Monday, December 9, 2013

// Without Cause // Chapter Three //

//Without Cause//

//Chapter Three//
//Criminal Minds//


   I fell asleep thinking about the day’s earlier conversation, but woke up at 3:30am to creaking and someone shuffling around downstairs. I tossed and turned for a few minutes, trying to get back to sleep, before I relised  sleep was a lost hope. As I sat up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes, the noises got louder until it was clear everyone was up downstairs. Before long, thumping footsteps came running up the stairs, followed by a soft knock on my door. Before I could answer, my Mum opened it quickly and rushed in. She went straight to my closet and pulled out both my suitcases and a backpack. 
   When she saw me already awake, her eyes brightened in what, to me, looked like relief. “Oh good, you’re up. Listen, I’ll explain later. You need to get dressed and help me pack. Grab everything important that you would need for a long trip. No—I’ll do that. Kylie get up, hurry!” 
   I was still groggy and could barely make it compute. “Wha…?” 
   She grabbed my arms and pulled me out of bed. “Kylie, we need to go. People are coming to the house, and we need to be gone. Help me by gathering up blankets and pillows and putting them in the truck. I’ll get your clothes.” 
   I didn’t hesitate to get started. Throwing my bathrobe oving er my pajamas, I ripped the comforter and pillows off my bed and began folding the blanket as a walked down the stairs. When I reached the bottom, Ethan was carrying a box full of dishes and food through the front door. When he returned, it was apparent that he was as equally confused as I was. He just shrugged as I hurried past him. I walked out the front door and stood on the porch admiring the sky. The stars twinkled overhead like someone had dropped an ocean of glitter on the heavens. This is my favorite time of night.
   But the stern voice of Dad pulled me out of my daydreaming… err, nightdreaming. He was tying down various household items (Mum’s hope chest, the computer, which was in a box, etc.),  in the bed of his truck. Dad told me to hurry, and directed me to put the bedding in the backseat of the cab. “You’ll need it,” he said. “We’ll be driving for a while.”
   I chucked my blanket and pillows unto my seat and returned to the house. Mum was pulling the suitcases toward the door. I moved out of her way and she told me to go get the backpack that she accidentally left in my room. I flew up the stairs and grabbed the backpack. When I turned around, I gasped at a dark figure in my doorway. 
   “Ethan? Is that you? Don’t scare me like that!” But as I walked closer, it became clear that was not Ethan. I stopped dead in my tracks and backed up. I wanted to scream, but I just couldn’t. The person walked right into my bedroom and walked towards me.  
   An evil female voice with an Australian accent purred, “What’s the matter? You scared?”
 She probably would have said more, but my Mum’s Convers size 7 ½ came from behind and planted itself in the middle of the woman’s back, sending her to the floor. Mum grabbed my arm and yanked me to the door and we ran down the stairs. We heard the woman yell then she was hot on our heels. When we reached the front door, and I heard Dad fired up the truck. Mum pushed me through the doorway and told me to get in the truck. I jumped in behind the driver’s side. Ethan was on the other side. The taillights of the truck gave off enough light to see the other girl, who looked around 19 or 20, and had dark hair pulled back in a high ponytail. 
   The other woman threw a fist at Mum, but Mum ducked and knocked her over, then ran for the truck. Dad started pulling away before Mum reached it, but she soon caught up and was in the cab, gasping for breath. Dad peeled off the curb and down a side street, going the opposite direction as our house. Ethan and I looked back in time to see the woman level a gun at us, her figure now eerily illuminated be the streetlights. We ducked, smacking heads, and heard the shots, but we felt nothing, so we assumed she missed.
   My eyes watered and I rubbed my forehead where it had slammed into Ethan’s. “You okay?” he asked, sincerely concerned.
   “Yeah, totally. Just a little bump.” I replied, ending it with a nervous/painful chuckle. (In truth, I felt like he had just hit me with his baseball bat.) A sudden thought struck me. “Fili, Kili!” I screamed. 
   “Shhh!” Ethan whistled through his teeth. “They’re right here.” He pointed under the front seats, where you could see their little curled tails sticking out. 
   I let out a sigh of relieve but then gasped again. “What about all the other animals? The goats and chickens?”
   “They’ll be fine, Kylie.” My Mum reassured. “The Smiths next door are going to watch them.”
  Dad shushed us and slowed the truck and pulled up behind an old barn. The barn was usually used for swap meets and the like. It’s close to a small baseball diamond, where Ethan and his buddies sometimes practice. 
   Dad turned off the engine and we all held our breath. 
 “What’s going on, Dad?” I asked in a whisper. Fili and Kili whimpered under the seats. 
   “Some old, ahem, friends, have discovered where we’ve been hiding.” He answered. “Are you alright, dear?” he asked Mum, with no small amount of concern. 
   She nodded and smiled. “Never been better.” 
 Dad just chuckled and shook his head.
    Less than half a mile away, a young woman gasped into a walkie talkie for backup. She had failed her simple mission, and now needed help finding the target before they got completely away. She knew they couldn’t be far; this was a small town after all. Her lookouts at either end of town hadn’t informed her of anyone leaving. 
   “I need backup, Mark #4.” She spewed, rubbing her sore back from where she’d been kicked. 
 A low voice with an Australian accent gave a curt reply. “Don’t tell me you lost her, Shannon. The job was easy.”
   The woman named Shannon took a deep breath before answering. “They knew. Somehow, the whole family knew.”
“What happened?”
“Shannon, what happened?!” the man demanded fiercely. “Answer me!”
   “I did everything I was supposed to. That old witch came from behind and attacked me. I told you we should have sniped her off! She isn’t good for anything! We only need him.”
   “You’re wrong. Now be quiet, I’ll be the one who decides what to do! Your plans always stink and end in disaster.”
   “Oh yeah? Well since you’re the favourite, Hugh, you can come find them yourself!” Shannon yelled into the mouthpiece. 
   Hugh was poised to strike, about to send a nasty comment or two Shannon’s way, when a third voice with a German accent boomed through the walkie talkie. 
   “Stop bickering like children! No, you are children. I should never have sent you. I should have gone myself.”
   The man known as Hugh scoffed. “Wow, you’re really going to pull that, you’re-such-a-child line? You are not much older than me, and you could have done no better if you were here yourself.”
   “I said SILENCE!!
 Both lines were now quiet.
   The German inhaled, and exhaled with a growl. “You will find them, and you will complete the task. I can, and will, hurt the people around you. That little town you are in? I can easily make it non-existent. You wouldn’t want all those insignificant people, whom I personally think are a waste of air, to be hurt, now would you? Do things right the first time, and do it the way you are told! GET IT DONE!”
   On one of the other ends of the line, Shannon rolled her eyes and cursed, replacing the radio back on her belt under her jacket. People from around the town had heard the commotion and shots and peered out their windows or doors to see what the fuss was all about.  Shannon slunk back to the Robard’s house, making sure to be seen by no one. The backup had arrived and were quietly ransacking the house, looking for something, anything. “Well?” Shannon snarled. 
   “They took all the electronic stuff. All that’s left is the telly and radio.” One of the evil-doers mumbled in a British accent. “No paperwork either. They knew what they were doing.”
   “Look harder!” Shannon screamed. “They had to have left something behind.”
 “Look boss. We’ve searched the whole house. There’s nothing here. They didn’t leave anything behind, I’m sure of it.” 
   A dark shadow grew in Shannon’s eyes. “I said, LOOK HARDER! What part of that don’t you understand?”
   British Minion started to protest, but Shannon quickly drew a handgun from her belt and silenced him in one shot. She glared at the body before ordering, “Alright, everyone. Clear out. Find the target and discover their destination.” Everyone exited, and she holstered the gun. She looked around the room before grabbing a cookie from the cookie jar on the kitchen counter, and casually strode out the back door, letting it slam behind her. A black SUV screeched up to the curb and she jumped inside. The driver sped away from the house and a man in the passenger seat turned around. “Did you find anything?” 
   Shannon shook her head with disgust. “No. There’s nothing there, Hugh.”
Hugh cursed and smacked his forehead with his hand. “You know how mad he’ll be.”
   Shannon smirked. “He wouldn’t kill his own family.”
 “I’m very inclined to doubt that. Why do you think he’s given us this assignment? He’s certainly not going to ask them out for tea. Stop here.” They pulled to a stop just outside of town, and turned off the engine. “We’ve been watching all let-outs to this town. Nobody’s seen them leave. They must still be here somewhere. If we’re patient, and I’m assuming you will be, they will probably give themselves up.” Hugh spoke into a walkie talkie, “All eyes open for the Target. They’re here somewhe--”
   Sirens sounded in the distance and a voice cackled on Hugh’s radio. “Sir, there are two police vehicles headed this way, sir.” 
   Hugh cursed again and jerked around to face Shannon again. “What did you do?!”
Shannon gave him a blank stare.
She held her chin up and answered him with confidence. “I didn’t do anything, you pig. Someone must have heard the shots I fired.”
   “You fired your gun?!” Hugh screamed in bewilderment.
“That one dude was getting on my nerves again! I took him out. You’ll thank me later. I also tried to hit the Target’s truck. All’s I got was the tailgate.”
   Hugh was seething. “No, Shannon, I won’t thank you later. Don’t you ever use your brain? Think! We could have gotten away quietly! Don’t speak!” he yelled when Shannon opened her mouth to counter his attack. “You’ve done enough damage already. Dan, get us out of here.” He demanded to the driver. They pulled out of the town just as the police sped past, lights flashing, sirens wailing.


    “Who was it?” Dad asked Mum. 
 “You won’t believe it.” She answered. “It’s Shannon. And it’s very obvious she’s not here on her own terms.”
   Dad whirled to face her. “You can’t be serious. Now she’s mixed up in all this?”
“Wait, who’s Shannon?” Ethan asked, speaking exactly what was on my mind.
 “You know that girl back there? Who is she?” was my inquiry.
   Mum hushed us as Dad pulled a tablet-like computer thing from the glove box of the truck. He handed it to Mum, who turned it on and clicked several buttons on the side. She then pressed her hand across the entire. The screen lit up bright blue, and a bunch of numbers and letters flashed across the screen in rapid motion. Mum tapped something on the screen a few times before saying, “Police are coming, something must have happened back at the house. Not to mention all that noise she made with that gun. If I’m correct, that will spook Shannon and whoever else she’s with and send them running, which will give us time to slip onto the back roads and get to the freeway. We need to make it to the meeting spot in Oregon, and David can fly us out.” The screen made a bleep noise, and Dad started the truck up, but kept the lights off. He slowly drove out of the barn and picked his way onto the back roads, just as we saw police lights careening in the direction of our house. 
   As we slunk towards the end of down, Dad turned the headlights on drove a little faster. We got on the main road and Dad sped the truck up.
Ethan cleared his throat. “You still haven’t answered my question.”
   Mum sighed. “She’s someone who we used to know a while back. I’ll tell you more later, it’s… it’s complicated.”
   “When is later? If we’re going to be driving for a while like you say, then you should have plenty of time to explain.” There was a hint of sarcasm in Ethan’s voice.
   Mum sighed again and Dad glared at him through the rear view mirror. “Ethan, please, not now.”
“When can we go back to the house?” I threw in, noticing the argument was getting a bit heated.
Dad straitened in his seat. “I don’t know, not any time soon. We’ll be going to the base of Operation Cause.”  

So there it is! Tell me what you think, and don't forget to read Willow and Darrion's latest chapters. :)


2 Corinthians 5:7 ~ (For we walk by faith, not by sight.)