Massive problems are solved, one small step at a time.
(To read from beginning: Amy’s Story: Part 1)
[RECAP: Amy is kidnapped, and chained in an underground, root cellar, by a vicious serial killer. After hours of hanging in the dark cellar, her captor takes her to an abandoned cabin, hidden deep within the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rudy, her beloved Golden Retriever, lays in the snow, dying from a gunshot wound, received while trying to save Amy. Sky, the love of Amy’s life, walks the desolate forest, following snow-mobile tracks, she believes lead to Amy.]
Rudy had tried his best to save Amy, but his attempts lay waste, due to the bullet lodged deep in his right shoulder. As much as he had tried, he now lay motionless. A light dusting of snow, from the fir branches above, covered his body. A blanket of white, stained only, by the blood oozing from his dying heart.
As Rudy lay there, with his eyes closed, his life began to flash before him, in cinematic grandeur. As scene one opened, the sight of his mother, Abigail, caused him to whimper. Through the years his memories of her had faded, but now, once again, he saw her through puppy eyes…
Rudy gazed into the brown eyes, of a beautiful Golden Retriever, named Abigail. Oblivious of the name given her by humans, Rudy touched his nose to her nose, and knew her only as mama.
It had been long day, for Rudy, without his litter-mates. He was confused, and wondered where they were. At least he still had mama, he thought, and snuggled into the warmness of her fur. This was his favorite spot. The rhythmic beat coming from her heart, comforted him, and as always, like a lullaby, eased him to sleep.
Rudy was roused from his peaceful sleep by the sound of humans close by.
“Well, we only have one left; the runt, but you’re welcome to take a look-see at him. Come on in here…uh…what’d you say your name was…?”
“Sky. My name is Sky.”
“Okay, Sky, come on in here. I like to keep the bitches, and their pups in the barn when it’s this cold outside. I’d hate for them to get cold.”
Human-talk, was gibberish to Rudy; so he snuggled closer to mama’s heart, and buried his head in her warm golden fur. Before sleep could claim him, Rudy felt himself being lifted by gentle hands. He opened his eyes, and looked down at the face of woman with blue eyes, and blonde spiky hair. Rudy yawned, blinked his eyes, and looked once again, into the face of the human holding him. This time, he noticed, she had a big smile upon her face. She pulled him closer and kissed him on his wrinkled brow.
“Oh my God…he’s perfect!”
Human-gibberish again, thought Rudy, but he didn’t mind; he licked the human on her nose, and thought, she smells good.
Sky laughed at the puppy’s slobbery kiss, and pulled him closer.
“So, how soon can I take him home?” Sky asked, feeling the warm bundle of fur wiggle beneath her chin.
“Well, if you got the money, you can take him home today.”
“Oh, I got the money, all right!”
“Well, okay then! Just put him back in there with his mama, and follow me to the office. Watch-ya step, there’s a couple of poop piles I’ve not gotten to yet.”
Sky kissed Rudy again, and put him back beside Abigail, who was now looking up, sitting on her haunches, and wagging her tail.
“My gosh, Abigail, you are pretty!”
Sky patted the top of Abigail’s head, and then turned to follow the man wearing denim overalls.
“Hey, where ya going?” barked Rudy. He jumped up to place his paws on the wire fence separating him from the humans. His little tailed wagged so fast it created a small dust cloud, as it brushed back and forth over the dirt floor.
Rudy lay on the car seat, beside Sky, and cried. The seat beneath him was cold, the smells around him unfamiliar, and worst of all, his mama was nowhere to be seen. The lady beside him was nice enough, but he missed his mama’s heartbeat, her brown eyes and the warmth of her fur.
“Mama…mama…” He barked shrilly. “Where are you, mama?”
Sky placed a reassuring hand on him and crooned, “It’s okay little fellow…it’s going to be all right…I promise.”
Human gibberish, thought Rudy, and even though the warmth from the human’s hand was comforting, he barked even louder, “Mama…mama…mama…”
Finally the car stopped, and the human got out, and closed the door. He was alone but a few seconds, when the car door beside him opened. He saw the human squat, so that she was eye level. Once again his listened to human gibberish.
“Okay, little fellow, now’s the time for you to perform magic.”
Rudy cocked his head, and looked at the human with a confused expression. The human laughed, rubbed his head and continued her gibberish.
“Here’s the plan. When the front door opens, you will mesmerize her with those gorgeous, chocolate eyes of yours.”
“You see, I’ve done something stupid, and once again I’m in hot water with my girlfriend, and you , my little one, are the prettiest olive branch I could find.”
“Let’s hope, Amy thinks so too…”
Rudy cocked his head the other way, trying to understand, and once again the human laughed. In spite of his homesickness, the happiness of her laugher made him feel a little better. And then, he felt her lift him, from the cold seat, and pull him against her, for a warm hug. Rudy’s “happy-meter,” tilted a tad more to the right, and he began wagging his tail.
At the door, the human pressed a button, not once, but twice. After a moment, they both heard footsteps on the other side. Rudy felt himself lifted higher, and the human hid her face behind him, and whispered, “Okay, little fellow, now’s the time. Do your magic…”
The door opened, and Rudy saw Amy for the first time. He looked into Amy’s shocked, brown eyes, and thought, “She has the same eyes as mama !” In that instant, Rudy’s homesickness vanished, and peace took its spot. He knew he was home, and always would be, with Amy.
The magical spell was broken, by the voice of the human, behind him.
“Amy…I’m so sorry…”
Amy, captured within Rudy’s spell, ignored Sky, and took the golden bundle, pulled him to her, and hugged him tenderly.
Sky, stood in the doorway and smiled; confident, her plan had been a success.
The mental image of Amy, caused a dying Rudy, to gasp for air, and the mental flashes of his life ceased. His eyes opened, and to see the fir branches, waving above him. For a moment, he wondered where when he was at, and then the events of the past hour came to him.
He remembered he had been on the porch, sniffing, searching for squirrels, when he caught the scent of someone close by. The scent was vaguely familiar, he couldn’t quite place it, but he knew he had smelled it before.
As Rudy lay in snow, he thought about the events that had led him here…
His gut lurched and he knew danger was near. A waft of air ruffled Rudy’s hair, and he lifted his nose to it, trying to get a better whiff. His nostrils filled with the scent of the stranger, and Rudy realized he knew stranger. He had met this man before, and he clearly remembered disliking him; from day one, Rudy knew this man to be evil. He had tried to warn Amy, by growling and barking, but she had scolded him, and put him in another room. Rudy remembered laying with his nose pressed to the opening, at the bottom of door, until the evil man had left and until he knew Amy to be safe.
And now, as he stood on the cabin’s porch, he took one more sniff, just to confirm his suspicion. Rudy felt the hairs of his back rise, and he realized it was indeed the same evil man.
Rudy began to bark and growl viciously, trying to warn Amy to stay inside, and then to Rudy’s horror, Amy opened the door and stepped outside. In the same instant, the evil man came around the corner of the cabin, and ran to grab Amy from behind. Rudy saw something in the man’s hand, and knew it was meant to hurt Amy. Without hesitation, Rudy lunged forward, but in mid flight, he heard an explosion, saw a flash of light, and then felt something hit him. Whatever it was, it hit him so hard, he fell to floor at Amy’s feet.
The memory of Amy in danger, sent a surge of adrenalin through Rudy’s body, and from its strength, Rudy tried to stand. He stood but for a moment, until intense pain wracked his body, causing him to fall back into the snow. Upon impact, Rudy cried out against the pain.
Again he tried to stand, and once again his body felt horrible pain; however, this time Rudy refused to lay down. Instead he thought of Amy, and somehow he found the strength to take a step.
One slow step at a time, Rudy followed, the snow-mobile tracks that led to Amy.
The watch on her arm, told Sky she had been following the trail for at least an hour.
She followed two paths simultaneously; one from a snow-mobile and the other left by Rudy’s bloody paw prints. She noticed, the farther they went, the bloodier they were.
Sky wiped away the tears, that ran down her face. She knew Rudy was losing too much blood, and so, she braced herself, for the body, she knew she would soon find.
Sky pulled her hoodie snuggly over her head, but it did little to combat the gusts of cold wind. The cold reminded her of the cool steel, pressed against the small of her back. The gun’s coldness comforted her.
A month ago, she had purchased two revolvers, without Amy’s knowledge. She didn’t tell Amy, because she knew, Amy frowned upon the idea of a gun in the house.
Sky hid one gun at home, within a box of her personal mementos, that sat upon the top shelf, of her bedroom closet. She knew Amy would never look there. The other gun, the one at the cabin, she had hid under the mattress, on her side of the bed.
Sky was a little less confident of that particular hiding place, but the cabin was small, with no closets. She had pondered, somewhere in the kitchen, but Amy was the cook, and so, that option had been “shot down” from the get go. In spite of the circumstances, Sky couldn’t help but smile at the corny pun.
Sky wrestled often with the guilt of keeping the secret from Amy; after all, it had been that very thing, that had almost ended their relationship, a few years ago. Silently Sky thanked Rudy, because of him, Amy’s heart was softened, and so she had agreed to give Sky another chance.
Sky soothed her conscience, by telling herself, the guns were for Amy’s protection. She just hoped, Amy would feel the same way when the truth came to light. At the time, Sky felt she had no other choice, especially after Amy had been beaten, and almost raped. Sky was willing to risk their relationship in order to save Amy’s life.
Sky lifted one painful foot from the deep snow, and then the other. Amy’s borrowed, and too-small boots, rubbed against the back of her feet, causing two large blisters to appear. She grimaced with each step, but never slowed pace; her eyes fixed upon the tracks ahead of her. Sky was determined to get to Amy.
“Hang on baby…I’m coming.”
Her words fell empty to the desolate forest surrounding her.
Amy’s body still ached, from hanging hours in a dark, cold cellar. She sat on the couch thanking god for the blanket, and the heat radiating, from the fireplace before her. Alone in the room, she wondered where he had gone, and when he would be back. He, after tenderly wrapping her bloody ankles, had stood abruptly, and without a word, walked out the front door. Like a flip of a switch, his demeanor had changed from gentle nurturer, to cold stranger.
Amy looked around the room. The log walls of the cabin were chinked, with what had once been red clay. Its hues had faded over time, it was cracked, and in some areas it was crumbled enough to let in the cold air from outside. The only window in the room was hid by a large piece of plywood, that had been nailed to the wall. Amy counted the nail heads. There were only four, one in each corner. Amy felt confident, it given the opportunity, she would be able to prise it from the wall. She studied the front door. It was solid wood, with a brass door knob and it fastened by a set of brass deadbolts. Just above the deadbolts, hung a heavy chain, about a foot long, and parallel on the door post beside, hung another chain, with an open pad-lock, swinging from the last link.
The door suddenly opened, and her captor walked inside. He shut the door quickly, but not quick enough to keep out a rush of cold air. Amy watched as he locked both deadbolts, and then linked the heavy chains together and secured them with the padlock.
He turned to see Amy watching, and he gave her his best smile.
“See Amy, we’re safe and sound. Nothing can get in, and nothing can get out, without my permission.”
He covered the distance between them in three steps, pulled something from his hip pocket, and tossed it on her lap.
“Put these on.”
Amy looked at a white, cotton gown, picked it up, and handed it back to the man, towering over her.
“Where are my clothes?” She asked defiantly.
He squatted in front of her, and slide both hands under the blanket to rest upon her bare knees. Amy tried to pull away, but he squeezed her so tightly, she couldn’t move. He leaned in to her until his face was only inches from hers.
“Are you referring to the filth you wore earlier today?” He said this through gritted teeth.
Amy almost opened her mouth to answer, but the evil in his eyes, warned her to keep her mouth shut.
“Amy…my dear sweet Amy…” He laughed.
“I threw your whore rags into the fire place…” Again he laughed.
“Are they keeping you warm….hmmm?”
He leaned in even closer, and Amy feared he would kiss her, but instead he put his lips to her ear and whispered, “Enjoy their warmth…they will never touch your body again.”
…to be continued…