Chapter 14


Chapter Fourteen

Mick had fallen unconscious once again after all that he had been through. When he finally came to, it took him several minutes to remember what had happened and where he was. As he woke, he was on his side, but after a few minutes, he managed to roll over onto his back.

He had no idea how long he had been unconscious, which meant that he had no idea how many hours' worth of air remained. His fever was continuing to rage through his body as he shook and struggled to breathe through the agonizing pain he felt and the little amount of air he was receiving from the oxygen tank that lay next to him. Being buried alive was terrifying, but Mick pushed the fear down in order to fight to get out.

He knew that his friends would find him, especially after they saw the video that Lance was going to be posting soon, if he hadn't already. As Mick had told Emily Prentiss during the case they had worked with Hotch's team not too long ago, he trusted Sam Cooper with his life. However, if he could somehow manage to break free from his confinement on his own, he would.

Mick knew that the wooden coffin was old. He just needed to scratch away at the lid until he could break through it and then push through the mound of dirt that buried him. Escaping from being buried alive is nearly impossible, but Mick had worked on a case once before where one of the victims had managed to do it. He knew it could be done. Despite the desperate want to just fall asleep, Mick pushed and pounded on the lid and then began to dig into the wood above him.

Just outside of the woods…

Sam, Gina, Beth, and Prophet stood outside the border of the woods and the park as they each gave orders to the men and women who came to aid in the search of their friend. The officers had brought in several dogs to help as well, hoping that they may find him sooner. Sam had taken out one of Mick's shirts that he had brought with him and used it so that the dogs would be able to catch onto Mick's scent.

By the time everyone was gathered and had begun their search, more than three hours had passed since Mick had been placed inside the grave. They were down to nine hours and the weather was getting worse. It was getting colder as it slowly began to rain.


Before the search party had gathered together, Lance had driven himself back to the woods, where when he had first arrived to this town, he had found an old, abandoned barn to hide out in that was about two miles further from where he had buried Mick. There was no electricity and no service of any kind there, but he was at least safe from the cops, who were concentrating their search for him in the city.

Bryant had driven his truck inside the barn in order to keep it out of site, should any hikers come through the woods, whom may have seen the press conference. After closing the barn's door and taking a seat on the ground, he pulled out a hot plate from his bags that he had brought with him, as well as some of the food he had brought.

He figured that he would go back into town once everything was finally blown over. He had plenty of food and water to last him until then and he knew that Mick's team's boss would not allow them to stay on the case much longer, as long as they figured that he had disappeared and left the state. Once Mick was dead within a few hours, they would eventually find his body and head home.

After heating up some beans, he pulled out his video camera and as he ate slowly, he watched the first video that he had posted once again; the fight between Mick and the gang members, whom he had paid a large amount of cash that he had stolen from another one of his victims.

Lance got a sick satisfaction watching the gang's ex-leader shove the knife into Mick's abdomen. Once the video ended, he set the camera down and washed off his dishes the best he could with the water he had brought with him. After he was finished, he searched his bag for the other video tapes he had recorded and turned another video on. This time, it was the one where he electrocuted Mick for over an hour.

Finally, he had put on his final tape, but about half way through it, Bryant suddenly heard a noise coming from outside of the barn. He walked over to a large, shuttered window in the back of the barn and when he opened it slightly, he saw two men and a woman wearing ponchos, walking around the woods with flashlights in hand, as it was beginning to get dark out.

He knew that two of them weren't cops because they were not wearing uniforms, so he realized that a search party must have been gathered together to search the woods for Mick. He knew that once the team had seen the video he had posted of Mick digging his grave, they would have figured out that he was somewhere in these woods and that they would be concentrating their search efforts out there, not take their time with looking inside the barn. At least that's what he expected them to do, but the cop that was searching with the two civilians nearby walked over to the barn door and opened it. Lance hid as the officer entered.

Lance stood behind one of the walls of what used to be a horse stall near the back window and as the cop walked by, he used the butt of Mick's gun to knock the man out. Bryant then pulled the cop into the stall, quickly closed the barn door once again, and grabbed the handle of a broken broom in order to barricade the door, as he should have done to begin with. What he didn't notice was the cop's gun slip out of his holster and become partially covered by some leftover hay on the ground as the body was moved.

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