Chapter 11: Searching for Survivors
Rachel is working on a report at her desk when Kirk runs over to her.
“Sergeant, Springdale Police Department just called. They said that there was a fire at one of your safe houses.”
“Please tell me it’s not the one the Jenkins is in.”
“I’m afraid so, Sergeant.”
“Did everyone get out alright?”
“They haven’t found anyone yet.”
“I’ve got to get out there,” she says, running for the door.
“Guys, Greg Jenkins was in a car accident over on HWY 43,” the Captain announces.
“Is he alright, boss?” Jerry asks.
“The EMT’s are working on him now.”
“Are Abby and the babies with him?” Rachel questions.
“They’ve only found Greg so far, why?”
“Their safe house caught fire and the firefighters haven’t been able to locate anyone.”
“I’ll notify the rescue team, Rachel, I want you to go to the house, Jerry, Kirk, you two head over to the wreck.”
“We’re on it, boss.”
Jerry and Kirk see the EMT’s load Greg in the back of the ambulance when they pull onto the scene.
Looking over they notice the front end of Greg’s car is completely smashed in.
“How is he doing?” Jerry asks, glancing down at the bloody victim.
“Not well, I’m afraid.”
“Did he say anything to you?”
“He’s been unconscious the entire time we’ve been here,” The EMT says, quickly closing the ambulance door.
“Jerry, I talked to one of the officers, he said Greg had to be doing at least 45 when he went over the bluff.
“45 on this road, in these conditions?” he asks, looking up at the gray cloudy sky. It’s been raining off and on all day making the sharp curvy road more treacherous.
“That’s what he said.”
“Did they find Abby or the kids?” he asks, quickly looking around.
“They don’t believe that anyone else was in the car.”
“From what they can gather, Greg tries to slow down, but the brakes didn’t work so he slams it in first gear and pulls the emergency brake, but that didn’t work either.”
“Both of the brakes failed?”
“They said it looks like they’ve been tampered with.”
“I bet the fire was purposely set too. I better call the Sergeant and tell her what’s going on,” he says, fishing for his phone.
“I’ll call the captain, give him an update.”
Rachel pulls up to see the two children crying in the back of the ambulance. She quickly looks around for Abby, but she was nowhere in sight. Frightened, she runs over to the Fire Chief.
“Where’s their mother, Where’s Abby?” Rachel blurts out as she continues to look around.
“She’s over there,” he says, pointing to the squad car. Looking over she sees Abby talking to one of the officers.
“Will they be alright?” she asks, looking back towards the crying children.
“They have some smoke inhalation, but thanks to Abby’s quick thinking all three of them should be alright.”
“Sergeant, this little girl wants to talk to you.” Turning around Rachel sees Lilly reaching out for her.
“Aunt Rachel, Aunt Rachel,” Lilly cries, jumping into the Sergeants arms.
“Oh, baby I’m so sorry,” she says, gently stroking Lilly’s long blond hair.
“It was awful Aunt Rachel, just awful. The fire, it was everywhere.” the child bawls, scooting closer to her. Rachel feels the child’s small body tremble in her arms.
“There, there, it’s ok, honey. You’re safe now,” Rachel softly replies.
“I heard him, Aunt Rachel, I heard him talking to mommy!”
“Who did you hear, honey?”
“A bad, bad man. He said we’re all going to die,” she cries.
Did you see him, Lilly?”
“No, but I heard him,” she sobs.
“Did you hear him like you do with your new friends?”
“No, it was like when mommy and daddy tell me stuff. Only his voice was so loud that it hurt my ears.”
“He hurt your ears?”
“Yeah, like the movies sometimes.”
“Can I take her now, Sergeant?” An EMT asks, reaching out for her.
“Yes, of course.”
“No!” Lilly screams, throwing her arms around Rachel’s necks.
“This nice lady is going to take you and mommy to the hospital to make sure you’re ok,” Rachel says, trying to pull Lilly off of her.
“I want you to come too,” Lilly protests, clinging onto her tighter.
“I’ll be there in a minute, ok?”
“No, now! I want you to go now!” The child screams.
“I’ve got this Sergeant,” the EMT says. Pulling the child off of her, she quickly walks away. Rachel watches as Lilly reaches out for her as she’s being loaded into the back of the ambulance. I’m so sorry baby. She thinks, turning her attention back to the fire chief.
“How did the fire start?” she asks, glancing towards the fretful child.
“We believe it was an overload in the electrical wiring.”
“We’ve never had a problem with the electric before. In fact, the entire house was rewired just last spring,” she says, glancing towards Lilly. She was still screaming for her. Looking towards the child, the Fire Chief quickly continues.
“As far as what the child said about hearing someone in the house, my men have already checked and didn’t find anyone else inside.”
“I have a feeling the voice she heard was broadcasting over a speaker, possibly being blue toothed in.” she says, thinking back to the projector.
“We’ll look into that.”
“Check for camera’s inside the house and be sure to check the security camera,” she says, watching Lilly trying to escape from the EMT.
“I’ll have my men look into all of that; you just look after that kid.”
“Yes sir,” she smiles, running towards the ambulance.
“Aunt Rachel,” Lilly exclaims, hopping into her arms.
“I told you I’d be right back.”
“Look who’s here, mommy.” Rachel turns to see Abby standing at the back of the ambulance.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” she cries. Grabbing a hold of Rachel, Abby starts sobbing in her arms.
Rachel tells Abby about Greg’s accident on the ride over.
“I don’t know what I’d do without Greg, I just don’t know,” Abby bawls.
“He has the best doctors in the state working on him and I know they’ll do everything they possibly can.”
“I sure hope so,” Abby cries.
“They will, I promise.”
Abby jumps out of the ambulance, as soon as the doors open.
“You need to get checked out ma ’me.” The EMT explains as Abby rushes towards the entrance.
“I need to check on my husband first,” she says, bolting through the sliding glass doors.
“Where’s Greg Jenkins?” Abby anxiously asks, glancing down the hall.
“His wife, where is he, where is Greg?” she asks, as she continues to look around.
“We had to take him up to surgery.”
“Surgery?” Abby exclaims. Feeling weak, she grabs a hold of the nurse for support.
“The doctor’s wants to stop the bleeding and reduce the swelling on his brain. Checking her watch the nurse continues.
“We should know something real soon.” Seeing a doctor walking through the department, the nurse motions him in their direction.
“I’m DR. Goodman, I’m one of the surgeons that took care of your husband.”
“How’s Greg, is he going to be alright?”
“You’re husband sustained several injuries to his head and his abdomen region. We did all we could for him...”
“No, not Greg, Please not Greg, please!” she screams, collapsing on the floor.
Joe and his two detectives are in his office trying to make sense of what’s taken place.
“Whoever did this had to have known where we moved the Jenkins, boss.”
“Everyone at the last crime scene knew we were going to move them.” Kirk pipes in.
“Yeah but which one of them knew where and when?”
“I don’t think any of them did.”
“Are you sure, Jerry?”
“They couldn’t have known because you didn’t tell us where to take the family until after everyone left.”
“That’s right boss, we were helping the family pack up when you gave Rachel the location.”
“You’re sure no one overheard the conversation?”
“I’m positive, boss.”
“Did Rachel say the address out loud?”
“No, she wrote it down on a piece of paper and handed it to us.”
“Where’s the paper now?”
“In my pocket.” After pulling out several candy wrappers, he hands the Captain a small piece of paper.
“Guess I need to empty my pockets more often,” he says, sheepishly throwing the wrappers in the trash.
“This paper came from where?”
“The Sergeants notebook. In fact, that’s how we started communicating, just in case the house is bugged.”
“Did the Jenkins slip up and say the address?”
“They didn’t know where we were going.”
“And you’re sure no one followed you?”
“I’m certain of that,” Kirk says, remembering how they circled through several towns before going to the house.
“We even had decoys go off in different directions at varies times of the trip.” Jerry pipes in. Looking around, Joe motions them out to the hallway. Closing the office door behind him, the Captain leans towards his detectives.
“That only leaves two options then. Either my office is bugged or someone is listening in to Rachel’s phone conversations. Kirk, I want you to start looking for a bug, Jerry, I want you to warn Rachel. I’ll start questioning everyone who was here during the 70′s, see if we can get to the bottom of this once and for all,” he whispers.
When Abby wakes up she finds herself in a hospital bed, Lilly was sleeping peacefully beside her. Adam was in a small bassinet a few feet away. Why are we here? Yesterday’s events suddenly came back to her as she glanced around the cold sterile room.
“Oh my God Greg, he’s gone, Greg is gone,” she sobs, sitting up in bed. Seeing her spring up, Rachel runs over to her side.
“What’s wrong Abby?”
“Greg is gone, he’s gone,” she bawls.
“No, he’s not,” Rachel says, pointing to the bed beside her. Abby tearfully looks to where she’s pointing. She sees Greg in a hospital bed on the other side of the room. She then notices the bulky white bandages wrapped around his head, his arms and his torso.
“Is he going to be alright?” she asks, glancing back at Rachel.
“The doctors believe he’ll be just fine.”
“I swore they told me he died.”
“You must have dreamed it.”
“What about Lily and Adam? Are they going to be alright?” she asks, glancing towards her babies.
“They’re going to be fine too,” Rachel says, hugging her shaken friend.