Henry’s morning

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Photo Copyright: Marie Gail Stratford

Henry awoke on a cold surface, his wrists and ankles bound.

Through the gag he screamed, “Help,” but only a muffled sound escaped!

Where am I? I remember bringing Hope’s things to charity. Drove home, and something pinched my back.

He struggled to sit up. A thud filled the air, as his head smacked into a hard object.

He writhed; the effort caused the blindfold to slip. A bright light permeated the space. Oh my god, I’m in a box. Take a deep breath. If they wanted me dead, they would have killed me. In the distance a door creaked.

Salt Rock Island

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Photo Copyright: Dawn O. Landau

Randal peered out the window at the rocks of salt, as the helicopter zoomed over the beach.

“They’re a natural occurrence due to the high salt content of the water,” said the pilot.

Randal said, “Why are they in squares?”

“No one knows, I believe —,” the chopper shook.

It spun out of control and tossed Randal the only survivor into the drink. He awoke with a cough expelling the seawater from his lungs. Using a rusted pole for support he stammered to the crash site.

“Mayday, Mayday, I’m stranded on salt rock island,” he pleaded.

No response.

 

Henry comes home

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 Photo Copyright: Janet Webb

 Henry burst through his front door. “Hope, where are you?”

“Taking a bath.”

Doing his best to stifle a grin, he entered the small bathroom. Jazz music filled the room from a charging iPad.

“How was your trip?”

“Good, I learned something interesting?”

“Oh,” she said with little interest.

“Your two month affair with Jason.”

Tears trickled down her face. “I am so sorry. We never meant for you to get hurt.”

“Do you love him?”

“Yes, I’m so sorry.”

With a guttural scream he tossed the iPad into the water. Hope’s body convulsed.

“Tell Jason, I forgive you both.”

 

 

Jason’s confession continued…

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Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

At the sight of blood pooling under Jason’s body Henry trembled. What am I going to do? How can I explain this? With few options he needed to get rid of the corpse. The waterfall warning came back in a flash.

Jagged rocks lay at the base of the sixty-foot waterfall a quarter mile away. Henry placed Jason in the kayak and tossed the knife in the river. Confident it would be classified a kayaking accident. Although there was little blood Henry burned his clothes and bathed. He peered at the stars and smirked. Now, how to deal with Hope?

Jason’s confession

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Photo copyright: Madison Woods 

Emanating from the crackling fire the smell of trout penetrated the air.

Jason finished his third beer, “Henry, I’m so sorry.”

“About what?”

Unable to meet Henry’s eyes, “Hope and I are in love.”

“How long?”

“Three months.”

Henry palmed the filet knife. “You’ve been screwing my wife for months and now you’re sorry!”

“We never meant to hurt you.”

In an upward arc the knife permeated Jason’s chest. Henry’s face became pale. “What did I do?”

Jason doubled over in a coughing fit a sucking sound coming from the wound.

With his final breath Jason said, “I forgive you.”

A bumpy ride

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The lack of sleep weighed heavily on Mark Cohen. While elated to be a father, he’d not slept more than two hours in the last three days.

“Mark, call in and get some sleep. You look exhausted,” said his wife Suzy.

“I am, but we need the money.”

While driving down Main Street, his eyes became too heavy and he drifted off. The sounds of a thump and branches being crushed startled him awake.

“Oh crap.” Mark slammed on the brakes and swerved back on the road.

He pulled into the first parking space available to survey the damage.

Jennifer’s Safe Haven

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Photo Copyright: Bjorn Rudberg

After hours of shadow games first by plane then by car, Jennifer and the agents arrived at the safe house.

She folded her arms across her chest, while she glared at special agent John Davis. “How long do we have to stay here? This place is a dump.”

“It’s not the Ritz Carlton but were more concerned with keeping you alive.”

Five months later Jennifer was on edge. Desperate to be alone, she climbed out the bedroom window one morning before sunrise. Within an hour she was lost. Her body was discovered a week later ravaged by animals and the elements.

Transcontinental Flight

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 Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisaff-Fields

 

Lisa and Mark boarded their first transcontinental flight to Rome. With wide eyes she sunk into the leather chair. She spoke a mile a minute to Mark about everywhere she wanted to visit. The plane shook then nosedived hours into the flight. The oxygen masks dropped and Lisa gripped the armrests, closed her eyes, and prayed. Relief came a minute later, as the shaking slowed then stopped. The plane climbed and leveled out.

Mark caressed her hand. “It was turbulence. Everything’s fine.”

Lisa stared out the window. Her eyes became heavy and she slept until they landed.

The Ram’s head

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Photo Copyright: Adam Ickes

John exited the hen house, when a loud snort sounded behind him. Fifty yards away stood a large ram of two hundred pounds. He backed up as the ram lowered his head and charged. John raced for the pickup and grabbed the Bushman predator rifle. With the ram now twenty yards away, John knew he would only get one shot. To steady his nerves he let out a controlled breath. The rifle muzzle raised an inch, as the bullet hit above the right shoulder. The ram advanced three feet and fell.

Today, hidden behind boxes is the majestic creature’s head.

Mike’s assignment

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 Photo Copyright: Kelly Sands

As the day closed and the clouds blanketed the sky, Mike thought an approaching storm would mean fewer witnesses. Using the open window he entered Heather’s bedroom. The alarm clock read six-thirty leaving Mike forty-five minutes to locate the drive. He searched the office, bedrooms, and the kitchen before noticing a book sticking out from the others. Behind it was the drive; placing the book back in position he left the same way he entered. Two blocks away he ordered a coffee and e-mailed his employer. Mike shipped the drive once he verified the transfer of funds.