Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write for the SUSPENSE and/or THRILLER Genre (10/23/14)
TITLE: The Missing Eight
By Francie Snell
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Men in dark blue uniforms erupted swiftly from the paneled truck, as numerous beams from their hand held searchlights swept the area. Quietly, they began their trek towards the camp.
“Found em,” one whispered gruffly as lights shown on the bodies on the ground, all sleeping, except one.
The masked ten spread out quickly, pulling tasers from their sides, as they approached. One bent over a sleeping old man and jammed the taser to his neck. The old man awoke, startled with a zap, and then lay paralyzed, unable to speak. The intruder produced a cloth soaked with a chemical, and covered the man’s face with it. Another stepped in and helped the first drag the lifeless body to the truck.
With cold precision, the other dark figures promptly followed with the same strategic effect on the remaining.
Danny played asleep as he watched the large shadow come closer, and silently pulled the knife from the sheath strapped to his side. Frantically, he swiped at the man’s leg, catching only empty air. With the firing of a taser, Danny crumbled to the ground. The man stomped on his hand, and Danny felt the sting from the sharp blade as it cut deep into his finger. Danny couldn’t move.
“You won’t be trying that again, you dirty, little, river rat,” the man growled. He shoved a wet cloth into Danny’s face.
Danny was out.
The camp was clear within a minute, and the eight lay unconscious on the floor of the truck as it drove away.
Later that morning…
Sue rolled over and looked at the clock on the bedside table.
“Darn alarm. I can’t believe I slept so late!”
Throwing the bed covers off herself, Sue sat up and swung her feet off the side of the bed, then looked back over her shoulder. “You awake?”
Steve mumbled, “Yeah, I’m awake. What time is it?”
“Time to get up,” she said, pushing herself to her feet.
“Can’t we ever sleep in?”
“Not when there’s mouths to feed.”
Sue hurried to the dresser, pulled open a drawer, and grabbed out a pair of faded jeans. She slipped them on, and then started out the door leaving on the baggy t-shirt she had slept in. At the bottom of the stairs, she peered out the window by the front door.
Puzzled, she called up to Steve, “They’re not here yet. At least one of them is usually here by now.”
“I’m sure once you start cooking, they’ll be here.”
Sue started to the kitchen.
As the aroma of fried bacon and eggs drifted through the house, Steve stood tall in the doorway of the kitchen, and leaned his shoulder against the frame. He crossed his arms and frowned. “This is a bit strange; they’ve never been this late.”
“Yeah, I know, and I’m kind of worried,” she said, turning from the stove to face him.
Seeing deep concern in her eyes, he sighed. “Alright, let’s go check out to see if they’re okay.”
Sue nodded. “Okay, I’ll bag up their breakfast to take to them.”
“Sounds good,” he said, starting across the kitchen. He pushed open the door that lead outside. “I’ll go start the pickup.” He went down the steps as the door slapped shut behind him.
As the old Ford bounced along the rutty road, Steve exclaimed, “Wow, how did this road get so torn up…Who around here has a dually?”
Sue pointed ahead to a thicket of brush in the field just off the roadside. “There it is. That’s their camp!”
As the truck rolled to a stop, Sue jumped out.
“Hold on Sue. Just wait for me before you go over there.”
Together they walked warily to the pressed down grass area surrounded by tall grass and brush. The quilts Sue had made, worn out backpacks, plastic garbage bags, and various personal articles were strewn all around.
Sue gasped, “Jenny’s doll!”
Steve followed Sue’s eyes to a doll lying on the ground. His breath left him.
“Oh Steve, something’s happened.”
Steve pointed to a knife lying on the ground covered with blood.
“That’s Danny’s knife!”
“Oh Steve, what do you think happened?”
“I don’t know, but we need to go tell Arlie.”
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