Nine One One by J.D. Webb

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ISBN: 9781601742179
Pages: 33

Jennifer Menlo loves her 911 dispatcher job, and especially loves helping people. But one desperate call from a brave seven-year-old leaves her with a yearning to do more, even though that’s strictly prohibited by the police department. The boy discovers his mother’s body and when he calls 911 for help Jen discovers the boy’s home is not far from where she lives. She doesn’t hesitate to offer more than a helping hand.

Little does she know that a murderer who has killed once will readily chose a second victim if that person threatens to reveal the killer’s identity.


She parked three houses from the crime scene and climbed out of her car. Taking a deep breath, she wove her way through people talking about the tragedy and approached the woman with Nate. Dressed in jeans and a Cardinals jacket, she was almost as tall as Jen. 

“Hello. I’m Jen. May I talk to Nate?”

The elderly woman raised stricken eyes and glanced down at Nate. “Do you know him?”

“We talked on the phone today.”

The woman’s eyebrows furrowed. “You were the one on the phone when…?”

Jen nodded. “Yes.”

“He said you were nice.” She extended her hand. “I’m his grandma, Barbara Brockton. Thank you for helping him.”

Jen nodded and shook her hand. She leaned down to Nate. “Hello, Nate. I’m Jen. Do you remember me?”

He looked up, shaded his eyes and nodded. “The phone lady. I did everything I could.” He swiped at his nose with the back of his free hand. “Mommy’s in heaven now. I couldn’t keep her here.”

Jen’s throat constricted. She hugged him, and tried but failed to keep tears from flowing. “You’re still a hero, Nate. You were brave and strong for your mom. That’s all anyone could ask.”

Jen’s heart constricted at the boy’s grief and she ran a finger beneath her lower eyelids. “Mrs. Brockton, if there’s anything I can do, please let me know. Nate touched me today, and I couldn’t help coming over to check on him.”

“You’re very kind. Thank you. I think Nate and I will be all right. We’ll get through this together.” Her breath caught. “His mother was my only child.” She looked away and shuddered.

Jen patted her on the shoulder. “I’m so sorry.” Turning to the boy she said, “Nate, you need to be strong for your grandma now, okay?” She leaned close and whispered in his ear, “Remember what I said. It’s okay to cry. That’s not being a sissy. And you know your Mommy loved you.”

Nate nodded and stuck his hand in his pocket. “I wish she could be here.”

Jen tousled his hair. “I know. My mom went to heaven just last year. When I miss her, I think about the happy times we had. It helps make it less sad. You think about your happy times and remember.”

“We had lots of happy times.”

“Can I see you again sometime?”


As Jen walked back to her car she turned and waved at the boy and his grandma. Nate raised his hand in an awkward goodbye.

All the way home Jen kept seeing Nate bathed in sunlight, those sad eyes, seeing but not comprehending. Even though he was with his grandma, he was alone.

  • Published by: Uncial Press

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