Racing for Time- Chapter 13

Janefer had been driving for an hour when she pulled off at a Walmart to use a payphone.

“I should’ve remembered to take a cellphone with me.” She grumbled,” I don’t even know if they have a payphone in Walmart.” All of her enthusiasm of the previous hour had slowly dissipated as she found no white pick-up and no Melanie.
She walked inside the Walmart. It wan’t too busy, but busy enough to keep the staff on their toes. Janefer looked around for a payphone. There were two, out in front of the washrooms. She sighed in relief and strode over to them. A young man in a dark overcoat and glasses stood at one of the payphones, huddled over the receiver as he spoke softly, but harshly into the phone. The other payphone was being used as well, so Janefer waited in line behind the man. He sounded angry, exasperated, yet a tinge of fear seemed to border his voice as he spoke. Janefer moved a little closer. She knew eavesdropping was wrong, but what if this man could have done something wrong?
“I told you already, man. It was a mistake, okay? We thought you wouldn’t like it if the kid was…” The young man caught Janefer looking at him and turned away, and spoke even more softly than he had before, leaving Janefer no chance to hear his conversation. Seeing that the other payphone was free, Janefer moved over to it and dialed her mother’s number. Her mother answered quickly. “Hello?”
Janefer took a deep breath and braced herself. “Hey Mom, it’s me. Listen, before you say anything, I need to talk to you about something.”
She could hear Mrs. Davis on the other end, trying to calm herself. “What is it?”
“I called the hospital about an hour and a half ago, because I needed to talk to Mel about something. When I said that she was registered there, they told me that she wasn’t there anymore, and that she had been checked out 15 minutes before I called!” Janefer tried to keep her voice low, steady. “I needed to see for myself, and try to find out what happened to her.” Janefer’s voice cracked, but she kept on going. “I talked to a lady at the hospital whose name is Carmen Dell. She told me that a woman, with shoulder length reddish-brown hair, and she was like, five feet, four inches. She chattered a lot. She was the woman who asked for Mel to be checked out. Mom, I know I shouldn’t have gone out without telling you, but please don’t ground me. I need to help find Mel.”

Mrs. Davis was silent for what seemed like ages. Finally, she broke the silence. “Janefer, I’m just very thankful to God that you haven’t gotten hurt yet, or gotten kidnapped or something horrible. I honestly don’t know what to do with you. I know I should ground you, but maybe that can wait until this whole thing is over. Why don’t you come home, and we can go visit Terrence in jail. You know how we were going to? Maybe he can help us.”
Janefer breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. “Okay, I’ll do that. I’ll be home in ten.”
“All right, honey. See you then.” Mrs. Davis’s voice sounded tired.
“And Mom?” Janefer asked before hanging up. “I love you.”
Janefer could almost see her mother smiling. “I love you too, Janefer. Now you come home in one piece, okay?”
Janefer chuckled slightly. “I’ll try.”
She hung up and walked out of the store, eager to hear what Terrence would have to say.
————————————————————————-

Melanie awoke, or at least she thought she did. Maybe this was a dream. Her legs weren’t hurting as much now. Her captors, for that is what she called them, must have given her something to ease the pain. Some captors. The sun was shining through a slit in the curtains of the room she was in. It was easy to see now that she was in a hotel room, on a bed. “I wonder what hotel I’m in?” She mused as she looked around. Melanie spotted the telephone on a nightstand and reached over, despite fresh pain in her legs, and almost grabbed it when she heard a click. “Move away from the phone. Now.” Mel moved slowly back to her position on the bed. A woman stood over her, a pistol pointed at her. The woman brandished the gun for a few seconds before laying it on the other bed. She grunted as she pulled the cord of the telephone. “I should’ve known you would be trouble. Even with two broken legs you don’t have limits, do you?” As Mel studied her, she noticed that the woman who had checked her out was a brunette. This woman was a blonde.
Mel decided it was time to ask some questions. “Why-why did you bring me here? What have I done to offend you?”
The blonde scoffed, shaking her chin length hair. “Maybe I should be the one asking questions, huh? What do you know about the crash?”
Mel tried to clear her foggy mind. “What do you mean? Are you some sort of news reporter trying to get my story?”
The blonde started pacing around the room, waving around her gun. “I mean, what do you know about it? Why don’t you tell me your side of the story? Maybe I can help you to relieve some pain you might have. Why don’t you share with me, ease the pain?”
Her tone of voice set Mel more on edge. “I don’t have any pain, except in my legs. The crash happened, we can move on. Please, just let me go.”
The blonde lay a hand on one of Mel’s legs, sending bolts of pain coursing through her. “If you tell me, I can let you go. Just tell me.”
“No.” Mel gritted through her teeth. “I don’t remember much. I was knocked unconscious.”
The blonde appeared to be somewhat satisfied and took her hand off of Mel’s leg. She waltzed to the door, opened it. “Don’t even think about trying to use the telephone.” Mel heard the door click as the blonde locked it, leaving Mel behind. “Lord, I’m crying out to you. I need you. Please… please comfort me. Help the police to find me, Lord. Please..” She broke down in sobs, her tears coursing down her face, her anguish too great to bear alone. A Bible verse came to mind as that happened. It was from Deuteronomy 3:16. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” She took great comfort in that. “Thank you, Lord.” She whispered.

———————————————————————–

Janefer arrived home, her mother waiting in the driveway. As as she pulled in, her mother opened the passenger seat door and slid in. “Hey Janefer. You ready?”
Janefer let out a deep breath. “Yes. You bet. Are you ready?”
Celeste nodded. “Let’s go.”

Most of the drive to the jail was quiet. Both of them were absorbed in their own thoughts.
Once they reached the jail, they walked inside and asked to see Terrence. They were requested to wait for a few minutes while they retrieved him from his cell.The jail cell wasn’t a dirty place, but it wasn’t the cleanest either. Janefer looked inconspicuously around at the different people sitting at a desk, talking on a phone, with a sheet of plastic glass between them and the prisoner. One woman was yelling at a man through the receiver. Two police officers rushed to her side and quietly asked her to leave. She did so, glaring at Janefer as she passed. Wow. You’d think she would be glad to see her loved one, or whoever he is. A police officer walked up to them. “Hello ladies. Are you the Davis family, here to see Terrence Li?”
Celeste answered. “Yes, officer, we are. Where is he?”

The officer pointed in the direction they needed to go, and Janefer cringed at what he would say when he saw her. He may be mad at me. I sorta incriminated him. Oh, boy. I hope this goes well. 

Celeste and Janefer confidently walked to the desk, and Janefer sat down, and, picking up the phone, said,”Hey Terrence. How are ya?” He looked up. His face looked ten times more tired than he had before, and he appeared to have lost some weight. His face hardened as he met her gaze. “You know, I’m doing just fine. The bad food, the sleeping bunks. It’s just pure luxury.” Janefer met his gaze head on. “Terrence, I’m sorry you have to be in this position. If it helps you any, I believe that you didn’t do it. I think you are innocent. Why don’t you tell me how they convicted you?”

Terrence sighed, and,  lifting his weary head, relayed what had happened.

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Racing for Time- Chapter 12

Janefer arrived at the hospital, furious and afraid. Mel couldn’t have been taken away, right? “God, I still don’t really know if you are real, but this– this is awful. Why did you let this happen? How can you be a loving God, and yet let bad things happen?” She opened the center console of the Mazda 5, and grabbed a pair of sunglasses. She opened the car door, slammed it, and locked it. Her ankle wasn’t as painful. In fact, it was only a small burst of pain when she put pressure on it.
Janefer entered the hospital sliding doors and went straight to the receptionist’s desk.
The receptionist, a thin dark-haired woman with coke-bottle glasses, looked up from her computer screen. “Hi, can I help you?” Janefer took a deep breath to calm herself. “Yes. I’m Janefer Davis. I called on the telephone before coming here. My friend is Melanie Studd? She was registered here.” The receptionist, whose name tag read Carmen Dell, paused, recognition suddenly dawning in her eyes. “Oh, yes, you called about 15 minutes ago. You’re the girl who freaked out on the phone because her friend was checked out by her aunt.”

Janefer sighed, wishing she had kept her composure. “Yeah, that’s me. You said Melanie was checked out by her aunt? What did the woman look like?”
Carmen shrugged. “I didn’t really get a good look. She was young, maybe late twenties. She had shoulder length reddish- brown hair, and she was shorter, maybe 5 feet 4 inches. She seemed in a hurry, and she sounded really nervous. You know, chattered on like a squirrel. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of bubbly women in my life, but she was nervously chattering, you know?”
Janefer knew. “Yeah, I get it. What did she say her name was? I might know her.”
Carmen shook her head. “No. She did mention it, but it was mumbled, and I couldn’t really catch her name. Sorry.”
“Never mind. Don’t worry about it. If you see her again, though, will you let me know? Here, I’ll write you my number.” Janefer dug through her pockets and came up with a piece of crumpled paper. She borrowed a pen from Carmen and wrote her number. Carmen looked over it and raised an eyebrow. “Ah, so are you some sort of detective?”

“Not really. I like trying to figure things out, and when my friend is in possible trouble, I’d like to help. By the way, thanks for your help. I might know who that woman is. Oh, and one more question.”
Carmen nodded. “Shoot.”
“Did you see where they went? Were they with anybody? How did she even get Melanie to be checked out? Did you see what their car looked like?”
Carmen nodded. “That was four questions, but I think they went right, down to the highway. She was with somebody, a man. I didn’t get a good glimpse. We believed she was the aunt. I guess we were all fooled. She asked the hospital staff to bring her down in a wheelchair with crutches. She looked like she could be related anyway. It seemed legit. I think they drove a white Chevy pickup. ”

Janefer sighed again. “Okay, well, thanks. I would suggest, though, that next time you have better security for your patients.”
Carmen stiffened. “We have fine security, Miss Janefer. Don’t tell us how to do our job. Now, if you will excuse me, I have paperwork to do.”
Janefer turned and headed out the door to her car. I was just making a suggestion. Boy, those hospital staff. Makes you wonder if they are in on it. She unlocked her car door and slid inside.

Janefer started the car and pulled out of her parking spot. She turned right, and drove in the direction of where the pickup had gone.

—————————————————————-

Melanie winced at the excruciating pain in her legs. She felt woozy and light-headed. She didn’t know where she was. It was dark, and she was laying on something soft. Why had that woman and man taken her? She had tried to fight, but it wasn’t any use when she her legs were immobilized. She hadn’t remembered anything after they loaded her into the truck. She knew they weren’t her aunt and uncle. In fact, she thought she recognized the woman. Not the man, but the woman looked familiar. I can’t put my finger on it. I know I’ve seen her somewhere, but where? The night seemed to stretch on endlessly, as well as the pain in her broken legs. She prayed, hoping she would fall asleep. God, please,” she whimpered.”Help the police or Janefer to find me. My legs hurt so bad, and I’m afraid. Please-Please help me!” Melanie adjusted herself, and finding herself more tired then she thought, drifted off into a light sleep, hoping this nightmare would end soon.

—————————————————————–

Janefer drove to the nearest gas station and inquired if they had seen a white Chevy pickup recently. The man behind the counter, whose name read ‘Jake’, stared at her. He rubbed a hand over his beard, as if trying to remember if he had seen anyone. “No ma’am. Haven’t seen truck fitting that description passing through here. Sorry.”
Janefer felt exasperated. “Please, they have taken my friend, and I really need to find them. Are you sure you haven’t seen any white pickup trucks lately? Or have you seen a young woman with shoulder length reddish- brown hair? She’s really chatty.”

He studied her for a moment longer. “Nope. Sorry. I’ll let you know if I do.”

She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Okay, thanks. Um, here’s my number. If you find out anything that could help her, and I don’t answer the phone, call the police.”
He straightened and raised an eyebrow. “That important, huh? What are you, a detective or something?” She grinned slightly and started walking out. “Something like that. I like to figure things out.” Janefer paused. “Thanks.” He raised a hand and let it fall. “Now you just stay outta trouble, all right?”
“I’ll try.” Janefer chuckled as she opened the door. She thought for a moment once in her car. I have to think like them. Who are they, first of all? Maybe I’ll go talk to the Detective, and see what I can find out.

She started the car and pulled out of the gas station. Once on the highway again, she hoped she would find Melanie, and find her alive.

Racing for Time- Chapter 11

 

Whitby cautiously made his way down the stairs, the old boards groaning under his weight. Janefer held her breath, wondering what would be down there, if anything.

Whitby’s flashlight bobbed around as he shone it around the cellar. A waft of the old cellar’s smell caused Janefer to almost gag. It smelled between a mixture of rotten onions and bad morning breath. She plugged her nose and breathed through her mouth. Yuck. What is down there? A dead animal? Good grief, it’s horrible! Everything was quiet. Whitby was out of sight, and Janefer was anxious. “Whitby? Did you find anything?” No answer. She started to take a step down the stairs. The board creaked and groaned but didn’t break. “Janefer, stay back!” Celeste warned. Janefer stopped. “Mom, I can just go see if there is anything the matter! There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?”
Celeste put her hands on her slim waist, but just as quickly dropped them to her side. She sighed. “Janefer, please. What if there is something dangerous down there? I can’t bear to see you get hurt… or worse!”
Janefer sighed and took her mother’s hand and squeezed it. “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.” She smiled reassuringly. She slowly stepped down the few remaining stairs. At the end, the last board cracked under her weight and Janefer stumbled, twisting her ankle. Crying out in pain, her mother called out from above. “Janefer?! What’s wrong?! What happened?” Janefer rubbed her ankle. “I’m okay. Just…mhm….twisted my ankle. I’ll be fine.” Whitby rushed over, looking surprised to see her, as if he was a little boy caught with a hand in the cookie jar. “What are you doing down here? What-what happened?”

“I was coming down to see…if you were all right! You weren’t answering, so… I just assumed that…well.  .  .” She looked down, embarrassed.
He looked away and sighed,”You shouldn’t have come down here. It could’ve been dangerous. I don’t much like little girls getting hurt.”
“I’m not a little girl.” Janefer managed to bite out. “I was just concerned, and you don’t have to get mad.” She sat up and rubbed her ankle again.
Whitby grunted as he grabbed her arm and tried to help her up the stairs. “Well, there was nothing down here it was empty. Seems that even if the burglars hid down here, they got away before we could catch them.”
That surprised her. “But, how could they even escape? They probably came in when Mom was sleeping, but they would’ve only had a couple of minutes because Mom woke up not long after I left. That would certainly not have been enough time to chisel the message in our table, run down here, and escape. It doesn’t make sense!”
He shrugged. “Burglars are usually quick, but thorough. Now, can you walk on that ankle, or do I have to carry you?”
She pulled out of his grasp, “I’ll be fine. I can probably walk on it.”
He moved aside as she slowly crept up the stairs on her ankle, careful not to put too much weight on it. It hurt when she put pressure on it, but thankfully, it wasn’t getting swollen, and would probably heal by the next day. He followed her up the stairs, clicking off his flashlight as they got nearer to the opening.
Celeste was at the top, waiting for Janefer to emerge.

Her mother squeezed her in a hug. “I’m so glad you’re okay. I know that you only twisted your ankle, but right now I get so worried that something worse has happened.” Janefer had to smile at her mother’s concern. “Thanks Mom, but I’m fine. Really. I just think I’ll go to my room for awhile to rest the ankle. Anything else you need me for, Detective?”

He looked around and focused on her again. “No, I think we’re okay. All we have to go on is the chiseling and the possible fact that the culprits hid down in the cellar. Not much. I’m sorry, but unless we have a solid lead I can’t investigate much further. For all we know it could’ve been a random vandalizing.” Whitby shook Celeste’s hand, tipped his hat to Janefer. Janefer wanted to protest, to tell him to look harder, but she knew it was no use until they found solid evidence to prove where the burglars had vanished to.

Hobbling back to her room, she felt useless. I’m just getting in the way. Besides, it’s not like I’m a professional detective or anything. Wait! If Whitby is a professional detective, then he would’ve searched thoroughly and wouldn’t have come up with a solution so fast. He did look startled when I came down the stairs, and maybe a bit embarrassed. Hmmm…. could he be in on it? Could he be the one? “I have to talk to Mel!”

Janefer plopped on her bed, and grabbed the portable phone sitting on her nightstand. She dialed the hospital’s number. “Hello? Hi. I’m Janefer Davis, a friend of Melanie Studd? Yes, she’s registered there? Wait a minute, she’s not there?” Janefer’s face turned pale. “Well, where is she? She was checked out 15 minutes ago? By whom? Her dad? What did he look like? It was a her? No!” She slammed down the phone and ran outside, despite the pain in her ankle, and drove to the hospital.

 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Woww…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious……. 34 letters in one word. Ever want to know what this long word means?

Well, here you go.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious means: extraordinarily good; wonderful.

What are some things in your life that are positively scrumptious and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Comment below!