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| Category: || Mystery and Crime Fiction |
Posted:|| September 27, 2019 Views: 152|
Chapter 4 of the book Pushed Too Far
Jeremy and Jessica save each other.
A floorboard squeaks behind him. Paul turns to find Jeremy at the door, gun in hand; a crazed expression across his face. He then notices the dagger-like glare in his enemy's eyes. His harrowing stare was enough to make a large man run.
Jeremy's body quivers and his eye begins to twitch. Warning him of his pending attack. Ignoring the symptoms of his chronic tic disorder, he lifts his weapon to his shoulder as he takes a shooter's stance."Get away from my girl," he repeats.
Paul hurls the poker like a sword. Jeremy ducks. The hot iron whizzes past his head as Paul lunges for him. He and Jeremy tumble to the ground. The gun flies from Jeremy's hands. It skids across the floor; landing on the far side of the room. The boys scramble for it. Paul scoops it up as he spins around. Jeremy freezes in mid-motion.
"I always knew it'd come to this; you and me in a face-off."
There's a loud kerplunk. Paul falls face-first to the floor. Jeremy glances up to find Jessica smiling at him; a piece of timber in her hands.
"My hero," she murmurs. Her eyes gloss over. The piece of firewood falls to the floor.
She sways back and forth and then folds to the ground.
"No, not my Jessie." Jeremy scrambles to her. "Jessie honey, wake up, please wake up." He gently shakes her mangled body. She remains lifeless. "No, not Jessie. Please don't take her away, please don't take her away," he sobs, collapsing overtop her.
He hears a faint heartbeat and then feels her chest slowly rise and fall. "She's still alive." Wiping the blood-tinged tears from his swollen eyes, he assesses their grave situation. I need to get her to the hospital, but how?
He discovers a cell on the table. He scoops it up and tries to make a call. Jeremy quickly realizes that he doesn't have a signal. He dashes outside only to find he still can't connect.
He glances at Paul's Mustang. I'm not allowed to drive. His condition prohibits it. He glances at the cell again. It may be my only option. Fatal accidents come to mind. He pushes the horrid thoughts aside. I can't let her die. I just can't. Jeremy darts inside. "I'm taking you to the hospital. So hold on a little longer for me, ok?"
He tries to carry her, but he's so weak, he can barely lift her from the floor. Maybe I can drag her on a sheet.
Grabbing the soiled linen from the bed, he tosses it beside her. Jeremy carefully rolls her onto it. Grabbing the flashlight and gun, he drags Jessie to the door. How am I going to get you across this porch? Most of its wood is gone.
He's trying to come up with a plan when he sees Barry walking by. Jeremy waves his hands and yells, "Hey Barry, over here." The man looks around. "I'm on the porch." He moves the flashlight around.
"I have to get Jessie to the hospital, and I need your help."
Barry sees Jessica on a sheet when he reaches the steps. His gun on the sheet beside her.
"I can't figure out how to get her across without hurting her more."
"You take one end and I'll grab the other." ... "Easy son, we don't want to jolt her too much." ... "That's it, nice and steady." He glances at the weapon again. "Do we need to take care of a body too?"
"I didn't have to use your gun."
"Jessica whopped Paul in the back of the head, knocked him out cold. It was a good thing too because he had your weapon."
"You try to save her, and she saves you. That sounds like true love to me."
Jeremy looks at the sheet. "I do love her. I have since I was a kid, but I'm afraid she doesn't feel the same."
"Maybe she'll change her mind."
Jeremy glances at her angelic face. "I sure hope so."
"Open the door and I'll lift her in the car."
"Won't you hurt yourself?"
"Are you implying that I'm old?"
"N... No, I just meant..."
Barry chuckles. "I'm a lot stronger than I look." Jeremy throws the door open as his pal lifts her off the ground. Adjusting her in the seat, Barry closes the door. "Let's go."
Thunderous snores rattle the brightly colored walls in the Bower's apartment as Rachel and Joe attempt to catch a few Zs. Mumbling, Joe lifts his hand from Rachel's stomach and turns on his side. The baby kicks in response. "It's ok, baby, daddy isn't too far away." She snuggles against Joe; the baby calms right down. "I love him too, little guy." She smiles.
She's almost asleep when her cell rings. She grumbles as she reaches for the nightstand. "Sergeant Bower." ... "When did this happen?" ... "I want all available patrol looking for Paul and tell Jessie I'm on my way." She disconnects the call and then turns towards her husband. "Joe, Joe, wake up."
"Is it time?" He asks as he springs off the bed.
"No, no, I'm not in labor. Jessica is in the hospital."
"Hospital, what happened?"
"Her boyfriend beat her up."
"Get dressed and I'll take you."
Rachel rolls her eyes. Of course, you will, she thinks.
Rachel's parents are in the hospital waiting room when she and Joe arrives. The couple rushes to their side.
"Is she alright?" Rachel questions.
"The doctors said she'll make a full recovery with a lot of rest."
"Why are you crying, Mom?" Bonnie is actually her stepmom, but she's been more of a mother to her than her birth mom.
"She lost the baby," Bonnie sobs.
"Baby, what baby?"
"Your sister was six weeks along."
"I had no idea."
"None of us did, honey," her dad says as he pulls Bonnie close. Max notices Joe beside them.
"It's nice to see you again, Joe."
"I wish it was under better circumstances, sir."
Seeing Jessica's family in the corner, Jeremy runs to them. "I'm sorry I couldn't save her from Paul. I tried, I really did, but Tony and Jeff dragged me away before I could stop him."
"They would've killed Jeremy if I hadn't come around when I did," Barry says as he steps beside them.
"You are?" Rachel grabs a notebook from her pocket. Then glances down the hall.
"Barry Moore, I have a cabin in the hills."
Joe takes the pen and paper from her hands. "You go be with Jessie and let me handle this."
"Thanks, Joe." She kisses his cheek.
Rachel turns around. "Yes, Jeremy?"
"Could you tell Jessie I love her and I'm here for her no matter what?"
"I'm sure she already knows, but I'll remind her." She winks.
Paul slowly opens his eyes and looks around. Discovering the hut is empty, he hobbles towards the door. "That little bastard stole my Mustang." He looks towards the table. "And my cell phone too. He's a dead man when I find him. A dead man." Paul punches the door. "He's going to wish he'd never been born." He bashes the door again.
A horrid thought suddenly comes to mind. What if he and Jessica went to the pigs? I bet they did, and I bet Jeff and Tony are already in jail. I'll be next if I don't hide. He darts through the door.
He makes it to the top of the first hill a few minutes later. I have to keep going. He pants. His legs begin to ache and his lungs burn as he trudges on.
The night grows eerily dark. Paul looks up to see heavy rain clouds overhead. Getting soaked would be a perfect way to end this day. He glances down the hill, longing for the cabin's shelter. He then recalls his alarming deduction. I'd much rather be soaked than in jail.
He hears rustling in the woods nearby. I hope that isn't the rabid wolf. Paul darts to the center of the road. The swooshing gets closer. Paul picks up his pace. The commotion follows. You're not getting me. Paul sprints down the hill. A mile or so down the road the uproar finally subsides. That was too close. He pants.
He's trying to catch his breath when he notices red and blues light the darkened sky. I have to get out of here. Paul runs to the opposite side of the woods. He discovers a wild boar at the edge of the trees.
|The book continues with Out for Blood. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.|
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