After throwing Lizebth’s phone out of the window half-way to wherever she was taking them, they had to stop at a gas station. It was a sign that she hadn’t thought things through when she abducted them, which was great because it gave them a chance to get out of that.
However, acting on impulse also made her dangerous and unpredictable, so Lizbeth would have to be careful.
When they stopped, Maggie put a baseball cap on Sophia’s head that she kept in the car so they didn’t recognize them so easily. After the amber alert popped on her phone, she wasn’t taking any risks.
Maggie pretended to take the kids to buy some chips while Lizbeth paid for the gas. She watched them out of the corner of her eye all the time, but nobody seemed to notice them. Lizbeth started to feel anxious, so when Maggie put her guard down, she asked the shop assistant for a paper and a pen.
“The kids say they want this,” the kidnapper said to the shop assistant, startling Lizbeth as she was writing Sophia’s and Adam’s name together with the number plate of the car and the word HELP —which ended with a shaky line crossing the paper crumpled in her hand.
Maggie showed her a bag of chips while holding Sophia in her arms before sending a nasty look to Lizbeth. “We’re going to the car, okay?”
“Sure, I’ll pay for that too,” Lizbeth nodded, watching Adam follow Maggie out of the shop with a concerned expression on his face. He probably didn’t understand the situation, but he had realized something was off, which made Lizbeth worry because if he said anything Maggie could lose it. “Here.” She handed the woman the money and the piece of paper and ran after them. “You can keep the change.”
Please, read the note! She prayed in her head.
“Okay, are we ready?” Lizbeth asked the kids glancing at them in the rear mirror.
“Yeah,” Adam said as he buckled his seatbelt.
“Has Sophia her belt on too?” Lizbeth asked.
“Yeah, I made sure of that,” Maggie barged in.
“Okay.” Lizbeth nodded.
“How much longer we have?” Sophia asked, looking out of her window as they drove off the gas station. “I want to see the horses!”
“Just a bit more, baby,” Maggie told her with that extremely fake nice voice. “Turn in the next crossroad,” she told Lizbeth.
She slightly frowned, they were going out of the highway and into the countryside roads, which reduced their possibilities of being caught by the security cameras on the road.
During her time working shoulder to shoulder with the law enforcement she had learned a few things, and she was counting on that for them to track them. Don’t worry, the shop assistant probably called the police and they’re already on their way. She tried reassuring herself.
“So… How do you know Liz?” Adam asked all of a sudden after fifteen minutes of uncomfortable silence.
Lizbeth stopped breathing. Her eyes flicked to Adam’s reflection but soon moved back to the road.
“We met during college,” Maggie answered.
“Were you two friends?” he insisted.
“Of course!” Maggie exclaimed. “Right?” Maggie gave Lizbeth a wicked grin as she ran her fingers over the gun laying on her lap.
“Yeah,” Lizbeth tried to sound as calm as she could.
“You know my daddy too?” Sophia asked as she fiddled with the cap she had in her head before.
“I do,” Maggie smiled.
“You like him?” Sophia kept quizzing her.
“I do, he’s nice,” Maggie responded.
“But you can’t like him like a boyfriend ’cuz Lizzy is her girlfriend.”
“I know, but I was his girlfriend before, for a long time.”
“Really?” Sophia asked, surprised.
“But Lizzy is her girlfriend now,” the kid repeated.
“You loved him?” Sophia continued.
“Princess—” Lizbeth tried to stop the questioning when she saw Maggie grimacing.
“Yeah...” Lizbeth cringed at her confession, something told her that she still loved him and that was the reason why she was acting so out of her mind. With what purpose? She didn’t know that.
“I love him too!” Sophia smiled. “And Lizzy too, I heard her tell him.” She giggled again.
“I bet!” Maggie looked at Lizbeth.
“He’s the best in the world!” Sophia happily said, completely unaware of what was going on —and it was better that way.
“Why aren’t you his girlfriend anymore?” Adam asked, furrowing his brows.
“That’s a grown-ups thing, Buddy,” Maggie declared in an annoyed tone of voice.
“That’s what you all say when you don’t want to talk about it,” Adam noted as he crossed his arms over his chest.
“Exactly,” she stated. “Now let’s play a game.”
“Which one?” Sophia asked.
“Let’s see who stays quiet for the longest, okay?” Maggie said with a vicious tone of voice.
The kids had been playing to count the red cars they saw until they got to the service station, slowly putting Maggie in a bad mood every time they cried out a number. Lizbeth knew because Maggie had been huffing and mumbling inaudible things all the time. Did this woman really want to become a mom?
“That’s a weird game,” Adam snorted. “And boring.”
“I said we’re going to play this game, okay?” Maggie turned her head to look at him.
Lizbeth watched Adam petrifying. “Okay…” He murmured as he lowered his head, probably afraid of the icy and evil look she just gave him.
I’m so sorry, baby. Lizbeth apologized in her head for not standing up for him. She wanted to cry and to punch that woman in the face for talking to her kids like that. She really did. But she knew that things could get out of hand if she did anything so reckless and the last thing she needed was to jeopardize their security.
“You better keep driving,” Maggie threatened Lizbeth.
“But it’s the police,” Adam noted as he slightly turned to look at the police car following them with the lights on, requesting them to stop. “Uncle Sawyer always says to stop when they tell you to.”
The police car came out of the blue when they passed Gasburg and had been following them for five minutes.
They weren’t driving fast and the car was in perfect condition so there was only one reason for them to follow them, that’s why Maggie didn’t want to stop.
“Speed up, for Christ shake!” Maggie yelled as she looked at Lizbeth one second before turning her head back again.
“But—” Adam started.
“Shut the fuck up!” Maggie glared at him. “I don’t want to hear one more word. Got it?” she growled as she gestured with the gun in her hand, swinging it around in the air. Her voice echoing inside the car.
Adam froze on the spot, his face pale as if he had seen a ghost. Terror clear in his eyes as the blue in the sky when he pressed his body to the back of his seat and looked at Lizbeth through the rear mirror.
Sophia’s bottom lip trembling as she glanced at Maggie, confused. Her face slowly changed into a twisted expression of horror and seconds later, she burst out crying so loud that any other sounds were muffled.
“What the fuck?” Maggie spat. “Make her shut up!” she roared, glaring at Adam.
The kid turned to his sister and started talking to her, trying to calm her down. His little hands shaking when he hugged her.
The cries and screams resonated in Lizbeth’s ears, increasing the tension in her body and making her blood boil inside her veins. She was so fucking helpless. The pressure in her chest was unbearable at that point as her heart hammered, craving to break free from all the fear and pain.
“Keep your eyes on the fucking road!” Maggie yelled at her when the car began to veer to the left, stepping on the solid line.
“Maggie, I won’t stop, but please… Put the gun away from the kids,” Lizbeth begged.
“Shut up and keep driving!”
“That’s what I’m doing!” Lizbeth snapped. She couldn’t hold her anger anymore. Maggie had lost her shit completely and she was afraid she could actually hurt the kids. “Fuck! You can stop this!”
“What did you just say?” Maggie asked between gritted teeth.
“You don’t need to do this! You can still go back—”
“Do you really think I’m that stupid? After everything I’ve done the least they’ll do to me is to put me in jail for a lifetime!” she shouted, her eyes almost popping out of her face.
“What are you gonna do then?”
“I don’t fucking know! Just keep accelerating, they’re closing in on us!”
The needle in the speedometer reached ninety miles per hour —which was way too much for that small road. “Okay! We keep driving until you tell me to stop, but please, put the gun away from them…” Lizbeth pleaded. She had such a turmoil of feelings she didn’t know what to do anymore and all she wanted was to keep them safe.
Her brain was completely paralyzed. It was like a tidal wave hitting her with indescribable force, constricting her muscles, tossing her around, making it almost impossible to breathe.
“What, you’re afraid I’d shoot any of these cutie-pies?” Maggie scoffed as she pointed Sophia and then Adam.
“Maggie, please…” A tear rolled down Lizbet’s cheek.
“You don’t get to ask for anything when you’ve taken everything from me!” Maggie yelled.
“What are you talking about? I’ve done nothing to you!”
“You’ve taken Sawyer and my brother from me!” she cried, her expression similar to that of a psycho.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Lizbeth didn’t understand at all.
“He isn’t a bad person, he just needs help! But now Ralph is going to die because of you! They’re going to kill him tonight because of you!”
Suddenly, it clicked. Lizbeth’s eyes widen at the realization. Maggie’s brother was Ralph Speck. The man she had helped to put into jail a few months before.
He had a dissociative identity disorder, but he also was a psychopath —at least one of his personalities. Lizbeth made her statement at court suggesting he went to a mental institution for the rest of his life instead of prison, but they finally judged him as guilty and was sentenced to death.
“That’s right, he had to change his name when he got out of that shit hole to avoid everyone pointing at him for being mentally ill,” Maggie snorted. “My mother abandoned him in that mental institution and let him rot there for years. They wouldn’t even allow me to visit him!” she scoffed. “And now he’s the only important person I have left in my life, my only family. I came back just to help him out of this situation, but you had to get in the way!”
“I’m so sorry…” Lizbeth tried empathizing with her because arguing wouldn’t get her anywhere. Maggie was full of hatred and sorrow, she had completely lost contact with reality. She was blaming herself for all her misery and was trying to get back at her by destroying everyone around her. First Nicolas and now Sawyer —thanks Lord her family lived in DC.
Maggie wanted her to suffer mentally. She wanted her to go through the same she had gone before actually killing her.
“Don’t you dare! The only one that helped me survive and overcome all that shit was Sawyer, but you took him away from me!”
“Maggie, we never—”
“Shut the fuck up! He was always in love with you and you know that!”
“That’s completely untrue!”
“He always had this idiotic smile on his face whenever your brother talked about you! I’m not fucking stupid! Now shut up and keep driving or I’ll shoot them!”
The lunatic gaze she had at the moment gave Lizbeth the creeps, just like Sawyer had described it. She panicked and her common sense vanished as the adrenaline started running through her veins, erupting like a volcano. She was dangerous, way too dangerous to try reasoning with her.
She grabbed Maggie’s arm and pulled from her with all she had, forcing her to turn her body to the front of the car again. “What are you doing?”
“Maggie, stop it!” Lizbeth cried as she fought with her for the gun, trying to keep the car on the road as she removed her foot from the accelerator.
“Let go!” she shrieked as she pulled from the weapon, being thrown back against the passenger’s window when Lizbeth let go of it the moment a blazing shock pierced through her abdomen, painfully electrifying her whole being.
“Fuck!” she howled, squeezing her eyes shut and pressing her head to the back of her seat, instinctively putting her right hand on the bleeding wound.
She clutched her other hand to the steering wheel to keep the car on the road, the kids, she needed to save the kids. But her mind hazed from the stinging pain.
All she could hear was a high pitched beeping deafening her ears after the shot in such a small space and her children bawling in the back of the vehicle, terrified. She wanted to do something to protect them, but the aching agony had taken control over her brain, paralyzing her.
Her hand and dress were soon soaked in blood, the metallic smell from it invading everything and wrapping around them. Maggie was grumbling, touching her head as she had cracked the glass with it.
Her sight soon became blurry and spiraling when a car coming in the opposite direction honked, snapping her back into reality. “Shit!” Lizbeth exclaimed as she turned the wheel to the right abruptly, losing control.
The vehicle drove straight to the fence, breaking through it to finally land into the lake.
Two minutes, that’s all we have left.