Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: "God Only Knows"
By Frank Salerni
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I gave her a loving hug and tucked her in for the night. She said, “I love you daddy” as she did each and every night. As I turned off the light and blew her a last kiss she pulled the blanket up snuggling in complete reassurance that her safety was never in question.
I followed my routine to the letter checking the doors and windows to make sure they were secure. After getting into bed I said a prayer to end my day and I drifted off into a deep slumber.
I awoke in a sweat. Uneasiness surrounded me, but I knew not why. Fear replaced the solitude of sleep. Since my wife had died it seemed that I had received additional instincts foreign to my male traits. My child was in danger. I ran to her room.
Opening the door I found her bed unoccupied. I called her name. I heard no response. Her window was open, and the cold breeze blew the lace curtains gently into the bedroom. Rage began to fill the void of endless questions within my heart. Where is she?
A closer examination at the open window revealed a jimmied lock, a torn screen, and footprints in the flowerbed just beneath the window. Pain in the form of a loud scream came from my lips as dogs wailed in response shattering the quiet of the night.
I grabbed my shotgun. I left my coat behind not wasting the time to put it on. The darkness in the forest leading from my backyard was paled compared to the blackness of my wrenched soul in this moment. Tracks were easily traced in new fallen snow. A crescent moon was enough to detect movement, but I saw none.
The start of a cars motor broke the night’s silence. I ran through the forest abandoned to the pitfalls of unfamiliar ground. Only one thought consumed me, and that was getting my child back.
I came out of the trees just before the car came around a very sharp corner on an old logging road. I stood my ground with the butt of my gun facing toward my adversary. As the car yielded to the turn I jumped on the hood of the vehicle, and thrust the gun though the window entangling it within the steering wheel. My face met with the front glass as the car stopped to gain control of the road, and I fell momentarily to the ground before reaching up to grab the door handle.
Pulling myself up, and opening the door took only but a moment. The man driving was of no contest to my adrenal emotions. Snatching him from the driver’s seat, and a swift blow to the side of his chin was all it took to knock him out. I grabbled the keys, still in the ignition, as I leaned into the car taking my daughter. She was panicked, crying, and bewildered. I held her in my arms. I was shaking violently from my bold attack, and wondering where it all came from. I’ve always been a peaceful man. I pulled a shard of broken glass from my forehead with one hand, still clutching my daughter with the other.
As I went back through the forest toward our home I contemplated… Why… why… why?
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