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She didn’t know what to do, so she sat their and cried.

Memories ripped through her head where she wanted them to or not. Memories of herself fighting with him on their honeymoon, him coming home late time and time again, the first bruise on her face from 2 years ago and finally of the pictures she saw just yesterday. They were a bit blurry but she could see him clearly enough and she could see her with him.

At the urging of her husband’s secretary of all people (her name was Karen Mahan and a nice enough lady), she hired a private detective to follow her husband for 3 nights. It cost a little bit and nothing out of the ordinary had happened the first two nights, but the third night was the night. The night the pictures were taken. The PI had emailed her the pics within minutes of taking them.

She wiped her eyes as the waitress came up, “Darling can I get you anything else?”

She looked up at the older lady and remembered her manners, “No ma’am just the coffee for now.”

The lady knew something was wrong, but decided not to pry. “Darling you take your time and if you need anythin’ else, you just let me know. OK?”

She faked a smile to the waitress, “No ma’am. Really that is it. Here you go.” She never was a big breakfast person and today she had understandably lost her appetite.

She pulled out her elegant black leather skin Gucci wallet and pulled out her credit card. It read, “Zion Taylor Price.” She started thinking again of the “price” that last name had cost. Zion had married him leaving her father and mother to move 4 hours away from home, then 12 hours away the next year and then 18 hours away 2 years later. It was 5 years ago and she was ready for a wonderful life with him, but now it was gone. There was no way she was going back to him. No way in the world.

Zion calmed herself and breathed. She handed the credit card to the woman and the lady left to ring up her bill. Zion sipped her coffee and wondered what to do next. She had nothing. She had left her job as a nurse when she got married. He had wanted her to stay home and she loved taking care of the house and him. “Had” loved it.

The waitress came back, “Darling, I am sorry, but this card has been declined.”

“Really? I used it just about an hour ago.” She had just used the credit card to pay for the hotel where she stayed last night. She was no where near her limit. She thought for a second. She whispered, “No, he couldn’t have.”

“What was that dear?”

“Oh nothing. Uh how much is the bill?”

“A dollar and fourteen cents. I know! It is shameful what they charge for a cup of coffee today isn’t it?”

Zion looked through the bottom of her purse and scraped together enough change to pay for the coffee. Then she left the restaurant and walked back down the block to her car. As she rounded the corner she saw two police patrol cars and a tow truck near her car. After walking a little closer she could see they were towing her car. All of her clothes were in the car. She started to run to the policemen and ask what was going on, but then she stopped.

What if they were looking for her? What if he had canceled her credit card and reported the car stolen or something? After all, the car was in his name. What could she do? Her parents were hours away. She had no money and no car. What could she do?

Her Dad always knew what to do. He was a cardiologist for many years until he changed to private practice in the smaller town. It was sort of a semi retirement for him. Not only was he a good doctor but he was (just plainly put) a smart man. He loved working out problems, playing chess (currently ranked ‘expert’ on the USCF ranking system), planning the operation of the small “farm” he had moved to (making use of ALL of the assets of the farm) and strategically he had no equal. She really wished he was here now. Well, maybe he could be. She decided to swallow her pride and ask for help.

She turned and walked back up the block and used her cell phone as she walked. She tried the house phone and then his cell phone. “Daddy, it’s me. ….. I need help,” was how the conversation started and after a few moments of tears and explaining, her father was brought up to speed. She told him everything that had happened (he had insisted) even of the credit card and the car. He had not said too much and did not react negatively on the phone. In fact he was quiet. Of course, he was always quiet when he was thinking.

“Zion, I am going to ask you a few questions and I need you to answer them thoroughly.”

She sat down on a park bench and answered, “Yes, sir.”

“What phone are you talking on?”

“My cell phone.”

“Do you still have the wallet I gave you for Christmas?”

“Yes sir.”

“Open it up. I want you to tear through the inner lining of the inside of the wallet.”

“What?! Daddy this wallet is worth over two hundred dollars easily!”

“Honey, follow my instructions exactly. The wallet is nothing. Do it now!”

She swallowed. He had only yelled at her a handful of times throughout his life and when he did she knew he meant business. She grabbed her keys and tore through the lining on the left side. Below the lining she found two one hundred dollar bills and a piece of paper.

“What is this?”

“Listen to me. On one side are three twenty dollar bills. On the other are two one hundred dollar bills and a piece of paper. I had the interior of this wallet re-sewn after I added these. On the piece of paper is: two addresses the first is to “Selma’s Place” a diner and the second is to a storage facility near where you live (right down the street from Selma’s), the number of the storage room and the combination to the lock on the door. Go to Selma’s by taxi. Make sure the driver sees you enter there. Then, when he leaves, go to the storage business. You will have all that you need,” there was a pause on the phone.

After a moment her father continued, “Zion I have to go right now. Your cell phone can be traced. He may have cancelled your credit cards and reported your car as stolen. The police may try to track your phone. He may not say that you did anything wrong, but are just simply missing. The police will try to find you for him. I want you to first erase the call history on the phone so they won’t know who you called easily. Then, get a taxi right away and ride two blocks and get out, but leave the cell phone in the car. They will be on a wild goose chase for a while.”

“Pay the driver in cash. After you get out walk until you can get another cab and go to the first address. I love you Zion. Do this step by step and then I will talk to you in a bit.”

“Yes sir. But how ……”

“Honey, I love you, but I need you to do this now! No more questions,” and the phone went dead.

She did exactly as told. Zion hailed a taxi and told the driver to drive 2 more blocks in the opposite direction of her car. She erased the call history and left the cell phone stuffed in the crack of the seat. She handed the driver a twenty and he gave her the change.

Zion stepped out and walked another block, then hailed another taxi. This taxi headed South back near her home. She knew the storage facility from passing it several times a month when she took that particular road to the gym. She could not understand why her father would have her go there or what could be in a small storage unit. Zion pictured her old storage unit in college stacked to the brim with old furniture, clothes and books. It was barely big enough for the sofa she had purchased. She had the driver stop at the mom and pop diner just down the road. She made sure to pay him in cash and that he saw her walk into the diner.

She walked to the restroom for a second and splashed some water on her face. She didn’t understand. She didn’t know what was going on but she trusted her father. She would do what he said. She took out the piece of paper again and looked for the storage unit number. Written on the paper was Building C Unit 12.

Zion gathered her courage again and walked out of the diner, across the street and down the road about 300 feet to U Store Storage. She didn’t walk into the small main office building, but went straight for building C. Building A was an all indoor environmentally controlled building where the storage compartments were temperature regulated. Building B was made up of the cheaper out door units that were not air conditioned or anything special.

When she finally reached Building C she was amazed at the size of it. They had built it taller than the other buildings. The units ranged in sizes that were from small garages to units big enough to put an RV in. Unit 12 was one of the smaller sized ones and securely fastened to the door was an odd looking combination lock.

Another look at the paper and she worked the combination. With a sudden pop, the lock came open and she struggled to lift the large metallic door until a spring pulled the door up. Suddenly she heard glass break and she looked inside. Somehow a glass bottle was placed on top of a stick that was somehow wedged against the door. When the door opened it had made quite a mess across the concrete floor.

She stepped into the unit and a motion sensor light came on illuminating the darker unit. Taking up a good bit of the unit was an older model Ford Bronco. On the front glass was an envelope that read, “Close the door and read me.” She closed the door and walked over to retrieve the note.

“Honey if you are reading this, then something has gone bad wrong. I have planned for sometime for you turn return home in the event you needed to. The world is an unsafe place. I have tried to warn you of the dangers all your life, but you always look on the brighter side of things. If you are reading this, then you have finally seen something dark and dangerous in the world that you need help getting away from. Use this truck and the contents inside to come home to me and your mother. Inside there is money, maps with several routes to travel, some clothes to change into, a handgun, water and food. There is also extra gas in the cans on the back. There is a prepaid cell phone with a car adapter in the metal cage looking thing in the back seat as well as some other items. Call me as soon as it charges up a little and you are able. All you will need to do is to unplug the wire leading to the small trickle charge PV panel on the roof, turn on the Boston switch on the dash and you should be good to go. There are instructions with pictures on the next page that will show you how to do this. We have everything planned. Be safe. Love, Dad.”

Memories flashed through her head. He had given her a wallet every time they had moved. Every six months when they visited him and Mom had always vanished for the day “sight seeing” they said, but they always did it alone. He obviously used the time to prep the truck for her. The glass bottle on the stick was put there to make a mess so he would know when the place was opened without his knowledge. How had he known this day would come?

Xxxxx

Mr. Kenneth Taylor drove on heading north. It had been a long while since he had done so much driving by himself. A light rain started to come down as he continued on right at the posted speed limit. The cell phone rang, disrupting the silence in the car.

He answered it saying, “Hello. This is Dr. Taylor.” He listened for a moment.

“Yes, honey. You get going now. I am actually heading toward you and should meet you about half way there,” he said then paused listening to the caller again.

“It’s ok. I am glad that you are safe. Don’t speed, but don’t stop till you are at a half of a tank of gas. That will give you a little distance between you and him. I will see you in a little while.”

Xxxxxxxx

“Hey Mrs. Ritter,” said the young lady to her best friends mom.

Zion Taylor Ritter smiled at the young lady just arriving and joked, “See she did make it.” They were so excited here at college. Her daughter and her best friend managed to wrangle a room together in the dorms so this would be an interesting year to say the least. She turned to her daughter, “Lynn, I got a little present for you. Open it up and I will get out of your hair.” She presented her with a small gift box.

Lynn ripped the wrapping off of the box and looked inside. “Oh Mom it’s beautiful.” She pulled out a black Prada wallet. “I will carry this with me all of the time.”

Her mother smiled, “Good. Every woman should have one. I will tell you how a wallet saved my life one day. Keep your cell phone with you and call me first thing if you are EVER in trouble.”

“Mom, you live upstate. How are you gonna help me if something does go wrong.”

Zion winks to her daughter, “Your mother always thinks ahead.”
 

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Darting from the shadows
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Great, I enjoyed that thanks Josiah.
 
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"STUPID SHOULD HURT"
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Great story Josiah. Don't know how I missed it until now. What area of SE Alabama are you in? I lived in Enterprise for about 10 years, and my son is graduating Troy State next spring.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great story Josiah. Don't know how I missed it until now. What area of SE Alabama are you in? I lived in Enterprise for about 10 years, and my son is graduating Troy State next spring.

Dennis
Sorry, OpSec doesn't allow me to get specific. Let's just say Southeast Alabama and near there.

Thanks for your positive comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This story was started four years ago and just the intro? SurvivorGirlAL, aka as the gimpy one, can raise the dead!
Actually this is the whole story. It was back when I started writing little short stories. I like writing the shorter ones. The reader doesn't have to invest a lot of time to get a cool little story.

Thanks for the comments though.
 
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