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Someone loudly knocked on the front door of Michael’s house. Sarah and he quickly threw clothes on. She rushed to the door and opened it.
“Hello ma’am. Are you Haley Sholes?”
Two police officers stood in front of her. The one on her right asked the question. A child was hiding behind both of them. Her frightened expression became more pronounced as she peeked between the men’s legs. She saw the unfamiliar woman, looking up at her with hope.
“No. I’m just a friend,” Sarah replied professionally, holding the door mostly closed. She glanced behind her and called out, feigning calm, innocent control. As she turned around, the cops thoroughly checked her out, taking in her appealing figure.
“Michael. The police are here with a little girl.”
The man snapped out of his post-sex relaxation. He jumped up and rushed to the door, grabbing a jacket from a hook that was behind it. Clumsily shoving his arms through it, he reached the narrow opening.
“Natasha!” He knelt down, exclaiming in excitement, His yell provided a distraction as he pulled the jacket over the bullet holes in his tattered shirt.
Michael’s daughter pushed between the officers and leapt into his arms, beaming ecstatically.
“Daddy!” she shouted, overjoyed. Happiness permeated Natasha’s body, so potent that it seemed to radiate outward in undulating waves. It melted everything around her with overpowering bliss.
As Natasha was wrapped in her injured father’s warm embrace, his profound love for her saturated his being. There was no way that he could have been any happier than he was at that moment. His child who had been deviously ripped from his protective clutches had finally been returned to him, safely and soundly. Immersed in the moment, he felt like he had nothing more to accomplish in life. The sole mission of his existence had come to fruition. Then he remembered that his adoring wife had been taken from him too. He pulled away, tears of both joy and sadness streaming down his face. It was like a warm blanket of relief had been snatched away from him, leaving him shivering in the cold.
“Sweetheart,” he said, gazing into her eyes with quiet elation. He stroked her hair and planted a kiss on her forehead, keeping his lips pressed against her skin for a full second.
“Sir?” the police officer on the left questioned.
Michael looked up at the cops with his hands on his daughter’s shoulders, still kneeling in front of her. Sarah kept holding the door, not interfering with the heartfelt reunion. She made sure that the police didn’t see the dead bodies on the other side.
“Yes?” Thank you so much for finding my daughter! How did you find her?” the overjoyed father asked gratefully.
“Well sir, we were sitting in our car in a parking lot, and she came and knocked on my window,” the officer on the left said. “She told us that she was abducted while she was out getting ice cream with her family. After we got a few details from her, we discovered that she didn’t know where she was being held, and she was moved between several different locations.”
His partner picked up the narrative where he left off, mimicking his authoritative tone. “She said that she had a blind fold on whenever she was being moved, and they only took it off when she got to each place. We think that she was moved five times. It’s almost impossible to tell where she was being held because every room she was in was completely empty, with no windows. We’ll get to the bottom of this though, sir. Whoever took your daughter will not get away with it.”
After listening intently, Michael spoke with respect. “Thank you very much officers. Mind if I talk to my friend for a moment here?” He stood up.
“No problem, sir,” the first officer responded. “But before you do that, I have one question for you.” His arms folded across his chest, and he shifted his feet. “Why didn’t you file a missing person report for your daughter?”
Michael answered without hesitation. “Well when we called, we were told that someone has to be missing for at least 24 hours before you guys would file a missing person report and start looking for her.” His eyebrows raised in a subtle challenge.
The cop awarded him with a nod as he spoke. “All right then. You can go talk to your friend there now.”
Michael knelt down to address his daughter. “Natasha, just stay here for a minute while I talk to Sarah, okay?”
“Okay Dad,” Natasha hesitantly agreed.
Michael stood up, Sarah following him behind the partially closed door. The cops could barely hear the indistinct exchange. Sarah reluctantly accepted Michael’s idea for her to dispose of the dead bodies that littered his house using his car. He would take his daughter out to get ice cream while she did this. They stepped back around the door. Natasha quickly pushed it open all the way, anxious to find out what they were going to do next and see her home.
She stopped speaking mid-sentence, frozen with one foot in the air. Sarah rapidly tried to push the door closed, but she was too late. The damage had been done.
“Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!” A blood-curdling scream exploded from Natasha’s mouth as she absorbed the horrifying carnage. The horde of mutilated corpses assaulted her senses, making her jump toward her father while she yelled in shock. She was overwhelmed by the evisceration, coupled with the permeating scent of stale blood and spoiling organs.
Each police officer hastily shot a hand to his weapon. Unbuttoning their holsters in unison, they kept one hand on each gun, ready to draw them. Both men warily strode to door, rapidly assessing the situation. They weaved between Natasha and the adults as they stepped across the threshold.
Sarah crouched down, stealthily snatching long, black-handled knives from sheaths inside her boots. Her fingers prodded the grips as the cops walked past her. While they stopped to take in the lacerated carcasses, she stood up and slipped a blade into Michael’s hand. As he looked down, registering the knife, the officers drew their weapons.
The police spun around, bringing their guns up to point at the suspects. Michael simultaneously copied his partner’s sudden attack. Sarah dashed toward the closest cop, shoving the knife into his throat before he could turn around. Her ruthless partner was half a step behind her, striking when the other officer was about to fire. The man was sliding his finger toward the trigger before his life abruptly ended. If Michael had been a millisecond slower, he would have instantly been killed right in front of his newly reunited daughter.
As the assassins twisted the knives, then yanked them out of both cop’s necks, Natasha screamed. She sobbed and hyperventilated while she watched her father and his partner murder police officers. Her eyes widened in terror as the bodies hit the floor with loud thuds, blood spewing from the fresh wounds. The men sputtered and choked, dying before they reached the hardwood floor.