Love Spells, A Weekly Serial by L. Casebeer

Angelique emerges from foster care to discover that the fast-moving world of lust on the Internet is more than she bargained for in Love Spells, a cautionary tale of looking for love in the tech age.


3. Episode 32

Angelique wanted to warn Robbie, a man she had met online and hoped to hook up with, to stay away since Cynthia Ann did not consider him welcome, and with spells and guns, he could be in trouble. Once her phone was charged, she decided to contact Robbie but instead discovered there had been a voicemail left on the phone. Her fingers were shaking as she listened to the voicemail to find out, with the readers, that the call had been from a prison.

Episode 32

The only person who knew that phone number was Chuck! He had said the phone was insurance in case something went wrong, and she remembered this: he had always reassured her that nothing ever went wrong. Well, something had gone wrong this time, she thought. The voice on the message asked if she would accept a call from an inmate. The same mechanical voice asked the question three times and then hung up.

Angelique began to wail, a sound that carried across the yard to the barn where Cynthia Ann was talking to a customer. Imagining that something terrible had happened to the baby, Cynthia Ann came running from the barn, glasses flying off the top of her head, to find Angelique inconsolable.

“If I had just kept the phone charged,” Angelique began. “He was trying to find me.”

Shaking her head, Cynthia Ann began, “What the hell. I thought it was the baby.” She took the phone from Angelique’s hand. “No good ever comes from cell phones. What is it this time?”

“Chuck,” Angelique sobbed. “He was the only one who had this number. He said he would use this number to call me if anything bad happened. And then he said like he always did, ‘nothing bad ever happens.’”

“Arrogant prick,” Cynthia Ann replied.

“Father of my baby,” Angelique dissolved into tears again. “It was my only chance ever to find Chuck. He called but I didn’t answer the phone. I took the phone with me to the hospital. It was under my pillow the whole time. But when we got back I guess I got busy with the baby and forgot. I think I left the charger at the hospital.”

“Moving on, as it should be.”

“But he called. And I didn’t answer. I have to go find him.” Angelique got up out of the rocking chair.

“So what are you going to do? Strap the baby in a papoose on your back and start walking down the road to find Chuck?”

“Chuck called and he’s in prison and I have to find him to tell him about the baby.”

“Who called? Did you actually hear his voice?”

“Well not exactly. I heard the operator ask if I would accept the call. And after a while she hung up.”

“I hate to tell you this, Chicklet, but I have gotten those calls too. The inmates dial until they get a number to pick up. It could be a random call and not Chuck anyway.”

Angelique sighed in a way Cynthia Ann hadn’t heard before until Cynthia Ann offered to ask her cousin, the sheriff, to find out if Chuck was in the system, but reminded Angelique that it might be difficult since Chuck could be using an alias.

Hearing the cries of her baby waiting to be fed, Angelique goes to comfort him and has forgotten completely about Robbie and her online adventures. What does Robbie do? Go to and vote on what happens next.

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