The call

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Photo copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

With a double bourbon on the rocks, his medicine of choice, David stared at the maze in the distance. His reverie cut short by the ring of his phone.

“David,” he said.

“Thanks for making my job so easy,” said the caller.

“I will find you. Enjoy what little time you have left,” said David.

“Until then, have another bourbon, ” said the caller.

David scanned the maze, tables, and picnic area. Three men were using their phones.

“It won’t be that easy. Nice try…” The line went dead.

David threw the drink at the column. I’ll, bury him alive!

Maze garden

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“David, I need a break, “ said Brandi.

“Sorry, if trying to keep you alive is boring you,” said David.

“It’s not, but there’s a plantation in Suwannee, Georgia. I’d like to visit.”

“Sounds nice, if you’re into old building and boredom.”

She ran her hand up his leg. “I promise you’ll enjoy it.”

“Sure, why not.”

David was bored ten minutes after arrival. While waiting for a room to be cleaned, they walked through the maze of shrubs. David noticed something small sparkle in the distance.

“That’s weird, Brandi…”

Brandi slumped forward. Brain tissue and blood soaked David.

 

 

 

The buyer

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Photo Copyright: Jan Wayne Fields

David knocked on the door three times before it opened.

A Latin beauty in a skintight black dress said, “He’s expecting you. Please wait by the window.”

With his attention on her David never noticed the two men, until a muzzle poked his back.

The man facing him said, “If you don’t have my merchandise, I’ll torture you and your girlfriend in Starbucks, before you die.”

David said, “It’s in the duffel.”

The man unzipped it to reveal an ancient statue of a Roman solider. He handed David a briefcase and said, “Leave.”

The bullet he expected never came.

The trip

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Photo copyright – Jean L. Hays

David parked in between two spaces in front of Starbucks.
“Why are we in Illinois? Please tell me, we’re not here for a tour of Route 66,” said Brandi.
David responded, “No sightseeing. I need to make a delivery.”
“What are we delivering?”
“We’re not. I am. You’re going to get a coffee and wait.”
With an icy glare Brandi said, “The hell I am.”
“Brandi, The guy I’m meeting doesn’t care for strangers.”
“He’ll have to get over it.”
“No, he’ll kill you. Wait here.”
“Fine.”
David grabbed the duffel from the backseat. “I’ll be back in ten minutes.”

The dream

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Brandi awoke with a jolt. “David, behind you!”

In one fluid motion David’s eyes sprang open the forty-five retrieved from under his pillow and raised it to a firing position. This was all done in the space of a few seconds.

“Brandi, no one’s here.”

“Sorry, bad dream.” Before David had time to object Brandi threw back the curtains. As she did something landed in her hair. With a quick shake of her head it landed on the sill. “I’m not staying here one more minute, let’s go.”
“What’s wrong?”
“A dried out dead roach fell in my hair.”

The kidnapper continued

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 Photo copyright: Jean L. Hays

Pain radiated from Henry’s leg. A moment later, he collapsed with a thud.

Before everything went black a voice said, “ Your death will not be quick.”

He awoke to find Patricia bound and gagged dressed in her bra and underwear.

The kidnapper pressed a gun to the side of Patricia’s head. “Did Henry tell you what

happened to Hope and Jason?”

Patricia’s voice trembled, “They ran off together.”

The kidnapper laughed, “No, Henry killed them.”

The van came to a stop. Two men dragged Henry into a pre-dug grave. As dirt covered his body Henry screamed.

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.

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.”

 

 

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.

Robert’s target

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 Photo Copyright: Ted Shultz

Robert watched his target’s every move for two weeks. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s he would enter the third floor apartment at three p.m. and leave two hours later. For the best vantage point Robert chose the closed dentist’s office. He crouched into position rechecked the scope and steadied the M24 rifle. His target appeared in the doorway. Without hesitation he fired one hollow point round through the target’s right eye. Robert calmly collected the spent shell casing and exited using the service elevator. With the confirmation sent, he disposed of the rifle, and phone in the nearby lake.