Neewa the wonder dog and.., p.9
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       Neewa the Wonder Dog and the Ghost Hunters, p.9

          John Cerutti / Thrillers & Crime
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“The K-2 is lighting up like a Christmas Tree,” he exclaims, holding it up for us to see. “Look!” The green, yellow, orange and red lights flash. “What do you think of this? It could be Sally Ann?”

“Could be,” I agree. “Dad we recorded everything.”

“Me too, Dad, I zoomed down every hallway and into every room.” Jackie backs up my account of our whereabouts.

“Okay, it’ll be getting dark, no telling who or what might be out here at night. We’ll check all the recordings at home, let's get out of here.” Dad starts walking back.

If only the Rayburns stayed a little longer. We could have stayed into the night. With them here we would have found Sally Ann for sure.

But with only three of us out here, no thanks. Even the National Paranormal Society recommends a minimum of three adults at an Investigation. I’m not sure if that’s for verification, or just safety?

I fall behind everyone headed for the van as we exit town in a hurry.

“Hey, what is the name of this town anyway?” I yell to Dad and Jackie leading the way out.

“Don’t know? We should try to figure that out,” Dad answers.

“I saw it on the hotel, its Potosi, it's spelled P-o-t- o-s-i,” Jackie answers.

“What kind of name is that? French?” I suggest.

“Maybe,” Dad replies.

As we make our way back toward the van we pass the cemetery. I stare at the forgotten souls piled up in neat rows, covered in weeds, forgotten. Abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

The cooler night winds are arriving in town. Dad hands me a sweatshirt from his backpack. I gaze back at town. It’s a real ghost town. The only thing moving in town is the tumbleweeds blowing down Main Street.

“Bang!”

“AHHHHH!” I scream, “What was that?”

That freaked me out, I’m getting out of here. Panic grips me, my heart pounds. Jackie raises her hand to cover her mouth, as if to catch a deep sigh.

“Relax,” Dad utters. “That’s the same shutter we heard banging on the way into town.”

“It’s a shutter? I didn’t see any shutters anywhere in town. I’ll check the video when we get home, you’ll see, that was Sally Ann.”

“It didn’t sound like the one I heard when we first got here. That one sounded more like a gun shot?” Jackie recalls.

“That can’t be?” Dad replies, “There isn’t anyone around here for miles?”

“If it weren’t for the chilly winds and whirling dust and sand, I might like this place. Ha-ha.”

“Bang! Bang! Bang!”

“Not to mention the banging shutters and raggedy curtains in the windows.”

It’s just the wind, it’s just the wind, I tell myself. The wind always kicks up when the sun goes down. It’s definitely time to go.

Really loud I yell, “Neewa! Neewa! Come girl!”

“Neewa, Neewa, Come girl,” eerily echoes off the canyon wall.

My heart races as I turn and stare, searching for her, straining into the twilight. But she is nowhere in sight.

“Neewa! Neewa!” I implore.

Sure enough the canyon answers in a fading reply, “Neewa, Neewa, Neewa, Neewa.”

Where the heck is she? Seconds pass like minutes as all of us stare into the darkness.

I spot her faint image under a shadowy ledge. She’s a minute speck of white sprinting in the dark shadows.

“There she is! Come on girl, come on,” I beg her.

The canyon whispers, “Come on girl, come on.”

Crossing the rocky terrain, she glides effortlessly down the slope. Her strong body and powerful muscles carry her over the rough landscape. She maneuvers around boulders and bounces all the way through the canyon.

Neewa is strong now and weighs more than forty pounds. She is over two and a half feet tall and when she stands on her hind legs, her black padded paws and ivory toenails reach my shoulders.

“Come on Neewa, let’s get out of here, we’ve had enough excitement for one day. This place creeps me out.”

After loading up the van we begin the drive home. I sit in the darkened van thinking what a great day this has been. First the rodeo with the cowgirls, horses, bulls, and steer. Then the ghost town and the Rayburn’s story about Sally Ann and her brother. The best part was the ghost town. I finally investigated a real ghost town.

I can’t wait to get home and check the video we took in the lab. If I captured Sally Ann, I will be famous. I’m going to tell everyone back home, all my friends will think this is so cool.

Neewa curls up next to me on the seat. The van’s big seats have lots of room. But she is right next to me and rests her head near my leg like she always does. Her eyes close and she lets out a big sigh through her wet nose that shines even in the darkness.

***

“Christina, wake up we’re home,” Dad says.

“Oh my God, I’m too tired to do anything tonight.”

I can barely walk inside to go to bed. Neewa follows me in and I stop in the kitchen to fill her bowls, which she quickly empties.

“Good night, Dad, love you.”

“Good night, Christina, Jackie, love you.”

“Good night, Dad, love you.” Jackie says.

“Good night, Neewa.”

As I crawl under the covers just as she catches up to me and jumps up taking her spot at the foot of the bed. Carefully she turns in a tight circle and lies down for the night. Now in her familiar white fluffy ball, she groans and places her nose on her tail. Then she sighs and watches me till I close my eyes. Then she closes hers.

***

Sunday morning and Jackie and I pull out the cameras and all of the scientific meters. I’m downloading the video files onto my hard drive using the firewire and moviemaker program.

“Click, capture, click, publish. I will have Sally Ann on this tape, I guarantee it, maybe even her aberration,” I tell Jackie.

She answers, “Yeah Christina, sure, an aberration. I don’t think so.”

After an hour or so of reviewing the video I tell Jackie, “See, I told you there isn’t one shutter on any of those windows in the ghost town, not one! What do you say to that? Where did that banging shutter come from?”

Watching the last ten minutes of the video of the ghost town, suddenly I hear, “%^&*($#@)&%%)@#$)(&^%$$#.”

“What’s that? Jackie did you hear that?” The hair fuzz on my arms stands up.

“No, I didn’t hear anything, just static,” Jackie replies.

“Play that back, the hotel part,” I shriek.

“%^&*($#@)&%%)@#$)(&^%$$#.”

“Wow! Did you hear it that time?” Convinced.

“I think I heard something, Christina, but it sounds like noise to me.”

“Play it again,” I demand.

“%^&*($#@)&%%)@#$)(&^%$$#.”

“I heard it that time, it’s static all right. Christina, you heard static, that’s all it is,” Jackie insists.

“No, that’s an EVP. We just heard a recording of the disembodied voice of Sally Ann. She was talking to us.” I jump to my feet.

“Christina, no one will believe that noise is Sally Ann?” Jackie adds.

“We need something else, and it has to match up the with the same time line when we recorded Sally Ann’s EVP.” I’m serious.

Running to my backpack for the other meters, “Let’s get the rest of the equipment and check everything we had at the ghost town. The approximate time of the encounter was at about one hour and fifteen minutes into the investigation.”

“I’m on it,” Jackie answers, doubtful.

In the next ten minutes we take out every piece of equipment we had there and check all the readings and cross-reference everything with the time line.

“Looks like the only device with a reading is the radio frequency detector. It recorded eighty MHz (Mega Hertz), whatever that means?” I say.

Jackie answers, “I’m not sure? It must mean something?”

One thing I know, the eighty MHz of electro-magnetic radiation had to come from something. That’s why Dad’s K-2 meter was lighting up outside the hotel. Sally Ann was there.

Sometimes spirits communicate in that frequency, or so I’ve heard. It could have come from the natural magnetic field in the atmosphere or a computer screen, electric motor, cell phones, or walkie-talkies.

I nod, “I’ll prove it to you, that was Sally Ann. Hold on, hold on. I got a text from Mike. I wonder if he got the cell phone picture I sent him yesterday? Remember when I went down that hallway inside the hotel?”

I read his text out loud, “Ha-ha, pls, u r trying to trick me! U think throwing powder in the air and taking a picture of it, will make me think it’s a ghost? Lol the picture you sent me is a fake.”

“What is he talking about, I didn’t throw any powder,” I scroll to the message I sent him and look at the picture.

“Oh my God look Jackie! It’s an apparition of Sally Ann in the hotel room! I caught her with my cell camera. She’s standing in the corner pointing her finger at something.”

Jackie looks at the picture. “It looks like someone threw powder into the air. How do you know that is her? It could be her brother?”

I inspect the photo. “It’s got to be her! She’s a little bit of a thing. Kind of cute, huh. First she talked to us and now I have a picture of her. I’ve got her now!”

Besides Jackie look at the time I sent the photo, it was taken at one hour and two minutes into the investigation The EVP was recorded at one hour and ten minutes in, remember? That’s around the same time.

It must have taken all of her strength to materialize and talk to us. I wonder what she is trying to tell us?

I continue checking all the meters and digital film from the ghost town, but find nothing else. “Looks like that’s it, the cell phone picture, EVP, and we got the radio frequency field strength meter that recorded the eighty megahertz (MHz), whatever that means?” I look at Jackie.

She replies, “I kind of know, it’s a magnetic field given off by stuff, just like EMF. The RF meter measures electro-magnetic radiation given off by objects like microwave signal towers, satellite television signals, or radio signals. And it’s all measured in megahertz (MHz).”

I pitch in, “Sometimes the radiation is just hanging around in the air. But it could be a spirit trying to ‘cross over’?”

Jackie wraps it up, “Or one trying to come back?”

Dad walks in the door after returning from his Sunday morning basketball game with the guys from work.

I jump at him, “We recorded Sally Ann’s EVP. And the RF meter had a reading of eighty MHz at the exact same time we heard Sally Ann. And remember the K-2 was lighting up by the hotel? I double-checked everything, every meter and all the stuff. There isn’t anything else. That’s everything we got at the ghost town. Oh, and we got the picture.”

Dad looks at me over the top of his reading glasses. “You got a picture?”

I reply, “Yeah, you know the one I took with my cell phone in the hotel? I sent it to Mike. He sent it back a text saying I tried to trick him by throwing powder in front of the camera. When I looked at the photo I sent him, I realized it was Sally Ann’s apparition in the picture. That proves she was there. I knew it.”

Dad motions for me to hand him my phone so he can see the picture, “Could be, could be.” He looks closer at it, “I’ll bring the picture to work and analyze it.”

I add, “I’ll send it to you.”

He answers, “I thought we agreed not to enter the buildings?”

I ignore him.

Dad says, “I’ll count up the electro-magnetic radiation given off by the stuff we had at the ghost town. Hum, let’s see, three cell phones, that’s five MHz and the cameras are about ten MHz. We have to add the radio frequency EMF and light meters, they’re about six MHz, so that’s twenty-one MHz. And the Altimeter, that’s another three, total twenty-four. That’s nowhere near eighty MHz, we have fifty-six MHz unaccounted for.”

Dad states, “I have to bring the EVP recording to work and see if I can enhance the file on the equipment we have there. I’ll give it a forensic audio treatment (FAT) and an acoustical signal analysis (ASC). The FAT will tell us any characteristics of the recording—for example distortion, excessive noise, the speed of the sound, if the tape is demagnetized or if a dropout is present. The ASC will decipher hard to hear inaudible speech signals through forensic phonetic experimentation. If it is a recording of speech, the graphical representation or spectrogram can be printed out. That will give us a voice picture of someone or something. It's kind of similar to a photographic picture of a person.”

“Dad, I double-checked everything, every meter, and all the files on the cameras. There isn’t anything else. We got the EVP recording of Sally Ann, the radio frequency reading of eighty MHz, your K-2 readings, and of course the picture. That’s everything from the ghost town.”

I continue, “I think it proves there was something there? It’s conclusive. I know it. I know we recorded Sally Ann or maybe her brother.”

Jackie adds, “I think it was her brother, Simeon.”

“Dad, ya know I’ve been meaning to ask you, what do you do at work anyway?” I ask.

“Oh, I just test stuff, different equipment, that’s all.”

“I’ll bring this recording of Sally Ann’s EVP to work and analyze it when no one is around. You and Jackie check the Internet for information about anything paranormal that gives off fifty to sixty MHz of electromagnetic energy. See what you can find out. And remember, not a word to anyone.”







Chapter 14 - Chester’s Gifts

Unexpectedly our friend Chester arrives at our house. He waits outside, doesn’t knock on the door or anything. He just stands there leaning against his car, waiting.

Neewa who is outside on her chain, barks a few times and then sits down and watches Chester.

My Dad and Chester work together over at the government building. Sometimes they go fishing in the canyon outside of town. They walk up the canyon, in the water, fishing the pools as the water flows down through the rocks and gorges to the valley.

Dad took me horseback riding in the canyon once. It was so much fun, my horse was named Rosy. We rode across the desert and then up into the canyon. Rosy stopped and drank water from the stream. She pulled the reins right out of my hand so she could reach down to the water. I was almost knocked right off of her into the river.

The water is so crystal clear and clean you can drink it.

Everywhere in the canyon are quaking aspen trees with leaves that shake in the wind, as if they are dancing. That’s why they call them quaking aspen. The sun reflects off of them making the leaves shimmer like stars shining in the night.

Chester is a Native American and he has a home in town. He’s tall, with long straight black hair down to his shoulders. Usually he wears blue jeans with cowboy boots and a nice shirt with a collar, which is left hanging out, never tucked in. His stomach hangs over his belt buckle. Chester is an artist. He paints pictures of desert scenes and Indians doing stuff, worriers, and chiefs too.

His mother lives nearby in one of the oldest homes around. Heather is her name, and she is the tribal Medicine Woman.

Their Indian word for Medicine Woman is “newe pohakanten.” The Medicine Woman is very important in Indian culture. She gives remedies made from herbs and roots. If someone is really sick, she summons help from spirits to cure them. She also uses the same herbs and roots to protect you from evil.

I join Chester outside and let Neewa off her chain so she can run around.

He looks around at the yard, “Look at all the holes.”

Neewa is running around. Chester picks up one of her toys and throws it. In no time she brings it back to him and drops it on the ground near his feet.

“Smart little pup you are,” Chester acknowledges as he throws her toy again.

Chester watches Neewa go down into one of her holes to get a soup bone to chew on.

Looking at me, then at Neewa again he exclaims, “She’s a coy dog, must be a coy dog, look at those holes. I never saw a dog dig holes like that. Those holes are more like coyote dens. Look at that, she can go down into it and turn around inside, just like a coyote.”

He laughs watching Neewa closely, “You got a coyote there.”

“Hey what’s that pink thing in her mouth?” He reaches out to grab it.

Before he can get close enough to touch Neewa’s tongue, I shout, “It’s her tongue!”

The words came out of my mouth quickly from all the practice I have had.

“That’s her tongue?” He pulls his hand back just in time.

“Oh, I thought she had something stuck in her mouth,” he says laughing and shaking his head in disbelief.

“Chester, the distemper almost killed her, it rotted out some of her teeth. Now her tongue falls out,” I explain.

He laughs and Neewa looks at us. She tilts her head with her tongue hanging out the side as if to say, “What are you guys laughing at?”

Chester knows all about dogs and coyotes. He hunts deer and all kinds of wild game. He’s lived here all his life, he must know what he is talking about.

I ask him, wanting to know what the future might hold for Neewa and me. “Will she get vicious and bite? Or run back to the desert to be wild again?”

Chester says with confidence, “You don’t have to worry about Neewa. She will be a good pet. You’d have known by now if she were mean or vicious.”

“Most coy dogs are friendly and make good pets. My aunt has a coy dog and it’s good with kids and other pets too.”

“Are you sure she isn’t going to go back to the desert?” I ask him again for reassurance, even if it might annoy him.

“No, I don’t think so, but anything can happen.”

Chester shrugs his shoulders and then adds, “I brought Neewa a charm for her collar. Can I put it on her?”

“Sure, what kind of charm is it?”

Chester laughs, “It will protect her from evil.”

I look at Chester with questions written all over my face, trying to judge his seriousness. My mind flashes back to Doctor Cuthberson’s office and the Indian Medicine Man’s mask and the artifacts. Then I think about the orbs we captured on video at his ranch the day we went to pick Neewa up.

My thoughts wander back to the dream I had about Neewa’s family watching over the murdered gambler found in the desert, next to the old Indian tomb.
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