Amy's Grave Dilemma
Craig groaned as he came to. “Where are we?” he asked dazedly, staring with confusion at the blackness all around him.
“Craig!” a tearful Beth threw her arms around him, “I was scared they’d killed you...!”
“Dylan!” Craig roared, the memories coming flooding back to him, “Where is he!? If he’s done anything to Amy...!”
“Hey be quiet in there, kid!” came the shout from outside the door, “Don’t think that...!”
“Let us out here right now, you animal!” Craig defiantly crawled to the door and started pounded on it, “You’re not going to hurt Amy, and you’re not going to...!”
Another bullet tore through the door, sending him reeling backwards to avoid it. “I’ve got plenty more bullets here, kid, and I’m not afraid to use them if you and your friends don’t behave!” the guard warned him.
“Craig, let it go,” Judy took hold of his shoulder, sounding depressed, “There’s nothing we can do at the moment.”
“But Judy, we can’t...!” Craig started to protest. Beth put a hand on her brother’s shoulder, cutting him off, and sadly shook her head at him. Craig lowered his own head in grim resignation and slid down to the floor. “How long have we been in here?” he asked the others, just able to make out their outlines in the darkness around him.
“It’s after midnight, so close to seven hours,” Patrick mumbled, pressing a button that lit up his watch, revealing it was quarter after midnight. “I can’t believe Dylan would do this to us!” he growled furiously, “I always considered him a close friend...I never imagined he’d be hiding something of this magnitude...!”
“What’s going on here!? What have they been doing!?” Craig asked.
“They’re the gang that pulled that bank robbery we saw on the news before everything went to hell here,” Shawn explained, “Apparently they’ve used this place as a hideout to store their loot; we could hear them bringing everything up out of the basement after they locked us up in here.”
“Which explains why Dylan was so adamant about being the one to turn the power back on; he wanted to make sure everything down in the basement was locked up tight so we couldn’t find anything,” Beth surmised bitterly, “And why he volunteered to leave to get extra food, so we wouldn’t suspect he was...”
She roared in frustration at having been hoodwinked. “But how’d they get in to stash the loot, sis!? I thought you and I had the only key!?” Craig posed.
“That’s what I thought too, Craig! Maybe they broke a window in one of the rooms on the far side of the hotel, maybe they broke open an emergency door, maybe Dylan made a copy of it at some point, maybe there’s a secret tunnel somewhere...I don’t know!” his sister flung up her arms in disgust.
“Did they say anything about Amy!?” Craig worriedly asked the others, “Like where they’re taking her, what she’s...!?”
“They have her. They said they’d be taking her to ‘the emergency site,’ whatever that means,” Monica explained, “They did say it’s really deep in the mountains. So if Amy’s there, she’s a long way from help. And Dylan was talking really lecherously before he left about what he wanted to do with her once they...”
She abruptly broke down sobbing. “It’s all my fault!” she wailed, “I got Amy into this...!”
“No, no, Monica, it’s not your fault. How could it possibly be your fault!?” Beth asked her, concerned.
“I was the one who wanted to invite her up here and meet you guys! So I put her in harm’s way!” Monica sobbed, “I just wanted to be friends with her, I thought she’d be a good friend for all of you; if I hadn’t, she wouldn’t be in...!”
“Monica, you had no way of knowing this would happen,” Judy put a hand on the brunette’s shoulder, “None of us did. It’s Dylan’s fault she’s in trouble, not yours, not anyone else’s. You understand that, right?”
“I..I guess. I really, really like Amy as a friend; the last thing I want is to see her in danger like this. Why did it have to be her...!?”
“Who knows?” Patrick mumbled, patting her sympathetically on the back, “Who knows why wicked people do the things they do?” He sighed miserably. “But it isn’t fair it has to be her suffering like this. I could tell she was happy here with us, maybe happier than she’s been in a long time, that she was enjoying having fun with us. And I liked her company, liked being able to play ball with her, really liked her as a person. She should have been able to have a full weekend with us without any worries. It’s not fair that her life could be in danger right now...”
“I know, Patrick,” Shawn spoke up, sounding miserable himself, “I...I can’t put into words how grateful I am to her for reaching out and being so friendly with me today. I mean, I’m glad you guys are all willing to be friends with me and invite me along all the time, but what Amy did for me today, trying to get Laurie to like me, listening to my stories...she made me feel special. I don’t feel that too often. I owe her for that...we all owe her, somehow...”
It was his turn to sigh sadly. “Yeah, we do. And we will. I don’t know how, but we will,” Craig declared, sounding determined, “Somehow, we’re getting out of this and helping Amy.”
“Craig, I know that’s easy for you to say given you’re clearly in love with her now, but how?” Judy asked, miserable, “We’re locked in tight here, the door’s barricaded and guarded by a guy with a really big gun, they took and smashed all our phones, that blizzard’s still raging out there, so the cops aren’t coming...” Craig could make out her burying her face in her hands in the darkness, “I hate to say this, but I think it’s hopeless, guys. Amy’ll be dead for sure long before we get out of here...if we ever get out of here...”
“We can’t give up, Judy. Not when a fellow Sidekick’s in trouble,” Beth was just as determined as her brother to fight on, “You know what we say: when one’s in trouble, the others fight for them.”
“And that’s all good and well, Beth, but locked in a closet miles from the one in trouble? I don’t see how we can possibly do anything,” the blonde shook her head grimly.
“Well we have to try somehow. Everyone, hands in again,” Beth told the other Sidekicks, who reached out and clasped her extended arm in the darkness, “We gave the vow to Amy we would be there for her whenever she needed it; we now vow we’ll find her and help her no matter what it takes. Everyone agreed?”
“Agreed,” came the answer with varying degrees of confidence. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hear our pleas and give us the way out of this predicament...” Monica fell on her knees and started praying against the wall. “If this is all right, of course...” she turned to the Kleins for approval.
“Couldn’t hurt, Monica,” Beth nodded, “OK, the rest of you, start looking around in here,” she told the others softly, not wanting to alert the guard outside, “There has to be someway to get out of this closet or something we can use to break out...”
Mr. Newberry yawned and stretched as he woke up. “Saturday, finally a day of rest of relaxation,” he mumbled out loud.
“Is it morning already, Scott?” his wife asked sleepily, rolling over towards him.
“Looks like it, honey,” he noticed the light glowing through the windows in front of them. He rose up and glanced out the curtains. “Snow’s really still coming down,” he remarked, seeing the street blanketed with thick snow as far as the eye could see, and the flakes still falling heavily.
“How much so far?”
“Got to be over a foot by now. They said it would be at least that much last night.”
“That means Amy’s stranded, probably, though,” Mrs. Newberry frowned, “Who knows if they’ve plowed that mountain road yet...?”
“Kelly, you worry too much about Amy,” her husband chided her, climbing back into bed with her, “She’s having fun at the moment, I guarantee it.”
“Well it’s only natural for a mother to worry for her child, Scott,” she protested, “And if she’s snowed in good...”
“She’ll be fine; trust her and trust her friends. They’ll be back safe and sound before you know it,” Mr. Newberry pulled her close. “In the meantime, since there’s no need for us to rush out of bed this morning, how about you and I sleep in a bit?”
“It has been a while since we have,” she grinned, “All the planning of the move, and now...”
Just then, the phone rang. “Now who could that be?” Mr. Newberry frowned, climbing back out of bed, “The plant’s closed today, and who else has our number?” He picked up the receiver. “Hello?”
“Is this the Newberry house?” came an unfamiliar voice over crackling static.
“Um, yes. Who is this?”
“Who I am isn’t important, Mr. Newberry. You are the father of one daughter named Amy?”
“Yes. Why?” his expression started dropping, “Is Amy...?”
“Oh she’s fine at the moment, Mr. Newberry. My question for you is, how valuable is she to you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Scott who is it? Is it something about Amy!?” Mrs. Newberry slid out of bed, concerned. Her husband did not answer, his face instead slowly getting more and more pale. “Scott, talk to me, has something happened to Amy!?” she demanded, terror spreading over her own face. Mr. Newberry still did not answer, now desperately pulling out his cell phone and typing in an address. “Scott Newberry, tell me right now who...Amy!?” his wife shrieked, seeing a video pop up on the screen showing her daughter tied to a chair, gagged, and blindfolded, thrashing about wildly. She snatched the phone from Mr. Newberry. “Who are you!? What are you doing with our daughter!?” she desperately shouted at the caller.
“All you need to know is, we found ourselves in a situation where she was very valuable to us, Mrs. Newberry,” the man said coolly, “Now the question is, how valuable is she to you and your husband? Because we’re not giving up someone as pretty as her cheap.”
“She’s an ordinary everyday girl, you can’t ransom Amy!” Mrs. Newberry pleaded with him, “My husband and I’ll take her place, we swear...!”
“That won’t be necessary, Mrs. Newberry. Since you’re an average family, we’ll only ask for a million for her, and we’ll give you plenty of time to get it to us. We’ll call again in twenty-four hours and set up a drop timetable. Till then, take care.”
“No don’t hang up, let me...!” Mrs. Newberry’s last desperate plea was cut off as the caller hung up. “Oh my god, why!?” she wailed, sinking to her knees, “Amy...!”
“My precious girl...” her husband did the same, staring numbly at the image of his daughter struggling against her ropes on his cell phone, “Oh god, Amy, what have I done to you...!?”
“Nothing could possibly go wrong up here!?” she gave him a harsh look.
“I...I don’t...what am I supposed to do now!?” Mr. Newberry rose to his feet and wandered around aimlessly in circles with his hands to his temple, panicked, “This...this sort of thing doesn’t happen to people like us, how are we supposed to...!?”
“What else do you think we do!?” Mrs. Newberry seized the landline and dialed 9-1-1 in a flash. “Hello, police!?” she rambled, “I’d like to report a kidnapping...!”
“...as you can see, officers, we have this pretty girl as our prisoner,” “Uncle Nevin,” was announcing to the police in front of Amy on a live stream feed Dylan had set up, “I doubt you’ll be able to find us in this blizzard, but if you try, we will kill her horrifically. We intend that you do nothing to interfere with our escape from the bank job in Coalport yesterday, and she is our insurance to guarantee that you won’t. So stay back if you value her life.”
He walked backwards, hinting his declaration was over to Amy. “And you were able to disguise my voice well enough, Dyl?” he asked his nephew.
“Absolutely, Uncle Nevin; your voice was utterly modified; they won’t be able to ID you at all,” Dylan assured him.
“Great. OK, keep that live feed rolling on her; if everyone can see she’s in danger here, that’ll give them extra reason not to come after us.”
“You absolutely sure ransoming her’s a good idea, Nevin?” the other male thug asked to Amy’s right in the cellar, “I mean, you remember how ransoming that girl in Waterburg proved the end for Leo and his gang? And they did pretty much the same thing as we are, taking her deep in the woods like...”
“Leo didn’t have the benefit of snow, and he was too sloppy in taking care of other loose ends, Fred. We have more of our bases covered with this one, so don’t worry. Well, just keep smiling for the camera, lovely,” he told Amy mockingly, putting the knife back to her throat, “You’re going to be a big online star as long as you’re in our company, unless that is you force me to slit this pretty throat of yours if you act up. But you’re too smart for that, aren’t you?”
He pressed the knife tighter. Amy nodded sharply. Thought so. Well, enjoy your peace and quiet, and don’t feel too cold down here,” he laughed, removing the knife. His and his cohorts’ footsteps started walking back up the stairs. Amy shuddered in the cold, numb at everything that was happening to her. The terror in her parents’ voices when the kidnappers had called her lingered horribly in her mind; the panic they had to be in at the moment must be excruciating, she knew deep down. If only she could get back to them...!
She yelped as a large form jumped into her lap. “Oh, I just don’t want to say goodbye without a kiss, Amy. You want to give your boyfriend a kiss?” Dylan asked her with an arrogant snicker. His lips pushed hard against hers with a forceful kiss. Roaring angrily, Amy tried to knee him where it would hurt, but with her upper legs tied down to the seat of the chair, she couldn’t raise them up to do it. “You’ve got a lot more fight than I thought, Amy,” he said, making her roar again when he leaned sensuously against her, “Oh well, this cold and these ropes’ll break you good by the time we get to have some real intimate time together later on...”
“LLLLLLLL LLLLLLLL OOOOOOO LLLLLLLNNNNN LLLLLLZZZZZNNNN!” Amy raged through her gag, trying to smack him with her head again. “Then again, I like feisty girls,” he continued, “They’re so much more entertaining than a cowardly one.”
She sensed him leaning close to her face. “Since I’m sure you’re wondering, and you’re not going to be able to tell anyone, yes, that’s my real uncle,” he told her, “He’s more my real father than that drunken clod,” rage clouded his voice now, “Always getting drunk and beating me down, leaving me stuck dirt poor on the wrong side of town. My mother told me to stay away from Uncle Nevin before she walked out on us, but he’s the only one who treated me well. Sure, I’m glad the rest of the Sidekicks took me in as a friend-soccer’s been a great escape for me-but he’s my best friend. He’s made me wealthier, most powerful, somebody in this world. And now he’s got me my own special girl too-you.”
“MMMMMMMMM AAAAAAAAHHHHHTTTTTT RRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRLLLL!” Amy shouted, trying to force him back up out of her lap. “Temper, temper, Amy; you don’t know how lucky you are to have me,” he squeezed her cheeks together, “You know, the others don’t really care for you. They were just all trying to be friendly; like Laurie said, you’ll always be nothing but the outside to them. Me, however, you can stay we me for the rest of your life. And you are going to want to have fun with me in due time, I guarantee you that. Well, I’ll leave you to your thoughts now, Amy. Till we meet again...”
He forced another kiss on her. Amy bellowed and strained hard against her ropes, wanting to wring his neck. Dylan walked away up the stairs and closed the door, which was then locked. Amy shivered hard, the cold gripping her even tighter with the Arctic wind blowing straight in through the now open windows and digging straight into her still exposed lowered arms. “If I don’t keep moving, I might freeze to death!” she thought worriedly, struggling hard again, “Heavenly Father, if you are there, please help me get out of these ropes and escape; show me you’re real and you care for me. Help me get out of this and go home...!”