Chapter 8: No Escape
“No!” Abby screams, as the intruder swings the ax into the sleeping body. She watches in horror as her husband’s blood spews slovenly across their bedroom wall. The smell of fresh blood fills the spacious room, as the invader lifts the ax up again. Abby’s stomach churns in furry, as she stands helplessly frozen in place.
“No, please stop!” Abby begs, desperately trying to move, but her feet remained firmly planted on the carpeted floor. Terrified, she watches the murderer slash into her husband again.
“Please, don’t hurt him,” she pleads. Lifting up the old wooden ax, the man turns towards her.
“This is all your fault, you worthless whore,” the bloodthirsty man violently screams. She sees the vengeance in his eyes as his plump body plows towards her.
“Leave me alone!” she screams, trying to fight him off. His strong hands grab a hold of her arms, Abby winces from the pain. Gritting her teeth, she looks him square in the eyes; he tightens his grip in response. Her head starts feeling woozy like she’s about to pass out. I can’t give in, I just can’t, she thinks, fighting to stay awake. No matter how hard she struggled to stay lucid, she continues to slip into a torpid state. As she’s losing consciousness, she pictures Jack dragging her baby’s to the fiery pit. She hears Adam whaling and Lilly’s cries for help, as their small frail arms reach out for her. I have to do this for my children’s sake, she thinks, fighting to gain awareness. Regaining her composure, Abby fiercely spat;
“I’m not weak like your wife, Suzanne.” Clinching up her fist, Abby swings it around, punching him in the face. The intruder’s hefty body stumbles backward, crashing against the door. Abby tries to run, but her bare feet remains glued to the floor. She quickly glances around the room, hoping to find a weapon.
Anything that was of any use was well out of her reach.
“Help us, please somebody help us!” she screams, as the man continues to walk towards her.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” he fiercely spat, as he closes the distance between them.
“No, please don’t hurt me,” she begs. Shielding her head with her arms, she drops to the floor.
Rachel and Joe see Kirk working hard at his desk when they walk into the station.
“Are we late again?” Joe asks.
“It did take me a little longer to get the kids ready today and the traffic was unusually heavy,” Rachel answers. Glancing at her watch, she continues.
“It’s only seven thirty.”
“He must be getting an early start,” the Captain replies, walking towards his office.
“Good morning, Sergeant.”
“Good morning, Kirk.”
“Are you ready for an update?”
“Lay it on me,” she says, plopping down in front of him. Kirk waits until she gets settled in the chair before he begins.
“The only fingerprints the lab found on the note is from Mrs. Jenkins.”
“That’s no help,” she sighs.
“No, but this is,” he answers, holding up a piece of paper.
“What’s that Kirk?” she asks, leaning towards his desk.
“They determined that the red liquid on the doll’s dress and on the note is pig’s blood. So I’m looking into hog farms to see what I can come up with.”
“What about the handwriting analysis?” she asks, taking a sip of the bitter hot liquid.
“Whoever wrote it is a right handed heavy set man who feels good about himself, his life. That’s why the writing is so dark. Since it’s slanted to the right and lightens at the end, I think the perp wrote it in a hurry. The way it slightly waves from a straight line I believe the person is mentally unstable.”
“You can tell all of that from a few swirls?” Rachel asks, astonished.
“Isn’t science wonderful?” he smiles. Although he loves working with his partners, there are days when he really missed the lab. Being surrounded by the equipment, the tubes the slides, gave him a sense of purpose. What he missed most of all, was the soft soothing hum of the large machines.
“I guess so. How about the stuff on the lawn?” she asks; taking another sip of the crude oil the station laughingly calls coffee. She normally picks some up on the way in, but she didn’t have time today.
“They believe the boulder came from somewhere around the Buffalo river.”
“They didn’t find any fingerprints?”
“No, and the clothes on the dummies is an everyday brand found at Walmart. The outfits were stuffed with hay from the feed mill, so I’m looking into that too.”
“Let me get this straight. Whoever is doing this is a right handed heavy set farmer who shops at Walmart and fishes at the Buffalo River?”
“That pretty much sums it up, Sergeant,” Kirk chuckles.
“That description fits half of the citizens of Berryville.”
“I know that’s why I’m trying to narrow it down by farmers with pigs and cattle.”
“Good luck with that,” she says, scooping up her stuff. She starts to leave when she sees Jerry walking towards them.
“I think I can help narrow down your search,” Jerry says, laying a thick book down on his desk.
“How’s that Jerry?”
“I have the 1975 census.”
“That’ll help a lot.”
“Is there any Mikes on your list?” the Sergeant asks. Jerry quickly scans the report.
“There are three.”
“I want you to check on them first.”
“Why is that, Sergeant?”
“Something Lilly Jenkins said.” Turning towards Kirk she continues.
“Do you know the names of the three Arnold children?”
“I have it somewhere,” Kirk starts, searching through the pile of papers scattered across his desk.
“Here it is, Ashley, Anna, and Amy.”
“I think I’m going to talk to the little girl about her imaginary friend, see what else they’ve told her.” Confused, Kirk looks over at Jerry, he shrugs. Looking down at the Styrofoam cup Rachel continues.
“And get a decent cup of coffee.”
Mr. Jones was busy loading supplies in his truck when he sees Mike walking down the street. Slamming the tailgate closed, he rushes after his old pal. Mike just opened the diner door when Ed grabs a hold of his arm.
“Hey,” Mike protests, jerking his arm away, as he swings around.
“We have to talk, now!” Ed orders.
“You don’t have to be so rough about it,” he says, straightening out his sleeve. Grabbing his arm for the second time, Ed leads his pal down the alley.
“What’s got your dander all stirred up, old man?” he asks, rubbing his aching extremity.
“You, that’s what!”
“What did I do now?”
“I told you to leave my renters alone!” Ed spat, poking him in the chest.
“I did,” he says, vigorously rubbing the area where Ed hit.
“You didn’t have anything to do with the doll or the cross?” Ed asks, getting in his face. Bringing his aching arms up from his side, Mike pushes him away.
“No, I swear it wasn’t me.”
“Who did it then?”
“I don’t know.” Seeing Ed continue to glare at him, Mike decides to elaborate on his answer.
“Larry, Jeff, George and Hebert were all there when Jack hung himself. So it could be any one of them.”
“You swear it wasn’t you!”
“I swear!” Grabbing a handful of Mike’s shirt, Mr. Jones draws him in close.
“If I find out you’re lying to me, I’m going to do worse to you than what we did to Jack, got it.”
“It wasn’t me, I swear,” he says, lifting up his arms. Ed shoves him backward, Mike’s body slams against the dinner’s metal siding.
“You better not lie to me,” he warns, turning, he walks away. Seeing Ed headed towards the feed mill, Mike pulls his phone out of his pocket.
“Mr. Jones in on a warpath worse than I’ve ever seen. So you better be on the lookout. Be sure to warn the others too,” he adds, watching Mr. Jones speed away.
Abby is startled awake by a screaming infant demanding her attention. Sitting up in bed, she quickly glances around. She first notices the bright morning sun, peeking through the blinds. She then sees the fancy window dressing, flapping gallantly in the wind. Looking over she sees her husband sleeping peacefully on the bed beside her. She then realizes the bedroom door is open, the way she’d left it. It was only a dream. She sighs, happily glancing around. Hearing the infant’s cries getting louder, she throws her feet out of the covers.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” she quietly whispers, looking over at her snoring husband. Throwing on her pink robe, she stumbles across the room.
“Ok, ok.” She yawns, shuffling down the hallway. Abby sees a large brawny man holding her son when she steps through the doorway.
“No!” she screams, dashing across the room. Getting closer she realizes the baby’s head was missing. Looking down she sees an ax propped against the crib. The baby’s bloody head is lying right beside it.
“No, not Adam, not my sweet baby!” she cries, dropping to her knees.