Seventy-four years later
It all began on one of the hottest days that Maine had seen in over sixty years, and it just so happened to be our first summer in Maine. It was ninety-eight degrees and ninety percent humidity. The air in the house was so thick it felt like you were swimming through it as you walked.
We moved our family out of California to a quaint little farming community in New England to enjoy the four seasons, good people, fresh food, and the beautiful country sights.
But now as I walked through the house closing all the curtains so the overstrained swamp cool managed to cool at least the front room of our home, I was questioning that decision.I remember what the real estate agent told us when we asked about air conditioning, and how this house didn't have it. And I quote: “No, you don’t need air conditioning in Maine. We never get as hot as you do in California.” End quote.
“What was that woman thinking? Of course you need air conditioning out here. This mugginess is far worse than anything we have California!” I griped going to the sliding glass door to check on the kids.
My two little ones were playing in the inflatable pool in the back yard. Conner was eight and Augustine was six were splashing and having fun while My sixteen-year-old, Presley, was sitting hunched over in the lawn chair in shaded, sketching ideas for her comic book. Every time one of the kids splashed in the pool, she’d yell at them to be careful.
That’s when I noticed the absence of my oldest, Ryan, whom I’d told to go outside and help his sister with the kids were missing. “Hey, where’s Ryan?” I asked after opening the slider.
“How would I know, like he'd ever come help watch the babies. Mom, Can I go inside now? I need to call Cathy and Ryan hasn’t been out here all day,” she whined.
“I guess twenty minutes outside constitutes a whole day of babysitting to you. But remember, I gave you money for your art supplies and in return, you’re supposed to help me out with watching Conner and Aggie so I can get some work done.” I informed her blowing a sweaty piece of hair out of my face.
“Fine, and I think Ryan’s in the room of doom. I heard him before I came outside yelling at someone to quit grenade jumping,” she informed me after she gave me glorious teenage eye-roll.
“Lovely.” I murmured shutting the slider and headed to my oldest room, or what our family had dubbed “The Room of Doom.” As I walked downstairs, I stepped on a Lego in the middle of the floor, “Damn it! What, didn't I just pick these up?” I murmured.
At this point, hot, tired, and all my cleaning efforts going down the drain for the day, that had put Mommy in a very crabby mood. All I really wanted was a couple of minutes of peace and quiet…and for summer to be over.
Rubbing my toy-damaged foot, and kicking away the rest of the mess on the floor, I made it to my son’s door. A big sign posted on the door was my welcome. "enter at your own risk,” greeted me.
"I know there more truth to that then I'd like to acknowledge." I sighed.
Before I even knocked, I heard him yelling at someone: “Don‘t even try to no scope me, noob!” Then a person on his x-box live yelled back, “Whatever, douchebag!” came the kid on the other line.
Well isn’t that lovely. I wondered if that mother knows what’s coming from her son’s mouth. At that point, I could’ve just turned around and walked back upstairs, but with a deep breath, I knocked anyways.
“What!” he yelled…through the door.
“Its Mom, can I come in? “ I asked.
Then I could hear him whisper, “Dude it’s my mom, shut the hell up for a minute. Come in.” He answered. But when I tried to turn the knob, I couldn’t.
“I can’t believe you locked the door. Didn’t I specifically tell you not to do that anymore?” I asked him, completely annoyed with both my eldest children.
I could hear him walking through all the crap on his floor, muttering, “Yeah, yeah, I know.” As the door flew open the aroma that my husband calls the foot and ass stink hit me.
“Man, I know it’s summer but could you do me a favor and at least wash something? Your room stinks!” I gagged. Then I got another fabulous eye-rolling, must be my lucky day.
“I don’t smell anything,” he grunted like a pure pain-in-the-ass teenager. I just looked at him, wondering how he managed to breathe in there.
“I was just wondering if you were going anywhere tonight or if anyone was coming over? I was about to start dinner and just wanted to see how much to make,” I asked.
“I’m taking Annie to some chick flick she wanted to see and then out to get something to eat. Oh! But can Calvin come over after, he has a game that I want to try out before I buy it.” Ryan asked me.
Great! Now I could look forward to yelling as boys playing video games all night. “That’s fine if you guys can stay somewhat quiet,” I told him but paused. “Hey, don’t you work tomorrow? I don’t want you staying up all night, then having to work in the morning.”
“No, I work at three, so I’m good.”
“Alright then.” I aid and started to leave.
“Hey mom, what time is it?”
“It’s five twenty, why?” I asked with my cell in hand.
“Shit! I’m supposed to be at Annie’s house in twenty minutes!” he answered as his door flew open. He jumped up the steps two at a time, and then I heard Presley annoyed voice and the gripes of the little ones as they came into the house.
“What now?” I sighed going up the stairs.
Conner and Aggie were fighting because Conner splashed Aggie more than he was supposed to. But I could hear Conner telling Aggie, that was how you play the game.
When I made it back upstairs, my two little ones had walked through my house sopping wet. You could actually follow where they went by the puddles of water that they left behind on my wood floors.
On my way to the kitchen to get some paper towels to clean the Atlantic Ocean that was running through my house, Presley came running in looking for me. “Mom, can you give me a ride to Carol’s house?” she asked, out of breath.
“Now? But I still have to make dinner.” I stammered.
“Carol said that she got some new graph paper for our comic. Her mom will be home, so can you? Please,” she begged bouncing on her toes.
At that moment my husband Dean came through the door, with the little ones running in to greet him. He bent over to give them a hug, then walked over to me and gave me a kiss. “Hey Hon, how’s your day?” he asked me.
“Mom, so can I?!” Presley whined.
I had to take control of the situation before I went crazy. “Hold that thought,” I told my husband, then I called out to my son. “Ryan, take your sister to Carol’s house before you pick up Annie, and remember your curfew is eleven-thirty and no later. Presley, I want a phone call if any of your plans change. We bought you a cell phone; I expect you to use it.”
“Thanks Mom, see you later!” she giggled running to the door; she’d heard Ryan in the background tell her to get into the car or he’d be late. A second later Ryan popped out of the bathroom, ran by Dean and me and said, “Hi Dad, bye Dad. See you tonight, Mom,” then slammed the door behind him.
“Where’s he off to?” Dean asked.
“He’s off to the movies with Annie, Calvin and Calvin’s new girlfriend.” I sighed.
“And Presley’s going where?” He wondered.
“She’s going over to Carol’s to work on their comic book,” I told him, taking a sit on the stool at the kitchen counter. “And to answer your question, my day was hot, noisy, and unproductive. How’s yours?”
“About the same as yours. But the nice thing is that two of our children are out for the night. So we can put the young ones to bed and have some fun ourselves tonight.” He smiled wrapping his arms around my waist and his lips went to my neck.
“That’s gross, Dad!” exclaimed Conner as he walked by us to the refrigerator and pulled out two juice boxes.
“Well, I don‘t think it‘s gross, in fact, I like it very much.” Dean chuckled, then kissed me on the lips.
“Mom says we’re supposed to keep it G-rated, remember?” He exclaimed with a look of disgust.
“Where’s your sister?” I asked.
“Downstairs watching cartoons,” he yelled back to me like I should already be aware of this.
“So what’s for dinner, I’m starving,” Dean asked looking at the kitchen.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes like my teen-aged children. Men and their stomachs! But I could definitely work this to my advantage if I played my cards right. “You know what would really get me in the mood for tonight,” I purred.
“What?” he asked as I kissed along his jaw.
He dipped down and deepened a kiss and wrapped around my waist. When he stopped the kiss, I pulled away and whispered in his ear, “Not to make dinner.”
“Baby if I get lovin’ tonight, I’ll buy you anything you want,” he chuckled, then tried to pull me in for another kiss.
“Thanks,” I giggled, maneuvering out of his hold.
“Where are you going, Molly, I wasn’t finished yet,” he laughed.
“Well, you need to take a shower and I want to get Conner and Aggie ready to go with you,” I smirked as I made my way out of the kitchen.
“I got to take the little ones too?” But if I take them it’s going to take me that much longer.” He groaned.
“I know. That’s the whole point. I get half an hour of blissful peace and quiet. And believe me, that makes for one sexy man.” I winked.
“Okay, okay, I get it. But I if I take the little ones, I’m getting something extra tonight,” he ordered as he slapped my ass leaving the kitchen.
Twenty minutes later Dean, Conner, and Aggie piled into the Yukon and left to go to Subway to pick up nice cold subs for dinner. That meant I could take a nice cool shower with no interruptions or yelling.
After my shower, I slipped on my favorite tank top, my tatted cut off sweat as, and walked out of the bathroom brushing out my long chestnut hair. I took one of my old worn-out rubber bands, and placed my hair in a messy bun and went to the front room. What is a woman to do with all that quiet time? Easy, go lie on the couch near the swamp cooler and close her eyes, of course.
My eyes were shut, and my feet up, when there was a knock at the back door. My head popped up as another knock came and I got up to go see who it was. Man isn’t that always the way; once you get comfortable something always happens to screw it up.
“I’m coming,” I shouted as there was another knock. I made my way to the door.
When I opened the door there was a FedEx driver. And let me say Wow, when did they start hiring male models to work for their company? Maybe I should apply! But as I was busy admiring the hot male in front of me, he cleared his throat. “Um hi, you got a package for me?” I asked, completely embarrassed.
The auburn-haired FedEx male model looked down at his clipboard and then at me. “Evenin’ ma’am, are you Molly Baron?” he asked in a deep southern drawl.
“Yes. Do you need me to sign something?” I asked through the screen door. I couldn’t read him with those dark sunglasses he had on.
“Yes, ma’am, I’m glad I found you. They put the wrong address down. And I was told that I needed to get to you tonight, or I couldn’t go home.” He said with a big friendly smile.
“Oh, okay,” I grinned.
“Now I need you to take a look at the information, I just to be sure I have the right person and all. I’m sorry to take so much of your time this evenin’,” he said, with all that southern charm.
"No, that’s fine. Where do I need to sign.” I answered, opened up the screen door.
His hand reached behind me holding the door open, then he maneuvered close to me with his clipboard at the ready. But when he pulled the clipboard back enough to let me glance down at it, and that’s when I realized it was nothing but a blank piece of paper. My head shot up, and a sly grin was already on his face.
“Now darlin’ we can do this the easy way or the hard way. The choice is up to you,” he told me as he pushed his sunglasses down winking at me with strange golden eyes.
I grabbed at the kitchen door, trying to slam it on him, but he was already standing with one boot in my doorway, making that impossible. I kicked at his boot and pushed the door shut with everything I had, screaming at the top of my lungs for help.
But he didn’t budge. He was a mountain of a man, and my weight wasn’t going to move such mass. “So we’re going to do this the hard way, I see,” he chuckled easily. “That’s fine, makes it more fun for me.”
I could feel the door starting to push open. My feet were slipping against the tile floor as I screamed for help. I knew I only had one chance, and that was to go get the gun in Deans drawer.
When I quit pushing and let go of the door he stumbled forward; I was hoping he would fall to give me a couple of seconds advantage to get the gun in my bedroom.
I ran from the kitchen, through the family room, and into my master bedroom and grabbed at the drawer, but it was locked. Frantically I looked for the key in Deans mess, all the while hearing boots coming toward me.
In the bottom drawer in the hidden compartment, there was the key. I snatched it up with a shaking hand, trying to steady it to unlock the drawer. As I got the key in the lock, someone cleared his throat and I grabbed the Glock out of the nightstand.
The man was casually standing in the doorway with a smile, leaning on the door jam with his arms crossed. “Well, well, well, aren’t you the firecracker,” he laughed.
“If you turn around right now and leave, I won’t shoot. But you better make up your mind pretty damn quick,” I hissed with as much venom as I could muster. But he didn’t move and I took the safety off the gun and cocked it.
The look on his face was no longer amusement, but pity. He observed the gun in my hand and shook his head. “I’m sorry darlin’, but I got a job to do, and that means you’re coming with me.”
When he said that, my finger went to the trigger and I fired. My eyes closed waiting for the recoil, the ear-shattering bang, but there was nothing. I glanced at the gun, and that's when I remembered we keep it unloaded for safety reasons.
My mouth dropped open as I stood there, dumbfounded by my mistake. Then I glanced up at the FedEx man, who pushed himself out of the doorway now and strolled into my bedroom. “Well, that didn‘t seem to go quite as planned…did it. But now, playtime is over, and we need to get going to make our flight.” He grinned.
I threw the gun at him, hoping to knock him in the head or something, but instead, he caught it with one hand and crushed it. “How did you do that.” I stammered.
He threw the mangled gun to the floor pushing his glasses to the top of his head and those strange eyes looked as if they were glowing as he growled at me. I backed up against the bedroom wall but before I could even move or make a sound, he had me face down on and pinned on the bed. He sniffed the crock of my neck and his tongue licked my skin.
“Oh yeah, you’re the one I’ve been looking for all right. Damn, I could smell your fertility when you opened the door, but being this close to you, any man would go crazy to own you. If you weren’t worth so much damn money I’d even keep you myself, darlin’.” he whispered.
"Get the hell off me!" I screamed. But in one swift move, he had both of my wrists and ankles zip-tied together. And as I started to scream, he just chuckled pulling a bandanna from his pocket and tied around my head.
“Can’t go havin' you cause a commotion now, can I.” He winked.
Gaged and tied up, he threw me over his shoulder and made his way into the kitchen. He slowly opened the screen door checking if the coast was clear, then made his way to the van. He placed me in the middle of the isle surrounded by boxes, and had a rag in his hand as he came towards me. “You’ll be just fine, but I need you to be quiet, so how about we take a little nap.”
I shook my head and tried to back away, but the cloth went over my nose, and I knew there was no escape. “That’s it darlin’ breath it in nice and deep like.” He soothed.
The world around me started going black as I struggled to brake free from his tight hold. I knew I had to fight because I wasn't going to let them take me from my family any other way. But as my mind fell deeper in to oblivion, I also knew I was never going to see my home again.