Statue Rebecca
A sequel to The Statue of Rebecca Lane

By: Tom Fowler

1.

The last we heard of the Rebecca Lane statue, the house she resides in had just lost its 18th owner in its almost 50 year history. So, what has changed in the few short months since the house on Woodstock St. once again became vacant? The answer is, not much, and quite a bit. The new owners Joan Lord sold the house to — the 19th set of people to purchase this house since it was built in 1969, backed out at the last minute, and in the spring of 2019 the house had been vacant for several months. On a personal level, Joan was not too disturbed by this, as by now she had developed a sixth sense regarding the property, and was not anxious to see another owner come and go. As a real estate professional, though, it was her job to sell the house and was concerned that it had been on the market for several months. But, statue Rebecca, as Joan privately named her, was a constant. Every time Joan visited the house, it seemed Rebecca leered at her accusingly. She was there, always there, in the same spot she had always been, since the fall of 1969.

2.

In the spring of 2019 the Cosby's, those unfortunate owners with destroyed souls and unhappy memories of their time on Woodstock St., now set the price incredibly low. But still, the house did not sell.

Joan sat in her office, brooding about this. It wasn't only because she was failing at her job, but something else was bothering her. It was the statue, and her female intuition told her that it would be best if the statue was removed — sold or donated to a museum or private collector. She just sensed … well, I don't know exactly what I sense, she admitted to herself. I must come up with a plan, she realized, and did feel in her heart of hearts that, once statue Rebecca was out of the house, the mood and atmosphere in what otherwise was a lovely home, would improve.

What she did not know, was that statue Rebecca had a plan of its own.

A plan for Joan, and anyone else willing to assist in relocating her.

3.

Joan was tired. For the past several days, she had been busy trying to find a new home for statue Rebecca. It was going to cost a handsome sum to have it removed and transported, and was hoping the buyer or donee, whichever the case may be, would help cover the costs. But, Margo Cosby had given her blessing to do this, and it was going to get done one way or another, at some time or another.

Success came for Joan just as she was at her lowest, as often happens in life. She was speaking on the telephone to the curator of the DeHaven Art Museum, located in the downtown arts district. James Silva had just answered her call. After explaining who she was and a bit of small talk, Joan came right to the point. "We have a beautiful marble statue of the late film star Rebecca Lane. It is located in a vacant private home I have listed. The current owners would like to donate the statue to the museum if you would incur the cost of having it moved." Joan thought to herself, this is a nice offer. Silva thought it was a nice offer, too, and replied, "This sounds interesting, would you take me to see the statue?" Joan happily said, "Yes!"

That afternoon, she and James Silva visited the benighted house on Woodstock St. Odd things had happened since Silva met her at the real estate office. Joan could not find the keys to the house, her car did not wish to start, the ignition finally working after the handy James Silva found a loose battery cable, and a half hour delay because of an automobile accident blocking the freeway. It's almost as if the statue is working against us, thought a frazzled Joan as they finally arrived at the house.

Her mood brightened when inside, but that would be short–lived. Looking at statue Rebecca, Silva said, "This is a beautiful statue."

Joan replied, "It's been here since the home was built. It's too heavy to move conventionally. The floor was especially reinforced." As she said this, a feeling of dread washed over her, and she imagined heat radiating from the statue. Silva seemed to feel something too. He said, "There's something about this statue. It's very unique. Hmm, Rebecca Lane was a favorite of my mother's, maybe I'm getting emotional."

Joan stepped closer to the statue, wishing to draw the window curtain. Perhaps because she was nervous, she tripped over the base and stubbed her big toe. The pain was intense; later she would discover the toe was fractured, but she did not wish to bother Mr. Silva with her discomfort, so she soldiered on. Silva realized she was in pain, but he was in intense study of the statue. He told her, "It will be expensive to move, but otherwise the price is right. I will arrange to have movers come and transport it."

Joan smiled through the pain, saying, "It will make a great addition to the DeHaven Gallery." Silva smiled back at her and said, "I think so, too."

4.

In 2019, statue Rebecca was 75 years old. Created in 1944 by a sculptor too old to serve in the WWII military and unaware of his psychic abilities, the statue had increased its power and awareness slowly but steadily over the years. Existing on the emotions of humans and a sixth sense pointed toward the darker emotions, the statue knew, if you prefer that term, that it wished to stay in the Woodstock St. house. It would use its considerable psychic strength to achieve this goal.

5.

An excited James Silva returned to the museum, anxious to share the news of the Cosby gift to the museum. To no one is particular, he stated, soon after entering his office area, "We fell into some good luck today."

"How so?" asked his personal assistant, Mary Clegg.

"We are being given a work of art. A marble statue of the film star Rebecca Lane."

"It's in that house you went to?

"Yes, all we have to do is pay to have it moved. Of course, that will be a bit costly, but nothing near the worth of the statue. I'm very excited!"

"We see that," Mary answered, dryly. However, the first tremor of unease had hit her. It was the weakness of the statue. Women always sensed the danger first. Men, later or not at all until it was too late.

"I'm signing the official transfer papers this afternoon. Get started on the move."

6.

As recently as 10 years ago, statue Rebecca would not have had the psychic energy to be aware of an event involving people not living with her. But, like a child who hits adolescence, her power and awareness rose sharply in recent years. She would be ready for the movers, if they were fortunate enough to make it to the front door of the house on Woodstock St.

7.

Two weeks later, moving day for the statue arrived. All of the people involved were suffering various low grade ailments. The Cosby's were having second thoughts about the gift, had felt since signing the contract to bequeath that perhaps they were giving away too much economic value. Joan Lord suffered from light–headedness and indigestion, and planned to see her doctor after the statue was moved from the house. James Silva developed mild depression, with the accompanying chronic emotional highs and lows. Sometimes, he felt almost giddy over the gift to the museum, but other times he felt the board of directors would second guess him concerning the cost of transporting the statue, as extra workers and a special lift were needed along with a truck large enough for extra padding. Mary Clegg's mild sense of unease had turned into a dark feeling, but one she had not yet dared share with her boss. But, the moving people were at most risk; they did not know a tire was waiting to blow out on the highway, and there was a minuscule gasoline leak near the transport truck's engine manifold. They also felt a physical reaction, as the entire four person team felt nauseous after a breakfast meeting in the museum warehouse. Perhaps, they reasoned, it was a light touch of food poisoning.

On this day there were nervousness, doubt, unease, unknown physical ailments, multiple food poisonings and dangerous problems with the transport truck waiting to happen. But, with the possible exception of the truck, there was nothing too serious or severe, nothing which could not be easily dealt with or dissipated altogether, for the movers had not yet arrived to move the statue.

But, nobody knew what statue Rebecca did. She had no desire to go anywhere, and was prepared to do much — very much – to see that she got her wish.

8.

It all came to a head, a very serious head, when the moving truck left the warehouse. The movers had not traveled far when they hit a pothole in the road leading to the main highway. The faulty tire blew, and caused the slight gas leak to become worse. Gasoline dripped on the already hot manifold, and a fire erupted underneath the hood. Fortunately, none of the moving team people were hurt, but extensive damage was done to the truck, which would not make the budget conscious James Silva happy at all. At the house waiting for the movers, Joan Lord became very ill and dialed 911 from her cell phone. Soon she would learn it was congestive heart failure which had been bothering her, and the emergency response team took her to the hospital. Back in his office, Silva received two calls within five minutes, one from the moving team, and another from Joan. An already vulnerable man was pushed over the emotional edge when a third call came in a few minutes after the first two. Margo Cosby had learned from Joan her illness and the status of the moving truck. She knew enough about the statue to suspect that it was involved somehow, some way, and it would be best if it remained in the house. With great agitation, she told curator Silva, "We're exercising our right to back out of the agreement." She offered no explanation, but somehow, Silva knew why. Soon, he became unsteady and incoherent. Mary, as Joan had minutes before, called 911. It became apparent that Mr. Silva had suffered a stroke and, like Joan, was taken to the hospital.

Everything had happened quickly, but the bottom line was, the statue remained in the home it had been in for 50 years.

That night, Mary thought over the day's events. The two main players in the plan to donate the statue were in the hospital, expected to recover. The transport truck faced expensive repairs, but the moving team escaped injury and what they thought was mild food poisoning passed quickly. Margo and Justin Cosby yielded to the will of the statue, and were thus spared further emotional grief or harm. Mary Clegg, not a participant in the statue negotiations other than as aide to her boss, felt the emotional dark cloud lift immediately after realizing Mr. Silva and Joan Lord would be treated for their ailments with excellent chances for recovery. Still, Mary was disturbed. I've never believed in coincidences, she thought, I'm not going to start now. But she, as did her boss, knew what had happened and why. They just could not articulate it.

From the house on Woodstock St., a thin smile could almost be seen on the statue's face, and a slight warmth radiated off of the shapely form of the old Hollywood star's likeness in marble.

Afterword

Statue Rebecca remained in the house, waiting patiently for new owners which would arrive in a few weeks. If Rebecca were a human person, she would be quite proud of herself, for she was quick to back off harming people or things, once she got her way. But, she must have her way, and her psychic strength was gaining momentum in the speed in which it increased. Were it possible for any of us to live a second or third lifetime, it would be interesting to see what may happen — 50, 75, or 100 years from now –– when the house she resided in would be scheduled for demolition, for whatever the reason. By then, who knows how powerful she may be, or what lengths she may go to, to protect her home.

END?

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