Scene One: Saturday morning, approximately three a.m., less than twenty-four hours after the events of our previous post. The Foxster stands in the closed and darkened lounge area of Kewl Beanz!, alone.
The Foxster calls Bella Vergara, the assistant manager of Kewl Beanz!, from the bar phone.
Bella: Hello? Who is this? (pauses and checks her caller ID, reading "Kewl Beanz.") Tara?
Foxster: No, Bella... It's the Foxster. I'm terribly sorry to call at this ungodly hour, but...
Bella (interrupting): Is Tara all right?
Foxster: Uhhh... That's why I'm calling you. She never came home last night... I mean, this morning... after work! I tried calling her first, of course, several times... but she doesn't have her phone with her.
Bella: She left it at the bar...
Foxster: I know. I found it when I came here. (pause) So, you don't know where she is, either?
Bella: No, I'm sorry. (pause) She left in a big hurry, right before closing. She didn't tell me anything.
Foxster: Damnit! (pause) Okay, Bella, thanks anyway. And I'm so sorry I woke you!
Bella: It's all right. Good luck, and... Let me know when you find out anything?
Foxster: Of course. Goodnight. (Foxster disconnects.)
The Foxster calls Vickie Wickie.
Vickie (groggy, but angry): Who the [expletive deleted] is this?!?
Foxster: Vickie, this is the Foxster!
Vickie: Oh! I'm so sorry! I didn't even check...
Foxster (interrupting): Forget it, it's okay. (brief pause) Do you know where Tara is?
Vickie: Tara? Uhhh... Don't take this the wrong way, Mr. Foxster, but... Why would I?
Foxster (after a pause): Oh, hell... I don't know. (pause) I guess I'm just grasping at straws. She didn't come home after work, and I'm frantic.
Vickie: Maybe she's visiting Gretchen? I know it's late, but...
Foxster: No. In fact, I was visiting with Gretchen and the Skipster until almost two a.m.! I was home for a bit, and when she didn't show, I came here, and called Bella, and then... I called you.
Vickie: Doesn't Tara answer her phone?
Foxster: She doesn't have her phone. She left the bar in a rush, according to Bella, and didn't take it. In fact, I have it here.
Vickie: You could... (long pause) You could always check her contacts or messages, or...?
Foxster: Oh, I couldn't do that! That would be... an invasion of privacy, to say the least.
Vickie: Mr. Foxster... David... You know damned well that Tara and I don't exactly belong to each other's fan clubs... although even I've noticed she's seemed kind of distracted lately, and... (pause) Anyway, I know how important she is to you. And you're obviously worried sick. At this point, anything that might give you peace of mind is a good thing! (pause) You should really check her phone.
Foxster: I dunno... (pause) Anyway, I'm really sorry I woke you for nothing.
Vickie: "Nothing?" Don't be silly. You can call me any time. (pause) Any time. You're not only my boss, but... well... We are friends, aren't we?
Foxster: Yeah... Of course. (The Foxster tries to lighten the mood.) So stop calling me "Mister Foxster."
Vickie: Okay... Foxster. Good luck finding Tara... whether or not you do check her phone. And any time you want someone to talk to... I'll be there for you.
Foxster: Thanks, Vickie. Get some sleep, okay?
Vickie: Goodnight, Foxster. (The Foxster disconnects.) Friggin' idiot.
The Foxster stands quietly in the bar area for several minutes, lost in his thoughts. Finally, he picks up Tara's phone, and does some "investigating." He sees a name on the contacts list, and scowls.
Foxster: Son of a bitch...!
* * * * *
Scene Two: The bedroom in the home of the Foxster, sometime after four a.m. The Foxster has finally gotten to sleep, but only after calling Pleasantview Community Hospital's ER.
Next: Things get worse! Don't miss "I Hope There's No GUN in the House!"