We are a Christian Network that promotes Christian books through press releases, social networking, blog showcases, and charities, including the orphans in Nepal and Wakulla Correctional.
Don't forget to check out the free books on the site - right column following book trailers.
vision seeped through the louvers on the utility room door. The images seemed
broken as in a jigsaw puzzle until she leaned forward and placed her forehead
against the wood. Her insides tightened. Everyone was shouting. She willed her
body to stop trembling but it seemed to have a will of its own. The gun that
the stranger held, just like on TV but different, was pointed at her father.
This was real. Daddy had hid her ... told
me to stay where I am until ... She couldn't remember.
voice sounded like it did when he talked on the phone sometimes. “What do you
want with us? You have no business being here. We said no contact."
watched his face get redder than she'd ever seen it, even when he'd been out in
the sun too long. Mommy was shaking her fist. She never did that. The stranger smiled, totally silent. Not
intimidated, it seemed to the five year old. A shiver walked its way up her
spine. She’d seen guns like that in the cartoons she watched. This one was a
little longer though. Only business, the man said. What business, she wondered.
The man straightened his arm, the one
holding the gun. Her vision blurred for a second, horror filling the empty
spaces in her brain. The explosion echoed in the foyer. The bullet seemed to
travel in slow motion. Just like the
cartoons, she thought. Her daddy’s body slammed into the banister of the
staircase heading up to the bedroom area and the maid’s quarters. The railing
shook. Her father’s body flopped forward. His head smacked the floor. He lay
Blood covered the wall behind where
her father had stood. Her mother screamed and then was silent. Before her
father's body hit the tiled foyer, she watched the side of her mother’s head
explode. Specks of blood and other gooey stuff splattered all over the walls,
mixing with the blood from her father. Her stomach lurched. She wrapped a hand
tightly across her mouth. A silent scream rattled around in her head seeking an
escape. Get up, it said. Daddy. Mommy. Get up. Please. The scream
evaporated, as if it had never been. They weren’t moving. In the cartoons, they
always got back up. Why don’t they get
Tears filled her eyes, blurring her
vision again. Daddy just lay there. Mommy lay beside him, covered in the blood
that flowed from her body. Her sightless eye stared toward the girl, hidden.
The girl felt as if she was going to throw up but she swallowed instead. She
swiped at the tears that silently trickled down her pudgy cheeks. Her mother
told her she had cute dimples, whatever that was. Her mother liked to touch her
She watched as the man, the monster,
moved toward the entrance. Then he stopped. He looked up the stairs, then down
the hall. He looked toward her hiding place, his eyes cold, calculating,
wondering. Her stomach lurched, the fright almost real enough to touch. Could
he see her? Her daddy had told her to hide here. He knew they were in danger. Why? Who was this man? How did daddy know him? Maybe it was mommy
the man hated. Why? Footsteps interrupted her questions. The man was moving
down the hall straight toward her.
She crept backwards, crawling on all
fours as if she were a spider. Her gymnastics teacher had taught her that. I need to get out of here. He will kill me,
too. She remembered her discovery when she’d hidden in here last week. Her
cousins had come for a visit. They loved to play hide and seek in the large,
multistoried mansion that was her home. She'd found a door leading to the
garage where her daddy’s cars were kept under the chauffeur’s apartment. She’d
sneak out that way.
Several hanging tools brushed her
shoulders as she crept under them toward safety. They swung to and fro. It was
as if they whispered, “She’s in here.”
She twisted her head behind. She couldn't see through the slats in the door
anymore but the heavy tread of footsteps grew louder, closer. She reached the
hidden door. It creaked as she slipped through.
“Wait.” His voice echoed through the
tiny room, resonating off the walls of the small space, the sound carried over
the creak of the door as he pulled it open. The menace in his voice was gone,
replaced by enticement.
She scurried into the large garage.
Ignoring the man, she skirted the three cars stored there. Her heart pumped so
loudly in her ears, the sound blocked out the rustle of the man's clothes as he
squeezed through the same opening. She turned slightly and saw his shadow. Her
short legs pumped toward the door leading to the stone walled courtyard and the
gated entrance to the back yard. The wrought iron gate was open. Good.
Her feet flew over the paved driveway
toward the gate. She turned once to see if the chauffeur was nearby. Benson
played with her sometimes. He was nowhere to be seen. Then she remembered.
Benson had asked for the day off to take Maria, the maid, to the beach. There’s no one to help. She streaked
through the wrought iron gate.
The yard was tree filled, almost like
a park. She ran like the wind, as if the devil himself was after her. He is. She reached the second gate in
the high wrought iron fence that surrounded her parent's property. It was
slightly ajar. Her parent's always kept this one locked but now... She almost
forgot to breathe as she raced through it and into the street. The sidewalk led
to town. Her legs pounded the pavement hard. “Wait.” The shout came from behind
her. The man was following.
The sound of his footsteps bounced
off cement walls and rock enclosures, the attempt of homeowners to protect what
was theirs. Trees, thick for privacy, lined the street, hiding nearby houses
from view. Traffic was non-existent along this street at this time of day. She
ran. Her instincts told her that life, her life, depended on it. She rounded a
corner but then peeked back. He was still coming, walking briskly in her
direction. I need to hide.
She crawled under a nearby bush, its dense foliage the perfect cover, she
thought. The picture of her mother’s head scattering debris all over the walls
played like a ticker tape through her brain. Her stomach roiled again and she
gagged. Mommy. Daddy. Please help me.
Footsteps rounded the corner. The sound grew louder. He’ll find me. I have to leave.
She stood. He reached for her with
one hand while the other, the one that had held the gun, was in his pocket. She
ducked just out of his reach. She raced like the wind, staying off the sidewalk
this time. She flew through the trees as if someone carried her, her feet
barely touching the ground long enough to make an indent in the leaves. Her
body slammed into low branches that scratched and tore at her clothing. She was
shorter than the man so movement for her was easier here, she reasoned. The
heavier footsteps had slowed, proving her right. She heard a twig snap. He was
still coming. Maybe a policeman…
The girl ran. Her legs hurt. Muscles
contracted painfully. Trickles of blood from scratches marred her perfect skin,
skin that her mother would caress from time to time. Mommy. The thought hurt so much. Her daddy liked to swing her over
his head. She almost smiled at the thought but then tears flowed again when she
remembered. He’s back there. Lying on the
floor. Blood oozed from his forehead. He never got back up.
The race continued. She rounded
another corner. Her body slammed into legs encased in dark blue pants. Strong
hands steadied her but she wriggled to be free. She looked over her shoulder,
twisting this way and that. “Hey there. What’s the hurry?” The voice sounded
kind, different than the one she ran from. She looked up.
“Melissa?” The man’s smile turned
quickly to a frown, concern written all over his face. “What’s wrong?”
She pointed in the direction she’d
come from. Her breaths were mere gasps, words impossible. Tears fell
unhindered. She slipped behind the legs. Would
the man shoot this person too? She pointed again as the man rounded the
corner. She saw him stop before the policeman could look in the direction she
pointed. The man ducked his head as his foot stepped backward. She watched him,
silently and as quickly as he’d come, step behind the nearest tree, out of
sight. Her heart felt as if it would leap out of her chest. Then she was sick.
All over the shiny black shoes of the policeman she’d collided into.
“I don’t see what you’re trying to
tell me, Melissa. Calm down. Just take a deep breath.” He saw her looking at
the mess at his feet. “Don’t worry about that. I can clean them. But what’s got
you in such a tizzy?”
She swallowed. Tears streaked down
her cheeks as if they’d never stop. “He-he," She hiccoughed. She pointed
in the direction she'd come from. "He shot mommy and daddy.” She gasped
for another breath. Her finger shook as she continued to point toward the
corner where the monster had disappeared. “He shot them.”
About the Author:
Canadian born, and with 19 books to her credit, Barbara
Ann Derksen works hard to give her readers the ride of their life when they pick up one of her books. Her
favorite genre is murder mystery, but each book brings forth characters who
rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life. She also writes devotionals
and children’s stories.