.

911
Listen. I would advise that you get into the attic before the intruders reach the bedroom.

Ravena
Are you sure?

911
Yes. Lock the door behind you.

Ravena
OK.

911
Ma'am. Are you there?

Ravena
Yes. I got to the stairs.

911
Good. Is the door locked?

Ravena
Yes.

911
Can you see anything from your position?

Ravena
No. But I can hear stuff going on downstairs.

911
Where are the intruders now?

Ravena
I think there must be four in the house. Two downstairs and two talking outside the bedroom door.

911
Four in total?

Ravena
Yes. I can hear them moving around in the kitchen. They seem to be searching for something.

911
What are they saying?

Ravena
Not sure. Something about keys.

911
Stay where you are.

Ravena
The two men have been called back downstairs. I don't think they know I'm here.

911
Three units on way. ETA 5 minutes.

Ravena
One of the men is in the bedroom.

911
What is he doing?

Ravena
Searching the cupboards and the drawers.

911
Is he armed?

Ravena
Can't see. But I think he has found some keys.

911
What are they keys too?

Ravena
My father keeps a spare set to the basement in his drawer. They must have those.

911
Anything of value in the basement?

Ravena
Just old stuff.

911
Stay where you are. Police will be there in 2 minutes.

Ravena
I can hear them all outside of the basement door. I'm going to have a look.

911
Ravena. That is not a good idea. Stay where you are.

Ravena
Don't worry. I can see the door from the top of the stairs. If any of them come my way I'll come back.

911
Ravena. Stay where you are.

Ravena
I was right. There are four. Two men. One woman and a teenage boy.

911
A teenage boy?

Ravena
Yeah. About 16, long, dark hair.

911
Are any of them armed?

Ravena
One has a large tyre lever but the rest are unarmed.

911
Don't go down there again.

Ravena
Someone's coming up the stairs. A man.

911
Is the door to the attic locked?

Ravena
Yes.

911
What is the man doing?

Ravena
Trying to turn the door handle.

911
Can you get up into the attic and hide?

Ravena
Yes.

Ravena
The man has pushed the door open.

911
Is he in the attic?

Ravena
No. He stopped at the top of the stairs.

911
Are you still hiding?

Ravena
Yes.

911
Good. Don't move.

911
Units should be there. Do you see any lights?

Ravena
Yes. I'll stay here until they find me.

911
Don't move. Officers on scene.

Ravena
Hurry. I can hear Jessica screaming.


Officer Redlow 10.58pm
Mavis. Tell me again why we're here.

911
Occupant reported multiple intruders. Ransacking the house.

Officer Redlow
There's nothing here.

911
What do you mean?

Officer Redlow
Just that. No occupants, no intruders. House looks abandoned.

911
GPS location put the girl's phone at that address.

Officer Redlow
Must be a hoax. We'll search the place then write it up as a nuisance call.

911
Check the attic first. There's a door in the main bedroom.

Officer Redlow
Copy that.


NEXT DAY

Officer Redlow 8.36am
Mavis. You at home?

Mavis
Sure are.

Officer Redlow
That call you took. The one at 1366 Allentyne.

Mavis
Yeah. What of it?

Officer Redlow
Turned out to be more than just a hoax.

Mavis
Did you find something?

Officer Redlow
Sure did. Found a phone in the attic. Exactly where you said the girl should have been.

Mavis
Anything on it?

Officer Redlow
That's the thing. Phone hadn't been used in years. Dead battery and covered in a layer of dust.

Mavis
That's strange.

Officer Redlow
That's not the half of it.

Mavis
What do you mean.

Officer Redlow
Turns out a Jessica Umtele did live at the address.

Mavis
God give me strength. What happened to her?

Officer Redlow
Report says Jessica was home alone and murdered during a home invasion. Beaten to death by unknown assailants whilst hiding in her basement.

Mavis
I don't get it. If she was killed in the basement how did the phone get into the attic?

Officer Redlow
Got everyone scratching their balding heads down here.  Thing is, there were viable photos in the phone's memory.

Mavis
What of?

Officer Redlow
Four perps. Two adult men. One adult woman and a teenage boy. Taken whilst they broke open the basement door.

Mavis
But how could the caller know that?

Officer Redlow
No idea. Compared the transcripts of your call against the case file for the murder and everything checked out.

Officer Redlow
Whoever called Dispatch last night must have seen everything and recalled it in real time. Even down to when the units arrived on scene.

Mavis
Why would someone do that?

Officer Redlow
Don't know, but the photos have reopened the case.

Mavis
Do we know who the perps are?

Officer Redlow
Sure do. All four of them.

Mavis
Who?

Officer Redlow
Armed Robbery unit identified them. A gang operating out of Ermington. Arrested them all this morning. Just thought you should know.

Officer Redlow
Oh, and one other thing.

Mavis
Yes?

Officer Redlow
You used to be an English teacher in Barrentown didn't you?

Mavis
Yes. But that was more than eight years ago.

Officer Redlow
There was another picture recovered from the phone. One of you and two young girls.

Mavis
What?

Officer Redlow
One of those girls has been identified as Jessica Umtele, the other her sister Ravena.

Mavis
I did know two girls. From Uganda I think. Inseparable they were. We knew them just as Jes and Rav.

Mavis
Why didn't I make the connection?

Officer Redlow
It was a long time ago. You probably don't remember much about them but here's the weird thing.

Mavis
There's more?

Officer Redlow
Immigration records show Ravena Umtele died in the sea off Somalia more than a decade ago.

Mavis
The records have to be wrong.

Officer Redlow
That's what I thought. So I did some extra digging this morning.

Officer Redlow
The death of Ravena was confirmed by her sister and two other relatives at the time.

Mavis
But that doesn't make any sense.

Officer Redlow
I know. What is more confusing is that there are no federal records of Ravena Umtele at all.

Officer Redlow
I don't know who contacted the text service last night but according to Immigration eight years ago you taught English to a ghost.

THE END

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