Mysterious Ways: A Cry for Help

She was sure she heard a woman calling for help, but why did no one else hear her cries?

Posted in , Nov 11, 2013

Mysterious Ways: A Cry for Help

“Help! Please, somebody, help!” I looked out the window at the orchard, dark and shadowy in the pale moonlight. It was a woman’s voice. Close. But where? My son was at a friend’s house. It couldn’t be him watching a scary show on TV.

I lived in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, at the time, renting a garage apartment set back from our landlord’s house. The orchard and a small creek were behind us, not much else. Maybe someone fell in the water. Or was lost.

“Somebody, please, help me!” There it was again! A woman, desperate and very near. I grabbed the phone and called the police. “I think a woman is being attacked,” I told the dispatcher. I gave my address. “Please hurry!”

I waited. The shouts continued. I called the police again. “We sent an officer already,” the dispatcher said. “He didn’t find anything unusual. But I can send him back, I suppose.”

Had I imagined the voice? No. There it was again. The police should have found her by now. I called one more time. “Where are you?” I asked.

This time the dispatcher put me through to an officer. “Ma’am,” he said, cutting me off, “we went out there. There were no screams. No sign of anything. Stop calling, or we’ll file a complaint against you.”

I hung up. I knew I wasn’t hearing things. I need to look myself, I thought. I got in my car and drove to the orchard, my window rolled down. Every time I thought I was close, the shouts got further away.

I passed the orchard and drove on. A quarter mile. Half a mile. A mile. Then I saw a faint glow ahead. I drove toward it. There, on a barren stretch of road, was a car, wedged into a steep ditch. Standing next to it was a teenage girl, crying. “My boyfriend is stuck inside,” she said. “Please, help us.”

I called the police and told them exactly where to go. Within minutes, two squad cars and an ambulance arrived.

“I told you I heard someone shouting,” I said to one of the officers.

“So you’re the one,” the officer said. “Do you see where we are, lady? There’s no way you could have heard her from inside your house. We’re almost three miles away.”


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