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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chapter Eleven ~

                                          Some of these are repeats, but they're favorites...











Chapter Eleven ~

    Amy awoke with a terrible headache. She rolled over and looked at the clock. It was eight o’clock. She jumped out of bed and rushed into the shower. The baby monitor on her bedside had remained quiet all night. She hadn't heard it this morning, either. She jumped out of the shower, a bad feeling nearly overwhelming her. She wrapped a towel around her middle and rushed down the hall to the baby's room with a keycard in one wet hand. She used the card and hurried into the room. The baby was there, sleeping peacefully. Amy put her hand just under the baby's nose to make sure she was breathing. All was well.
    She rushed back to her room. She finally noticed the guard was gone. She looked up and down the hall, but didn't see him. She shrugged and let herself back into her room. She'd thrown her purse in the door to keep it from shutting. The shower was still running, and she got in and showered quickly.

    Twenty minutes later she arrived in the kitchen. Chester was already there, eating a cinnamon roll and drinking a cup of coffee.

    "Where are the kids, Chester?"

    "The guard took them out to play on the playground. Settle down Missy, you're going to have a coronary." He handed her a gooey cinnamon roll that still had steam billowing off it.

    She took the roll and bit into it hungrily. She took a sip of the hot tea the butler had set in front of her. "Do you know any of these new guards?"

    "Nope, Mr. Masters said that they worked for his security firm, so I suspect he trusts them, miss. Stop worrying so. You're going to make yourself sick." He gave a gentle smile.

    "Aren't you in the least worried?"

    "Of course I am, but I know Jackson will do whatever it takes to keep us safe."

    "I bought you something the other day." She was trying to get her mind off the foreboding she couldn't seem to shake.

    "Really, you bought me something?" He sounded like an excited little kid, and it made Amy smile.

    "I sure did. As soon as I finish this and wash my hands I'll go get it." He may be offended and disappointed, but she hoped not.

    "I'm honored you thought of me." There were tears shimmering in the older man's eyes and she felt tenderness for him welling up inside her.

    "I think of you all the time Chester. You're like a dad to me."

    Two big, fat tears slid down the wrinkled face at her words, and Amy got up and hugged him, careful to keep her sticky hands off his sleeves.

    A scream broke into their tender moment and they ran out the door to see what was going on. Angie stood over the guard, shrill screams of horror being ripped out of her tender little soul. Benji stood behind her, hiding his shocked sea-green eyes. The guard lay at the children's feet, dark red blood pumping out of a wound in his chest.

    Amy's mind went into overdrive. She ran over and grabbed the children and rushed into the house, a kid under each arm.
                                           ***
Chester pulled his cell phone out and tried to dial 911. His wrinkled hands shook so badly he dropped the phone. A pinging noise brought his head up in horror, just before the bullet zipped into his body, and he hit the ground, spurts of red gushing freely from the gaping hole near his stomach. He reached his phone and tried to dial 911 again but he lost consciousness. He didn't see Matilda run out and stand over top of him with horror and sadness plain on her face. He didn't see, or feel, her ball up her apron and stick it in the gaping wound in his belly. He didn't see the tears that fell unchecked down her plump face as she stood up and received the bullet that awaited her from the deranged man who'd been holding her daughter and her grandchildren as hostages in order to get her to let him in the house.
                                            ***
    Amy rushed through the kitchen door, her heart pounding so hard she thought she'd die. The kids were screaming, and rightly so. They were scared out of their little minds.

    Amy rushed up the steps, her arms aching terribly from the strain of holding the children. All the guards who'd been stationed at the bedrooms were gone. What was she going to do? She ran to Jackson's office. She sat the kids in the middle of the floor and said, "Don't come out of this room, and don't open the door, no matter what. I have to go get Teenie."

    Tears ran down her face and she swiped at them as she shut the door behind her. She ran down and turned right at the end of the hallway. Teenie's guard was gone, too. She raced the rest of the way down the hall and slashed the keycard in the slot. It opened with a metallic click and she pushed the door open. Teenie was still sleeping peacefully. Or maybe she wasn't sleeping... Maybe she’d been drugged... She was sick. She should’ve awakened by now. She pulled the baby up into her arms, but there was no movement. She heard a keening noise, not realizing at first it was her own voice.

    She began to pray out-loud, "Dear God, please help us. Give me strength, Dear Lord, to endure. Give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to know your will. In Jesus' precious name I pray amen."

    She ran out the door and down to her own room. She grabbed the extra diaper bag and some bottles from the fridge, and threw them in it. She slung it over her shoulder, hitched the baby up toward her chest, and ran to the office to get the other two children, but the door was open and they were gone.  She wailed loudly, not knowing what to do. She ran up and down the hall screaming their names. "Angie! Benji! Where are you? Please answer me!"

    She ran back to her room and picked up the phone. As she'd already suspected, the line was dead. She went into her bedroom and disconnected her cell phone from the charger. When she turned it on, all she heard was static. Someone had jammed the signal. Teenie still hadn't moved, and Amy knew she needed to get the baby to a doctor. At the forefront of her mind was the promise she’d made to Jackson. She had to find the other two, and fast. She ran out into the hallway and saw a tall, heavy-set man with a classic robber's mask over his head. All she could see were his eyes, nose and mouth. The black, knit ski-mask hid the rest. It was enough for her, he looked scary. She went back into her room. She slammed the door in his face, catching his fingers in the process. He screamed in pain, but she ignored it.

     Her main objective was to find the other two children and get out of here. Maybe the Maid's phone was still working. The thought gave Amy renewed hope, and she rocketed out the French doors of her sitting room and onto the deck. The children were there, hiding behind a huge potted plant. Amy coaxed them over to her and pushed one of Benji's hands into Angie's and grabbed the other, and they ran. She went back through her room and out to the stairs that came down into the main sitting room. She opened the door with all the force she could muster, but there was no resistance. She pulled Angie and Benji as fast as she could and they headed down the gravel drive toward Matilda's cottage.

      Tears of fear and frustration threatened to fall, and Amy willed them away. She couldn't let the little ones see her cry. Teenie still hadn't moved, and she wondered if Chester was already dead.

    Angie's scream brought Amy back to the present, and she looked behind her to see what the child was screaming about. The big man who'd chased her into her room was back on their tail. She'd hoped they'd lost him for good when she'd slammed the door on his fingers. They hadn't seen hide or hair of him on their way back downstairs. "Grab me a rock Benji, hurry."

    "What you gonna do?"

    "Hurry baby, get me a rock."

    Angie swooped down, not missing a step, and scooped up a nice-sized rock. She knew what Amy was going to do. She handed the rock to the nanny, looking up into her towering presence with total trust in her eyes. Amy was astounded at the feelings that tried to over-take her. She prayed to God that this little girl's trust in her wouldn't be for nothing. She shoved Teenie into Angie's waiting arms, the baby making the little girl seem even smaller. She almost toppled over when Amy threw the diaper bag strap over her head, but managed to straighten out, all the while never stopping.

    Amy had already let go of Benji's hand, and she told them, "Run babies! Run!"

    She pulled her arm back as far as she could and threw the rock with every bit of strength she had. It met its mark. The big man squealed in surprise and anger as it squared him right in the forehead. He weaved for a second, and then fell to his knees, blood spurting from his head.

     Amy used the extra minutes to catch up to the children. They finally made it to Matilda's little house. She ran up to the door and pounded with all her might. No one answered. She tried the door. It wasn't locked. She pushed it open and shooed the kids inside.

    Just as she was going through the opening, someone jerked on her ponytail, hard. She let out a scream of pain and was jerked back out the door. "Angie, call 911! Shut this door, lock it and call 911!" She screamed as she was being dragged down the gravel drive toward the main house. Her body was twisting and turning, bouncing up and down, and side to side as the relentless grip on her hair continued. She was so angry and terrified for the children she didn't have a chance to be scared. She could hear the sound of sirens as she was being jostled back to the mansion by a monster. He had no remorse he was bruising her body, causing her to bleed. His anger over the rock was probably a catalyst in this outcome, she thought.  'At least the children are safe.’ She slipped into blissful oblivion.


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