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The Short Wave

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Somewhere, in another world, a woman is reminiscing in her garage.

She’s a police officer.

Has been for nearly two decades.

And as she switches on an old ham radio, one her father had obsessed over in her youth.

Memories come flooding back to her about her and her father’s time together, a man she misses dearly – as shortly after she entered the police force, her father was shot and killed in the line of duty trying to track a killer who had taken her mother’s life.

In the short time she started as an officer.

She had lost both her mother and father.

She cries, as she looks at the short wave radio, and as she dusts it off and flips the switch, to her surprise it turns on.

“CQ” she says into the Microphone.

No one responds.

She’s crying, as she remembers her father introducing the radio to her for the first time and the precious little time where her father wasn’t working in her youth that she had spent with him.

“CQ, this is Raimy Sullivan is anyone out there ,” she continues saying.

And to her surprise.

She hears her father’s unmistakable voice respond.

“Raimy Sullivan? That’s interesting. This is Frank. And that’s my daughter’s name. What are the odds?,” he says.

She drops the microphone on the desk and her mouth opens incredulously.

“Is this some kind of twisted joke?,” she says, angrily.

“I don’t understand,” he says.

“You. You can’t be Frank,” she says, “my father’s name was Frank, and he died, a long time ago.”

He ponders the situation for a moment.

“Wait a moment. What CQ sign did you use to call out by?,” Frank Sullivan responds.

She reads out the stenciled number on the top of the short wave radio, making sure she’s reading it right and making sure her memory is accurate.

Frank looks at the number stenciled on top of his.

“Now wait a moment. It’s my turn to ask. Are you pranking me? That’s my call sign,” he said.

She thinks for a moment.

“How old is your daughter, Frank?,” she says.

He tells her. She does the math. And realizes that’s how old she would have been if….

“Frank,” she blurts out, fighting back the premature urge to call him dad, as tears begin to roil, “what year is it?”

He looks at the calendar on the wall, as if he needed that for verification.

“It’s 1996,” he says, matter of factly.

She gasps as a hand goes over her mouth in astonishment.

“Oh my god,” she says, out loud to herself, with the microphone off, as she looks at the calendar on the wall which clearly indicates it’s April of 2016.

She then switches the microphone on to say “Frank. Dad. It’s 2016 here. I’m your daughter. Raimy. Raimy Sullivan”

There’s no answer for a minute.

She thinks she’s lost him.

“Dad, please, I know this is hard to believe, please don’t go,” she pleads

No answer.

Tears roll as her head goes into her hands.

And then finally.

“You’re saying you’re my Raimy? Tell me something only Raimy would know,” Frank responds.

She then says “Just last year, you showed me how to work the shortwave radio. I wound up spilling a Dr Pepper on the desk it was on which you were worried had gotten inside of it but it only wound up staining the side of it,” as she stroked the dusty dark stain on the unfinished wood grain still on the side of the short wave radio.

He stared intently at the radio as she continued.

“Last year, you were helping me with my bicycle, you’d taken off the training wheels, and do you remember what I ran into only minutes after pushing me?,” she said.

He laughed, out loud, “That was so funny, of course I do how can I forget – you ran straight through Miss Delancey’s tulip garden into her pond. I had to put clothes on you afterwards just in case the same thing happened and you found her roses!,” she laughed.

She smiled. “I know. I hated that. It felt like you didn’t trust me.”

“I remember, “ he said, “you took them right off the moment you were done with the bike ride though, I think that I single handedly made you hate riding a bike, you so hated wearing clothes.”

“I wear a badge and a holster now,” Raimy said, “if you consider that to be clothes”

“And nothing else, I assume,” Frank said.

“I’m a police officer, dad, I can’t have the public thinking I’m afraid of them,” she said.

“You haven’t changed, Raimy” Frank said.

A tear fell down her cheek, as she said “Dad, there’s something I need to tell you”

“It’s about our future, isn’t it?,” he said.

“It is,” she said, hesitating.

Should she be changing time? The very little she’d come to learn about time travel and about influencing events over time, she’d always been led to believe that making any changes could wind up disastrous.

But the truth was. Life sucked for her.

She knew it.

Her mother and father had both died, violently.

She’d become affixed with the label of Ice Queen to her friends and colleagues. While they could count on her to get the job done, she knew full well that being her friend of even lover was impossible. So she embraced her work, and was great at what she did.

And nothing else.

Should she…

“Dad, I love you and miss you and mom. I want you both back. You both die next year, my first year in the police force, and I have blamed myself for it for so long,” she said

“And here’s our opportunity to solve it,” Frank said, matter-of-factly

Over the next year, Frank Sullivan in the year 1996 maintains constant communication with his daughter in the year 2016 by way of a short wave radio.

Working together. They discover the reason for the unsolved nature of the crime was due to police force corruption.

Frank’s own partner was on the take, and as Frank investigated a string of serial killings which could lead to a deeper investigation of the police force and his partner, Raimy and Frank worked together to ultimately save his wife and her mom’s life from numerous attempts on her life by both the serial killer and the corrupt members of the police force.

But Frank’s life could not be saved.

As Raimy, one night in late 2017, sat at her Short Wave Radio.

Her mom inside the house she was living in.

Raimy said into the short wave radio “Frank. I wish you could hear me. Mom and I miss you,”

No response.

“God dammit, Frank. Uncle Joe and your wife love you and we all wish you were here,” she said again.

No response.

Static filled the short wave radio as she went to press the microphone again, as a puff of smoke drifted from the radio and the light on it went out one last time.

She cried.

As her father – 20 years older than when she remembered him – walked into the garage where she was sitting.

“Don’t cry, poppet, “ he said, “I’m here.”

She looked up from her hands, eyes in tears.

“Dad!,” She yelled, and rushed to hug him as her mind flooded with memories of moments she’d never previously experienced with him until now. Her father and mother moving to another city for a year for unexplained reasons.

Buying her first house.

His retirement last year.

A number of lovers she’d never had before (although she was still single).

He held her as she calmed down.

“What happened?,” she said, pulling slightly away, “I thought you’d died”

He looked at her and said.

“Well, when you said something about Uncle Joe, what you used to call my corrupt partner, I knew he’d somehow gotten away with things he never should have gotten away with which made it clear he was my killer. You’d let me know when and where, all it took was letting events unfold naturally and when the players were in place, I called in the FBI and asked for their help which I had enough evidence to not sound like a complete nut job and they gladly provided considering the circumstances,” he said.

She looked at him confused.

“I don’t understand. You said I said something about Uncle Joe?,” she said.

Frank looked at her, as she released her grasp on him.

“Uncle Joe, my former partner, yes, just now you told me you, him and mom were wishing I was here for you,” he responded.

She looked at him, puzzled.

“Uncle Joe – your partner you had busted? I don’t remember telling you anything like that,” she said.

She hugged him again.

“But that’s ok, you’re here now and that’s all that matters to me,” she says.

The two walked out of the garage into the house as she turned off the lights.

This short story is based on events depicted in the tv show Frequency and the truly wonderful short three minute epilogue distributed on May 14th on torrent feeds, four months after the show’s cancellation.

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