Day of Reckoning: Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Help Is on The Way

Blood-Trail

 “Shit!”

Once again Sky cursed, as her car fish-tailed over the ice-covered roads.  She righted her old Sentra, and eased off the gas a little, realizing she would be of no help to Amy if stranded in a ditch.

It had been three hours since she last spoke with Amy.  Their phone call had been interrupted by Rudy’s barking.  Sky was sure Amy had not heard her warning to lock the door.

“Damn it to hell!”  She smacked her hand hard against the wheel.  She was only 30 miles away from the cabin, but traveling turtle speed on these crooked roads, meant it was still another good hour before she arrived.

Sky racked her brain, trying to think of something else she could do.  She had tried to contact the local sheriffs’ department, but her damn cell phone had zero reception.  Mentally she kicked herself for not dialing 911 before she had the house.

After hearing Rudy’s vicious growling, the explosion…she knew to be a gunshot, the only thought in her mind was saving Amy, and in that moment, it meant getting to her as soon as possible.  She realized, the rush of adrenaline had clouded her judgement, so the idea of calling the local authorities, had never entered her mind, until it was too late.

A blinding snowstorm swirled around the black Sentra, and Sky did the only thing she could…drive slowly forward.  Time ticked slowly by, but within an hour, she reached the cabin, and was able to slide the Sentra to a stop, narrowly missing Amy’s parked car.  She slung open the door, and attempted to run to the cabin.  Her sneakers, lacking traction, slipped, and propelled her headlong into 10 inches of freshly, fallen snow.

“Fuck!”

She lifted her face from the snow, blew the hair from her eyes, and carefully stood up.  Ahead of her the cabin looked quiet, but her stomach dropped at the sight of the screen door standing ajar.  She could see that a snow drift had wafted past the opening, and had settled haphazardly inside on the cabin’s floor.

Making her way to the front porch, Sky called out to Amy.

“Amy?”

“Amy, honey…?”

Sky prayed like hell to hear Amy’s voice, but to her dismay the Lord was uncompliant.

She made her way to the stairs, and her heart plunged like a sinking ship when she noticed a pool of blood just outside the front door…she let her gaze follow a trail of bloody paw prints that disappeared into the woods.

Inside, the cabin was quiet, save for the beeping of the phone, its handset still laid on the table where Amy had left it.  Sky picked it up and put it back in place, and then lifted it, and placed it against her ear.  She dialed 911 using the rotary, and waited to hear a voice from the other end.

***

 

Sheriff Jones laid down his bologna sandwich, picked up the ringing phone, and answered with his mouth full, “Blue Mountain Sheriff’s department…”  He grunted and added, “How can I help ya?”

Sky’s hurried voice filled his ear with incoherent words that meant squat to him.

“Now hold on thar little lady…uh huh…what? Ma’am please…slow down…”

“…uh let me get this straight.”  The sheriff cleared his throat and continued, “…uh now…who’s missing?  Did ya say it was your…uh…friend?”

Sky’s impatient voice returned, “No, not my friend, I said my wife!”

Sheriff Jones leaned his massive form back into the comfort of an oversized office chair.  “(Ahem)…So how long has yer…uh…wife…been missing?”

“I already told you at least 4 hours!”

“Only 4 hours?  Well now…little lady…who’s to say she ain’t just gone out for a hike or something like ‘at?  Besides, according to regulations, I can’t do a thing until she’s been gone for at least 24 hours.”

Sky screamed into the phone, “A hike!  In a freaking snow storm?  And did I mention the trail of blood??  Listen, you hillbilly son-of-a-bitch, I don’t give a good god-damn if it’s only been 2 minutes, if you don’t get someone out here, I will have your ass standing in next week’s fucking unemployment line.”

Sheriff Jones rolled his eyes.  “Now, little lady, thar ain’t no reason for such colorful words.  I will send someone as soon as possible, but I have to tell ya my two deputies are out on other calls and…”

Sky interrupted, “I don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re out helping the fucking pope!  You get someone out here…and stop calling me little lady!!”

Sheriff Jones rocked his large body forward and leaned upon his messy desk.  “All right then little laa…, (ahem) ma’am, if it makes you feel better, I’ll just come out thar myself.  But with the weather being what it is n’all it’ll take a while.  Now, uh…is this the best number to reach ya?  Ma’am…hello?”

His questions were answered by dead silence, and Sheriff Jones knew the little lady had hung up on him.

***

 

Sky slammed the phone into its cradle.  She knew Barney Fife would be of no help.  She doubted if he would even show up.

Trying to assess the situation, her eyes fell on Amy’s suitcase.  She opened it and took out a pair of snow boots.  They were a half size too small for her but she knew they would get better traction than her sneakers.  She pulled the boots over woolen socks, and tied the shoe strings in a double knot.  Then she searched for a coat, but had to settle for one of Amy’s flannel shirts and an oversized hoodie.

Sky walked into their bedroom, to her side of the bed, and without hesitation, she lifted the mattress and grabbed a 38 revolver that Amy knew nothing about.  She tucked the cold steel into the back of her jeans, grabbed a flashlight from the nightstand, and headed outside to follow the trail of blood that led into the woods.

***

 

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